As stated previously, the purpose of this site is not to talk people into getting out of the military – far from it. We only wish to provide the service member with the best decision making tools and content that enables a successful military transition.
Making the decision to get out was one of the hardest decisions I have ever made and may be the most important in my life.
You see the path ahead if you stay in the service. It is all laid out for you.
Guaranteed income, insurance – health care alone is one reason many people decide to stay in, especially when you have 3+ dismounts and a spouse who doesn’t work.
You do your time and meet the gates of the “up or out” requirements and you’re set.
And meanwhile you are in one of the most noble professions, the Profession of Arms. Where you live with purpose and discipline alongside your brothers and sisters.
Additionally, you are apart of the greatest military that the world has ever seen.
You are surrounded by the best that our country has to offer. Be it equipment, training, or people.
You live faster and harder than your civilian counterparts. So much life compressed into short periods.
You are constantly being presented with new challenges – now so commonplace that overcoming adversity is now a habit.
You live in a place where words like honor and glory are commonplace. A tribe of selfless servants.
Everyday you are running with a pack of wild animals trained for death and destruction who pray for peace.
Who hold themselves to the highest standards, be it fitness, education, or shit talking. Straight meat eaters. How could you walk away from so much?
But it does come at a cost.
Time is your sacrifice. Time spent away from your family and your friends. Being locked in a training calendar or deployment – you will miss a lot. If that doesn’t stay a priority you may miss it all entirely.
With the passage of time those relationships may deteriorate to nothing by the time it comes for your transition.
So no matter what, water your own damn yard.
And remember, whatever role you take, even if you are surround by other veterans. It will not be the same.
Think about why things like the CrossFit, Spartan Races, Tough Mudder, Color Run are so popular?
They awaken something primal in your DNA that is not be met by sitting in a cubicle from 8-5, throw on an hour commute on either end and fuck your life.
Why would I sign up for an obstacle course? We do that shit monthly – yes for those non combat arms branches, at times it isn’t just mowing lawns.
Ever think why podcasts are so popular? How often are people have deeper conversations with others on a regular basis? Instead that void can be met while you sit alone in your commute or work.
Sitting alone in a vehicle or a car with limited human interaction and not meeting your biological need for variety and stimulation.
The profession of arms already meets those needs. I used to go camping all of the time growing up, doing Boy Scouts, but once I entered the service – all of that pretty much ended.
The mystique of camping is pretty much lost when all you do is lay out a bag on the ground and then… get in the damn bag. Camping. Yay. Shut the fuck up. Pull security.
Or when you just find the most comfortable spot in your 1151.
But this was well understood since other things have a higher priority than your comfort and feelings.
Those that know there is something missing seek out nature and explore the world though travel.
After being in corporate America a year I too have found myself looking at more outdoor vacations and activities. Anything to scratch the itch and soothe the monkey brain.
But now I’m not routinely mitigating (or facilitating) OP shenanigans with the FISTers or in a TOC talking shit with the NCOs or crying from laughter at the smoke barrel.
No amount of recreational activities will compare to what you once had. You might have lost the only family you have ever known or ever had.
And instead of being surrounded by people very much like you, you are now the outsider. You are now different. You have seen a different life than those that have been in a cubicle since they were 22 or in some gig since they were 18.
Broken men at the ripe age of 35-40, trapped by the lifestyle that they have become accustomed to. The right career, house, and activities that are expected of him – just to fit in. Mortgaged away their lives for security. There is a cost for constantly seeking comfort.
You see it in their dull eyes, no fire.
After years of being emasculated in the American work force they are real joys to talk to.
The honest ones will admit to you that they regret not serving, but those are rare. Most common is them saying that their grandpa was in WW2. No shit. Everyone’s grandpa was in WW2.
Do you really want to leave? There is merit to the saying: the devil you know and the devil you don’t.
At least with one you have your sisters and brothers in arms – your military family. You have purpose. You have direction. If you are smart with your money the majority of your financial concerns are taken care of. You can easily retire by 50 and start another career still.
There are ways. It all comes down to what you really want. Because the same dull eyes in the private sector can also be found in the military – people that are only in for the stability, for the security.
It is a tough decision. Talk to your family, talk to your friends. You are not in this alone.
Make your plan. Gather your resources. Execute violently.