Although the stories are almost as varied as the service members and veterans who tell them, there are some consistent and broad themes about the motivations people have for signing up to join the military. Some people join because they're drawn to the idea of service, others do so for more personal reasons, while still others are motivated by important financial considerations.
Many service members and veterans use words like service, duty, or honor, as one of the reasons often the main reason why they join the military. Serving one's country, defending the nation, or patriotism, are commonly cited reasons in this category.
In talking with service members and veterans, the personal reasons they often give include, getting into better physical shape, wanting more structure and discipline in their lives, or developing their leadership skills. Others will talk about opportunities for adventure, travel, and meeting people all over the world.
Still others see the military as a steady job that pays well and could lead to a career with relatively early retirement and good retirement benefits. Veteran benefits are often mentioned among the reasons for joining including, educational benefits through the GI Bill, VA home loan benefits, and health care for self and family through the military and the VA.
These are just some of the many reasons why people make the choice to join the military.