There are a million reasons to love the military life.
If you’re active duty, it’s important to look for those little gems that make you appreciate your military experience.
Military life may not be for everyone. That’s okay. And some people may not understand why you love the military lifestyle — it’s challenging, stressful, and exhausting. But it’s also rewarding, exhilarating, and inspiring.
Kind of like a relationship.
How could you fall any harder for a career that offers all of those traits?
In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are 14 reasons to love military life:
1. Military Life is an Adventure
If there’s one thing the military does, it sends you on big adventures. From long-distance moves to foreign duty stations, you can always expect there’ll be excitement in your life when you’re in the military. If you weren’t adventurous before, you definitely get a taste of it when you’re in the military!
2. You Get All The Looks
When you’re in the military, you learn all about getting dressed up. Whether it’s for a military ball or just getting dressed for duty, dressing to the nines takes on a whole new meaning. But you can’t deny how good you look in uniform. As Bruno Mars famously sings, “Gotta kiss myself, I’m so pretty.”
3. Create Your Own Family
One of the best things about the military is you get to create your own family wherever you go. Your fellow service members become your closest buddies at whatever duty station you land at. On-base neighbors are the new friends you invite over for weekend barbecues. Your military life helps you discover that wherever you land, you can develop your own little family tree to help you take root.
4. First Kisses Happen on Repeat
Whoever you leave behind for deployment, knowing they wait with patience and eagerness makes your return that much sweeter. Those “first” kisses happen each and every time you come back, and they will probably always take your breath away.
5. Patience Becomes Your Virtue
If you’re not one for patience, it’s a trait you’ll cultivate throughout your military career. Between delayed orders, long work schedules, refused vacation days, patience is a virtue you’ll fine-tune with each frustration that comes your way. It’s not a thrilling learning experience, but developing patience helps with other life events.
6. Flexibility is Your Motto
Right along with learning patience, the military gives you hardcore training in learning how to be flexible. When plans can change on a dime, tackling it with a flexible attitude makes you more resilient and tough. See the pattern of learning life skills? Gotta love that about the military, right?
7. Precious Moments Count More
That weird absence quote you’ve heard your whole life finally makes sense. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder” could never be truer than it is in military life. It makes you appreciate the time you do have with your family and friends when you’re home.
8. Newfound Strength Discoveries
You never know how strong you are until you join the military. From basic training to leaving your family behind for deployment, the military develops the strength of the mind and body. It may not be an experience you love at the moment, but it’s one part of military life you eventually come to love.
9. Pride For What You Do
What better feeling is there than serving your country? Every day that you put on your uniform, you can do it with pride knowing you’re doing a job that requires every bit of your talents, strengths, and focus.
10. Resilence Becomes Your Word
Military life is challenging; there are no two ways about it. When you take that oath, you discover what it means to put your country above self. Despite it not being easy, resilience is built into your everyday activities and spills over into your life. There’s no better personal or professional development experience than discovering what you’re made of through military experience.
11. Homecoming Reunions
Hellos are always so sweet, even if the goodbyes are tough. If there’s any reason to love military life, it’s knowing you get to walk into the loving arms of your family each time you come home. If you have a pet, you know there’s nothing more adorable than that initial welcome home after a long time away. Homecomings are the best.
12. Early Retirement May Await
If you went into the service at an early age, you’ve set yourself up for early retirement in your 40s. Whether you want to travel or start a second career, the lovely thing about doing your time early is that you’re set-up comfortably with great benefits upon retirement.
13. Military Discounts
Who doesn’t love a good discount? When you’re active duty military, there’s a slew of discounts to take advantage of. From bags flying free on airlines to restaurant discounts, don’t forget to ask businesses you patronize about a military discount. You’d be surprised by how many places offer one!
14. Benefits Galore
With your service comes a laundry list of benefits to enjoy as well. Aside from free healthcare and tuition assistance, you have access to federal and state benefits while you’re active duty. The benefits are perhaps one of the biggest reasons to fall in love with military life!
Fall Deeper in Love With Your Military Life
Not everyone has the chance to serve their country.
If you do, it’s one of the greatest honors and challenges you’ll ever take on in your life.
As you navigate your way through military life, find mentors you respect to learn from during your contracted service. Senior leadership loves to help individuals who want to grow professionally and personally during their service years. A good mentor can help you navigate and make the most of your career.
Look at every opportunity and take it. You never know when you’ll have the chance again, so jump at every exciting career choice you have.
And when times are tough, just look back at this list and think about what inspires you to keep giving it your all. It will remind you why you fell in love with the military in the first place.
What do you love most about the military? Let us know in the comments below!
Feature image courtesy of US Army photo by Sgt. Dommnique Washington