Ton. I left school when youth unemployment was at its present levels (and yes, it was Thatchers fault!), and was the only one of my close mates who didn't go into the forces. A couple went in because its what they'd always wanted to do, but in the main its because there were basically no jobs in the decimated Northern towns.
The deal was this - In return for putting your life on the line you got a decent salary, received decent training (which would come in useful when you've left the forces), decent pension etc.
But now it seems that, in the case of wanting to staff the army with reservests, this deal has been completely skewed. So that you'll get very few of the advantages of full time soldiers, but be exposed to exactly the same risks
To me it seems the equivalent of using agency workers instead of full time staff. And judging by the recruitment numbers, I'm not alone.
But good luck to your kids. Some of my mates are still in the mob after 22+ years. They've all seen active service, but they all enjoyed their time in, have been all over the world (not necessarily just to kill people) and all got decent training and qualifications (one jammy sod got a full salary while put through university!). The ones who left walked into good jobs when they did.