Why do people sign up for the forces?

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  • Why do people sign up for the forces?
  • Premier Icon vinnyeh

    Somebody on the Luton protest thread alluded to people signing up out of a sense of duty to their country- do people really join up for that reason – or is it as Elvis Costello alluded, in a slightly different context cos you’re ‘out of luck, you’re out of work”?

    FWIW, I almost signed up, a long time ago, in a land far away, because it was a guaranteed way to get the training I wanted.

    Because its what you want to do?

    Got to be a lot more interesting than most jobs.


    I would think there are many different reasons, for many different people, you mention 3 in your post.


    Prison or Army


    It’s a career-do what makes you happy?

    Or stereotype the std yobbo who can’t read or write joining? oops thats the police force…

    The officers who get promoted are skilled and ppl who risk their lives in a job and the pay is not great.

    I thought of joining the airforce as biomedical scientist-good pay, not stuck in a hospital lab and stationed around the world.

    I think some armed force careers are really good but the age restriction is lame in areas and the wage is poo unless you’re a dentist or a doctor.

    Also look at how they treat past soldiers with testing of weapons etc-well loved not.


    I think a lot of people sign up cause guns are cool.

    in all seriousness, you get paid to raz around the countryside in 70 tons of armour plated badassness, or buzz around the air in an apache smiting the sh*t out of sh*t.

    the army pay for you to do stuff we would all enjoy, rolling around in the mud, racing bikes, kayaking, climbing, and playing with otherpeoples hardware and not having to pay for it if you break it.

    whats not to like?…

    …well it depends if you can put up with the fact that at the end of the day, the army arn’t paid for the fun bits, thier paid to kill people. (sure they avoid it where at all possible, and peacekeeping is better, but ultimatly thats what an army does isnt it? Kills the crap out of the other army till they quit and run away?)

    i was aiming for RAF officer training, and just never got my arse in gear.

    my choice (to go for it, even though i didnt) was based on getting to play with hardware (i wanted to fly heavy transport when i was younger), not worrying that ide have to use it to help my colleagues kill people


    My brother signed up because he had just been made homeless. He did 9 years in the REME, he’s now doing 12 years in Wakefield jail.

    Premier Icon sturmey

    I joined the RN straight from school cos I didn’t know what I wanted to do and needed some discipline before things went really pear shaped. 6 months later I knew what I didn’t want to do. Something with slightly less discipline.


    the money is good, the add-on benefits are good, the training is good, full term is short, unbeatable pension.

    there are a few obvious downsides.

    I joined up years ago and I loved it (RAF) left because of my ex wife and regretted leaving

    Too old to join up again but it is a differant forces to my day

    never look back it’s not the direction you are heading in

    My brother left school with below average qualifications. He joined the Royal Engineers as sso as he could and his life took off. He had direction, he had fitness and he had training. He ended up qualified to drive HGV’s at 18 including hazardous materials. He got himself heavy plant qualified and ended up in every piece of war torn world preparing landing sites and repairing them for invasions (Some great stories of being dumped by Hercs on bombed runways). After doing quite a few years they actually force you to retrain in another trade so he took some course in water refinery and drilling which took him out to Cyprus for 3 yrs with his wife. He learnt to scuba dive and got qualifications for parachuting there. He then came back and handed in his notice (Whatever they call it) and was told that he had a right to be trained in another trade before he left and he chose construction health & safety. He is now a regional Health & Safety guy for a major construction company (Quiet now but work booked for years on the olympics).

    All through this he always had so many holiday days that it made me sick of hearing about it and the pay wasnt half bad considering how much he spent/saved compared with me.

    All this for a guy who left school at 16 with a life of Mcdonalds if he hadnt signed up. If i hadnt hooked up with my wife at such an early age i would have done the same.


    Ive known a few – never met one who joined to defend his country. A good mate of mine went to Gulf War one. His stories are very frightening – no money will compensate for being shot at with real bullets. Its not like paintballing.

    Try paintballing and see if you can avoid getting shot.


    I managed to do a lot of paintballing and got good enough at not getting shot that I only got shot in the facemask. It hurts less that way, but is not that good if you want to practice for the army…

    Right now I am in the process of joining the TA. I am doing it because th unit compliments my professional skills, I will learn lots of new stuff that will help my professional skills, and because I would like to give something back to a country that has, in various ways, helped me.

    I was not in a position to do it sooner in life, I am now.


    Jello Biafra said “Join the army or slowly die, Wall Street or crack dealer avenue, the two roads left in the American dream”


    my cousin has just gone back into the navy. he’s 4 weeks younger then me (26). he went into it first time round when he was 18. left just before passing out parade because he didn’t want to kill people (he’s also a vege).

    he spent the next four years bumming around europe, working in bars and catching sexual diseases.

    he’s back now in training and he’s one of the eldest. most of the guys there are 17-20.

    one of my aunts went into navy as an officer, but in the nedical side as a mid-wife. she’s done very well out of it buti guess it’s a different thing working in a hospital as opposed to being shot at.

    i could never do it. sod having someone throw all my clothes on the floor beacuse a shirt wasn’t folded correctly, being told when you can sleep, eat and shit.
    god, i couldn’t stand being employed and being told i have to be at work at 7, have 60 mins break and can leave at 4.30…..



    IF it wasnt for being treated like an idiot to start with (as alpin says) I reckon I’d love it, but I’d always be on the engineering side unless I was a sniper. It’s got to be one of the most exciting careers and amazing fun if you can hack the initial abuse and doing things that might not quite sit right. That said I know a couple of people who are stationed abroad and they dont seem to do much interesting, other than paperwork, so im not too sure what they “are”.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars

    I joined up cos the was not a lot else to do where I grew up..

    I enjoyed it for the most part, I saw some amazing places, and to be fair, a lot of shite ones too.

    Still, looking back, it has given me the training to get a decent job in Civvie Street.

    I didn’t do it for “queen and counrty”- I wasn’t even born in this country, and TBH I don’t think many do.

    I’m glad I’m away from it, although I do miss the laughs.


    I think the majority of “for queen and country” entrants arrive during times of WW and when they’re signing people up on the streets, rather than the ones that take it as a career.

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