10 Things Every Daughter Needs to Know Before Joining the Military

Military women daughter strong sister US Army marine air force veteran Navy

“In the U.S., 24% of Men, 2% of Women Are Veterans” – Gallup

I am honored to be among that 2%. I enlisted in the military for selfish reasons – for the physical and mental challenge and for college money. Serving my country taught me selflessness, strength, perseverance, and courage. During my service, I made lifelong friends, met the man who would later become my husband, and developed a deeper appreciation for people and a true sense of gratitude for each and every day of my life.


Now that I am raising two little girls, I realize there may come a day when they tell me that they want to join the military. These are ten things I would want them to know before going into the service:

1. Select a job for one of two reasons: (1) because it sounds awesome (i.e. I chose counterintelligence), or (2) because the skills will transfer over to civilian life.

2. Get your college education first and then serve. With the cost of education skyrocketing, go to school first and then look at options for student loan repayment through service.

3. Do not join and leave for Basic Training during the hottest time in the summer (I learned this in the sweltering South Carolina heat in July & August), and don’t join in the dead of winter.

4. Basic Training (for the Army) is nine weeks long. It is tough and can be so fun at the same time. Learn to enjoy running and that time will be your solitude.

5. Learn how to shoot a rifle before you go to Basic Training. Being able to handle a firearm and hit the correct target (not the target in the lane next to you), will make for a far less stressful time during basic training.

6. Your battle buddy or roommate will likely drive you insane everyday. However, you will make lifelong friends with friendships that are deeper than any other you might have.

7. It is a man’s world. Learn to navigate it. Combat jobs are not available to women and some men will use this fact against you and try to make you feel less valuable. Do not let them.

8. Be humble and be strong. Yes, you can be both. There will be days when you cry, days when you laugh, days when you wonder if you will ever sleep again and days when you challenge yourself to be more than you ever thought possible.

9. Serving your country will change you. The reasons you join will change over time and you will serve to honor your country.

10. Join for the shortest time possible. Three years in the service is like 10 years of civilian life.

Are you a veteran? What piece of advice would give?

Army2 Army1


  1. momentousmom says:

    This is a great post. My father served and would not let me really even consider it because he did not want me to be in such a mans world. Now that I am older he has told me he wishes he had not held me back. These are great tips and ones that I will pass on. Thank you so much for your service.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa Jones says:

    I’m an Air Force Veteran and I also met my hubby when I was in. I’m now a Navy wife and still living somewhere new every 3 years. I truly loved it but with 2 different branches and a child it just wasn’t in our plan for me to stay in. I would advise not to be afraid to take an overseas assignment. It’s a big world out there and one of the great perks of the military is being able to travel for free. Get out there and explore the world and learn new things. I would disagree about going to school first just from what I’ve seen first hand with my husband. He’s completed his bachelor’s and Masters all while in the Navy and so he has no loans that he has had to repay. It has also helped in the promotion department but that is just my opinion from what I’ve experienced. Thank you for serving! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. unkowngyrl says:

    Thank you for this post! I am looking At joining the military this upcoming year! This helped a lot! Thank you for your service and giving women confidence to join 🙂 Best wishes


  4. Sarahi says:



  5. Dr, Parker says:

    I served in the Marines in the 1950s…the Korean War. For several reasons, I believe that it is a good idea for young men and women to serve their country in the military. I agree with most of the points that others have made here. However, I would disagree with the idea of going to college before enlisting. Here’s why: During your time in the military you will learn a whole lot about yourself and about others. You will mature and you will have experiences that will help you decide how you really want to fit into the world…and what you really want to do with your life. These experiences will greatly help you find the right path to follow that will reward you a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in your life. Then, when your hitch is completed, go to college (if that’s what you really want to do) and choose a major that really fits you…a major that really feels right. You’ll have the GI Bill to help pay the freight.


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