Three hots and a cot. Top grade training in whatever technical discipline you choose, assuming you score well on the ASVAB.
Decent pay. You won’t get rich, but if you use the brain your parents gave you and don’t exceed your means, you can save a bit of money and live a decent life.
Travel opportunity I lived in 6 different countries. I saw/visited 19 more. Spent time in 27 US states
Rules. Some people (like me) like knowing exactly what the rules are. It’s not ambigious, they are written down. They’re called regulations
Education. You can get a 4 year degree in three years taking night school. They pay most of your tuition and books.
Many of the pay benefits you get are tax free
Free medical/dental for you and your family. Yes, you hear horror stories, no I never experienced one.
If you stay long enough to retire…. I get about 1500 a month and my medical for me and my family is $48 bucks a month. Since I’m no where near a military facility, my medical care comes from where I choose
There are many other bennfits to enlisting in the military branch of you choice. I worked in Avionics (electronic stuff) on heavy aircraft, not fighters. We had a couple decent shooting matches when I was in, the biggest being Desert Storm (1st Iraq war) Closest I ever got to any front line was 4000 miles. I was never shot at. YMMV in the USMC or the US Army. Navy guys don’t get shot at much either unless you’re a tactical operator in Seal Team 6 (You meet a lot of them after retirement)
You’r gonna meet some real idiots. Poeple that otherwise couldn’t survive in the real world. You’ll figure out who they pretty quick and ignore them
Rules, the military has some stupid ones. They are designed for the idiots. Still have to follow them
Mess hall food. Usually not that great. not bad tho.
Living in the barracks, you kinda get treated like your 17 and living at home. Deal with it until you can move out. This can be anyhwere from being an Airman Basic on station for one month, to being a Staff Sergeant with 6 years in service. Depends on location, or if you are married. Married people automatically can get off base or on base housing that is not barracks.
Don’t get married if you are 18 and just enlisted. I saw way too many cheating spouses, male and female. Poor money management, etc. There is a very good chance you are mature enough to do you job, but you are not mature enough to be married/have kids/manage money. Neither is you spouse to be. Wait until you have grown up
Deploments can suck. Nothing like being sent to a tropical paradise for a month, to only see the flightline and a tent because you are working 18 hour days on rotating shifts. On the other hand, I got sent to Thailand to fix a plane and my return flight took ten days to arrive. So, I was by myself in Bankok for 10 days on the governments dime.
Just like life in the civilian world – for every up, there is a down. For every down, there is an up. How you deal with each determines how you will perceive your stint in the military. Personally, I liked it. I used my training to start a new career in the semiconductor industry 15 years ago and I am now making a six digit salary with a high school diploma.