People Explain Which Things Military Recruiters Don't Tell Potential Candidates
For young people pondering at least a few years--or even an entire career--in the military, a military recruiter might be a key component in the early stages of the process.
And it's important to remember that their purpose is, above all, to recruit people.
That's an inherent bias to keep in mind when speaking to such a person. Of course ethical standards are high enough to not expect lies or deceit, but given that all the facets of the military experience could never be covered in a couple meetings, plenty of the nitty gritty details may get left out.
Some Redditors who did spend time in the military gathered to set the record straight. They recounted the aspects of a life in service that they absolutely did not expect when they embarked on the journey.
MrAnonymous418 asked, "What are some things about the military that recruiters don't tell you?"
Spick and Span
"A very, very large part of your duties will involve cleaning."
"I was a nuclear reactor operator on a submarine. But mostly I cleaned it."
Like Everything, It's Got It All
"They don't tell you that despite the Marine Corps' reputation for being honorable, there are a lot of shady scum bags who join the Marines." -- ActuallyNiceIRL
"I was a Marine and had a roommate who joined because it was either that or jail. He never gave me a problem, but I've learned that since he got out he's been in and out of jail."
"On the flip side, some of the best men and women I've ever known were Marines." -- barrywalker71
"Mine was fairly honest but what I will tell you is avoid combat jobs. You'll have a better time in the military being in supply or logistics."
"I was in artillery and we were in the field constantly, it was exhausting."
Plenty of Time to Pass
"Every time that there's a change of command, your most important duty in the world will be to neatly lay out the contents of a conex, wait for the incoming commander to come inspect it, repack everything when they inevitably don't show up, then do it all over again the next week."
"A surprisingly large amount of time during deployments will be spent throwing rocks at cigarette butt cans."
Know Your Options
"They don't tell you that until you complete basic training, you can quit any time without consequence (tho
you will never get a second chance to join rejoining is difficult.)."
"They don't tell you that if you qualify for a job you want but its not available, then you should just wait and come back in a week."
"Otherwise, as some have said, recruiters are generally blatantly honest."
Like Most Teaching Institutions, It's About Free Labor
"The recruiters job is to get you to basic training. They'll send anyone there if they can."
"They'll talk about all this fancy training, but you'll spend most of your time doing menial tasks. Cleaning, changing tires, picking up trash, pointless stuff like that."
"Get the college money, and get out!"
Wear and Tear
"You're knees and back with hurt after 1 year in. But it's 'not service related' " -- Pooneapple
"Got 10% for my back...kinda made me wonder if it's way worse than I thought it was" -- hatsnatcher23
Behind the Times
"Sure, we've come a long way about women being in the military....."
"....but the sexism is still very very VERY much alive. If you don't believe me, consider going on any Instagram photo's comments on a military branches page with a woman in it. Now imagine working in that environment every single day."
An Optimistic Take
"IF you're smart, a short time in the military can jump-start your life in a way practically nothing else can."
"A person without a cent to their name and from a crime-infested neighborhood could sign up for 4 years, and if during that time they lived modestly, saved their money, went on a deployment (thus saving even more money tax-free), and didn't get married or have kids, they could leave the service..."
"...with nearly 6 figures in their bank account, free healthcare from the VA, and potentially a job skill that could transfer to the civilian sector, or college paid for with the GI Bill."
"99% of people won't do that, though. They'll piss away their money, get married, get divorced, and probably leave the service with less money than they started with. They'll go back to where they grew up, get a low-paying job at a car wash, and blame the military for ruining their life."
"You will be extremely pushed to quit once you're in Basic Training. But you're not supposed to let them get to you."
"They don't tell you how much the drill sergeants try to get to your head and f*** with your emotions."
Roll of the Dice
"Not all jobs are equal, and even inside the same job not all locations and bosses are equal."
"I see a lot of people who joined the military had a really shi**y station and terrible bosses. They were working 12+ hours in awful conditions and getting sh** on by their Leadership constantly."
"They have a very jaded view of the military understandably and they go around telling people all about how shi**y the military is and how much you'll hate it."
"Then there's the people who had really good bosses and jobs they enjoyed. They go around telling people all about how great the military is and how much fun they've had."
"The truth (as someone whose been in for a while) is that it's neither. It's a job that's way more structured. I've had really good, and really bad experiences."
"So when the recruiter says 'you'll love it' just realize that they don't really know what you'll be doing."
Red Tape Until the Very End
"That if you do need to discharge during training, you don't just get to leave, even if you're injured."
"You have to be transferred to a special platoon where it takes weeks-months (depending on how long you've been there, how many pieces of equipment you've been issued, etc...) to undo all your admission papers and effectively sign you out."
"If you're seriously injured, they try not to keep you around for longer then five-nine days. If you're healthy, but you just can't take it anymore, and maybe you've already done seven weeks, get comfortable. It'll be months before you can go home."
"If you ever consider joining special forces units because your recruiters/NCOs says there is a lot of action and war games, they often exclude the constant drilling on minute movements..."
"...the everlasting dredge of entry-drilling and combat techniques and the waiting for f***ing hours because your CO forgot his map or something."
"Often, you will find yourself under 'management' that is barely literate."
"These same people will be of a senior level that is nigh untouchable. This creates the "toxic leadership" you hear about in the news."
"Having spent a generation at war, many of the 'good' leaders have left the military, making the above two issues more apparent."
"All of the stupid comics, cartoons, tv shows, etc are true. There is dumb, then there is Army dumb."
"If you want kids, don't join."
"I was an Army brat and I could say a whole lot more awful shit about the kinds of men you're raising your kids around, how much deployment sucks, what it's like to have a father with PTSD who treats you like an inferior soldier instead of his daughter..."
"...having no idea about civilian life and struggling to survive when you leave home, and how shit it was to go to ten schools before I was 15 and for some reason it was a surprise when I didn't do well. Good fathers don't inflict military life on children, die mad about it."
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
"Everyone cheats when they or their partner is on deployment."
"You can report any rank bullying, racism, sexual harassment, etc. But it will f*** you over more than the guilty person(s)."
"I think I've met a higher percentage of terrible people in the military than I ever met as a civilian."
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
We've all made clumsy mistakes that we know could have been avoided had we used a little bit more good judgment and common sense.
Thankfully, these silly mistakes don't usually harm others or ourselves.
This is why it's hard to see people knowingly perform reckless or dangerous activities which they know might have serious consequences.
While we don't usually wish these people ill, we also have a hard time feeling bad for them, as they knew what they were getting themselves in for.
As some people might say, they "f*cked around and found out" or "play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
What is a great example of 'f*ck around and find out'"?
Never Be Afraid To Seek Help
"Hey remember how they said drugs can ruin your f*cking life?"
"Turns out that was true."- WowAPenguin
They Put Up Those Walls For A Reason
"People who die after going over the safety fence at zoo, or basically any safety fence."- Solid_Refrigerator16
They Can't Say They Weren't Warned...
"Those who go deep cave diving and ignore the warning signs."- somekindofmiraclecave GIFGiphy
Never Stand Behind Them...
"Jacka**es who come to the stables I ride at and act weird around horses."
"Those animals play no games."- clem82
Is It Really Worth It?
"Running of the Bulls in Spain."
"The videos each year of the people getting completely annihilated by the bulls is a great example."- getagrooving
Never Get Too Big For Your Britches...
"When I was young I boxed and eventually got into golden gloves."
"I got a few wins under my belt and said I wanted to fight someone legit, someone who would be a real challenge."
"An opportunity came up to fight someone very good, a guy who'd eventually win regional and state and later go pro."
"At this point I'd not lost or even been knocked down, so my confidence was high, that is until he knocked me the hell out very early in the fight and taught me that there are BIG differences in the different talent levels of fighting."-Redditepisode 2 boxing GIF by Archie ComicsGiphy
Sharks might be the least of your problems...
"Go swimming outside the flags in Australia."- d*ckflip1980
"When people were dressing up like clowns to scare people."
"It kinda stopped after one got shot."- BigMaraJeff2
Or With Anything Dangerous...
"Playing with electricity."- tlmega124Jack Nicholson Hair GIF by MOODMANGiphy
They Won't Harm You If You Won't Harm Them...
"People that approach wildlife in state parks."- Rider-of-Rohaan42
Best To Keep Hands And Feet Out Of Moving Vehicles...
"Your boss at the warehouse is constantly telling you to keep your feet within the confines of your vehicle, and not to hang them, and to stay clear when walking, because if you don't, a 6,000 pound+ vehicle impacting a fixed surface will turn your foot into spaghetti sauce."
"Do not f*ck around, ever, with industrial vehicles."
"Follow all guidelines, always."
"A powered ride-on pallet jack weighs as much as 2-3 small cars, when fully loaded."
"It will absolutely ruin you if you don't operate safely."- SpaceCorpse
Still Probably Best Not To Do It At All!
"My uncle was a high-profile defense attorney specializing in folks who were arrested for drug trafficking."
"The greatest advice he ever gave to me was, if you want to smuggle ANYTHING, you can do it one time."
"After that, you will be caught and you will be f*cked."- redoctober2021
Confusing On So Many Levels...
"Trying to armed rob a gun store."- VagabondTexan
You'd Think People Would Have Learned By Now...
"Taking Julius Caesar hostage."- EgoSenatuscaesar GIFGiphy
No One Is Invincible...
"Ye saying he can’t be dropped by Adidas, then immediately getting dropped by Adidas."- Admin_Untold
It's one thing to make a mistake after being a bit too hasty, and not giving something enough thought.
But if you end up in the ER after being urged not to do something, and well aware of what might happen, don't expect too many flowers...
Being horny can lead to some questionable decision-making.
Something happens to the brain when blood is flowing to other regions of the body.
They should discuss this in health class.
It's perfectly normal, but we have to learn how to deal.
Redditor Sir_Baconstrips wanted to see who was willing to discuss actions made while randy, so they asked:
"What's the biggest mistake you've made because you were horny?"
I can't tell you mine, because my mom might read this. But Reddit was more than happy to share.
History HelpHide Reaction GIF by florGiphy
"I browsed porn and then I asked my mom how to delete the history."
What was that?
"Probably my most embarrassing moment. Was on my work computer (family business so nothing locked) and it was a super slow day and I was alone. Anyways was doing a classic 3 min facebook check and scrolled down for a second and saw the news post about Adriana Chechik injuring her back in a foam pool. Figured top comments on that would be golden. Read one funny one that said 'her and her scene with [performer I can’t remember] is still goat.'"
"Never heard of said performer so I got curious and google her. Of course photos never do justice, had to see the performance ya know? So I clicked a random video, quick glance and thought 'meh' and was about to close the tab before I noticed my mouse twitch on the screen… What was that? No.. that wasn’t mouse error, that was someone… then within seconds I realized the accountant who taps in remotely to finish work came in at that exact moment that I had a browser open for less than 60 sec."
"The worst wart was I could have sworn I had all those remote services off, but she tried to tap in for over an hour and must of did something to wake splashtop (probably had it on some type of standby mode). She even called earlier but I saw a random number and was speaking with a client and ignored it."
"Anyways, decision time, do I call her and play it off as nothing or apologize? Naturally as a fearful 28 year old I play off as nothing. I call, no answer… then a few minutes later i get the call back and her words after exchanging 'hellos … are you finished with whatever you were doing…' still burns me."
"Let my (ex) boyfriend dry-hump me for an hour on a bench outside after summer school."
"The bad news: this bench behind our school was also beside a swimming pool. Where parents were taking their children for swim lessons. Eventually a staff member came out and yelled at us for being inappropriate."
"I still have shame flashbacks today, over 10 years later."
"I had a one night stand with a guy who was, in retrospect, seriously self-conscious about his penis size and kept going on about how if it was on the small size it was just because he has to have sex with it a few times and it would gradually get bigger until it was it’s 'true' size. I really didn’t care."
"But then to make himself feel better he turned it around and started talking about how big and wide my vagina was but kept reassuring me that it was ok because he liked the challenge. I wish I had snapped my legs shut and given him the boot right then and there."
In San DiegoNo Money Bangladeshi GIF by GifGariGiphy
"Lost my entire tax refund and got my phone stolen at a strip club in San Diego."
Always check your pockets on the way out.
The RewardHappy We Did It GIF by StoryfulGiphy
"Hooked up with a girl at a party. Just kind of bored, drunk, and horny. Having to go to the doctor for a case of pubic lice was my reward for poor self-control."
"I got my first serious gf in high school. She was two grades below me. So when I finished third year and moved 500 km south we was still a couple. I was so in love (and most of all horny) I commuted every. Single. Weekend. And I was poor. So I took the bus to the nearest station after school. Waited for the long distance bus for 4-5 hours."
"Went to a larger city to hitchhike my way there. I was there Friday night or Saturday morning. Locked ourselves in her bedroom and went at it until Sunday morning. I made my way down to school again and went to class straight from the bus Monday morning. This went on for almost a year…"
I'm OutChris Pratt Running GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Was trying to get with a girl in college. We were texting and I asked her what she was up to, she said she was training for a marathon and going to the gym and asked if I wanted to come."
"I ended up running 9 miles before I tagged out. So now I know how far I'd go to have sex it's up to 9 miles."
Lord the things people will do when slightly turned on.
Why in this day and age are people still taking nudie pics without triple-checking the recipient?
Why take the gamble?
And half of the time we hit send, mistakes get made.
One minute you're feeling sexy, the next minute grandpa is having a stroke.
Redditor Im_A_Freakin_Joke wanted to hear about the times people have sent photos to the family that left everyone SHOOK, so they asked:
"Redditors who accidental sent a family member a nude, what was the aftermath?"
I have done many things, but I never allow a snapshot.
GrossVacuuming Clean Up GIF by MashedGiphy
"'You should clean your room before you take that.'"
"I meant to send it to someone on WhatsApp that I was dating at the time and didn’t realize I accidentally sent it to my brother, their names were next to each other in my chat list and I chose the wrong one. I frantically called my sister in law and told her what happened and begged her to go into his phone and delete the message with the photo."
"This is before WhatsApp added the functionality to delete your own messages. She was so sweet and understanding and deleted the message. I was so embarrassed. To this day she has kept my secret, this happened five years ago."
"For context, my mom had some life-threatening medical issues when I was a kid, so there were a few month+ long periods where we rarely saw her. One night, I got a text from her that says 'send me a pic of u in bed."
"I thought she wanted a picture of me and my dog snuggling, as he slept with me and was the cutest sleeper. I usually sent her one every few days, even when she was home. It also doubled as her way to make sure I was following my bedtime."
"I was taking the picture, and I get a follow-up 'ignore that' text. At the same time, my dad opens my door so hard the hinges break. He says 'you get a text from mama?' I say yeah, and he says, 'it wasn't meant for you.' And leaves. I felt weird about it for days, even though it was years before I figured it out."
Leave it there...
"I happened to live across the street at the time and a dirty message meant for my now wife was sent to my mother! Luckily for me my mom is notorious for ignoring her phone so I sprinted across the street and said 'hey where is your phone' she told me it was on her desk so I calmly walked over unlocked it and deleted the message. In response to the look of confusion I told her 'deleted a message that was meant for now wife...' And left it at that."
AHHHH!!!! NO!Awkward Episode 1 GIF by HeelsGiphy
"One time my dad accidentally texted me 'sex if the Patriots win' and I still don’t believe I have recovered."
Mom and dad have their own lives.
DisconnectGIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"I didn't accidentally send a nude, but my phone did auto upload ALL my pictures when I connected it to my mom's computer. I'm no longer allowed to connect hardware to my mom's computer."
"I gave my sister my old Iphone (I’m 25, she’s 22). She didn’t realize that her photos were uploading to my cloud and when I went to send a photo to a coworker, at work mind you, I see her pasty a**. I immediately text her and was like STOP TAKING PHOTOS. She called me and asked if I was okay and I told her what was happening. She responded with 'My a** look good though,' and I died laughing. Love my sis, but Christ."
"I didn’t sent a nude. I was in the shower, about age 15, and I heard the phone ring. My best friend had a habit of calling while I was showering. So, I bolted out naked as the day I was born to grab the phone before she hung up. I didn’t realize pretty much my entire dad’s side of the family was visiting my terminally ill mother."
"They saw it all. My aunt jokingly said, 'Well, dang, I didn’t know there was gonna be a show.' And someone said, 'we were just joking when we said you’d grow up to be a stripper.' I had to do a walk of shame back to the bathroom as well."
"It was laughed off and it hasn’t been brought up since."
Let me see...
"Sent a pic of my boobs to my mom. Managed to convince her I was trying to take a pic of what I thought was a lump but ended up dropping my phone and sent it while fumbling. Which has happened before. But then she made me show her where I thought the lump was so that was very awkward."
Recover Modedelete black and white GIFGiphy
"I once sent a pic to a GF in college when we were home for break… only I searched her contact by last name and accidentally sent it to her mom!"
"Thankfully it was late and she was able to sneak into her parents’ room and delete it before they saw."
What have we learned?
At the very least, triple-check who you are sending it to one whichever app you use for that sort of thing.
There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.