The military is not for the average human.
Military officers often move from place to place, and have no home--troops go in and out of countries in varying states of war. In a state of peace, the military is still a dangerous job. In a time of war, there are no words to describe the horrors those in the military face daily.
Here were some of those stories.
Life On The Line
I regret the last 6 years I was in. It cost me my marriage, my sanity, health, and all around sucked the joy out of life. The stupid game got really stupid in those last six years. Truth is, if I had reclassed to a different MOS, I'm sure I would have been happier and would still be in. But no. I chose to stay in the infantry for 6 more years. Once I got out, I felt 125% better about myself and my life.
A Product Of Capitalism
My coworkers were jerks that would bully specific troops into being afraid to work, because would get yelled at if they ever made mistakes (they were apprentices. They'll make mistakes). The shifts were long and irregular; sometimes I would walk in at 7 in the morning for work, only to be told "oh! I meant to call you. You're moved to nights. Come back at midnight". People got placed on weekends for 5 or 6 months at a time and only got pulled off so I could due-process or deploy. People shame you for using vacation days and often deny you vacation time. It's a mess.
Generally The Opposite Problem
I left after 7 years. The reason I regretted joining is that I never got to used the skills I trained for. It's the main reason I left. I'd see the same people getting cycled back onto deployment and I'd be stuck in a shore office dealing with paperwork at a desk.
I didn't sign up to ride a desk, I signed up to be at sea. I was ready and available to go every time, and my name just never came up.
But now I'm in a better job making more money with way less bull to deal with so... No worries
The Mental Repercussions
My buddy has PTSD and is deaf in one ear. He's deaf because that was the radio ear and the PTSD shows up in fits of anger when his anxiety jumps for no apparent reason. He gets wound up if he feels like he's being attacked leading to him losing jobs, losing relationships, and alienating friends.
Sexual assault on US Navy ships is constant and is swept under the rug. Reporting assault is drilled in by PowerPoints but actually reporting can lead to alienation, harassment, or still having to work in close quarters with the person that assaulted you. Males and females.
Job Is A Job
Been in 12 years now, and I feel like most people regret it, in some form or fashion during their time. That doesn't mean that you regret it all the time, but it certainly has it's moments. Even guys with the "cool" jobs have regrets about things. I fly Apaches for the Army, which is arguably the coolest job out there but just like any job, shit sucks sometimes.
Its illegal for you to quit, and you're salaried and overtime exempt. There is zero incentive for them to not ride you like the indentured servant you actually are at that point.
100 hour weeks are not uncommon.
Beyond that, the sheer amount of control over your life that they have, and more specifically all the incredibly stupid stuff they choose to make a big deal out of instead of letting you do your job.
The specific job itself was fine. But everything about the military and military life is bad.
Keep Yourself Untethered
Joined, got married, had kids, the trap. Afraid to get out because the fear of not being able to provide for my family. Used to the benefits. Healthcare for the family. That's the trap. Long deployments. Typical bull of being in the military. Constant fear of getting into trouble. Made it to 20. Retired. I can say the retirement check is nice. But you still need to work to keep things going. Don't fall into the trap. That way you can get out if you want.
A Terrible Conglomerate
It was the greatest concentration of the absolute worst people I've ever come across in my life. Don't get me wrong, there were some great people in the military as well, but the distribution of liars, cheaters, drunks, abusers, backstabbers, and bigots was so much denser than the average distribution in regular society that it got to be too much. Also, dear lord, the number of people who expected to be treated like a goddamn hero just for enlisting was nuts. Like, dude, you sit in a climate controlled lab all day in a butts-in-seats position. You haven't done a damn thing for your country.
Make An Informed Choice
Joined right out of highschool, and was pigeonholed into a job I hated 2T2. All I got was a gi bill, a nicotine addiction, and work skills in a field that is both hard to get into and doesn't pay well since it's so easy to do. Higher ups will tell you "civilian life sucks compared to this" but honestly those guys have stockholm syndrome. Sure you don't get a guaranteed housing allowance or free healthcare from your job but if your boss comes in drunk screaming at everyone, or the good old boy system comes into play at work, or your boss and coworkers screw your career up. Unlike the military, you can just leave.
I regret it because I wasted a few good years of my life for the government doing work I hated and when I got out I essentially had to start from scratch. My advice is that unless you know you're getting a job that you know you'll love, really weigh out your options.