Why did you enlist?


Aug 6, 2016
San Diego, CA
Something I find strange:

Throughout my entire enlistment experience, nobody has once asked me why I want to serve. Not my recruiter, nobody at MEPS, nobody in my personal or business life. It drives deeper into my soul than "I want to serve the greatest Country in the world". You heard it here first, in full detail.

1) I want to serve the greatest nation of men to have ever existed, and be an immediate part of it's defense. No offense to our allies, I am sure you have similar feelings toward your home. I can not imagine a greater honor than to be a part of this. All the struggle, all the triumph, the tragedy, the failures and successes. The pain, the suffering, the death and destruction endured by mankind in it's attempts to survive, advance, learn, discover, create, conquer, love and hate. History has been a bloodbath for all life on Earth, but it has also been a medium from which things greater than mere survival have emerged. To think that a handful of men gained enough momentum to spite human civilization's vast record of serfdom and establish a nation based on the freedom that we all feel in our bones makes life worth living, against all history and the world's largest and most formidable opponent of it's time, tells me all I need to know about the strength and value of their/our message. For mankind's sake, this is worth defending.

2) I can't sugarcoat this and remain precise, it is very simple. I have an inherent drive to fight. Always wanted to be a warrior. Always felt like a warrior. This is one I can summarize by saying I simply feel compelled. There is a reason young boys play war, in it's many childish variations. I must have played every one of them. Soldier, special agent, power ranger, cowboy, Indian, battleship captain, Goku. When I was a kid I was damn sure I would be a warrior and I never let go of that. Ties right in with the desire to "go on a quest" that childhood entertainment appeals to. This is something real that I believe exists inside all men and is perhaps strongest when you are young. Seems like a very serious reason to provide our children with good influences and strong leadership. I think what you become can be as simple as who your heroes are when you are a kid. You guys were my heroes.

3) I want to belong to something greater than myself. This is a generic one but it is huge. People just want to be a part of something. I am no different. Whether it's a math club, football team, music group, neighborhood watch, trauma center, fire department, or the military. People want to be in teams. We can't do everything on our own. Extra points for something good or meaningful.

Take this for what it is. This is something with little value in it's description. This looks arrogant and is something I can only prove to myself. I might sound like an asshole with this so feel free to set me straight, but understand I will have my chance to go for it soon.
Why I want to be a part of SOF:

1) I need to find my real peers and be with them. I need to find other people like me. I need to surround myself with people who will go anywhere under any circumstances. There is a recurring theme in my life. I enter a new environment, maybe it's work or a hobby. I look up to the people I meet. They dismiss or underestimate me. Eventually I outwork, outlearn, and outperform them. They respect me, but I can tell they resent how I make them feel about themselves. Usually I become their boss or gain authority over them. I realize they aren't as strong as I thought they were. I seek a tougher environment and repeat. I want to continue pushing myself and discover my limits, but how can I do that without a measure? Some people have something special and they are a minority. I can see it in someone's eyes the moment I meet them and they can see it in mine. Everyone else appears 100% blind to it. How far does that go and is that even close to the limit? Are the limits in mental fortitude so far above this that indications do not exist? I simply will not know until I experience the right environment with the right people. Either way, I know this is the place I need to go. A place where I will find people stronger, faster, smarter, tougher, better than me. SOF selections literally force recruits to endure extreme adversity, and even at the lower threshold you are guaranteed peers who could endure it.

2) I want to be part of a team of people truly focused on defending the country in combat. No other bullshit. Not just willingness to go to combat, but focused on improving every single day like it's the only thing that matters. A team that isn't bogged down by unimportant irrelevancies. A team that truly dedicates every cell of their mortal bodies and every second they have to physically navigate it through the objective. A team that needs no false gestures to show strength because you know you can trust the guy to your left or right.

3) I want to belong. I want to utilize the one trait I can't fully apply anywhere else, so I know I am in the right place. I don't want to waste it. I'm not a PT god, I'm not an Olympic swimmer, I'm not a giant who can lift giant boulders over my head. I'm actually a small guy. I have above average fitness but I'm not affecting Michael Phelps's job security. I'm young and still have time before my body starts falling apart as I grow old. What does any of that even mean? What I do have is tenacity, fortitude, character, drive, intelligence, and a slight masochist complex that makes me good at what I do back home. I honestly feel like if I don't put myself in the harshest conditions to cope with mentally/emotionally I will be wasting the greatest gift I was granted. I need to find my home, and I need to belong there. I've tried over and over to find it in other places. I've been climbing a long set of stairs for a while and I do not stop for immediate pleasures. I've had some ridiculous lifestyles I never knew existed that showed me there is greater satisfaction to be had. I'll let you in on a little secret about emergency services. The vast majority of people that do this type of work, especially paramedicine are not cut out to outlast the damage it causes them emotionally. They are caring people that do it out of love for others or for the satisfaction they get from their position in the community, but they burn out quickly. It's a great place to be, we take people's hard earned tickets to the afterlife and hold onto it for later. I love it, but my gut still screams "more". Especially before I get older.

Why I want to be your Corpsman:

I have to take others' burden, it's what I do. I have to be there for you, no matter what. I will be there for you, no matter what. Get some rest, we have a long day ahead of us.
I like your post, @ZFino. I had to read it a couple times, and I want to respond a little more when I have more time. I do want to address your last couple lines, first. Why do people become corpsmen? They want to be in the medical field, they want to use it as a building block to something bigger and better, they are compassionate, they want to serve, they like the adrenaline rush. All of those are fine and dandy, I've no problem with any of it. I like your reason, because it's true: Your life is more important to me than life itself. I am the best at what I do. I will ensure that to the best of my ability this team has the highest chance of success.
For Chicks.....seriously, military was the best, worst, frustrating, scariest, boring, exciting time. Don't regret it at all.


To add...and it’s sadly too late for you, but living on Okinawa from 90’ to 93’ was like living in the world of Animal House and/or Porkys all at once.