Posted on Oct 12, 2014
A1C James Pendergraph
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I joined the military thru the delayed entry program at 17 until I was 18 because my dad wouldn't sign. He said it had to my choice. Now 13 years later, my friend has a son that is wanting to join at 17, and she said he was to young. I was asked if I had any regrets looking back at joining right out of high school and if I thought i was mature enough to make that decision then. I really had to think about that. I don't regret joining, but I believe going to college first would have benifeted me. And I can say that I was immature when I joined. I think now after seeing the civilian side of life as an adult, I have more appreciation for the military way of life and would enjoy it more now as an adult than as the rebellious high school grad i was when i joined. Any thoughts?
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COL Director, J5/7 Cyber National Mission Force
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Edited 5 y ago
Joining the military right out of high school is really a matter of choice as it depends on your reasons for joining the military.

In some cases, there are a lot of reasons for the individual to go right into the military. There are a lot of benefits available and quite honesty, it is the one aspect of providing maturity for many individuals. In other, it makes a lot of sense to go the college route before joining. Against, it really depends on what the individual wants to get out of the experience.

There is no right or wrong answer.
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MSG Wade Huffman
MSG Wade Huffman
5 y
Agreed. The 'right' answer would depend on the individual and the circumstances.
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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Edited 5 y ago
Seeing as how I've repeatedly traveled the world, have a college degree, a family, a home, a stable life and am generally content and all my high school friends haven't left the city and are still working at the same Walmart, I'm going to go ahead and say yeah, it was a good call...
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SFC Stephen Carden
SFC Stephen Carden
5 y
Preach, Brother!
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SFC Vernon McNabb
SFC Vernon McNabb
5 y
It worked for me. I reported the BCT 20 days after graduation. Been a good run so far. And looking at some of my high school friends on Facebook, I can honestly say the Army has kept me slim over the years.
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1SG Cameron M. Wesson
1SG Cameron M. Wesson
5 y
Say it loud and proud!
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CW5 Desk Officer
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I agree with COL (Join to see), in that it really depends on an individual's circumstances. For me, it was just the thing to join right out of high school. My prospects for college were not terribly good (for financial reasons), and the idea of working at the local mill was not appealing.

The military was my best option, and it turned out to be a great choice. If I had left the Army after four years, I would have learned discipline, matured, etc. I didn't leave, though, and staying made the decision to join up right out of high school even better. I was able to get the college that I couldn't initially afford (nights and weekends), and I wound up serving my country for 30 years of active duty.

As I have posted elsewhere on RallyPoint, I am sooo glad I made that decision at the tender age of 17!
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SSG John Erny
SSG John Erny
5 y
It made my life better in every way, no regrets what so ever.
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