Questions to Ask Before They Re-Enlist in the Military
Re-enlisting! For some, re-enlisting is a done deal. They don’t have to question the decision. They are in the military the for the long haul. 20+ years is the plan and that is what they intend to do. For others, re-enlisting is a challenging decision to make. There is always a lot to think about. Some couples will go back and forth on the decision for months and months.
Here are some questions you and your spouse can ask before they make the decision to re-enlist or not…
1. Do they enjoy the military? One big factor that is important is that the person signing up for the military somewhat enjoys what they are doing. If not, they are going to be miserable. There is a lot about the military that is difficult and frustrating for both the spouse and the service member, however, at the end of the day, does your service member like what they do? Do they accept the military for what it is and still want to put on that uniform? If so, re-enlisting is probably the right choice.
2. What about the kids? Do you have kids? How do they handle military life? Do you want to have children but want to wait until military life is over? Is it time to move on to your post-military life because of that? You know your own children and what they need. You know what military life will be like for them. Think about what would be best and if going on in the military is the best choice for the whole family.
3. Is this best for their career? Every service member is on a career path. Do they have 12 years in? Would it be better to finish out their 20 years before they did something else? Trying to figure out what to do for a career is a challenge. Do they want to give up the military path for something different or do they want to continue on in the military, move up the ranks and see their career go that way?
4. Age? Age can make a difference. If your spouse is 22, that is the same age a lot of people are when they graduate college. That is a good age to start over and do something else. It’s a lot harder to start a new career when you are in your late 30s or 40s. On the other hand, if they are older, they might find the military harder on their body and will wish to change to something a little less physical.
5. What else would you do? If your service member is going to get out of the military, they need to figure something else to do. This can be challenging. The military can be very different from the civilian world. Some people do have an idea of what they want to do and others have a more difficult time finding something that works.
6. Should you change your MOS? Sometimes re-enlisting for a different MOS is the best thing to do. Your service member might want a change or feel like a different MOS might make their experience in the military a little better. If this is something they are thinking about, talk about the different MOS choices and figure out which one would be the best to look into.
Trying to decide on re-enlisting can be difficult. Sometimes you just know when it is time to leave and other times it can be a bit more complicated than that.