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My son wants to join the army! Not sure how I feel about this!

Posted by on Oct. 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM
  • 42 Replies

My son is a senior in high school.  He has always talked about going on a mission for our church after high schoolbut recently he has changed his mind.  Although we are sad that he is choosing to not go on a mission. We understand that for him to fully benefit from that choice it was one he had to make on his own.  He is thinking about joining the army.  He wants to go into auto mechanics in the army.   

The reason I am concerned about this decision is he has always know he has the makings to be anything he wants to be.  I am glad he enjoys mechanics but he could be more then just working on cars he could easily become a mechanical engineer.  He has the brains for it.  He tests brilliant.  His friends that he is hanging out with are all joining the army and he has a highly influential auto mechanical teacher.  (this is the teacher who this summer was encouraging him to stay in this area with friends if we moved, which we didn't).   He is only 16 so that really bothered me that a teacher would encourage this.  

Okay breaking it down.  My son wants to join the army.  I would prefer he look at navy or air force before he makes this decicion.  I think he is making this decicion without looking at the BIG PICTURE!  And that peer pressure and mentor pressure are influencing his desicions, and the pressure to avoid going on a mission are the fuel behind this.  We are trying to take a step back and let him make his own decisions but I am very concerned he is not seeing how these decisions will effect his future!  

I would love some advise from military moms.  What is the army like?  Compared to air force or navy?  Has anyone else felt like their child was making decisions based on peer and mentor pressure.  How do you lovingly point this out to you teenager without driving them into rebellion? 

by on Oct. 22, 2013 at 3:12 PM
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by New Member on Oct. 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM
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My son joined the airforce right out of high school--actually enlisted the day he turned 18, and my daughter did the Army right out of high school.  It was a great experience for both of them.  As a parent, I personally thought that my daughter in the Army got the better deal, had more bases to choose from, more options for careers, etc.  As far as benefits go, they are the same.

I tried to talk my oldest (son) out of it, and he just went and signed up anyway.  I would suggest that you find a local camp in your area (we had one and my daughter went to it)--ours was an Army camp, where they go for 3-5 days and go through "Mini" Boot camp, complete with PT/Yelling/sleeping in "barracks" etc. and let your son do that first.  Then if he still wants to join, at least he knows what he is getting into.

by Silver Member on Oct. 22, 2013 at 7:54 PM
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 Not every kid wants to go to college and that's okay.  Maybe he will go later, maybe he will love being a mechanic. Who knows?  I understand that you have wishes and dreams for him, but at the same time, allow him to find his own path. 

by on Oct. 22, 2013 at 8:34 PM

It's not my dreams that I am worried about.  It is his dreams he has always dreamed big and yet been practical.  I just see that he is easily pursauded by others (ie; friends, teachers and leaders). I think he is selling himself short and I am not sure why.  

by on Oct. 22, 2013 at 8:45 PM
My dh is Army . My 19 yo son is in the Air Force. I wouldn't have cared if my son joined the Army. I feel he would have had more choices, but he was dead set against the Army. He is happy with his decision, other than hating his job.
by on Oct. 22, 2013 at 8:48 PM

go to recruiters with your son. bring up your concerns, ask questions.

sit him down and encourage him to tell you about why he wants to join, why he think the army is the best option for him, etc.

by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 22, 2013 at 8:49 PM
He got brainwashed
by アニメの雌犬 on Oct. 22, 2013 at 8:55 PM
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What a brilliant answer.  Did you come up with it on your own?

Quoting Anonymous:

He got brainwashed

by on Oct. 23, 2013 at 1:06 AM
I think its normal to be concerned. How receptive is he to advice?
by Darby on Oct. 23, 2013 at 7:03 AM

Good luck to him!

by Ada on Oct. 23, 2013 at 7:18 AM

When I taught middle school I talked to my students about different career options... I even told them that college isn't always the right fit for everyone. Call me crazy but I think it's important to encourage people including young people to figure out the best choices for their future. May it be the military, college, or finding a job right out of hs. 

My students knew I went to college and served at the same time the AF National Guard... They ask questions and I answered honestly. Encouragement and knowledge go a long way, but in the end it will be his decision when he is 18 and an adult or 17 if you are supportive and sign his paperwork. 

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