Basic Training: Why Soldiers Joined

Soldiers talk about why they joined the U.S. Army, the experience of going through training and the skills obtained that will last a lifetime.

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Before I joined the Army I was actually an armored car driver.

I joined the Army first for my education

I joined the Army to put some honor behind my last name.

I felt that within myself I had the ability to do more.

And then I also joined because I wanted to better prepare myself for life.

And I also wanted to accomplish a goal that no one else has accomplished in my family.

I love all of the Army, and there are so many parts that I was so worried about that I wouldn't make it through. It's been an experience, and incredible experience, and I look back and it's more fun than anything now.

Everything's fun. Everything's as fun as you make it. If you like to jump in mud puddles they let you do that here. If you like to climb monkey bars they let you do that here. If you like to climb down 65 foot cargo nets they let you do that here. If you like to repel down walls, that's also something you get to do here that you probably won't ever do in the civilian world.

I joined the Army because I wanted a challenge and I didn't really want to go straight to college, and I knew the Army would help me with the college tuition.

I enrolled myself in the ROTC program, and it will basically pay for my tuition and any other educational materials you need.

Basic training is built for you to succeed. All you got to do is give the effort. Once you give the effort the Drill Sergeant will see, and they'll make sure you succeed. And your battle buddies will see it, and they'll make sure you succeed.

At first it's a feeling that you can't complete, but then when you complete it, you're like, "I wish I could do it all over again."

My biggest surprise at Basic Combat Training was actually the relationship that developed with our Drill Sergeants.

The Drill Sergeant's mission is to get us together to work and function as a team so that we can accomplish the goal that they set ahead of us.

Our entire company is like a big family now. We all care about each other greatly.

You find a lot of really good relationships and friendships that can be built here.

We're all different, and after being here a few weeks we all become one.

Stereotypes don't really happen here. It's not really a gender thing, we just all have our jobs to do. We're all Soldiers, we all wear the same uniform.

I have always admired those in uniform, and I've always wanted to be in the uniform. And now I've got that chance, and now I'm very proud of myself to do it.