Be All You Can Be: All of the Reasons People Join the U.S. Army

Task and Purpose
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Task and Purpose

Security, Americas

Why did you serve?

Be All You Can Be: All of the Reasons People Join the U.S. Army

All the reasons why. 

Americans join the Army for plenty of reasons: for country, family, and honor. According to a new study of enlisted soldiers, however, a core motivation is relatively simple: for money.

A RAND Corporation exhaustive survey of 81 soldiers between E-1 and E-4 suggests that the choice to enlist is influenced by two overlapping factors: institutional ones like family and duty, and occupational ones like professional development and job stability.

(This article by James Clark originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)

But while 37% of soldiers identified cited both institutional and occupational reasons for joining the Army, a full 46% said they enlisted due to purely occupational reasons; only 9% said they joined for entirely institutional ones. (Interestingly, those who did cite service as a calling were mostly medics.)

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