I can assure you that American boys and girls join the military to fight. We told our parents it was for the education, money, or to see the world. Yet the fact remains we loved to blow stuff up and be soldiers. Nowhere, in any business or sport, are young men and women age 17-22 afforded such responsibility with powerful equipment or in such a strong leadership position with the chance of quick promotion than the military.

For a soldier, after about six years in the military you hit the decision maker. That is when the people in the civilian world start making much more money. For an officer, do you want a company command, take a corporate job, or start your own business? For the enlisted, do you want to be a platoon sergeant, work with and lead men for the next 15-20 years then retire and start your own business with the military retirement check?

It may come as quite a shock to some that there are millions of Americans that do not care about money. The Army has quite a retention system. The lifers, those that are in the Army for a career have a passion to retain those soldiers they feel are best, to promote their own love of a career.

I still remember the quote from Mel Humphrey. He was the meanest SOB to ever walk this earth. He thought it was his duty as an American to take young kids and teach them how to work. You had two choices, his way (the money) or join the military. He paid such high wages; I made enough working for him at 16 to work 4-6 months a year and race the rest of the year.

One of my first days at work we had a long drive to the job site. It was snowing and we were prepared to work 12 hours. In the pickup truck freezing my tail off he smoked like a chimney so I had to keep the window open. I peeled off my gloves as he said, "write this down now."

  1. How long does it take to drive to the job? Leave early to miss traffic and eat near the job site?
  2. How long does it take to use the bathroom? Fifteen-minute breaks are 13 minutes too long.
  3. How long does it take to each lunch? Eat while you work and it's a paid lunch.
  4. How long does it take to plan a job? Take twice as long and you'll save double the mistakes.
  5. How long does it take to clean up, pick up tools? Take the cost of lost tools and time to replace them into account when your cold tires and just want to go home.
  6. How long does it take to get home? Slow down, tickets and accidents on the way home kill.
  7. Out of a 12-hour day, driving-planning how much actual work gets done? How organized are you for the crew and how many actual man-hours of work are completed every day? Keep track.

Now what is your best guess to make (how much you want to make a month) what is your guess on how many hours you will be working.

You have a girl friend? Good because once you have it figured out how much work you do, the time and effort it takes. Realize you need to love your job and those you work with as much as any woman you marry. You'll see your work more than your wife.

All the while he told us crazy military stories. There was no money, a lot of BS and down time. Yet you had the opportunity to do things that were impossible to do in the civilian world. You want excitement? Join the military. You want money, "get back to work."





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