10 Excellent Reasons Not to Join the Military

A short, snappy handbook detailing why the military may need you, but you really don’t need it

“The Army’s top recruiter, already struggling to meet his quotas this year, said . . . that 2006 would be even harder, and perhaps the toughest year for recruiting since the all-volunteer force began in 1973.” —The New York Times, May 13, 2005

So you’re walking out of school and parked at the gate is a new, bright red Ford Mustang with a hulk of a man in the front seat. He’s sporting a razor cut and wraparound shades. Before you can pass he’s out of the car and blocking your path. “Mind if I take a minute”—he has you by the arm now—“to tell you about the great life in today’s Army and why you should seriously think about signing up?”

The armed forces are having a tough time attracting new recruits lately, in no small part due to the mess in Iraq. Young people are getting wise to the many excellent reasons not to join the U.S. Military, and this handy book brings them all together, combining accessible writing with hard facts and devastating personal testimony. Contributors with firsthand experience point out the dangers facing soldiers, describe the tricks used by recruiters, and emphasize that there really are other options, even in a sluggish economy. It’s essential reading for anyone thinking of signing up.