Dear Crabby, Which Branch of the Military Should I Join?

Dear Crabby,

I’m a senior in high school this year and after graduation I thought I’d enlist while I figure out what I want to do with my life. Someone suggested I check out the U.S. Coast Guard, but that’s not a real branch of the military, right?

Thanks, Wayne Wanderer

Dear Mr. Wanderer,

Not a real branch… what? Are you kidding me! What are they teaching you in that so-called high school you’re attending? The Coast Guard is absolutely part of the military and a very vital part at that. In fact, they just celebrated their birthday on August 4—225 years young. The problem is that most people treat them like they are the ugly stepsisters because they don’t fully understand how much the Coast Guard contributes to our military. I’m sure when people hear ‘Coast Guard,’ they automatically think of all the daring search and rescue DearCrabbyoperations they perform and that’s great. You wouldn’t catch me dangling from a helicopter in the middle of an ocean during a storm. But it’s doing the men and women who wear the Coast Guard uniform a great disservice if people just treat them like glorified lifeguards. In fact, the Coast Guard is unique from the other branches of the military because it carries out a wide range of civil and military responsibilities that include almost every aspect of our maritime. Oh, and they also routinely carry out 11 official missions. It’s no wonder their motto is ‘Always Ready.’

So while I applaud your willingness to serve our great country, I’d appreciate you figuring out what to do with your life… unarmed and without the fate of national security resting on it. Go to college, make your mistakes there, and when you graduate, then you can enlist if you’d still like to. Or, you can use your new fancy-schmancy degree to snag one of the hundreds of civilian jobs that each military branch offers.

Hope this helps and hit those books!

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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