Most, if not all service members have fond memories of collecting their DD-214 and leaving the military. No more early morning PT formations. No more weekend duty. You can finally grow that beard.

But sometimes, circumstances change. Maybe a new job didn’t work out, or it just isn’t as personally satisfying as you expected it to be. Maybe you just miss the cameraderie, and you find yourself considering joining back up and reenlisting again. 

On military discussion boards, it’s a topic that periodically arises. Should you actually reenlist? Is it actually worth it? What will it be like after years away from military life?

For those who have actually gone through with the decision, we at Task & Purpose want to know: what is it like? 

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Joining a different branch may present its own form of culture shock. Aside from the Marines, there isn’t a requirement to attend basic training again, but you will need some orientation. After all, the Marine Corps is not the Army, and the Navy isn’t the Air Force. You may even have to reenlist at a lower rank than when you were previously discharged.

And as the military continues to evolve, it may take time to adjust to everything that has changed since you were discharged. As the military moves out of the Global War on Terror there are new operational tempos, new missions, new deployments. It’s not as simple as just picking up where you left off. 

Still, it does happen and people do reenlist after spending years in the civilian world. And we’d like to know about it. What are the challenges you’ve faced? Is it easy to adjust back into a military lifestyle, or harder than expected? How do you relate to your new peers? And has it been worth it to reenlist?

Let us know what the experience has been like for you. Leave a note in the comment section, on social media, or email the author directly at 

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