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Before Jimi Hendrix was a living icon, knocking out psychedelic guitar riffs and counterculture ballads that remained relevant after his untimely death on Sept. 18, 1970 — 47 years ago — he was a soldier in the U.S. Army. The man who once set his left-handed Stratocaster ablaze after playing it with his teeth wore olive-drab fatigues and a military cover before swapping them in for tie-dye shirts and headbands. But the way he left the service was as epic as any of his guitar licks.
For many service members, enlisting in the military means you hit the track for a few months, knock out some pull-ups on the bar, and then head down to the local recruiter’s office once you’re confident you can handle the physical stress of basic training. But for William Guinn Jr. from Abilene, Texas, the road was long and hard. Guinn Jr. had to get in better shape before he could even think about boot camp — and that’s exactly what he did.
Online job database CareerCast released its annual job rankings list on Thursday, and to nobody’s surprise, “enlisted military” came in 197th out of 200 occupations, making it the fourth-worst job in the United States. The surprising thing, however, is that the profession is slipping: Last year, it was only the fifth worst.
For those looking to enlist in the military, the lead up to basic training can be daunting. Prospective soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines sometimes turn to the internet for tips on how to make it through their first few months. There’s no shortage of articles and advice on how to “survive” basic training, but here’s the thing, initial training in the military really isn’t hard. In fact, it’s probably the easiest time you’ll have in your entire enlistment because everything is spelled out for you.