Life in the U.S. military involves living in the barracks for basic training, during which each recruit must pass a physical fitness test. Day-to-day military life varies for each recruit, particularly after basic training, depending on the branch of the military, the recruit's career choices and world events.
Military service typically begins with four years of active duty, which involves training and performing military duties. Four years in the individual ready reserve follows. In the reserve, the soldier lives a civilian lifestyle, but the military calls him to duty if necessary.
The military provides soldiers and their families with many traveling opportunities. In some cases, this travel is involuntary and occurs due to a deployment. However, soldiers are also able to volunteer for travel to military bases around the world.
Many soldiers and their families live on base. Standard on-base housing options include dormitories and apartment complexes. Military bases feature a variety of amenities, such as gyms, pools and grocery stores. Soldiers often lead active social lives, as bases feature facilities for people to socialize with each other and entertainment options, including movie theaters and live shows.
During deployment, soldiers move to a specific destination. This is common in times of war, but the military deploys soldiers for other types of missions as well. Communication options become more limited, and deployment is often a stressful time for soldiers and their families.