Should I stay in the military to be more stable against an economic collapse?

Hello everyone.

Before I get to my question, a little bit about me for context.

I’m currently serving in the military, stationed in Colorado, and will separate from the Army pretty soon. I am a single soldier with no dependents living on base in the barracks.

I’m also a new prepper. I’ve been purchasing survival gear, 6 month supply of food, and a few tools for self defense. I’ve also been investing in gold, silver and bitcoin. What I’m prepping for is an economic collapse. I’m not very knowledgeable in the area of economics but for the past year I have been doing some research and consuming content of a few economic experts who have been watching the US economy’s path. Digesting all this information I’ve come to believe this crisis will happen some time this year or next year at the latest.

Which brings me to my question. Should I reenlist in the Army? I do want to go back to civilian life but I wonder if now would be a bad time to do so. Would it be easier to endure a crisis like this as a service member rather than a civilian? There are supposed to be systems in place for this kind of event and its seems there is a widespread belief is that things would start to get back to normal after 6 months of hardship. I have my doubts about it being so short and obviously “normal” is relative. Things wouldn’t be exactly as they were before. The Army always says it takes care of its soldiers and their families. I believe it, along with the government, would try but I have my doubts about that too. The coming crash is supposed to be REALLY bad. Will the government/military actually be able to pay/care for its service members during this time? I think back to what I know about the great depression. Before WW2 it had been going on for 10 years and had no end in sight due in large part the government trying to manage it but doing so poorly. I understand this isn’t the same country it was back them but it reminds of the saying “never underestimate how badly politicians can screw things up”.

So which would be better? Reenlist in the Army and rely on it to help me through or should I become a civilian and link up with the local prepper community for assistance? Thoughts?


  • Comments (6)

    • 2

      As an ex Air Force officer, staying in for 20 years was not an option.  I was not a good fit for military life.  The job was great and so were most of the people.  I just couldn’t put up with all the crap necessary to advance.  So my advise to you would be to make a career if you can handle the system.  Government jobs, especially the military are very stable and they have a great retirement system & decent healthcare.

      I would not count on finding a local prepper community and if you did, I wouldn’t count on them for assistance.  If you do… great.  But be prepared to take care of yourself & your family, in the future.

      Thank you for your service!

      • 1

        Sounds like the advice I would give. If you enjoy that lifestyle, it is a very stable job. Just look at how much money the government puts towards it’s military, $766+ billion dollars a year. They are not about to run out of funding any time soon and worst case scenario if they do make cuts, you then can go find a civilian job. 

    • 3

      You say nothing about the education and skills you would offer as a civilian.  Those are critical to your decision and should be evaluated objectively and carefully…

      Best wishes!!

    • 2

      I’m ex army and like it that way because I’m no longer constrained by duty, I can do what I want when I want, How I want, where I want. , I can  move, change, adapt , operate, dress, question, challenge, disagree  with who ever I want to now I’m a civvy.  I loved the army it taught me many useful skills and crafts that help me be a better prepper..   Look at the army as being your time in higher education, now you have left education and can get on with your life.

      You will find prepper groups with plenty of mil vets in them so you retain the brotherhood and cameradery.

    • 4

      I’m not military but I have thought about this because all my kids were/are in. My first thought is to be aware that there are people who sell economic collapse as a livelihood, my first exposure was Howard Ruff back in 1975. Try to vary your sources, get a variety of opinions knowing most are paid for.

      To define terms, I think of a recession as falling GDP, rising unemployment for a few months or quarters. A depression is years long with very high unemployment, tight credit and supply lines (really failing, nothing to eat / no money failing). A collapse however is a wholesale loss of confidence in institutions, currency, even government. Collapse in my mind is something that happens to a society rather than just an economy,: wars— civil or not, massive defaults at least, no credit, no cash, no physical security, existential government crisis at all levels.

      In a mere depression and certainly recession, a soldier’s life probably wouldn’t be all that affected.

      But in an actual collapse I’m not that sure the military is much better off. They are just another government bureaucracy dependent on tax revenue after all and though likely the last to fall they aren’t immune. As well, they could be the instigator, that happens regularly. Short of that, I personally wouldn’t want to be under orders if troops were called out to suppress the citizenry.

      I guess you would have to compare that to your job prospects out in the world. If you have a valuable trade or profession you can slide into, you likely will do OK in the typical business cycle downturn. In a prolonged depression likely all bets are off, but still, most people keep their income.

      If you don’t have good prospects I would think the military would be the place to get some education and training along with a paycheck.

      In a collapse everyone is vulnerable. Gold and beans are OK for while but preps only go so far. In a collapse, by definition, everything comes down. You’d need to be very self-sufficient, not just stocked up. Off the path, off the grid or even better: somewhere else.

      Preparing for actual collapse is an all-in lifestyle—I tried for a dozen years and didn’t get close. There is a very high opportunity cost— basically collapse early to beat the rush. You need either a huge amount of capital or a willingness to forego most average luxuries. It can be fun but it is a challenge.

      Either way, good luck, thank you for your service.

    • 1

      the main distinctions between military life and civilian life in terms of culture, housing and living conditions, employment and career opportunities, education, laws, healthcare, and retirement.