If you’re currently in college today, there’s a very good chance that our country has been at war for the majority of your life. We all remember where we were on 9/11. Our nation’s fight against terror has become part of our lives. While many of us went on to college after high school graduation, others did not. Many men and women put their lives on hold to serve our country. Many of them deployed overseas, often risking their lives day in and day out. Some, after deploying even multiple times, decide to pursue a college degree. Many of the men who do choose to go Greek. These men make great fraternity brothers, and you should consider giving any of them a bid during your next recruitment cycle for several reasons.
1. Age and Maturity
Once they get to college, most guys coming off active duty are at least twenty-one. You’ll have a pledge that can legally buy beer, and that’s always nice. But that’s not really my main focus here. The maturity these men possess is incredible. At a time in our lives when most of us weren’t even responsible for much more than going to class, these men were often responsible for the lives of others. Wouldn’t you want them standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you when times got tough?
2. Work Ethic and Discipline
We always try to instill discipline and a good work ethic into our pledges, but these men already have it. In the military, you work until the job is done and done correctly. “We train to a standard, not a time,” is one way it’s been described. These men are used to working long hours in some incredibly harsh conditions. They’ll pull through no matter what happens. They’re dependable and they won’t quit. Period.
3. They’ll Make Great Pledge Educators One Day
Ever seen Full Metal Jacket? That’s not too far from the truth as far as basic training goes. While it’s obviously not the same as what’s shown in the film taking place in the Vietnam-era, you can be sure that anyone who’s been through any military basic training has been yelled at a time or two. They were disciplined, they were stretched to their limits, and they were placed under extreme stress at times. Think what they could do to you pledge program. They could take some 18-year-old joker and mold him into a fraternity man in just a matter of weeks. If you give a bid to an NCO, the next semester’s pledges had better watch out. Those guys know what they’re doing.
4. They’re Loyal
A fraternity is a team. You need team players for it to function properly. You need people who are willing to put the fraternity before themselves. You need people who will put the entire chapter on their backs if they have to. A military serviceman will do that. They’re taught to be loyal to their country, to their unit, and to their fellow servicemen. With that kind of loyalty and dedication to your organization, I can guarantee you’ll have one hell of a brother.
5. They’re Leaders
Regardless of the rank you hold in the military, from private on up, you’re a leader. Even if you’re not in an actual leadership position, you’re a leader. Combined with their diligence and loyalty, it’s really a mix you can’t lose with. These guys will go on to do big things for your chapter. They’ll put in the time and effort to develop your organization further. They’ll set the example, they’ll motivate others, and they’ll help your chapter achieve success.
There are plenty of other reasons you should consider giving a bid to a veteran. If one of these guys comes out to rush, and you think he’s a good candidate for your chapter, there’s no reason for you not to give him a bid. You and your chapter will be better off for doing it.