I have some really good friends still from the Marines, and it taught me how to work harder than anyone else in the room, as well as how to push myself, and stay moving and thinking in situations that make others freeze up. Had some good times, some bad times, but - and this is totally on me - I ended up being ensnared in the drinking culture that is rampant in the Infantry (not all infantrymen, but definitely some, and I associated with those groups), and ended up developing a serious drinking problem towards the end of my service. If you’re smart and stick to the plan, you can go in at any rank, eat and live for free, save money, and leave with a nice chunk of cash and free college. If you go in as an officer you can really do well for yourself and set yourself up for great success afterwards (or make a career out of it). Shoot - if you’re young, you can do 20 years, retire from the military at 40, then do 20 years in something like the post office, and retire at 60 with double retirement and live like a freakin’ boss.
Anyways, I’m rambling, but my point is that I got some really good lessons, some unforgettable experiences, and some amazing friends out of it. I also got some injuries, some memories I want to forget, and some dead friends that I miss every day, not just on memorial day. Your experience will depend on what MOS you choose and whether you do enlisted or officer.
If you do officer, don’t be the butterbar who comes into a platoon and tries to tell a staff sgt with 6 combat deployments what’s up.