NOW TO MY BROTHER DRED.
I chose the Marine Corps because 2 of my best friends wanted to do it and I thought it would be cool to go into it with them. Originally we talked to the Army about doing the Ranger option and going to Ranger school. One of my more impressionable friends saw some Marine info and was hooked. One of us was medically disqualified so it was down to two. My other buddy and I went in and graduated and went on to do lots of cool things. He got a few years ago and I'm still here.
Interesting to see how career paths start. Other relatives served/serving that influenced you?
As a kid I was wanting to join the Navy because I had an older cousin who had gone that route. I wanted to serve on a submarine, mainly due to Hollywood movies set in WWII such as 'Run Silent Run Deep'. My cousin, on leave, informed me that Canada's submarines were osik. Both of them. So I sobered up a bit and started paying a bit more attention to what Canada's military was actually like. (prior to this I had a vague notion that Canada and the US militaries were one and the same. Came from a steady diet of American TV and cinema...did I mention I was quite young?).
Had another elder cousin joined the Army. Became and artilleryman. I'd see him fairly often and remember talking to him when he was back on leave between his basic training and trade training. Of course he was FULL of esprit de corps
and the full attitude they fill you with at that stage of the career, so I too was quite impressionable. I'd have been about 12 or so then, and decided Army was the route for me.
A few years later, in my teens, it really started to sink in about how many of my family were serving or had served, and including my Grandfather(s), who I had always known were veterans of WWII...but as a kid you just don't realize what that means. As I got older I really started to absorb what they had done, and felt the strength of family honour.
I ended up in my Grandfather's Regiment, an Infantry Rifle Regiment, which was a reserve unit traditionally, and had been activated to full strength during war time. When I enlisted in the early 90s it had been amalgamated to form a regular force battalion, and that's where I began with the SSF, until it was broken up and reduced to 0 strength after the Canadian Airborne were disbanded.
I stayed on as an instructor at the Battleschool, until I was pushed into an administrative position, (Quartermaster; requisite for the next stage of promotion) and started looking for an alternate career...