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9 Ways to Serve Your Country Without Being in the Military

Contrary to common belief, serving your country doesn’t always mean getting into uniform and gearing up for potential combat; there are many other better ways to serve without necessarily putting yourself in harm’s way. And even if you don’t mind making the ultimate sacrifice for your country, joining the army has many strict requirements that may prevent you from enlisting.

You can serve your country without being in the military by joining the Peace Corps, becoming a teacher, starting a business, taking care of the environment, advancing your education, learning how to manage your finances, giving to charity, voting for the right leaders, or working for the government.

The rest of this article will explain exactly how you can use the above opportunities to serve your country without joining the military. Buckle up, and get ready to do some good in your preferred style.

Patriotic Map of United States with Eagle Face in Front

1. Join the Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is a government-run volunteer program that gives inspired reformers a chance to immerse themselves in communities abroad and partner with local leaders to solve some of the most pressing issues of our era. The organization is on a mission to promote socio-economic development abroad by providing technical help while also fostering mutual understanding between the communities served and Americans.

If this is a course that you can get behind, joining the Peace Corps can be a great way to do some good in your country and the world at large without having to join the military.

2. Pursue Teaching

If you have the necessary credentials, you can make a big difference in your society as a teacher by helping shape future adults’ character and thinking. It doesn’t even have to be at a lower level (if you’re worried that you’re not good with younger kids); you can still make a difference by helping prepare future leaders in higher learning institutions.

Keep in mind that it won’t be easy, especially if you’re dealing with kids. But if teaching is your passion, you’ll relish the challenge of playing a critical part in molding the next generation, not to mention that you’ll also get a chance to make new, like-minded friends in the course of your work.

3. Start a Business

What’s a better way to serve your country than going into business and creating jobs for your fellow citizens? If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, this could be a great way to serve your country without being in the military, especially with the current unemployment rates.

Keep in mind that to succeed in business, you’ll need adequate preparation. Part of that will be to perform enough market research, have a solid business plan, and perhaps get a mentor or business advisor.

Most importantly, you’ll need to choose a business field that you’re passionate about, and strongly believe in your business succeeding even when that doesn’t seem likely. The former is key to growth because if you’re not passionate about what you invest in, you won’t be able to do the latter.

Businessman cutting red ribbon with pair of scissors close up

4. Take Care of the Environment

The human race’s very existence depends on a healthy environment, and you can serve your country and humanity at large by helping preserve natural resources. 

This will come in handy, especially since some greedy organizations could care less about the planet’s health. If you need examples, take a look at the damage the BP oil disaster left on the Gulf of Mexico. While you’re at it, check out the world’s most destructive industrial oil project, which by the way, scientists fear may lead to an unmitigated ecological disaster in the near future. 

These are just two instances where Big Oil causes harm, and we haven’t even looked at other forms of pollution, such as air and sound.

Given the dire situation of the environment worldwide, whatever little thing you can do to protect it will go a long way to making the world a better place to live.

5. Advance Your Education

Education isn’t only for youngsters. Everyone can learn something, and the more you know, the more you can add to society. 

Growing your knowledge through education will put you in a better position to make more money. Whether that’s through securing a high-paying job, making a sound investment, or a combination of both, you’ll be able to take better care of yourself and your family and help the needy in your society. 

By doing this, you’ll be helping build your immediate society, and as a result, the country. Additionally, pursuing higher education will expand your social and professional horizons. You’ll meet new people and exchange ideas, which will expand your way of thinking and unlock new opportunities (some of which you can use to do some good in your community).

6. Give to Charity

Volunteers and kids with donation boxes in park

One of the best ways to make an immediate impact in your community is to give to the needy. If you’re blessed enough to have some money or even items that you rarely use, donate to charity.

Even if you don’t have many material things, you can still help by simply lending your time. This can be in the form of helping the elderly and disabled in your community run their errands or even providing emotional support to people who need it. Believe it or not, these donations are no less valuable than monetary contributions.

The added benefit of giving back to society is that it has been scientifically proven to increase happiness. The sheer knowledge that you’re helping someone in need can be very empowering and can make you happier and more fulfilled. Indeed, the old saying that “it’s better to give than to receive” truly holds, and science agrees with every bit of it.

If you are looking to give back and help your community, here is an article that I wrote that you may want to check out: The 8 Best Foods for Homeless People.

7. Learn to Manage Your Finances

Whatever your age, it’s never too late to learn a thing or two about managing your finances. It’ll give you better control of your expenses and help you get out of debt as soon as possible, not to mention saving you some money.

How is this serving your country, you ask?

It’s simple: every person has a part to play in building the economy of their country, and that includes being able to take care of yourself and your family. 

By learning the right ways to handle your funds, you’ll be fulfilling your duty as a citizen because you’ll likely not depend on the government to provide you with things like unemployment insurance. This will be helpful because the money the government could’ve spent on you will be directed to someone else in need.

Also, learning how to manage your money can help you grow your wealth. That means you’ll pay more tax, which will help steer the country forward.

8. Vote for the Right Leaders

It is your right and duty to vote, and you can use it to help elect leaders with the country’s best interests at heart. By doing this, you’ll help shape the way your country is governed, which is critical to its success.

9. Work for the Government

I know this may not be a popular idea for some of you, but please hear me out.

While some people may not consider “an ordinary” government job the best way to serve your nation, it depends on how you see it. Federal employees play a critical role in helping the government address some of the most pressing issues in the nation, from homeland security to homelessness.

There’s a variety of government positions, including administrative ones, you can use to do some good in your country (and make some money, too!). 

Some of the most sought-after specialty areas include treasury, finance, justice, labor, health, and human services. Provided you have the expertise and knowledge, chances are you won’t miss some opportunities in these fields.

Patriotic Man in Suit With Hand on Heart and American Flag in the Background

Summing Up

As you can see, you don’t necessarily need to enlist in the army to serve your country; there are tons of other ways to do that. And while you might not be able to do all the things discussed above, choosing one and seeing it through can help you do some good in your country. Best of luck!

For more, check out How To Get Military Training Without Joining.