Do many fraternities give bids to veterans? I’ll be getting out the military this summer and going to an SEC school. Most of my high school friends joined fraternities. I’m surrounded by officers at work who all tell me to rush their fraternity. I can’t seem to find too many veterans who joined fraternities though. I would like to join one for brotherhood, leadership and to socialize since most my friends will have graduated.
Fraternity members seem to be pretty pro-military but every time I come home for a game I always get “how is the army treating you” or “did you kill anyone yet?” Sorry to draw that out, but will being a 22 year old freshman be an issue? Also would being older and being a veteran save you any friction while pledging? Any info on being in Greek life for someone older would be greatly appreciated.
First off, as a veteran myself, I thank you for your service. I know first-hand how challenging it is being in the military with the current world-climate. For you to serve your country, but also have an eye on getting your education, is admirable.
I understand your concerns, and they are very valid. Many of the brothers you will be dealing with will be younger and less mature than you are. They don’t have the same life experiences that you do.
I can’t directly answer your questions because every chapter is different. However, I believe in most situations being older will be a positive, not a negative.
It is imperative that you make a wise choice when you select a chapter. You are 22 now, but pretty soon you will be a 26 year-old senior. Be sure you choose a chapter that will grow with you. Don’t focus on what they think of you, focus on what you think of them.
On the flip side, it is a no-brainer for a fraternity to want to recruit veterans to join their chapter. I put together a list of eleven reason why veterans will make outstanding fraternity leaders:
1 – The military creates leaders and no one does it better in the entire world. And what chapter doesn’t need more leaders? Chances are the veteran will eventually become the fraternity president.
2 – They will make more mature brothers. Vets will be older, and thus more mature. This will help the chapter avoid making poor decisions.
3 – They will be do-ers. You can’t cut it in the military if you aren’t willing to get your hands dirty. These are great brothers to have because they will not look to avoid the hard work that is necessary to have a successful chapter.
4 – They will be financially responsible. Vets understand the meaning of making a commitment. If they make a financial commitment to the chapter, they will make sure they meet it.
5 – They will appreciate fraternity more. Most students go to college right after high school. They don’t know what it is like to go to boot camp, deploy to the Middle East and get shot at. With those experiences comes an appreciation for the good things in life.
6 – They will be good students. The military takes great pride in training. At these schools, the military students are taught how to study and be successful. This work ethic will carry over into a traditional classroom.
7 – They will be good role models. These men have had the honor of representing the United States for a period of three or four years. Because of that, you know they will represent your fraternity with class. What a great example for younger brothers to have.
8 – They will take pride in appearance. Personal grooming and maintaining your uniform are essential for military discipline. These are habits that are in-grained into all veterans.
9 – They won’t make excuses. There is no room for excuses in the military. Excuses are signs of weak individuals. Veterans are not weak individuals.
10 – They will be more fun. I was in college for 5 years, and I was in the military for 5 years. I partied harder in the military than I did in college. I think the reason is because of the deployment schedule. I would spend 6 months in Iraq, then 12 months at home. And I didn’t waste a day of those 12 months at home.
11 – They will teach you about brotherhood. Brotherhood in a fraternity is special. I obviously believe in it, and it has prepared me for a lot of success post-graduation. However, the military brotherhood is equally as special. Bonds of brotherhood are created by sharing incredible life experiences. These are experiences that veterans have had.
I’m pro-fraternity, and I’m pro-military. Both have made me who I am today. Be sure to take advantage of the opportunity if your fraternity has a chance to recruit one of these individuals.