John Medeiros MS EHS
First let me say your question is very open to interpretation. Their are a lot of things that are not fun. Waking up at O-dark-thirty to run in the rain or snow only to get back well before breakfast to shower as the starting part of your day isn't fun but it also isn't hard. Fact, of the matter some people really miss it after getting out. The food is generally good. Yes, its true! Working long days is hard to get used to but if it is the first real job you have ever had you will get used to early wake-ups and late hours to finish the mission. There is a lot of down time and some people don't know how or can't learn on how to fill the down time up productively but its not hard, you just do it. The truth of the matter is that you can stay very busy for 20 years and learn alot with a lot of people without doing anything really hard.
Unless of course you want to be the best. The Best in every field work harder than the rest. They fill up the down time by educating themselves when no one else is. They end there work day with more physical training and don't go out drinking all night. They become a technical expert where people start to notice that they are the best and ask for there help. They are asked to attend more schools, get pushed to more responsible positions, and grow as a person.
You see the military is a great place to be, because if you don't mind a little discomfort, you can push yourself to do the hard things in life and become something you never knew you could be.
Honestly speaking, you do voluntarily give up some of your freedom. One of the biggest being where you want to live. Let's say you want to be close to family in Georgia. Depending on a number of things including AFSC/MOS, branch of service, and assignment availability, that might not be practical or worst case, even possible. This is just for your normal day to day job, not including duties that require separation from spouses/kids in order to support deployments to real world global locations for peace time activities or wartime conflicts.
Military life does come with some disadvantages. However, there is a very real sense of honor you get for having served. In addition, it is still one of the most valuable professions. You have the chance to make to make things better, not just for yourself, but countless people around the world. So in a very real sense, the little bit that you lose does get made up for in other ways!
Everyone has their own challenges, it can be training, military education, or the position they are in and its tasks. As for me being a officer in the military, the hardest thing would be managing time between family and the military. At times i have long days at work and i still have to go home to my family prepare dinner and prepare for the next day or i have conferences/training's that i have to go out of town for and that can be anywhere from 2-4 weeks away. For me this is the hardest thing about being in the military. I love my job and i love what i do and its all possible because of my support system.
For me, that hardest part was being away from family and at times having to miss important events. The training, etc, only feels hard at the time. But I look back on it all in positive light. However, you can never get back the things you missed out on.
At the same time, for me, the positives way outweighed the negatives. Very rewarding career.