The article deals with the phenomenon of popularity of military service in the eighteenth-century Habsburg Monarchy. It exemplarily examines cases of entering and quitting the army in a wider context of belated career-start or switch in profession. Most typical models under scrutiny are disillusioned officers losing hope of promotion, ex-Jesuits who had joined the army to compensate the consequences of the dissolution of the Society of Jesus, retired army officers using the patronage networks to get admitted to the administrative elites, and retired Hungarian guardsmen who had chosen administrative career. The study is based primarily on ego documents, such as petitions and private letters, which are supplemented (where available) by the minutes and resolutions of respective administrative bodies. Successful, or unsuccessful, case-studies under scrutiny let describing society of the Habsburg Monarchy as horizontally mobile and highly motivated to reach social ascend through flexibility in the occupations-choice.