Photo Credit: First Row: Keanna Ellis (left), Aaron Ritenour,
Trevor Williams, Lexi Bradley (right). Second Row: James Newmeyer (left), Alex
Griffen Jr., Richard Hitz, Andrew Kverek (right)
By Leah Bourke and Katrina Dutton
Many high school students are thinking about their future after high school and if they want to take a giant leap of faith and join the military. Each branch has unique qualities, but the recruitment process remains similar to every branch. High school seniors have to make a wide range of decisions during their senior year of high school, but some students have specific reasons as to why they are deciding to join the Armed Forces. “It’s a good route to take in regards to self-discipline and academic benefits,” said Kendall Warren (12th, Air Force). By joining any branch, you receive college credit and a free ride to college once you have served your full service time, which consists of four years. In present day, patriotism becomes a major topic of discussion among everyone. Aiyana Gangraw (12th, Marine Corps) stated, “I love fighting for what’s right and I want to defend our country”. Simply having the ability to defend and protect our country is important to people who take the step to join the Military.
Here are the main steps to getting yourself started for your future career in the military.
Step 1: Talk to a recruiter in order to get more information on your branch of choice; figure out the benefits you would receive if you entered that specific branch of service.
Step 2: Once you have decided which branch you want to join, you need to do the following: go to the recruiting station, get, fill out, and turn in the application in a timely manner.
Step 3: After your application is submitted, and you have talked more with your recruiter, you will take a short practice test for the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB). This then will help you figure out what you may need to study before you go to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).
Step 4: Set up an appointment with a representative at MEPS and prepare to travel to your designated station.
Step 5: At MEPS you should expect to take the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery Test (ASVAB), have a medical evaluation; and finally, have a final interview and take your oath of Enlistment in the branch of your choice. Your ASVAB results should be printed out at MEPS depending on if you take a paper based copy or computerized.
Step 6: Once you have found out your scores, you will then be able to pick the type of job you will be doing in your branch of choice. your scores determine what jobs are going to be available to you.
Step 7: After you are processed at MEPS, you then find out your ship date to begin your Military basic training.
Age requirements play a vital role in your military decision-making process. The Marine Corps age requirements are from 17 to 28 years old; the Navy consists of ages 17 to 34; Army ages 17 to 25 years old; Air Force and Coast Guard are ages 17 to 27 years old. For each branch, you must have a High School Diploma or otherwise a GED, also it is very important to be a U.S. citizen or a legal, permanent resident. For students who are interested in joining during high school but have not yet graduated, you may enter the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), which allows you to have time to start getting in shape for boot camp or basic training, and take care of any necessary paperwork that you may be waiting on. For instance, a high school diploma that is of major importance.
The march towards the military is a long and drawn out process depending on the path you may take. If you are interested in a certain branch, take the time to research the branch and look at what you feel is right for you. By doing this you become interested in what that special branch has to offer it may consist of as follows: the salary, promotion process, jobs, benefits, base locations, uniform style, etc. Deciding to join is a huge leap of faith; however, how you handle the stress and the commitment that comes with the job will either set you up for success or set you up for failure. Take pride in the branch that you choose to join because you will then have a special bond with the people you meet and the pride and patriotism that you hold for your country.