What to Consider When Joining the Military
Considering joining the military? Indeed, you presumably have given it a lot of thought and come up with a lot of questions. If you are like most people, though, the minute you stroll in to talk with a recruiter, you won’t be able to recollect any of them. There are a few inquiries you have to verify you ask your enrollment specialist and a few things you have to verify he or she knows.
Don’t be afraid to make an actual written list of questions you have afor the recruiter about enlisting. You will feel much better about the entire process if you have as much information as possible beforehand. That’s what your recruiter is there for–to ensure you are informed and involved with the process.
There are so many different areas to explore, that it will be impossible for the recruiter to cover everything at your initial visit. So, at a minimum, it is recommended that you make sure you ask about these five areas.
Question 1: When do I take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)?
This is a vital inquiry on the grounds that what you do in the military will be subject to this test. Not everybody is prepared to take the ASVAB immediately. Being ready and scoring as high as you possibly can will give you the most choices when you begin your military profession. There are a few approaches to plan for the ASVAB. Most enrollment specialists will issue you a practice test to anticipate what your actual score might be on the ASVAB. A low score on the practice test may mean you need to some prep work beforehand.
Question 2: When will I leave for basic training?
Joining the military and leaving for essential preparing are two totally distinctive things. When you join the military, you are qualifying first by testing and second by taking a physical. In the wake of qualifying in both zones, you will pick your occupation and swear-in. You’re NOT leaving for fundamental training as of right then. It is imperative that your recruiter and the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) contacts know when you are actually available to leave for initial training. It is almost always better to kick your profession off as quickly as time permits; however. not everybody can do this. For Instance, in the event that you are as of now going to school you presumably won’t be ready to go until the end of the semester. Or if you are a high school senior. you will likely not be available for basic training until it’s time for you to graduate. Whatever the reason, verify your circumstances and discuss them with your recruiter.
Question 3: When will I be assigned to a job?
Don’t overlook this question as it is critical to your future with the military. Since every branch of the military has its own way of assigning jobs, you will want to bring this up with your recruiter. You might get a job while you are MEPS, or you might not. It will depend on the branch you are with. For instance, with the Navy you’ll get a job, but you may not with the Air Force unless you give them a list of jobs for which you are qualified. Whatever the case, you want to find out what job has been assigned to you.
Question 4: What personal documents will I need to come up with?
It is hoped you know where your important documents are, but that is not always the case. You probably know where your driver’s license is, for example, but do you know where your birth certificate is? How about your social security card? Can you get your hands on your high school diploma? Your recruiter will provide a checklist of the documents you’ll ultimately need, and it’s recommended that you start hunting them down sooner rather than later. The list will probably include the following, at a minimum:
- government issued ID (Drivers License)
- social security card
- high school diploma
- birth certificate
- college transcripts
- marriage license
- medical documents
- court documents
- adoption documents
Question 5: Will the recruiter need my legal and medical history?
It might seem counterintuitive, but rest assured that recruiters want to help you enlist by asking for your complete legal and medical history. Share any types of legal issues you may have had, whether traffic infractions, misdemeanors, felonies, and so on. If there is an issue that may seem to disqualify you from enlisting, the recruiter might be able to help so that you are able to enlist in spite of the issue.
Medical issues can be the same. If there is something that immediately seems to disqualify you, the recruiter may be able to overturn the issue. Be up front with your recruiter from the start in case you need a waiver for medical or legal reasons. Not sharing all the information with your recruiter might just end up being a waste of time, for you and the recruiter.
What Path Should You Follow When You Enlist in the Military?
So you’ve made the decision that you want to serve your country. Joining the military is an honorable choice and one that you can certainly be proud of. So if you have made the decision to “defend and protect,” you should do so in a way that will provide a benefit to both you and your family. It is suggested that there are three primary ways for you to get through recruitment to the service that will help you make the most of your decision to enlist.
Suggestion 1: Make smart choices right from the start.
Before you officially enlist, you will have to start making decisions; be thoughtful with them. Some of the options you will need to consider include:
- The occupation you choose.
- Your duty station assignment.
- The length of time of your initial enlistment.
- Educational opportunities that are available to you.
- Bonuses you might be eligible for.
When you meet with a recruiter, you want to have in mind already what you hope to gain from enlisting with the military. Make your choices to help further those goals. Figure out which branch of the service gives you the best chance of meeting your goals. Don’t be afraid to evaluate critically each branch of the service and decide which one offers you the best opportunities both while you are in the service and when you return to civilian life.
Make sure you explore educational opportunities and bonuses that might be available for you. Find out what requirements you need to meet in order to benefit from bonuses and educational benefits. Some will have specific parameters you will need to follow in order to benefit, so explore what they mean to you in terms of length of service commitment and so on. Only you can decide whether these will be worth it to you in the long run.
Suggestion 2: Be prepared to go through training.
Basic training is a reality you will have to face, and the better prepared you are for it the better off you will be in the long run. Regardless of where your military training begins, you need to realize that it will be filled with rigorous physical and mental training. Find out what the requirements are and be prepared to meet them.
One of the easiest ways to prepare for basic training is to make sure your physical fitness is already top-notch. Those who have been through it say that basic training will tax your body as well as your mind, so you need to draw upon your reserves going in. Having your body in good shape means you can focus on the emotional aspect of basic training, ensuring you will have a better experience from the start.
Suggestion 3: Be honorable in your service during your enlisted time as well as when you leave the service.
Once you have made the decision to enlist and you have decided which path you will take, you must consciously decide to ensure your service is honorable. It is a sad story when people enlist in the military and basically waste their opportunities because they do not live up to the minimum standards of serving in the military. There are certain standards and discipline levels enlistees must maintain throughout their service. Those who fail to follow those can often face consequences that can be devastating. But those who do follow them can find that there is a wealth of opportunity available to them for the rest of their lives.
When you are released from active duty, there are several different distinctions by which this can happen. An honorable discharge indicates that you served your country in an honorable way, and this is something you can be proud of for the rest of your life, regardless of where your career might take you. A dishonorable discharge or a less than honorable discharge can be very harmful to you, not only on a professional level as it can impact your ability to find a job, but it may stop you from receiving military benefits to which you would otherwise have been eligible.
Serving in the military is a wonderful option for many. Be sure you know exactly what you are getting into, however, by talking to a recruiter, asking lots of questions, and preparing yourself physically and mentally before your enlistment begins. Honorable military service is a label you can be proud of for the rest of your life.