Joining The Military, 3 Simple Steps To Get Started
Joining the military is a question or opportunity that arises in lots of peoples lives. Whether one does it for patriotism, benefits or tradition will be up to the individuals needs, values and up-bringing.
However, when a person starts to consider enlisting in the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy or Coast Guard then the situation can become over-whelming and confusing. Many people already have their hearts and minds set on a particular service either out of tradition or a life-long yearning to be a "Soldier", "Marine", "Airman", or "Sailor".
If that isn't you then here are 3 simple steps to get you started when joining the military.
Research All The Branches
Do your online research first. Check out all of the branches' websites and do some poking around. GOArmy.com has interactive videos, live chats and forums that an interested person can get a lot of good information from. There are even specific areas for parents who may have questions or concerns if their son or daughter is looking to enlist or already has.
The one thing that you don't want to do is to take every opinion about the joining the military, or a specific branch, to heart or as factual data. Some people had bad experiences and some who give their opinion will be from different generations when the military was completely different than what it is today.
Of course, if there are people that you are close to then by all means ask for their opinion and guidance.
Don't Disqualify Yourself From The Military
Each branch has different enlistment standards. Each branch has different waiver procedures. You'll find a preliminary set of qualifications on each of the service websites but if you read something that sounds like you may be unqualified don't disqualify yourself. Recruiting policies and regulations are constantly changing and you may be good to go after all.
Gather up your core documents. These include: social security card, picture ID, education credentials and birth certificate. You don't need to bring these with you on the first visit to a recruiting center but if you do decide that you want to join then it is good to have them handy. You don't want to spend time afterwards looking for these documents.
If you're currently doing any kind of illegal drugs then stop as soon as possible. Like, right now! Not only are they illegal but these drugs take a long time to get out of your system. THC can take up to 30 days to be completely out of your body and the military drug testing procedures will catch them. At that point you will be disqualified.
Visit The Local Recuiting Center
Despite what you may have heard about military recruiters they are not liars, cheats, or scoundrels. They are Leaders and Guides to assist you in joining the military branch they belong to. In 99.9% of situations you will not be able to, and never will, join the military at a recruiting station. That is a different process. Military recruiters provide you with information about their branch (i.e. their experiences, military pay and benefits, qualifications) and assist you in filling out your application.
Answer all questions truthfully. Do not allow anything to come back and bite you later. Your recruiter is the best guide in helping you join whichever branch you decide on, so make sure they know everything as it pertains to the questions and screening forms you will be required to complete. If there is an issue they will further guide your from there!
Links To The Military Branches Online
- Go Army Homepage | GoArmy.com
How strong do you want to be? In the active Army & Army Reserve you can gain career skills, pay, benefits and bonuses. Choose from over 150 different jobs.
- America\'s Navy - A Global Force for Good: Navy.com
Official US Navy recruiting site. Your source for news and information about the mission of America’s Navy. Careers and jobs available. Education and training programs offered. And how to enlist or become an Officer.
- United States Air Force - airforce.com
Welcome to the United States Air Force. Learn about great opportunities for enlisted airmen, officers and health care professionals.
- U.S. Marine Corps
The Marine Corps makes these three commitments: We will make Marines. We will win our Nation’s battles. We will develop quality citizens. Learn more about The Few and The Proud.
- UNITED STATES COAST GUARD:
Video profiles, real-life stories and an interactive map to locate recruiting offices give an overview of career options offered to Reserve, Officer and Enlisted recruits.
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