Steps Required to Join the Military

Choosing to enlist in the military is an honorable way to serve one’s country. The military offers training in a variety of military career fields as well as a consistent paycheck with excellent benefits. To enlist in the military, specific steps must be followed.

A military marching bandChoose a Branch

First, choose the desired military branch. The military is composed of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard for full-time service. Part-time service can also be pursued through the National Guard or Reserves. Each branch of the military offers a different culture, military jobs and places to live. Speak to others who are serving in each branch to find out which department may be the right fit.

Talk to a Recruiter

The military recruiter can be a wealth of information about military jobs. The recruiter can discuss all of the military career paths that can be pursued. Also, recruiters can answer questions about benefits, pay and military life. Family members should also be involved in these conversations to feel more comfortable with the entire process.

The recruiter will also set a time to take the ASVAB or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. This is not a pass or fail the test. It simply indicates career choices that may be the best fit. Some specialty avenues will require individual scores to be pursued.

Choose a Military Career

After taking the ASVAB, talk to the recruiter about the fields that are of interest. Though the ASVAB scores may limit some military job opportunities, there are more than one hundred MOS or military occupational specialties available. When choosing a career, ask about the training process for the MOS as well as the civilian equivalent as this could help with job seeking after the military.

Visit MEPS

MEPS or the Military Entrance Processing Stations are located throughout the United States. At MEPS, a thorough physical will be administered to ensure that all potential enlistees are of excellent health. If previous health issues exist, waivers may be needed. The recruiter can provide more information if previous health issues are a concern. After the completion of the physical, the contract will be signed and swearing in will commence. The contract will state a date to report for basic training.

Prepare for Training

Basic training is an emotionally and physically trying experience. Before reporting for basic training, physical fitness training is recommended. Running, sit-ups and push-ups will be a part of daily life at basic training. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle before leaving, the physical part of training can be made more bearable. Request that family members lend support by writing letters which will be the primary form of communication during practice.

Serving in the military can be a demanding and challenging career that offers high rewards in the pride felt for serving one’s country. There is a wide variety of career options complete with training, as well as benefits, that can last well beyond the time spent serving in the military.