Not only does the U.S. military offer dynamic opportunities for honorable service, it also provides its enlistees distinctive pathways for career training, personal development, financial aid for college, and travel. The decision to enlist to the military is a big one, so it's important students talk their prospects over with their parents, counselor, college adviser, recruiter, etc. before making any decisions. It's also important to note that the military is getting more competitive, as cuts to the military budget and scale-backs in operations decrease the need for servicemen and women.
STeps for enlistment
- Visit the webpage of your desired branch of service – either Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard or Coast Guard – to review career and service opportunities, eligibility requirements, deadlines, etc. Do your research!
- Once you feel like you know the direction you'd like to pursue, contact the local recruitment office for that branch.
- Meet with a recruiter and make sure you ask lots of questions to get the information you need! Don't commit to anything at this point.
- Take the ASVAB.
- Continue the conversation with your recruiter based on ASVAB results while also reviewing your options with your family, Winnetonka counselor, etc.
- Advocate for yourself in the negotiation of your contract – not only do you want to enter a situation in which you can give the most of yourself, you also want to go into a situation you can get the most out of for yourself!
- Once you've read your contract and feel like you are ready, enlist!
Entrance to any of the U.S. Military Academies is a highly competitive and lengthy process, but admitted students' school is paid for by the U.S. government, and they are set down a path of lifelong service, learning and success. The process actually begins during a student's junior year of high school, so students are encouraged to start their research and preparation early in their high school career. Interested students are encouraged to research the academies and processes, establish their candidacy and talk with their counselor or college adviser for assistance!
Reserve Officers' training corps (rotc)
Students who are interested in attending college to complete a Bachelor degree before fulling enlisting into military service are encouraged to look at colleges that offer ROTC programs. ROTC programs prepare students for military service as an officer upon completion of college, and they each look different depending on which institution of higher education they are administered through and which branch of the military they serve. Students are encouraged to do this research on a by-college and by-branch basis. Visit with your counselor or college adviser if you'd like help with this research!