Are you planning on enlisting in the military after graduating? Before anything else, do extensive research on the process and each branch to ensure there are no surprises along the way, and that you find the right branch for you. Enlisting is a big decision, and Educate Midland is not only proud of all of our students choosing the military but want to ensure that we give them as much guidance and assistance as possible along the way. Keep reading for a brief understanding of the first steps to enlisting in the military.
Branches of the military:
- United States Army
- Air Force
- United States Marine Corps
- United States Coast Guard
- Army National Guard
To enlist in the military, you must either be a United States citizen or a lawful permanent resident with a valid Green Card. You must be at least 18 years old to enlist, or 17 with permission from a parent or guardian. A high school diploma or GED is also required to enlist. If you meet all of these basic requirements, talking to a recruiter near you is your next move.
Contact a Recruiter
Make sure you meet with a recruiter in each branch you’re interested in to get more information and ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! That is why they are there. Enlisting is an important and life-changing decision, and a recruiter’s job is to ensure that you feel prepared and knowledgeable about your future in the military.
Take the ASVAB
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test is a multiple-choice exam that helps determine which careers are the best fit for each individual. There is a traditional pen-and-paper option, or a computer-based version as well. The ASVAB will test you about questions in various school subjects such as math, English, writing, and science, taking the average individual approximately 3 hours to complete. Each branch will take these results and create a score based on their requirements for various career fields.
Pass the Physical Exam
Before you can enlist, you must pass a physical exam. This exam is similar to a medical exam that you would receive from a family doctor. Some recruiters will also hold a brief physical training test as well with other recruits. Each branch’s physical requirements are different, but here is a general list of what will be examined:
- Height and weight measurements
- Hearing and vision examinations
- Urine and blood tests
- Drug and alcohol tests
- Muscle group and joint maneuvers
- Specialized test if required (pregnancy test for women, body fat percentage test for those who are overweight, tests relating to any unusual medical history)
Report to MEPS
If you decide to enlist, you will report to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to finalize your enlistment. If you haven’t already taken the ASVAB, you will do so here. Here they will conduct your physical exam, and after you will speak with a career counselor. Your career counselor will consider your ASVAB score, physical ability, and job availability to guide you in choosing a career.
After choosing a career and officially being accepted, your service enlistment counselor will then go over the enlistment agreement. It is vital to fully understand the agreement and its terms before signing. After signing this agreement, you are making an official commitment to the United States Military. Finally, you will be fingerprinted for your file to complete a background check and security clearance.
Take the Oath & Wait for Basic Training
Your last step to officially joining the United States Military is to take the Oath of Enlistment. In this statement, you vow to protect the United States Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Family members are more than welcome to attend and take photos at this time.
After taking the Oath of Enlistment, you will wait to receive orders for basic training, where you will either direct ship to training or be placed in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and await basic training in the near future.
Educate Midland is extremely proud of our students in anything they decide to do after high school. Whether it be college, career, a trade school, or the military, we want our students to feel supported and assisted in getting them wherever they want to be. For more information on Educate Midland and our involvement, visit educatemidland.org.