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Young is a Marine Corps veteran, teacher and the author of the new memoir Eat the Apple.
There's a lot to learn when it comes to ing the Military, from the first meeting with a recruiter to finding a career and taking advantage of benefits. Officers are the managers of the Military, acting in leadership roles that require planning, directing operations and making critical decisions.
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Almost all officer positions require a four-year degree or equivalent education. Enlisted service members perform many jobs in the Military. While these occupations mostly involve hands-on training for mechanical, transportation, human service or office fields that transfer well to the civilian world, they also include infantry roles. A high school diploma is required to become an enlisted service member in the Military.
There are many paths you can take to become an officer in the Military. Both Reserve and National Guard units can be activated specifically for military missions, including missions abroad, and they may serve side-by-side with active-duty service members. Members of the National Guard, however, can be called for duty by either their state governors or by the president. It's important to understand that the National Guard is considered an extension of the Reserve component. All service branchesexcept the Space Force, also offer reserve components. The length of commitment depends greatly on the chosen Service, required training and a of other variables.
Frequently asked questions (faq)
For instance, in the Marine Corpsmembers are obligated to a term of 8 years total, with 4 or 5 of those being on active duty depending on enlistment program choice and 3 in the Inactive Ready Reserve IRR for active duty enlistments. For the Navycurrent enlistments obligation ranges from years active service. Military personnel may retire after 20 years of service and must retire after 30 years of service in most cases.
While total length of service commitment varies based on Service branch need and occupational specialty, a first term is generally four years of active duty followed by four years in a Reserve unit or Individual Ready Reserve IRR. IRR members do not drill, but muster once per year. IRR members are also not paid but may be recalled to Active Duty in times of need until their eight-year total commitment has expired.
Though technically not a "shorter" commitment, the two-year enlistment program is available for some Services. A recruiter can tell you more about this option. The six service branches of the U. The enlisted and officer paths each have a unique hierarchy of various ranks. As the Commander in Chief, the President of the United States is responsible for all command decisions. The president is advised by the Secretary of Defense, who oversees the Department of Defense and works closely with chiefs of staff from every service branch.
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Although the Coast Guard ultimately reports to the commander-in-chief as well, it operates within the Department of Homeland Security. The Selective Service System is a government agency that requires the registration of almost all male US citizens and male immigrants who are 18 through Should a national emergency require a military conscription draftthese individuals may be called upon to serve.
Military Entrance Processing Station MEPS is a t Service organization with locations all over the country, that determines an applicant's physical qualifications, aptitude and moral standards as set by each branch of military service. Visiting MEPS is an important step in becoming an enlisted service member. There are two versions of the test:. The Reserve Officer Training Corps ROTC is an officer commissioning path associated with 4-year colleges and universities that prepares young adults to become leaders in the Military.
In exchange for scholarship money, ROTC cadets commit to serving for a set period of time upon graduation.
Basic training, which is commonly known as boot camp, is a 8-to week training program that prepares recruits for all elements of service: physical, mental and emotional. It also instills service members with discipline, confidence, and reinforces the importance of teamwork. Possession of a high school diploma is desirable, although not mandatory, for enlistment in any component of the Military Services. Depending on Service needs, candidates with a GED General Education Development certificate may be able tohowever; these opportunities may be limited.
Recruiters are the very best source of information about what the Military is like, what young people can get from the Service and all the steps in the process of recruiting. It matters that people get accurate and current information, and recruiters are the best resource for answers to even the most difficult questions regarding the Service. To get started, visit Questions to Ask a Recruiter. As part of the entrance process for any Service branch, but prior to boot campnew recruits will receive a physical exam, which includes a complete medical history. During that exam, they will be asked about their overall health.
A recruit's input and the result of the exam will determine his or her ability to meet the health and physical fitness standards for military service. Some of the most common reasons for disqualification include permanent medical conditions such as sight or hearing deficiencies, or temporary conditions that can be remediated, such as excess body weight.
Applicants who are disqualified because of a temporary condition may be granted a medical waiver, with the approval rate depending on the condition being considered and the different needs of each Service. For a full list of conditions and waiver considerations, we recommend that you speak with a recruiter.
Properly documented noncitizens may enlist. However, opportunities may be limited. Contact a recruiter for more advice on a specific situation. All jobs, including combat, are open to women. The percentage of women serving on active duty in the Military has more than doubled since Clearly, women play an important role in today's Military.
Each Service and many occupations have specific physical requirements that must be met regardless of gender. Each Service takes a different approach to evaluating the severity and of offenses on a candidate's record. The of this evaluation may — or may not — disqualify candidates. DoD generally prohibits the enlistment of any applicant who has more than two dependents under the age of While the Services are allowed to waive this policy, they often will not.
In fact, most of the Services are even stricter in their policies:. Once serving, all service members are free to marry and have children as they wish. Family members are eligible for military health care, and female service members can take maternity leave. Speak to a recruiter to learn more about this process. Below is a breakdown by Service branch and component:. Much like the wide range of jobs found in the civilian working world, the Military offers hundreds of rewarding opportunities across many different career fields. Visit Explore Careers to discover opportunities that match your interests and skill sets.
To hear from service members about their own career experiences in the Military, visit Career Stories. First, candidates need to confirm the career field or military occupational specialty MOS they want are available by working with the service enlistment counselor at a Military Entrance Processing Station MEPS.
Thousands of different jobs are available, but not in each Service. Jobs are ased based on several factors:. Potential recruits and parents should review the job in the careers section of this site and then discuss possible career paths with a recruiter. It is best to ask a recruiter for specifics, or, if already serving, to speak with the command career counselor.
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Base Pay at each rank is the same across all Services, but many factors, including Special Pays, affect what a service member will actually earn. For many service members, the Military serves as a foundation of skills and experience that translate into civilian careers.
In addition to government programs that provide transition assistancemany organizations also provide employment resources and opportunities for those who are returning to civilian life. Service members usually receive a modest pay raise annually, to keep pace with the cost of living.
In addition, raises are received when service members are promoted to the next pay grade. This is generally associated with a new rank or the amount of time an individual has served. Time between promotions varies based on service member performance. The ASVAB test helps young people identify the things they're good at, areas of interest and potential job matches.
While boot camp varies in duration from Service to Service, the focus is the same: preparing recruits physically, mentally and emotionally for their future in the Military. Following Basic Training, service members receive advanced training in their specialty. A variety of training methods are used, including classroom instruction, field exercises and simulations. All Service branches offer the opportunity for higher education, both during and after service.
Many military training programs count toward course creditwhile some branches offer classes on base or online the Air Force, for instance, has its own community college. In exchange for a service commitment, ROTC provides college scholarships and leadership training.
Service academies offer another opportunity for young adults. These academies provide a strong college education with the discipline of officer training. The Military offers many educational benefits that service members can take advantage of during or after service.
Once work or training is done for the day, however, a service member can do as he or she pleases.
Visit Military Life for more information on free time, family support and military perks. With installations all over the globeit is impossible to predict in advance where a service member could be stationed. Following basic trainingservice members are given asments based on Service needs, and their skills and training. As such, there are no guarantees a member will serve close to home.