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I want to join the army. I am 14 years of age. What can I do to prepare? And what do I say to my mom?

My mom has supported me but at the same time is worried. She expected my dream of going into the army would fade off and I would find another career I liked. I also have another problem. I want to go to college but I am not sure if I should go to the army first. If I take ROTC I will have to be an officer. I also want to prepare for boot camp but I don’t know what my parents will say. I feel like they look at me crazily when I mention the army. This is my dream and destiny I want to follow, but should I start planning and researching now? Or focus on other careers instead of the army? I have so many questions that I can’t find all the answers on the internet. I would love to talk to a recruiter but I think I am to young. Why would recruiters what to waist their time on a 14 year old girl still in middle school? What should I do!?!!?!?!? #army #school #military #professional #college

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Jacob’s Answer

Hi, Ava,


I think that my answer to your other question partially applies here. It might seem like you are at a point in your life where you need to have a lot of answers but, that's not the case. Like I recommended in my answer to your other question, focus on getting in good shape by starting small (flexibility, good form) and keeping an open mind about other career options. Your interests are likely to change and that's okay! The Army will still be there when you are getting ready to make the decision about whether to apply for an ROTC scholarship or enlist.


As far as the officer or enlisted route goes, the best option depends on what type of job you want in the Army. A good place to start to learn about the differences between the jobs and officer does versus an enlisted Soldier does is the website I linked in the suggested next steps section.


Again, many media sources (video games, movies, books, websites) sensationalize the Army experience. Talking to someone who has done a job similar to what you are interested in is the best way to determine if that's what is suitable for you.

Jacob recommends the following next steps:

https://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs.html
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Joshua’s Answer

Agree .Start running. Getting your cardio up to par is important, no matter what branch you chose. There's never a "best" way to have that conversation with your parents, but just be honest and consistent with them, and it will sink in. Recruiters usually won't talk to younger interested parties (fearing the wrath of the parents) but you can find a lot of information on the internet. Just be warned. As stated before, a lot of it is sensationalized. The intent is to make it look like it's the coolest thing in the world. The best advice I can give, is to talk to people that have been in the service, been deployed, been stationed in remote places, been on TDY assignments for extended time periods. This would give you a better perspective. Everything takes its toll. I wouldn't trade the experience for anything, but it is definitely not for everything.

Good luck in whichever you choose!

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Carla’s Answer

Be honest with your mom about your future so that she can support your dreams. You have a couple of years before you can join, but to prepare, you will want to ensure that you get in great shape. If you are not a runner, start running now. Also please be very mindful of the branch of service that you choose. I chose the Army, while the promotions were faster than the other branches of service, I found that my Air Force counterparts had a better quality of life with better accommodations. Think about the quality of life you want and the type of job you want to do before enlisting. The higher you score on the ASVAB the better options you have to choose whichever branch of service you want to go in.

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Hadley’s Answer

Hi! I think perhaps joining an ROTC program would be a great way to have an introduction and confirm for you if joining the army is the best place for you. Here is a helpful website : http://www.usarmyjrotc.com/index.php

As far as your mom - you can Google perhaps on How to tell your Parents you are joining military as there are many forums out there that have advice. You know your mom best, so when you do tell her, make sure it is in a way that will be received with understanding and love.

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