6 answers

How do I know which Military Branch is right for me?

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For as long as I could remember I had always dreamed of being in the Military. With my last year of HS weighing in, it's to the point where I need to step up and choose what I wanna do with my life. The only thing i'm having trouble with is deciding what branch is right for me. #military

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6 answers

Ryan’s Answer

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It is very noble and kind of you to want to serve to honor your grandfather, and to make him proud. That said, I'm certain your grandfather will be proud of you no matter what you do in life, so long as you are happy and making your community and family better. If you choose to serve in the military, I would encourage you to do it for you, and no one else. Your internal motivation will drive you further any external motivation ever will.

If you still desire to serve, I echo what the others have said, which is to first select a job (or a short list of jobs) that interest you. The different branches have different specialities. When selecting jobs, I encourage you to consider a career which also has a civilian equivalent (i.e finance, medical, public relations, logistics, etc.). Careers without a civilian equivalent, like infantry, artillery, munitions, etc., can be very confusing to civilian employers, and may make it difficult for you to get a job after your military service ends.

I won't tell you to solely consider jobs though, because the overall culture and standard of living is also an important consideration, and there is a lot of truth in the military branch stereotypes. If you want me to explain those stereotypes in greater detail, I will.

~Captain, United States Air Force (2014-2018)
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John’s Answer

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I have two pieces of advice:

1. Joining the military is usually the first time a lot of people have to deal with a contract. Remember that whatever they put into the contract, you and the military are equally responsible for keeping your side of the deal. If either of you doesn't fulfill the agreements, it is cause to breach of the contract. That said if you put in for infantry and you can not physically do the job the military chooses what your job will be. I knew someone who could not qualify for his choice, and the military made him a cook for three years until he finished his contract. There are several things that they can put into the agreement. From duty stations to learning specific skills dependant upon the branch.

2. Don't choose a branch. Pick a job that you want to train in and find a branch that specializes in that. Something easy would be police. All branches have law enforcement, but the Army and Air Force have a large number. My stepson looked into the Navy and decided to look Army to join the military police.

Bonus: One other thing that I was thinking about. The military has schools that run at different times and have different requirements for specific jobs with specific standards. If you get turned down for some reason, get some college under your belt and try again in a year or two. The standards do change.

Best of luck!
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Thomas’s Answer

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This tends to be a very independent choice that varies person to person. My first suggestion would be to take the ASVAB and see where you score. From there you should decide what type of job you actually want. The Army/Navy has a larger selection of jobs vs the Air Force/Marines. So take that into consideration. From there approach the recruiters and tell them what you want. Do not, I repeat, do not let them talk you out of something you want. Recruiters have quotas and some jobs offer them better incentive pay than others. Be firm and get what you want. On a side note, the Marines are the only branch that will not guarantee a job before you actually swear in, which means you're rolling the dice that the job you want is even available. Talk to all the recruiters and see what's available to you. Good luck
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Kim’s Answer

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Chloe,

I too will tell you not to be swayed by recruiter sales pitches! My brother's ASVAB score was one point too low for his chosen field. The recruiter said, "oh, don't worry, they'll waive that for you when you get to Florida." Yea. right. He went in with no declared field. He spent the first two years doing "details." Yard work, chipping paint, etc. Do not be sweet talked by offers of cash signing bonuses either! Your happiness and job satisfaction are more important than money!!!

Why do you want to go in the military? Since it has been a lifelong dream, there must be something behind it. Are you trying to prove to yourself how physically tough you are, your ability to succeed? Is it out of a sense of national loyalty? When you think of each branch, what is the first thing you think of? Which uniforms do you like? (not a big factor, but still. . .!)

What field do you want to go into? What do you want to do when you get out? Even if you make it a career, many people have a second career after retiring from the military. The Navy used to provide training that transferred to the civilian world, at least for skilled trades. Not sure if they still do. That's nice because you don't have to start all over from the beginning when you leave the service. I know it is a long way away, but thinking about life after the military will help you decide what to do while you are in the military. You will want to save for college, and maybe start taking some college courses while you are still in.

Everyone has a different opinion of each branch. Living in San Antonio, I can tell you the Army has an awesome Combat Medic course. I can also tell you from my personal experience that the army tends to hire people with lower ASVAB scores. Or, at least they used to. My Dad was Air Force. My brother was Navy. Keep researching.

good luck!
Kim
Thanks and to answer your questions: Not only do I want to test my own strength, I also want to test my mental capabilities. All this will be for my grandpa who is gone. I want to make him proud in any way I can. I sorta think about uniforms, but not that much. I was hoping to do maybe a few years in the Marines, and switch over to the Air Force. After I complete those terms I would probably not retire only because I love working, so I would do probably Real Estate xD but ty I will consider everything you said. (: Chloe B.
Don't tell the Marines you plan to leave them and go to the AF! As a police officer, I worked with some Marines. They were a great bunch of guys, and spoke fondly of their Marine days. Take all that training very seriously. It's a good feeling when you know that you can do whatever you set out to do! Kim Igleheart
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Jennifer’s Answer

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Hello Chloe!

The best advice I can give it to decide on what you want to do before you join the military. Thomas was
100% correct in advising to NOT let the recruiter talk you out of what you want. The ASVAB will also
help you with what careers would be a good fit for your skillset.

The key to the enjoying the military is to enjoy your job! Once you figure that out then figuring out
which branch should be easy. When selecting your branch of service also know what each has to offer.
If education is a long term goal be sure to check your local state veteran's benefits as well as what each
branch has to offer. Lastly look at what kind of advancement opportunities there are for the career
you are interested in, does it make send to do a 4 year or 6 year enlistment. Does it make more sense
to go to college with ROTC and then join as a commissioned officer. These are all things to consider.

FYI - I did 10 years as an Air Force enlisted aircraft mechanic and my husband retired with 27 years
as a crew chief.

Best of Luck!
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Donna’s Answer

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I think it really depends on what you want to do. All the branches have a certain amount of engineer, computer, medical and gunnery type of jobs. So think about what type of things you like and what you want to do, then go talk with the different branch recruiters to see what your options are.
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