I'm in 8th grade and curious about joining the military. What advice could someone offer me?
I would like to pursue a career in the military, but I'm needing to get some advice.
Dominick, it is great that you are considering serving your nation at such an early age. Now the next steps to help you prepare for the military after H.S. If your H.S. has a JROTC program, I would recommend participating. There is also the Marine Corps League in some areas. If there are not MCL or JROTC programs in your area, consider playing sports that will keep you in shape for the physical rigorous life in the military, depending on your military specialty. Running, cross training, weight lifting will get you to that level of success. You will also need to decide in the next few years of becoming an Officer or joining the ranks of the Enlisted. I have served for 27 years in the Army Reserves and am currently a Civil Affairs Sergeant Major. I entered the military in 1991 with a BS degree and stayed Enlisted. In addition to deciding Officer or Enlisted, you will need to decide on your military career or specialty. If you have family members in the military or have served, consider obtaining their advice. The military has been a sacrifice for me personally and professionally, the deployments (5 and counting) away from family and my civilian career is tough. For me I would do it already again in a heart beat - the people I have met, especially those during a deployment to Bosnia, Iraq and Kuwait have been a wonderful experience. When you make your decision in your Junior year of H.S. you can decide on split option, or go ROTC in college. The is also the decision to go Active Duty or Reserve/National Guard. There is also the option of the various military academies. There are many options for you and you have a few years to work it out for your benefit. Remember to involve your parents, family - they will be your best supporters and cheerleaders in this endeavor.
Final question / consideration: Why do you want to join the military? Pay for college? Adventure? Challenge?
I wish you luck in H.S. and your future career in the military.
The military has standards: moral, physical, and academic. So, I'd recommend you stay in good physical condition, stay out of trouble, keep good friends, and get good grades. Beyond that, I'd recommend you try to figure out what careers interest you. The military has something for everybody, but the recruiters are more like sales people sometimes. For example, if they have a lot of openings for military police, they will try to convince you that is what you want to be. So, if you want to be a chef, you will need to tell them that! They will give you tests to see what fields you are best suited for. Explore all the options! It's difficult to resist some sales pitches. Perhaps bring an adult with you when you talk to them.
I have many friends/family with military backgrounds. It is a very good choice, and none of them regret it!
Best of luck!
As soon as you start 9th grade, make sure you maintain a GPA higher than 2.0. Take several classes that will help you get more options like Algebra, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Geometry and never let your grade go below a C or 75. These will open many options in the military. You can join the Army Reserves as soon as you turn in 17th and you are in 11th grade. Good luck.
Ernesto recommends the following next steps: