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How do I go about choosing the right job in the military?

I have a 70 on my ASVAB, but I’ve always wanted to try for the infantry, everybody is urging me not to, but I couldn’t see myself doing anything but a combat job. I also don’t know if the airforce would suit me better. I need advice. How do I go about choosing the right job for me? Or what branch should I go?

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Joseph’s Answer

There's a few ways to determine the best job for you. The first question though is are you joining for a full career (20+ years) or are you looking at it as a stepping stone to something else? If it's a stepping stone then find the job you want next and pick the military career that most closely aligns, or at least that provides valuable skills and education that will support it. If it is a career then find a job you can picture yourself doing for a long time. What hobbies do you have (or wish you had)? That may help you decide.

Once you've narrowed down your choices then try to talk to someone in those career fields. A recruiter may be able to help. Most of the people I work with love talking about their jobs though. Even if it's not the job you're looking for they also tend to know people in other jobs and can eventually get you to the right person.

Last, at least in the Air Force you can change jobs. It's easier for enlisted than officers, and easier early in your career than later. But don't let fear of the wrong job stop you.
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ricardo’s Answer

Embracing the Navy life was an experience I truly cherished. Like any endeavor, it has its ups and downs, but that's a part of any job or life journey. The benefits, however, far outweigh the drawbacks. The friendships you forge and the opportunities that come your way are absolutely priceless. You gain a wealth of knowledge and even if you choose to serve just for four years, you'll walk away with a plethora of benefits and resources to tap into once your service is over.

Don't hesitate to ask loads of questions, not just to recruiters, but also to those who are serving or have served in the past. This will provide you with authentic insights and help you decide which branch you'd like to explore further. I genuinely hope you discover the path that resonates with you. Best of luck in whatever path you choose or whatever endeavor you undertake.
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hi Audrey!

It's fantastic to see you taking such thoughtful steps towards making a crucial decision about your military career. As a friendly and trustworthy AI, I'm here to guide you in this journey, helping you make a choice that best suits your abilities, interests, and aspirations.

First off, it's crucial to note that each military branch - be it the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard - has its own distinct culture, training programs, and job prospects. It's really important to dig into these differences and understand them before you make your choice.

Your ASVAB score of 70 opens up a broad spectrum of job possibilities for you. The infantry, while challenging and fulfilling, may not be the perfect fit for everyone. So, it's essential to weigh your personal likes, skills, and talents when deciding which job to go for.

Here are some things you might want to think about when choosing a military job:

Personal Interests and Goals: What are the things you love doing, your strengths, and your dreams? What would you like to accomplish in your military career? Look for jobs that match your interests and goals.
Skills and Aptitudes: What are you good at and where could you improve? What skills have you picked up over time? Look for jobs that make the most of your strengths and help you grow in areas where you need it.
Physical and Mental Demands: Some military jobs need physical strength, stamina, and mental resilience. Think about your physical and mental capabilities when choosing a job.
Training and Education: What kind of training and education do you need for your chosen career? Look for jobs that offer chances for growth and professional development.
Work-Life Balance: What's the work-life balance like in the job you're considering? How much time will you spend deployed, and how much time will you spend at home?
Benefits and Compensation: What benefits and compensation does the job offer? Think about things like salary, healthcare, education benefits, and retirement plans.
With your ASVAB score of 70, you're eligible for a wide array of military jobs. Here are some you might want to think about:

Infantry: As you noted, the infantry is a challenging and fulfilling career that demands physical strength, stamina, and mental resilience. It's important to think about the demands of this job and whether it matches your personal likes and skills.
Combat Support: If the infantry doesn't appeal to you, you might want to think about combat support roles like logistics, supply, or maintenance. These jobs are key to the success of military operations and offer chances for growth.
Intelligence: If you're good at analyzing things and interested in intelligence gathering and analysis, you might want to think about a career in military intelligence.
Communications: If you're a good communicator and interested in technology, you might want to think about a career in military communications.
Medical: If you're interested in healthcare and love helping others, you might want to think about a career in the military medical field.
When it comes to picking the right branch, it's crucial to research and understand the unique culture, training, and job prospects each one offers. Here are some things you might want to think about when choosing a branch:

Location: Where would you like to be stationed? Some branches offer more chances for travel and deployment, while others may have more stable home bases.
Culture: What's the culture like in each branch? Some branches have a more traditional, hierarchical structure, while others may be more innovative and flexible.
Training and Education: What kind of training and education does each branch offer? Look for branches that offer chances for growth and professional development.
In conclusion, choosing the right job in the military is a personal decision that needs careful thought about your skills, interests, and goals. It's crucial to research and understand the unique culture, training, and job prospects each branch offers and to think about things like work-life balance, benefits, and compensation.

Here are three authoritative books that could help you in your decision-making process:

“The Military Guide to Career Success” by J. Michael Kearney and David R. Wheeler
“The Complete Guide to Military Service” by the United States Department of Defense
“Military Careers: A Guide to Opportunities and Jobs in the Armed Forces” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics
Remember, this is a big decision, and it's crucial to take your time and think about all your options carefully. Best of luck!

May you be blessed abundantly!
James.
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David’s Answer

I got a 91 on my ASVAB. I went into the Air Force for a combat job. Warriors need to know how to use excel too.

GO because you want to, not because you need a job or someone told you to. Every duty station and job is what you make of it.

I had a great experience and wouldn't be who I am today without the military.

David recommends the following next steps:

Go workout 30 days straight. That will clear your mind.
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Tsion Williams,’s Answer

I recommend choosing a job that can translate into marketable skills in the civilian sector. Information technology and healthcare are needed in all sectors and have potential for deployment to give meet your desire for infantry experience. In military, we say choose your rate, choose your fate. Try an interest survey like this one from the Department of Labor https://www.careeronestop.org/Toolkit/Careers/interest-assessment.aspx

Tsion Williams, recommends the following next steps:

Take interest survey to ensure that the job you choose is right for you.
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david’s Answer

You already have some excellent advice. I also served in the military; my choice was the Air Force. If nothing else, a military enlistment is an splendid way to transition from teenager to adult, as you will be exposed to opportunities and life experiences that are a maturing process to prepare you for the rest of your life. On your specific question, I encourage you to speak with recruiters from at least two military branches. They will be able to give you specific information on a variety of career areas that are open to you and help you in making a decision. The possibilities are such that you need their expertise to fully explore the options. I wish you well.
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Zachary’s Answer

This is a hard question to answer without having more knowledge about you. I would need to know your reasoning for wanting a combat job and joining the military in general. But, I will try my best to answer the question with what I have…
I’ve seen many people join the military and be unhappy with their careers because they joined for a purpose rather than realizing what their day-to-day will look like. As an infantryman, you must prepare for scenarios where you never see any real combat. Your day-to-day will involve training, cleaning, sitting around studying material, and mostly wasting time. The sense of accomplishment fades very quickly. That being said, after the military you will have no relevant work experience that translates to a civilian career. This is not to dissuade you, but it should be understood. My advice is to find a job that you would like to do outside of the military and then find a similar position within it…
Look at all branches and find the job for you. I was in the Air Force and can only speak to that. The Air Force treats you well and is a solid career path.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for taking the time to answer, I’ve always wanted an out of ordinary job, I’m not a big fan of school, or staying in the same place or retiring out of a 9 to 5 career. Money has never been a contributing factor when I think about my life, which I do think you need it, it’s not completely insignificant. something I will never get bored with. The reason I believe im so drawn to a combat role is it’s an extraordinary job, where you may not reap the benifits or have the best living conditions, but to say I can, and I will not back down, and not a lot of people can do it, would be rewarding to me. My reason for joining the military is separate in itself, and that airforce recruiter always seems to be out of office😂 Audrey
Thank you comment icon There are plenty of extraordinary things to do in the military, but you have to find them. I was Security Forces in the Air Force and ended up working nuclear missile security. I drove in humvee convoys, utilized grenade launchers and heavy machine guns, secured launch facilities, cleared buildings, and more. I never knew that was possible for me until it just happened. Here’s a video showing a little about what I did: https://youtu.be/NqZ9XvzFiqw?si=h3vFRu2_A7x4HO-K It was a really unique experience that not many can do. I’m not saying to do that, but I am saying to dive deep into your research before signing up. Zachary Monette
Thank you comment icon There are MANY valuable skills that are transferable from Infantry to civilian. There are employment specialists who can help write a resume that highlights those skills. There are many long-term benefits of military service outside of employment benefits. George Katsinis Jr. - AFC®
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Richard J (Rich)’s Answer

Zachary's answer above is spot on. But to add to what he has said - it is about passion. If you have a long range goal - there could be an equivalent in the any military branch that will lead you in that direction. If you are not sure of the future - think about what you would want to do in the military when you wake up every morning. What is of interested to you - and the list is long.

That said - if you have a passion for combat arms and that is where you want to server your country in the US Army or Marine Corps - by all means do that. As a young person - it does not mean you have to do that forever - but if you feel you need to serve in that way go for it now so you don't look back later and wish you had. After time in an infantry or other combat arms role - you could ask for a transfer to other fields and be proud of your service when your commitment is up and pursue other avenues. You will understand other avenues by the time your commitment is up.

I was in the US Air Force too and I did serve when I was enlisted in the US Air Force as well and was able to get a USAF Scholarship and become an officer - you can do that in any of the services. I cherished my enlisted time and it taught me a lot. There are direct combat arms roles in the USAF and USAF members deploy - so the opportunity to get combat time in the USAF exists as well. I chose the USAF because I had more of a passion for it's mission then the other services.

You have to work with your recruiter and try to get a guaranteed job if it is available. I wanted to always be a lawyer so wanted to be a legal tech in the USAF. It was more important for me to go right away then wait for the guaranteed job - and went in on an Administrative general spot. Legal Tech was not available for my basic training class - so I had to go another directions. You know what - that direction brought me to adventures in my life I never thought I would ever experience. I seized the opportunity whenever I could for new adventures and my 27 year career was fabulous.

So - bottomline - do what you feel you want to do to serve your country today and be glad you did in the future. Time provides other opportunities and after fulfilling your initial passion - you have the chance to sieze other opportunities and passions as your life moves on.
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James’s Answer

Being a Marine what I can tell you is there is all sorts of paths to follow. Everyone in the service give it a marine or army will always be a basic infantry person. Your basic is revolved around infantry training. Once your past the basics you could go on to more technical training or stick with the infantry. You can always change your path if you would like. Do what feels best for you and where your heart is at. Just remember in the service your always an infantry person no matter what your job is.
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Terry’s Answer

I had a sept son that was in the Navy and I have a Son in Law tat spent 26 years in the Airforce. If I had it to do over I would have joined and done 20 years and retired form there. You do that and you'll never have to worry about being homeless.
As far as what you should select to do while in there is totally up to you. Pick what you like to do most, it makes everything a lot easier and you'll enjoy it.
I wouldn't do the Army or Marines. They don't get as much given to them as the others.
Definitely get in one of the first 2 I mentioned and let them train you in a specialized field.
ALWAYS have a positive attitude no mater what you choose.

Good Luck, Terry
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Lauren’s Answer

Hi, Audrey!
The job you will end up with in the military depends on: (1) your ASVAB score; (2) the military branch you choose; and (3) what openings are available or in need of personnel at the time you join or plan to join (if you take the Delayed Entry Plan option). Not only can your ASVAB score qualify you for jobs, it can also disqualify you for jobs. The Recruiter's job is to meet the needs of that branch of Service, so you will only be offered jobs within a certain range of your ASVAB score.

When I was looking at enlisting, I visited with all the Services and spoke with recruiters. I had already taken the ASVAB, so they could tell me what jobs (billets) they could offer me. Back then (in the 1980s), they had cards that described the different jobs, but now you can find that information on each service's website. That's a good place to start. Just know that - to be brutally honest - the descriptions definitely put each job in the best light possible!

You said you can't see yourself in anything other than a combat role. While infantry is the one most familiar to most, there are a lot of combat roles and combat support roles available. I would not discourage you from going infantry if that's where your heart is, but know that there are other possibilities and investigate them. During your research, investigate what the career progression each field offers: average times for promotions, types and locations of duty stations and positions, advanced training, etc. Think about not just what you want to do now, but what you see yourself doing in the future. Do you expect to remain enlisted? Would you maybe like to be a commissioned officer some day? Are you planning to make the military a career or are you looking for a jumping off point and you're looking for something that will easily transfer back to civilian life.

Everyone is going to tell you that their branch is the best, but you have to find the branch that is the best for you. I was in the Navy for just over 13 years and worked as a Department of the Army Civilian for a little more than 20 years. (I was also an Active Duty Reservist; be sure to clarify whether or not you are signing up for that program because your choice of duty stations will likely be different.) The Navy was the right choice for me at the time I enlisted. Had I enlisted earlier or later in life (I enlisted at 24), or spoken with different recruiters, my choice may have been different.

My best advice to you is to take your time and do your research. Speak with as many people from as many different services and jobs as you can. You might even want to read books written by or about people who actually served.

I wish you well in your future endeavors. I know you'll make the right choice for you!

Good luck,
Lauren
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Scott’s Answer

Dont let anyone fool you, being in the Infantry is not a 'low mental energy' job. You will need to know how to do a small portion of everyone else's job. An Infantry team leader is a warrior, a logistician, a medic, a mechanic and often counted on to do just about every other job in the Army.

Everyone can get in the Infantry, only the intelligent will thrive there.

I will say this, being in a Combat Arms MOS is not all that you see on TV. Most of your time will be spent waiting, or cleaning, or waiting and cleaning. You will be miserable, wet, cold, tired and hungry most of your days. There are also almost zero transferable skills that translate into the civilian market. You will gain many admirable qualities (punctuality, integrity, perseverance) but very few tangible 'skills'. I loved my 15+ years in Combat Arms MOS's, but if I had a chance to do it all over again, Id have gone into a more technical MOS that had a much better chance of landing a civilian job. (Xray tech, Intell analysts, helicopter mechanic, etc).

Im certainly not trying to dissuade you out of the Infantry. I used to tell my applicants (I was a Recruiter for some time) to join the military to do one of two things. Option 1) Obtain a skill set that you can apply to the civilian world or Option 2) Go for a job that lets you do cool stuff you'd NEVER be able to do outside of the military (The Infantry!) and understand you are going to need another option for post military employment.
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Ezra’s Answer

Hello,

The military offers a vast array of job opportunities, each with its own set of advantages and challenges. One job that stands out from the rest is the role of an infantryman in the Marine Corps. This position might be a perfect fit for you if you have a passion for activities like shooting, hiking, and land navigation. However, it's important to note that it's a demanding job. Given your high ASVAB score, you could potentially qualify for a variety of other roles. If your heart is set on becoming an infantryman, I would certainly encourage you to pursue it, but always remember to stay informed about the challenges that lie ahead.
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