If you serve your country as a member of our Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard), you will forever have the thanks of a grateful citizenry.

But there are more tangible benefits.

You make a significant commitment if you decide to serve in the military – and that commitment is made on both sides. You make a commitment to the country and the military makes a commitment to you. These promises are not to be taken lightly. Most first-term enlistments require a commitment of four years active and two years ‘inactive’ duty during which you can be called back to service if the country needs you. But the services also offer programs with two-, three- and six-year active duty or reserve enlistments.

Furthermore, there is no way to simply quit the military once you are on active duty. You are contractually (and perhaps morally) obligated to see your commitment through. You can be discharged from duty early if you are physically or psychologically unable to perform your service duties. But if you leave the service without permission … well, you can’t. It’s called desertion and carries criminal penalties.

But the rewards for service are significant. After a prescribed number of years, many benefits can accrue to you. And you learn discipline, develop character, and receive advanced technical and specialty training – traits and skills all employers love. After you serve your military stint, you will be highly employable. RNMKR

While you are in the service, you get:

  • tax-free housing and food allowances (free room and board),
  • 30 days of vacation per year (that’s twice as much as civilian workers in regular jobs get in their first years of work), and
  • free flights between military bases all over the world.

After you serve a prescribed number of years, the military will pay part or all of your college tuition or other advanced education.

But the services reject many more applicants than you might think. In fact, the services turn down over 80% of young adults who apply. If you want a military career, study hard so you can pass the ‘entrance exams’ that the military uses. These tests are called the ASVABs, (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). The ASVAB is a timed multi-aptitude test, which is given at over 14,000 schools and Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS) nationwide and is developed and maintained by the Department of Defense. Practice tests and study guides are available online. Failing the test will eliminate you from joining any of the services.

But academic knowledge is only one measure used to determine a young adult’s eligibility for service. You will need to stay on the straight and narrow — mentally, physically, and socially, because the following situations will likely prevent you from joining any of the services:

  • having a criminal record,
  • being physically unfit,
  • not having a high school diploma or GED, and
  • having tattoos on visible parts of the body.



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