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Military Careers


When pursuing an interest in the military you will want to discuss and look into the basic entrance requirements and perhaps get an overview of the major service branches. This is also the time to consider the ASVAB test, which helps match a student's abilities with an appropriate military career. If your school system does not offer the ASVAB, you can go directly to a testing center.

With or without ASVAB results, you can explore military careers, estimated compensation, and service benefits. Educational benefits and tuition support are often very appealing to young people. Discussing and clearing up misconceptions is also important, and can lead to realistic goals. At this point, you may be ready to visit a recruiter. With your help, they will know how to proceed and how to make the most of your experience.

When most people hear "military training," the first thing they think of is boot camp (officially known as Basic Training). But the Military is committed to providing cutting-edge training throughout an individual's time in the Service.

After new recruit or officer training, service members typically go to Advanced Individual Training (AIT), which is functional training for their assigned occupational fields. AIT is a classroom environment similar to college or junior college. In fact, the American Council on Education certifies more than 60 percent of advanced training courses as college credit. Training schools are located throughout the country, and training lasts from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the complexity of the subject matter.

The U.S. Armed Forces offer training using a variety of methods to enhance the learning experience and provide the right training at the right time to service members.


Instructor-Led Training
Many courses are offered in the military through residence programs and instructor-led classroom and field training. Although the Military offers the latest in eLearning technologies, sometimes there is no substitute for having a real person in front of you who can answer your questions. The instructors who train our military forces are highly qualified and strive to provide students with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Distance Learning
With advances in computer technology, the Military has been on the leading edge of producing learning experiences that can be provided anytime and anywhere to a large, dispersed community of learners. Distance learning allows servicemembers to take a wide variety of courses via the Internet or CD-ROMs to enhance their skills and advance in their careers. Through interactive multimedia instruction (IMI), students can experience various levels of interactivity, ranging from basic knowledge transfer to complex decision making.

The Military uses advanced modeling and simulations to provide realistic training environments that allow service members to practice skills and decision making in situations that would be costly or dangerous to execute in the real world. The Military often uses realistic computer-generated battlefield models and other types of simulations to support joint-force training. Such models can be used to practice the movement or coordination of forces, for example.

Role Playing
The Military uses role-playing exercises to teach decision making in complex situations involving people representing a variety of positions. In these exercises, students adopt a specific assigned role and other actors/participants may be brought in to represent different roles, personalities, motivations, and backgrounds.

Practical Exercises
In many career fields, practical exercises provide valuable hands-on experience that enables the student to gain proficiency and confidence performing a particular set of skills. Practical exercises are an important part of many training programs, especially those involving scientific, technical, mechanical, or maintenance-and-repair skills.

Information retrieved from in January, 2009

Which branch of the military?

Each branch of the military has a specific design and role. Which branch you decide to pursue is up to you, and contingent on several factors. Location, family situation (single, married, kids), and future career goals outside the military all come into play when choosing in which branch to serve.

The U.S. Military consists of five active-duty services and their respective Guard and Reserve units. All branches are equal parts of the United States Uniformed Services, headed by the President as Commander-in-Chief. The Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense (DoD). The Coast Guard reports to the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime and to the DoD (by way of the Navy) during wartime. The information below was taken from

As the oldest branch of the U.S. Military, the Army protects the security of the United States and its resources.

Army Reserve:
The Army Reserve trains part-time near home until needed, deploying alongside the Army.

Army National Guard:
Army National Guard members deploy with the Army on a part-time basis, with a special
focus on homeland security and relief programs.

The smallest branch of the U.S. Military, the Marine Corps is often first on the ground in combat situations.

Marine Corps Reserve:
Marine Corps reservists train domestically until needed, then deploy with the rest of the Corps.

The Navy defends the right to travel and trade freely on the world's oceans, and protects national interests overseas.

Navy Reserve:
The Navy Reserve trains service members close to home until they are needed in action.

The U.S. Air Force protects American interests at home and abroad with a focus on air power.

Air Force Reserve:
The Air Force Reserve gives service members opportunity to train and serve on a part-time basis, as needed.

Air Guard:
The Air Guard trains part-time to assist in domestic disasters and international conflicts.

The Coast Guard protects America's waterways and deploys with the Navy during wartime.

Coast Guard Reserve:
The Coast Guard Reserve offers a part-time Service opportunity for service members to train near home.


So, you’ve decided to explore all the military has to offer you. Now you have questions that need to be answered by a real person, not just an internet search. Who do you contact a recruiter? What do you ask them? Are you obligated to sign up if you meet with them? Below is a list of questions you should ask your recruiter. By contacting your local recruiter you are NOT signing up to enter the military. Rather, you are requesting more information so you can make an informed decision.

Contacting a recruiter

Questions to ask your recruiter

General Questions

  • How is your service branch different from the others?
  • What is the recruiting process like from beginning to end?
  • Why should I join the (Service)?
  • Do you have any special incentives to join?
  • What's the Delayed Enlistment Program?

Basic Training

  • What really goes on in Basic Training?
  • What's the balance of classroom and physical training?
  • What kind of condition do you have to be in at the start?
  • What are the physical standards candidates have to meet?
  • What are training and drill instructors like today?
  • What percent of people who start Basic Training complete it?
  • Can two friends go through Basic Training at the same time?
  • Do women receive "military haircuts" too?

The First Term

  • Can an entrant choose the military job he or she wants? How is the job assignment made?
  • Can you describe a couple of jobs?
  • Can a trainee choose to serve overseas?
  • How much does a new recruit get paid and what are the benefits?
  • How often are service members promoted?


  • What kind of training comes after Basic Training?
  • How good are your military job-training schools?
  • What are all the ways a service member can earn college credits during enlistment?
  • What are your tuition support programs? How does an entrant qualify for them?