Introduction: How to Enlist
Do you love your country? Do you want to kill for your country? Do you want to die for your country? Do you just need some money for college? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then you should enlist to serve in the United States Military!
With two wars currently going on, joining the military during this time of need is easier than one may think.
What follows is practical advice for enlisting in the military and serving your country with honor.
Step 1: Select a Branch.
The United States Military is comprised of five branches.
These branches are the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. In addition, there is the National Guard.
The Army is primarily responsible for land-based military operations. The Navy, as the name would apply, is responsible for naval-based operations. The Air Force, obviously, is responsible for controlling the airspace of America and it's allies. Lastly, there is the Marine Corps, which was established to be amongst one of the elite fighting forces within the military and fights in all terrains and conditions. The National Guard and Coast Guard are charged with protecting American lands and waters respectively.
When selecting a branch of the military it is important to take into account practical considerations that joining each branch of the military would entail. For instance, if you hate flying, it may be a bad idea to enlist for the Air Force. And if you get sea sick, you probably shouldn't enroll in the Navy or Coast Guard.
The best idea would be to research each branch carefully online here and then to speak with a recruiter from the branch that you are most interested in.
Step 2: Talk to a Recruiter
Once you have made up your mind to join the military the next step would be to talk to a recruiter. You can find a recruiter online by visiting websites such as this army one. A recruiter will be happy to talk to you about opportunities within their branch of the military. Remember that the recruiter isn't just looking for warm bodies, but interviewing you. Be sincere about your intentions for joining with the recruiter. They are looking for passionate, patriotic and fit individuals (mentally and physically) between the ages of 18 and 26. So long as you are not a total psychopath, have no prior criminal records, are not openly homosexual or physically deformed, the recruiter will be happy to guide you through the enlistment process and answer any questions you may have. They will also inform you about the possibility of officer training if you are interested in making a career out of the army.
Step 3: Take Two ASVAB and Call Me in the Morning.
What on Earth is an ASVAB? Well, stands for Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. This test is not an IQ tests and determines your individual strengths and weaknesses. With the help of this test the army determines how later to assign you. The test is usually given in schools by administrators of the federal government. You have to score at least a 31 to be admitted by the military.
Step 4: Time to Report
Report to a MEPS. A MEPS is a Military Entrance Processing Station. This is where you will poked, prodded and rendered fit for service (ideally). From here you get shipped off to bootcamp to start your formal training as a soldier.
The US Army requires that you bring the following:
-Social Security card
-Valid driver's license or current state identification card
-Original or certified copies of your marriage certificate, divorce decree or separation order (if applicable)
-Original or certified copies of birth certificates of children under 18; affidavit of support for parents; court documents and direct deposit forms if ordered to pay spousal and/or child support (if applicable)
-Proof of citizenship (if not born in U.S.A.)
-If you are married to a service member in the military, have the name, Social Security number and military address of your spouse
-Original or certified ROTC documentation (if applicable)
-Original college transcripts; GED or high school diploma
Step 5: No Such Thing As Unfit
If you are rendered physically unfit for service, there are still plenty of ways in which you can still participate in the defense of your country. The defense industry is one of the nation's largest employers and they are always seeking competent and talented individuals in an array of fields such as mechanical engineering, computer science, linguistics, advanced mathematics, the clerical arts and even graphic design.
Aside from the private defense industry, there is also an array of government organization related to defense that hire civilians such as the CIA and DARPA. Don't be afraid to explore your options and apply for alternative government posts.
Keep in mind that these jobs often require security clearance. Attaining security clearance involves a thorough background check, a lie-detector test and a full drug screening.