The United States Armed Forces is the nation's single largest employer, offering over 2,000 enlisted job opportunities in 91 occupation areas and 61officer occupation areas. The military's primary focus is national defense, however, career options are not limited to combat. Career opportunities include media and public affairs, health care, engineering, construction, electronics, mechanics, and combat specialties. The military can provide excellent opportunities to find areas in which you are interested for employment, earn money to pay for college, to learn a technical occupation which is in demand in the private employment sector, and to serve your country.
In order to enlist in any of the branches of service, a person must be between the ages of 17 and 35 years old and a US citizen or legal resident alien. There are minimum aptitude and physical condition requirements such as height, weight, and vision qualifications. Nearly all branches of service require at least a high school diploma.
Enlisting involves entering a legal contract with the particular branch of service selected. The service agrees to provide a job, pay, benefits, and occupational training. In return, the enlisted member agrees to serve for a certain period of time, which is called service obligation. The standard obligation is eight (8) years, which is divided between active and reserve duty. Depending on the enlistment program, members spend two (2) to six (6) years on active duty with the balance of the enlistment period spent in reserves. (Military Careers, US Department of Defense, 1996).
All new recruits take the ASVAB, Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The results of the ASVAB are used to determine if a recruit qualifies for entry into a service, and if the recruit has the specific aptitude level for specific job training programs.
There are a number of enlistment programs, which may include cash bonuses, guaranteed choice of job training and assignments, or college education payment programs. All special enlistment programs have certain qualification requirements, such as education or aptitude, and/or minimum enlistment periods.
If you have specific questions about the military, or career opportunities in the armed forces, contact your counselor, the web site links listed below, or the local recruiters.