DECEMBER 6, 2022 – It’s no secret that the U.S. Army is an impressive fighting force. From their ability to adapt quickly to different situations to their role in defending our country from external threats, the military has always been a popular career choice for young people.
It’s also no surprise why enlisting in the army would be a great option. It offers opportunities for travel, adventure, and even entrepreneurship. All while helping you meet new people and grow personally. But if you’re considering joining, here are some tips to help prepare yourself before taking that first step into military life.
Be Sure You Have a High School Diploma or a GED
According to ThinkImpact, the national graduation rate in 2021 was at an all-time high of 85.3%. Therefore, most of you who are thinking of enlisting don’t have to worry. But if you still need to pass high school, you must get on it ASAP.
The army requires that all recruits enlisting in the army must have either a high school diploma or a General Equivalency Diploma (GED). If you are currently in high school, it would be wise to finish your final year before enlisting. The army will accept your GED certificate as proof of completing high school.
If you do not have either of these items, then unfortunately for you, it’s time to enroll in some classes at your local community college. Remember, though, that the Army will not accept diplomas from home schools or online schools.
Obtain Your Birth Certificate and Social Security Card
You need a birth certificate, and you can get a copy of your birth certificate from the state where you were born. If your original has been lost or damaged, contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics in your state to obtain a new one. You will also need to provide them with proof of citizenship or lawful permanent resident status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
For enlistment purposes, the Social Security Administration (SSA) provides official documents that list your personal information, such as full name and social security number.
You should have this document with you when you enlist at MEPS so that it can be provided to military personnel as proof of identification before being considered as an eligible candidate for service in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
Make Sure You Are Eligible to Enlist
You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen to enlist in the Army. You must also be between 17 and 35 years old, with a minimum height requirement of 58 inches (147 cm) for men and 55 inches (140 cm) for women.
You won’t be able to enlist if you have more than two dependents, if you’ve been convicted of a felony offense involving alcohol or drugs within the last ten years, or if you’ve been involved in any other crime that would prevent you from joining the armed forces.
Suppose your medical examination shows disqualifying physical characteristics or medical conditions. In that case, your recruiter will help explain the options available to resolve these issues before proceeding with enlistment processing.
Get Into Top Physical Condition Before You Enlist
You’ll need to be in top physical condition to enlist in the Army. The Army is looking for people who are physically fit and able to carry out various tasks during their time in service. Therefore, they will require all recruits to pass a physical fitness test before training.
The good news is that it is possible for anyone who still needs to be in shape to get there before enlisting. You can start working out by going to the gym if you have access to one, or if not, then jog around your neighborhood or run on an incline treadmill at home. Doing this will help you get into better shape so that when you enroll in basic training, passing the required PT test won’t be very difficult.
Get Firearms Training
To enlist in the army, you must be able to get the required firearms training. The Army offers an introductory rifle qualification course that teaches you how to shoot a rifle from various distances. You can also get firearms training at your local gun range or even online. According to Zippia, more than 1,062 firearms instructors are in the U.S.
One thing to remember when considering your options for getting firearm training for enlistment is that there are many different types of weapons used by soldiers, including pistols and machine guns. However, most recruits who want firearms training will focus on learning how to use assault rifles because infantrymen commonly use these weapons.
Take the ASVAB to Determine Your Army Job Specialty
No matter your interests, you should take the ASVAB before joining the Army. The ASVAB is a test that helps determine what jobs you are best suited for, and it’s required to enlist in any military branch.
The ASVAB consists of 10 different sections with varying degrees of difficulty. Some units are geared more toward mathematics and science, while others focus on verbal skills or mechanical knowledge. Some questions require quick answers, while others may require patience and time.
The military can be a great place to build your future, but it takes a lot of hard work and dedication before you can enlist. Unfortunately, Bloomberg Government reports that the U.S. Army is falling short by more than 10,000 soldiers in 2022. Now, more than ever, the Army needs more and more recruits to enlist.
The first step is preparing yourself for the enlistment process, including all the steps involved with joining, such as medical exams, drug tests, and more. This article will help you to prepare yourself for enlisting in the Army.