Joining the military is another great option when you finish high school. In the same way that it's important to research a college before going, it's just as important to research your options when you're thinking about joining the military. Because someone close to you is currently serving in the military, you already know a lot about what being a service member means. Your friends and family, together with the resources provided on this page, can really guide you through this decision.
- Learn as much as you can. Gather information about the different military Services and about the many different options open to you once you join.
- Consider how your military career options fit with your interests. There are many paths to consider once you've done your research: officer vs. enlisted; Guard and Reserve vs. active duty; Army vs. Navy, etc.
- Make a list of pros and cons. Use the internet to help you explore many of the benefits of the military, such as the GI bill®, travel options, etc. Also consider some of the cons such as the potential harmful situations you may find yourself in, the downside of traveling, being separated from family and friends, etc.
- Decide if you're ready. Are you eligible? Can you handle the training, both physically and mentally? Do you understand the commitment you'll be making?
- Talk to a recruiter or someone currently in the military. Make a list of questions that you have and sit down with someone who can answer them openly and honestly.
Research, research, research. Within each branch of the military, there are very divergent career paths. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard has careers for people interested in science; the Navy has careers in world languages and art and photography. Getting to know as much as you can about yourself, your interests, and your options will help ensure you make the decision that's best for you.
For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!