Deciding Which Military Branch To Join When Joining the Armed Forces Is Your Dream

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All branches offer wonderful career opportunities and a similar pay structure, but there are major differences between branches in terms of enlistment incentives, assignment opportunities, specific job opportunities, quality of housing, deployment rates, and even promotion rates. Before you sign up for any branch of the service you need to do some research and then talk to a recruiter so you make the best choice. Which military branch to join depends on you!

Joining The Armed Forces: The Army

The Army is the main ground force of the United States. There are many career opportunities in the Army, but generally soldiers are among the ground troops deployed when a heavily armored equipped combat force is needed. Aside from being an infantryman, you might choose to be a medic, transportation specialist, mechanic, or clerk stationed at one of 60 bases in the continental United States or abroad. The Army offers the most career choices with10 job categories and almost 200 job specialties. Where you are assigned depends on your job.

Joining the Armed Forces: The Navy

The Navy protects the country by sea and air and has an extended mission to protect the oceans around the globe. If you like to travel, the Navy might be for you. The Navy is often the first responder in places around the globe when America’s interests are at risk. Much of your time will be spent on a large ship, so if you are claustrophobic or don’t like the water, this is not the branch for you. The Navy has 29 enlisted job categories on its surface ships, submarines, and aviation groups and many diverse specialties within those groups.

Joining the Armed Forces: The Air Force

Some members of the Air Force serve as pilots, but many airmen serve on flight crews or as translators, firefighters, navigators, and more. With 10 job categories which include about 200 specialties, many airmen have the opportunity to work in high technology, electronic warfare, and space-oriented jobs. Given the nature of the careers offered, this branch of the military has the most stringent educational requirements. The Air Force reputedly has the best quality of life for airmen and their families.

Joining the Armed Forces: The Marine Corps

The Marine Corps is really part of the Navy but they consider themselves a special branch that specializes in ground combat. This branch uses Navy forces for logistical and administrative support, but has their own airpower including fighter planes, bombers, and helicopters to make them self-sufficient. There are over 180 jobs for Marines, but enlisted personnel can be assigned anywhere they are needed, regardless of training. Marines are considered rifleman first and job specialists second.

Make a Sound Decision When Joining The U.S. Marines

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Educational Requirements To Join the Marines

To qualify for most jobs in the Marines, you need to have good math and reading skills and have your high school diploma in hand. If you have a GED, you’ll need a special waiver to admit you unless you have 15 hours of college credit under your belt. Formal education will help you do well on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), a standardized test that you have to take upon enlistment.

If you’d like to be an officer in the Marine Corps, you need a degree in any major from an accredited college or university. Entering the Marine Corps as an officer will put you on the equivalent to a management track in civilian life and offers you better pay and allowances than enlisted forces.

Age Requirements To Join the Marines

Joining the Marines is a young person’s game. The age parameters are between 17 and 29, but you’ll require a special waiver if you’re 17.

Physical Requirements To Join the Marines

Marine basic training is grueling, so if you want to join the Marines you’ll need to be in good shape and be able to pass a standard physical. Contrary to popular misconception, you do not need perfect vision but can wear glasses or contacts or have had laser surgery to correct any vision issues. If you’re colorblind, you may not qualify for certain jobs.