Have A Relatively Clean Background Check
The screening for law enforcement jobs is often more rigorous than the screening for military service. You will be subjected to a thorough background check that may also include several rounds of polygraph questions and drug testing. You are advised to be honest in all aspects of your background check and interview process. Getting in trouble for vandalizing a neighbors mailbox when you were 13 wont lose you the job, but lying about it will. This is also the time to go ahead and personally identify any factors that might eliminate you from consideration for a position. Any convictions for violent crimes, drug-dealing, or sex offenses will put an immediate end to your candidacy, as will the failure of any drug test or the inability to pass a polygraph interview indicating your abstention from illegal or illicit drugs for a period of at least seven years. Its important to determine your likely eligibility for a job in law enforcement before undertaking the process.
Can You Go To College While In The Military On Active Duty
Yes! Many individuals worry that they have to choose between the military and college, when deciding their future path. The truth is, you can pursue bothand there are even benefits to doing so. First, it is important to find a school that can cater to your schedule and military obligations. This might mean finding a college where you can take classes online, for example, so that you have full flexibility in terms of where you are based or traveling.
One benefit of going to college while in the military, on active duty, is the tuition assistance available. Specifically, the U.S. Department of Defense provides eligible, active duty members of the military with tuition assistance if they enroll in college. While each military branch has the ability to set its own requirements and rates for tuition assistance, most will offer up to $4,500 annually for students. This makes going to college while in active duty much more attainable.
What If You Are A Military Spouse
Military spouses can also attend classes on a military installation.
That will make things a little easier for them as they support their service member and continue their education at the same time.
With easy access to CDCs on the installation, going to school there will make the whole process a bit easier for the spouse.
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Getting Into Military Junior Colleges
Military Junior Colleges require you to submit an application, your high school transcript, and some require SAT/ACT scores. Even those schools that dont require standardized test scores may use them for placement purposes.
If you want to enter an Early Commissioning Program, there are minimum GPA and SAT/ACT requirements that vary by school. If you have a 2.5 GPA and a 920 SAT score or a 19 ACT score, youll meet the minimum requirements for all of the programs.
Additionally, for an ECP, you need to pass a medical exam, the Army Physical Fitness Test, and you must complete military training after high school. You can do Cadet Initial Entry Training in the summer after high school before enrolling in the ECP.
Questions You Should Ask The Recruiter:
- What options for student loan repayment are there?
- What specialties are available that match my skills and education?
- What service time obligation does each path require?
- What opportunities are there for further education?
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There are a lot of financial benefits for education that come with joining the military. Some are available to everyone, while others only apply in certain situations.
Make sure that you ask your recruiter BEFORE joining about available programs. Some require that you join under specific circumstances to be eligible.
Once you join, you will need to complete some version of introductory training. For enlisted members, this is most often the basic training course.
Officer candidates complete a similar course, called the Officer Candidate School.
Each service administers its own program, which your recruiter will explain in detail.
All courses are designed to help you learn what is expected of members of the military and transition from civilian to service member.
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Requirements Of Joining The Reserves
The Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, Army and Coast Guard all have reserves. No matter which reserve branches of the military you want, you’ll have to meet the same basic requirements. Individual services may set the bar higher for joining the reserves, but they can’t go below the minimum. Any recruiter you talk to, or the military’s various websites, can give you specifics for specific branches.
You must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien, age between 17 and 42. Individual branches may set a narrower age standard. Army Reserve requirements, for instance, limit you to a 17-to-34 age range, according to the Army. You have to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test , achieving the minimum acceptable score. The skills you show on the ASVAB also affect which potential career tracks you can qualify for.
You must also pass a physical exam. The exact standards will be set by each service. The Navy , for example, says enlisted men must be able to complete 50 sit-ups in two minutes, 42 push-ups in two minutes and a 1.5-mile run in 12 minutes, 30 seconds..
Army Reserve requirements also include that you be of good moral character. For example, the Army says, you can’t usually join with a felony conviction. The Army does grant waivers, however, so talk to the recruiter about any stains on your record. They may not be the career killer you think.
Tips For Veterans Going To College After The Military
For many veterans, the transition from the military to a civilian career begins first with earning a college degree, and for good reason. A college education brings a number of powerful benefits, including higher wages, increased marketability, increased employment opportunities, economic stability, and greater job satisfaction.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for veterans and servicemembers to question their ability to earn a college education, or to experience anxiety about the unique challenges that it will bring.
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Can I Be In The Military And College At The Same Time
If youre on active duty and thinking about pursuing further education, you might find yourself wondering, Can I be in the military and college at the same time? Youll be interested to know that the answer to that question is a resounding, Yes! Thousands of servicemembers enroll in college during their military careers to boost professional goals, accelerate personal development, and gain increases in rank and pay. Success in college has increased with the growth of military-friendly colleges online. In addition to active military students, veterans and their family members are among the thousands who benefit by earning online degrees.
Lower Your Payments With Income
Apply for an income-driven repayment plan while youre on active duty so that you wont pay more than necessary in comparison to your income. These plans could bring your payments down to as little as $0 per month.
The Heroes Act Waiver is also there to help, because youre not required to submit proof of income while in active duty. That means you can maintain low payments even if your income increases.
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Join The Air Force Out Of High School
When you join the United States Air Force with your high school diploma or GED, youre automatically enrolled in the Community College of the Air Force. So youll automatically begin working toward your associates degree in applied science in one of five career areas: aircraft and missile maintenance, electronics and telecommunications, allied health, logistics and resources or public and support services. With a unique combination of on-duty and voluntary off-duty courses, youll earn college credit just for reporting for duty, learning your job and getting started on your career.
GET YOUR DEGREE, LEARN TO LEAD
Another Way To Have A Career
Some students are not always sure if they want to pursue a college education after high school. However, they might still want to continue learning and have a career. The military provides training in a specific field with skills that are transferable to civilian sectors.
Some people go to college straight after high school only to realize they are not doing what they love and wind up wasting money to either not use their degree or go back for a new degree. Joining the military before going to college can help save you time and money while you are figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life.
If you didnt have military experience before college, youve probably had to work to discipline yourself and your studies. Get assistance from our team of coaches at Student Coaching Services. Well get you on track and help you stay on top of your studies.
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The Real Experience Is Not The Same As Movies And Videogames
Heres what you can expect from the military: you start off as a worthless bag of bones sent to basic training to be the punching bag of some of the more clever, mischievous, and dedicated troops on the planet. Some branches call them Drill Instructors, others call them Drill Sergeants.
I call them role models and the keepers of military tradition. Weve all seen the movies and the YouTube clips but I can tell you from personal experience its a whole lot different when youre the one living it.
Their mission is to break you, and they will. They will tear you down then build you into something new. Something that is fit to wear their uniform and be part of a bigger team, or theyll wash you out and send you home. You will get into the best shape of your life, you will push yourself to new heights, and you will be filled with pride and a feeling of accomplishment. You will also get to know exhaustion and pain on a physical, spiritual, and mental level.
I was. I spent fifteen months in western Iraq.
College In The Military
Learn about how to research, finance, and choose your college degree while actively serving in the military or reserves.This guide provides military enrollment options, funding resources, and tips to help you successfully obtain a degree while in the military.
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Can You Go Directly Into The Reserves
Many U.S. military reservists transition from active duty as a way to complete their service obligations. It’s also possible to enlist in the reserve branches of the military straight out of civilian life. If you opt to become a military reservist, you’ll spend two weeks a year training and one weekend a month on duty, and you may be called up for active duty as well, according to Military OneSource.
You can join the U.S. military reserves without prior military service if you meet the basic qualifications. You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien. You must pass a physical exam, a background check and the ASVAB test. You have to be at least 17, but the upper age varies between the reserve branches of the military. Reserve officers must have college degrees.
How Do You Know If Its For You
When I decided to join the Army after high school, I weighed everything in the balance. I signed up in a time of war, knowing I would be sent into harms way. But becoming a soldier was my one goal, and I was determined to go.
It was all I ever wanted in life. I had a successful career and I would still be serving today if I could. Injuries from service overseas have kept me from continuing my career in the Army.
Thats just another reality of military life to consider. Serviceman and women suffer wounds of a physical, mental, and spiritual nature. Take everything into consideration and remember that personal experiences may vary. Talk to someone, or better yet talk to several people who know and have been there.
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Decide Which Branch Of The Military Fits Your Interests And Abilities
Each military branch offers different roles within the armed forces. Depending on your talents and interests, you may be better suited to certain branches of the military. Talk with recruitment advisors online or in-person as you research each section of the United States military.
Choose from the following branches of the armed forces:
Military Police To Civilain Police
As a military service member or veteran making the transition to a new career path, law enforcement can feel like a natural fit. Much of the training, discipline, and mental fortitude that youve developed during your time in the military will be of value to you as a police officer, a federal law enforcement agency, or in the wide array of other law enforcement or justice roles now accessible to you.
Indeed, many police departments and law enforcement agencies prioritize the hiring of military veterans and undertake initiatives that encourage the recruitment and hiring of those with service experience. According to Military Times, on average, for every $10 that a police department spends on recruiting, $1 will be spent on recruiting military and veteran candidates. More than half of departments and agencies surveyed by the Military Times indicated that they award extra points on exams or use other such methods to give hiring preference to military candidates.
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Q What Is The Most Challenging Part About Attending College While Serving In The Military
The most challenging parts would have to be the unstructured nature of college and really prioritizing time for school. The military is extremely structured, as many people already know. As a service member, I know what my duties and responsibilities are. If I am given orders to accomplish a task, there is a deadline, and if it’s not completed in time, it may impact the mission.
On the other hand, in college, the success is all up to the student. The professors will provide the material and help if asked, but if I decide not to do the work, it’s only my future that I am affecting. This leads to prioritizing time. For example, I work 0730-1630 Monday through Friday. Under special circumstances, I may have to work earlier, later, or even on the weekends. However, this does not include time for daily errands, the gym, or any extra volunteer work that the Air Force may require.
To avoid overwhelming myself, I have to create a schedule. My work schedule, any special duties, gym time, and designated time for studying all go in my planner.
Manage Your Mental Health
As part of your community, and one armed with considerable power and responsibility, it is absolutely essential that you take steps to protect your own mental health. Policing demands level-headed and rational decision-making in the face of practical challenges, high-pressure situations, even dangerous confrontations. Your emotional stability will be one of your most important faculties as you move into this role. As a veteran, you are in a category of individuals who are uniquely vulnerable to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder , depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. It is essential that you take steps to manage these conditions so that you can better serve your community with sound judgment and safe execution of your duties.
Begin by seeking support through the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA, and a host of related agencies, offer a spectrum of resources that are designed to help military veterans cope with mental health challenges and transition into various dimensions of civilian life.
All calls, chats and text messages are confidential, and support is available immediately. Support is also available for deaf or hearing impaired individuals.
Veterans Crisis Line advises that if you experience any difficulty connecting by phone with live support, to make contact through text or chat.
Or you can jump directly to the Best Online Colleges for Military Personnel & Families and begin earning a degree on your way to a career in law enforcement.
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Related Careers At A Glance
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A Degree Can Help You Learn New Skills And Knowledge To Become More Proficient In Your Role Within The Military
While military training can be quite comprehensive, there are still certain skills you cant always learn while serving. This is where experience in the military and college coursework can be a nice combination.
Do you want to become a better leader? Are you looking to improve your communication and presentation skills? Is writing something you could use some guidance on? Going to college whether you choose to do it in a regular classroom setting, through a blended format, or via an online degree program comes with all types of opportunities to beef up skills you already have or even add new ones to your toolbox.
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