The Us Military: A Brief Overview
Joining the military includes a lot more than throwing on your military apparel and participating in daily PT. There is a long and storied history behind each branch of our countrys Armed Forces, as well as detailed rules regarding organization and function. Before choosing a branch or even enlisting, it is crucial to understand the structure and tasks of each branch of the U.S. military.
Today, our Armed Forces are organized according to the National Security Act of 1947. This post-WWII legislation gave us the U.S. Air Force and the modern-day Department of Defense, which consists of three military departments: the departments include the Navy, Army and Air Force.
A president-appointed, civilian secretary heads the Department of Defense and each of the three departments within it.
These departments are responsible for the administration of the five different military branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, including the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Should I Join The Navy
It is commonly understood that within the military that the Navy has the best base locations in the US Armed Forces. Although there are minor exceptions, every Navy base is on a coast. So, if you want to serve and the beach life calls to you, consider joining the Navy.
If youre thinking about joining the Navy, one of the biggest decisions you need to make is whether or not youll be OK spending months at a time on a boat.
While most jobs in the Navy will require some time at-sea, this isnt true for every one. Make sure that you know what to expect before signing up if going out to sea is an issue for you.
to learn how to join the US Navy.
Whats A Typical Day In The Us Army Like
Like most other branches of the military, a typical day starts very early in the morning and ends around 5 pm.
Most of the day will be spent training, marching, or otherwise performing whatever job it is you have.
For the typical infantryman , a typical day might look something like this:
0600 0630: Formation. Basically you will line up with your platoon and prepare for physical evolution.
0630 0800: Conduct physical training. This includes things like push-ups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, running, and calisthenics.
0800 0900: PT ends, and you hit the showers, get in uniform, and go to breakfast.
0930 0945: Report for duty. This is basically where you report back in formation and receive the days orders.
0945 1130: This changes everyday depending on the needs of the unit, but essentially involves performing whatever tasks are necessary.
1130 1300: Chow time. You hit the dining facility for lunch.
1300 1630: Usually varies on a day to day basis, but you can expect to be training during this time.
1630: Back in formation. Review of the days events, and thorough review of the following days events are broadcast.
1645: Release. You have the rest of the day to do what you want.
Obviously this is the most basic of what a typical day in the Army looks like, so dont take all of this as gospel.
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What Do Eod Technicians Do
If it goes boom, EOD technicians take care of it.
In other words, EOD technicians are responsible for locating, accessing, neutralizing, and rendering safe ordnance, improvised explosive devices , and other explosives.
Often deployed to combat, EOD technicians also take care of domestic hazards.
How Do You Become A Pilot
In order to qualify as an Air Force pilot, you will need at least a Bachelors Degree, ideally in the sciences.
You will also need to be between the ages of 18 and 28 1/2 years old, although sometimes age waivers are available up to age 35.
You will be more competitive with a high GPA of 3.4 or higher and a private pilots license.
You must be a military officer, which you can accomplish through a ROTC program at a civilian college, attending the Air Force Academy, or by attending Officer Training School.
In addition, youll need to score at least 25 on the pilot portion and a combined score of 50 on the pilot-navigator portions of the Air Force Officer Qualifying Test.
Youll also need to meet certain physical specifications like a height between 54 and 65 and attend two stages of Flight School.
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What Do Pilots Do
While the most glamorous job in the Air Force might be a combat flyer, Air Force pilots conduct the flight operations of a variety of aircraft ranging from bombers to fighters and tankers to transport planes.
An elite position in the military, Air Force pilots participate in a variety of missions in many countries in the world, including fighting during war, transporting troops, and assisting in humanitarian aid relief.
They may also have other general duties for their squadron, such as scheduling or serving as advisors and trainers.
How Do You Become A Medic
In addition to a high school diploma or GED, you will need to have a score of at least 101 in the skilled technical section and at least a 107 in the general technical section of the ASVAB.
Additionally, you will have to complete 10 weeks of Basic Combat Training as well as 16 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, which includes practicing in-patient care.
During Advanced Individual Training, youll learn skills like emergency medical techniques and plaster-casting techniques.
You also have the option of receiving advanced medical training to specialize in particular areas, ranging from Occupational Therapy to Special Operations Combat Medic .
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How Do You Become A Marine Intelligence Officer
Depending on the intelligence career field that you choose, you will have to take specific training courses within Ground, Human Source, Signals, or Air Intelligence, all of which are located either at Quantico, Virginia or Dam Neck, Virginia.
After officers receive the rank of Major, all the disciplines merge together, and officers are required to take a Marine Air Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer Course in order to be designated as a MAGTF Intelligence Officer.
How Do You Become An Aircraft Mechanic
At the very minimum, you need a high school diploma or GED, and you also will need a basic knowledge of principles that apply to aircraft construction and systems.
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This includes application of maintenance directives and an understanding of technical data and reports.
You will need a composite score of 47 in the mechanical section of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery tests as well as being able to qualify for a secret security clearance, which includes a current National Agency Check, Local Agency Checks, and Credit.
Finally, you cannot be colorblind and must be between the ages of 17 and 39.
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Cool Jobs In The Navy
One of the biggest decisions youll ever make joining the Navy is choosing your rate.
Theres an old saying in the Navy that goes like this:
Choose your rate, Choose your fate
Your rate is essentially the job you pick and is grouped into the following categories:
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The Navy has some really cool, really unique ratings.
Youre probably aware of the Navy SEALs, some of the most hardened warriors the US military has to offer.
However, the training to become a SEAL is very demanding, and has an attrition rate of as much as 80%.
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As a result, its a good idea to keep your options open.
Heres a short list of other cool jobs in the Navy that you might not have heard of:
You should also consider the fact the life as an officer and life as an enlisted man can be considerably different.
Preparing For Basic Training
Army basic training is physically intense. If you are not physically active, youll want to start preparing yourself. Your arms will thank you if you take some time before shipping out to memorize the Army officer and enlisted ranks, phonetic alphabet, Army General Orders, Soldiers Creed, and Army Values.
The typical day in BCT start 0500 hours and lights out at 2100 hours.
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What Do Aircraft Mechanics Do
Aircraft Mechanics ensure that all of the aircraft in the Air Force, including fighters and attack planes, are maintained to the most exacting standards.
They may install a replacement part or even build one from scratch to ensure that aircraft is safe for pilots, making them able to successfully complete their missions.
They also review maintenance data to notice any trends, conduct quality assurance tests, and supervise flight and crew chiefs.
What Do Marine Intelligence Officers Do
There are currently five officer career fields for the intelligence occupational field, including Air-Ground Task Force Intelligence Officer, Ground Intelligence Officer, Intelligence Warrant Officer, Signals Intelligence Officer, and Air Intelligence Officer.
In almost all cases, Marine intelligence officers are responsible for analyzing gathered intelligence and making recommendations to the command based on their analysis.
They may work in counterintelligence or reconnaissance or even overseeing the highly technical work of signals intelligence/ground electronic warfare.
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Five Branches Of The Military
As you may know, there are 5 separate and distinct branches of the military. They all have different missions, objectives, goals, creeds, and more. While there are seven reserve components of the military, we will not discuss them here.
The three aspects of the military they have in common is:
- How a service member gets paid while serving
- Wearing a uniform
Today, there are approximately 1.3 million active-duty military members spread out amongst each branch.
Although they face many hardships as women in the military, women represent 16% of the enlisted members and 19% of the officers.
Within each branch, there are many career opportunities ranging from administrative careers to combat specialty careers.
The five branches of the military include:
How Do You Become A Navy Seal
All Navy SEALS get their start at arguably one of the toughest military training courses in the world: Basic Underwater Demolition / Seal Training, or BUD/S.
In short, its not easy.
As many as 80% of trainees fail or drop out before ever completing the course.
If you can survive the grueling 6 month Navy SEAL assessment course known as BUD/S, its still not over.
You then have to attend an additional 6-months of Training at SEAL Qualification Training or SQT.
Also, both enlisted and officers have to go through BUD/S, and no one gets special treatment.
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In fact, its said that officers actually have a harder time at BUD/S because they will be potentially leading units into battle.
Upon completion of SQT, and a 6 month probationary period and individual specialized training, the candidate finally earns his right to wear the SEAL Trident.
It also should be noted that the Navy recently opened up the SEAL pipeline to women as well, although none have successfully completed BUD/S yet.
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Which Branch Of Service Is Right For You
Boot Camp is a lot tougher than one can imagine. For most people, deciding which branch of service to join isnt difficult. Perhaps you come from a family with a long tradition of joining the Marines, or you would like to follow in your brothers footsteps and join the Navy. Military family tradition is certainly well acknowledged in American society. However, each person is different. Based on your particular interests and qualifications, you may be better suited for a particular branch of service that no one in your family has considered before. Remember, joining the military isnt like applying for a job you cant just quit if you dont like it. You are signing a contract and taking an oath to your country. So, make a decision based on your interests and do what will make you happy, otherwise, you wont be.
Army:The Army carries its own unique sense of pride and loyalty. The Army has the second most intense basic training regimen . Three of the nine weeks of basic training are devoted to marksmanship. Soldiers in the Army have the ability to lead or defend against an assault. In the Army, a soldier can pick from hundreds of MOSs. The training you receive from your MOS can transfer well into civilian jobs.
SGT Michael Volkin is the author of The Ultimate Basic Training Guidebook, available in both paperback and e-book format at www.ultimatebasictrainingguidebook.com.
Military Versus Civilian Employment
Before you join, recognize the fact that a job in the military is not civilian employment. It’s not just like having a regular job. You just cannot decide you want to get out of the military anytime you want toyou signed a contractand the military signed a contract with you, too. You can go to jail just for being late for work.
No matter how high your rank, no matter which service you join, there will always have a boss. Many times you won’t like or agree with your orders, but you take a solemn oath to “obey the orders of the President of the United States and the lawful orders of those appointed over you.” Disobeying those orders can have serious consequences. If you can’t live with this simple fact, save yourself the hardship and the government some valuable time and money, and don’t enlist.
Travel is significant in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and even in the Coast Guard and National Guard. Expect to move often and be away from home six or more months at a time when deployed.
If you like to smoke marijuana once in a while, don’t join. The military uses random, no-notice urinalysis, and if you’re found positive, you may very well go to jail . The DOD urinalysis test can find THC in your urine for three weeks after you’ve smoked a joint.
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Army Special Forces: Rangers Night Stalkers And Green Berets
Do you have what it takes to join the elite Army Rangers of the 75th Ranger Regiment? Maybe youd rather be a Night Stalker in the Special Operations Aviation Regiment, SOAR, or possibly a Green Beret.
Generally, soldiers in any of these units:
- Are U.S. citizens
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Qualify for secret security clearances
- Hold General Technical Scores of about 110 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB
- Meet or exceed fitness requirements. Expect pull-ups, push-ups, timed runs and 10-mile marches carrying a 45-pound rucksack. And, lots of swimming.
You can request assignment to an Army special forces unit when you first enlist. A recommendation to attend the Special Operations Preparation Course depends on your ASVAB results and how you perform during basic and advanced individual training.
You can also join after you enlist or become an officer. Youll generally need three years of honorable service before qualifying.
Getting Mail During Basic Training
There is a lot to look forward to as you begin to prepare for Army BCT and as you can tell there will be many challenges to come. One of the best ways to stay motivated throughout training is to receive letters from home.
Mail call is one of the most anticipated times of the day. Sandboxx makes it easy for your friends and family to stay connected to you during basic training. Learn more about how Sandboxx works and let your friends and family know about Sandboxx.
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The Coast Guard Isnt For You If:
But, the Coast Guard is no cake walk to get into for enlistment. Any sort of criminal record, poor credit history, or GED will make it near impossible for you to get into the service. You can apply for waivers however and cross your fingers that they will take you but the best thing you can do is speak to a recruiter about this as they have tons of experience in dealing with these type of situations.
Ask Stew: Which Military Branch Is Right For Me
Here is an email from a young college student who is destined for a life of service. The problem is selecting which service. This is a very tough question with which I, too, once struggled when in high school.
My career goal is to join the FBI or U.S. marshals. However, my short-term goal is to serve my country. I’ve been dead-set on the Army Rangers, but since I learned more about what the USCG does with policing and security, I’ve been attracted to their work, too. What do you think is a better path to take? I know both are good paths, but one is always better than the other.
I have to start off the answer to this question by giving a non-answer. Truthfully, you cannot go wrong with either route, but which one is right for you? Personally, growing up in Florida, I have a fondness for beach towns. When I was looking at the Army and Navy while in high school, I noticed that all Navy bases pretty much had towns attached to them. Most Army bases did not, so for me, the places where I possibly would live played into the decision.
If you used the same criteria, it really depends on what type of environment you enjoy when working and not working. Something else to consider is whether you like boats or land and air ops? Rucking and jumping out of planes are going to be a big part of your job if you select the Army. Boats, swimming, port security and other domestic anti-drug and anti-terrorism operations will be the focus in the Coast Guard.
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