JoinWhat To Expect When You Join The Army

What To Expect When You Join The Army


Know What You Can Expect

What to expect when joining the ARMY later in life.

Once youre an Airman, youll be a part of a unique and close-knit global community. Knowing what you, your family and your friends can expect from Air Force life will help as you take the steps to joining the Air Force and determining the path thats the right fit for your future.


Paper And Pencil Administration

As soon as all examinees are checked in and seated, the test administrator will provide some general instructions and pass out the test booklets and answer sheets. Listen carefully and do not proceed unless instructed to do so. The total time required, including administrative tasks and instructions, is 3-4 hours. Each subtest has a fixed number of questions and time limit.

When you complete the items in a subtest, you may review your answers. However, you cannot go back to an earlier subtest, nor proceed to the next subtest until instructed to do so. After the test session, answer sheets are sent to the MEPS to be scanned and scored. This process usually takes a few days. Your recruiter will be notified when your test scores are verified and available. A preliminary Armed Forces Qualification Test score usually is calculated by the test administrator and made available to your recruiter immediately after the test session. To find out more about AFQT scores, click here.

Women Sex And The Military

The unspoken message that the military continues to convey is that war is for men and women should stay away. Half of all women in the military are assigned to traditional roles such as cooking, nursing, and secretarial duties.

Rape and sexual harassment occur frequently in the armed forces. One report stated that 64 percent of women in the military have experienced sexual harassment. Often men use rank to try to get sexual favors. Women who refused to comply have been labeled lesbians.

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And After You Leave The Armed Forces

Soldiers are often discharged with no money to continue in the civilian world and no transferable job skills. Unemployment lines are filled with veterans who are poorly qualified and lack the useful skills for civilian employment. Many veterans remain jobless for long periods and are a large part of the homeless and prison populations. Even those who are gainfully employed will remain behind their civilian counterparts in income and advancement for the rest of their careers. Once you have been in the military, you cant catch up with the rest of the world.

The military stays with you in other ways as well. Much of the appeal is the idea of proving yourself, developing discipline, being all you can be. Perhaps you want to carry army pride with you all your life. Remember, however, that this is only part of the picture. No one can participate in violence and remain either unscarred or indifferent. You will always be part of the destruction you supported. And if the United States does fight a war, you may never be able to forget the people you killed. For some people the weight of these memories is too heavy to bear. The suicide rate among Vietnam veterans is many times the national average.

Enlisting in the military is a serious commitment. Before you join, know what is in the fine print. Learn all the details and choose whats best for you. Think about it.

Soldiers of Conscience film trailer

Center on Conscience & War


Weeks One Through Three Phase 1 Red Phase

Interested in joining the Army

In this adaptation phase, youll learn the fundamentals, traditions and ethics of what it means to be a soldier. You will learn how to comport yourself, how to address leadership and will be expected to recite the Warrior Ethos and the Soldiers Creed.

Youll receive briefings on basic first aid and sexual harassment and sexual assault awareness and prevention programs.

This phase includes intense physical training as well as road marches and formation marches. Youll be taking the Army Combat Fitness Test, which will challenge you on a strength deadlift, standing power throw, hand-release pushups, a sprint/drag/carry, leg tuck and 2-mile run.

An introduction to Chemical Radioactive Biological and Nuclear readiness also occurs during this phase. At the end of these three weeks, youll receive an Army Unit Patch to be worn on the left shoulder of your uniform.

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The Army Recruitment Process

The recruitment process will depend on what level of education you have and the role you are applying for: either infantry soldier or officer. Both positions require an online registration of interest, and during this section of the application you will be asked a series of questions to determine your eligibility, such as age and nationality.

Keeping Up With Your Airman

Joining the Air Force is a life-changing decision that impacts more than just you as an individual. As you work toward becoming an Airman, dont neglect to take the time necessary to prepare your family and friends for the distance and change inherent to Air Force life.
No matter where youre stationed, you will be able to connect with loved ones by phone, email, video chat or instant messaging. A popular option is to enroll family and friends in the Air Force Friends and Family Instant Messaging service program and access AFIM through the Air Force portal.
While living on base, you may have friends and family come and visit. Guests may use on-base recreations with you as their host and have access to base lodging that allow them to stay much more affordably than they could off-base.
Airmen get 30 days vacation with pay each year and can enjoy complimentary flights that make it easy and affordable to meet family or friends at any home or vacation destination.

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What To Expect After Joining The Military

You can feel that joining the military is a ?strong? decision and obviously a good one. For doing so, it is better you are aware of the requirements and the basic training you need to undergo before you are commissioned. The mental and physical requirements for this training is intense, in other words you need to be ?tough? both physically and mentally.

The basic training workouts can be called a ?Journey? a civilian needs to take to become an army soldier. You are sure to be rattled with different emotions when you start the basic training, but you need to make sure of a strong resolve as there is no way you can give up. There is no way you can wait for the first day of the training as it can be extremely taxing. Getting mentally prepared and physically fir can be considered the initial step for preparing for the daily routine in military.

Goal Before you go for Basic Training

Preparation for the Training

You need to work and get prepared for the four week long course of training. Concentrate on improving your habits like giving up on smoking, chewing tobacco or partying too hard. There are many of us who feel the urge to indulge in all our vices before we adapt to the discipline in the military. Eliminating habits which are harmful and a disciplined routine for workouts can be of a great help.

Preparation for the Basic Training Week

Meet People From All Over The Us


The United States is a huge country, and the people that encompass it differ greatly depending on where theyre from.

When you join the military, youll meet people from big cities and towns of a few hundred.

People from the country, people from the suburbs. Some people that grew up poor and others that grew up rich.

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Submit Your Application 1submit Your Application

You will then need to present original copies of your birth certificate, government issued photo ID, transcripts from your highest level of education, proof of trade qualifications and professional licenses, and any additional forms required for the trade or job you selected. All overseas education must be presented with a Canadian equivalency from Alliance of Credential Evaluation Services of Canada

The Constitution No Longer Applies To You

Once you enlist, the constitution no longer applies to you. While serving, you fall under the jurisdiction of the U.C.M.J. . While for the most part you will enjoy most of the same basic rights, some big differences are:

  • No free speech/press/assembly in the military.
  • You still have freedom of religion, but the availability of religious personnel may not suit your needs.
  • You have no right to privacy .
  • You have no right to protection from unreasonable search.

There are a few other differences, and for most part you should never really notice a difference. Just be aware that there is a difference and that some things that are not crimes for civilians are crimes for military personnel .

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You Are On Call 24/7 Even When You’re Not

Ever wonder why service members tell time differently? For example, it’s not 11 p.m., it’s 2300 hrs. This is because war never sleeps. Those who think otherwise have another thing coming. Battle is about maneuvering units and materials at a moment’s notice to secure a tactical advantage. This can easily happen at night, and it can easily make no sense to you.

No matter what your rank or specialization, the Army can wake you up at 0200 hrs and make you guard a port-o-potty in the middle of nowhere, thousands of miles from any national security threat. The only items you might have to protect yourself will be a broom and a canteen. You’ll have no say in the matter, and nobody is required to explain anything to you.

You’re not even safe when you’re on vacation. Oh, didn’t you know that the Army considers weekends and holidays to be vacation days? That fact came as a shock to me. When you go on vacation, you are expected to fill out a lot more paperwork than you would at a typical company in the private sector. The Army wants to know every detail regarding your whereabouts when you’re on vacationâincluding the hotel you’ll be staying in.

Why? In case of a national emergency, the Army has to know where you are so it can summon you if they need you. Even if you are far from your base, you may be contacted to report to a closer one. This is highly unlikely, but it is a soldier’s responsibility.

Advance In Your Career

What Women Should Know Before Joining the Army

In year five, you have a decision to make. You can move ahead in your Army career by getting more advanced education and training. If so, you will prepare for higher levels of responsibility, leadership, and specialization required as commanders. Eventually, you will select a career field and may even go on to earn a graduate degree from a leading civilian university.

The Army pays for all of your training, travel, and advanced education. You could eventually work in the Pentagon, command a large troop unit, or serve as a military attaché in a foreign country.

The other option is choose to complete your commitment and return to civilian life.

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You Will Be Expected To Kill

There is a flip side to the above topic. As I said, America has real enemies, and you, as a member of the military, will be expected to kill those enemies. As a soldier, you’re not a diplomat. It’s not your job to talk to people or reason with them.

Whether it’s prepping ordinance for use in combat, or taking part in small arms gun battles, you’re not trying to wound your enemy, you are trying to kill him. Let that sink in for a moment. It will be your job to take lives. While you may have a non-combat job, the enemy doesn’t care about that, and they will shoot at lawyers and cooks the same as they will an infantryman. That’s why everyone who joins the military, regardless of job, gets taught to shoot and how to fight.

You Might Get Seriously Hurt

Casualties happen in war. War is hell. People know the risks when they join. It comes with the territory, but I’m not talking about that.

What people don’t know is that this can happen at any time and in any place, even stateside. Even if there is no ammunition or other threat around, a soldier can get seriously and permanently injured.

After years of PT , a soldier may have problems with his knees and other joints. He can easily have the same problems pro basketball players have, but without the same salary. Any civilian can get injured, but it is more likely in the military because you are more active and working longer hours with more dangerous equipment.

Medics are ready, safety policies are in place, and your buddies are usually looking out for you, but sometimes this isn’t enough. As a medic, I’ve seen twenty-year-old trainees walking with canes as a result of injuries they sustained during service.

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Job Training College Benefits

The recruiter will probably emphasize the high-tech, state-of-the-art, sophisticated equipment that you will get to work with. True, some soldiers are trained for the highly skilled jobs. Generally, however, those jobs go to the soldier who was already trained, educated, and technically skilled before joining the military. Many of the high-skill jobs will go to soldiers who already have at least two years of college. And often the high-tech work is done by civilian contractors who have the necessary training and skills.

In reality, few military assignments could be described as high-tech, although many of the jobs sound high-tech. For instance, one U.S. Army brochure includes assignments with titles such as, combat engineering,general engineering,supply and service, and food service. These assignments, and others offered by the military, would likely offer little more than low skill, manual labor. The armed forces simply do not have the time, the need, or the resources to train many recruits for highly skilled work.

How The Enlistment Process Works


Candidates officially complete the process of joining the Military once they have met all of the requirements at the Military Entrance Processing Station , or comparable facility, and have been administered the oath of enlistment.

This process may take more than a day to complete. Potential recruits typically do the following at MEPS:

  • Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test
  • Pass the physical and medical examinations
  • Meet with a counselor and select a career path
  • Take the Oath of Enlistment

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To Earn Military Perks

With military service comes other perks outside military benefits. Each service branch has a Morale, Welfare and Recreation office dedicated to helping military families connect with these opportunities. Perks may include free space-available flights on military aircraft and vacation and leisure discounts.

Weeks Six Through Nine Phase 3 Blue Phase

In the final phase of basic combat training, youll build on everything youve learned before. These weeks will serve as your final transformation from a civilian into a soldier.

Expect to develop these skills:

  • Building advanced marksmanship and maneuvering techniques.
  • Engaging targets as part of a team.
  • Completing convoy operations.
  • Identifying and disabling improvised explosive devices.
  • Training on advanced weapons, such as machine guns.
  • Learning how to throw live grenades.

All of your training will be put to the test on a multiple-day land navigation course. Here you will prove your survival, fitness and soldier skills.

After you make it through this phase and pass all 212 tasks of the end-of-cycle test, then you will be qualified to wear the Army Black Beret as a fully qualified Army soldier.

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When You Visit The Recruitment Office:

  • Take along a parent or friend as a witness.
  • Read over the entire enlistment agreement very carefully.
  • Get all promises in writing. Spoken promises do not have to be honored.
  • Before you sign anything, take it home and discuss it with your parents, friends, and a trained counselor who understands how recruiters operate. Your recruiter must give you a copy of the agreement if you request it.
  • Get copies of everything you sign.

Completing The Required Testing And Training

  • 1Take an aptitude test. Once you have filled out and submitted your application, a military recruiter will contact you and schedule you to come in for a test. This aptitude test is designed to identify what your strengths are so that the military can give you an appropriate placement. The test will last 45 minutes and you will need to answer 60 verbal, spatial, and problem-solving questions during that time.XResearch source
  • Its a good idea to practice for the test before you take it. There are official practice tests that you can take to get used to what the test will be like.
  • 2Pass a medical examination. If you want to join the Canadian armed forces, you will need to have an examination that begins with you filling out an extensive medical history. After that, you will need to pass an eye test, color test, and hearing test performed by a doctor.XResearch source
  • There may be more advanced examinations as you move through the process of specializing in the military. For example, just because you pass the eye sight exam for joining the military doesnt mean that you will pass the eye sight exam to become a pilot in the air force.XResearch source
  • 3Go to an interview. Once your health has been cleared, you will need to talk to a military career counselor about your career goals in the military. Before the interview, research the jobs you are interested in and prepare some questions about them, if you have any.XResearch source
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