If You Join The Army Can You Just Quit
Military enlistment is a major commitment. Individuals who join the U.S. Armed Forces must sign an enlistment contract, binding them to service. Initial contract lengths vary, but last as long as eight years. Recruiters emphasize the benefits of the military, but are not always upfront about how difficult it is to quit the army once you’ve joined.
Army Loan Repayment Program
Another hidden advantage of serving the military that most people dont talk about is the means to finance your education.
The military is really good about providing financial aid to students looking to get vocational certificates or college degrees.
The Army will repay up to $65,000 of your current outstanding student loan debt as an enlistment bonus.
There are requirements for the Army Loan Repayment Program bonus which youll need to discuss with a local recruiter.
What Is A Military Enlistment Contract
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors| Last updated June 20, 2016
Joining the military as an enlisted service member is a serious commitment requiring you to sign an enlistment contract. For first-time enlistments in the U.S. military, the contract includes minimum active duty and/or inactive reserve duty obligations along with the particular job you will hold in the military, also referred to as your Military Occupational Specialty .
A standard military enlistment contract often requires four years of active duty and four years of inactive reserve service. A typical contract to enlist directly in the Reserves or National Guard often requires eight years of inactive service. That being said, each military branch offers a wide array of enlistment contract terms and options.
You should know exactly what you’re agreeing to when you sign any contract. An enlistment contract is a legally-binding agreement between you and the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard. Because of this, if you fail to comply with the obligations in your enlistment contract, the military can pursue potential criminal or civil penalties against you. However, it also means that the military is obligated to abide by the terms of the contract that it signs with you as well.
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Talk To Family And Friends
Once you have determined the job or jobs that you are interested in, talk to your family and friends about it. Tell them what youve found out and get their opinions. Its true that you dont need their consent to join, but it sure does help when you have someone to write/call back home. You never know when your family and friends will have some helpful insight in making your decision. Make sure that your loved ones realize what youre getting into and that their expectations are realistic. Explain to them the process that youll have to go through to join, the amount of time youll have to spend in training, how often youll get to come back home, and the possibility that youll be deployed. The last thing you want is to deal with family issues during training because Mom and Dad dont realize that you just cant come home to visit or even call them on a regular basis.
Enlisting In The Military
Once you have talked to a recruiter, youâll set a date to visit a Military Entrance Processing Station to finish the enlistment process.
The MEPS is a joint Service organization that determines an applicant’s physical qualifications, aptitude and moral standards as set by each branch of military service. There are MEPS locations all over the country.
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S For Joining The Military
Start by doing some research about your options for joining the military. Learn about the six active-duty branches and their part-time counterparts. Know the main differences between officers and enlisted members. And explore the career fields you can enter for each branch.
Once you know which branch youre considering, contact a recruiter. A recruiter will give you an overview and answer your questions about that service. If youre interested in more than one branch, contact a recruiter for each. If youre interested in joining as an officer, the recruiter will explain any options you may be eligible for.
If you decide to enlist, you will report to a military entrance processing station . Youll spend a day or two completing pre-enlistment steps. These include taking the ASVAB, having a physical exam, meeting with a career counselor, and if youre accepted, taking the oath of enlistment. From there youll receive orders for basic training, usually to start within a few weeks. If you enrolled in a delayed entry program, youll go home and get orders for basic training within a year.
Submit Your Application 3aptitude Test
You will take an aptitude test to determine which military occupations are the best fit for you. Preparation is key so make sure you are well rested, healthy, on time, and careful with your answers. You will be tested on verbal skills, spatial ability and problem solving. It will take approximately 60 minutes to complete a series of three Canadian Forces aptitude tests. The following practice aptitude test will provide you with an example of the style and structure of what you will experience when you write the real test at a Recruitment Centre near you.
You will also complete a personality inventory which provides information on your personal characteristics and qualities. To learn more about your personality and how it can influence job choices, check out this personality assessment.
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What Kind Of Benefits Will I Earn
For your commitment to the National Guard or military reserves, youll receive many benefits including:
Joining the National Guard or military reserves can be a great way to serve your country without leaving your full-time job. Once you decide to join, you can learn more about your new community. See Military OneSources New to the Military resources. Military OneSource can answer your questions about military life. Call 800-342-9647 or connect via Live Chat 24/7/365. OCONUS/International? View calling options.
But If You Join At 1:
- You get two more years in school to get good grades that will help you for the rest of your life.
- At 18, and with better qualifications, you get more army jobs to choose from .
- Youre more likely to be promoted through the ranks, with more pay each time.
- Youll be stronger inside and out and better able to deal with whatever the army throws at you.
- Youll have two more years to make your mind up, then you can decide as an adult, without needing your parents permission.
And if you do wait until youre 18, the army will still be there and will still want you.
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Prior Service Enlistment Bonus
Have you served in the military before?
If you decide to come back to the U.S. Army you can earn up to $20,000 in bonuses.
Youll need to enlist into a critical-skill Army Military Occupational Specialty .
Prior service members with an Army rank of Specialist or below are eligible.
You must meet the following stipulations:
- Must have completed at least 17 months of continuous active duty.
- Is qualified in a military skill designated as critical.
- Agree to reenlistment of at least three years.
The amount of a reenlistment bonus is dependent on the critical demand of the MOS or job skill.
The Army also influences the rate of the military bonus based on the amount of additional service time the solider agreed to in a contract.
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Submit Your Application 4medical Exam
You will then take a two part medical exam: First there is a questionnaire on your medical history including specific information on your medication. Then the medical staff will conduct a physical exam to measure your height, weight, evaluate your vision, colour perception and hearing. The second step is a medical file review to determine any limitations that will affect your training and career.
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How To Give Yourself The Best Chance For Joining The National Guard
If you are a felon and wish to enroll with the National Guard, you can improve your chances by following these steps
Negotiating Your Army Contract
Negotiating with a military recruiter is something that most new recruits dont bother to do, or at least not to the extent that they should. Someone interested in joining the military will either find or be found by a recruiter and are quickly swept up in the process and are signing that contract before they realize what has happened. A new recruit will feel that, as long as they get a cool Army career and cool training, theyve gotten all they want and they wont attempt to negotiate for anything better. It is absolutely important that you take the process seriously, negotiate with the Army recruiter, and take your time!
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Types Of Military Discharge
As Military Benefits explains, an honorable discharge is the highest discharge a military member can receive. It demonstrates the service member’s faithful execution of duties and attests that the individual was an asset to the branch served. When you look for job, apply to college or training programs and even when you apply for a home or car loan, an honorable discharge, as evidenced on your DD 214, is a valuable asset.
Other types of military discharge include General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions, Other Than Honorable , Bad Conduct Discharge and Dishonorable Discharge. In addition to a bar from future military service and loss of any benefits, there may be punitive measures as well.
Track Your Application File To Completion
You are competing against the nation’s top tier of high school students for an offer of admission. Check your Candidate Portal frequently for notifications and updates on your application status. Make sure you have uploaded all the required documents. West Point Application files must be complete by January 31st of the year you are applying to enter. Required documents include:
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What Happens After You Register With Selective Service
Other than receiving your proof of registration, nothing happens unless theres a situation requiring a draft.
The Selective Service System will start calling registered men ages 18-25 for duty. The men will be called in a sequence determined by random lottery number and year of birth.
The men will be examined for mental, physical, and moral fitness for military service.
They’ll either be deferred or exempted from military service or theyll be inducted into the armed forces.
Army Bonuses For 2021
There are many advantages to joining the United States Army.
Did you know that you can also receive special pay for serving the country?
The U.S. Army offers signing bonuses and other opportunities to receive financial incentives based on the type of service.
Learn more about the Army bonus list with incentives that could earn you hundreds or thousands more in special pay!
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Military And Veterans Discounts Faqs
We show our commitment to United States military members and veterans by offering discounts on our plans and services.
All branches of the United States military are eligible for discounts, including:
What Is The National Guard
Unlike the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, the National Guard is mainly for defending and serving the nation itself. This means that you will be stationed as a recruit locally within the United States of America. In times of war or an urgent need for overseas soldiers, it is possible that National Guard recruits will provide service overseas as well as in their communities.
Your duties will vary from state to state, but responding to emergencies within the country, drug-related or armed criminal activity, or reconstruction attempts after the destruction of property are the most common ones that those serving in the National Guard face. Further research into the roles and responsibilities of the National Guard in your state can give you specific examples of what your fellow recruits do in your locale.
As well as functioning on a state level, the President may also call upon the National Guard at a federal level when needed. Outside of a federal call to arms, a National Guard recruit can expect to serve within his or her home state.
Unlike the other branches of the military which are more likely to serve overseas, National Guard recruits may also have day-to-day civilian employment that they can pursue when not actively called up for service. They are more like on-call soldiers than their counterparts in the Army or Navy, but it is still a respectable position that will help those in your local community.
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Where Does Basic Training Take Place
For all full-time regular force candidates, basic training takes place at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.
All part-time candidates joining their local Primary Reserve unit will undergo similar basic training objectives. Reserve units will conduct their Basic Training either at the local reserve unit location or at a Canadian Armed Forces training centre. Locations vary depending on units. Talk to a Primary Reserve unit recruiter for more information on their Basic Training program.
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
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How Do I Join The National Guard Or Military Reserves
The first step is to contact a recruiter. Your recruiter will explain the process and available opportunities. Speaking with recruiters from different branches can help you get an idea of which branch you would like to join. You can also find out more information at the recruiting websites for each branch:
The process could go quickly or slowly, depending on different factors. Sometimes you can get through the requirements very quickly. It can also take weeks or months from when you first contact a recruiter to when you leave for your military training.
Hospitalized Or Incarcerated Men
You are exempt from Selective Service registration if you can prove you were continuously institutionalized or confined from 30 days before you turned 18 through age 25. If you were released for any period longer than 30 days during this window, you were required to register with the Selective Service System.
- If a man is placed in a hospital, nursing home, long-term care facility, or mental institution on or before his 18th birthday, had no breaks of institutionalization of 30 days or longer, and remained institutionalized until his 26th birthday, he is not required to register.
- If he is confined to home, whether his own or someone elseâs , on or before his 18th birthday and cannot leave the home without medical assistance , and remained homebound until his 26th birthday, he is not required to register.
For Selective Service to determine this exemption, the following supporting documentation is needed when you mail your status information letter request form:
- Proof that your dates of confinement or institutionalization are accurate.
- Proof that you were continuously incarcerated, or never released for any period of 30 days or longer.
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Becoming An Officer In The Military After College
While its common knowledge that basic training sets recruits on the pathway toward becoming an enlisted service member, those with a desire for leadership opportunities and a bachelors degree can take another route into a military career as a commissioned officer.
The Reserve Officers Training Corps program for college students and Officer Candidate School or Officer Training School for graduates are great options for those who want to earn a four-year college degree before joining the military. Each service branch offers both ROTC and officer schools as entry points to an officer commission.