It Isnt A Videogame Where You Hit X To Respawn
Always remember the basic function of US troops, no matter the branch of service, is to close with and destroy the enemies of the United States in close combat. You will be trained to kill and there may come a time when you will have to take a life or have yours taken from you. For the record, it isnt a videogame where you hit X to respawn.
If youre looking to prove yourself somehow, win medals, or gain glory, I will tell you now you wont. The warriors we veterans look up to, the ones whove gone before, werent in it for that foolishness. They were it for something greater. They simply rose to the challenge set before them and went above and beyond for that something greater.
All in all, the military is a great calling and vital for the preservation of our nation. You shouldnt think of it as your last option. However, it is not for everyone.
What Are The Challenges Of Going To School As An Active Or Former Member Of The Military
Veteran and active duty military students do not fit the typical mold of the traditional student, and this is because of their progress in life. As a member of the U.S. Military, you have experience. You have responsibilities outside of school, whether that be a job or family or both. This can seem like a challenge, but it can also put you at a unique advantage for the road ahead. Still, it is important to keep in mind the challenges you might face as a new college student. These include:
- The need to balance school with parenting, career, and military responsibilities
- Transitioning from technical, military-style learning to a university learning environment
- Transitioning from a regular military regime to a different college culture, which requires an adjustment for some
- Relocation or deployment while in school, affecting the academic school year
- Potential mental health challenges, related to post-traumatic stress
With all of these potential hurdles in mind, finding a college or university that caters to service members a military-friendly college can help ease the transition from one environment to another. Military-friendly colleges are well-versed in the unique challenges faced by veterans and active duty service members, and have resources and support systems available to you.
Apply For Your Chosen Branch
The application process for each branch varies, however, all branches adhere to a similar starting process. As a candidate, you’ll spend time at a military entrance processing station where you will meet with an advisor to discuss your decision, screen for physical and mental health and take the Armed Services Vocational Battery Test to help determine which branches and jobs you can pursue. You may also need to pass a qualifying exam and participate in further interviews for your chosen branch of the military after you complete the ASVAB.
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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.
But Wait Isnt The Military Dangerous
One major reason many people dont consider the military is the perception of a high mortality rate. This is primarily caused by the media. The reality is many military specialties are no more dangerous than their civilian counterparts. Your branch of service and your career field will go along way toward determining the risk you will be exposed to.
Military members may be eligible for VA service-connected disability benefits if they are injured or become ill during their military service. Receiving a VA disability rating makes the veteran eligible for lifetime disability compensation benefits.
In the unlikely event of a service members death, the military or the VA provides a lifetime of benefits for your survivors. The surviving family is given an immediate $100,000 death gratuity benefit, a $400,000 lump sum life insurance benefit , social security and indemnity monthly payments for years, and the transferability of many VA benefits. The military members time served is not taken for granted.
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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.
Attending College Without Crushing Debt
The high costs of a college education have forced many high school graduates to consider alternative paths to college and work careers. According to U.S. News, the average annual tuition and fees bill for students at four-year private colleges exceeded $40,000 in the 2020 to 2021 academic year. Thats more than $160,000 over the course of four years, not counting additional expenses like room, board, and electronics. While many students pursue merit- and need-based scholarships, these typically account for a few thousand dollars annually, at most.
Not surprisingly, the average graduate left college in 2018 with more than $35,000 in student loan debt according to figures compiled by Experian. Thats an increase of more than 25% over the preceding five-year period.
Excessive student loan debt has significant lifetime consequences, delaying the purchase of homes, marriage, and children. To pay off their education debt, graduates often accept jobs outside their field of interest, work longer hours, or take second jobs to supplement their income.
Entering the military does not preclude a college degree, but it defers college entry and provides significant financial benefits for students during and after military service. Specifically, all military service members are eligible for tuition assistance while on active duty or in the Reserves. This assistance is not a loan, but is considered part of basic pay and can cover up to $4,500 in tuition and fees each year.
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Military Members Generally Only Serve For A Limited Time
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the required enlistment service time for military personnel is between 2 and 6 years. Of course, there are many factors that determine this, and each branch is unique in certain rules.
For all branches, the average enlistment time is just shy of 15 years. On average, military officers stay in the armed forces for about 11 years. As for those who are members of the reserves, most are committed for between only three and six years.
These enlistment figures demonstrate that a large percentage of military members will return to civilian life with many years to devote to another occupation. As such, attaining a college degree within your field of choice can significantly aid in your professional pursuits, career advancement, and a higher quality of life.
Speak With An Academic Advisor
Generally speaking, every student who is admitted to a college program will be assigned an academic advisor. This advisors duties are to help you determine your best path for earning your degree. They will help you create a degree plan, choose classes that fulfill degree requirements, and enable you to meet your overarching educational goals. Many will also do their best to put you in touch with various career development services that the university offers.
Some schools, particularly those that cater to a large number of veteran students, employ advisors who are specifically trained to aid veterans. McCarty stresses that veterans, in particular, should speak with their advisors so they can leverage their expertise and improve their chances of success.
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Build A Support System Early
Before you even begin your college search, its important that you build a support system that you can rely on while pursuing your goals.
Whether friends, family, colleagues, or a combination of all three, identifying this support system and making them aware of your aspirations can help you in ways you might not expect.
These are the people who will be there for you when things are challenging, or when things dont go according to plan. Theyll be the ones rooting for your success and celebrating your victories. And they will be there to hold you accountable to goals.
What Are Your Interests
Joining the military will provide you with specialized training in any number of fields, depending upon the branch you are considering. Think about what skills you would like to possess at the end of your term of service. Learn as much as you can about each branch of military service and see which one will suit your needs. This way, you can serve your country to the best degree possible. US Military 101and Choosing a Military Servicemay help you decide which branch is the best for you.
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Become A Stronger More Effective Leader To Advance In Rank Or Move Into An Officer Position In The Military
If you intend to stay in the armed forces for the foreseeable future, earning a college degree can greatly benefit you in helping to open doors to advancement. To become a commissioned officer in most of the branches, active-duty military personnel are required to have a four-year college degree. This designation can help you increase your salary, job responsibilities, and future opportunities within your branch and upon entering the civilian workforce.
Why Every College Student Should Consider Joining The Military
Students are often left in the dark when it comes to benefits college graduates are offered to join the U.S. Armed Forces.
There are many perks someone who joins the military with a bachelor’s degree under their belt can take advantage of, including, but not limited to, the ability to start out as an officer as opposed to being enlisted, which means receiving better pay and gaining access to competitive loan repayment programs.
On top of that, officers in the military receive better treatment, more privileges, and are given more opportunity to exercise their leadership abilities. They often supervise teams of 15-40 people – or even more right off the bat.
An O-1 with under two years of experience makes $3,035 per month, according to Navy Cyberspace. With fast promotion possibilities, pay increases are very likely.
For example, even if an O-1 doesnt get promoted after their first year of service , theyll automatically make $3,159 per month anyway. But with a promotion to O-2, or first lieutenant, and two years of service, that number increases to $3,982. An O-10 with over 26 years of experience, receives $17,657 per month.
Not too shabby.
One example of a loan repayment plan is the College Loan Repayment Program . Under the CLRP, a portion of money will be given towards paying off student loans for eligible members. However, it should be noted that only enlisted, active-duty members qualify.
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College Or Military Service
But while the dream for most teachers and parents is for every student to go on to college or university, the reality is that not every student is cut out for college life, nor is every student stellar enough to continue into a two- or four-year degree. For a student who felt as though they struggled through high school academically, the prospect of additional schooling can be daunting.
The military, however, offers opportunities for great careers after enlisting and ultimately a comfortable lifestyle. With the many benefits and opportunities available for those who serve the armed forces, including the ability to receive an education for free, its easy to understand why some young people see it as a viable option.
Can You Go To College After The Military As A Veteran
Yes! Going to college as a veteran is entirely possible for you, even though you may feel intimidated at the thought. In fact, many military veterans choose to go to school after their service, and most are first-generation students. In the year 2018, an estimated 75 percent of veterans were enrolled as full-time students in a postsecondary institution. Most were pursuing undergraduate degrees, while some were earning certificates, diplomas, or even graduate awards.
In addition to active duty tuition assistance, there is financial support for veterans attending college, as well. GI benefits, for example, can be used to help pay for tuition, books, and on-campus housing if needed. Some schools, like Goodwin University, participate in the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program. This means that these schools provide additional funds for veterans college education, without an additional charge to their GI Bill entitlement. Some veteran students can have the cost of tuition funded in its entirety.
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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.
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.
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Arrange For Transfer Credit
Most colleges and universities will accept transfer credit from courses you may have taken at other institutions, including community colleges. Military class credits may also transfer. At Northeastern, military veterans can transfer up to 60 credits from their college or military classes for most degree programs.
Ensuring that these credits are accounted for allows you to skip certain general education requirements when you enroll in your new school, and with enough credit, you may be able to graduate early as well. This can help you save time and money on your degree and begin your new career sooner.
Are You Eligible To Join The Military
Eligibility rules can be a little confusing. There are different rules for enlisting and for officer programs.
Enlisting: Enlisted members do the hands-on work of the military. They need at least a high school degree a GED may not suffice.
Officer: Officers are the managers of the military. Most officer programs require a college degree at minimum and are very competitive. Many officers have master’s or higher degrees.
Before you visit your local recruiter, be sure you meet the minimum qualifications for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Some qualifications are required by all five services:
- You must be a U.S. citizen or resident alien.
- You must be at least 17 years old .
- You must have a high school diploma.
- You must pass a physical medical exam.
For each branch, there are slightly different enlistment requirements:
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