Entering the Military With a Bachelor's Degree

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Joining the military is a career choice just like any other profession, and as with any other profession, those with a bachelor's degree reap more benefits. Not only does joining the military with a bachelor's degree bring more responsibility, but it also provides higher pay and bonuses, assuming that the proposed enlisted person was not in Reserve Officer's Training Corp (ROTC) during college.

  • Decide which branch is the right one for you. There are five branches of the Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Along with these are their reserve and guard components.

  • Contact the local recruiting office of the military branch you are interested in. There are different ways of contacting a recruiter, either online, by phone or in person.

  • Set up an appointment and meet with your recruiter. Make sure you bring all of the necessary documentation, such as a college diploma or transcripts, social security card and birth certificate. You may have to meet with the recruiter several times, as he will need to give you an initial assessment covering your background, medical history and dependent status.

  • Go to the Military Entrance Processing Center (MEPS). You may take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, ASVAB, in the evening and then a physical exam the next day or both on the same day. Either way, it is a long day of processing so be prepared. The ASVAB is a standardized test for job placement.

  • Sit down with a military liaison at MEPS and discuss your career field designation and training dates. You should have already covered this with your recruiter, but the liaison will go more in depth to make sure your test scores and physical exam qualify you for your field of choice. The higher you score on the ASVAB, the better your chances are of getting placed where you want. Be sure to bring up any questions you may have at this time.

  • Raise your right hand to swear in and prepare to ship off to basic training/boot camp and then officer training. There may be a few weeks delay between the time you join and your training dates. As with any school training, class dates are preset and may not always begin immediately.

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