Because all of the branches of the U.S. military have overlapping duties, it may not be clear what branch is best for you. That's where a recruiter, or perhaps more than one recruiter, can help. Keep in mind that no question is off limits and that you should be armed with as much information as possible before deciding to join the military.
Compile a list to take with you when you meet the recruiter. Keep in mind that this is your future, and you have the opportunity to find out anything you want to know.
Talk with the recruiter about how his branch of the military is different from others. Ask him to talk with you about the enlisting, commissioning, guard and reserve units.
Ask about the various benefits you will get by joining the military. Ask about any bonuses for joining, the pay structure and promotion rates. Find out why your recruiter joined her branch of the military. Ask how her experience has been thus far and what is her favorite part about being in the military. Her job is to recruit you, but you should also ask about any setbacks or disappointments she may have encountered. You will want a well-rounded view of the military.
Get a detailed description of how the recruitment process works from start to finish. Find out what the Delayed Enlistment Program is.
Ask about the careers offered in the military for each branch. Find out how to get a guaranteed job if you have one in mind. Inquire about job training for the different career fields.
Ask about dormitories and base housing. The recruiter can also tell you how meals are provided through basic training and once you have become a member of the military. This is also a great time to ask about where in the world you will be serving your term. Ask about deployments and travel. Find out if your preferences are considered for locations while serving. The best way to prepare for travel during a military career is to know all the possibilities of where you might be stationed.
Ask how long of a commitment you have to make for each branch and type of enlistment. Ask about the different types of discharges and retirements. It is important to know what will get you booted from the service and what will give you an honorable discharge. The recruiter will be able to tell you about “lifers” or those who serve in the military for enough time to retire, and the benefits they are eligible for.
Ask your recruiter to show you pictures. Look for pictures of housing, uniforms, work centers, basic training and deployments.
The scariest component for most recruits is basic training. Your recruiter can tell you what really happens at basic military training. Ask about physical training and classroom training. Ask about the military instructors and how basic training is conducted. You should leave satisfied that all your questions have been addressed.
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