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How to Join the Army

How to Join the Army
If you feel patriotism rushing in your veins, find out how to join the army in the following article and get set to serve your nation in the best way you possibly can - by joining the defense forces!
Ishani Chatterjee Shukla
The decision to join the army is a serious one and should never be taken lightly. It is also a tough decision since, if you get through, it may mean staying away from your family and loved ones for very long durations. However, the decision to join the defense forces is one of the most novel career decisions one can ever make as such a decision is not propelled by mercenary motives alone - patriotism and service to nation are the major driving forces here! This is the most demanding government job as well! If fighting for and on behalf of your nation is what you are determined to do for the next 30-40 years of your life, here is all you need to know about how to go about getting into the army!

How to Join the US Army

Start with thinking and rethinking your decision and do extensive research on services, eligibility criteria, benefits and branch missions. Next, find out all you can about the ASVAB - Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery - the military entrance test which is conducted by the United States Military Entrance Processing Command. Next, you need to prepare for your rendezvous with the recruiters. Gather information about typical questions asked by them and appropriate answers thereof and find out what all documents you need to carry on your big day. The most important part of your decision to join the armed forces is your choice of service. If you haven't decided on a particular service yet, compare all services and evaluate your job choice - decide whether you want to go for guard or reserve services, decide between enlisted and officer rank, etc. For your convenience, I am giving a few examples of how you can apply to join different branches and ranks of the army.

Joining the Army Rangers

As part of the rangers, you would be entrusted with the responsibilities of a dauntless warrior - to see death in the eye and march ahead fearlessly in the face of fatal adversities on the battleground! Make sure you have the guts to start with! If you feel you have it in you to face the most cunning and intimidating of enemies, begin building your stamina and train for strength and agility. Learn to swim and work out with weights and resistances. Once you apply for and ace the ASVAB, select advanced infantry training and apply for para-trooper training. Once you come out successful in these trainings, approach your commanding officer to endorse your candidature for Ranger training. You will have to clear a few difficult physical tests - the Army Physical Fitness Test, the Combat Water Survival Test, the Ranger Assessment phase which goes on for six days, etc. - before you are given the green signal for commencing with Ranger training schedule. Make sure to complete your education before joining the army Rangers - remember, the strong make good soldiers but the intelligent make great soldiers!

Joining the Army Reserves

When you take the ASVAB, your scores will suggest what Reserves job suits you best. When you meet the recruiters, let them know you wish to join the army Reserves and they will guide you and give you information regarding basic combat training as well as tell you about current special incentives related to enlisting. Your medical evaluation will include a complete medical check up, including test for drug and alcohol use, at the local Military Entrance Processing Station. Once you clear the medical evaluation, select the Reserve job of your choice by going through the Military Occupational Specialty list. Acknowledge and sign the enlistment and obligation contract documents to complete the procedure.

How to Join the Army as an Officer

If you are an ROTC candidate, participate in any one of the 273 programs available at more than 700 colleges. The minimum age limit is 17 years and the maximum age limit is 32 years. Once you complete your graduation, you will be commissioned as Second Lieutenant and would be deemed to be in active duty of either the Army National Guard or the Army Reserve. Your service would be bound by a contract. Read about army ranks in order to get a better understanding of the hierarchy.

For direct commission as an officer, one must have practiced a skilled profession such as medicine, law, etc. You can also join as an officer by attending either military school or officer candidate school.

How to Join the Army Special Forces

The minimum requirements for being considered for the Special Forces are
  • You must be male
  • You must not be less than 20 years old
  • You must have completed high school
  • You must be a U.S. citizen
  • You must be eligible to obtain secret security clearance
  • You must meet the Special Forces' standards for physical fitness
  • You must volunteer for training for the Special Forces
You should visit the website GoArmy to get detailed information about joining the Special Forces. Once you clear the Army Physical Fitness Test, enroll for the ASVAB and complete the MOS procedure. Sit for the Defense Language Aptitude Battery and get proficient in a new language. Once you're done with the DLAB, if you are able to survive the SERE and Pass Robin Sage, you are through and ready to get trained for the Special Force!

That was a very brief overview of how you can apply for various branches and ranks in the army. You can get a lot of useful information by visiting the armed services websites and chatting with recruiters online. Read all about army ranks and pay. Once you get all the information you need, re-evaluate whether you really have it in you to be a part of the army. If your answer is still yes then - GO, TIGER!