Alun Thomas/US Army Recruiting Command
- For someone who wants to join the US Army, the first step is calling a local recruiting office.
- The path to enlistment includes an aptitude exam, medical screening, and career counseling — all before taking an oath or making a commitment.
- Once enlisted, recruits head off to basic combat training, the Army’s boot camp.
The Army also has options for those who want to serve as commissioned officers. Which option is best depends on your education level, where you want to go to school, and your age or family status.
Enlistees can also join the Army Reserves or Army National Guard directly.
First, you’ll need to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB.
Spc. Alicia Clark/20th Public Affairs Detachment
The ASVAB is a multiple-choice exam that will help determine what jobs you qualify for in the military. Each service has its own minimum standards, according to Military.com, which provides practice tests for those who want to prepare.
You’ll eventually meet with a recruiter.
Amber Osei/US Army
If you’re not sure where your nearest recruiting station is, you can submit an application online, and the recruiter will come to you.
Otherwise, it’s important to remember a few things when you’re at the office:
You have no obligations until you sign a contract.
Make sure you understand whether the job you want has openings — if not, you may want to consider waiting until it does.
You’ll eventually need to pass a medical exam.
Once you decide to enlist, the recruiter will take you to a Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS.
If you haven’t taken the ASVAB already, you’ll take one when you get to the MEPS.
If you have, you’ll undergo a medical exam, speak with a counselor about job opportunities and the enlistment contract, and take the enlistment oath.
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