Each military branch has a recruiter assigned to CCHS. See your counselor for contact information. These military recruiters visit CCHS regularly and are available for individual appointments if requested.
Students interested in the military should plan to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) held at CCHS each November. The ASVAB is offered to students in grades 10-12 and can be taken more than once.
Keep in mind, military recruiters request high school transcripts, therefore grades matter! Speak with your counselor for more information about how you can best prepare for a career in the military.
The Air Force is the most recently established branch of the military and was officially established as a separate branch in 1947. Its main purpose is to support the security of the United States through air and space exploitation. It is a main supporter of ground forces by providing air support during missions. The Air Force has two reserve components – the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserves.
The United States Army is the oldest branch of the military and was established in 1775. The Army is considered to be the ground force military. Even though there are aviation units within the Army, their main missions are on the ground and the majority of the soldiers who serve have a job related to ground forces. The army is also the largest branch of the military. Along with active duty soldiers, the Army has two reserve components – The Army Reserves and the Army National Guard.
The Navy was also established in 1775 and is considered to be the defender of the seas. While those serving the Navy also operate on land, their main mission is on the water. The Navy is also a main supporter of the Air Force in providing Air Force Carriers for transporting aircraft and providing a runway at sea for aircraft. Like the Army and the Air Force, the Navy does have a reserve component associated with it.
The Marines are the second smallest branch of the military. Their purpose has changed somewhat over the years. When it was first established in 1775, it was under the Navy as a ground force element of the branch. It was basically assigned the task of taking over the beaches when the Navy brought them into a mission. In 1798, it was established as a separate branch and since that time has slowly moved more towards ground force operations. While they do have their own air support, they are still mainly supported by the Navy for air operations and operations of the sea. You will not find medical jobs in the Marines. There is not a Marine Corps National Guard but there is a Marine Corps Reserve Unit.
The Coast Guard is the most forgotten branch of military service. While also being the smallest branch, many people do not realize that the Coast Guard is a separate branch with active duty members. The Coast Guard was originally established in 1790 and has undergone several changes in terms of which department it falls under within the government. In 2002, the Coast Guard was moved to fall under the Department of Homeland Security, but had previously been under the Treasury Department and the Department of Transportation. If the need arises, it can be called to missions under the Department of the Navy. The Coast Guard’s primary purpose is to control illegal immigration by sea and conduct sea rescues. The Coast Guard also has a reserves component known as the Coast Guard Reserves.
Service Academies: The United States Service Academies provide undergraduate education to commissioned officers for the United States Armed Forces. There are five academies:
US Military Academy (West Point, NY), founded in 1802
US Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD), founded in 1845
US Air Force Academy (Colorado Springs, CO), founded in 1954
US Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT), founded in 1876
US Merchant Marine Academy (Kings Point, NY), founded in 1943
Nominations are required in order to apply to all of the academies, except the US Coast Guard Academy. Nominations are made by Congressional Representatives, Senators, the Vice President or the President. The admission process is competitive with the average acceptance rate somewhere between 8-17%. There is a post-graduation service agreement of five or more years with an additional three years in the Reserves. If you have any interest in attending a service academy, you should see your counselor as soon as possible. Due to the extensive nature of the application, students will want to familiarize themselves with the process as early as the sophomore year.
ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps): ROTC is a program offered at many colleges and universities in the United States. Typically, participation in this program leads to an extensive or total reduction in the cost of tuition. Students in an ROTC program are trained for officer positions in a branch of the US Military. Participants must commit to serve in the military branch that equates to their ROTC training after graduation.
Active Duty: As the most time-intensive service commitment, active duty is similar to working at a full-time civilian job. Active duty service members are full-time members of the military. After attending boot camp, they are stationed at a base either domestically or overseas. Active duty terms typically last two to six years. Deployment can last up to a year, but the length may vary depending on a unit’s specific mission. Active duty branches include:
Reserves: Each active branch of the military has a Reserve component under their command, which is available for active duty deployment in times of war or national emergency. Reservists are part-time service members, allowing them to pursue a civilian career or college education while simultaneously serving their country. Members of the Reserve attend boot camp and are required to participate in training drills one weekend a month as well as a two-week program each year. Reserve branches include:
National Guard: The National Guard’s main focus is on homeland security and humanitarian relief. In addition to training drills one weekend a month and two full weeks per year, National Guard units assist communities in their state during emergencies like storms, floods, fires, and other natural disasters. During times of conflict, the President can mobilize the National Guard and its service members can be deployed overseas. National Guard service members deployed overseas may see combat, but are also assigned non-combat humanitarian tasks such as building schools and hospitals, training local peacekeepers, and other community-building. National Guard branches include:
Army National Guard
Air National Guard
Joining the military is a big commitment, by both you and the military. This commitment is not to be taken lightly. Most first-term enlistments require a commitment of four years active and two year inactive duty. The services also offer programs with two, three, and six year active duty or reserve enlistments. It depends upon the service and the job you want.
Get it in writing. Upon enlisting, you will sign an enlistment contract. This contract determines your initial commitment bonuses, job training guarantees, and other incentives. Make sure you are getting what you are expecting.
Training commitments. The military offers a variety of advance training programs. Some of these programs require additional service commitments. Some commitments run simultaneously with existing commitments, and some require additional active duty time.
Permanent change of station commitments. You will move in the military. It’s part of military life. Moving a service member costs the government money. If you have served more than two years, a PCS move may require you to accept additional service obligations. This can usually be done through an extension to your current enlistment.
Re-Enlistment. You will have plenty of opportunities to extend your stay in the military. Services offer an additional bonus to people who re-enlist with high demand skills. This re-enlistment commitment will also vary with the size of bonus.
Officer Commitments. Like all other commitments, they vary. A standard commitment for a service academy graduates who do not receive rated follow-up training is five years. Graduates who accept pilot training are committed to active duty for nine years. ROTC also generally requires a five-year paycheck while other active duty commissioning programs usually require a minimum of three years.
Getting out of your commitment. Getting out of your contract is difficult. The amount of difficulty varies with the needs of the nation and availability of talent in your chosen career field. You should plan on fulfilling any commitment you make.
Bonus. Try the one-year trial plan. Both the Army Guard and Air National Guard offer the “Try One” enlistment option. This option lets you try the Guard for one year without an additional commitment.
For further information regarding the different branches of the military visit this site: www.todaysmilitary.com
Another excellent resource is the Futures magazine which is a publication of the U.S. Department of Defense. It is about all things military. You can access an online copy at https://www.todaysmilitary.com/military-life/futures-magazin