Joining The Military: A Rookie's Story

Discussion in 'Military' started by Cain, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Cain
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    Cain Air Force DEP

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    So, interested in joining the military? Amazing, your one of many whom want to join, but not many actually do. Here are the steps I advise you go by, this will be a lengthy read, I warn you.

    Part I: Foundations
    Step A) Why do I want to join?
    Step B) When do I want to join?

    Part II: Preparation
    Step A) ASVAB

    Part III: Investigating The Branches
    Step A) What Branches Are Their?
    Step B) Recruiters "Car Salesmen Of The Military"
    Step C) What MOS/AFSC do I really want?

    Part IV: The DEP
    Step A) What is the DEP?
    Step B) What are the risks of being in a DEP?​

    Part I: Foundations

    Step A) Why do I want to join?

    Are you wanting to join because your a patriotic person? Or is it for college? I have met some for both. Honestly, I do not see the military as a reason to go in for college. I joined because I want to serve my country, and earn a living doing what I know I can do best, being a soldier. If your wanting money for college, I advise you search for grants, scholarships, or if it comes to it, ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps). The military has people whom joined for college, I am sure, but honestly, I'd never sign a contract that says I cannot leave a job, if all I was wanting was college.

    Step B) When do I want to join?

    If your not 17 yet, you cannot legally join. Your parents can sign your papers at 17 to join the US Military. Waiting is NOT wrong. Their is no problem waiting a year or two. Here are the age limits for the military branches:

    Their is no rush to joining.

    Part II: Preparation
    Step A) ASVAB

    The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the test you take for the military. It is sort of the ACT/SAT of the Military. I must admit, it has very, very random questions. I didn't study for it, and I wish I had. To be honest, I advise 3-6 month of studying, and I mean, every night, study for 30 minutes to a hour. Weekends more. Why? The higher you make on this the more jobs that are open to you, and the better a recruiter will treat you.

    Part III: Investigating The Branches
    Step A) What Branches Are Their?

    Their is currently:
    US Army ---> US Army Reserve ----> US Army National Guard
    US Navy ---> US Naval Reserve
    US Air Force ----> US Air Force Reserve ---> US Air National Guard
    US Marine Corps -----> US Marine Corps Reserve
    US Coast Guard ----> Coast Guard Reserve

    Them are all the branches I am aware of.

    Part III: Investigating The Branches
    Step B) Recruiters "Care Salesmen Of The Military"

    So, you've probably received a recruiter's call or mail now, since you've taken the ASVAB. Congratulations, your on their hit list. They will call you, mail you, email you, visit you, basically, your being stalked.

    What to do? Well, inform them your not sure, and start investigating. Recruiters are men and women whom have either requested this Special Duty Assignment (SDA), or have been stuck in it. They should leave you alone after a few times. Although, in my experience, I still have a Marine recruiter calling me and sending me mail, and I've been in the Air Force DEP since July 2011. So, it depends on where you are.

    They are NOT the only source you should have. I don't care if they tell you they know everything, they may know everything, but I advise you visit the individual branches' website, and talk to other sources within it that are currently in. Here is a list of all the branches websites:

    Part III: Investigating The Branches
    Step C) What MOS/AFSC do I really want?

    Well, you've survived the ASVAB, and the recruiters. Now, you have to research the positions in the branches. Nearly every branch has the same job, just in different name and code. This isn't true for all jobs, but for many it is. This is where you have to knock it down to a list of, I'd say max, 7 positions you'd be happy with.

    Recruiters are going to want to know your wants, and you need to know them before you go to them. Don't look them talk you into a position. Don't let that happen.

    Part IV: The DEP
    Step A) What is the DEP?

    Delayed Entry Program (DEP) is what you are in, until you go to Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) to ship out to Basic. If your a Senior, you will be in the DEP until you ship out after your senior year is over. The DEP usually meets once a month minimum, and it is required. You will do PT with your recruiter, learn whatever your individual branch requires, Ranks, Phonetic Alphabet, Creeds, etc.

    You will be in a group with people whom are also joining the military. This is a fun experience for me, and I hope it is for you too.

    Part IV: The DEP
    Step B) What are the risks of being in the DEP?

    Well, you can always leave the DEP, at least from what I understand. You are not "stuck" until you sign your final contract, which if I understand correctly, you do at your final MEPS.

    I advise before joining the DEP you figure out what you really want out of the military, and be sure.

    I hope this has been helpful, and informative for you.
     
  2. Wicked Jester
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    Wicked Jester Libsmackin'chef

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    Good job....Here's a lil' friendly advice for you. When you get to basic, and that includes the first couple of days in the reception station, pay attention to EVERYTHING. Listen to everything. One of the bitches of basic is the fact that when one person screws up because they weren't listening or paying attention, everybody pays. Don't be that guy. Your life will become a living hell if you are the one guy who is constantly screwing it up for everybody else. And every cycle has that one guy.....Basically, in basic, don't be the punk of the platoon and you'll be just fine.

    Good luck to ya'!........You sound motivated, you should fit right in.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  3. Cain
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    Cain Air Force DEP

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    Yea, I plan to not be that guy for sure lol. I am pretty sure I will be in better shape then some. I really cannot wait to get myself in shape for Boxing after Basic, and weight lifting, etc.

    Thanks, and I hope I do :).
     
  4. Wicked Jester
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    Wicked Jester Libsmackin'chef

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    Another thing for you to think about, is if you know any vets, ask them to teach you about things. Things like a proper salute. Drill teqniques like a proper about face, parade rest etc.......This goes along away with drill sergeants when they think you mastered it on the first try after they've done the instruction.....Also, try to show leadership early on. That includes at reception. If you can be designated a squad leader in your platoon, it helps you by it going into your file. You'll make rank from e-1 to e-2 most likely withing 2-4 months of arriving at your primary duty station after finishing basic and AIT. Everybody makes e-1 to e-2 basically at the same rate. Where the squad leader designation comes in by being in your file is when jumping between e-2 and e-3 and e-3 to e-4. Little things like having a squad leader position in your file early on aids in helping to make rank later on.......Also, if you have plans of making it a career, once you make e-3 promotable start putting a bug in your superiors ears about being interested in attending NCO school after making e-4. If they feel you're NCO material, the faster they will get the ball rolling after you're promoted to e-4.

    Anyhow, hope some of this helps ya'.
     
  5. Cain
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    Cain Air Force DEP

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    I am actually signing a 6 year contract which will speed up how fast I make it to E-3 as opposed to going in as a 4 year. Also, I am not sure, but I believe my job has a sign up bonus for 6 years (its just 2000$, but that's better then nothing I suppose) really I am doing the 6 year cause I know it's what I want out of life, and I do plan to make it a career.

    We have to learn the salute, ranks, creed, etc at our regular PT's, phonetic alphabet, etc.

    Thanks for the advice.
     

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