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.