- Do your Homework. Before you make a decision to join a certain branch, talk to recruiters, read up on the branches and make an informed decision. Join the branch that best suits you.
- Do study for the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). Despite what "they" say, that score does matter. I got a high score and qualified to do almost anything in the military.
- Don't get talked into something you don't want to do. Recruiters are good at their jobs. Make sure that you are your own advocate. Don't get pushed around.
- Do pay attention to the physical requirements of each branch! They are all different and you need to be sure that you meet them before you attempt to join.
- Do pick a job that you will be interested in doing. Lots of people get in and end up feeling very stuck in the job they got pinned with.
- Don't expect it to be the quickest process in the world. Joining the military can be messy!
- Do be honest with your recruiter. Tell them everything they need to know (i.e. medical history, law violations etc.)
- Do pin point the reasons that you want to join. It is so important to do it or the right reasons. It could also help you decide which branch is right for you.
- Keep you paperwork in order. They give you so much crap that you need to keep...It's also a good idea to get copies of everything for your personal records. Don't rely on someone else to have it.
- There's a bunch of knowledge (at least for the Army and Marines) that they want you to memorize. Do it! It's going to save you lots of headaches once you get to basic and will put you ahead of the game.
- Stay on top of your game physically. Check out your PFT (Physical Fitness Test) requirements for you gender and age and work to meet them! Knowing that you can pass that test is going to give you some serious peace of mind.
- Find out about pre-basic promotion opportunities! I'm getting promoted before I leave so I will get to wear a chevron when I get to basic...I'm pretty proud of it!
- Girls, if you have short hair, you might want it to be a pixie cut! You're going to hate having to gel back every little flyaway! If you hair is long enough for a nice bun don't cut it! I was given this advice a while ago, and this was my last hair cut because of it.
- Get everything squared away before you go. I've got 2 weeks left and lots of stuff to do. You don't need to be stressed out in your final days at home!
- Stay motivated. Keep your head up and remind yourself exactly why you are doing what you're doing. It will help you more than you know!
- If you are a reservist, attend your unit's drill weekends. You will learn a lot and get the chance to work with people that you'll be dealing with after basic. I'm so glad I went.
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