So You Want To Be A Soldier

On my journey into the military, I've learned a few "dos & don'ts".  I was also given a lot of advice as to how to do it.  I have been approached by all kinds of people interested in the military asking me questions about it and wanting advice. So, I've compiled somewhat of a list about becoming a member of our armed services.  I have learned quite a bit from my experiences joining the Marines and then the Army Reserve and I would like to share that knowledge for the sake of other who might need a little bit of guidance 

Although I say "Soldier" I really mean pretty much any person who wants to be in the military.
Well, I've got a few words of advice for you. 

  • 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. 
So there are a few Dos and Don'ts that you should know before joining. There are also a lot of things that I have learned since being in the Delayed Entry Program (DEP) that I think that future service members should know. 

  • 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. 
But, I looked...terrible and don't wear nail polish in uniform! I took that off after I took the picture...

And now, I shall shamelessly plug my awesome giveaway I've got running!
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I'm Katie. I'm a 20-something Soldier & student taking each day one step at a time. Living through all the growing pains that come with becoming that person that I always wanted to be & finding that bright side in all of this Camo-Colored Chaos. You can get to know more about me here.

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