Military Career Planning
At first glance, the decision to pursue a military career may seem simple. After a closer look at all the options, the decision reveals itself to be a little more complicated! The links offer some general information about the possibilities and links to find more detailed information.
Branches Of The Military - Short Descriptions Of Each Branch And Links To More Information About Each.
ROTC- Description Of The Reserve Officer Training Corps And A Link To More Information
Military Academies - Description And Links For All Five Academies
Military Academy Summer Programs- Summer Programs For High School Students Interested In Military Academies
GI Bill - GI Bill Info And Links
ASVAB - Information About The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery And Links.
ASVAB Results: For Information On How To Interpret Your ASVAB Results, Click HERE To View A Short Video And HERE To Be Directed To The Official ASVAB Website.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is the most widely used multiple-aptitude test battery in the world. As an aptitude test, the ASVAB measures your strengths, weaknesses, and potential for future success. The ASVAB also provides you with career information for various civilian and military occupations and is an indicator for success in future endeavors whether you choose to go to college, vocational school, or a military career.
Please visit Military.com or official-asvab.com to learn about the 3 different ASVAB tests, the 9 subtests that comprise the ASVAB, and to practice for the ASVAB.
Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT)
The AFQT is a military entrance score comprised of your test results from the ASVAB in Arithmetic Reasoning (AR), Math Knowledge (MK), and Verbal Composite (VE) x 2. Your Verbal Composite score is a combination of your Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension scores. The score also determines what job you qualify for in the military, and you can view this information at any time at Military.com!
The AFQT score is a percentile score, which means it is a comparison of how well you scored on the four subtests (mentioned above), compared to others who took the ASVAB. For example, if you have an AFQT score of 70, that means you scored as well or better than 70% of other test takers.
Branches of the Military
The U.S. Armed Forces are made up of the five armed service branches: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. There are three general categories of military people: active duty (full-time soldiers and sailors), reserve & guard forces (usually work a civilian job, but can be called to full-time military duty), and veterans and retirees (past members of the military).
Each branch of the military has a unique mission within the overall mission of U.S. security and peace. Here they are in a nutshell:
Air Force and Air Force Reserve: The nation's source of air and space power. The primary mission of the USAF is to fly planes, helicopters, and satellites.
Air National Guard: The Air National Guard as we know it today is a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force.
Army and Army Reserve: The dominant land power. The Army generally moves in to an area, secures it, and instills order and values before it leaves. It also guards U.S. installations and properties throughout the world.
Army National Guard: The Army National Guard is an elite group of warriors who dedicate a portion of their time to serving their nation. Each state has its own Guard, as required by the Constitution; in fact, it is the only branch of the military whose existence is actually required by the Constitution.
Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve: The Coast Guard's mission is primarily with domestic waterways. The Coast Guard does rescues, law enforcement, drug prevention, and clears waterways.
Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve: The Marine Corps is known as the U.S.' rapid-reaction force. They are trained to fight by sea and land, and usually are the first "boots on the ground." Marines are known as the world's fiercest warriors.
Navy and Navy Reserve: The Navy accomplishes its missions primarily by sea, but also by air and land. It secures and protects the oceans around the world to create peace and stability, making the seas safe for travel and trade.
The five military academies are federal academies for the undergraduate education and training of commissioned officers for the United States Armed Services. Admission to these academies is very competitive. Once admitted, students receive a free undergraduate education and are committed to serve in the military as an officer upon graduation.
All of the academies except the US Coast Guard Academy require a congressional nomination as part of the application process. High school students must begin the application process and congressional nomination process in their junior year. Each academy lists detailed information on how to apply on their website. The websites for each academy are listed below.
The United States Service Academies
United States Military Academy (West Point) - located in New York
"Renowned as the world’s premier leader development institution, West Point accomplishes its mission by developing cadets intellectually, physically, militarily, ethically, spiritually, and socially. The student body, or Corps of Cadets, numbers 4,400 and each year approximately 1000 cadets join the Long Gray Line as they graduate and are commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army." USMA website
United States Naval Academy - located in Maryland
"The Naval Academy was founded in 1845 by the Secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft, in what is now historic Annapolis, MD. The history of the Academy has often reflected the history of the United States itself. As the U.S. Navy has moved from a fleet of sail and steam-powered ships to a high tech fleet of nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships as well as supersonic aircraft, the Academy has changed also. The Naval Academy gives young men and women the up-to-date academic and professional training needed to be effective naval and marine officers in their assignments after graduation." USNA website
United States Air Force Academy - located in Colorado
"The Air Force Academy is both a military organization and a university. Much of the Academy is set up like most other Air Force bases, particularly the 10th Air Base Wing, but the superintendent, commandant, dean of faculty and cadet wing are set up in a manner resembling a civilian university." USAFA website
United States Coast Guard Academy - located in Connecticut
"The Coast Guard Academy offers an integrated life experience which emphasizes leadership, character, academics and physical fitness in order to graduate the very best Coast Guard officers. Graduates go directly to positions of leadership in U.S. Coast Guard, one of the best and most admired organizations in the world. The Academy also features an impressive teacher-student ratio and picturesque waterfront campus that instills a traditional small college feel." USCGA website
United States Merchant Marine Academy - located in New York
"In time of war or national emergency, the U.S. merchant marine becomes vital to national security as a "fourth arm of defense." Our merchant ships bear the brunt of delivering military supplies overseas to our forces and allies. The stark lessons of twentieth century conflict prove that a strong merchant marine is an essential part of American seapower. The purpose of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is to ensure that such people are available to the nation as shipboard officers and as leaders in the transportation field who will meet the challenges of the present and the future." USMMA website
Military Academy Summer Programs
The military academies offer summer programs. High school Juniors can spend a week of their summer learning about life at the military academy. This is a fantastic opportunity for students who are seriously thinking of applying to the academy to better understand what those 4 years will be like.
West Point Military Academy - Summer Leaders Seminar The week long program of academic classes, military training, physical fitness training and intramural athletics gives students the opportunity to experience cadet life and to see first-hand what West Point has to offer.
US Naval Academy - Summer Seminar The Summer Seminar teaches you about life at the Naval Academy, where academics, athletics, and professional training play equally important roles in developing our nation's leaders.
US Air Force Academy - Summer Seminar Summer Seminar is a unique opportunity for high school juniors going into their senior year to see a realistic picture of what cadet life is about. At the end of the program, you will have a very clear understanding of the commitment necessary to attend the United States Air Force Academy and to become an Air Force officer.
Coast Guard Academy - Summer Seminar Our Academy Introduction Mission (AIM) is a one-week summer program that gives you the chance to see if the Academy is right for you, and if you have what it takes to succeed. If you are selected, you will experience the rigor, discipline, and rewards of the Coast Guard Academy personally, just like a cadet, for one week in July following your junior year in high school.
ROTC stands for Reserve Officer Training Corps. Hundreds of colleges and universities in the US offer ROTC. Full time college students can choose to join ROTC (if they qualify) while attending college full time. Students in ROTC are eligible for ROTC scholarships which help pay for tuition and expenses. After graduation, students who go on to active duty service start at the management or officer level in their military career.
The three branches of the military that offer ROTC programs are; Air Force, Army, and Navy. To learn more visit ROTC.com.