Thinking about your career choices can be stressful business, especially as an upperclassman in high school. The pressure of deciding just who and what you want to be can often feel overwhelming. But one career choice has been putting young people on the right track for many years: the military.
There’s more to the military than boot camp and fatigues. In fact, enlisting or becoming an officer in one of the branches of the military can provide you with the career skills you need to succeed in life. It is also a terrific arena to experiment with different types of jobs to see which one suits you best.
The following representatives will give you an inside look at the career options, skills and benefits of joining the military.
Skills for the business world
As young women, Angie Morgan and Courtney Lynch joined the Marines.
“The great thing about the Marine Corps is it’s a military branch that operates on the land, sea and in the air,” says Lynch. “There are pilots, lawyers, communications specialists, infantry troops, air traffic controllers, graphic designers, supply clerks, combat correspondents and many other diverse specialties available to those that want to serve.”
Now leading lives as successful businesswomen, Morgan and Lynch founded a consulting firm, Lead Star LLC, that helps women develop leadership skills.
“Not only did our military service provide us with the leadership training we needed to succeed in life, it gave us the opportunity to lead and manage others at a very young age,” says Lynch.
From responsibility to leadership, accountability and performance quality, “you can hone these career skills in the military,” says Morgan.
Tons of jobs
An admissions/scholarship officer in the military science department at the University of Texas at Arlington, Lt.Col. Kevin R. Smith, says the military offers a wide selection of careers.
As an enlisted member, “just about any career you can imagine in the civilian world exists in the military,” says Smith, from administration to health care.
Officer careers begin at management levels and require a bachelor’s degree.
The military—all branches included—helps provide you with an education that gets you off to a good start in the world. And you’ll have the bonus of serving your country and acquiring hands-on training in your profession.
To help you decide what career path to follow, take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), says Smith.
“This test is designed to help soldiers know more about themselves and help them pick the right job to realize their goals,” he says.
Even if you don’t know what you plan on doing with your life, enlisting in the Army “will give you a jump start into life financially, emotionally and educationally,” says Smith.
Military college opportunities
Retired commander of the U.S. Navy Drury C. Nimmich, Jr. works as assistant director of admissions at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He spends his days interacting with young adults and helping them make important decisions about their lives.
By attending a military college, you are “given the opportunity to personally interact with active duty officers holding positions in career fields [you] are seeking,” says Nimmich. This is great for people who aren’t sure about what they want to do as a career, and helps guide them in the right direction.
Nimmich emphasizes that career fields in each branch of the military differ. Because each branch has its own policies, careers differ depending on the branch you join. Attending military college can also give you a heads up as to the right branch of the military for you, should you eventually decide to join.
Whether or not you decide to join the military, keep in mind the benefits associated with signing up. Education, life experience and practical career skills can help you land the job you want during of after your time in service. And again, you’ll also have the honor of serving your country.