Your Course of Action
should not just walk into a military career. Most successful candidates
planned a course of action that enabled them to obtain their desired
position. Make a list of several positions you are interested in. Check
the qualifications for those positions. Do you qualify? If not, obtain
more education and experience. As you plan your career, ask yourself
some important questions:
Are you ready for a military life?
life is not for everyone: The pay is predominantly low to start, a majority
of personnel are stationed on overseas bases, personnel are subject
to transfer at a moment's notice, and, most important, they have signed
a commitment, meaning they cannot simply quit if they do not like the
Are you willing to travel and be reassigned?
personnel may be transferred throughout the world several times during
their careers, which means they may have to live on military bases until
retirement. They may also have to conduct extensive travel for their
duties. Not everyone can handle the military life. If you are single,
it is your decision alone; however, if you have a family, it must be
a family decision.
How do you feel about submarines, ships, and planes?
you sign up for a career that takes you into the air or under the sea
make sure that you are prepared for it; do not make a career decision
based on a movie or CD?ROM attraction.
Are you ready for military responsibility?
a member of the military entails more than a job; the duties and responsibilities
for the most part are a significant burden that an individual must accept
both on and off duty, 24 hours a day; therefore, the decision to pursue
a particular position must be well thought out and planned in advance.
Unlike civilian jobs, you cannot simply tell the boss you quit and then
leave; when you sign on, you are obligated to serve for a certain time.
Is this a service career with a future?
your career wisely from the start. Does it have a future? Will you be
able to have a clear promotion path? And, for future consideration,
does the career specialty have a civilian counterpart?
What type of military career or opportunities do you want? At what level?
of those joining the U.S. military do so at the enlisted personnel level,
which is fine, because today the military is geared toward education
of its enlisted personnel. In many cases, a person joining the military
as an enlisted member can serve and earn a college degree at the military's
expense; however, as you will learn in this book, there are several
paths that can lead not only to a college education, but to an officer's
career, in which there is higher pay and prestige, and greater federal
and civilian hiring opportunities.
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