Is your Home School High Schooler Considering Military Service?
We have had many family members serve in the Army and Air Force Active Duty and National Guard. We are proud to be a military family! Recently, our oldest son returned from Basic Training and shared some tips and helps for those considering going into the military after high school, for or during college, or after college graduation. Here are his thoughts.
Is the military right for you?
There are some items you need to address before undertaking such a large venture.
First, pick which branch of the service you are interested in.
The following options are available:
- Air Force and Air Force Reserves, Air National Guard,
- Navy and Navy Reserve
- Army and Army Reserves, Army National Guard
- Coast Guard and Coast Guard Reserve
- Space Force
Then, do an in-depth examination of your choices.
Talk to recruiters. Do some research. What do you want to do? Would you like to fly, sail, run, or crawl through the mud? Each branch has its specialty that it’s known for, as well as its own ethos- identity, philosophy, and sub-culture.
Also, consider your job. How do you pick your job? Get on the Corp’s website; there is a list of all jobs, talk to your recruiter- ask about sign-on bonuses which vary by job and place (particularly the Reserve and Guards)
Ask yourself if there is there a branch (subcomponent) that you want to go into.
Some options include:
- Active Duty (National),
- Reserves (National)
- Guard (State)
Consider your deployment. Deployment differs by troops, reserves, and units sent by the state.
Examine how long are you signing up for. Look at that before you sign anything:
- Reserve, Guard = minimum 6 yrs.
- Active Duty = minimum 4 yrs.
- Some positions could require a 2-3 year commitment, which includes training.
- Specialty jobs vary. For example, pilot training is extensive and expensive, so commitment is long.
Will you choose to be enlisted or an officer and what are the differences?
Enlisted – high school graduate. Signing on will provide job training, sign-on bonuses, and a time commitment to the military.
Officer- college graduate.
Some features unique to officers include.
- ROTC – all your training while you are in school so when you graduate you can commission. Scholarships available, as soon as you contract with them, you get paid. Get your training sooner; you get paid, you don’t get to pick what job you get – it’s based on the needs of the corp.
- OCS – graduate and sign on as an officer; talk to a recruiter about job positions, sign-on bonuses, and commitment. You pay for college, determine major, and what job you’d like.
- Military Academy slot; highly competitive; provide college at an academy, military training, bonuses, and commission upon graduation. Begin preparing early in early high school
- Enlisted – will go through Basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training and Tech School) except for Infantry, who will go through extended Basic or Combat School.
- Commissioned Officer – you go through Basic, then OCS Camp or Field Camp.
Where is Training Held? Research various Training Bases as each base is different. Look it up, ask your recruiter. Your recruiter can put you in touch with people about different locations.
First, you will complete basic training: Marine, Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force
- Expect to be bored, shouted, and cussed at, tired, hungry, flu shots, and desensitized to “everything!’
- Start swimming, endurance swimming, and get comfortable in the water if you go into the Navy, Marines, Coast Guards, and if considering Special Forces.
- Practice push-up endurance (males- do 50 push-ups before you get there, females- 30 before you get there).
- Running (male 16 min. 2 miles, females 18-20 min 2 miles)
- Exercise muscles around hips/girdle, shins/Ankles – shin splints, and plantar-fascitis are cause for recycling or even chaptered out on a regular basis.
- Powerlifting if available (building muscle mass and strength); gain muscle mass as you are able.
- Research how to eat to work out well and build your health, strength, and endurance before you get to Basic.
- Plan to be sweaty, smelly, and uncomfortable
- Clean up your diet! Clean carbs (brown rice, whole grain flours, beans, etc), protein, vegetables, cottage cheese, nuts, yogurt.
- Drink Water- start hydrating and flushing out impurities. You’ll be drinking a minimum of 3 L a day; maybe more.
- Cut down on sugar, soda, caffeine -they won’t have available and they decrease bone density.
- Build Strong bones- cal/mag – stress fractures and getting recycled are a real thing. When they talk to you about hip fractures and bone stress- take that seriously.
- Do some research on self-calming and breathing routines- important for not getting stressed out during “shark attack” and “marksmanship”
- Don’t talk back to the Drill Instructor – they are in charge.
- Don’t tell the Drill Instructor it’s an easy summer camp- you might find your self doing lunges to every meal.
- Sleep up before you get there because you’ll be plenty tired once training begins!
- Keep aware of your own health and safety.
Buckle in – you can expect 10-12 weeks of tedium and stress!
- Weeks 1- 3/4 boring, stressful, tedious, and hard.
- Weeks 5-7 quick -really busy.
- Weeks 8-12 fairly easy, boring.
You made it and have graduated! From Basic you’ll go to your Tech School, Combat School, AIT, etc. and learn how to do your specific job. Job Training differs in terms of time, training, housing, locations, etc.
What to take with you:
- Pack really light as you go – the clothes on your back.
- Write down contact info before training begins because you won’t have access to your phone contacts.
- Bring a power cord for your phone so you can use it when you get access to it.
Examine what you will gain.
You will learn to make friends/ get along with the people around you. You will get job training, a pay-check, college money, and many perks and benefits, including the knowledge that you are serving your country well.
If you want all this information in an easy to download or print format CLICK HERE. It’s free and you can choose to get the Compass, our homeschool newsletter, each week in your inbox for more special offers and homeschool encouragement!
At True North Homeschool Academy we appreciate and honor our Military men and women with 10% off of every program and service that we provide.
Please contact us for more information about your discount and thank you for your service!