CareerMilitary

Military: When Should I Enlist?

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Have you been considering a future in the military?

There are so many options to consider and different paths to take—it can seem overwhelming!

You may be wondering:

  • Which branch is best for you?
  • When should you enlist?
  • Can you make it through boot camp?

Don’t worry, we are here to help you sort it all out!

You’ve probably seen the recruiters on your high school campus and wondered if signing right after high school is the right move. The military offers many great opportunities whether you enlist right away or decide to further your education first. Here’s a list of pros and cons for each:

ENLISTING STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL

Pros:

  • Earlier retirement; joining straight out of high school means paid retirement before the age of 40!
  • You receive steady pay and benefits, as well as tuition assistance and the GI Bill that will be available to you if you decide to pursue your degree later on.

Cons:

  • You’ll start out at a lower pay grade.
  • You’ll begin your career at a lower rank.
  • It will be more difficult to become an officer.

ATTENDING COLLEGE FIRST

Pros:

  • You’ll be a candidate for careers that require a degree.
  • You’ll possibly receive a higher paygrade and greater potential for promotion.
  • You can join as an officer after Officer Candidate School and basic training.

Cons:

  • You’ll be enlisting later, so your retirement maybe later too.
  • You may have to pay more out of pocket for your education.

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