It never fails. I meet someone and we exchange the usual, “how are you?” and “where are you from?” We joke, we laugh and we sip coffee together. But inevitably, we discuss career choices. And every time that I mention that I served as a SGT. In the U.S. Army, the mouth on the individual drops and a gasp is released! People are stunned that someone like myself, a trendy chic black woman, served in Afghanistan. Many people ask me about my experiences in the service, and they usually don’t realize that the military is a tool just like any other.
What draws many people to serve is not usually a sense of honor or patriotism. Although, yes. That does grow with time. What typically attracts people to the service is job security, advanced training, and travel. I meet people through all walks of life, and it seems that everyone has a preconceived notion about what it means to be in the military. There is definitely a stigma about joining and signing up with “Uncle Sam.” But there is also a lot of opportunity in the military that people don’t realize. So, I decided to make a video called, “4 Types of People Who Should Join the Military.”
The U.S. Armed Forces is made up of 5 branches. The U.S. Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. Each branch offers really good opportunities, however keep in mind that each branch has different requirements and also may have unique opportunities that are more aligned with your goals.
So let’s discuss the four types.
No Plan Type
Type “No Plan” doesn’t have a 5 year plan. Yes, I said it, 5 years! It may sound long, but believe me it isn’t. Consider this, if you were planning on pursuing a degree that would be a 2-4 year plan. Not bad. I you were perhaps focusing on your career and had a promotion coming up in 3 years, well that’s a 3 years plan. However, if you are unsure of where you plan to be in 5 years, you likely aren’t planning anything at all. The military is perfect for you.
The military will not only pay you a bonus for signing up, they will teach you a valuable trade or skill of your choice in the meantime. Typically, the military requires four years of service to begin. If you don’t already have a plan, you might as well get paid everyday while you figure one out!
This type is typically preoccupied with life already. They find themselves working hard to support their families. I know a lot of people in this category!! This is probably the type that I try to convince the most because they don’t realize how the military could make their lives so much easier.
The military offers full benefits for every member in your immediate family! That’s right. Your spouse, and your children are automatically covered with 100 percent dental and medical when you join. They also offer TSP (Thrift Savings Plan), which is the 401K of the military. You could also be entitled to a housing allowance or choose to move on base, which means that you’re RENT FREE. Or if you want to own a home, you are automatically qualified for a VA Home Loan! It’s one of the most stable jobs that you can have to better support your family.
The Working Type makes up about 70 percent of people that I meet. This type has likely been working for years already and made the choice years ago to never join the military. Often times there a certain issues that everyone eventually faces. They can be under paid, over worked not leaving time for anything else in their life, or not being promoted and advancing in their career. These are the common frustrations that I hear time and time again.
I urge this group to join. Surprisingly, as a young black female who served, I was constantly offered promotions. The military has an automatic promotion system based on time served. No more being over looked by managers. Also, you can receive advanced training in your field. This will propel your career further if/when you decide to leave the military. All of the training is free, not to mention all of the other benefits that you will receive being in the service. And while you’re working, how about you travel the world? Just a thought.
This type is relentless! The students are the hardest to persuade. I understand that being a student means that you already have a plan. Your plan likely consist of several years of you working while supporting yourself through school. Many people do this and honestly, I find it to be quite admirable. But, if you are a student that is struggle to make ends meet, and you’re collecting more debt than ever planned; maybe it’s time to look at other options to complete your schooling.
The military offers FREE schooling. While you serve your tuition is 100 percent paid for. Do you already have debt? The Army, Navy and Air Force offer what is called Student Loan Replacement Program (SLRP). Once you enlist they will repay your student loan for you. This way you’ve earned your degree for free. If you decide to leave the military you are still entitled to free schooling that includes a housing allowance. This means the military will still pay your rent while you attend school full-time! Still not interested? Consider doing reserves instead. You won’t receive all of the benefits mentioned above, but you will still be able to go to school for free.
Well there you have it. These are the people that I speak with the most that have no idea about some of the opportunities that the military can offer. I hope that this post can encourage people to at least look into finding information online and seeing what is available. If you think you fall into one of these categories, perhaps you should too. Check out my video for even more information!
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This post was written by Amber