The thought of joining the military is an exciting proposition for certain people.
But where exactly do you start?
The first suggestion is to reach out to a local recruiting office where you can learn more about the military branch and ask questions.
Visiting an Army recruiter is the best way to get a mentor early in the enlistment process, and they will help walk you through all the steps of qualification.
Whether you speak to an Army recruiter by phone or in person, make sure you consult this article as a guide for your first visit.
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Step 1: Finding an Army Recruiter Near You
Joining the Army is likely the biggest decision you have ever made in your life.
Therefore, it is important that you consider all the pros and cons before you officially enlist.
Joining the Army is overwhelming and intimidating for individuals that never faced such a life-altering decision, especially for young people that have recently finished high school or college.
Thankfully, Army recruiters exist throughout the country to help make the first steps much more straightforward and clear.
Local Army recruiting offices abide in all 50 states of the country so finding one close to home is rarely a problem.
You can also decide to schedule your first contact with an Army recruiter via phone or email.
There are several different ways to find an Army recruiter:
- Visit the official Army Recruiter page and chat with someone.
- Find a recruiting office and visit in person.
- Request more information before scheduling your first visit.
- Call 1-888-550-ARMY to speak with a recruiter over the phone.
The Army needs personal information (if you make the request online), including what area of the Army you are interested in serving.
Step 2: Prepping for your Visit
It is important to have a knowledgeable person answer any questions or concerns you have about joining the military.
Army recruiters have a lot of information and can help make enlistment less complicated or confusing.
However, you should also exercise caution and remember the purpose of an Army recruiter.
Recruiters get hired by the U.S. Army to fill a certain need, which is to find more people to enlist.
Consequently, their viewpoint is biased and naturally, they are only going to present the “good” side of joining the Army.
Furthermore, Army recruiters are assigned quotas they’re supposed to meet, which means some may lie or pressure future soldiers into enlisting.
We suggest that you meet with a recruiter because the information they provide is valuable. However, just remember that they’ve got a personal motive and it is to get more people to join the military.
You should never enlist under pressure. It is wise to avoid doing so after the first meeting, as you need time to think and talk with family members and friends before making such a monumental life decision.
Regardless, meeting with a recruiter serves a number of purposes:
- You receive more information about the Army.
- You learn about the requirements of enlistment and if you are an appropriate fit.
- The recruiter has more information on Military Occupational Specialities (MOS) that interest you.
- You can ask any pressing questions or concerns that you are having trouble finding online.
Questions to Ask an Army Recruiter
If you meet with an Army recruiter in-person you can wear casual clothes and talk about the appropriate subject matter.
Keep in mind this is the first impression you are making with the U.S. Army so you want to refrain from wearing clothing with offensive or obscene material or showing too much skin.
First impressions still count for something, especially in the military.
The conversation should feel comfortable and transparent.
If you don’t feel comfortable, feel free to end the conversation and try speaking with another recruiter, at another time.
There are several great questions to ask an Army recruiter.
Some of the most important, include:
- What can I expect at Basic Combat Training (boot camp)?
- What happens after boot camp?
- Do I meet all the requirements (height and weight, physical fitness, etc) for enlistment?
- What are my expectations when it comes to personal appearance (haircut, tattoos, etc)?
- I’m interested in serving in the Army as a ____ (Military Occupational Specialty). What requirements do I need to meet to make it a reality?
- Where will I get posted after boot camp?
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Step 3: The Follow Up
Congratulations, you scheduled your first meeting with an Army recruiter and ideally asked most of the questions that came to mind.
Don’t worry, everyone forgets to ask something during the first meeting.
This is why it’s important to never enlist during the first meeting because joining the Army is such a major life decision.
It takes time to think about the decision, consider other questions to ask, and consult other dependable references like the content we provide on Operation Military Kids.
You want to spend time doing your due diligence and research to make sure you are making a decision that is best for you and your family.
No one is ever 100 percent sure of any major, life-altering decision.
However, since you could potentially lose your life serving in the U.S. Army, you want to make sure there aren’t any major hesitations or concerns.
Keep in mind that Army recruiters are like car salesmen that have an angle and stakes in the game.
Naturally, they are only going to focus on and present the good things about serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Comparing the Advantages & Disadvantages of Military Life
While there are a ton of advantages to joining the Army, the reality is that military service isn’t for everyone.
It requires significant time away from family, long working hours, taking orders from higher-ranking individuals all of the time, and a very disciplined lifestyle.
If you do decide to enlist, you will want to make sure that you get everything that you discussed with a recruiter in writing.
Never just trust that what a recruiter tells you will happen without making sure it is also included in writing.
Therefore, you should make sure that you get important guarantees like the MOS you want to pursue, potential bonuses, GI bill, etc., down in writing before officially enlisting.
We have an excellent Army pros and cons article to help with your decision.
You can also reference individual Military Occupational Specialties, including the advantages and disadvantages of the MOS, by searching for one under the search icon.
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Joining the Army is an exciting opportunity for those that feel it’s the right thing for their future.
Speaking with an Army recruiter can help you answer questions, concerns, worries, or issues you have with the military branch.
Don’t be afraid to ask hard questions and as many questions as you can.
Now is the time to ask all the questions that come to mind to help make your final decision easier.
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What are the requirements to join the Army?
To join the US Army, you must be between the ages of 17 and 34, be a U.S. citizen or resident alien, meet medical requirements, have a high school diploma or the equivalent, and achieve the minimum score on the ASVAB test.
How do I find an Army recruiter?
How long is Army recruiter school? To find your nearest Army recruiter, go to the official Army website at GoArmy.com and enter your zip code.
What is a good ASVAB score?
The highest score possible for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is 99. The minimum AFQT score to join the Army is 31. Certain MOS (career fields) may require higher scores.
Do Army recruiters get extra pay?
Army recruiters are not paid based on enlistees and have recruitment goals and quotas to meet. They receive a small monthly allowance to compensate for extra hours and expenses.
How do I become an Army recruiter?
To be a recruiter, you must have finished one term of service, have 30 hours of college coursework, and commit to three years of active duty service. Army Recruiter training lasts 47 days at Fort Knox, KY.