Today, less than 1% of Americans will enlist in the all-volunteer Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, or Reserves. We are facing a National Security crisis with so few serving.

Last year the United States Army fell short of achieving its Recruiting goal by 10,000. The Marines, Navy, Air Force, and  Coast Guard all made their goals for recruits.

California is a tough place for our active duty military branches to recruit . The same goes for our National Guard and Reserve. The Defense Department does a lot better recruiting from the fly over states than the East or West Coast states.

More of our young men and women should look at our military branches as they are graduating from high school and college.

Today’s military offers the college bound four year scholarships plus stipend to attend colleges with Reserve Officer Training Corp programs, for those who wish to attend the Service Academies free education is also provided. Graduate level programs also exist. Medical and law school may be paid for as well.

Today’s enlisted team members also receive a free education. Career fields range from information technology to intel. For those looking for a real challenge, the special forces and special operations fields are also available. Some branches even take your from high school to flight school.

Each branch offers bonuses for service in hard to recruit or specialized career fields. These bonuses may be in the $50,000.00 range. Of course not every job offers a bonus. That’s up to the needs of each service. Active Duty, Guard, and Reserves all have bonus programs.

Our State Reserve Forces/State Defense Forces, part of the National Guard, also offer various programs  and benefits. Your Auxiliaries of the Air Force and Coast Guard are also great places to serve.

After serving your country you have access to a GI Bill that will pay for your college education. It will also pay for technical education. These benefits are earned not given. Your honorable service of four years qualifies you for these benefits and more.

And, you will have played a role in national security.

The military isn’t a cake walk. You’ll bust your butt just getting through basic and advanced training. You’ll be tested like never before. Failure isn’t an option when lives are on the line.

Getting started on a military career for Officers, Warrant Officers, or Enlisted service requires passing a background screening, testing, medical exam, and selecting a career field, and a national security clearance. Every job has both a academic and medical standard you must meet.

If you want to serve check out all the branches first. Make your choices based on what you want to do and how you want to serve. Active, Guard, federal and state reserve programs are all great places to serve. Share your interest in serving with your parents, spouse, and friends. Seek out a Veteran or someone serving for their advice and perspective.

Serving our country isn’t for everyone. It can be extremely dangerous, but it offers those who are looking to serve something you cannot get anyplace else —the right to say you served side by side with men and women who put service above self in the interest of national security. People who put their lives on the line to protect America’s freedoms and defend freedom around the globe .


Image Sources

  • Armed Forces Recruiting Station: Shutterstock