For some young adults, enlisting in the US Armed Forces is the best way to get training for a career. Deciding to join the armed services, however, is a huge decision. While there are reasons
for enlisting, there are as many reasons for not doing so. Choosing the wrong civilian career means that you've wasted your time and money and may have to spend more of both to get your career on the right track, but in the end you can always quit your job. If you've enlisted in the military, and then realize you've made the wrong choice, there is little you can do about it for the length of your term of service.
Make sure you are aware of all that is expected of you when you enlist, including the fact that you may have to be involved in combat. While many people are enthusiastic about this aspect of being a member of the armed services, others are less so. Before you sign up read more than the literature a recruiter hands to you. The goal of that literature is to make serving in the armed forces as enticing as possible. An article written by About.com's US Military Guide, Rod Powers, discusses in an honest, straightforward manner, why the military may or may not be for you.
The five branches of the US military, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, all offer training that can influence future career opportunities. This training leads to a military job, which is referred to as a Military Occupational Specialty or MOS. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which all enlistees must take, helps determine what career path is most suitable for each individual. Let's take a look at what training each branch of the military offers.
United States Army
When one enlists in the US Army, he or she may follow one of a multitude of career paths. Explore Army jobs, the qualifications one needs to pursue them, and how they translate into jobs in the civilian workforce on the US Army Web site
. Also on the Army Web site, the Jobs Explorer is a tool that helps you match your interests
with Army jobs.
Those already serving can utilize The US Army's Credentialing Opportunities Online (COOL). This is a Web-based resource that helps soldiers learn what civilian credentials relate to their MOS career fields.
United States Navy
There are many career options available to those who enlist in the US Navy. These careers are diverse, ranging from Arts and Photography to World Languages. You can explore those options on their Web Site
. Use the America's Navy Life-Ops tool to help you determine what Navy careers match up with your strengths and interests.
United States Air Force
Those who enlist in the US Air Force can choose from a career in one of four categories. These categories are mechanical, administrative, general, and electronics. You can learn about the jobs that fall under each of them on the US Air Force Web site
United States Marine Corps
In the US Marine Corps
one can train for a variety of careers, including aircraft maintenance, logistics and combat engineering. Use the Career Tool to find out which occupational fields are best for you.
United States Coast Guard
The US Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserve trains enlistees in a variety of career fields. They include safety and law enforcement, maritime patrols, technology, environmental operations, and administrative. Visit the US Coast Guard Web site
to learn about the various career opportunities.