What the Military Recruitment Process Involves


Daniel Mutko, Reporter

The brave men and women who serve in the military all went through the same process to become a recruit and eventually get to where they are now. Many think about joining the military yet never take action. There are many reasons for not taking actions but it can never hurt to look into the option and see if it is right for you. Army recruiter SSG. Hume gave the advice, “I would say look into every branch and talk to a recruiter from each. Each branch offers something different and unique.”

Even if you decide to not go through with it the opportunity and time looking into it can never hurt. It may even allow you to gain more respect for those who do choose to do it and take a small step into the commitments they took.

Before even considering talking to a recruiter first do some online searches and learn if the military is right for you. Read about the experiences of basic training and rules and regulations of each branch.

There are restrictions on tattoos, and drug use is not allowed. Another thing to consider is facial hair is not allowed and hair must be cut shorter than a certain length. It must always be tidy looking and can’t be dyed any unnatural hair colors.

On top of this consider the offers and benefits of each branch. For example look at the different GI bills offered. Another thing to look at of each branch is job opportunities and enlistment bonuses. The army is known for enlistment bonuses on various job offers . The Army is also the only branch that allows you to choose the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) you want.

Each branch also has different recruiting standards such as BMI and other physical and mental attributes. Look at what a branch looks for in a recruit at MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station) and see if you can even qualify.

The next step after deciding on a branch is to look at jobs and opportunities of that branch. There are jobs in the military people wouldn’t expect such as being a professional athlete or a musician. When finding a couple of jobs that spark your interest look at the required ASVAB scores, and line scores to qualify.

When all of this is done and you are sure the military is right for you then talk to a recruiter in the branch of interest. There are many recruiting stations for every branch scattered around New Jersey so finding one within a reasonable distance is easy. The recruiter will make sure you are committed and want to do this before continuing any of the process. They will give you information about the branch of service and a business card if you decide to further pursue.

The first parts of the recruiting process include taking a practice ASVAB and filling out paperwork about your background. This includes all medical records and other things such as your social security and family backgrounds. Fingerprints will also be taken as well as a background search. Then you will schedule an appointment to go to MEPS and take the actual ASVAB as well as a psychological test. Be sure to ask your recruiter for attire requirements and bring your social security card and license/state ID.

After taking the ASVAB you can choose your job if joining the Army based on availability or job field for any other branch. If the job you want isn’t available wait until it is, and never take a job for an enlistment bonus. There is nothing worth spending years of your life doing something you hate and it will make the experience miserable. You may also receive an option to do airborne or other specialist schools.

Next you will be projected to go back to MEPS to take the physical exam portion. The night before your recruiter will take you to a hotel where you will have to wake up and be ready to leave by 4am. The physical portion includes a vision test; a hearing test; height and weight measurements; a urinalysis; a blood test; muscle and joint maneuvers; a physical examination and an interview; and any other specialized test for certain options such as airborne.

At MEPS you can also expect to sign your contract and talk to a counselor. You will also swear in and take the oath of enlistment. When all this is done all you have to do is wait for your ship date and get prepared for basic training. Being physically fit is important and future soldier training will help you achieve this. You may also want to learn things such as the soldiers creed to make your time a little easier.

After personally going through this process I can tell you to expect a lot of waiting around. Being nice and answering with yes sir/ma’am and no sir/ma’am will greatly enhance your experience. MEPS workers are notorious for being rude but if you show respect and manners they will return the favor.

The recruiting process can be a very daunting and even talking to a recruiter scares many. Joining the military is a big commitment but will be rewarded with priceless experiences. A big step many aren’t willing to take, our troops deserve respect for the commitment they make.