Should I Enlist?

Flexi Yanakakis, Journalist


Many people have their careers planned out even before they graduate from high school; some want to be athletes and some want to further their education and go for their masters or bachelors degree. However, there is always a different option which is to enlist in the Armed Forces. 

After you graduate you can either choose to enlist with the National Guard, Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marines, or Air Force. Many highschool graduates enlist because they do not think college is not for them.  Luckily there are other options. Joining the military is a smart move because after you are out of the Armed Forces you have certain benefits and one of them is a majority of college being paid for.  They also offer numerous other benefits, for example the Army will offer you 30 vacation days, comprehensive healthcare, housing, cash allowances to cover living, money for education, family services, and career support after you do your time and serve. 

Many other kids, like me, have a higher purpose.  We want to do something bigger, like protecting the nation we love.  If you decide to stay longer in your branch and get promotions you could make a stable career for yourself.  

Another reason people join the Armed Services is because they can apply their experience from being in it to a career they will have later in life. For example, if you join the AirForce and you work on big engines like jets and other vehicles, you can use that experience to become a  licensed mechanic. The military teaches responsibility and discipline.  These are skills that will benefit you in a career and in life.  

The Armed Forces have different requirements to be a part of the each branch. For the Army, you have to prove that you are a U.S. citizen or permitted resident with a valid green card. You have to be between 17-35 years old, achieve a minimum score on the ASVAB test, meet medical, moral, and physical requirements, and lastly be a high school graduate or equivalent. For the Air Force you have to be a U.S. citizen, be 18-39 years old, a certain height and weight, pass the minimum score on the ASVAB test, and there is a strict anti-drug use policy. For the Navy you have to be a U.S. citizen, be 17-39 years old, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, have a quality score on the ASVAB test, and pass medical and physical exams. For the National Guard you have to be a U.S. citizen, be between 17-35, be at least a junior in high school/have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and achieve a minimum score on the ASVAB test. And lastly to join the Coast Guard you must be a U.S. citizen, be 17-40 years old, have a high school diploma a or GED equivalent, get at least a minimum score on the ASVAB test, and finally have no more than three dependents. 

In conclusion joining the Armed Services is not only a smart move for most teenagers after they graduate from high school but it is also a life goal for many people that want to serve their country.   As an added perk, when they get out, they are able to start a new life with the tools needed  to succeed.