For students who are looking to enter the military after graduating from high school.
Military careers in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines are challenging and honorable for every student who takes to the uniform with courage and conviction. Now that you have started the process of joining the military, it’s crucial to maximize your experience.
My Readiness Coach has created a program that helps all students interested in the military plan, prepare, and enlist in any of the branches of the military. The following steps My Readiness Coach has put together can help you exceed expectations while planning ahead for active duty. My Readiness Coach can also help you get the most of your military career benefits when you transition back to civilian life as we continue supporting our students throughout their military career.
My Readiness Coach will help prepare you in the following disciplines:
Following Orders: Once you have completed basic training, you might be mystified about some of the things that come your way next. Your supervisor might give you instructions that seem to contradict what you have already learned. Whenever this happens, you’ll need to just make an affirmative gesture and comply with the orders. Remember, not everything you will learn in basics will fully resemble what you could possibly encounter once you’re in the thick of things.
Stay Informed: Once you get to E-4, it’s much more challenging to advance any further. In order to get to the next level, the higher-ups will have to believe that you are more qualified than your fellow enlistees. If possible, enroll in a college course on military correspondence prior to enlisting. Your senior year of high school will give you the best opportunity to take a few college-level courses. Also get yourself prepared for the next round of qualification once that time rolls around because after E-4, it’s a matter of proving to the service that you’re a keeper.
Stay on Your Toes: The military is a full-time job, except with a much greater set of responsibilities than in your average day-to-day gig. Therefore, while it’s important to keep a cool-headed mind, you must also be up to the task at a moments notice.
Keep Your Activities in Line: When servicemen and servicewomen do things that reflect badly on their command, unit commanders can judge it harshly. Therefore, it’s crucial to stay sober, avoid debts, refrain from fights in civilian settings, and ensure that all checks are covered at the PX.
Don’t Be a Pushover: There’s a big difference between being a motivated, responsible serviceperson and being a meek yes-man or yes-woman. By performing your duties to completion within each given timeframe, you’ll prove that you’re fully capable of your role.
On the other hand, you’ll only come off as a pushover if you always do every little favor that others ask of you. After all, the people that are higher on the command chain will know the difference between an upstanding service person and someone who’s merely trying to appease. Do your best to make it into the former category.
Take Rumors with a Grain of Salt: Oftentimes, rumors run amok in the military. While there’s often little, if any, truth to such rumors, they can often be damaging to everyone involved. Therefore, you should never jump the gun when a rumor comes your way especially if you have no way of verifying its accuracy. More importantly, never let rumors drag you down or affect your performance on the job.
Learn to Accept a Variety of People: During your time in boot camp, there will really be no such thing as individuality. Your job will be to simply obey orders and work with your team — or face penalties. But once you’re out of boot camp, team cohesion is less cut-and-dry. You’ll have to do your part to keep it maintained.
However, one of the most crucial lessons you’ll learn from boot camp is that it’s possible to work with others from a variety of different backgrounds. While you won’t necessarily warm on a personal level to all of your fellow service personnel, it’s essential to be able to work with them, regardless of their personality type.
Don’t Make Excuses: There’s no reason to make an excuse when speaking to a commander or NCO because any answer you give will be perceived as one. So, unless you’re specifically asked for an excuse, your best answers will always be along the lines of “yes sir” or “yes ma’am”.
Square Things Away at the VA: In order to prevent hassles with the Veterans Administration, have yourself medically evaluated long in advance of your retirement from active duty. Considering how backlogged things can get with the VA — where claims are judged on a “don’t tell me; show me” basis — it’s wise to make copies or scans of your dental and medical records at least a year before you leave the military.
Furthermore, have those records reviewed by the American Legion, AMVETS, or DAV at least half a year prior to stepping down. With all that completed, get your claim submitted and attend a VA workshop at the nearest possible juncture.
Prepare in Advance for Post Military Jobs: Once you’ve left the military, you’ll need to consider your options as you transfer to the civilian workforce. To help with that pursuit, consider attending a Transition Assistance Program (TAP) workshop. Open to ex-military personnel for up to 180 days after leaving the force, TAP can prepare you for the job market. Over the course of three days in a TAP workshop, you’ll get advice on how to find suitable job openings, tips on writing a solid resume and cover letter, and what to say in a job interview.