How to Join the Army

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Join the Army for a Rewarding and Exciting Career

If you are considering the Army as a career path, you’ll have many options as to the type of work you choose to do. The basic requirements to enter any branch of the Army are mostly the same; however, depending on your education and experience, you might be able to start at an officer’s salary for a great head start on your finances. You can even work part-time in the Army Reserve so that you have more time to spend with your children and family.

What Do I Have to Do to Join the Army?

The process of joining the Army is the same for all education levels, including a high school diploma, GED or college credits. This process is also the same for joining the Army Reserve. Your first step is to speak to a local recruiter. Army recruiters have all the answers to your questions, and they are highly qualified in determining if this job is for you.

The recruiter will help you to identify which documents and identification items you need for enlisting and can help you get copies of misplaced documentation. The following documents are required:

  • Proof of citizenship in the United States
  • Social Security card
  • Valid driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Direct deposit form from your bank signed by a bank official
  • Marriage certificate, divorce degree or separation order
  • Birth certificates of children under the age of 18
  • Affidavits of any child support or spousal support orders
  • Name, Social Security number and military address of a spouse in the military
  • Copy of your lease or rental contract for dependents living outside of government quarters
  • Original or copy of ROTC documentation
  • Original college transcript, GED or high school diploma

The list of documents is the same for joining after high school or with a GED, or even if you have college credits. You also need to sign a form giving your consent to have a background check done.

Your academic evaluation is the next step in the process. You must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, a multiple-choice test to find your strengths and help identify a specialty or a job that would be best for you. A physical fitness evaluation is given at the nearest Military Entrance Processing Station to determine if you qualify to serve; you will undergo a physical examination.

A service liaison will talk with you about which types of jobs you would be best suited to and what is available. After choosing a career path, you’ll go through Basic Combat Training. After graduation, you will be ready to get your advanced individual training in your specialty field.

How Much Is the Salary in the US Army?

You might not realize it, but not only does the Army pay you a salary, it also offers other types of pay and benefits. The basic pay for active-duty soldiers depends on your rank and the length of time you have served in the Army. If you've gone to college, you can enlist as an officer and receive a higher amount of monthly pay. The figures below are examples of what to expect in your salary for each listed rank at less than two years, four years and six years of experience, respectively:

  • Private (E1): $19,199; $19,199; $19,199
  • Private (E2): $21,521; $21,521; $21,581
  • Private first class (E3): $22,630; $25,510; $25,510
  • Special/corporal (E4): $25,067; $29,185; $30,427
  • Sergeant (E5): $27,338; $32,029; $34,279
  • Staff sergeant (E6): $29,840; $35,698; $37,166

In addition to your monthly salary, you can earn special pay for special duties and skills, allowances for the cost of living and bonuses, and Army Reserve soldiers get drill pay.

What Kinds of Jobs Are in the Army?

Specialized careers and jobs are available in a large variety of areas. For example, the Army Cyber Command is technologically superior in battling the challenging threats of cyberspace. Other specialties include music, clergy, law, healthcare, linguist and warrant officers as well as the Special Forces and Rangers.

How to Join the Army Corps of Engineers?

If you want to specialize n the Army Corp of Engineers, choose this area after you take the ASVAB tests to see if you have an aptitude for this type of work. Your job training begins with an undergraduate degree and the Basic Officer Leadership course. You might be required to take other courses at other military institutions or graduate schools.

How to Join the Army Rangers?

To become an Army Ranger, you need to have a General Technical score of 105 or higher on the ASVAB and volunteer for assignments while being on active duty. You must pass the Ranger Fitness Test, the Water Survival Assessment and a 12-mile march with a weapon and a 35-pound pack in less than three hours. You must qualify and volunteer for airborne training, hold a Military Occupational Specialty or enroll in one and be able to obtain a secret clearance.

How to Join the Army Band?

If music is your special talent, you might want to join an Army band. After enlisting, you must pass an audition that focuses on sight-reading ability, tone, rhythm, technique and intonation. After you pass the audition, you will be accepted into the Army Music program. You must then complete Basic Combat Training and undergo 10 weeks of musical study. At that point, you will be assigned to a band.

How to Join the Army Infantry?

If you choose the Army Infantry for your specialist area, you will complete your Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training in one school at Fort Benning, Georgia. This program teaches you to use all types of arms and weapons during combat missions.

The Army and the Army Reserve are always looking for upstanding citizens to join their ranks, and there will always be a great outlook for employment possibilities. By joining the Army, you'll qualify for a steady stream of income to help take care of your family and kids.