Even with the U.S. Army being established on June 14, 1775, many Americans are unaware that the U.S. Army is the oldest, most traditional branch of the military. The Army more to offer the young men and women of society now than it did Two Hundred and Forty-Four years ago. As a recruiter it is my job to show our future soldiers the benefits of joining the Army; from free medical care to cash bonuses. Many college students have to take out student loans after student loans, but most also have to work part-time or even full-time jobs to go to college. These issues can compound by taking an associate degree four years to complete versus the standard two years. Upon joining the Army, young Americans are given the post 9/11 GI Bill to be used at the completion of their contact. This GI Bill allows individuals to attend college without having to worry about tuition costs, but it also gives them a book stipend and a monthly housing allowance. Not only is there the post 9/11 GI Bill option, but while on active duty or reserve, you can take advantage of the tuition assistance program.
The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers one hundred percent of tuition costs, but there are effects to it. The GI Bill only covers everything one hundred percent for thirty-six months. When using the tuition assistance program, you are working full-time, and it only provides $4000 a year towards further education. You also have your typical day to day work as well as going to school, mainly night school. There are days that you may need to miss class because of pulling staff duty which is a twenty-four-hour shift of work, which may affect your grades.
The Army not only provides free healthcare to soldiers but also their families. Healthcare insurance is very expensive, and you still have to pay out of pocket expenses from co-pays to prescription drug cost. With the Army, everything is covered, but there are some small drawbacks. Military installations have large amounts of people with few doctors. This causes most commands to have remedial training for personnel that miss appointments. Not only does this cost taxpayers money, but it also causes soldiers to miss necessary appointments. So even though the healthcare is free, you often have to wait prolonged periods of time for an appointment. Urgent care clinic referrals are needed to cover the number of daily appointments due to the number of doctors on military installations. These referrals are given to soldiers and their families thru the military insurance company called Tricare.
When joining the military, you take the armed service vocational aptitude battery test also known as the ASVAB to see what skills you are most reliable at. This test is meant to show the military your trainability in deferent career fields. The higher your score is on the ASVAB, the more job become available to you. Jobs in the Army range from infantryman that everyone sees in most movies to the unknown jobs like combat documentation/production specialist, better known as combat camera as they take pictures of things throughout the Army. For now, there are about one hundred and ninety jobs in the Army, but only about one hundred and fifty are considered entry-level positions. When joining the Army, if you choose one of the high demand jobs, you will most likely receive a signing bonus of some kind. After receiving the enlistment bonus money, you are required to complete the initial contract for that bonus. If for any reason you are unable to complete the required enlistment time you will be required to repay that bonus. Sometimes soldiers that are discharged from the army for misconduct have to compensate thousands of dollars back to the government.
With all the benefits of joining the Army you must also consider the drawbacks. Not everyone is one is fit for the Army. Actually, only about 3/10 youth can qualify to enter, because of many different issues. Your chose to join the Army doesn’t just affect you, but also your family and loved ones. From my personal experience, the Army is terrific and offers a lot to not only me but my family as well. The Army has allowed me to provide for my family and also sets me up for my future. Retirement is only four years away, and I can say without any doubt that my decision to Join the U.S. Army has been the best decision I have ever made.
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