By: Osiel Orellana
High school students have several options after graduation: college, technical schools, or the workplace. Some prefer a more unique route such as joining the military.
High school students can look into a military career by talking to military recruiters. They are also eligible to join the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC), a military program specifically for high school students.
In the JROTC students learn the skills and the mentality of what it takes to be in the military. Staff Sgt. Jeff Brown did not have access to the JROTC when he entered the military in 1997. He said, “I joined because I “had no money for college. There was only really one choice for me if I wanted to improve myself.”
AHS junior Tim Vermilyea has his mind set on pursuing a career in the military. “It’s a great opportunity to build a career, and make something out of it,” he said.
Vermilyea plans on entering ROTC after high school because he said “it provides a lot of opportunities for extra learning before entering the field and a scholarship for a better education.”
He took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test, which counts towards the Armed Forces Qualifying Test (AFQT), to determine whether or not a person is eligible for the military.
Paying for college is difficult for families. The military can pay up to 100 percent of a soldier’s tuition. According to Military.com, “tuition assistance is not a loan; it should be viewed as money you have earned just like your base pay.”
It sounds too good to be true but it is, joining the military also has many other benefits. Veterans can receive special deals on home loans, healthcare, and countless military discounts.
When it comes down to the military life Brown said, “I enjoyed the camaraderie that was felt with others in the military.” He added, “I enjoyed that we had one goal, and all worked together to succeed in that goal.”
The military instills its values of loyalty, respect, honor, and integrity through its training. These values lead to being a better officer and a better military.
Brown said, “If I could go back, I would’ve still joined the military even if I had the money for college because it taught me so much. It was overall a great experience; it taught me never to quit.”
However, Brown disliked that a soldier’s job could change at a moment’s notice. The ever changing environment of the military calls for soldiers to take on new or different roles that they never thought they would be assigned.
The military is not for everyone, and that is something that people who are considering joining the forces have to understand.
Brown added “I would recommend the military to those without a choice, and with the drive to want to be part of something better then themselves. The ones that need discipline, and want it, said Brown on whether or not he would recommend the military to today’s youth.”
For more information about the military and career opportunities, visit http://www.military.com/ or contact the local recruiting office at (508) 695-3082.