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Home > Academics and Advising > Career Guidance & Discernment > Military Service - Enlisted Pathways
Military Service - Enlisted Pathways
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Joining the military after graduation either part-time or full-time to serve our country is another type of vocation that high school graduates may consider. Students may enlist full-time directly into the branch of service of their choice, and each branch of the military also has a corresponding reserve for those students interested in serving part-time. Candidates will work with a recruiter who will guide them through the enlistment process.

In this article we will explore the enlisted pathway to military service. If your student is interested in officer and college opportunities, please see our Military Service - Officer Pathways article.

Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

For students who think they may be interested in following this vocational career path, they can sign up to take the free Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. The next step would be to investigate all of the options to serve. There is no obligation incurred by taking the ASVAB and it will provide insight into the military job fields where a student’s abilities would fit best.


Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)

After you talk to a recruiter, you'll set a date to visit a Military Entrance Processing Station. There are MEPS stations throughout the country where applicants go to have their physical qualifications, aptitude, and moral standards evaluated by each branch of the military. MEPS is a joint service organization.


Physical Exam

You will be required to pass a physical exam. Your recruiter will be able to share the details of the requirements of this exam.


Job Specialty

Your recruiter will help you to determine the right job specialty. A number of factors will be involved, including the recruits preference. However, recruits should be aware that the needs of the service will always take precedence over their preferences. Other factors will include availability of jobs, your ASVAB score, and the physical requirements of the job.


If you are interested in a particular job specialty, you should be sure to go into the correct branch. Some career fields can be found across all branches, but others will be specific to one branch and not others.


Oath of Enlistment

Once your career selection has been decided, you will be ready to take the Oath of Enlistment. You will vow to defend the United States Constitution and obey the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).

I, (name), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the president of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Service Entry

After MEPS, you'll either report to basic training or commit to basic training and under a delayed entry program.

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