Showing posts from February, 2019

Choosing an MOS - Part 2

A couple weeks and lots of paperwork resubmittals later (it’s always something), I finally got the call today to come in and finish choosing my MOS. My recruiters had made some calls to a couple Reserve units and gotten the full list of available MOS’s there.
Each of the two Reserves had about 20 MOS’s for me to choose from. (This of course will depend on your ASVAB score and the availability of jobs in your area at any given time.) The first Reserve unit we looked at was about an hour from where I live. It would be the ideal place to get a job.
Lots of the MOS’s there were mechanic jobs. A few were logistics. A couple IT jobs. A cleaning job (which is one of the jobs called a “kicker” job, which means it comes with an increased monetary incentive, since it’s not exactly sought after). A medical receptionist. A weapon technician. And the one I was interested in—an HR job.
In general, I do not get excited about desk jobs. But HR is one I could see myself doing for some reason. Bonus: It i…

Learning the Lingo

Is it just me, or do you need a glossary every time you hear someone talking about the military? I wish people spoke in parentheses about the DoD (Department of Defense) the way they write. Or that tiny floating asterisks would come out of their mouth with every acronym, that correlated with an asterisk on the floor, where a definition was written.
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. Maybe that’s one reason why the Army didn’t meet its recruitment goal for the first time in 13 years, this past year. So many people don’t understand the Army. They don’t have any friends, family, or mentors in the Army, so this strange military world seems intimidating and scary to them. (See this news article:
Nobody likes feeling like they don’t know anything, and there’s no faster way to make someone feel that way than throwing a bunch of acronyms at them. As a result, many people try to avoid military …

Choosing an MOS

Yesterday I went back to the recruiting office to look at jobs (or MOS’s--Military Occupational Specialties). There were only two available job openings listed online: a mechanic job and a travel logistics job. Basically, the only two jobs dealing with cars. Maybe this is some kind of sick joke, since I am the farthest thing from a car person there is. (I barely can tell which end of a car is the front, much less what is wrong with it.)

The great thing about military jobs is, you don’t have to already possess a skill set. Most military jobs require absolutely no special degrees or prior knowledge of the field. They will train you on the job. This is a wonderful way to learn a new skill hands-on! You can utilize this opportunity to get ahead in your career field, if you are already pursuing one outside of the military.

Or, the way I see it, you can take this opportunity to broaden your horizons and do something totally new that you’d never get a chance to learn in your civilian life! Wh…

Taking the ASVAB

The long-dreaded day is here! I finally got the ASVAB out of the way this morning. It wasn’t as bad as you would think. The hardest part is just sitting still for 2-3 hours.
The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) is a test you have to take to get into the military. It measures your knowledge and skills in a way that determines what jobs will be available to you. Soooo I guess you could say your entire future depends on it. (No pressure though.)
Honestly, I usually do pretty well on tests (if guessing was an art, I’d be Michelangelo), but on this one I felt like I must have bombed it. Half the questions seemed to be about mechanics! And there I was getting the sample questions wrong. (You know, the questions that are purposely designedto be easyenough for everyone to get so that you have a chance to test out your keyboard.)
Turns out I did great though, mechanics and all. (PHEWF.) A simple knowledge of word roots and high school chemistry goes a long way. Oh, AND MATH!!! D…

Meeting with a recruiter

The first time you meet with a recruiter can be nerve-wracking if you don’t know what to expect. But there is absolutely nothing to worry about. The recruiter is your guide to help you learn more about the military and begin the process of joining, if that’s what you decide to do.
My first meeting with a recruiter was in the Marines office. It seemed to me like the recruiter was doing everything he could to discourage me from joining the Marines. All my questions were deflected or talked around, to the point that I left feeling like I had not learned anything. I still don’t know what that was about. Maybe the guy wasn’t a very good recruiter. Or maybe I was just the only thing between him and his lunch break.

Regardless of the reason, some recruiters are going to be easier to work with than others. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way from dealing with various recruiters:
Recruiting Tip #1: Schedule an appointment before you go in to a recruiting office. They do accept walk…

Is ROTC for me?

One sure thing that happens every time I tell someone I am joining the Army Reserve (after the exclamations that I have no idea what I’m doing and the horror stories meant to scare me out of it) is the suggestion to think about joining the ROTC instead. It is usually followed by a halfway accurate pitch about the program intended to educate me more about my decision.

The U.S. Army Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) is a program offered through universities that will leave you with the skills you need to become an Officer in the Army without working your way through level-entry positions to get there. It is in fact a good path for many people thinking about joining the military. It is important to keep in mind though that, like any military path, it has its unique characteristics and commitments that one should be aware of before signing up. Read on to find out if this path is right for you or your loved one.

Why become an Officer? In the Army there is a pay scale where you get paid b…

Choosing which branch to join

If you’re anything like me, you might not have even realized that the word “Army” is not interchangeable with “military” until you started researching the process of signing up. Turns out, you have to know what branch you want to join before you can get very far at all.
The four main branches of the military are the Army, the Air Force, the Navy, and the Marines. Each one has its perks, but to find out about any one of them, you’re going to have to talk to a recruiter for that branch. You might think that there would be one All-Knowing Great Kahuna called the “Military recruiter” who could tell you about all the military branches and help you compare each of their unique qualities; but you would think wrong. At least in the area where I live, there are only recruiters for each specific branch of the military, and they will answer questions about other branches with, “You would have to ask one of their recruiters.”
The good news is, I have been to a couple different recruiting offices (o…