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 (on opposite ends of the state) and both were set up in a way that all the branches’ offices were right next to each other. It is much like a game show where you are presented with four doors and have to pick which one might have a prize behind it. Except that you have the luxury of checking behind all the doors. And to make the most educated decision, you are going to have to do just that.

To give you a head start though, here is a quick rundown of the four different branches:

Army: The Army is the military’s main ground force, which means they stay on land for the most part. It is the largest branch in the military, probably because it is the coolest. (To be fair though, I could be a little biased.) The Army Reserves and the Army National Guard also fall under this branch. They are what is called reserve units, which means that their involvement in the Army is a bit more limited until there is an emergency, in which they can be called upon to become active-duty for a time.

Air Force: The Air Force is in charge of the skies and space when it comes to our nation’s defense. Similar to the Army, they have two reserve forces, the Air Force Reserves and the Air National Guard. This is the second largest branch of the military, behind the Army.

Navy: The Navy is our sea-loving folk. They serve on boats or sea coasts, primarily. This branch is probably the least likely to be engaged in close combat but is known for their use of missiles. The Navy is vitally important to transport things like airplanes and weapons, and works closely with the Air Force for this reason. Both the Navy and the Marines (see below) have a reserve called the Navy (or Marine) Reserve, respectively.

Marines: If you are a beach babe, you will love being a Marine. Just kidding. Marines have a unique logo that combines the eagle (for skies), Earth (for land), and anchor (for sea). They dabble in a little bit of all three mediums. What they are most known for though is being the first ones to arrive in foreign territory to battle, often by boat. Thus, they do spend a lot of time on beaches, but it is not exactly what you would call “a trip to the beach”. Marines are known for being the toughest of the tough, both mentally and physically.

There is tons more information about each of these branches on the internet. Here are a couple links to get you started, if you are interested in learning more: (where I got most of my information for this article)

Air Force:


(I know- the website URLs are pretty complicated and you might want to write them down so you can remember them.)
If you are wondering, I ended up choosing the Army Reserves because I am a land creature by birth. In fact, I do some of my very best work on land. The techniques of direct combat interest me, and the Marines don’t have a Reserves for women in the area where I live. After all of my research though, I didn’t really know for sure which branch was right for me until I started meeting with recruiters. It was there that I just got a feeling of where I belonged in the military.


  1. Hey girl! I love this blog! Saw it pop up on IG and had to read it!! I myself joined the Air Force reserves and just graduated bmt about two weeks ago :) if you have any questions or want a woman’s perspective who just went through bmt feel free to dm me @mayabrog I know it’s Air Force but I’m happy to chat about MEPS, enlistment, basic etc..!

    1. Thank you! I'm so happy you found my blog. I would love to hear more about your experiences! As soon as I figure out the whole dm thing XD


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