Friday, April 4, 2008

Exploring What’s Behind the Curtain of the U.S. Military

Today, thanks to the internet, there are so many places that young people can get information on possible careers. And this is a very good thing, because most high schools do not prepare their students for life in the real world.

Yes, there’s a lot of emphasis in high school on passing AP exams and doing well on the SATs, as well as doing well on federal standardized tests. Yet where is the exposure to possible career paths needed in order for young people to fully consider their options?

In 1970 in the world of MRS. LIEUTENANT: A SHARON GOLD NOVEL, the U.S. Army for most young men meant fighting in Vietnam, a country halfway around the globe. Some young men enlisted and some young men went R.O.T.C. (Reserve Officers Training Corps) and many, many young men were drafted. Yet for those men who survived Vietnam and completed their army service, there was the G.I. Bill for college benefits as well as other benefits for veterans.

Today’s young men and women – in the world of the all-volunteer Army – could consider serving in the military for a short period of time to learn new skills before committing to a career path.

And it’s not just the Army to consider. There are also the Coast Guard, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marine Corps.

Some of the benefits for young people of serving in the military could be:

  • Stretching yourself beyond what you believe you can do
  • Experiencing situations outside your usual realm
  • Learning skills you normally would not learn
  • Functioning as part of a large organization with a shared mission
  • Earning money for grad school (that you can then attend at a more mature age at which point you might better appreciate the education)
  • Serving your country

For more information, go to and click on “Join the Military” and next click on “10 Steps to Joining.”

Then click on “Step 1: Learn about the military,” which provides a separate overview on the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Navy branches. Other “steps to joining” provide information on benefits, medical conditions, overview of jobs in each branch, etc.

Most of us get all our information on the U.S. military from news clips on television and the internet or from Hollywood movies. For young people unsure of their career path, it can be worth taking the time to find out what’s truly behind the curtain.

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