Military Career Training Opportunities
The United States Military Services provide challenges and offer career training opportunities for high school graduates. Each District 211 high school is visited regularly by representatives from each branch of service. Military recruiters can provide complete information about the benefits and requirements involved in a military career. High School District 211 provides name and address information to military recruiters as required by the law. Parents who wish to opt out of this release of information should contact the Student Services Department at the high school.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (A.S.V.A.B.) is a test which determines admission and eligibility for military training programs. It is offered through arrangements with a local military recruiter. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are welcome to take the test whether or not they are planning a military career. Interested students should see their counselor for test information.
In addition to full-time military service, opportunities exist in reserve units, National Guard units, university Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) programs, and military academies. A variety of educational benefit programs can help finance a college education for members of the military.
A variety of enlistment opportunities is available, including active and reserve duty options. Most active duty programs range from two to six years, with three- and four-year enlistments the most common. Selection depends on the individual’s general and technical aptitudes, personal preferences, and the needs of the service. Women are now eligible to enter almost all military specialty areas.
General Enlistment Qualifications:
All branches of the military have certain general qualifications. A high school diploma is required for most military specialties. Both a written examination (A.S.V.A.B.) and a physical examination are required. An interview is conducted to qualify the applicant.
Delayed Entry Program
High school students who decide they definitely wish to enlist into a branch of the military may investigate the advantages of enlistment up to one year before reporting for duty.
Occupations in the Military
Each year, the Armed Forces provide both basic and advanced training that can be used in both military and civilian careers.
The United States sponsors five military service academies: U.S. Air Force Academy, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Free room and board, tuition, medical care, and a monthly allowance are provided. Graduates receive regular or reserve commissions and have a five-year active duty obligation. Applications to the service academies should start at the end of the junior year. Admission is very competitive and based on a strong high school academic record, leadership activities, athletic ability, college entrance exams, and recommendations from teachers or school officials. The first step is to request a nomination to an Academy from your U.S. representative or senator. Individuals desiring to seek Academy appointments should confer with their counselor early in the junior year.
In order to apply to a Service Academy, you must be nominated by a U.S. Congressperson. Read the Military Service Academy Nomination poster to learn more.
The Reserve Officer Training Corps trains students in about 500 Air Force, Army and Navy/Marine Corps units at participating colleges and universities. Trainees take two to five hours of military instruction a week in addition to regular college courses. Students in the last two years of an R.O.T.C. program and all those on R.O.T.C. scholarships receive a monthly allowance while attending school and additional pay for summer training. After graduation, they serve as officers for a stipulated period of time. Upon being commissioned, they may receive an appointment to active duty or to a reserve or National Guard unit.
These scholarships partially or fully fund college tuition, textbooks, fees, and other academic expenses. Students also receive a tax-free subsistence allowance each school year. Competition for these scholarships is very high. Ninety percent of the recipients rank in the top quarter of their high school class and have high ACT or SAT Reasoning Test scores. Leadership potential demonstrated in extracurricular activities also is an important factor. Application procedures should start at the end of the student’s junior year or early senior year.
Air National Guard/Army National Guard
This is equivalent to having a part-time job while still in school or working full time. Students may join while still in high school (if 17 years or older). After initial training and specific job training, commitment is for one weekend a month and two weeks of annual training. Membership in the State of Illinois National Guard qualifies for grants of 100 percent in tuition and most fees at any state-supported college or university.
Reserves (Army/Air Force/Coast Guard/Marines/Navy)
Military Reserve units involve individuals committing to an initial basic and specific job training period followed by continued regular meetings and training activities. Educational benefits may be acquired in a similar manner to other active branches of the military while obligations are met in a manner like that of the National Guard.