Woodmen vow to protect

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Honor, discipline, courage, and strength.

These are words often associated with the military. Going into the military is a common choice after high school, whether before, after, or in place of college. Each year, approximately 180, 000 people join the military, and all for their own reasons. 

“I wanted to join the military because I wanted to improve myself and to learn new job skills, and to also keep the military going in my family,” senior Brandon Benjamin said. 

Joining the military directly out of high school has a number of added benefits.

It gives us the opportunity to hold that student accountable while still in school and ensure they are doing well and taking every possible opportunity the school has to offer, such as any standardized testing to further pursue college. Lastly, it helps them prepare for the possibility of the NROTC Scholarship, being selected, and becoming an officer in the Marine Corps and other branches,” Sgt. Garrett Schneider, US Marine Corps Recruiter, said. 

The military can also assist in paying for education for students who join in their senior year of high school. 

“Seniors have the most career opportunities available to them prior to graduation. The Army provides education assistance in the form of the Post 9/11 G.I. Bill which is 36 academic months of tuition 100% paid, a housing allowance and a book stipend annually,” Nathan Hirsch, US Army Recruiter SFC, said. 

Friendships and connections can be made while enlisted. 

“Getting the opportunity to travel and see the world with good friends is always a big one for myself, and to get out of Cincinnati, OH and see the rest of the world, and experience culture,” Sgt. Schneider said. 

The military can be a long term career, but that is not the chosen direction for everyone.

“I don’t plan on making a long career out of the Army, but at least seven years or so. Police after that,” Benjamin said. 

Those planning on going into the military after high school should start the process before their senior year. 

“My advice to current high school students planning to join the military would be to contact a recruiter between their junior and senior year and prepare for taking the ASVAB. Your ASVAB score determines which careers, bonuses and incentives you are eligible for upon enlistment,” SFC Hirsch said. 

Going into the military directly after high school in comparison to after college opens different opportunities. 

“When you join the military directly out of high school you are considered enlisted.  You enlist for 4 or 6 years, typically, and into a career field based on your ASVAB scores. As an enlisted member, you start at or near the bottom of the ranking scale. Upon enlisting you are sent to Basic Military Training; after completing that you are then sent to your career training.  Career training length varies based on career choice. Officers are those who go directly into the military with a college degree. Officers typically join the military based on what they studied in college,” Mrs. Samantha Young, student services advisor, said.