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Military or College, Why Not Both?

For seniors, it is time to make the hardest decision of their life so far, and choose a path for their future. Most avoid the question of what to do with with their lives. Many students make the choice to go into the military; others overlook it, , believing the military only fights wars in other countries. There is so much more to the military than just bombers and heavy artillery. The The military offers jobs that many people wouldn’t normally think of like broadcast journalist or working in a pharmacy. A lot of students have a fear of being deployed and unable to finish school. By joining the military reserve students would not need to worry about working as much, being able to focus on school because the reserves will help pay for college.

Every branch of the military has a reserve program, so students can choose from the Navy, Coast Guard, Army, Air Force and the Marines. Members also get benefits as if they were an active duty cadet. For example, they can receive military discounts and live in base housing. Medical insurance is also offered  through the reserves. They also offer “on the job” training; this allows cadets to earn college credits while working at the same time. On top of that, the reserves will pay for most of college, whether students decide to go to an actual college or take online courses.

To get into the military reserves there are very simple guidelines you must follow. First, the cadet must be a legal citizen of the United States between the ages of 17 and 38 years old, with a high school diploma. In order to join any branch of the military the cadet must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, ASVAB. This is a test that shows how well someone performs in each subject, and which jobs and branches they are eligible for. Leb Upchurch is in charge of ASVAB registration in Lowndes High School.

The reserve offers new experiences that students would not normally have been able to have. Students can also experience new cultures by traveling often. There is the opportunity to learn about different countries histories and see things from a different perspective.

Some branches also offer the Split Training option. This allows students to enlist their junior year and still be able to to earn a high school diploma. Cadets who choose this option their junior year will be able to complete basic training the summer between their junior and senior year, and be back in time to start their senior year. During the school year, cadets will need to train with their reserve unit one weekend every month until they graduate. After Graduation the student will be able to take Advance Individual training, and should be back in time to begin college.

“The recruiters have to do hours of paperwork for just one person, so be sure that that’s what you plan to do beforehand,” said James Hahn, senior.