Is the military right for you?

Isabelle Neal, Staff Writer

As the end of the year approaches, and this year’s senior class prepares for graduation, students will soon part ways. Many students will move on to a secondary level of education, but this path is not right for everyone. Often times when students are unsure of what they want to do after high school, they will look to the military for an alternative option.

However, according to a report by The Education Trust, nearly one fourth of the students who try to join the military directly after high school cannot pass the entrance exam. So, if entering the military is harder than this 25 percent of students anticipated, how can a student determine whether or not the military is truly right for them?

This year, South councilor Joel McKay had the opportunity to visit a Marines boot camp during its annual Educator’s Workshop and interact with recruits at all levels of the program in order to learn about available opportunities.

“They want to show you what recruit training is like for their new recruits, what kind of careers exist within the Marines, and then take you through what day one of training looks like,” McKay said.

McKay also had the unique opportunity to see all that the military has to offer by meeting and talking to recruits who had just started their time in the military, and recruits who had made careers out of their service.

“They go out of their way to help show us careers that nobody would think existed. People picture Marines and they think… ground forces fighting probably, but they show us a large number of actual occupations in the Marines, and we got to listen to a number of people talk about their various careers and experiences,” McKay said.

Because there are a plethora of careers ranging from photography to positions in a professional military band, it seems as if the military has a place for everyone. However, not everyone can succeed in a career in the military.

“I’ve often been surprised at the kind of kids who have gone into the military and benefited from it, but obviously they have to have some sort of work ethic, because there is an academic piece to the boot camp, and also a physical piece… and to serve in that kind of capacity, the person needs to be a proud American,” McKay said.

While McKay is adamant about the discipline and respect that serving one’s country gives students, he also confirms the fact that not everyone can succeed once they’re actually entrenched in the process.
So, when answering the question “Is the military right for me?” it’s important to assess your readiness for a career of service and hard work- it is not for everyone, but for those it is the rewards can be immense.