It seems that there could be nothing simpler than joining the Army. After all, there are recruiters stationed around the country just begging for volunteers, and with an active war going on there is tremendous demand for soldiers, airmen, seamen and Marines. So why would anyone need advice on joining the military?
It's simple. Although the Army and other branches of the military are pressing hard to recruit new troops, standards for enlistment have never been higher. Educational, criminal background, and physical fitness standards keep many willing volunteers out of the military every day.
Today's military is more technological than ever before, and because of that the educational requirements are stricter than ever. If you don't have a high school diploma, you'll need to obtain your GED (general education degree) before the Army will accept you. This can usually be accomplished by contacting your local high school or community college and inquiring about classes in your area. Tuition is usually minimal, and you're going to need that GED to enlist, as well as for many careers beyond the military.
A second hurdle is your criminal background, if any. Where minor infractions used to be overlooked by military recruiters, tougher standards and closer scrutiny now disqualify many with felonies or violent crimes in their background.
So are you completely barred from the military if you've been convicted of such a crime? Not necessarily. Many criminal convictions can be 'expunged', which is a legal term for having a record removed from your criminal file. With the help of a competent criminal attorney experienced in working in this field, you can often have criminal convictions expunged and your background cleared for entrance into the military. Of course, this will depend on the conviction, its terms, and the court system you're dealing with. Often, though, it's easier and quicker than you'd expect.
The third hurdle to enlisting is the physical exam and the physical fitness requirements. A thorough exam by your private physician can uncover any illnesses liable to keep you from enlisting, and treatments can often resolve the condition so you can join.
Regarding fitness: every branch of the military has fitness and height and weight standards. These are available for review by the public. Certainly, a recruiter can advise you on the weight standard you'll need to meet and the physical tests you'll have to pass to enlist. After that, put on the jogging shoes and trim down and shape up until you're confident you meet the entrance requirements.
Serving in the military can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Don't let minor issues keep you from experiencing the fulfillment and excitement that comes with military service. A bit of research and planning can make your enlistment fast and painless.