Next Step: Joining the military


By Aubree Gearhart 

Ready to recruit// At lunch, Sargent Rodriguez from the US Marines is ready and willing to talk to students about the Marines and what they have to offer. Students are able to ask recruiters any questions that they might have about joining the military and the whole recruitment process. (photo courtesy of Oliver Van Aken)

After high school, many students don’t believe that college is the right fit for them and don’t see themselves attending. Throughout high school, many students may feel that they are being pressured to go to college, but that is not always the best plan for everyone. For some, joining the military may be the best option. If you think that enlisting into the military might be the best fit for you, keep reading. 

There are six main branches in the military. These six branches of service consist of: The U.S. Air Force, The U.S. Army, The U.S. Navy, The U.S. Coast Guard, The U.S. Marine Corps, and The U.S. Space Force. Not only are there several different branches that one could enlist into, but there are also various different roles and jobs that are done every day to upkeep these branches of service.

U.S. Air Force (USAF) 

The U.S. Air Force is part of the DOD (Department of Defense). They are responsible for aerial military operations such as defending U.S. air bases, attacking the enemy from the air when in battle, and building landing strips. USAF servicemen and women are referred to as “Airmen.” The reserve components (reserve components of the United States Armed Forces are military organizations whose members generally perform a minimum of 39 days of military duty per year and who enlarge the active duty of the military when needed) of the Air Force are Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve. 

“I want to go into the Air Force to be a fighter pilot,” said senior Dalton Stradtman. “I want to serve my country, and I would also love to have the chance to become an Air Force Thunderbird.”

U.S. Army (USA) 

The U.S. Army is part of the DOD and is one of the largest branches in the military. They mainly handle ground combat missions, especially in ongoing operations. Army special forces are referred to as “Green Berets” because of their headgear. The servicemen and women that are enlisted into the army are the “soldiers”. The reserve components of the Army are Army Reserve and Army National Guard. 

“Seeing the vast opportunities that West Point has to offer really made me believe that West Point was the best school for me,” said senior Stanly Zhang. “The campus is amazing as well as their education, and lastly, their leadership development is a once in a lifetime experience.” 

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

The U.S. Coast Guard is part of DHS (Department of Homeland Security). They provide national security as well as search and rescue for America’s waterways, seas, and coast. The U.S. Coast Guard is responsible for preventing drug smuggling, and others that might be breaking maritime law (a body of law that governs nautical issues and private maritime disputes) while also enforcing marine environmental protection laws. Servicemen and women of the U.S. Coast Guards are referred to as “Coasties”. The reserve component of the Coast Guard is Coast Guard Reserve. 

U.S. Marine Corps (USMC)

The Marine Corps is part of the DOD. They provide land combat, sea-based, and air-ground operations and mainly give support to the other branches during missions. The Marine Corps also guards U.S. Embassies around the world along with the classified documents that are in said buildings. The U.S. Marine Corps Special Operations Command (MARSOC) servicemen and women of the Marine Corps are referred to as “Raiders”, although all service members are known as “Marines”. The reserve component of the Marine Corps is the Marine Corps Reserve. 

U.S. Navy (USN)

The Navy is part of the DOD. They protect waterways (sea and ocean) outside of the Coast Guard’s jurisdiction. The Navy’s ships provide runways for aircraft to land on and take off when at sea. The Navy SEALs (sea, air, and land) are the special operations unit for this branch. The servicemen and women of the U.S. Navy are referred to as “sailors”. The reserve component for the U.S. Navy is the Navy Reserve. 

“The Navy is the maritime component of our forces; we are always sailing the seven seas ready for anything that may come our way,” Woodrow B. Orrin, U.S. Naval Academy recruiter, said. “I wanted to join the Navy because the Navy is the best of America. I want to serve my country, and the Navy has the most unique opportunities. We cover almost every aspect from air to sea.” 

U.S. Space Force (USSF) 

The Space Force is a new branch that originated in December 2019 by the former Air Force Space Command. The new Space Force falls in with the Air Force. They organize, train, and equip space forces and protect the U.S. and allied interests in space and provide space capabilities to the joint force. The U.S. Space Force does not yet have a reserve component since they have been newly introduced into the United States Military. 

These six branches do so much for our country and all their hard work and dedication should never go unseen or unappreciated. Every day we thank our troops for all the sacrifices that they make for our freedom, and we are exceptionally grateful for all that they have done and are continuing to do for not only us, but the country as a whole. Joining a branch of the military is an honorable cause that high school students should look into.

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Aubree Gearhart is a Junior, attending her second year on The Roar staff. Her favorite sections to write are arts and entertainment and news. She one day hopes to pursue a career in either Journalism/Broadcasting or Criminology. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, reading and writing, and swimming. Her favorite shows are Friends and Criminal Minds and her favorite movie is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.