When meeting with a recruiter it is important to get your preconceived notions out of the way and go in with an open and prepared mind.
Above all, relax. You may feel intimidated at first; however, know that military recruiters are there to help you, not scare you away. If your nerves are too heavy, consider bringing a close friend or parent. Having someone close to you may help put you at ease and will also provide them better information and better equip them to assist you in making this large decision.
While speaking with the recruiter, double-check all information you are given, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Recruiters, while well-rehearsed, aren’t mind readers and won’t tell you everything you want to hear upfront. While in the interview, take notes. You aren’t going to remember every answer to every question and the notes will allow you to review all information given.
If you are unsure of the branch you would like to join, visit different branches and see how they stack up. Just remember to research each branch, the jobs available and don’t forget your questions. If you come prepared, you will get more out of the meeting then going in blind.
When you are close to making your final decision, be prepared and speed up the process by bringing all necessary documents. There is a lot of paper work to go along with recruitment and having it on hand can make things drastically easier.
Questions to Ask a Recruiter
Below are the top questions to ask a military recruiter. Don’t forget to take notes!
- How does your service branch differ from the others regarding benefits, pay, and job opportunities?
- Do I qualify for any enlistment bonuses or programs?
- What does basic training really consist of? Where is it? How long does it last?
- What physical condition is required to enlist and be successful in basic training?
- Do I get paid for training?
- What is the delayed entry program?
- Could you give me details about pay, benefits, bonuses, training, and promotion for the jobs I am interested in?
- Will I receive money for school?
- Can a friend and I attend basic training together?
- Where do I go from here?
Recruitment Documents Needed
As mentioned above, the recruitment process will go a lot quicker and smoother when these documents are prepared before making a final decision.
- Driver’s License
- Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- School Transcripts
- School diplomas and/or degrees (not copies)
- Contact information of people you have known for up to 10 years.
- Medical records for significant conditions you have had recently.
- Addresses of all the places you have lived over the 7 to 10 years.
- Location and contact information for all the places you have been employed over the past 5 to 10 years.
- Locations and dates of any time you have traveled outside the U.S. over the past 10 years.
- Awards and achievements and proof thereof
- Passport (if applicable)
- Green card (if applicable)
- Marriage license or divorce papers (if applicable)
- Credit records (if needed)
- Legal records (if needed)
- Recommendations (Officer applicants only)