Considering the Military After Graduation

High school and college graduates everywhere are competing for jobs and wondering what to do now that they’re leaving the academic world. If you don’t have plans laid out for your life, you might consider joining the military after graduation. Why is this a good option? If you’ve graduated college, you can enter the military as an officer, which puts you into leadership roles to give you experience and confidence in your field.

Options for Joining the Military

If you’re interested in serving as an officer, you have different options to get there.

  1. Attend one of the U.S. Service Academies. This is a better option for high school graduates, but it all service academies cover all tuition, books, board, and healthcare for the four years of school. Competition is fierce to get in.
  2. Attend ROTC at a local college. ROTC allows you to have the traditional college experience while getting ready to serve in the military. Generally, you serve during college in exchange for scholarship money to pay for tuition.
  3. Enroll in Officer Candidate School. Once you’ve earned your college degree, you may join the military and attend an OCS program to learn about military and leadership skills and get the physical training to serve. Typically, your college degree will determine what field and specialty you have in the military.
  4. Request a direct commission. Individuals who have earned a professional degree, such as in medicine, law, or religious studies, may have special skills which are required in the military. You earn a paycheck while you gain valuable experience in your industry and figure out your own career path.
  5. Enlisted service members sometimes make the transition from enlisted to officer by earning a degree or being recommended by their commanding officer for OCS. This could be another avenue of becoming an officer in the military.

Talk to a Recruiting Specialist
If you’re considering joining the military after college, speak to a recruitment officer or a counselor at your college to get started. Many of the top leaders in Washington D.C. have served in the military prior to their political career. Other employers are very welcoming to military veterans because of the excellent training provided by the military, not just in the industry, but in leadership and confidence.

Once you’ve joined the military, you have a reason to be proud of your commitment to the U.S. and your career. The military offers competitive salaries, healthcare, and retirement benefits. You can choose to serve out your first term or keep reenlisting until you can retire. It’s your choice.

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