How to Join
Questions to Ask a Recruiter
A military recruiter can help answer questions about service, which can provide a positive but realistic assessment of opportunities. Recruiters from multiple Service branches may share a location, and you should feel encouraged to speak to more than one.
Parents should also feel comfortable talking to recruiters. It is a recruiter's job to address concerns and provide quality information to those interested in serving and those close to them.
Speaking to an Army Recruiter
A Look Inside Military Recruitment
Developing specific questions prior to the meeting is an excellent and recommended way to prepare. Here are some to get you started:
- How is your Service branch different from the others?
- What is the recruiting process like from beginning to end?
- Why should I join the (Service)?
- What's the Delayed Entry Program?
- What really goes on in Basic Training?
- What's the balance of classroom and physical training?
- What kind of condition do you have to be in at the start?
- What are the physical standards candidates have to meet?
- What are training and drill instructors like today?
- What percent of people who start Basic Training complete it?
- Can two friends go through Basic Training at the same time?
The First Term
- How long does the first term last? Do you have programs of different lengths?
- Can an entrant choose the military job he or she wants? How is the job assignment made?
- Can you describe a couple of jobs?
- Can a trainee choose to serve overseas?
- How much does a new recruit get paid, and what are the benefits?
- How often are service members promoted?
- What kind of training comes after Basic Training?
- How good are your military job-training schools?
- What are all the ways a service member can earn college credits during enlistment?
- What are your tuition-support programs? How does an entrant qualify for them?
Recruiters are ready to answer these questions and any others you have in mind. If they cannot answer your question immediately, they will find the information you need and get back to you.
Parents may have different questions for a recruiter than their son or daughter, and recruiters are always happy to provide information and ease concerns. Here are some common questions parents have for recruiters:
- How long will my child’s first term last? Do you have programs of different lengths?
- How much will my child get paid, and what are the benefits?
- Can my child marry and have a family while serving?
- How often will I see my child? Where will he or she primarily be working?
- Where will my child be based?
- How many days off will my child have each year?
- Will my child still be able to begin or complete his or her college degree?
- What if my child changes his or her mind?
Recruiters can be a great source of information for young adults and their parents. Hear about parents' experiences and learn what to ask.View Transcript
Nancy Kennon: Julia went down several times. I took her down to the recruiters' office, and they went through ... they really went thoroughly through everything with her. I was really shocked how she knew so much about everything they offered and all the jobs there were. It was kind of hard for me to get her to go and get motivated, so I would call the recruiters, (laughter) and I got them set up where they would come and jog with her and work out with her, and they were doing that three to four times a week. And they had her ready within — she couldn't do one push-up — and within two weeks she was doing 21 push-ups and running her mile and a half.
Darlene Anderson: He had an awesome experience with his recruiter. Actually, they really had a really close relationship.
Betty Simmons: His recruiter called us when they picked Matt up to take him for his physical and stuff. He stopped at the house and, you know, said, you know, they'll take care of him and where he's going and what will happen.
Mary McHugh: He was very down to earth, very soft-spoken, you know, very real, and he explained, you know, what Basic Training was going to be like, that it was going to be very difficult, but he also explained that the potential that these young men and women are going to experience as a result of belonging to the Military is immense. He could be anything he wanted. And then he said, "Ms. McHugh, he could be a doctor if he wanted to be a doctor."
David Smith: He was a little drifting and not knowing what really to do with his life. He was working as a lifeguard at the community swimming pool, and Patty suggested to him, "Why don't you give the Military a try?" His recruiter —
Patricia Smith: Yes.
David Smith: — was calling him like every other —
Patricia Smith: Yes.
David Smith: — day —
Patricia Smith: Would not give up.
David Smith: — because he wanted him to get in.
Jayne White: Well, I'm lucky that his recruiter was in the town where I worked, so he took me down to the recruiter, and I got to meet the nice gentleman that took my son under his wing, I want to say, because they would go, they'd go running. He had to lose some weight, so they would have to do runs and exercises before he went off to boot camp, and that was especially good for me to know the recruiter.
Parents Describe Meeting With Recruiters