The ASVAB

The Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery is usually taken at a computer at MEPS. It is a timed multi-aptitude test. You may be surprised to know that you’ve probably already taken it, as it’s given at over 14,000 schools nationwide. There are four very crucial areas that you will be tested in: Arithmetic Reasoning, Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension and Mathematics Knowledge. The scores you make in these areas will determine whether you are qualified to enlist, and just how qualified you are for certain bonuses and military occupational specialties (MOS). The higher your score, the higher your chances at landing the MOS you desire, so take the ASVAB seriously. Study and be prepared to concentrate by eating a good breakfast the morning of your test and getting plenty of rest the night before.  If you need to retake the test, you are required to wait for a one month period. Any retesting after that will require 6 months in between tests. The ASVAB will measure your strengths and weaknesses, and your potential for future success. How well you do on this test will rely heavily on how well you prepare, so go find a quite place you can study without distraction and draw up a basic study schedule. Ideally, you should study 2 months prior to testing. I wish you luck! Here are some valuable resources for those preparing for their ASVAB: ASVAB For Dummies, Premier Plus (with Free Online Practice Tests) McGraw-Hill’s ASVAB, 3rd Edition: Strategies + 4 Practice Tests ASVAB Study Guide 2014: ASVAB Test Prep with Practice Questions Barron’s ASVAB Flash Cards: Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery 1,001 ASVAB Practice Questions For Dummies (+ Free Online Practice)

Recruiters

Recruiters get a bad rep. Many have made poor decisions when it comes to doing whatever it may take to get a potential soldier through the door and through the process as quickly as possible. They say one bad apple ruins the bunch…that applies to recruiters as well. Allow me to reassure you that the vast majority of recruiters are honest and hardworking. They are dedicated to the Army Values. Recruiters put in unbelievable hours, and they go the extra mile for the potential soldiers. For instance, my recruiter takes me to all of my drills because I do not have a car, and even when he’s out of the office he is always just a phone call away; I am always able to reach out to him when I have a question or concern. Each branch of service has recruiting regulations that make it unlawful for a recruiter to be dishonest or deceiving. And there are times that recruiters’ words are twisted-it is up to the potential soldier to ask questions, seek explanation, and know what they are walking into! Of course the recruiter is not going to offer up any information which may drive you away-so ask very specific questions and expect direct answers. If promises are made by your recruiter get it in writing.  The military is not for everyone! Just the same, not every recruiter you come across will be the one you should work closely with on your path to enlisting, so be sure to find a recruiter that you feel comfortable with. And remember to always be up front with your recruiter, because lying about any serious health issues, etc. you may have won’t hurt the recruiter or anyone else, it will simply hurt you. You know your limits-be honest about them from the start, because serving and Basic Combat Training is a serious commitment that will require you to be at your very best! Recruiters do not get bonuses for signing people up. Your enlistment doesn’t change the figures on their paycheck one way or another. Please don’t waste a recruiter’s time if you know you have no intention of joining whatsoever-these people are so busy as it is. Treat your recruiter the way you expect your recruiter to treat you, and be respectful of his/her time. The first step with your recruiter if you seriously want to enlist will be pre-qualifying, and you will have to answer questions ranging from citizenship status and drug abuse history to your education level, etc. You will need to have your original birth certificate and social security card, for sure. You may also need official transcripts. It is your duty to be honest throughout this process. There is no one else to blame if you decide to withhold anything, or if you allow anyone to persuade you to be dishonest. Not being truthful in your paperwork is a crime. Now let’s put it like this…let’s say that you have asthma, and you lie and you’re enlisted…and then one day during BCT you fall out with an asthma attack. You will be placed in a holding status as your previous civilian medical records are located, and once they see you lied about having asthma you will be discharged for fraudulent enlistment and it will follow you for the rest of your life. You will never be able to enlist again. There are waivers that can be given for many things, but once you lie and enlist you’ve crossed the line and they cannot help you. You are not given the right to serve-it is a privilege. There are standards in place for a reason, and it is not up to us to determine how valid these standards are. Wouldn’t you rather take the chance of not qualifying than to enlist and be caught lying and get thrown out?! The consequences simply aren’t worth it! The medical questionnaire is extremely important-lots of time and money is put into processing your medical physical. If anything is determined to be an issue here, you won’t even get to have your physical. There is no waiver to be had in a situation like this, because it would seem apparent that your medical concerns are far too serious to be waived. What can or cannot be waived is not up to your recruiter. Based on law, regulations, and policy, some things cannot be waived. However, many times the National Guard waives what would not be waived for active duty or the reserve, so really what would be your excuse for lying about something you may not have to even worry about to be able to enlist?! Just don’t do it! All in all, your recruiter is not responsible for what you do or do not disclose, and it is your responsibility to get the information you need from him/her, and to find the recruiter that you work well with and feel comfortable with. Not every recruiter is a “bad apple”. And if you need one and you live in Tn, I’ve got plenty of numbers to share!