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Military opportunities

Female soldier

The U.S. Military can offer many opportunities and benefits. These include specialized training, pay, medical coverage, tuition support, and travel. There are hundreds of ways to make a living in the military, and many of these jobs provide the experience you need for a second career after completing military service.

Each branch of the military has a unique mission within the overall mission of U.S. security and peace.

  • Air Force – The nation's air and space power. The USAF flies planes, helicopters, and satellites in wars, on peacekeeping missions, and to provide humanitarian aid.
  • Army – The Army protects the U.S. on the ground, by moving into an area, securing it, and bringing order. The army also guards U.S. installations and properties throughout the world.
  • Navy – The Navy accomplishes its missions primarily by sea, but also by air and land. It secures and protects the oceans around the world to create peace and stability, making the seas safe for travel and trade.
  • Marines – The Marine Corps is known as the military's rapid-reaction force. They are trained to fight by sea and land and usually are the first "boots on the ground."

Don’t forget about the Coast Guard and Army Reserves. You might also consider attending a military academy, which is similar to college. U.S. military academies provide education and training for the armed forces. There are six:

Just like college, the military has an entrance exam — Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Test (ASVAB). This test is commonly given to juniors and seniors in high school. The primary purpose of this test is not for enlistment in the military (although the test scores can be used for military enlistment). The primary purpose of this test is to help school counselors and students identify a student's skills and talents.


Content last reviewed September 22, 2009
Page last updated October 31, 2013