You can be all you can be … one of the few and the proud … It’s not just a job, it’s an adventure. These slogans are recruiting catch phrases of different branches of the United States Armed Forces. In this chapter you will learn how you can make a living, get a free education, and serve your country. This much is certain: If you choose a military career in today’s geopolitical climate, you will be kept busy.
Upon reaching the age of eighteen, young men are required by federal law to register with Selective Service. The Selective Service System is not part of the Department of Defense. It is a separate, independent government agency whose purpose is to keep track of men between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five in the event they are needed to serve the country in an armed conflict or other crisis. All male residents of the United States, including citizens, immigrants with work visas or green cards, and undocumented aliens are required to register with Selective Service. Forms are available at any post office, and it is also possible to register online by visiting the Selective Service Web site, atwww.sss.gov.
Once you have spoken with a recruiter and decided to enlist in the army, you have to report to the nearest Military Entrance Processing Station, or MEPS for short.
This procedure applies to everyone entering any branch of the military. All recruits have to pass through an MEPS facility before heading to boot camp. MEPS is a U.S. Department of Defense organization staffed with both military and civilian professionals. They