I've thought about joining the military after high school, but I'm not really sure what you need to do to join. 

Joining the Military 

Joining the military, also called the armed forces,  is a big commitment that comes with a number of benefits including competitive salaries, diverse career options, financial assistance with college, and veterans' benefits that you receive even after you leave the military. 

The Junior Reserve Officer's Training Corp (JROTC) is a program offered at high schools to teach students leadership skills and character development. It is facilitated by the military. While JROTC is not a military recruiting program, it a great way to begin learning military norms such as wearing a uniform, following appearance standards, and participating in physically demanding activities. 

JROTC Programs in
City Schools
Air Force: Patterson High School, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute (Poly)  

Army: Carver Vocational Technical High School, Forest Park High School, Excel Academy, REACH Partnership School, New Era Academy   

Navy: Merganthaler Vocational Technical High School (MERVO) 

Steps to Enlisting
in  the Military 
  1. Take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test (ASVAB) 

  2. Pass the physical and medical exams 

  3. Meet with a counselor and select a career path 

  4. Take the oath of enlistment (swearing in) 

  5. Enter basic training


The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Test (ASVAB) is required to enlist in the US armed services (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps) or the US Coast Guard. 


  • The ASVAB has a total of 10 tests. Scores from 4 of these tests (Word Knowledge, Paragraph Comprehension, Arithmetic Reasoning, and Mathematics Knowledge) are combined to compute your overall score, referred to as the AFQT.

  • Each branch of the military has a different minimum ASVAB score required for enlistment. 

  • The ASVAB can be taken on the computer or on paper. The test is only offered in English. 

  • If you are not happy with your initial ASVAB score, you can re-take the test. You must wait an additional calendar month to take a second test and must wait another six months if you would like to take the test a third time. 

  • ASVAB scores may be used for enlistment for up to two years from the date of testing. 

  • Your school might offer the ASVAB as part of a career exploration program. If not, you will need to speak with a military recruiter to get scheduled for a test. 

The "Armed Services Qualification Test" Score or AFQT is the overall score one receives on the ASVAB. 

While these are the minimum scores required to get into each branch of the military, the average score of a recruit is often much higher than the minimum in a number of branches. 

Service Academies 

Service academies are an option for students interested in earning a college degree before starting their military service. 

Service academies are very competitive, but if you are admitted, you can earn a college degree at NO COST. Graduates from service academies earn a Bachelor of Science degree and are commissioned as officers in their respective service branch. In exchange, students commit to a minimum of five years of service in the armed forces.