How to Get a Job at the United States Army
With a little more than 1 million members across the globe, the United States Army represents one of the strongest symbols of the American Armed Forces. As millions of men and women apply to the US Army every year, the military branch performs a unique type of interview to find individuals with traits the United States government desires in soldiers across all branches of the military. Candidates may find hundreds of available jobs, each with their own physical, medical, and mental requirements. Individuals intrigued by and dedicated to the US Army values and way of life should begin the recruitment process immediately.
The Recruitment Process
Army recruits must meet with recruiters at one of hundreds of recruitment centers across the country. Here, recruiters explain the stages of becoming a soldier, such as physical requirements, timelines, and some detailed descriptions of possible career paths. Recruiters then review previous employment, education, criminal history, medical conditions, and character traits.
Fitness Assessments and Background Checks
Recruits must then participate in physical fitness assessments, which does not necessarily eliminate potential recruits, but evaluates them on their current health and fitness levels. Following the initial meeting, potential Army members must then visit a MEPS center. Short for Military Entrance Processing Station, MEPS performs multiple medical and physical diagnosis procedures. Participants must then be willing to submit to an extensive background check for certain positions as well as perform the "Soldiers Creed," a statement of dedication to the United States of America.
Compared to Other Jobs
The recruitment process for the United States Army may be an exhaustive sequence of events compared to other jobs. Recruits must remain professional and responsible throughout the process. Additional qualities that the US Army demands from applicants include honesty, integrity, and teamwork abilities. Potential Army members must spend some time reflecting and making the decision that they are a good fit with the military's ideals. Be prepared to spend considerable time away from family and friends but gain a new kind of "family" after joining the United States Army.
Army Soldier Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Army Soldier: I was a 19 Kilo Armored Crewman. Primary duties when I got into the job was preventive maintenance on the vehicle, cleanliness, loading the main gun, and being the gunner for the crew served 240 Bravo.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Army Soldier: Professional, but there’s still fun here or there between you and you battles. It is serious, though. Everything you’re doing is preparing for combat, so you need to take it seriously.
Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Army Soldier: I would say my favorite part was the camaraderie, the band of brothers you had. You could always look to them to be at your side. And probably the weapons – the weapons were a lot of fun.
Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
Army Soldier: Routine would be: wake up around 5:30, be at your place of work. Normally, you’re at company headquarters at 6:00-6:30 for PT. PT’s done at 7:30. Eat, shower, shave, and go back. We’ll normally go to our company or go to the motor pool and do preventative maintenance on the vehicles, work with the mechanics to get it fixed. If it was a training day instead, they clear the company to go out in the field, fire weapons, do tank engagements. Then, later in the evening, we come back, dinner, then free time, sleep, and start over.
Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Army Soldier: You really can just go in. When I went in with the recruiters, I had my father there. He was prior service, so he kind of helped me. But from all the applicants I saw alongside me, you can just go in, and the recruiters will help find a job for you. Or if you have an idea, it’s kind of better to know where you want to go. They can help you to get that job.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Army Soldier: A lot of it is medical information, like if you have any conditions or things that they need to worry about. Criminal information – have you committed any felonies? Besides that, it’s a lot of, “Do you have any past experiences with certain job types?”, because they may have a certain job type to fill, and they might have incentives for you to go and fill that job type.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Army Soldier: I would say that they should expect, if they’re really serious about it, to expect some hardship. Basic training is there to break you down and build you back up. But, I should also tell them to expect quite a bit of fun and camaraderie once they’ve gotten through that. The Army can be really enjoyable if you let it.