Written By Laquan Daniel, Recruiting Expert
1. Look yourself in the mirror and decide if you are fully ready to become a better you. If you feel pressured by a recruiter to enlist, chances are you have not fully committed and are not ready to enlist. Anything you do in life must be done with a 100 percent commitment. A 99.9 percent commitment will not get you to where you want to be. A 99.9 percent commitment will hold you back from the success you desire.
2. Make your decision to enlist based upon the facts, not your emotions or someone else’s opinion. Facts are in writing and can be verified. Emotions and opinions can change like the wind and are often fickle. Making a decision based upon the facts, make everything in life so much easier. Making a decision based upon emotions often leads to doubt, second-guessing and the absence of taking action.
3. Understand that earning the title U.S. Army Soldier is a process and requires hard work, dedication and commitment. Make a commitment to yourself that you will go through the process and not come away with anything less than victory. The bells and whistles (benefit package) only come after the hard work.
4. Avoid making your decision to enlist based upon someone else’s experiences. Your experience in the military may be totally different. Why? Because that person you spoke with enlisted at a different time, into a different field or job, made different choices and experienced different things. Get the most up-to-date information, while grandpa or uncle bob who served 5, 10, 20 years ago may be a good source of information. It may not be the most up-to-date information.
5. Speak with a recruiter to figure out if you are eligible to serve. Thinking you can just walk into a military recruiting office and “get signed up” is a big mistake and often leads to disappointment. You must be qualified to serve in the military. Do not wait until you get into trouble or your life has completely derailed to visit a recruiter. Contrary to popular belief the military is not a rehabilitation program. It is an organization of those who want to exercise Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage and become part of something bigger than themselves.
6. Ask the recruiter questions that are important to you. More importantly, ask questions that will truly help you decide if joining is right for you. For example, while you may want to ask, “Is Basic Training hard?” that is an individual feeling. Instead consider asking something like” How can your branch of service help me achieve my goals” or “How will the skills I learn transfer into the civilian sector?” A recruiter who can understand what you are trying to achieve, can better articulate how their branch can aid you.
7. Have an end goal in mind. Walking into a recruiting office with no direction is like driving a car with no destination in the GPS. A recruiter can help you build a better road map if they know your destination. However, if you do not know what your end goal is, do not worry. A good recruiter can help you surface your likes, goals and passions. A recruiter who takes the time to provide this level of counsel is more experienced and more likely to put your best interest before their own.
8. If you are not comfortable making big decisions for yourself. Have everyone who does help you make big decisions present at the meeting with your recruiter. It is important that everyone hear the same information and get their questions answered from the subject matter expert. Just remember, whatever decision you or your team makes. You will be the one who has to live with it. As I mentioned previously, making a decision based upon the facts is much clearer than making one based upon emotions.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command, Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.