Plan Your Career Strategy

Preparing for the Army

Your Career Strategy


What To Do
Before Joining The Army

When you have decided
to join the US Army,
there are several things
you can do to make the
transition easier.

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The first step for preparing for the Army is to
begin a physical training
program. Life will be
much less painful if
you are already in some
sort of condition. An
exercise program that
works the whole body
is best, and it is probably
best to emphasize endurance
over raw strength. The
simplest method is to
practice push-ups, sit-ups,
run for two to five
miles and perhaps practice
some marches while carrying
about a third of your
body weight. Care must
be taken to practice
safety. If possible,
consult with a physician
or an expert who can
help you achieve best
results without injuring
yourself, and life will
be much simpler if you
can practice the standards
the Army will demand.
The more time this has
to work before you join,
the more effective this
will be. Standards vary
due to age and sex,
but plan on reaching
fifty push-ups and sit-ups
and a two-mile run in
less than fourteen minutes.
You’ll do better
than that by the time
you complete basic.

Another important step
is to prepare your affairs.
When you join, you will
be treated as a recruit
and will spend a period
of time in basic training.
You will not normally
have contact with the
outside world on a regular
basis during this period
and ensuring that your
bills are handled, your
friends and family know
you will only be able
to reach them when permitted
will prevent much heartache.
Some will also find
it valuable to learn
to live without their
normal vices. Learning
how to live without
a music system, computer,
telephone, books or
whatever else will happen
in basic, if not before.

You will be expected
to learn a great deal.
While some of this will
be job specific, and
some will be difficult
to research if you can’t
talk to a veteran, there
is much else which you
will be expected to
know which you can find
beforehand, and knowing
such information will
be of potential value
as it will allow you
to study on other information
when time permits, or
even maximize rest periods.

Naturally, talking
to a veteran is one
of the most effective
methods for preparing for the Army.
Someone you trust who
can tell you stories
and answer questions
is a valuable resource
to exploit. More recent
experience is more applicable,
as many details change
over the years, but
even a veteran of World
War II can talk of the
standards of military
life like making a bunk,
cleaning a latrine,
talking to sergeants
and many other valuable
skills and techniques.

Some of what you will
have to do will be terribly
exciting. Sitting in
the doors of a helicopter,
flying fast and low,
looking up at trees
is as exciting as anything
you can do. Others are
horribly boring and
perhaps even demeaning.
A wise man told me that
if there is any skill
which is characteristic
of a soldier, it is
picking up trash.

Explore our site for
more information about preparing for the Army