What’s Next, Seniors? P3: Enlisting in the Armed Forces

Gillian Ward

For many high school students, just completing their final assignments to graduate requires major mental effort. So the question of what comes after can be extremely intimidating. There are many paths to consider for after high school. Post- high school options include trade school, the armed forces, the workforce, a gap year, a community college, or university; It is important for a blossoming adult to weigh the advantages and disadvantages that come with all post- high school options.

Enlisting in The Armed Forces
Another option high school graduates consider is joining the Armed Forces, which can have many benefits. Many choose to enlist because the Armed forces allows them to study and get an education. Not only can those who enlist receive college educating without crippling debt, they can also learn trades that give them civilian job opportunities such as photography, art, electrical work and software engineering. Many also find that transitioning into adulthood can be made easier by the structure, independence, and support the military can provide; it helps young people find themselves. Many also have a strong to serve their country out of patriotism, and the military can provide that opportunity. The military can also help you travel across the country and overseas. They can live on one of the 800 bases in 70 countries, and have 30 days paid vacation in which they can travel to other bases for pleasure. Military personnel also can fly on many commercial airlines at discounted prices, or even fly free on military aircrafts. However, there are dangers to the armed forces as well. When one enlists, they volunteer their services to fight for the country. However, the dangers faced by the average service man or woman may be exaggerated in the eyes of the public. Most active service members never see combat, but serve their country through “HQ/administration, logistics, and life support” positions. An article titled “The Benefits and Dangers of Enlisting in The Armed Forces” by Money Crashers states that “…according to figures compiled by the Congressional Research Organization (CRO), less than 1% of those on active duty between 1980 and 2010 have died while in service, and most of the deaths were accidental.” Although these numbers are small, there is still a risk in enlisting in the armed services.
Everyone is Different
Everyone is different, and one post-high school path isn’t right for everyone. There are so many choices for young people to make at this culminating time of their lives, so wether you decide to continue your education, learn a trade, join the military, take a gap year, or join the workforce, it is very important to know and weigh the benefits and downfalls of each one.