Culture Living

Living: Would You Let Your Son Join The Military?

From the moment our children are born, all we ever want for them is the very best. We want to raise them to become productive members of society. We have dreams for them even before they have dreams of their own. Perhaps dreams of them becoming doctors or lawyers or big corporate executives. Whatever it is, we want them to be happy and successful in all that they do. While we may have our own hopes and dreams for our children, it is ultimately their decision as to what path they choose to take.

High school graduation is over, what’s next? For many, it’s college. Some choose to step right into the daily grind of a 9-to-5, and then there are those few that choose the military. Few, meaning that the United States Armed Forces comprises less than 0.4 percent of our nation’s population.


Parents are overwhelmed with pride when those college acceptance letters start rolling in. Whether it’s to a state or an Ivy League school, parents are quick to boast to friends and family about their child’s new and upcoming

journey, receiving many congratulations in return.

While parents of newly enlisted service members feel the same amount of pride—if not more—reactions from friends and family are oftentimes mixed. Of course you will still get the, “You must be so proud.” But you also get a lot of, “You let your son join the military?” Or the most common reaction, “How do you feel about that?” Almost as if it is less honorable than going straight to college.

Contrary to popular belief, becoming a member of the armed forces is not an easy plan B or backup plan if you child’s initial plan falls through. Or, maybe they don’t have a plan at all and think, well, I can always just join the military. Think again. A whopping 80% of hopeful recruit applicants will be turned away. For those who do meet the minimum qualifications, 15 percent will not make it through boot camp/basic training.

The United States Armed Forces seeks healthy high school graduates with high moral standards and a clean record. They want quality individuals who are competent mentally and physically, and each branch has their own individual list of requirements.

Air Force:

  • Be between the ages of 17-27.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude test with minimum AFQT score of 50.
  • Have no more than two dependents.

Army:

  • Be between the ages of 17-34.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude test with minimum AFQT score of 31.
  • Have no more than two dependents.

Coast Guard:

  • Be between the ages of 17- 39
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test with minimum AFQT score of 45.
  • Willing to serve on or around the water.
  • Have no more than two dependents.

Marines:

  • Be between the ages of 17-29.
  • Meet exacting physical, mental, and moral standards.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test with minimum AFQT score of 32.

Navy:

  • Be between the ages of 17-34.
  • Pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test with minimum AFQT score of 50.

Whether heading off to college or the military, sacrifices are made. College students may be sacrificing time, money, social life, and the comforts of home all in the name of a brighter future and self-betterment. Service members and their families make similar and even greater sacrifices, some selflessly sacrificing their lives in the name of freedom—your freedom—a sacrifice that few Americans are willing to make.

Not every child’s dream is to go to college and become a doctor or work on Wall Street. Some dream of wearing military uniforms and combat boots and proudly serving our country. Whatever their dream may be, nothing makes a parent more proud than watching them follow through and making it a reality.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.