Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: US Army Recruiting ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   4 Comments )
Subject: US Army Recruiting
Category: Reference, Education and News
Asked by: darksprite-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 07 Jul 2003 09:56 PDT
Expires: 06 Aug 2003 09:56 PDT
Question ID: 226084
what is the best way to guarantee specific placement in the US Army,
as in having a particular job. what questions should be asked, what
should or shouldnt i believe comming from a recruiter; and last what
is their confidentiality agreement like?? my neighbor is an army
recruiter, however i dont want the neighborhood knowing my business =)
Subject: Re: US Army Recruiting
Answered By: byrd-ga on 07 Jul 2003 16:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi Darksprite,

You’re certainly wise to explore these questions before you talk to an
Army recruiter.  Make no mistake, a military recruiter is like a
salesperson, with quotas to meet, incentives for meeting them, and
disincentives for failure to do so.  The pressure on the recruiter to
fill his/her quota can be enormous and the sales tactics used can be
equally high pressure.  Now, that’s not to say there are no advantages
to enlisting in the Army and no truth to the things the recruiter will
tell you.  But as you obviously know already, if you arm yourself
ahead of time with some good solid knowledge, you can make a far more
informed decision on your own.

Let’s take your questions in order.  

-What is the best way to ensure you are guaranteed the job you want?

  First of all, you’re in luck because, unlike the other services, the
Army WILL guarantee your placement in a particular Military
Occupational Specialty (MOS).  However, there are “buts.”

The first hurdle you’ll have to cross is the Armed Services Vocational
Aptitude Battery, a slew of tests the military uses to determine your
aptitude for and trainability in various military jobs.  Your
recruiter will make the appointment for you to take these tests, and
your score will determine in part which MOS’s are open to you.  Here
is a site that explains the ASVAB as well as what the scores mean: Here are a
couple more:,13387,,00.html
If you’d like to purchase a comprehensive study guide, there’s one

Once you have that score, then you’ll also want to know something
about the various MOS’s in order to select one that suits your
interests.  Learn what they are, what’s involved in their respective
day-to-day duties, and what kind of training you will have to go
through for how long.   Also keep in mind that usually the more
complex the MOS, the longer the enlistment period, and the fewer the
benefits.  For example, an infantry foot soldier gets the maximum
signing bonus, the most college money, and the shortest active duty
enlistment period.  Someone in aviation maintenance, however, will get
no signing bonus, the minimum amount of college money, and a six-year
active duty enlistment.  Be sure to ask.

And finally, there must be an opening in that particular MOS at the
time you enlist in order for you to receive the guarantee of
placement.  Bear in mind that the Army will try to steer you into
whichever job(s) they are most in need of personnel for, though you
don’t have to accept any offer(s) they make you if you’re not
interested in them.   Once you’ve decided which job you want, have
made sure you qualify, and that it’s currently available, you’ll then
(if you haven’t already) talk to the Occupational Counselor at the
Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) where you’ll go for your
physical and other tests, and you get them to commit the guarantee in
writing.   In most cases it will be honored.  Bear in mind, however,
that should you enlist in time of war, or if the country goes to war
shortly after your enlistment or while you’re in Basic Training, you
could get up getting assigned a different MOS if there is a great need
with a corresponding personnel shortage.   Again, let me emphasize
that the Army’s emphasis is on its own needs, not yours.

There are 65 MEPS locations around the country.  Here’s a list so you
can locate the one nearest you:

--What should you believe or not believe of what the recruiter tells
--What questions should you ask? 

You should take everything the recruiter says with a large grain of
salt, and question everything.  Ask to see written information.  Ask
for brochures.  Ask for websites.   Ask for names and contact
information of soldiers the recruiter has previously worked with so
you can talk to them.  Do not rush this information-gathering process.
 You’ll be pressured to make up your mind, but resist the pressure and
don’t sign anything until you’re ready and feel absolutely comfortable
with your decision.

The recruiter will likely not tell you outright lies, but again, you'd
be wise to keep in mind that his or her job is basically that of a
salesperson. S/he will probably pay a lot of attention to you, and
even do a lot of nice things for you, such as taking a personal
interest in you, giving you rides, encouraging you, calling you often
to see how you are or if you have questions, inviting you to
functions, even attending your athletic games or other events you
might be participating in.  This isn’t necessarily insincere; most
recruiters are selected because they enjoy the military and they enjoy
trying to assist others who are interested in enlisting.  But – and
it’s a big but – don’t be too flattered by all the attention.  The
recruiter is still just doing his or her job.

Now then, here are some links for you to check out.  

First of all, check out , which is the Army’s
recruiting site.  Read all you can because you will find answers to
many of your questions there, as well as come up with further
questions you can ask your recruiter.

This link is to a general article in the Princeton Review on Army
enlistment for high school graduates:

Here’s a fairly comprehensive site put up by the Department of Defense
Office of Personnel and Readiness describing the enlistment process. 
It’s comprehensive, but bear in mind that it’s written from the
perspective of the military:

So then, just for balance, here’s a website put up by the opposite
point of view, the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors:  This site is
admittedly anti-military, but they do try to be fair as they point out
some of the pitfalls and myths you may encounter during the enlistment
process.  They will also give you a good list of questions to ask and
points to be aware of as you proceed through the process.

Probably none of these websites is entirely objective, but taken
together they will give you a broad overview of both positives and
negatives about the recruiting process.

One thing the CCCO site talks about that you should take very
seriously is about the purpose of the military.  Don’t have any
illusions that they are trying to recruit you so they can help you. 
They want you so you can help them.  Always keep in mind that the
primary purpose of the Army is to prepare for and be ready for war,
either defensively should our country be attacked or, as in the case
of the recent action in Iraq, offensively if our President and
Congress so order. That means that if you enlist, you must face and
accept the possibility that you could be sent to war.  In addition,
with the increasing role of the military in worldwide peacekeeping
missions, you could end up somewhere in the world as part of a
peacekeeping force.

Furthermore, you will likely be subject to these possibilities for
eight years from the time you begin basic training, whatever the term
of your active duty commitment might be.  For example, suppose you
enlist for a three-year term of active duty, with a six-year reserve
commitment.  At any time during the five years following your
discharge from active duty, you could be called up to serve and you’d
have to go.  In addition, should the country go to war, even a month
before your enlistment is up, you could be subject to what is called
“Stop Loss.”  That is, the Army may require you to remain on active
duty as long as it needs personnel in your MOS.

Yes, there are advantages to enlistment for you, and many people have
very positive feelings about their time in the military and are
pleased with the benefits they've earned.  In fact, some people like
the lifestyle so well they reenlist and continue on to have a military
career.  Just don’t go into it thinking that you are there for your
benefit alone.  You’ll be there to serve the Army, not the Army to
serve you.

That said, here’s a great site that lists the Army’s current enlisted
job descriptions and qualifications: 
And another here:
And here:

You can find out about pay rates here:

As to confidentiality, well, from the time you begin the process, your
personal information will be available to the Army itself, of course,
but also to other governmental agencies with a “need to know.”   Once
you’ve taken the ASVAB, for example, be prepared to be contacted by
recruiters from the other branches of the military.  They all monitor
those tests and their recruiters have quotas too.

But within identified parameters,  the Army does guarantee
confidentiality of certain information, such as your medical record,
as well as other personal information that might become part of your
file.  This can include complaints of sexual harrassment, seeking
assistance for personal problems such as substance abuse or addiction,
mental health problems , and the like.  Here are some links which
explore the concept more fully, and also explain when and how
confidentiality may be broken:
(Chapter III 6-7)

In addition, be sure to mention your concerns about confidentiality to
the recruiter before you fill out any forms, or give any information,
or take any tests.  Make sure you are fully informed as to exactly who
may see your information and for what purposes it may be used.  These
general policies are not readily available online, so you will have to
make your recruiter find out the answers for you.  However, be assured
that your Army personnel information is not public information and
will not be available to the neighborhood in general regardless of any
curiosity they may have about your affairs.

In the preceding answer I’ve assumed that your interest is regular
Army enlistment, and so have not mentioned Army college ROTC as a
possibility or the Army National Guard.  However, if you are
interested in those, here are a few links for you to check out
regarding requirements, benefits, and MOS for officer and Guard:
Warrant Officer information:

And here are some general links to information about Army recruiting
in general, Active Duty vs. Reserve, ROTC and Guard; scholarships,
benefits, pay and jobs:

In answering this question I relied on my own experience as a former
“Army parent,” having gone through the Army recruitment and enlistment
process with my own son, beginning the summer before his high school
senior year, on information given to me by my son during the course of
his six-year enlistment as a 67T UH-60 Helicopter Repairer, as well as
on conversations with his recruiter, and his and my military and prior
military friends and acquaintances.  In addition, I used a number of
internet sources, returned by using the following search terms:

Army recruiting
MEPS locations
Army jobs OR MOS
Army pay
Army ROTC Reserve Guard

If there is anything you need clarification on, please do ask before
rating and closing the question.  I want to be sure you are
comfortable with the information provided as you head down this path,
so you can make a good decision for you based on accurate and complete

Warmest regards and best wishes for your future,

Clarification of Answer by byrd-ga on 07 Jul 2003 19:29 PDT

Thank you very much for the great rating and very generous tip!  I'm
so glad you were pleased with the information.  I'll be sure to watch
for more questions if you should have any, and be very happy to work
with you again if the opportunity arises.  Best of luck to you!

darksprite-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $7.00
incredible anwser, covered everything im looking for, for now =) hope
to hear from you again

Subject: Re: US Army Recruiting
From: trueparent-ga on 07 Jul 2003 22:13 PDT
Darksprite-GA, it is my duty to inform you, that the answer to your
question, is a flat NO! There is absolutely no way to guarantee that
you will have the "job" you want, in any US Military.
This is not to say that it cannot happen, but it cannot, by any means,
be guaranteed.  Sometimes, the recruiter will try to mislead you into
thinking it can, by guaranteeing that the TRAINING for that job is
guaranteed.  That much is true.  So, you put up your right hand, and
swear/join, and you get to go to a month or two of TRAINING, and then,
they can make you a cook, or a janitor for the next four or six years.
This can be done, because once you raise your right hand, you must
follow "lawful orders". "Lawful orders" cover more territory than you
can imagine, believe me.
byrd-GA gave you the same answer I have, but the "catch" was buried in
the answer, when byrd-GA says that "if the country goes to war", all
bets are off.  With our current constant "war" against terrorism, you
can kiss any GUARANTEE of having the "job" you choose, GOODBYE.
But there is a much more important reason, why you may not end up with
the "job" you want. That is covered in the last of 8 Comments of the
Question: How to get out of the Army?  It is at URL:
I quote it here, to let you know what byrd-GA may not know. 
-------QUOTE FOLLOWS-------
Factsman-ga seems down to Earth, but he doesn't know the most closely
held secret of the military; that secret is, what is the bottom line
purpose of all military? Many people guess: "To protect our country.",
or "To enforce our national interests.", or "To make real men out of
But they are all wrong.  The bottom line purpose of the military, is
to kill human beings. As ol' blood n' guts Patton put it, "We're not
here to die for our country, but to make that son-of-a-bitch die for
HIS country."
And the Devil is in that detail. Since most of us are strongly taught
that it is "wrong" to kill, the military relies on a "secret system"
of consistent, arbitrary harassment, to make a man angry enough, at
any given moment, to pick up the "weapon", and say, with deep meaning,
"Just show me who to kill.".
Even the "Lifers" in the military, though they learn how to be pecked
on, and how to peck on those "under" them, hardly ever figure out why
this is happening.  They just allow their character to be destroyed,
and figure that's just the "way it is".
This Top Secret "inherent harassment" in the military is simply
understood, and unless it is buried deep in some secret bunker that I
could never find, there is no Army Manual of Methods of Harassment in
In times of "real war" such as WWII, the horror of all this can be
justified, but in the "small, politically motivated wars", this
reality does not set well with any aware, idealistic young man/woman.
You do not escape the issue of killing, even if you are assigned a
"desk job", because your work still "supports" those who do the
killing, and you are still harassed by the same "secret system".
Incidentally, psychologists have recently discovered that the final
maturation of the human brain is not completed until the age of 28,
(not 21, as the politicians decided).  It is not an accident, that
military recruiters consider 28 as a cut off point.  They normally
only go after the ones younger than that.
-------END OF QUOTE-------
It appears that the saying that was popular in the 1960s, still
applies.  It was, "Don't trust anyone over 30 (years old)".  Also, I
believe that the book "Catch 22", (I forget the author), should be
mandatory reading, for anyone contemplating a military "career". 
Strange as it may seem, I am not saying that you should not enlist in
the military;  but you should only enlist with both eyes wide open. 
Of course, I would advocate fighting any governmental attempt to begin
any mandatory "draft", which I believe is close on the horizon.
Subject: Re: US Army Recruiting
From: byrd-ga on 08 Jul 2003 07:27 PDT
I'm so sorry, trueparent, that you have apparently had such a bad
experience with the military.  That's regrettable certainly, although
thankfully it is not the universal experience of all who enlist.

I come from a dual military family (both parents, WWII, Navy), the
father of my eldest son was an AF ('Nam '69) veteran, my youngest son
is an Army veteran, and I have a wide acquaintanceship of current and
prior military personnel. I myself am a member of the official Air
Force Auxiliary as a Civil Air Patrol Mission Pilot, with frequent
occasion to interact with Army National Guard and Reserve and active
duty Army troops, fine upright men and women of high character, at our
CAP meeting place at a local Nat'l. Guard Armory.

Based on this experience, as well as my research, Darksprite, I do
stand by my statement that the Army will guarantee your placement in
your choice of MOS as outlined above, with the exceptions I mentioned.
Yes, once you are sworn in, you are sworn to obey orders whatever they
may be, but I will still reiterate that the Army goes much farther
than the other services in offering such a guarantee, and they will
make an effort to honor it. The other branches DO, as trueparent-ga
said, offer only training in a general area without the specific job
guarantee that the Army gives.

My son received his choice, did in fact work as a Blackhawk crewchief
as he told his graduating class he would, and is now happily going to
school on his GI Bill money, and has just bought a condo with his VA
loan.  He wasn't pleased with everything he found in or about the
Army, and was rather disgruntled with some of the things his recruiter
told him that turned out to be "not quite true," but he is still glad
he did it for the experiences he had, and the benefits he did earn.

Now, having said that, I will concede that each particular MOS is part
of a larger field of work.  So, how this can work, for example, during
my son's first tour of duty in Hawaii, he spent time in the hangar
working on helicopters, drove a Humvee around for a Colonel, operated
a radio in a tent during exercises, and spent some sweaty hours in the
motor pool under a truck hood, before he finally completed even more
advanced "on-the-job" training and got to fly on the bird as part of
the crew.  These variations in actual jobs are spelled out in the
"fine print" of the MOS descriptions in the url I gave you, and I
would again strongly urge you to look closely, and educate yourself
well on these details.  It's also explained like this: "Closely
related positions that require similar qualifications and the
performance of similar duties are grouped as an MOS under a generic
title. The job title Legal Specialist, for example, encompasses duty
assignments such as preparing correspondence, maintaining files, and
researching."  Check it out here:

The preceding comment from trueparent-ga is useful as it appears to
very strongly emphasize some of the points I tried to touch on in my
answer regarding awareness of the purpose of the military.  Read it as
a strong opinion from someone who likely would not choose to enlist,
or didn't learn early enough what that decision entailed and so came
to regret it.  But also seek out and hear the opinions of those who
were ultimately pleased with their choice to enlist, so that you will
have a balanced view. Only you can make the right choice for you, and
that choice must be based on as complete and balanced a set of facts
and information as you are able to gather, both pro and con, as well
as on your core belief system and whether or not you are able to
accept the ultimate purposes of the military.  It IS different than
civilian life, but it must be so for a reason.  Find out what that
reason is.

Oh - one other thing.  I see that I failed to give you the search term
I used to find information about Army confidentiality policies.  That
     Army confidentiality policy OR code

Again, all my best to you in your attempts to find answers and come to
a decision about your future,
Subject: Re: US Army Recruiting
From: trueparent-ga on 11 Jul 2003 04:40 PDT
I am sorry to see that byrd-GA is in such denial, concerning the
internal truth about the military, as I have stated it.  This truth
speaks for itself, whether one "enjoys" their military service or not.
I have to throw my hands up in surrender, to the unbelievably
comprehensive and accurate info offered by byrd-GA.  I in no way
wanted to appear critical of the completely practical advice byrd-GA
has provided.  After all, there are so many directions that civilian
life could take a young man's life, that would be so much worse than
the discipline and genuine patriotic service offered by military work.
 I myself have benefited in untold ways, from my military service.  I
was red, white, and blue, when I went to Vietnam, and I was black and
blue, patriotically speaking, by the time I returned to the US.
You would do well, darksprite-GA to study how and why the CIA caused
and orchestrated the Vietnam war, and so much more, as described by
Col. F. Prouty, (ret.), in his book, JFK. It appears to be available,
I suggest getting the CD-ROM there, which is loaded with Prouty's
often suppressed revelations, about the US military, and even more
crucial matters.   When I checked, in 2000, his book, JFK, seemed to
be heavily suppressed, but now, since his death on June 5, 2001, his
expose' seems to have been revived, which is very good for you,
darksprite-GA, and for all young people.
As fighting Communism gave unlimited power to the CIA then, fighting
"Terrorism" is now going to give unlimited power to the CIA, et al,
again.  SO, HERE WE GO AGAIN....
My favorite conspiracy theory, is that the "ruling class" has always
used/facilitated war as a means of controlling and "thinning the
herd". War would ease the stress of overpopulation on all lines of
food and other supplies, while making sure that no "revolution"
against the status quo could take place.
But after the atom bomb was used on Japan, MAD, (i.e. Mutually Assured
Destruction), has prevented war from being used on a wide enough
scale, to accomplish this "thinning".  Now, are we all being set up,
by the "powers that be", (Prouty calls them "the High Cabal"), to
accept and even expect, the killing of millions of people, by WMDs,
(i.e. Weapons of Mass Destruction), supposedly used by "terrorists"?
The world I grew up in, had over 50,000 atom bombs, 3,000 of which
were the largest, 300-megaton weapons; a bomb of this largest size,
exploded a hundred miles in the air, half way between Chicago and New
York, destroys both cities.  I thought that world was the nastiest
I was dead wrong.  Most of those atom bombs still exist, but may end
up being packed in by mule, across the US-Canadian border.  Incredibly
sophisticated germ and chemical warfare have been added to the mix.
Sad to say, the US is in dire need of a dedicated, volunteer military,
to help slow down the onslaught of the use of such weapons, on the US.
But something new is necessary, or there is actually no way for the
world to avoid this progression of events.
I know/believe that that "something new" is the teaching/worldview
offered by the hsa-uwc, (i.e. The Holy Spirit Association for the
Unification of World Christianity), and the FFWPU, (i.e. The Family
Federation for World Peace and Unification).
So, brand me as you may, but mark my words.  You will one day wish
that you had studied the teaching/worldview of the hsa-uwc, before
enlisting in today's US military.  I also wish you well,
darksprite-GA, as you decide how to direct your life, with all this
Subject: Re: US Army Recruiting
From: darksprite-ga on 11 Jul 2003 09:25 PDT
wow thank you for all the comments, glad to see both sides of this and
will take both into deep consideration, will check out and read the
material you mentioned, the complication to my situation is im not a
US Citizen so im limited to my mos's, and my overall goal is to become
a uh-60 pilot, to do so you must be a citizen which is my reason for
enlisting, as far as i can tell you can transfer to become one from
any mos, as well im 90% done on my faa private pilot in fixed wing,
and shortly after will start my rating with rotary, found most of the
material i will be tested on and LOOKS fairly simple, but they had no
books to study such as the ASVAB has hundreds. In any case, next week
im going to be contacting a recruiter, hopefully talk to my neighbor
whom i think i can trust .05% more than the others =)

Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy