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Celebrating Our Service Members and Armed Forces

By: M. Dubbs on November 18th, 2015

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Celebrating Our Service Members and Armed Forces

Did You Know?

Across the US we see countless celebrations of our service members and armed forces during the month of November. Every NFL game played by the Steelers and Eagles this month will honor veterans and active military during their Salute to Service initiative. Now is the perfect time of year for high school students to start thinking of their future and what they can do after graduation. At PA Virtual, our guidance counselors work extensively with students to help them assess what their next step should be after leaving our guidance.


For those interested in military service, there are plenty of options available to you. Serving is not always about being a soldier on the front lines. Depending on your skills; the various branches are also looking for highly skilled STEM students, medical professionals, and fearless leaders. Locating a military recruitment center in your neighborhood and schedule a meeting with a counselor to see what branch might be best for you.


The five main branches of the US military are:

  1. Air Force
  2. Army
  3. Coast Guard
  4. Marine Corps
  5. Navy

The Marine Corps and Army branches are very proactive in recruiting in their local communities – you may see them set up at sporting events, fairs and festivals or other community outings. Just like selecting a college (or cyber school!) there are many opportunities for each individual based on their personal strengths. Once you decide what branch is right for you, a recruiter will guide you through the rest of the process.


The Army and Air National Guard are part reserve components of the Army and Air Force, who instead of reporting to the federal government; work with state level governments to provide services to their local community, most often during states of emergency or in extreme situations. A recent example of service provided by the Pennsylvania National Guard was during the Pope’s recent visit to Philadelphia. Members of the National Guard were on hand to provide an added layer of security – they helped screen over 1 million visitors and kept all emergency routes clear in the event that medical or law enforcement personnel needed to move quickly through an area.


Many area colleges also offer ROTC programs (Reserve Officers Training Corps) which prepares young adults to become leaders and officers in the military after they complete their education. Officers of the military are essentially managers who work with the operational planning or other professional roles. Whereas most students enlist in the military immediately after high school, commissioned officers often enter the military after they complete a degree program and ROTC training.


How do you know if joining the service is right for you? Contact your guidance counselor today to find out!


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