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Know Your Options for the Military

Know Your Options for the Military

  • by
  • Dec 09, 2019
University of Oregon Army ROTC in front of plane with flag

Joining the Military is a big decision; you should think carefully and talk with your family or a trusted adult as well as representatives from the Military as you consider your options.

You may have taken the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) during your junior or senior year of high school. This may help you think about careers that you might enjoy in the Military, and can be used for enlistment for up to two years after taking the test.

Enlist in the Military

The U.S. Military consists of five service branches: Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. You must have a high school diploma or GED to enlist. There are funds to help pay for college after you serve, such as the Post-9/11 GI Bill

There are also part-time options that allow you to attend college or have a job while serving in the Military, both of which offer money to help pay for college:

  • Reserves are available for active-duty deployment in times of war or national emergency.
  • National Guard focuses on homeland security and humanitarian relief. Guard members can get additional tuition assistance for Oregon community colleges and public universities.

 Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC)

ROTC is a college program that prepares you to become an officer in the U.S. Military while you get a 4-year degree. Scholarships are available to cover tuition and living expenses in exchange for service after graduation. Oregon has ROTC programs at a variety of colleges:

Air Force ROTC

Oregon State University
Affiliated schools:
Corban University
Lane Community College
Linn-Benton Community College
University of Oregon
Western Oregon University

University of Portland
Affiliated schools:
Clackamas Community College
Concordia University
George Fox University
Lewis & Clark College
Linfield College
Mt. Hood Community College
Pacific University
Portland Community College
Portland State University
Warner Pacific University
Willamette University

Army ROTC

Oregon State University
Affiliated schools:
Corban University
Western Oregon University
Willamette University

University of Oregon
Affiliated schools:
Southern Oregon University

University of Portland
Affiliated schools:
Lewis & Clark College
Portland State University
Eastern Oregon University

Navy/Marine Corps ROTC

Oregon State University

Military Schools

There are three options for students who want a deeper understanding of military culture:

Service Academies

Extremely elite and selective, requires a minimum service obligation of five years after graduation. Tuition, books, board and health care are all fully paid for all four years. Requires a congressional letter of recommendation in order to apply; some admission requirements begin during the junior year of high school.
Example: U.S. Military Academy (West Point)

Senior Military Colleges

Combines higher education and military instruction. Every student must participate in ROTC, but only those students who receive an ROTC scholarship are required to enter military service following graduation.
Examples: The Citadel, Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership

Maritime Academies

Produces officers for ships for shipping and transportation needs, but a service commitment is not always required.
Example: California State University Maritime Academy