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Joining the Military

Students who graduate from high school have the option to join the U.S. military. In doing so, they can gain career training, health and retirement benefits, housing benefits, and tuition support.

There are seven branches of the U.S. military, each playing a different role in protecting U.S. citizens and territories:

Applying to Join the Military

Students wishing to enter the military must take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This test measures aptitudes in four areas: Verbal, Math, Science and Technical, and Spatial. Results are used to help predict future success in the military.

Additional information on how to apply to join the military can be found on each branch’s website.


Students who are interested in careers in the military are encouraged to explore HCPSS’ Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) Academy. A cooperative effort between Howard County Public School System, the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, JROTC instruction prepares students in grades 9-12 for leadership roles while making them aware of their rights, responsibilities, and privileges, as American citizens through rigorous instruction and hands-on activities.

Students who participate in JROTC are not under any obligation to join the military. However, if they choose to further their interest in the military, satisfactory completion of the JROTC program can lead to advanced placement credit in the Senior ROTC program (college level) or advanced rank in any of the Armed Forces.

Oakland Mills Air Force JROTC cadet saluting.