Explore the Several Ways To Serve

FacebookTwitterPinterestEmailShare
Marine Corps commission ceremony chief warrant officer
Rear Adm. Bill Byrne, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Korea, presents Senior Chief Information Systems Technician George Tango with a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal during Tango's commissioning ceremony to chief warrant officer. (Mass Communications Specialist Jermaine M. Ralliford/U.S. Navy)

Generally speaking, all the services offer active duty (full time) and Reserve (part time) careers. If you have the right qualifications, you may have the opportunity to train to be an officer (i.e., through Officer Candidate School, or military academies). Individual services also may have other options. The chart below provides more details on the ways you can join each military branch.

Ways of Joining

U.S. Army
National Guard
  • Drilling Guardsman (part-time reserve)
  • Full-time Guardsman (full-time reserve)
  • Officer (including ROTC, Officer Candidate School, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, direct commission officer)
U.S. Navy
  • Active duty (full time)
  • Reserve (part time)
  • Officer (including ROTC, Officer Candidate School, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, direct appointment)
U.S. Air Force
  • Active duty (full time)
  • Reserve (part time)
  • Officer (including ROTC, Officer Candidate School, U.S. Air Force Academy, direct appointment)
U.S. Marine Corps
  • Active duty (full time)
  • Reserve (part time)
  • Officer (including ROTC, Officer Candidate School, U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, direct commission officer)
U.S. Coast Guard
  • Active duty (full time)
  • Reserve (part time)
  • Officer (including ROTC, Officer Candidate School, U.S. Coast Guard Academy at New London, direct commission officer), Coast Guard Auxiliary (volunteers)

Interested in Joining the Military?

We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you.

Show Full Article