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Recruiting Begins Earlier

Here's an "article" which is little more than a press release for the military's good services as career counselors. If parents don't want this, they can find out what to day on p. 14 of the student handbook. Page 14.

Thake a look at the military sites.

As part of the No Child Left Behind legislation, schools may release contact information about students to employers or potential employers, including the Armed Forces.

According to Sierra Sands Unified School District Superintendent of Schools Jody Rummer, this issue is addressed on page 14 of the Rights and Responsibilities booklet given to parents at the beginning of each school year.

"The parent or eligible pupil has the right to withhold the release of directory information by giving written notification to the official of the school where the pupil attends," said Rummer.

A Web site at http://www.militaryfreezone.org gives a form that can be used for this purpose; however, Sierra Sands does not require a specific form.

For those who choose to opt in, however, there are some free services you might not be aware the military offers.

According to U.S. Army recruiter Sgt. First Class Timothy Rafferty, recruiters do a great deal of career counseling with youth, including with those who may decide the military is not for them.

"Under the law, we're supposed to be provided the names, addresses, and phone numbers of students in the public school system," said Rafferty. This list is available to all branches of military service.

"Parents do have the right to have their child's name not appear on that list. All they have to do is go to the school and tell them, 'I don't want my child's information released to military representatives,'" said Rafferty.

The list is obtained by the military from the schools.

However, the military offers a free aptitude test, called the Armed Services Aptitude Battery test. This test determines where they would be placed at that point in their lives, if they signed up for the military. The test score can change as the person's educational level increases.

One of the goals of the counseling provided by the military is to encourage people to continue their education.

"We show the kids what career fields they have an aptitude for, including fields that are and are not related to the military," said Rafferty.

"We help with mapping and goal setting. These are the steps you need to take to get to where you want to go. Most of the people we deal with have goals that don't even pertain to the military."

The recruiting process is the same for all branches of the Armed Forces.

The future soldiers in the photo have already enlisted. They all have guaranteed contracts, signup bonuses, and guaranteed money for college. They will go to Basic Combat Training once they graduate from high school, but by enlisting early, they have time to earn promotions and awards before BCT. That means they will go in as Private First Class, with an E3 rating.

Not everyone qualifies for the military. You must have completed high school or its equivalent,

and be between ages 17 and 40 for the reserves, or between 17 and 34 for active duty.

"The best part about this job is when we get to lead, guide, and mentor young men and women in a positive direction. We have various programs in the Army that allow you to go to college, like the Montgomery GI Bill. That's good for 36 academic months, or four years. You can take classes on-line, in a traditional setting, or a non-traditional setting," said Rafferty.

"Plus, there's leadership schools. To an employer out in the private sector, you have managerial skills. You've already set yourself above the rest."

Some of the people Rafferty has talked to didn't want to be on the list. Some of them later chose to enlist.

"We know not everyone will join the military, but it's a way of giving direction and guidance to people that might not have it," said Rafferty.

Recruiting is no longer a sales pitch, it's a counseling session, he said.

He urges all parents to consider allowing a military representative to contact them, to provide information.

"It's about having a game plan in place, and how to achieve your goals. If that involves the military, great. If it doesn't involve the military, great. It's up to you," said Rafferty.

For more information:

Military in general:






Air Force






Both Army and Navy recruiters are located at 858 N. China Lake Blvd. Call

— No author
The Daily Independent


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