Things to consider when choosing a military branch to join

Joining the military is not only a big decision to make in one’s life, but …


Joining the military is not only a big decision to make in one’s life, but it is a choice that will impact you based on the branch you choose to join. Each military branch offers a different career path. So, when researching the military, it’s important to consider what you want in a career and opportunity when putting on a military uniform.

If you’re not sure where to start or what you are looking for, no need to fret. We got you covered.

Here is our guide to each of the military branches to find which one is right for you.

(U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/Released)

Air Force

The Air Force was created after World War II as the US military saw the air power was more effective in supporting ground troops. The primary mission of the Air Force is to defend the United States through the exploitation of air and space.

The Air Force is for you if:

This branch is great for you if you love technology and want access to some of the most highly advanced applicable training for future professions after a career in the military. The Air Force is also great for those of you that love nice amenities and some of the best deployment cycles out of all of the other branches of service.

The Air Force isn’t for you if:

If you’re looking to be in the infantry, a combat related role or more enlistment incentives for when you join, you may want to look elsewhere as the Air Force is one of the most competitive branches in the U.S. military.

Still want to join? Then make sure you have a really high ASVAB score especially a technical score. That will help you increase your chances of being accepted into the Air Force and getting the MOS you want.

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(US Army photo)


The Army is the main ground-force of the military. The primary purpose of the Army is to protect and defend the US by way of troops, armor, artillery, helicopters, etc. It is the oldest military branch.

The Army is for you if:

The Army is perfect for those that are looking to experience new places and travel the world, as the Army has bases all over the world. In addition to world travel, the Army has a great amount of job opportunities and career advancement for those looking to build a successful military career.

The Army isn’t for you if:

You may not want to join the Army if you’re looking to be stationed near the coast, most Army duty stations are inland, sometimes in a secluded area. Also, the Army spend a good amount of time outdoors so if you love being inside, you may want to bypass this military branch as an option.

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(U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force/Released)


The United States Navy states that on October 13, 1775, as the date of its official establishment. The mission of the Navy is to protect, train and equip combat-ready forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.

The Navy also has one of the most elite special ops units in the SEALS. Training to become a SEAL is no joke. But, if you are brave and fit enough to do it, you will become part of a long-lasting brotherhood only a few have joined.

The Navy is for you if:

Those that love the ocean and want to work some cool jobs like Navy Nuclear Power, Special Operations, and Naval Air with the opportunity to be stationed at over 51 locations internationally will love all things the Navy has to offer.

The Navy isn’t for you if:

However, if you tend to get seasick or being in the water scares the living daylights out of you, then you may want to reconsider the Navy. If you’re a home-body, the Navy might not be the best fit for you as a majority of a Sailor’s time is spent out at sea. Being away from home and your family for long periods of time should be expected.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt. Robert B. Brown Jr.)


Ah, the Marines, the most loved and hated of the military branches. Joining is not for the faint of heart as they have one of the harshest boot camps of all the branches and require the highest level of physical fitness. Founded in 1775, the Marines started in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia and have been America’s expeditionary force in readiness since.

The Marine Corps is for you if:

Marines are geared for fighting and training. So, if you are one of those folks that love the outdoors, constant military training in the combative arts blowing things up, and perfecting your marksmanship the Marines is perfect for you.

The Marine Corps isn’t for you if:

If a clear career path is more your speed and you want more of the amenities you would find in the other branches, chances are the Marines are not going to be something of interest to you. The Marines also deploy a lot when it comes to combat situations due to the infantry capabilities so keep that in mind when looking for a branch.

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(Coast Guard photo)

Coast Guard

The Coast Guard is a maritime, military, multi-mission service unique among the U.S. military branches for having a naval law enforcement mission. Currently, the Coast Guard is underneath the Department of Homeland Security. But, during the time of war, they can be transferred to the Department of the Navy.

The Coast Guard is for you if:

Those wanting to pursue a career in law enforcement and security will see the Coast Guard has plenty of opportunities for it. The Coast Guard also has one of the most prestigious jobs in the military with search and rescue swimmers. If you are quite a fish in water and want to be a part of tight knit community, search and rescue swimmers are among the elite positions in the military.

The Coast Guard isn’t for you if:

But, the Coast Guard is no cake walk to get into for enlistment. Any sort of criminal record, poor credit history, or GED will make it near impossible for you to get into the service. You can apply for waivers however and cross your fingers that they will take you but the best thing you can do is speak to a recruiter about this as they have tons of experience in dealing with these type of situations.

Military Basic Training

Want to get a better idea of each military branch’s basic training? Learn more about what it takes to join each branch and the battles that lie ahead.

Army Basic Training

Marine Corps Boot Camp

Navy Boot Camp

Air Force Basic Training

Coast Guard Boot Camp

The editorial team at Sandboxx.