I’m going to split this into 2 maybe 3 parts so it’s not entire novel.
I joined the Army in 2014. I’m just going to talk about my experience enlisting, basic training, and my first duty station.
So, I made an appointment with a recruiter after I called and they asked me a few questions just to see if I’m even eligible to enlist, which I was. I walked in there on the day of my appointment and they just asked a lot of questions, asked for my ID and pretty basic stuff.
The next I was to go in, I had to bring my birth certificate, green card, all that stuff. They ran a background check on me, they checked if I was on the sex offender list, they were thorough. I also had a call with a higher up and he asked me if I had ever done drugs, why I wanted to enlist, it was called something like “the hot seat.” It was supposed to be intimidating. They left me alone in a room for that phone call though, which made it easier.
After they had gotten all their paperwork done, I had to meet with an FBI agent, I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure it was because I wasn’t born in this country. She asked me for my passport, and if I had any connections with anybody in Cuba still. Which I did, my family.
I met with her twice to bring the additional paperwork she needed. Everything went well. She asked me a lot of questions and made me fill out a lot of paperwork. It’s for a security clearance, which you need.
So, the day came when I had to take my ASVAB, which is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude test, it’s a test you need a certain score on to be able to join, it’s not what I thought it was going to be like, so study. A lot. They drove us all out to MEPS, which is the Military Entrance Processing Station, this is where the testing was going to take place.
We waited around for a long time before we actually got to test. All I heard my first 6 months in the Army was “hurry up and wait.” Which means hurry up and do everything you need to do as quickly as possible but you’re still going to wait to move on to whatever you’re doing next. You’re going to hear this a lot.
So they test was on a computer, I’m not going to talk too much about the actual test because I don’t remember much of it and I also don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea on what the test is like. There are a million books on the ASVAB and websites with practice quizzes, utilize any and all resources you can.
The room with all the computers was COLD. So, cold. It was freezing in there, I remember that so vividly.
I took the test, which took about 30 minutes maybe?
Then they took us all back to the recruiting station. They said by the time we got back, the results would be in, and they were. I passed but I didn’t get a great score, I thought the test was going to be like the subjects you learn in school. I was very wrong. Well, that was pretty much it for that day.
Next came MEPS, the real reason MEPS exists. Basically making sure you’re physically ready to join the Military. They did an eye exam, ear exam, urine test, they drew blood, we did the whole stand in your underwear in front of all the other girls thing, we got weighed, and we had a doctor look at us individually and take note of all our tattoos. Also, when he did the urine test we peed in front of a lady looking directly at our pee stream, that was super duper fun. That took a whole day, there was a lot of people to go through. Oh, and when we got there the first thing they made us do was a breathalyzer, so don’t show up drunk.
After everything was done, I was good to go, I got a ship date. The day I would be leaving to basic training. I got to go to basic in Oklahoma. When the day came to be shipped we had to swear in the morning of, super early in the morning. We did the whole swearing in with our right hand raised in front of the flag thing, our families were there, it was all good and cool. They put us up in a hotel that day and the next day is the actual day they would drive us to the airport and stuff, which everything was paid for by the way, even the food.
The next day, we shipped out to basic training.
That’s the first part of how enlisting in the Army was like
I’m sure I left out certain things because it was so long ago, my memory is a little fuzzy but if you have any questions about anything at all, contact me and I would be happy to answer as best I can.
Stayed tuned for part: 2 what basic training was like.
Thank you for reading.