Thinking about joining the military? There are several questions you need to make sure you ask your recruiter and several things you need to make sure your recruiter knows. There are so many benefits and so much information about the military, it is impossible for your recruiter to cover everything, this is why it is important to talk with your recruiter. Here are 5 important questions or things you need to ask or tell your recruiter.

#1 When do I take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)?

This is an important question because what you do in the military is dependent on this test. Not everyone is ready to take the ASVAB right away. Being prepared and scoring as high as possible will give you the most options when you start your military career. There are several ways to prepare for the ASVAB. You can buy a study guide or visit the online ASVAB Preparation and Practice Tests. Most recruiters will give you a practice test to predict your actual score on the ASVAB, a low score on the practice test might mean your need to some prep work.

#2 How soon will I leave for basic training?

Joining the military and leaving for basic training are two completely different things. When you join the military, you are qualifying first by testing and second by taking a physical. After qualifying in both areas, you will pick your job and swear-in. You’re NOT leaving for basic training at this time. It is important that your recruiter and the Military Entrance Processing Station liaisons know when you are available to leave for basic training. It is always better to get your career started as soon as possible but not everyone can do this. For Instance, if you are currently attending college you probably won’t be available until the end of the semester. If you are a high school senior you need to make sure you know when your graduation date is and when you will be available to leave. Whatever the reason make sure you discuss it with your recruiter.

#3 When will I get my job assigned?

This is a very important question. Each branch of the service has its own ways of assigning jobs. For example, the Navy will give you a job while you are at the MEPS. But, the Air Force can give you a job at the MEPS but usually will have you come up with a list of jobs and put you on a qualified and waiting list. Just make sure you understand what job you have been assigned and when it is leaving for basic training.

#4 What documents do I need to start the recruiting process?

In a perfect world everybody would know where their important documents are at all times. In reality, most people know where their driver’s license is and probably their social security card, but many people are not able to quickly find their birth certificate, high school diploma, etc.

Your recruiter will give you a list of the documents needed to process for the military, the sooner you start gathering the documents the sooner you can join the military. The list may include a government issued ID (Drivers License), social security card, high school diploma, birth certificate, college transcripts, marriage license, medical documents, court documents, adoption documents, these are just some examples of the documents you may be asked to bring. If you are unable to locate the documents, you may need extra time to order the necessary replacement documents. An early start will make the process of joining much smoother.

#5 Do you need my complete medical and legal History?

Recruiters need to know your complete medical history and information about all legal infractions – traffic tickets, misdemeanors, felonies, etc. Recruiters are trying to help you, not disqualify you. The Recruiting Commander may be able to grant a waiver or overturn many legal issues that are initially disqualifying. If your recruiter does not have the information, there is nothing he or she can do to help you with the process. Disclosing your medical history and getting supporting documentation for medical issues will give you the best possible chance of qualifying for the military. Law violations work pretty much the same way, disclosing them upfront will give the recruiter the best opportunity to run a waiver if applicable. Being upfront with your recruiter about medical and legal issues will keep you from wasting your time and the recruiter’s time.