Here at Accelerations Academies, we understand that post-high school plans don’t look the same for everyone. While many of our graduates use their diploma to go on to college or to focus on their jobs, we also have a number of Graduation Candidates who are interested in pursuing life in the military.
Ashley Gilmore acts as the Military/Workforce Recruiter at Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC. There, she works to enroll veterans, military service members and their dependents into college. Gilmore sums up her position as “being able to have great organizational skills and being able to adapt to numerous changes.” We asked her a few questions about the importance of schooling and the military, and what advice she has for young adults like our Graduation Candidates.
What traits and/or qualities do you (and the military as a whole) look for in an individual who is considering enlisting?
What I look for in a student that wants to go back to school is someone that understands how to communicate when issues may arise because being in school can be very challenging to some. I also look for the student that is not afraid to do something to better themselves that others are too afraid to do.
Being in school is a very demanding obligation, so it requires you to be focused, dedicated, and also have a great set of values. These values are the same ones that the military would look at as well because they need people that are able to be trained and have great values. It is a privilege to serve in the military and whether you decide to go because of school, medical, or the traveling opportunities, your values are what help carry you further and succeed.
What is the importance of earning your diploma before enlisting?
It is important to earn your diploma before you enlist because during your military career, you will have the opportunities for furthering your education and your diploma helps prove that you can learn and value your education.
What sort of differentiators or benefits can the military provide to an individual outside of a traditional career?
The only differentiators that the military provides outside of a traditional career is the fact that they pay you a housing allowance on top of your base pay and provide you with medical coverage. Medical coverage is a great benefit because there are many people that have to pay a minimum of 350 dollars a month just for medical coverage, so this is definitely a perk. Some of the same benefits that the military offers with traditional careers is tuition assistance, traveling opportunities, and competitive pay.
How would someone go about applying to college after serving?
The best way to go about applying after serving is to reach out to your education department in the branch you serve in because you want to see which educational benefit is best to use. Many service members will utilize tuition assistance versus their GI Bill because tuition assistance is only available while the service member is serving. GI Bill will allow you to use it once your commitment to the military is done and some GI Bills also pay your housing as well.
What advice would you give to someone who is finishing their high school diploma in order to join the military?
The best advice that I would give to someone that is finishing their high school diploma in order to join the military would to study hard for their ASVAB. The ASVAB is what recruiters use to help you select the job you will be doing throughout the military, so it is important that you study hard. Secondly, stay physically fit because you want to ensure that you are preparing yourself for basic training. Lastly, ensure that you make wise decisions because once you make the decision to enlist into the military, you are representing more than just yourself. Putting on that uniform, regardless of the branch symbolizes the people that made the ultimate sacrifice and also all the times that you will be called to serve. Wear it with pride!