AMHFCU Honors Military Families Appreciation Month
Every November we honor our veterans on Veterans Day. But what about those who are currently serving our country? Over the last twenty years, the nature of military service has changed in the United States. As the military becomes an increasingly volunteer force, the gap between civilian and military families continues to grow.
That is why Military Family Month was established in 1996 by the Armed Services YMCA, with the U.S. Government recognizing the occasion every year since. Each November, the President signs a proclamation declaring November Military Family Month, and with hundreds of thousands of service-members deployed overseas, recognizing the daily sacrifices made by military families has never been more important.
A Career in the Military
For those who are looking for adventure, a chance to challenge themselves, a desire to be part of something greater and the ability to say that they’ve served their country, the U.S. Military has a great deal to offer.
Being in the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard is about more than carrying a weapon and fighting on the front lines. In fact, only 20% of the U.S. Military is considered to be in combat positions.
The U.S. Military has a website called Careers in the Military which details the wide range of careers in the military, and the site breaks down potential career paths into sixteen unique “career clusters.”
- Architecture and Construction
- Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communications
- Business Management and Administration
- Education and Training
- Hospitality and Tourism
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Agriculture, Food, and Natural Sciences
- Governments and Public Administration
- Health Science
- Human Services
- Law & Public Safety
- Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics
- Information Technology
Interested in learning more? Research each branch of service and the different pathways to joining. Talking to your local recruiter shouldn’t be your first step, instead, applying with a clear sense of what you want will help you navigate the application process.
Also, you shouldn’t simply sign-up and expect to start your new life in the military the same day. Being accepted requires that you meet and exceed the mental and physical fitness standards for each branch of service. You will also be required to complete the standard Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB,) a test which helps determine where you might best fit in terms of education and skills. Interested in becoming an officer? Competition for the U.S. Service Academies is extremely competitive and requires the same level of commitment and planning that you would need to get accepted to an elite college or University.
If you’re still in high school, talking to your parents and a guidance counselor may be a good place to start. If you have friends or family members in the armed forces, take the time to talk with them about their service. Be ready to ask tough questions and expect honest answers about what military service is really like. If you’re in college, there are programs such as the Reserves or the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) which allow you to serve part-time while you pursue your education. Again, keep in mind, the decision to join is one that shouldn’t be taken likely.
Serving Those Who Serve Us
Regardless of whether you are considering a career in the military, there are plenty of ways that you can show your support.
Looking for some ways to help?
- Donate a Thanksgiving gift to enlisted members and their families through the USO-Metro’s Turkeys for Troops!
- Create a Spouse or Service Member Care Package with items that would help either ease stress during a deployment.
- If you are an employer, provide job opportunities to service members, veterans, and their families and offer workplace flexibility.
- Adopt-a-Soldier for the Holidays.
- See someone in uniform? Offer to pick up the check, or surprise them with free coffee, dessert or drink if they are in line behind you.
- Thank an Active-Duty Member, Veteran, Military Spouse, or Military Child for their service. Fly the U.S. Flag and visit war memorials with your family to teach your children the value of service.
- Adopt a military family for the holidays by sponsoring a Food Basket or Toys for enlisted military families through the ASYMCA’s Operation Holiday Joy.
- Offer a military neighbor a bit a respite with volunteer childcare to get errands accomplished or to even enjoy a few hours to recharge.
- Buy tickets to local attractions, museums, and sporting events that support the military.
While these are just small ways to show appreciate for those who serve us every day, it’s always our mission at AMHFCU to give back to our local community in a way that’s valuable and tangible. We have many military families that we’re proud to call members and part of the AMHFCU family, and to them this Veterans Day and every day, we say thank you.