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Patriotic Article
By Van E. Harl

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Prepare Now to Succeed
(March 3, 2010)

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Life is a series of decision, making moments. In some cases you make good life-decisions and in other cases you make extremely poor life-decisions. How you reacted and handle these decisions are what, will mold and shape your future.

Making the decision to join the military is one of those major life-decisions. Finishing high school needs to come before concrete action is attempted to enlist in any branch of the armed forces. The military does not need uneducated people and it is not someplace to go because the "Judge" told you to join or go to jail. The military operates in too much, of a high-tech world, to even consider the aforementioned people. My number one recommendation is you continue on in you education and go to college.

Van E. Harl
Van E. Harl

But, you have to have three things to be successful in college; the grades to get into college, the drive and motivation to work and finish your degree and the money to pay you way through four years of under-graduate school. If you are lacking in one or more of these areas, the odds are you will not finish a bachelor degree.

If college is not a player in your life, then you had better be looking for some technical training that will lead to a good paying job. Now, if you want excellent technical training, a chance to go to college, a chance to travel and get paid for all this at the same time, you should look at the Air Force. Here, is where you can make one of the most positive live-decisions in you young career. Joining the Air Force will not only help your country, it will benefit your future.

The Air Force can do one of two things for your future. It can prepare you for a long and productive military career with and excellent retirement that can be available to you in your late 30's or early 40's. If you choose to only serve one enlistment, the Air Force can have a profound, positive impact on preparing you for the future in an extremely technical business world. The Air Force will provide you will discipline, motivation and it will teach you to take charge and lead.

Leadership, the ability to lead and motivate people, is also something that seems to be in short supply in this day and age. Civilian employers have a difficult time finding good, hardworking employees who will just show up for work, let alone take charge of a project within the work place. Being a former Air Force member, who has already demonstrated, his or her ability to get the job done correctly is a very marketable commodity in today's workplace.

Stop and asked yourself, where you will be in ten years if you do not join the Air Force. Take a look around at some of your older (30's to 40's) friends, acquaintance and co-workers and do a quick study of their life. If a person is in their 30's and still working at an entry-level job, then that, is what they have, just a job. These folks are not working in careers that will provide them with benefits and a good solid retirement.

In almost every town, big or small in this country you can walk into a local bar and find some person who has been setting on the same bar stool for the past 10 years still talking about the glory days of his senior year in high school. This country is now into its second generation of military age adults who have not lived with the "draft". People do not feel force to go into the military and they have allowed this current situation to make a major life-decision for them. They don't join, they don't serve their country and they don't receive the training and benefits of military service.

If you do not want to serve in the military full time, I understand. Take a look at the Army or Air Force Reserve or better yet, the Army or Air National Guard. These organizations can provide you with the same excellent Army or Air Force technical training, college tuition assistance and you do not have to leave home permanently. I would suggest talking to a recruiter just to see what the opportunities, the pay and the training are all about.

But it does not just have to be the Air Force. Any branch of the military is a great way to get your young life started in the right direction, whether it is active duty or the Guard and Reserve. It is your life and your future; why not let the military help you, "prepare now to succeed".

By Van E. Harl
Copyright 2003

About Author:
Major Van E. Harl, USAF Ret., was a career police officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was the Deputy Chief of police at two Air Force Bases and the Commander of Law Enforcement Operations at another. Major Harl is a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School, the Air Force Squadron Officer School and the Air Command and Staff College. After retiring from the Air Force he was a state police officer in Nevada.

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