In education, there has always been a push for students to be ready for college. Then, the emphasis shifted to students being college and career ready. Now, many schools promote three paths: enrollment, employment, or enlistment as options after high school graduation. Despite the shift in language, more weight seems to be put on being prepared for college. Although there are benefits to preparing all students for college since some might attend college after working for a few years after high school or after serving in the military, students need to see service to the country as a viable option and career path.
The United States Department of Veterans Affairs states that Veterans Day is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” It can also be used as an opportunity to inspire students to consider enlisting in the military as a future option.
Within the United States military, there are five options: Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Navy. Students should have the opportunity to learn about the five branches of the military. Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity for students to hear first-hand accounts from veterans. This can give students an opportunity to dialogue with veterans and learn more information about the benefits of service.
Students should learn that people who enlist are trained in specialized areas in the military. These skills are transferable to other jobs once their service has concluded. Because of the GI Bill students can have help covering expenses for college not only for themselves but also for a spouse or dependent. Serving in the military can extend past four years; it could become a life-long career. Last, there are health coverage benefits, too.
If educators want students to be set up for the best future, educators must ensure students fully understand all the options they have after high school graduation. Just as schools emphasize college each year with special events, enlistment should also be emphasized annually so students can figure out which path is best for them.