Hello, I am attending community college and will be graduating with a certificate in accounting. Could I continue my study in the military?

I am 20 years old and I live on my own with a minimum wage ($11.15 per hour for New York) job averaging 12-16 hours a week. I do not have health insurance through my parents due to a bad relationship. At this rate I will not be financially capable of living on my own in a year, so naturally I am looking toward the military which would give me a better pay rate, with free study and living, and free health insurance. My only worries are my choice of study and my girlfriend of 3 years. I plan to marry her but I do not know if I should before or after boot camp, and she's worried I will be away a very long time. So... will I be able to continue studying in accounting in the Navy or Air Force? How long would I be away? Should I marry her before or after boot camp?


Whichever military service you enlist into you won't be able to resume your education and schooling for at least the first 12-18 months you are in. After basic you will then have tech school and training for your job. That could be short or longer depending on what job you are slotted for and some of those schools and training are several months long while others are relatively short and only a month or two. The training does not stop there either but instead resumes once you get to your first duty station with upgrade training for your job. That is done through OJT and correspondence courses surrounding your job. Many supervisors and commanders will not sign off on someone attending school in their off time till that upgrade training has reached a certain level so you can plan for eight months to a year for that. Once you reach that point that they will sign off on you attending school and taking classes on your off time then there will be a wealth of resources at your disposal through the base or post education office. Your larger bases in the states especially have also night classes and condensed weekend classes taught by various colleges and programs towards some of your more common degrees. There are also maybe local colleges in the area where you might be stationed that will also be available to you for attending part time. All your military services and especially the Air Force and Navy are big on education but your upgrade training will come first. As for your girlfriend that's a tough question in some ways. The divorce rate among young, lower ranking military couples is pretty high. That is because of all the stressors military life puts on its members and their families. Marrying her before would mean she would automatically qualify for free health care and have dependent privileges upon your enlistment and once she was entered into DEERS and obtained her dependent ID card. However you would be seperated from her during basic and also tech school in most cases unless it is one of the longer ones. Then they make allowances for that and it being "accompanied" and so she could then live with you someplace on base or off base while you attended tech school. Otherwise as a student in training you would be living in the dorm with all those single or married even if the school was shorter or you elected to not have her there with you while going to school. Since one of the stressors is usually finances and you don't get paid a lot in the beginning because of your lower rank I would make sure she was willing to find a part time job and work during your first enlistment if you were to get married.


your education will be put on hold a minimum of 18-24 months as you are not allowed to start taking college courses until after you are fully qualified in your Rating/AFSC and have been at your first duty station 12 months. then, only 1-2 at a time when your duties allow. it will NOT be free. Tuition assistance is capped at $4500/year or 16 credits, whichever comes first. if you are not married, she does not exist. even if you were married, she will not be coming with you during A school/Tech school or if you get orders overseas unless you are an E4 or higher. Navy sea duty means you can be underway 300 days a year. or 30. AF TDYs run anywhere from a week to 6 months at a time. and there could only be a week between them. getting married before she even knows if she can handle being a military spouse is a bad idea. something like 72% of marriages fail in the first 3 years of military life, especially for the younger set( does she have her own education and can support herself? is she capable of going days/weeks without texting, calling or seeing you?)