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My 9th grade ds in local high school, who is interested in military, just learned that he will be taking the ASVAB on Monday as part of career counseling things they do. The scores can optionally be released to military if I sign a form for that. 

 

I was thinking he might take the ASVAB as a 10th grader, with some time to prepare and was caught off-guard by this.

 

He has not studied at all, and I do not expect that he will do extremely well on it  both due to only being in 9th and also due to no prep (but could be wrong).  I don't understand implications of releasing its scores or not.  

 

He is potentially interested in National Guard program which allows joining while at junior year of high school, such that scores now would be less than 2 years old at a point in future he might want to have a valid ASVAB score to use.  If he does badly on Monday, how would this be affected?

 

He is also potentially interested in Air Force, but that would likely be more than 2 years away and thus the scores from test on Monday would, I guess, not be valid at that point anyway.

 

Does anyone know how this works?

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My oldest, a junior in college, leaves next week for Basic/AIT in the Army National Guard. He chose to do a semester off of school and get them both done. He'll be home mid-summer and then go back to college. He's been talking about this for a long time, and it will pay for his college from here out because he's a commuter student. Our state offers additional funds on top of federal tuition assistance.

 

The ASVAB is basic academics. Here's the content: http://www.dummies.com/test-prep/asvab-test/asvab-for-dummies-cheat-sheet/. If you release them to a recruiter, they will use them to show what careers they qualify for. In 10th grade, they know that this is just speculation. Frankly if you would rather not get a recruiter involved, don't sign up for that. My son's recruiter was low-pressure and honest, but they aren't all like that. They can be high-pressure. Students can certainly retake it for a higher score, but there are rules about when and how often. 

 

If he joins during his junior year of high school, he will attend Basic the summer between his junior and senior year, and then his career training (AIT) the summer after he graduates.

 

Edited by G5052
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Thought of something else after dinner...

 

Keep in mind that career choices in the National Guard are based on openings in your state units. It isn't like the active Army or Air Force  where you can hopefully get what you want because you have the whole country for openings. When he signs, he has to pick a career that has openings, and then they have to sign you up for training that has openings. My oldest had to adjust to a lessor choice because of that, but he's happy with what he picked. He did extremely well on the ASVAB and could have picked anything. There were lots of openings for infantry, artillery, culinary, truck driving, etc. that didn't interest him.

 

I don't know if it is still this way, but we heard stories of kids going to Basic one summer, and then finding out the following summer that the career they signed for was no longer available when they were ready for career training.

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Thought of something else after dinner...

 

Keep in mind that career choices in the National Guard are based on openings in your state units. It isn't like the active Army or Air Force  where you can hopefully get what you want because you have the whole country for openings. When he signs, he has to pick a career that has openings, and then they have to sign you up for training that has openings. My oldest had to adjust to a lessor choice because of that, but he's happy with what he picked. He did extremely well on the ASVAB and could have picked anything. There were lots of openings for infantry, artillery, culinary, truck driving, etc. that didn't interest him.

 

I don't know if it is still this way, but we heard stories of kids going to Basic one summer, and then finding out the following summer that the career they signed for was no longer available when they were ready for career training.

 

 

I hadn't been aware of the NG career choice limitations issues before. Thank you for telling me that.

 

The National Guard is confusing to me with its state/federal aspects.  I think it appeals to ds currently partly due to being able to be in it as a junior in high school, and partly due to the more local nature of it (though he knows he could be sent to combat overseas too).  He also may see it as becoming something of a all around dealer with all emergencies--fire, flood, earthquake, whatever it is that might happen--or something of an electronics or intelligence nature.  I don't think he has pictured himself in military culinary services, though at one point in his life he did talk about being a chef (and he is a good cook) so that might not be a bad area for him in actual fact.  

 

Is the National Guard Basic /AIT done along with regular army or is it separate?

 

 

 

What had your son wanted to do and what did he end up choosing if you don't mind saying?  (And when did he take ASVAB?)

 

I was told by someone who had a son who had both National Guard and Air Force appeal to him that a thing to watch out for was happening with her son who did National Guard first for some years, and then entered the Air Force and would now be nearing his 20 years of total service and retirement, but he is having trouble getting the National Guard years to be counted toward his 20 years so may have to do the full 20 in USAF on top of whatever was Nat Guard.

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Reserve and National Guard retirement is based on points. You earn points for drill days and active duty periods (ex annual training or activation periods). If you join the reserves mid year you get a point for each day you were on active duty. You have to earn a minimum number of points to have a "good" year for reserve retirement.

 

If you go back on active duty your time is recalculated back from points to days. But where 75 points would have qualified as a year of reserve service it is equivalent to far fewer actual days.

 

NB. The military is in the process of changing the retirement system to a blended retirement. New members will be under the new system. I'm not sure of the details for how reserve points will count in the new system.

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Is the National Guard Basic /AIT done along with regular army or is it separate?

 

What had your son wanted to do and what did he end up choosing if you don't mind saying?  (And when did he take ASVAB?)

 

I was told by someone who had a son who had both National Guard and Air Force appeal to him that a thing to watch out for was happening with her son who did National Guard first for some years, and then entered the Air Force and would now be nearing his 20 years of total service and retirement, but he is having trouble getting the National Guard years to be counted toward his 20 years so may have to do the full 20 in USAF on top of whatever was Nat Guard.

 

Yes, National Guard recruits go through the same training as active recruits. When they go, it will be a mixture of potential active duty, reservists, and National Guard people.

 

I prefer to not give the details in a public forum because he'll have a clearance, but he couldn't get his top three choices and ended up with #4. The recruiter drove him to processing and sat with him when he was making his choice and gave him a very balanced perspective on what to expect. The recruiter also suggested going to Basic later, but there are some family and college schedule issues at play too. The earlier you sign, the more options you'll have.

 

He's a junior in college and took the ASVAB in October. He got nearly a perfect score, so he didn't have to worry about that. Some career paths have additional physical requirements, so keep that in mind.

 

There are indeed some issues transferring service, but it's hard to say without knowing the details. One of the guys my son went to processing with had been Army active duty and was elisting with the Army National Guard, and there were some hitches with his paperwork that way too.

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Frankly if you would rather not get a recruiter involved, don't sign up for that. My son's recruiter was low-pressure and honest, but they aren't all like that. They can be high-pressure. 

 

 

If you had a 9th grade son who strongly wanted you to sign the release so as to get recruiters involved, would you do so?

 

The biggest potential problem that I see is that he might score high enough to get a level of AFQT that would allow him in for Nat Guard, but not high enough on the other parts of the test like electronics and mechanics to be able to get a specialty training area that he would want, and that he might not be allowed to retake it in that case.  The rule I saw for army seems to indicate that it cannot be retaken just to raise scores for enlistment options or programs.  But I'm not sure if this would still apply for a 9th grader.

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I wouldn't. He can take it when he's ready to join. Great practice.

 

 

 

If you had a 9th grade son who strongly wanted you to sign the release so as to get recruiters involved, would you do so?

 

The biggest potential problem that I see is that he might score high enough to get a level of AFQT that would allow him in for Nat Guard, but not high enough on the other parts of the test like electronics and mechanics to be able to get a specialty training area that he would want, and that he might not be allowed to retake it in that case.  The rule I saw for army seems to indicate that it cannot be retaken just to raise scores for enlistment options or programs.  But I'm not sure if this would still apply for a 9th grader.

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Well, you have to account for the relationship dynamics.

 

But for me, with my experience with both recruiters and teenage boys that are absolutely certain about things that they eventually change their minds about, I would want him to take it for real (when it counts) only when he's starting the process of enlisting. 

 

 

Thanks!

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Call a recruiter and ask.

 

 

Wish I'd done that on Friday when local office might still have been open.

 

When I tried on weekend I had no success.  Maybe I can reach someone early tomorrow before ds has to leave for school and the test.

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Just reached someone at an 800 recruitment number.  They think he would be able to take it again, but ... apparently this is unusual situation that they have not addressed before and is not clear to them either.

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The ASVAB is basic academics.

 

 

It's an adaptive test, so if you answer stuff right, it will give you harder questions. DW (who took it in 2001, so it's been a while, but it's still an adaptive test) said it had some hard questions on it, more than just "basic academics", and certainly more than most 9th graders would know without any test prep. 

 

I'm not really seeing the advantage to releasing the scores to the military at this point, other than to make the teen happy, so, odds are I wouldn't. If there had been more time, maybe.

 

ETA: I wouldn't trust people on 1800-numbers who "think" something, but aren't sure. 

Edited by luuknam
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  • 3 weeks later...

I found an ASVAB website which seems to indicate that scores before 11th grade would not count for military use.  

 

When my DS took the ASVAB in 10th grade (Just for test-taking practice. Absolutely no interest in going in the military), we were given this same information by the testing coordinator.

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