23 answers

waCan A Single Mom Join the Army

Can a single mom join the army and if so what are the requirements? I have one son he's 6. His father has never been there for him. My family helps alot.. jobs are very hard to come by and I think this would be very benefitial for us? Also I was actually thinking about army reserves instead of active duty..any thoughts on the difference between the two considering my situation would be appreciated. It would be hard on both me and my son. It would be very difficult to be away from him for long periods of time but as hard as it WILL be im thinking of our future.

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I talked to a recruiter today and I've decided not to join any branch of the military for the simple reason I don't know if I could be 100% comitted to it. What I mean is its very demanding both physically and mentally..and I don't know if I could focus on the job being away from my son months or yrs at a time..he is my everything and I couldn't imagine going one day without seeing him!I am all he has and if something were to happen he wouldn't have a parent.

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Yes. My cousin was sent overseas when her baby was 2 months old. She left her baby with her mom and went for a few month term. I was second in line to watch her baby if her mom decided not too! You make a lot of money in a short amount of time, but I can't imagine being away from my kids.

Yes they can, You will have to fill out a family care plan which states what you will do if you get deployed. different branches have different requirements. Age limits for one are different. Army is 41. Good luck!!!

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why would you want to I'm sure it would be terribly hard on the child

4 moms found this helpful

So you're going to possibly take 2 parents away from your son? I don't want to sound mean but with our situation in the middle east, you could very easily be deployed. How is a 6 year-old going to possibly understand that it's for his future?

If you do decide that this is what you have to do though, please do your research on actually receiving your benefits - I've heard rumblings about delays in receiving benefits with so many soldiers deployed today. And I could be wrong, but I'd have to believe that reserves would be even further down the line for priority of benefits.

4 moms found this helpful

My DH was an army recruiter three years ago. You MUST surrender your custody to someone else before you can even enlist. Active Duty life is not compatible with being a single parent. What Beth is talking about is true, 10 years ago you COULD go in as a single parent. 10 years ago was PEACE TIME. You WILL be deployed, it will happen.

Hours for childcare are nuts too. You have to be at PT about 5:30 am and then return home around 8am. You shower and eat and get back to work at 9am and then work until you are released, which is not the same time every day. You would not really be able to bring him with you to wherever you are stationed, and you WILL deploy.

Army deployments are a year at a time. Plus weeks or months in the field training on a regular basis. Reserves can be better, but deployment is 18 months with them (6 month refresher training away from home, you cannot bring him with you, and then 12 months in the combat zone) We just left 10 years of military service because it was so terrible on our kids (ages 4.5 and 8) Good luck

3 moms found this helpful

Ignore the people who are saying don't do it.

You can absolutely do it! Yes, times will be stressful, but you'll feel better about the whole situation in the long run. It's a guaranteed job with benefits and it can help you and your son.

Depending your job, you may not have to go overseas. If you'd like to know the jobs that are most likely to keep you here and give you a good job once you get out, email me. I'll tell you what my husband did.


3 moms found this helpful

Please do not put your son in that position! I can guarantee you that his future will be MUCH better if you stay in his present. You will be hurting him rather than helping if you leave him.

3 moms found this helpful

Edited - DON'T ignore the people telling you not to do it. Read all the feedback you got here, talk to reps of various military branches, talk to any friends with military experience, do your own research, & then, and only then, make your own, informed decision.

I can understand why you want to do it, but is it really beneficial for your family in the long run?

You say the dad is not in the picture. There is no guarantee (especially now) that you won't get deployed. How is your son going to feel when you get deployed & are gone, too? He needs a stable parent at home. I hear over & over again from military families that the mom is essentially a single mom when the husband is deployed, so your son would be parentless if you got deployed, pretty much. It's hard enough on kids when dad is gone for a year at a time, but I can't imagine how difficult it would be when both parents are gone.

What about reliable childcare? Do you have someone you trust THAT MUCH to watch your son while you are gone? You could be gone for months or years at a time. Are you prepared to have someone else raise your son, potentially? And would you feel fine with putting that burden on someone else indefinitely? It will grossly affect someone else's life, to drop everything to be your son's caretaker for an indefinite amount of time. Are you prepared to miss out on all those milestones, class awards, sports, achievements, etc? You can't get any of that back.

What about going to community college & working part time in your city? If you're a single mom with no job & no support coming in from your son's father, you are in a good position to get government aid, if you don't already. Most likely you would qualify for free schooling, daycare, etc. I would look into that before taking the drastic move of enrolling in the military. It would be more beneficial to your son to have at least one parent present & active in his life & not tied to the crazy lifestyle that the military can bring. I know the lure of money & benefits is tempting, but please think it through.

3 moms found this helpful

I'm sure you can but I have to agree with Jane why would you want to? I could not imagine how hard it would be on your son. It's hard enough when one parent in a two parent home is gone but you are his everything.

2 moms found this helpful

Why not consider a trade school degree that you can get in a year and then go to work and not have the thought of possible deployment on your mind?

2 moms found this helpful

I have a good friend who is currently deployed with the Navy Reserves. Her 1 year is almost up. She is a single Mom and has a 3 year old. He has been living with her Grandma. (Her Grandma raised her- Mom had her very young)

It can be done.

1 mom found this helpful

You will have to have someone that is responsible for your child when you are deployed and a FULL plan for anything that could happen. There are extensions on deployment for single parents but they are not given easily or freely and there are serious consequences for not deploying on time. I do not think that as a single parent in today's military it is the best idea for you right now.

1 mom found this helpful

Check out the national guard too.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes you can, and go active duty.
There was a woman that was in my basic training platoon that was a single mom and she was 38. That was 12 yrs ago.
Talk to a recruiter. see what they can offer you.
With the current GI Bill your son will beable to use your GI Bill when he goes to college.

But when you do , go to off post medical facilities, Military medical clinics really suck , long lines, big wait times, and people that work in records are like going to the DMV.

1 mom found this helpful

Well, the reserves actually has lots of deployments so that M. not be so good.

Coast guard might work better but keep all options open. You will need to take the ASVAB (http://www.military.com/ASVAB) so they can place you in something your talents are suited to (like if you are good a codes, you might be put in a place to decode from the radio...)

You are required to have plan for if you are deployed so keep that in mind.

Insurance rocks. After having to deal with all the hubla in the civi world I love, love, LOVE Tricare. You just go to the ER or doctor at the military hospital and never see a bill, same goes for prescriptions! You never see a bill.

Edit to add:
Ok, my military health care experiences might be unique, The only 2 times I have gone to the ER was when 1) poison control asked me if I wanted them to call the ambulance or if I wanted to call them and 2) when they did a blood work up and found that one of my kids had bacteria in his bloodstream was told to go to the ER so an IV could be put in and he could be admitted, they also offered to call the ambulance for me...

I have always been able to get appointments within 3 days of calling to see my doctor and most the time it is the same day with the doctor rarely being late and then only by 15 minutes.

Getting the prescriptions can take time, but if you go on Saturday morning right when they open the wait is only 10 minutes. Normal wait time is about an hour if you need it that same day (though if you are in uniform you can get in an out in about 15 minutes... I send hubby to get meds for this reason!)

1 mom found this helpful

I am against this because WHEN you deploy, even if to Korea where you can't take any family, your child will feel abandoned. Try another idea.

I think you just have to have someone named as guardian if you get deployed.

Yes. My cousin was sent overseas when her baby was 2 months old. She left her baby with her mom and went for a few month term. I was second in line to watch her baby if her mom decided not too! You make a lot of money in a short amount of time, but I can't imagine being away from my kids.

What will happen to him if you die?

Yes they can, You will have to fill out a family care plan which states what you will do if you get deployed. different branches have different requirements. Age limits for one are different. Army is 41. Good luck!!!

How many kids do you have? You can join with up to 2 dependants without a waiver and it also depends on your MOS

My husband was an Army recruiter. Unfortunately you would not be able to unless you gave up custody of your son. I do recommend looking at ga jobs or naf jobs on post. I hope this helps . He just got off recruiting duty. This is just for the Army. The family care plans are for already enlisted soldiers .

Talk to a recruiter, then look at what you are supposed to sign. Read the fine print. Talk to some women in your position in all the different branches of the service to see which one appeals to you best.

Make sure you have back up plans for your child.

Good luck!

Yes you can, but they will no longer take a GED, you must have a high school diploma, and you will have to have a family plan for who will watch your children while you deploy since you will still deploy. If you want shorter deployments and less time away from your kids I would check into the air force. I believe the cut off age is 35, but I am not sure. Just contact your local recruitment office.

Yes! I don't know all of the requirements (like age and weight), but I know you have to have a GED or equivalent. Single soldiers or dual military (mom and dad are both soldiers) have to have a family care plan in case of deployments, TDY, field training exercises, etc. We are a military family and, although it's not a lifestyle for everyone, there are some wonderful benefits (healthcare, education, housing, job security, pension, etc.). I would suggest you talk to a recruiter.

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