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Dealing with the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP)

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The decision to join the military is a big, life-changing one. In the past, people could walk into an office, sign a few papers, and be ready to be shipped off for the first step in training, such as boot camp or basic training, almost immediately.

Things are very different now. Many people have commitments to deal with, including family issues, pregnancy, illnesses, school or work-related commitments that are vital to the individual. The recruiter is also dealing with pressures and guidelines, including making sure there is a place available for the individual in training. Both sides must deal with the timing pressure.

But wait! There is an answer. The Delayed Entry Program (DEP), also known as the Delayed Enlistment Program, is a binding contract that allows the individual to go into the inactive reserves with an agreement that the applicant will go into active duty, and then boot camp or basic training, at a specific date in the future.

This program allows individuals to complete outside obligations, as well as take time to learn more about the program they will enter, before becoming active duty in a branch of the military.

The DEP is an unpaid position, but is a start for people that are dealing with immediate issues in their personal life. People in the DEP should use this time to become familiar with the military world, spend time with their recruiter, and work on the physical fitness requirements that come with military life.

Though the DEP is a legally binding contract, it is possible to back out of future military service within the DEP. Anyone who wishes to terminate their position in the DEP, and their future service in the military, can request a release from the program. However, recruiters put in long hours and complete substantial amounts of paperwork for each recruit. All applicants should be mindful of their hard work before deciding to join, and before deciding to leave.

The DEP is a great way for potential recruits to complete outside commitments and obligations before serving their country, as well as learn a lot about the military. To see more information, visit usmilitary.about.com or contact a recruiter today.

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