With very few exceptions, becoming a non-commissioned officer (NCO) or petty officer in the U.S. Armed Forces is accomplished by progression through the lower enlisted ranks. However, unlike promotion through the lower enlisted tier, promotion to NCO is generally competitive. NCO ranks begin at E-4 or E-5, depending upon service and are generally attained between three and six years of service. Junior NCOs function as first-line supervisors and squad leaders, training the junior enlisted in their duties and guiding their career advancement.
[1] See two documents: Sims, W.H. and Truss, A.R., A Reexamination of the Normalization of Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Forms 6, 7, 6E, and 7E (Alexandria, VA: Center for Naval Analyses, September 1980); and Laurence, J.H. and Ramsberger, P.F., Low-Aptitude Men in the Military: Who Profits, Who Pays? (New York: Praeger, 1991).  
Educational Opportunities–More educational opportunities are available than ever before.  Alternatives to traditional education, such as online courses and weekend or evening programs, allow individuals to obtain higher education while working full-time.  New technology, such as live podcasts and streaming videos on demand, make it possible for people to learn at their own pace in their own place.  Education is a lifelong process.  Many people now choose to combine their education with work experience.  For instance, instead of attending a four-year college immediately after high school, some people get a two-year degree in a particular field and then enter the job force.  At some point, they may choose to complete a certificate program or a four-year degree to advance in their chosen field.  Other people choose to enter the Military to take advantage of the educational benefits and training that is provided.  There are a variety of occupations and career paths that you can pursue with different levels of education.  Do not rule out a given career field simply because you think that the educational requirements might be more than what you would like to pursue after high school.
Your choice of military career depends on your success on the ASVAB. Those looking to score the highest will use an ASVAB Test Study Guide for an overall review and back this up with a set of ASVAB Test Flashcards to drill down on problem areas. Responsibility is a key value of our nation's military, and the first step is taking responsibility for your own ASVAB preparation.

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Another big advantage of practice tests is that they are fun. It’s fun to challenge yourself and see what you know. Instead of wondering if you are studying the right things or just wasting your valuable time, good practice tests can help you find out what you need to know while injecting your study time with excitement and competition as you try to outdo yourself each time you take a test.
Arithmetic Reasoning tests the ability to solve basic arithmetic problems encountered in everyday life. One-step and multistep word problems require addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and choosing the correct order of operations when more than one step is necessary. The items include operations with whole numbers, operations with rational numbers, ratio and proportion, interest, percentage and measurement. Arithmetic Reasoning is one factor that helps characterize mathematics comprehension, and it also assesses logical thinking.
Nations are political and military units, but they are not necessarily the most important units in economic life, nor are they very much alike in any economic sense. All that nations really have in common is the political fact of their sovereignty. Indeed, the failure of national governments to control economic forces suggest that nations are irrelevant to promoting economic success.

The operational level is at a scale bigger than one where line of sight and the time of day are important, and smaller than the strategic level, where production and politics are considerations. Formations are of the operational level if they are able to conduct operations on their own, and are of sufficient size to be directly handled or have a significant impact at the strategic level. This concept was pioneered by the German army prior to and during the Second World War. At this level, planning and duration of activities takes from one week to a month, and are executed by Field Armies and Army Corps and their naval and air equivalents.[31]
There are several different authorized pay grade advancement requirements in each junior-enlisted rank category (E-1 to E-3), which differ by service. Enlistees in the Army can attain the initial pay grade of E-4 (specialist) with a four-year degree, but the highest initial pay grade is usually E-3 (members of the Army Band program can expect to enter service at the grade of E-4). Promotion through the junior enlisted ranks occurs after serving for a specified number of years (which can be waived by the soldier's chain of command), a specified level of technical proficiency or maintenance of good conduct. Promotion can be denied with reason.
Candidates taking the ASVAB are given a AFQT (Armed Forces Qualifying Test) score which is simply a combination of your scores from four tests (Arithmetic Reasoning, Mathematics Knowledge, Word Knowledge, and Paragraph Comprehension). This AFQT score is represented as a percentile (from 1-99) which depicts how well you scored compared to other test takers. For example, if your score is a 57, this means that you scored better than 57% of the other test takers. The AFQT score is used to determine whether you are qualified to enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Mathematics Knowledge tests the ability to solve problems by applying knowledge of mathematical concepts and applications. The problems focus on concepts and algorithms, and involve number theory, numeration, algebraic operations and equations, geometry, measurement and probability. Mathematics Knowledge is one factor that characterizes mathematics comprehension; it also assesses logical thinking.
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