Questions to ask before you enlist:

1. "Will enlistment help me achieve my goals?"
What, exactly, are your goals? Think hard about them. Discuss them with friends and family. Be as specific as possible. Maybe even write them down. If for example you'd like a chance at further education, consider that according to AFSC, "The military's money for education plan is not as easy as it sounds. It is only after you leave the military that you find out whether you've met all the requirements. The largest amount of money mentioned is offered only to those GIs who take jobs the military has a hard time filling." As for job training, the military can't give you guarantees. You might not get the kind you expect and your training may not be right for a civilian job you want.

2. "Am I trying to escape my own problems?"
The main thing is not to make an important decision when you're upset and unsure about what to do. "Don't enlist unless you're sure," AFSC advises. "If you change your mind after you join, it's very hard to get out."

3. "Am I willing to give up control?"
The military makes decisions about your life, not you. And enlistment means it will make major decisions for you for at least eight years, including time in the reserves. A lot can happen in that time. Right now, for example, National Guard members and reservists have had their tours of duty in Iraq extended.

4. "Am I willing to kill and be killed?"
Your answer may be a quick yes, and you may be right. But you could find yourself in a situation or a war you think is wrong. Once again, you can't quit.

5. "Do I have other options?"
And have you considered them? School counselors, nurses, and social workers may have ideas and connections for job training or to help you get money for further schooling. So do various community organizations like unions and employment agencies. There is also a lot of information available in libraries and on the web.

Probably the most important things you can do are to:

read everything on the websites or in printed material closely
get answers to your questions
talk with recruiters, family, and friends
think very hard about what you want to do before making a final decision