Tactical Fitness: Which Branch to Serve?

Recruits swearing in.

Here is an email from a young college student who is destined for a life of service.  The problem is selecting which service.  This is a very tough question that I too once struggled with when in high school.

Stew –

My career goal is to join the FBI or US Marshals. However, my short term goal is to serve my country. I've been dead-set on the Army Rangers, but since I learned more about what the USCG does with policing and security, I’ve been attracted to their work too. What do you think is a better path to take? I know both are good paths, but one is always better than the other.

I have to start off the answer to this question by giving a non-answer.  Truthfully, you cannot go wrong with either route, but which one is right for you?  Personally, growing up in Florida, I have a fondness for beach towns.  When I was looking at the Army and Navy when in High School, I noticed that all Navy bases pretty much had towns attached to them.  Most Army bases did not, obviously.  So for me, the places where I would possibly live played into the decision. 

If you used the same criteria, it really depends on what type of environment you enjoy when working and not working.  Something else to consider is whether you like boats or land and air ops?  Rucking and jumping out of planes are going to be a big part of your job if you select Army.  Boats, swimming, port security, and other domestic anti-drug and anti-terrorism operations will be the focus when in the Coast Guard.

Both are different jobs but provide excellent skills to a follow on career in federal law enforcement.  So – good luck with whatever you decide and thanks for considering service to our country.  I am glad we still have a younger generation who claims service as a duty.

Stew Smith works as a presenter / editorial board with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS).  There are also over 800 articles on Military.com Fitness Forum focusing on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

Latest Fitness Books: Navy SEAL Weight Training and Tactical Fitness

Show Full Article