How to Be in the 101st Airborne Division

The 101st Airborne is the aerial assault division of the United States Army.

The Screaming Eagles of the U.S. Army's 101st Airborne Division are an elite fighting force designated as an aerial assault unit -- the only such unit in the world. While no guarantees are made as to your assignment after enlistment, there are steps you can take to increase your chances for service in the 101st. Being well prepared for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, and being in excellent physical shape are primary areas of concentration. The other area concerns navigating the recruitment process to best position yourself to get into the U.S. Army's Air Assault School.

1 Enlisting

2 Begin a physical training regimen

Study for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and begin a physical training regimen, which includes push ups, sit ups, running and pull ups. Do this before going to the recruiter, because you may take the ASVAB during this visit. Much is determined by this test, including the jobs for which you qualify. Physical training should be started early because the test is administered while in boot camp, and you need to be in good shape to qualify for airborne or air assault school.

3 Visit your local Army recruiter

Visit your local Army recruiter. Tell them you want to be in the 101st Airborne and want to attend Air Assault School. As they normally cannot guarantee this, work with them to determine the best qualifications to obtain this goal. Find out what jobs are in demand, and if they are needed in the 101st Airborne. These can include specialist ratings, such as human resources, cooks and supply positions. Most divisions require these personnel, in addition to infantry training. Your qualifications are determined by your final ASVAB score.

4 Ask the recruiter to recommend a course of action

Ask the recruiter to recommend a course of action. Recruiters will guide you in the right direction if you ask the right questions. See if you can secure Fort Campbell, or airborne school, as a condition of enlistment, which may be possible if the Army is in need at that particular time.

5 Follow along

Follow along with the enlistment plan per the recruitment process. If no guarantees are made, things may come available while in boot camp, especially if you score high on the Army Physical Fitness Test, or APFT. To qualify for Air Assault School, a score of 240 must be attained, which is broken down into three sections: push ups, sit ups and a two-mile run. Also, running an obstacle course and doing pull ups are required for airborne and air assault training.

6 Continue the physical fitness training

Continue the physical fitness training while waiting to report to boot camp. Every bit of preparation helps.

A native of New Haven, Conn., Floyd Drake III began writing in 1984. His work has appeared in the "New Haven Register," Medford's "Mail-Tribune" and the "Ashland Daily Tidings." Drake studied journalism at Southern Connecticut State University. After working as a reporter in Oregon, he is now based back home in New Haven.