How to Join the 10th Mountain Division

Books on shelves in library.jpg

Once you've decided to enlist in the U.S. Army, your recruiter will shift your focus to finding a suitable mode of service, or "MOS." You may want to work with a particular unit, like the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum , New York. If so, this is the time to make your wishes known. Before you even enlist, the Army is collecting information about you to find the best place for you to serve your country.

1 Yourself

Prepare yourself for the military's entrance examination, called the ASVAB, or Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery. The better your score, the better chance of landing the job you want -- and, ultimately, your desired post. Several websites help potential recruits get high scores.

2 Learn type

Learn what type of jobs are needed by the 10th Mountain Division. You may like a job, like nuclear technician, but 10th Mountain doesn't need them. A light infantry division, 10th Mountain is heavy on infantry soldiers, is in the 11 series of MOSs, but it does have several other types of jobs available, from military intelligence specialists and engineers to communications experts and maintenance workers. Ask your recruiter what jobs are needed by 10th Mountain and chose one that you like.

3 Pay attention

Pay attention while filling out the numerous forms you'll have to complete during the enlistment process. During this time, you'll be asked to list, in order of preference, your three most desirable assignments. Place "10th Mountain, Fort Drum" at the top of this list. Especially in times of war, this may not factor into your eventual assignment; often, however, the Army will take these wishes into consideration.

4 Prepare yourself for cold weather

Prepare yourself for cold weather, either by taking a winter camping trip or wearing less heavy clothing than normal. The 10th Mountain's historic focus, since its inception before World War II, is on fighting in frigid temperatures. You may be enlisting in warmer months and your basic training and MOS schooling may be hot, sweaty experiences, but if you're assigned to Ford Drum, you'll be training to specialize in cold-weather climates.

5 Work hard to excel

Work hard to excel in basic training and AIT, the "advanced individual training" that prepares soldiers for their jobs. The better your scores on physical and knowledge-based testing, the better your chances for getting the assignment of your choice.

6 Persevere

Persevere if your first assignment or two isn't to the 10th Mountain Division. The military has the right to put you where it thinks you're most needed. It might be possible, however, to transfer to Fort Drum during reenlistment, if that's what you state is your term for signing on for another period of two years or more.

Dan Harkins has been a full-time journalist since 1997. Prior to working in the alternative press, he served as a staff writer and editor for daily publications such as the "St. Petersburg Times" and "Elyria Chronicle-Telegram." Harkins holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of South Florida.