U.S. ARMY KWAJALEIN ATOLL, Marshall Islands - Several dozen potential new recruits took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery last week on Kwajalein and many more took the test on Ebeye and in Majuro.

The ASVAB is a multiple choice test used to determine qualification in the U.S. Armed Forces and is administered by the Military Entrance and Processing Command. The test was administered here the week of Jan. 16.

C-Badge and K-Badge workers were given a chance to take the ASVAB at the Cortlett Recreation Center Jan. 19. The next day, students at Kwajalein Jr. High/Sr. High School were able to take the test. Each day saw 18 test takers, for a total of 36. More than 100 students and adults took the ASVAB on Ebeye, according to Sgt. 1st Class Ipisia Tuatagaloa, who is an Army recruiter stationed in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The ASVAB contains nine different sections, and each one measures a different skill set. Each branch of the armed services has a different minimum score for enlistment. Also, the branches within each service use a unique combination of the scores on each section to determine if a recruit is eligible for a particular branch, like military intelligence, transportation or infantry.
Once potential recruits get their scores back and have indicated which branch of the military they would like to join, a recruiter will work with them to determine which military occupational specialty fits their qualifications best.

The Compact of Free Association, a bilateral agreement signed by the United Sates and the Marshall Islands in 1986, specifies that the United States will provide for the defense of the Marshall Islands. On the flipside, Marshallese citizens can enlist or commission in the U.S. armed forces.

According to data obtained from the Portland Recruiting Battalion, which is responsible for recruiting in the Marshall Islands, 56 Marshallese citizens enlisted in the U.S. Army between October 2007 and September 2011. There were two officers commissioned during that same time period. Specific information from the other services was not available, but Marshallese citizens currently serve in all branches of the armed forces.