The Army Career Center in Brandon is one of several places that prospective recruits can go to in Hillsborough County.

By Gunnar Wagner

Joining the military is an important milestone for anyone. There are a multitude of branches for one to choose from, but the branch that is possibly the most iconic is the United States Army. In Brandon at the Army Career Center, a division of the Tampa U.S. Army Recruiting Company, Staff Sgt. Edwin Negrin is the station commander (or supervisor). Negrin has been in the Army for 14 years and has been a recruiter for seven and a half years.

Offering advice for potential service members, Negrin said, “I believe that graduating from school, staying in shape and having a good support system are very important components to have in one’s life.”

So, how do you go about joining the Army? After speaking with a recruiter, one must take a test called the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This test determines your strengths and abilities in the fields of science, math and language in order to be placed in the right job. Jobs in the military are called military occupational specialties (MOS), and there are over 200 different opportunities.

Once a recruit has successfully completed the ASVAB and is placed in the right MOS, they must complete a physical exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). When that is accomplished, finally, in order to become a soldier, or ‘trainee,’ as recruits are referred to, they must then sign a contract called the Oath of Enlistment, a vow to defend the Constitution throughout their military career.

Preparation for basic training is next. Basic training prepares trainees for the Army and is typically completed in 10 weeks. Once a soldier graduates from basic training, there are three pathways for them to choose from: full-time active duty, part-time Army Reserve and part-time Army National Guard. Additionally, there are also incentives known as enlistment bonuses that are given to qualified recruits for enlisting in the Army, completing basic training or becoming active duty. These are situation-based (e.g., one can get up to $50K if they are active duty) and enlistments range from three to six years. To learn more about enlistment and enlistment bonuses, visit

The Army Career Center is located at 765 W. Brandon Blvd. in Brandon. Visit or its Instagram and Facebook pages at @goarmy_brandon765 and ‘U.S. Army Recruiting – Brandon,’ respectively, to learn more.

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