thoughts on joining the ARMY


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cdharmon
December 24, 2005, 03:23 AM
i'm 19 years old and have finished 1 year of college. i have been planning on going to school this next semester, then working the summer until december, and then going to travel asia for 4 months with one of my close friends. after that i am planning on enlisting in the army.

i want to do my 9 weeks of basic then enroll for airborne training. maybe serve some time overseas doing whatever, and coming back and trying out for the special forces.

now, from what i read in another thread regarding this, being in the military has proven a usefull, maturing, coming of age thing, but the general attitude seemed to regard it as depressing, often screwing up your life.

now i work construction when i dont go to school and both my coworkers and boss were either in the marines or the army rangers. now when they talk about it their eyes light up. my friend bill served in the rangers over in the persian gulf war, and he said he would love to go back, it was the highlight of his life.

why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?

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LBTRS
December 24, 2005, 03:48 AM
now i work construction when i dont go to school and both my coworkers and boss were either in the marines or the army rangers.

why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?

Do you want to work construction all your life? (not that there is anything wrong with construction but is it what you want to do?) As you can probably figure out, the infantry doesn't prepare you for life outside the military. If that's what you're looking for you may want to pick a different job or service.

If you're looking to serve your country, grow up and have some fun then the Army or USMC may be just for you.

As with everything, some people love it and some people hate it. It is all what YOU make of it. I'm Active Duty Navy and have been for 19 years and have met many that don't like the Navy but as many or more who love the Navy. I could hate it if I allowed myself to, instead I thrive on the challenge and work to be the best I can at what I do.

Winger Ed.
December 24, 2005, 03:50 AM
why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?

That pretty much sums it up fella. Some people live their whole life and don't figure that out, be it concerning the military, school, their job, their marriage, or pretty much everything else too. Some folks adapt well and thrive in the Service, some just aren't cut out to be in the military.

Read down the other threads about this subject and the other services, and the Parris Island Range Report thread. Some darn interesting points of view and experiances in them.

I could only add 2 things to all of them that I didn't see mentioned, or covered well enough:

1. At this point in the game-- since college is reachable, you'd be wise to finish. Then, go in as an officer. The responsibilities are greater, but so is the money, living/working condidtions, and the prestige.

2. If you go into some form or fashion of Special Forces, SEALS, etc., or the Marines--- if it isn't something you want to do or become a member of with all your heart,,,,, there is a very good chance it will ruin your life with the 'bad papers' you'll get--which will haunt you for the rest of your life, or possibly even destroy you.

If you 'quit', washout due to personal weaknesses, or lock horns with the military in those fields of endeavor, you'll lose. In my almost 8 years as a Marine, I saw it happen over and over. Often to otherwise good kids that really shouldn't have joined the military in the first place.

Good luck.

BullfrogKen
December 24, 2005, 04:09 AM
If you can finish college, do it.

If you feel compelled to join the military to be a part of a warrior culture, join the Marines.

The Army serves as a tool for upward social and economic mobility for most recruits, and you'll encounter that in the infantry more than any other job in the Army. It requires the least technical skills. Most I knew in the Army who made a move to the "elite corners" did so just to be around competent, motivated soldiers. They distained the regular infantry for its boredom, complacency, and incompetence. Either way, the infantry gives you very little marketable concrete job skills.

Make the decision you're going to use the military to teach you a skill you can't afford on your own to buy, as money for college to buy whatever skill you want AFTER you get out (ie - plan on being deployed often in today's service), or join the Marines because you have a calling to it.

And yes, its all what you make it. There's no magic wand that gets waved over your head that changes you. Either the good things the military does for its recruits are there intrinsically and they are able to foster it, or its not there and it makes for a very bad tour.

campbellcj
December 24, 2005, 04:22 AM
To echo the above, first of all, I have extremely high admiration for those of you who serve or have served our Nation in the armed forces. That said, if at all possible, I would suggest that you would be better off completing your education and then at that time re-visiting your decision, at which time you would will be set up for better income potential (whether in public or private sector employment), and also more mature in terms of deciding what you wish to experience and accomplish in life.

Whatever you decide, do it well, and good luck!

Devonai
December 24, 2005, 04:44 AM
...the infantry doesn't prepare you for life outside the military

Bullplop. You will have a hundred times more patience than your contemporaries, and what most people consider as intolerable and unacceptable you will consider a very minor inconvenience.

They distained the regular infantry for its boredom, complacency, and incompetence. Either way, the infantry gives you very little marketable concrete job skills.


The Infantry I know is motivated, squared away, and well capable of delivering death and destruction to the enemy. And again, you'll be capable of performing under pressure in circumstances that would leave most people in need of a change of underwear.

MTMilitiaman
December 24, 2005, 06:11 AM
It is very much about attitude. My brother has always been the bright, obnoxious type that resists conformity and locks horns with most authority figures. He is also the spontanious type and made such a decision without looking before he lept--he joined the Army. He hates it. He is in Iraq right now. He hates it. The funny thing is, when he came home on break, we could all tell it had done him some good. He seemed to have matured a little and was much more polite. We had never seen him take his hat off indoors or address others as "sir" or "mam." I think even if he hates every minute of it, if he survives the experience, the Army will be a good thing for him and he will eventually recognize it as such. But the point is, if your attitude isn't right, the military can be a miserable experience.

Phantom Warrior
December 24, 2005, 07:40 AM
I've only been in for about six months (three and a half months were spent at basic). So I don't have a tremendous amount of information for you. But I'll share my experience so far.

I signed my contract in the fall of 2004. I was in DEP for about 9 months while I finished up my degree. (Yes, I am a college graduate and yes I'm going to OCS eventually, before anyone brings that up). I did decide to go enlisted initially, rather than officer. Briefly, I wasn't sure about the selection process, I would have forgone a significant bonus check, and I felt some enlisted experience wasn't a bad thing. I signed up to be Infantry. I could have done something else (anything else, actually), but I'll probably be doing office-type work after I get out, so I decided to go for broke and do something exciting for a few years.

I spent the summer at Ft. Benning, GA; the Home of the Infantry. Basic is not that bad, at least in our company. Our chaplain told us stories about when he went to Ft. Benning (he was former Infantry, back around the Persian Gulf War). After hearing stories about drill sergeants throwing rifles through ceilings and making the privates take their bunks and wall lockers down stairs and remake the bay on the PT field, I felt a lot better about my situation. It will be stressful. You'll get tired of getting in trouble for other people's mistakes. But you will come out in better shape and with the basic skills to start learning your job. You will be the subject matter expert of NOTHING, so don't think you know everything.

I've been stationed here in Schweinfurt w/ 1-18 Infantry for about two months now. It's interesting. I'm in the battalion S-3 Operations shop (we handle planning and stuff). When infantry isn't it the field you do a lot of busy work. Details and stuff. Cleaning, etc. I've picked up trash, painted, laid carpet, all kinds of stuff. Fortunately, I got seconded to the arms room, so I've been learning how to fix stuff, run the arms room, and might end up going to armorer school (which would be tight).

Here are some (hopefully) useful thoughts. In no particular order...

1. You will meet all kinds of people, esp in the Infantry. You have some people that are high speed and squared away and some people that are useless. You meet people straight out of high school and people w/ college degrees. People w/ the whole world by the horns (our PG at basic was like that) and people who joined the Army because they had run out of options.

2. Your life is not your own. This was hard for me to adjust to, because I'm used to being in college and do whatever I want. But you do what people tell you to do. You get up at 0600 for formation at 0630. If your platoon sergeant doesn't release you at 1700, even if there is nothing to do, you don't leave work. If the acting First Sergeant schedules you to pull ho guard (don't ask) on Christmas Eve, you have to be there. And if the Army goes to war, you go too.

3. That's why a lot of people are suggesting you go the officer route. Officers (and to a lesser extent, NCOs) don't have to put up with as much crap. On the other hand, there is no shame in being a Joe (enlisted guy) and how things run really depends on your platoon sergeant. And college is expensive as heck and getting more expensive every year. It wouldn't be a bad idea to let the Army pay for the rest of your education.

4. They do compensate you pretty well for all this. The base pay isn't super. It's decent for the amount of education you have. But the benefits are outstanding. A place to live, food (well, DFAC food), insurance, health care, the works. And currently the enlistment bonuses are OFF THE HOOK. The guy next to me at basic got 20K for signing. No education, no special abilities, just infantry for four years.


Bottom line, the Army annoys me a lot. But I'm learning stuff and it is an interesting experience. I predict as I settle into the Army a little more it will improve even more. And I think, in the long run, it will be a tremendous experience.

That's about it, for now. Here are a couple of links to thread I started before I went off to basic. You may find them interesting. They both have a lot of good information.
Army Basic Training. What to expect? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=143404)
Rifle practice for the Army? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=104501)

71Commander
December 24, 2005, 07:44 AM
If you feel compelled to join the military to be a part of a warrior culture, join the Marines.

I could say someting, but I won't. :cool:

DunedinDragon
December 24, 2005, 08:23 AM
now i work construction when i dont go to school and both my coworkers and boss were either in the marines or the army rangers. now when they talk about it their eyes light up. my friend bill served in the rangers over in the persian gulf war, and he said he would love to go back, it was the highlight of his life.


I was in the military for 9 1/2 years and I would not have traded a day of it. I would also say that I would not want to be back in it either. I personally find it a shame that there are so many folks around that have never experienced it. If you allow the military to do with you what they will and not give in to the half-hearted whining you see in the lowest levels of recruits and commit yourself to the mission and lifestyle, you will emerge from the experience better prepared than any of your non-military experienced counterparts to be able to excel in whatever field you pursue.

The military will give you unlimited possibilities, but it's up to you to capitalize on them. After 9 1/2 years I left the military and pursued my career in the private sector. I have no doubt that the skills I learned in the military regarding being focused on the mission and getting the job done regardless of the impediments gave me an advantage over my contemporaries and eventually allowed me to have enough money and success to retire at the ripe old age of 48.

Give it everything you've got and you'll get back more than you can imagine. Even if you just do 4 years, but do them well, you will still gain some benefit in being part of that brotherhood of people willing to stand up for their country.

P-32
December 24, 2005, 08:59 AM
I spent 20 1/2 years in the Navy working on about every type of airplane the Navy owned at one time or another as an egress/environmental tech. Like any job, it had it's ups and downs. I loved the travel. I have seen things only others can read about. I have done things others wish they could do. :rolleyes:

I wish I had gone to school got the sheep skin and flew as a crewman. No my eyes were and are not good enough to have been a pilot but I loved airplanes anyways.

Since you are in school now stay there and grad. Like one of the other posters said he went in enlisted first, which isn't all that bad of an idea as the better Officer's were enisted at one time. It really is all about attitude as well, keep an open mind, talk to your seniors, and no I don't mean brown nose.

Set your goals and reach for the stars.

C-grunt
December 24, 2005, 09:30 AM
I have been Army Infantry now for about 3 years. If you want to go SF, the Infantry is the way to go. Even if you dont end up going you will still be part of a high speed combat unit. You will also gain a lot of experience and tactical knowledge.

DO NOT sign up for the course that sends you to SF training right after basic. You will have a lot harder of a time because basic training teaches you just that, the basics. SF is extremely advanced and they want you to know things that omly come from being at your unit.

As for when you get out, you dont have a whole lot of practical training ,unless you go Private Military, but you do have skills that employers are looking for. You are highly disciplined, work well under pressure, dont think a 12 hour work day is all that bad, and brainwashed into believing there is no sick days. Plus I have been told by numerous cops that the police department like to hire Infantry over any other MOS.

Citadel99
December 24, 2005, 10:13 AM
I'm an Army officer at Fort Bragg. I'd recommend a little of both options. Get an ROTC contract or scholarship from your college or another. That'll pay for your schooling. Join the Army reserves or NG in the SMP (Simultaneous Membership Program). You'll go to basic during the summer, be a Joe at a NG or Reserve unit, and get paid about $600 a month while in school. Then, upon graduation you'll be a 2LT.

Downside to this is the possibility of a deployment with the NG/Reserve unit during college. A plus side is if you decide to get out after your three or four year officer contract, the enlisted time counts against the IRR so you have a small chance of being called up after you get out.

Feel free to PM me with any questions. By the way, I took the OCS contract route myself.

Mark

Oh yeah, if you want to go to Airborne school you better get that in writing in your contract or you won't go. Believe me, I've seen it many times. And, by all means go, jumping's fun and you get paid extra to do it!

Olys45
December 24, 2005, 10:16 AM
Well here is the pitch for the Air Force.

I have been associated with it for over 16 years, and I have over 14.5 years on Active Duty under my belt. I have been an Aircraft Mechanic, taught people (Cilvilians, Active, Reserve, Guard and Republic of Singapore) all about the KC135 Hydraulic and IFR Systems and just until a few short months ago even a Recruiter. I was in the Inactive Reserve (I was out for almost two years) for about 22 months, so I have seen life on the outside and life on the inside.

If you want the highest quality of life and the best chance (depending on which job you pick/get) of completing your college go to the Air Force. By the highest quality of life I mean where you live, work and play is going to be the nicest around. The food is decent to better than the some of the branches also.

If you want to be one of the high speed low drag types, we have our own Special Forces also. Combat Control, Pararescue, (CCT/PJ's) Survivial Escape Evasion and Resistance (SERE) Instructors are the hardest to qualify for, in that order, and if you want to live with the grunts and call in airstrikes when the going gets tough look into being an Tactical Air Control Party (TAC-P).

The PAST Test is a real kick in the apple bags, so you have to be in shape to pass the test in order to list those jobs at the MEPS.

Most of the jobs in the USAF will correlate directly to the outside world and our training is accredited as college level courses through the Southern Associations of Schools (I think that was the name), but we have our own Community College of the Air Force (CCAF).

I have spoken to many retired/former members of other branches and they either 1) "Pick on me" for just being in the Air Force because we have a better quality of life. 2) Wish that they would have joined the Air Force. or 3) Tell everybody that they meet to join the Air Force.

One nice thing about the Air Force is that you will have a GUARANTEED JOB either before you leave for Basic or you will be qualified for an area of jobs and then pick one at basic and unless you fail out or are a knucklehead and get into a lot of trouble it is a GUARANTEED JOB, some of the other branches :cough:cough: army :cough:cough only guarantee the TRAINING and not the JOB... read the contract! I always had copies of contracts so I could show any applicant exactly what they are going to be signing... if a Recruiter won't show you anything like that, walk away!

Also don't believe any Recruiter that tells you "Just go down to MEPS, to see what jobs you qualifiy for!" I have news for you, after you fill out the Medical Prescreen form and the Recruiter faxes it into MEPS and he gets the clearance for you to process, you are tentativly qualified unless you tell the Doc something other than what you told your Recruiter, or they find something that you didn't know you had.

You can take the ASVAB before you set up a time to process at MEPS (take the physical), combined with that score and the medical prescreen a Recruiter can give you an idea what jobs you qualifiy for. Please understand what your recruiter says and what the final word the Doc says is two different things, but I could tell somebody that, "Hey you qualifiy for this job based on your score, as long as your physical is good you can pick this job if it is available!"

Oh yeah, one more thing, if any branch is offering an enlistment bonus it is for one of two reasons...
1) That job is hard to fill because nobody wants to do it. (at one time Fuel Cell Maintenance)
2) That job is hard to fill because it is hard to qualifiy for. (Linguist)

I hope this helps!

BriGuy1
December 24, 2005, 02:37 PM
Why there are widely varying opinions about the life impact of time spent in the service? Different people experience the same thing, yet learn vastly different things from that experience. Here is what I learned from six years as an enlisted (sergeant) in the Marines.

Leadership matters. A good leader will not only acomplish the mission, a good leader will attract the best people to them like a magnet. Leading means teaching, being a mentor, coaching, inspiring, and possessing ethics that are beyond reproach. Selfish, spoiled, self-serving, unethical people should not ever be placed in charge of anything more important than a parked car.

???? happens. Life is complex. In any complex organization, it is not possible to accomplish anything without making mistakes. Show me someone who does not make mistakes, and I will show you a liar, a cheat, or a person performing far below their abilities. After all, the best way to do nothing wrong is to do nothing.

Respect is earned. To earn it, you have to give it, both to superiors and subordinates.

Never, ever date the same girl your buddy is dating, even if she assures you that they are "just friends".

Sign up, you won't have any regrets.

neoncowboy
December 24, 2005, 03:00 PM
You may want to give some considerations to mission scope and where your own personal morals are on the subject of our nation's foreign policy.

As a member of the armed services, you will be out at the sabre's tip, so to speak. The sabre being our nation's foreign policy.

Are you comfortable aligning your whole life with a foreign policy of:
global interventionism?
taking sides in regional conflicts that are older than our nation?
sacrificing American blood and treasure for the goals of expanding the 'american way of life' to people/nations who may or may not even want it?
being the world's policeman?
conducting social experiments abroad?
fighting the 'war on terror', possibly even against Americans?
and finally...
making enemies for our nation?

Of course America's military is a distinguished and very honorable institution...but it just seems like the last 75 years or more have given that military a direction that just isn't good for the nation or the world.

And to, maybe you see it differently and drink the whole 'we're-morally-superior-and-owe-it-to-the-world-to-straighten-everybody-else-out' Kool-Aid. If so, the military will be a really good fit.

I just can't see placing my whole life in alignment with the stupid, arrogant and fruitless mission that has befallen our nation's military/foreign policy over the last 75-100 years.

Lebben-B
December 24, 2005, 03:11 PM
CD,

22 years ago I was much like you - I was in college and at loose ends. I decided to enlist because of the college money the Army offered (the then-princely sum of $20,000.) Then the recruiter said the Army would give me an extra $8,000 if I joined the infantry for 4 years and by the way - if you take an Airborne contract, we'll throw in another $75 a month for jump pay. Sounded pretty good to a poor hillbilly from the Blue Ridge Mountains.

So I did my hitch (Wound up in Division and then PCS'd to West Berlin) and got out as a SGT. before I got out, my team sergeant cornered me and told me that I was probably going to come back in. I thought he was full of it.

When I got back to Charlottesville, I hated it. I hated college and all the Mickey Mouse BS that went with it. I thought, "Man - the University sure has changed." But it hadn't. I had changed. My study habits were better and I was more organized and more articulate in class. But still, I hated it. Here I was, a guy that had jumped out of airplanes, had traveled all over the US and Europe, and now...I was just another student.

Upon graduation in 1989, I immediately re-enlisted and haven't looked back.

Mike

LBTRS
December 24, 2005, 03:14 PM
Well here is the pitch for the Air Force.

If you want the highest quality of life and the best chance (depending on which job you pick/get) of completing your college go to the Air Force. By the highest quality of life I mean where you live, work and play is going to be the nicest around. The food is decent to better than the some of the branches also.



To the original poster, I recommend you take any advice given so far EXCEPT the above.

You're joining the Military, not summer camp. If you want "the best quality of life" DON'T join the Military. Nothing wrong with the Air Force but every Air Force Recruiter I know (and I know dozens of them) sells "quality of life" and leaves out the fact that you're joining the MILITARY.

Since you've decided to join the Military do something you can be proud of for the rest of your life and share your SACRIFICES with your children and your grandchildren. Serving your country is about sacrifice, not about "the best quality of life".

I've been doing this a while and want to share a personal experience with you. My job in the Navy has me working directly with the public. I meet and work with military veterans daily. Whenever I meet a veteran from the Army they proudly announce "I was in the Army". The Navy, "I was in the Navy for eight years". The Marine Corps, "I'm a Marine and did eight years on Active Duty". Unfortunately this is what I get almost EVERYTIME I meet an Air Force Veteran, "I was in the military". Then you have to ask them what service they were in and they almost always embarrassingly state "the Air Force" or "ONLY the Air Force".

This is certainly not a bash on the Air Force as they are a fine service, however, they seem to have paid a price for that "quality of life" that I'm unwilling to pay. I want to be proud of my service to my country not be ashamed every time I talk about it.

If the Air Force looks appealing to you make sure you're joining for the right reasons and not just for the "quality of life".

dm1333
December 24, 2005, 03:43 PM
I joined the service out of high school and did my 4 years, got out to go to school, and joined the Army Reserve while I was in school. Because I joined the wrong service and had the wrong job (I thought electronics would give me something to fall back on) I was unhappy during my first 4 years. The Reserve was great but by the time I was done with school the Army was not accepting prior service enlistments. I had planned on going into intel and then applying for OCS. I decided to join the Coast Guard and become a Boatswains Mate. I spent two years on a patrol boat and then transferred to a Motor Lifeboat Station in Washington. That was were all my thoughts of OCS went out the door. Being in the right job and the right service for me makes up for a lack of money or "quality of life". I can't say that I enjoy being soaked, hypothermic and sore as hell from being banged around in rough seas but it gives me a thrill and makes me feel like I'm still alive at 40. Think about what you want from the service and then go from there. I really think you can't go wrong with infantry or any of the combat arms, or with a job in one of the other services where you have to put your ass on the line.

Don

unixguy
December 24, 2005, 04:01 PM
I was an REMF during my 3 1/2 years in the Army. I joined after college with training and work experience as a computer programmer. This allowed me to do basic as an e3, with an automatic promotion to e4 after something like 8 weeks at my first duty station. Oh yeah, and I got to skip AIT.

I had been told that the military was what you make of it, and that no matter what your designation was you would be able to bring your own special skills to the jobs you're assigned. This was definitely the case for about my first 1 1/2 years-- I knew Novell networking and put together a network for the rest of the programmers in my department. This allowed me to come into contact with the group who was really responsible for the networking, and I switched groups to work more closely with them. We ended up upgrading the network for a 4-star and 2-star general and their staff. All of this was within my first 18 months (or so) of arriving at my first duty station.

At this point, I decided to look into OCS so was interested in starting to gather my letters of recommendations. I was "loaned" to the computer support guy for the generals mentioned above for about 3 months (doing computer support, because he generally didn't know what he was doing). 3 months turned into 1 year, at which point I realized that although "on average" your career in the Army (and perhaps military in general) may be what you make of it, there will definitely be times that no matter what you know and can do, your skills will be under used.

I'd like to second what Phantom Warrior said about your life is not your own-- when the military needs to have a replacement show up for a detail to drive around and pick up trash on Saturday morning it won't matter that you were planning on a merit badge clinic for the local Scout troop.

You will also come in contact with people who (in my opinion) shouldn't be in leadership. I was on a detail (one NCO and two E4s) to set up chairs for a retirement ceremony. When the NCO (who happened to be female (I mention it because it seemed relevant at the time- I couldn't imagine a male doing that sort of thing)) discovered that the other E4 was 2 months pregnant she (the NCO) told her to go home. The NCO then proceeded to stand around while I unloaded the truck on my own. A soldier who was running by stopped and ended up helping me unload about 1/2 the truck-- it wasn't until a few days later that I saw that soldier in BDUs and Captain's bars that I fully realized that maybe I'm not the only one that thought it was rediculous for me to be doing all of that work myself.

These sorts of incidents are extremely difficult for me to put up with, so realize that if you would have problems putting this sort of thing aside, your time in the military may be difficult to put up with. This isn't like a civilian job that you can quit when you realize you're working for or with putzes.

I will say this: my time in the military worked out extremely well for me-- they paid back my student loans (which were either $20K or $32K, I don't remember at the moment), and the letter of recommendation I ended up getting from a 2-star general was to help me get out of the military (with an HD) rather than into OCS.

Apart from the desktop support portion of my military time, I was extremely satisfied with the networking, unix, and email support that I provided to the post-- I was the only guy in our office who knew Unix, and provided support to some excellent folks (civilians) while they got up to speed running HP Openmail on unix.

dracphelan
December 24, 2005, 04:14 PM
As others have said, complete college. You won't regret it. Look into ROTC programs. This will give you a chance to see what is involved with being in the military.

If you choose to go the enlisted route before finishing college, very few employers will hold it against you. Those who do, you don't want to work for. If you go infantry, be prepared for the fact that you will not necessarily have any job skills (just personal) that apply to the civilian world. But, (if I remember correctly) all of the services continuing education courses that will let you keep up and possibly complete a degree while on active duty. Also, if you are interested in the work, many police departments accept military service as a replacement for college time when you are applying with them.

As others have said, the military is a great experience and can be a great career.

jtward01
December 24, 2005, 04:16 PM
My father was Air Force and damned proud of it. He spent more time in combat (P-38s WWII; F-86s Korea; B-52s Vietnam) than most soldiers spend in the service. If I hadn't lost the vision in my left eye in a childhood accident I would have gone Air Force, too.

That said, I had two uncles serve in WWII. One in the Navy (Seabees) and another in the Marines (Guadacanal, Guam, Okinawa & post-war China) and they were both very proud of having served. (Mom was a WASP pilot.)

If you like being hot, cold, wet, dirty, hungry, thirsty and exhausted then join the Army or Marines. If sleeping in space smaller than a coffin appeals to you then join the Navy. If you prefer working in air conditioning, wearing clean uniforms and eating good food then join the Air Force.

Regardless of which you choose, stay in school, take the ROTC route and enter the military as an officer. Remember, sh*t runs down hill, and the enlisted guys are at the bottom of the hill.

ka50
December 24, 2005, 04:22 PM
i'm 19 years old and have finished 1 year of college. i have been planning on going to school this next semester, then working the summer until december, and then going to travel asia for 4 months with one of my close friends. after that i am planning on enlisting in the army.

i want to do my 9 weeks of basic then enroll for airborne training. maybe serve some time overseas doing whatever, and coming back and trying out for the special forces.

now, from what i read in another thread regarding this, being in the military has proven a usefull, maturing, coming of age thing, but the general attitude seemed to regard it as depressing, often screwing up your life.

now i work construction when i dont go to school and both my coworkers and boss were either in the marines or the army rangers. now when they talk about it their eyes light up. my friend bill served in the rangers over in the persian gulf war, and he said he would love to go back, it was the highlight of his life.

why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?


If you want to be government's property and expendable resource for Mr. Dubya or likes with IQ barely leaving single digits, then sure, go for it!

It all comes down to if you want to have control over your own life and where you go/live, to having others control you and telling you what to do. Forget all this macho "but I wanna be ze warrior!" crap. Play airsoft milsim if you want action.

cowboybobb693
December 24, 2005, 04:24 PM
You may want to give some considerations to mission scope and where your own personal morals are on the subject of our nation's foreign policy.

As a member of the armed services, you will be out at the sabre's tip, so to speak. The sabre being our nation's foreign policy.

Are you comfortable aligning your whole life with a foreign policy of:
global interventionism?
taking sides in regional conflicts that are older than our nation?
sacrificing American blood and treasure for the goals of expanding the 'american way of life' to people/nations who may or may not even want it?
being the world's policeman?
conducting social experiments abroad?
fighting the 'war on terror', possibly even against Americans?
and finally...
making enemies for our nation?

Of course America's military is a distinguished and very honorable institution...but it just seems like the last 75 years or more have given that military a direction that just isn't good for the nation or the world.

And to, maybe you see it differently and drink the whole 'we're-morally-superior-and-owe-it-to-the-world-to-straighten-everybody-else-out' Kool-Aid. If so, the military will be a really good fit.

I just can't see placing my whole life in alignment with the stupid, arrogant and fruitless mission that has befallen our nation's military/foreign policy over the last 75-100 years.


Neon Let me ask you a question ??? Have you ever served in the Military ??? What truly bothers me is the comments by some folks that have never served. Example, KA50's post, (maybe you did serve,maybe you didn't,your profile does not show any military service) you people seem to think that FREEDOM is FREE. Freedom comes from those that are willing to join the Military and do what is needed to PRESERVE those Freedoms. You may not care for the President and that is your choice, but any young man or woman that is willing to step up to the plate should not be mocked for making that NOBLE decision.

ka50
December 24, 2005, 04:53 PM
Neon Let me ask you a question ??? Have you ever served in the Military ??? What truly bothers me is the comments by some folks that have never served. Example, KA50's post, (maybe you did serve,maybe you didn't,your profile does not show any military service) you people seem to think that FREEDOM is FREE. Freedom comes from those that are willing to join the Military and do what is needed to PRESERVE those Freedoms. You may not care for the President and that is your choice, but any young man or woman that is willing to step up to the plate should not be mocked for making that NOBLE decision.

Unprovoked invasion of foreign country = preservation of freedoms at home?

9/11 has never been positively linked to Iraq.

Like I said, if a "young man" wants to fight foreign wars at a whim of overgrown boy who wants to play war, then by all means join in!

There are two sides of a story however. Liberating a country from an opressor is a noble cause. However, it is THEIR country, help the inner resistance forces in the country with equipment to overthrow their own tyrant. Keep innocent "young men" in military service out of it.

cowboybobb693
December 24, 2005, 05:07 PM
Unprovoked invasion of foreign country = preservation of freedoms at home?

9/11 has never been positively linked to Iraq.

Like I said, if a "young man" wants to fight foreign wars at a whim of overgrown boy who wants to play war, then by all means join in!

There are two sides of a story however. Liberating a country from an opressor is a noble cause. However, it is THEIR country, help the inner resistance forces in the country with equipment to overthrow their own tyrant. Keep innocent "young men" in military service out of it.

Have you ever served???? Or do you just put down those that do??

Khornet
December 24, 2005, 05:10 PM
at how the never-served types view military service as servitude and total loss of freedom.

As my dad said when I joined the NAVY, you must remember that there a few very basic things the service wants to see from you: look sharp, follow the rules, know the etiquette. If you do, you'll have remarkable freedom of movement. He was damn right. Be a head-butter, and you'll be miserable. Swallow your ego, and a whole world will open up for you.

And THAT, my friends, is the lesson of military service. You learn that you are not the center of the universe, and as soon as you get over that you find that you can be an essential part of somethibg very important.

KA50 and neoncowboy, I wonder whether you have ever learned that essential lesson. Somehow I doubt it. But you could learn it in the SERVICE-- which is what most of those who have served seem to call it, instead of 'the military', which is what the never-served call it.

Of course, there's no better place to learn it than the United States Navy.

Old Dog
December 24, 2005, 05:10 PM
but the general attitude seemed to regard it as depressing, often screwing up your life. Losers. Assuming one survives a term in the military without getting seriously wounded, killed or suffering from the trauma of combat, the only lives that get screwed up are those of the people who don't let themselves learn from their experiences.

Lots of stuff we go through in life is depressing. Sometimes just getting up in the morning in depressing.

And to, maybe you see it differently and drink the whole 'we're-morally-superior-and-owe-it-to-the-world-to-straighten-everybody-else-out' Kool-Aid. If so, the military will be a really good fit.
Neoncowboy: looks like you're trolling a bit here, trying to get us military folks to feel insulted. Sorry; it's just pretty clear that you have no understanding of that of which you speak.

More trolling, this time from Ka50:
If you want to be government's property and expendable resource for Mr. Dubya or likes with IQ barely leaving single digits, then sure, go for it!Ka50, how old are you? On what personal experience do you base this ridiculous statement?

Play airsoft milsim if you want action.You go play your games, little boy, and leave the serious business to the grown-ups ...

LBTRS
December 24, 2005, 05:14 PM
Like I said, if a "young man" wants to fight foreign wars at a whim of overgrown boy who wants to play war, then by all means join in!


ka50,

You're confused so I'll help you out. Politics and our Military are two different things. If you do not agree with the politicians in Office fight the battle to replace them with someone you're more in agreement with.

The Military is the reason we enjoy the freedoms we do today and the reason we'll enjoy a free world in the future. Recommending someone not join the very Military we owe so much too because you have political concerns is rather simplistic.

I wonder who you would call the next time we need our Military and there are no Soldiers in its ranks because of your ignorant advice?

Guys like you forget the price that has been paid to enjoy what we have today.

Merry Christmas,

LBTRS

ka50
December 24, 2005, 05:20 PM
Oh this is getting interesting.

cowboybobb693: I don't put down anyone. I just state how it really is. If saying what's true is putting down, then you seriously need to think about it.

Khornet: Exactly. Service to a man who wants to use you for his purposes.

Old Dog: If I disagree with majority opinion, then I'm suddenly trolling? Hmm... you're about as dumb as Dubya himself. "If you don't support me, then you're anti-american!". Shove this you know where.

Your real "business for grownups" cost thousands of lifes. Enlisted and innocent. That's like saying killing people equals being a grown up. Ah yeh we forgot to say it's for some noble cause. I guess if we put 2 and 2 together you think that killing, because you want to play wargames is a noble thing, too, right?

ka50
December 24, 2005, 05:22 PM
I wonder who you would call the next time we need our Military and there are no Soldiers in its ranks because of your ignorant advice?

Guys like you forget the price that has been paid to enjoy what we have today.

Merry Christmas,

LBTRS

RKBA.

dm1333
December 24, 2005, 05:23 PM
Not foreign policy or personal political views.

As for what Unixguy said about the poor leadership shown by that NCO when he was unloading chairs, there is a lesson in that. #1 don't treat your people like that when you are the NCO #2 that officer who stopped to help is probably a ???? hot leader who cares about his troops and showed a lot more leadership than the NCO did.

When JTWARD01 said to stay in school and go OCS because ???? rolls downhill and the enlisted guys are at the bottom of the hill, that is a very limited view of what goes on in the military. Many officers have no real idea what it is like to be a very junior enlisted man(or woman) and I think most officers would have benefitted from a couple of years service as junior enlisted before they were commissioned. It would give them a different perspective of what is important and what is not. Some of the best officers I have seen were prior enlisted and I think a lot of their enlisted experience shaped them as officers.

From my own experience starting at the bottom was the best way to go. My unit is commanded by a Senior Chief and we don't do a lot of the nitpicky stuff you always here ex-military people joking about. And when it is time for the junior guys to crawl into the bilges and start cleaning they know that everbody from the Senior Chief on down has done that in the past. There is remarkably little grumbling about ???? details.

cowboybobb693
December 24, 2005, 05:31 PM
Oh this is getting interesting.

cowboybobb693: I don't put down anyone. I just state how it really is. If saying what's true is putting down, then you seriously need to think about it.

Khornet: Exactly. Service to a man who wants to use you for his purposes.

Old Dog: If I disagree with majority opinion, then I'm suddenly trolling? Hmm... you're about as dumb as Dubya himself. "If you don't support me, then you're anti-american!". Shove this you know where.

Your real "business for grownups" cost thousands of lifes. Enlisted and innocent. That's like saying killing people equals being a grown up. Ah yeh we forgot to say it's for some noble cause. I guess if we put 2 and 2 together you think that killing, because you want to play wargames is a noble thing, too, right?

Okay. I'll ask again. HAVE YOU EVER SERVED???? simple question.
I don't need to seriously think about it, your tone and comments about the Services speak volumes.

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 05:31 PM
KA50,

You insult W's IQ. But I ask you, do you have a degree from Yale and a MBA from Harvard?

Other,

Seems many trolling on this post. All who serve in the military have made some form of sacrifice. It is all about patriotism, adventure, and service to the nation.

Not all Marines are warriors, and not all Air Force guys are non-warriors.

I have known may Marines that are as wimpy as can be. E ven though all of the suppport Marines are the first to pipe in that they are "infantrymen first", many Marine Infantry and Recon would disagree. All Marines do have an important job. And without compat support the mission would not get done. I just replying to thread that stated Marines are for warriors and the Army Infantry is only for those who could not do anything else.

There are good and bad marines, there are good and bad soldiers, good and bad sailors, etc... Each has there own groups of true warriors.

When I was in Iraq, I saw many very hard charging conventional Army Infantry and National Guard Infantry that were better trained, better equipped and knew how to fight than most men I have served with.

As for the comments about the Air Force. I know many who are proud they served in the Air Force. I had some TACPs assigned to my team in the sandbox. Hard troops. ALso had several times where a air force pilot behind a A-10 showed our team the righteous path! Air Force PJs and TACPs are some of the best ground pounders you will meet.

All the branches are good and all mesh together.

Read my post on Adivice for a Marine on the other thread about some good advice going in.

If you would like to get some very detailed info about going Army Airborne, Ranger or SF, you are more than welcome to PM me or email me at: chongnoi67@yahoo.com as I am a SF vet and would be more than happy to give you info. God Bless you for thinking of making the sacrifice to join.

Old Dog
December 24, 2005, 05:33 PM
Ka50, "trolling" is purposely making inflammatory statements that don't have anything to do with the thread, designed to generate responses to your post, not to the thread in general.
Hmm... you're about as dumb as Dubya himself.
Shove this you know where.
Exellent examples of trolling, and a pretty clear violation of forum rules.

I do ask again, how old are you and what military experience do you have?

If saying what's true is putting down, then you seriously need to think about it. Haven't seen any "truth" in any of your statements, but I've detected you putting down not only everyone in the military, but the President of this nation. Merry Christmas, Ka50 -- may everyone who knows you be more tolerant of you than you are of them.

dm1333
December 24, 2005, 05:33 PM
Everything you said is spot on, except for that part about the Navy!;) I took a look at your profile, were you ever an orthopedic surgeon in a small coastal town in Northern California?

The biggest problems we have here are with younger people coming to grips with the fact that their world now revolves around the Coast Guard. Most of them learn that lesson and go on to bigger and better things.

Byron
December 24, 2005, 05:36 PM
CD Harmon, First I belive all have an obligation to our Country. I see things from a different perspective. I was an infantryman in 1968-69 and was with D Co,3/8th INF,4th INF Div.Many of the posts extoll such an MOS as building you,being part of a group that smiles when they talk of their enlistment etc.Know that coming back from war, you will never be the same.Yes, a stronger man but that is not all. You will have the daytime memories and other grunts blown,headless on the ground,limbs servered in combat and telling a dying man "you're going to be OK" while you see his guts all over him and you. That is just the daytime,the dreams I will not describe.You need to weigh this before making a commitment. I am not here to talk you out of it but to give my view.You will never be the same, it will affect all around you.
May God give the guidance needed to you. Byron

jefnvk
December 24, 2005, 05:44 PM
If you want to be government's property and expendable resource for Mr. Dubya or likes with IQ barely leaving single digits, then sure, go for it!

It all comes down to if you want to have control over your own life and where you go/live, to having others control you and telling you what to do. Forget all this macho "but I wanna be ze warrior!" crap. Play airsoft milsim if you want action.

That was quite possibly the most time-wasting post I ahve read on this forum, at least until I read the one two below it.

As for the original question, have you considered ROTC? That gives you an opportunity to finish college, come out a second lieutenant (IIRC), and guarantees you a job out of college. Plus, you can take it for a year or two before having to contract, so you can decide if it is really what you want to do. Not to mention they pick up a lot of the college tab, if not all.

LBTRS
December 24, 2005, 05:48 PM
KA50,

As for the comments about the Air Force. I know many who are proud they served in the Air Force. I had some TACPs assigned to my team in the sandbox. Hard troops. ALso had several times where a air force pilot behind a A-10 showed our team the righteous path! Air Force PJs and TACPs are some of the best ground pounders you will meet.

All the branches are good and all mesh together.


I can't stress enough that I have nothing but respect for those that serve in the Air Force. We all have the same mission with each service owning a different part of the mission. My father was in the Air Force and I respect him and his service as much as I do anyone who has served in any branch of our armed forces. You misunderstood my remarks.

My comments were only directed at the statement that is always made about the Air Force "best quality of life". I think many people join the Air Force because that is exactly what their Recruiter told them and it sounded good to the young person with a limited view of what is really important. I think a lot of them later regret that they did not make the decision based on what's really important but rather what the Recruiter told them "the Air Force has the best quality of life". Unfortunately I think many of them unrightfully feel they didn't sacrifice as much in their service as those in other branches.

I am very proud of my service and have made many sacrifices over the last 19 years in the Navy. However, every night when I watch the news and see a young person killed in battle I remind myself that my sacrifices have been very small compared to what some have sacrificed.

LBTRS

hub
December 24, 2005, 05:53 PM
i respect the fact you want to join thats what i did. when i was 19 i joined the marines. i thought about what i would do afterwards and didnt go infantry but electronic intelligence operator. it sounded really cool and i was looking to use my clearance to go fbi nsa or whatever. well after boot camp mct i got to ft. huachuca, az to start my training still not knowing exactly what i was going to do. well lets just say it was'nt everything i had hoped for. i sat at a computer all day listining to morse code. it drove me insane, i mean beepbepbeebep all day long. well i did this for three years and finally could'nt take it so i reclassed my self. to make a long story short i spent the rest of my time running heavy equipment which was fun but not exactly what i wanted to do when i got out. now i'm a rail road conductor and like it but still wish i went to college first, which is what i think you should do. finish school go to ocs and be an officer. get paid twice as much, don't clean ????ters on friday night, and if you don't like the military life you still have a degree. if i could do it over again thats exactly what i would do.

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 05:54 PM
I think we all need to say some prayers who will be missing loved ones, killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, this Christmas.

I do think if I had to do it all over again, I would have definately joined the Air Force!! Better quality of life for sure and still get to do some really hard core high speed things. I always tell those thinking about going Special Operations, to join the Air Force!

Sorry for the misundertanding LBTR. Understand what you meant.

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 05:57 PM
For best high speed job after you get out of the military:

Guaranteed employment at $100,000++ a year for as long as you want.

Navy EOD Diver

Army Special Forces 18E (Commo) or 18D (Medic) MOS.

Air Force ParaRescue

Navy Nuclear Tech

Browns Fan
December 24, 2005, 06:04 PM
I remember reading a quote somewhere that went something like this:

"Within every command there are pockets of competence, the secret of success is to find these pockets and exploit the hell out of them."

Now having said that and witnessed some of it firsthand, I have spent over 20 yrs in the Army and loved most of it. Looking back on it now, even some of the bad experiences, has contributed to making me a better man.

Khornet
December 24, 2005, 06:07 PM
join the New York Times. Otherwise, join the SERVICE. You can't reallly grow until you outgrow yourself.

And as a Navy man, let me here make a plug for the Coast Guard. They are the world's greatest mariners, and they do stuff every day that you wouldn't believe.

I would, however, finish college. Not that you need the college for service, but that it will give you a little more time to develop before you are called on to give more than you can believe yo had.

SamlautRanger
December 24, 2005, 06:09 PM
Good Point about the Coast Guard. Don't forget to check them out. All I know who have served in the Coast Guard loved it.

Being on a Rescue Helicopter crew stationed up in Alaska or Hawaii would be a pretty good gig I think!

jdkelly
December 24, 2005, 06:11 PM
CDHARMON,

If you believe in your country don't let the "haters" deter you from including military service among your choices for a career. But remember, many of the same "haters" who vilify the Right now, will vilify you in a heart beat later.

Many "haters" seem to be short sighted, egocentric and will demean your service to the country but suggesting that unless you are fighting our invading enemies on our shores then you are a just a witless pawn.

While many "haters" will not serve in the military because the only "true service" is defense of the home land, there is in my mind some question as to whether the "haters" would actually join you on the beaches to defend our country.



Old Dog,

+1

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah to all!

Respectfully,

jdkelly

ka50
December 24, 2005, 06:22 PM
join the New York Times. Otherwise, join the SERVICE. You can't reallly grow until you outgrow yourself.

You can outgrow yourself without having to be someone's expendable resource. Think wisely before you start serving King Dubya and likes. People seem to claim serving someone's wish is noble. Is your life worth having approval of people with low double digit IQ's? Take on civilian life, move out of your parents house, estalish yourself as an individual in civilian world. Takes much more strength than yelling "hooaah" or whatever they pound into your head.

And whoever said politics and military aren't connected: not only they are connected, they cannot co-exist without each other. Military is tool of politics. Thus, those are in the military are tools of more powerful men (I sense flame barrage comming in). Tools that are willing to put their lives on the line, by being propagandized they are doing something noble.

Defense of homeland and preservation of freedoms is important. That's why we should have "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Militia that is organized, yet not controlled by the government, thus is a defensive and preservation force of the State. THIS is noble.

Lebben-B
December 24, 2005, 06:33 PM
Tools that are willing to put their lives on the line, by being propagandized they are doing something noble.


If I'm a tool, can I be one of the long, sharp, pointy ones you shouldn't run with?

jefnvk
December 24, 2005, 07:12 PM
I sense flame barrage comming in

I sense you have started it.

Honestly, your writing style makes me believe you have nothing more than a low double-digit IQ :rolleyes:

You say that you want him to ask himself if he wants people with 'low double-digit IQ's' to approve of his life choices. As much as you wish to believe it, I really, really doubt Bush has a low double-digit IQ. Or most of the posters here. Especially considering anythign below 60-70 or so gets you classified as legally retarted, which, despite many people's complaining about, Bush is DEFINITELY not.

So, after you ask him if he really wants people to approve of his choice, you go and tell him what would make you approve of his choice. So now I wonder, if you really care about him making the choice just to please someone, of if you want him to make a choice that will please you.

Lebben-B
December 24, 2005, 07:51 PM
Jef,

Dude, don't waste words on this joker and his ilk. It's kind of like wrasslin' with a pig - everybody gets dirty, and only the pig enjoys it.

Mike

cowboybobb693
December 24, 2005, 07:59 PM
KA 50. When are you going to answer my question ??? If you sense a flame coming on then I suggest you stop flaming those of us that are/have served in the service of this great country.

LBTRS
December 24, 2005, 08:18 PM
Jef,

Dude, don't waste words on this joker and his ilk. It's kind of like wrasslin' with a pig - everybody gets dirty, and only the pig enjoys it.

Mike

lol :D

Citadel99
December 24, 2005, 08:36 PM
If I'm a tool, can I be one of the long, sharp, pointy ones you shouldn't run with?

Now that's what I'm talking about.

I spent Christmas last year in Iraq and don't regret it one bit. Yeah, it sucked to be away. But until you've been over there and seen the difference we're making and been out to a school that we're providing security for, or given some toys to a kid who's never had one because he was born into the wrong political party--I don't want to hear what's right or wrong. I'm a commo guy and wasn't out toe to toe everyday but I saw my share.

The intial poster merely asked about going into the military. There is no need to trash the men and woman serving overseas on Christmas as pawns and tools. You've got a lot of damn gall.

1LT Mark McAfee
C/50 SIG BN (CORPS)(FORCED ENTRY)(AIRBORNE)

armyranger
December 24, 2005, 08:38 PM
I am in the Army now and I am a SSG in 3rd Batt-75th Ranger Reg. serving in Afghanistan. I have been in the special operations now since 1989, and have enjoyed it. I have been a sniper since 1991. But the down side is that I am trained to either be a cop or a mob hit man when I get out. There are lots of jobs that can train you for an outside career, and since you are working construction, maybe you should look into the Engineers. Just remember, the recruiters job is to get you to sign up.They will tell you what you want to hear to have you sign the bottom line. What ever school you want, or job you want, make sure it is in your contract. You WILL NOT be able to change your contract once you sign. The job will be better , the better you make on your ASFAB test. You will need atleast a 110 to go Special Forces. ( My best friend is giving me this info, he was a recruiter for 4 years and just last year reenlisted for the Rangers). Any info you need just ask, We will be away from the computers for several days following this post, but I will answer any questions you have. Also from what I see, everyone that has answered my questions on this fourm or offered info , has done so with great knowledge and thought. Plus several are obviously ex miitary. Good luck, Brian

jefnvk
December 24, 2005, 09:24 PM
Jef,

Dude, don't waste words on this joker and his ilk. It's kind of like wrasslin' with a pig - everybody gets dirty, and only the pig enjoys it.

Mike


I like getting dirty, too :)

Anyways, Merry Christmas to all, especially those stuck away from family overseas. Most of us understand and appreciate what you are doing.

Lebben-B
December 24, 2005, 09:39 PM
1LT McAfee,

I'll be back at Planet Bragg by 29 DEC. We'll hafta get together and do a mini-High Road shoot oover at McKellars.

V/R

SFC Heggen

Lebben-B
December 24, 2005, 10:32 PM
You WILL NOT be able to change your contract once you sign.

Untrue. A prospect can change his/her contract prior to going to MEPS for the final time. Recruiters don't necessarily trumpet this fact, but if the prospect is going to walk away completely from the service, then the contract will be changed to reflect the wishes of the prospect, be it change in MOS or change in duty station.

BTW, armyranger, what was your class date?

neoncowboy
December 24, 2005, 11:46 PM
You may not care for the President and that is your choice, but any young man or woman that is willing to step up to the plate should not be mocked for making that NOBLE decision.

I didn't think I said anything that was mocking to anyone. I noted the very honorable institutions that our military branches are and have been. You would most certainly be aligning yourself with a very noble tradition and heritage and there's no doubt a lot of good that would come of it.

Nope, I didn't serve in the military. I have always been really proud of the men and women who do though...and maybe a little envious.

I am relaying a bunch of the thoughts and conclusions I came to on my own, after meeting with several recruiters earlier this year and discussing a comittment to the National Guard.

I weighed it all out and looked at my government and decided that personally, I couldn't endorse the foreign policy path that they're on to the point of making myself an implement of it.

If you can, great. Just consider what you believe about America's role in the world before signing the papers. It would suck to become an instrument of something you don't agree with/believe in because you waited too long to examine that aspect of it.

Khornet
December 25, 2005, 12:05 AM
a thoughtful post. Point taken.

We must all remember that the service isn't for everyone. At least not as a career. But for your average young buck ( or doe, I guess, these days) a few years in the service will not be wasted time.

I just returned from a Christmas pary where I talked about this thread with a former Navy SAR swimmer-- you know, the guys who pull the astronauts out of the capsules, for those old enough to remember-- and asked him what he would reccommend. His answer was a firm NO. He didn't elabotate. He and I were the only ones in the room with prior service. Shows to go ya. But I don't regret a minute of my Navy time. I was already an MD when I put on the uniform, but I still had some growing up to do, and Uncle Sam gave it to me. You could say I *served* from 1981 to 1994.....but I would say I got the better end of the bargain.

On this Christmas eve, God bless all of our service men and women. They deserve more than we could ever pay them.

chaim
December 25, 2005, 12:50 AM
Join up. If you go active it is only 2-4 years depending upon how you do it. I know at 21 or so that sounds like a long time. Trust me it isn't. You may hate it, or you may love it and find it is your path in life. Even if you hate it, you won't be stuck there long, you'll get invaluable life experience, you'll have some stories later in life that make you a more interesting person, and in all likelihood you'll end up looking back on it with great pride and often look back nostalgically. And that is the worst case scenario (assuming you come out alive and with all 4 limbs- we are at war).

That said, remember we are at war. If you are sent there, and come back (physically) whole, you will have major emotional scars. Few come out of combat suffering from full-scale PTSD, but no one comes out unchanged and unscathed. DO NOT join only for what the military can do for you. Sure, they'll repay a good portion of your student loans if you go enlisted (up to $60K), they'll give you college money, they'll give you a skill, good enlistment bonuses, etc. However, even in peacetime, and especially today in wartime, you must realize that part of the job is that you fight our wars and you may have to kill and you may even be killed or wounded. If you aren't going with serving your country in mind, don't do it!

If it is something you want to do, you may want to consider finishing school (as many have pointed out). If you have your degree and choose to go enlisted, I believe the Army is putting people in with degrees as E4 these days. They'll repay your student loans (up to $60K for contracts of 3 years or more). If you like it you may even choose to stay enlisted (many NCOs have degrees), and if you like the Army you can still go OCS later (though you may have to wait for your enlistment to be served out). There is ROTC now as another option and skipping enlistment altogether.

If you can't wait, the Reserves/Nat'l Guard along with ROTC is a good way to go. As already mentioned in the thread, there is the Simultaneous Membership Program where you will be a member of the unit while you do ROTC. You can get a taste of enlisted life while in ROTC and once you are an officer you'll be a better officer. Just be careful of the Reserves/Guard only option without the ROTC program- it can be hard (nearly impossible) sometimes to go from the Reserves to Active service. While doing the Reserves in school may prolong school because you may be activated, it will still be easier to finish than going Active where you won't be in school (there is always the danger when you take time off school that you may not go back).

dm1333
December 25, 2005, 01:48 AM
I don't do what I do because I believe in whatever President or foreign policy we happen to have at the time.

I do what I do because I believe in my mission and I believe in the people in my Coast Guard.

Presidents change, but the mission and the people around you dont.

Red Dragon
December 25, 2005, 03:22 AM
You know what US ARMY stands for backwards, right?

Yes My Retarded A** Signed Up :D

Just kidding.

I guess my two cents would be that the military isn't for everybody but I don't have any regrets about the training and experience I got while I was in. As with anything, there are bad things and good things. It's something only you can decide.

armyranger
December 25, 2005, 12:23 PM
Lebben-B, Class date for what, RIP ,Pre-Ranger, Ranger School or Sniper School ? After basis/ait (11c) and jump school I went to Ft. Polk, La and was in 105th Military Intel as a L.R.S.D. team member. After Panama in "89" for Operation "Just Cause" I got my Sniper School class date. I reenlisted in 91 and went to Ft Benning and joined 3rd batt-75th Ranger Regt. I went to the Gulf war with a joint military taskforce team as a sniper. I went with guys from 6th Seal, Force Recon, few Para Rescue guys and Rangers. We were all pre qualified on the new at the time, Barrett .50 cal. After I got back from there I went to the winter course ranger school 2-92.

SamlautRanger
December 25, 2005, 02:10 PM
Hey, just curious, who was the 3/75 RGR Command Sergeant Major at that time? Was it still CSM Neshiem? I thought I remember seeing him down there at Benning at that time. Do you remember who the Regiment Sgt Major was?

Just curious what sniper course you attended. Thanks and Merry Christmas!

Bartholomew Roberts
December 25, 2005, 02:42 PM
I am in the Army now and I am a SSG in 3rd Batt-75th Ranger Reg. serving in Afghanistan.

Deployed over Christmas eh? How far into your deployment are you?

For those of you who enjoy political discussion, we have an ENTIRE FORUM for it. Please be considerate to the thread author and other readers who may search for this information and keep the thread on topic. If you want to give advice, say your piece and move on. If you want to debate politics, take it to the proper thread and forum.

Lebben-B
December 25, 2005, 02:56 PM
After basis/ait (11c) and jump school I went to Ft. Polk, La and was in 105th Military Intel as a L.R.S.D. team member.

I was LRS for 3 years. There were no 11C's because LRS units weren't/aren't authorized them in their TO&E.

ASFAB test. You will need atleast a 110 to go Special Forces.

What does ASFAB stand for? And 110 what?

I went to the Gulf war with a joint military taskforce team as a sniper. I went with guys from 6th Seal, Force Recon, few Para Rescue guys and Rangers. We were all pre qualified on the new at the time, Barrett .50 cal.

What was the name and/or number of this "joint military taskforce?" Where did it operate out of?

jtward01
December 25, 2005, 04:05 PM
Liberating a country from an opressor is a noble cause. However, it is THEIR country, help the inner resistance forces in the country with equipment to overthrow their own tyrant.

Yes. Of course. It worked so well in Korea and Vietnam, didn't it?

If you want things to change you must make them change, and the only way to do that is with overwhelming strength.

Danus ex
December 25, 2005, 04:10 PM
Hey gents,

What does the military do with people who have advanced degrees (masters/doctorates)? I'll probably be done with my Ph.D by 27 or 28, have no plans to join the military, but I am curious.

SamlautRanger
December 25, 2005, 04:35 PM
I think it depends on what your Phd. is in. If it is in a hard science or engineering you could possibly recieve a direct commission, much the same way Doctors and Lawyers do. They go in as Captains or Majors and just attend a couple of weeks of military orientation training. My unlce was an Eye Doctor (Optomologist) with about 10 years experience and he decided to join the Army Reserve. He was able to go straight in as a Major due to his experience. He just retired this year as a full bird colonel in the Reserves.

I do know the Navy and Air Force are always looking for PHds in the Hard Sceince areas. They have a lot of scientific fields and research and development fields for their officers.

If you Phd. is in say French Comparative Literature or Medivial History then you probably would have to apply for OCS like all other College grads to get officer training and then become a 2nd LT.

I have a friend who is finishing up his PHd in Bio Medicine and he is also a native Farsi speaker (born US citizen though). He is being recruited big time by the Armed Forces (again he is being offered to come in as a Major) and several government organizations.

Danus ex
December 25, 2005, 04:57 PM
Yeah I'm in communication studies, which is kind of a blend of humanities and social science, and is tremendously broad. The focus of my master's degree is on teaching methods and their relationship to rhetoric/persuasion.

JesseJames
December 25, 2005, 04:58 PM
Did 2 years in the Army Infantry. Outfit was 1st Cavalry Division.
It is true. The regular Infantry has it's 'squared away' guys and your occassional 'wastes of air'. Pray that you get into a good unit. That's all you can do.
My unit was pretty good actually; but, I was a little disappointed with the lax nature of it sometimes. I eventually got disillusioned with the whole Army thing and ETSd to move onto the next chapter of my life.
Overall, a very good experience. Learned A LOT about myself, people, and feel I have a better insight into people and things that non-military folks don't have.
Also, when I feel overwhelmed sometimes, I think back, "Hey, I was an Infantryman, I've dealt with worse sh*t than this.", and everything takes their perspective. Essentially, I've matured and can deal with things, whatever they may be.
If you want HARDCORE get to the Rangers, they are the all-star football team.
GET IT IN WRITING IN YOUR CONTRACT. And be in VERY good physical condition when you start training or you will washout of Ranger School.
In the Infantry, it's about how much punishment you can take while dishing out what you've been trained to do. I emphasize the taking of punishment though.

JackOfAllTradesMasterAtNone
December 25, 2005, 04:59 PM
Man, I wonder if you're still reading this thread? If you are, there's some good advice here. And of course some other points of view. This is what makes our country so great. You have a choice, and so do they. We can all have the freedom of voice. And not be afraid to express our opinions. That said, as a training ground, our military can be a great means to our goals. Supporting our country, the theme of democracy world wide along the way is a huge bonus. I'm only 43 years young. I served two tours with the USN from 84-91. I got to go to the gulf in 87' and 89'. No real action as one would consider a conventional war on the ground or "sand" as it is. Sure, some scares, fires aboard ship, lost aircraft from missions far away, and right next to ship. Some minimal attack attempts made at us. As an Aviation Electrician I was helping the cause from the backfield, proud of my work. Proud to keep the shipmates that I supervised safe as I possibly could. It's not all about carrying a weapon and searching out insurgents. But if you think the Special Forces is for you, get with some that are currently serving. Let them tell you first hand what it's like. What it takes.

Since you're already in college, all I can stress is to finish at least your two year transfer degree in general studies if you haven't decided upon what you would further your education in. Once you've joined the military, it's difficult if not almost impossible to finish. (A lot easier if you're stationed stateside, but no guarantee.) If you're thinking about engineering then I hope you're a mathematics natural. You'll need it. Go to the Unemployment Office and ask to research the top ten under-staffed careers in a pay bracket that you'd be comfortable in. There might be a carreer center at your college that can help with this information too. (Set your goals much higher than your parent’s goals. Doing better than them will make them more proud of you than you could ever imagine.)

Then look to any of the military disciplines that will help you get to that career. One that truly interests you. One that has options that you'd be happy with if your first choices don't work out. Make sure your ASVAB is your best possible effort. (There are fake tests out there that can help prepare you for this.) Like someone else said, GET THE SCHOOL GARRANTEED. I doubt that any college student would limit themself to being an infantryman. Now that's not a slam on them. Not at all. But the ASVAB testing scores places them right there with boatswain’s mates. Schools are short. The rest you can learn on the job. Seabees. Information Technology, Electronics, Nuclear and Medical Technology, Seals, ... OK, and Special Forces specific disciplines. Don't count out the Air Force either. There are equivelent jobs and training available.

You work with a couple of ex-Marines. Is this is where you'd like to end up.. Framing houses for a living? For the next 20+ years? Come on, you're going to be a college graduate some day. Is this were you see yourself? You've got a year of school. Why go half way and not finish? Do you have opportunity to go to a 4 year University? Do you realize the difference in pay, and living conditions for Military Officers as compared to NCO's? That four-year degree in engineering or mathematics or computer science will set the foundation for what could be a great military career. -I don't knock the enlisted man. Don't get me wrong. I was one. Real workers are needed. But good leaders are also.

You need to widen your thoughts. Don't join the Army just to be a Special Forces Candidate. When you come back to the world, you'll still need to put food on the table, have a mortgage to pay, kids to put through college, a wife to provide for. If you're willing to put your life on the line for your country and it's beliefs, then make sure you've taken advantage of all the opportunities to learn that which will help you in later life.

The Navy set me on my way to a couple of good careers. There are things out of our control that change things. At 30yrs old, I went back to school.

The biggest regret in my life- Not continuing on to college after highschool.

Spoken from experience,
-Steve

cdharmon
December 25, 2005, 07:15 PM
wow i got busy w/ christmas and family and all that adn i come back and my thread is 3 pages long:D .

i do plan on finishing college, even if it takes a while. so far i've been meshing college with working and traveling the world. i am going next semester then plan on going to asia for a 4 month excursion, then finishing my junior year. THEN i would enlist. i am a very free spirit, and pretty A.D.D. when it comes to what i do, that is why i think joining the military would be good for me, i'd get discipline and learn how to do something i dont want to, yet i'll also get to travel and see things most people only read of.

as far as PT goes, i know that it will push me harder than i have ever been pushed before, but i am used to physical torture via i work construction, and am used to hauling 73 pound shingle bundles up the ladder onto a 2 story roof. i dont want to enroll directly into the SF because i want to serve some time overseas and get some experience under my belt as to ensure me success.

i'm a conservative republican, support our military and government. i have wanted to join the military since i was a kid, i think this is jsut the right time to do it.

Michael Courtney
December 25, 2005, 07:22 PM
why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?

I'd think your parents would have better insight into how the Army might affect you than (mostly anonymous) posters on an internet forum.

When you have a 19 year old son, who would you prefer he ask, his father and mother, or strangers on an internet discussion forum?

Michael Courtney

cdharmon
December 25, 2005, 09:25 PM
I'd think your parents would have better insight into how the Army might affect you than (mostly anonymous) posters on an internet forum.

When you have a 19 year old son, who would you prefer he ask, his father and mother, or strangers on an internet discussion forum?

Michael Courtney

ofcourse i'm going to consult my parents about it, but neither of them, or their parents, were ever in the military. so they would relatively know...nothing about it. so the only people i know to actually hear educated opinions from are my coworkers, my boss, and you guys.

oneshooter
December 25, 2005, 09:53 PM
Just remember this:


Aint
Ready for the
Marines
Yet
:evil:
Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

Red Dragon
December 25, 2005, 11:21 PM
What does ASFAB stand for? And 110 what?

ASVAB = Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery

110 is the score needed on the test

Farnham
December 26, 2005, 12:57 AM
There's thousands of people with degrees in this country with student loan debt up to the eyeballs, and "working construction." I spent short of 5 years in the Marine Corps (after one highly entertaining, but wholly uneducational, year in college) and make good money as an SCSA and CCNA.

I would have NEVER looked into UNIX, networking, or any other IT field had I not had a Major of Marines dump six transit cases full of crappy HP workstations in my lap and say, "Sgt, make this thing work."

You will learn to apply yourself, or you will not. You will work under pressure, or you will not. You will accomplish the mission, or you will not.

"The service" is definitely that, you will serve. You will deal with boneheads and you will deal with the infinitely talented. You have to scrub a few ????ters, but in return, you will learn more about people and yourself than you ever will in college (where being a "free thinker" means you agree with the rest of the radicals). You may not learn an immediately marketable skill, but you will learn how to force yourself to learn one. Self-discipline.

One of my oldest friends, who I served with in the Marines, got out and went to college (paid for by his service) and is now a 1st LT in the 82nd Airborne. He says the Army gets better gear and training, but the two are pretty much equal (heretic! :evil: ) in the quality of people.

My thoughts (long and rambling, that they are) say everyone should join. You get to see places and meet people that are completely unlike anything you would see otherwise. Of course, you are "touring Asia," so you may be more cosmopolitan than I was, but I "toured Asia" with a coffin rack and an ALICE pack, and Uncle Sam picked up the bill. ;)

S/F

Farnham

PS: Merry Christmas to the servicemen and women of all branches (Marines especially) that see this! You all have my unending gratitude and respect.

S/F

spaceCADETzoom
December 26, 2005, 03:11 AM
...
Downside to this [SMP rotc and usar/arng]is the possibility of a deployment with the NG/Reserve unit during college. A plus side is if you decide to get out after your three or four year officer contract, the enlisted time counts against the IRR so you have a small chance of being called up after you get out.


Someone esle talked about SMP with ROTC as well...I didn't want to spend the time to dig up and quote it.

I just wanted to chime in. I am SMP. I am an ROTC cadet (accepting my commission in May as an Armor officer) and also a drilling reservist in the USAR. A few things about SMP. There are two varities of soldiers in SMP. 1) they are currently enlisted and decide on ROTC. or 2) they are currently cadets in ROTC and decide to drill concurrently in a USAR or ARNG unit. Either way, you are simultaneusuly (i know, ingenious how they thought up the S in SMP) a drilling reservist or natl guardsman as well as a cadet.

ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is generally a 2 year program. It is 4 years for some because they need to take 2 years of milisci electives to get up to speed. This is waived if they are prior enlisted or go to a 6 week LTC one summer (leaders training course--it's not basic training, it purpose is different--but it gets you up to speed to start leadership training and gives rudimentary soldier skills). We have some cadets, even, who are "prior service" split option enlistees, just out of basic and about to go to AIT, only to sign an ROTC contract--thus superceding thier enlistment contract. Eitehr way, you end up with 2 years of precomissioning training. It's really leadership training, the scope of which is too large to go in detail here. ROTC is an officer commisioning program. The otehr 2 ways are West Point and OCS.

If you SMP, you will drill as an officer trainee with a USAR or ARNG unit. This is outside of your ROTC committment. You are generally a pseudo-officer in that unit. It depends on your unit and commander on what you will do. MOst SMP cadets shadow an LT as an apprentice of sorts, some SMP cadets are makeshift platoon leaders themselves (particularly in units with a lack of LTs).

The main point that was off in other posts that mention SMP (the above included)is the nature of you as a drilling reservst in SMP. You are technically enlisted, per contract, with the USAR or ARNG. But again, youre an officer trainee and anything ROTC takes precedent. For example, If your ROTC BN is having an FTX on you USAR unit's drill weekend, you go on the FTX. Furthermore, YOu are on non-deployable status. From a comon sense standpoint, it wouldn't make sense to deploy a cadet that is serving as a pseudo-platoon-leader. That could get soldiers killed... LIkewise, even if you were enlisted prior to signing your ROTC contract, you basically cease to exist as that enlisted soldier you were. If you were a 91W, for random example, and you sign an ROTC contract and reamin with your unit... that 91W is erased and you are now 09R. Your unit can't deploy you as a 91W, and 09R (officer candidate-ROTC) is non-deployable. SMP is a program for cadets to get some apprenticeship time in an actual unit. You get E-5 drill pay, and are addressed as "sir," etc...

oh, All of the above concerns the Army. THe Navy (and Marine) and Air Force are different. And as I understand it, neither offer anything like SMP. Coast Guard does not offer ROTC. And ROTC can be taken at many universities and even military schools (like the Citadel, from which I assume "Citadell99" is from). It's voluntary even in the military schools.

Anyway. I just registered on this forum just to post that :)

My advice is to FINISH COLLEGE. Even if you decide officership isn't for you, or decide to enlist, or decided against the military altogether, I still reccomend you finish college to better yourself as a person.

Whether or not you find the comments of ""KA50" unpalattable, you will find many of his like viewpoints in places like college. AND THAT's A GOOD THING. It's part of the learning process and part of the free market of ideas that college tries to cultivate (only TRIES...there are some hypocrite jerks that insist "dubya sucks" or "anyone who hates bush is unamerican" and you suck if you don't think so.). You'll come accross different people in life...and you'll have to deal with them as a leader, or even as a particupant in life. The military needs people with brains, not robots. YOu have to rationalize you own path, and college CAN help you there.

Best of luck to you. Judging from your initial message you seem to be a real hardcharger who seeks the most in life. That will serve you well in any endeavor, military or otherwise.

Olys45
December 26, 2005, 10:10 AM
Yeah I'm in communication studies, which is kind of a blend of humanities and social science, and is tremendously broad. The focus of my master's degree is on teaching methods and their relationship to rhetoric/persuasion.

From the Air Force perspective, a Masters in those chosen professions doesn't do a darn thing for you. You will be lumped into the same group as the next joe with a B.S. in any other "non-technical" area. The Air Force is probably still looking for Medical and "Technical" degree's. By Technical I mean heavy in the Math and Science's.

I've been doing this a while and want to share a personal experience with you. My job in the Navy has me working directly with the public. I meet and work with military veterans daily. Whenever I meet a veteran from the Army they proudly announce "I was in the Army". The Navy, "I was in the Navy for eight years". The Marine Corps, "I'm a Marine and did eight years on Active Duty". Unfortunately this is what I get almost EVERYTIME I meet an Air Force Veteran, "I was in the military". Then you have to ask them what service they were in and they almost always embarrassingly state "the Air Force" or "ONLY the Air Force".

I understand where you are coming from with this, I once was misguided in my thought process. I think a lot of it comes from being the Junior service, and from our beginning we have always looked for a certain type of individual and have taken care of them in a different way. Depending on what you do in the Air Force, it is more like a corporation than the military.
A lot of it has to do with the old joke "The Navy has 230 years of tradition unimpeded by progress and the Air Force has 58 years of progress unimpeded by tradition!"
At the start of powered flight, our pioneers were the wild and crazy, didn't take no for an answer type guys and gals. The Generals that fought for an independent Air Force ruffled many feathers of the old "Horse Cavalry" guys, it's too bad that we as an institution lost that.
I think a lot of it had to do with the Cold War. I mean how hard was it to sit on Alert and only worry about one main enemy? That was the gravy time when we would send out Tankers over to Europe or to the Pacific for a couple months at a time. It was a time for us to relax and get paid to chase women and drink beer in another country. It was not hard to be in at that time. Then the Cold War fizzeled out and Desert Sheild/Storm hit and life changed. I have seen a lot of changes in the last 16 years that I have been around the Air Force.

These days we still only have a 4 month rotation instead of the Army's year, and live in better conditions most of the time.

jtward01
December 26, 2005, 11:45 AM
I think a lot of it had to do with the Cold War. I mean how hard was it to sit on Alert and only worry about one main enemy? That was the gravy time when we would send out Tankers over to Europe or to the Pacific for a couple months at a time. It was a time for us to relax and get paid to chase women and drink beer in another country. It was not hard to be in at that time. Then the Cold War fizzeled out and Desert Sheild/Storm hit and life changed. I have seen a lot of changes in the last 16 years that I have been around the Air Force.

If you've been in for 16 years that means you joined about 1989 or so. My friend, you didn't see the Cold War, and there was nothing COLD about it. I lived on a SAC base during the 1960s. I knew the flight crews who took turns living in the ready alert bunkers. I remember the red phone in our hallway ringing and my father's driver coming up the street with the siren wailing (my father was the deputy wing commander). I remember the B-52s launching two at a time, throttles set to war emergency power. It sounded like a freight train coming through the house. Then when the BUFFs were in the air the tankers would start launching. Once the birds were gone everything was deathly quiet and the waiting would start. It was like the whole base was holding its breath. We didn't know if it was another drill or if in 30 minutes we'd be vaporized by a Soviet nuclear missle. A lot of the families couldn't take it. SAC lost good men because their wives and children were terrified every time the klaxons sounded. The men who didn't transfer out often ended up divorced. My father did.

Except for those people who lived near the base and were rattled out of their beds by the BUFFs the general public had no idea what was going on, what a handful of pilots and flight crews were doing to keep this country safe. Don't think for a moment that everytime those bombers scrambed someone in Moscow didn't hear about it. They knew that if they did launch against us our bombers would be on their way long before the missles arrived over Dayton. So they didn't launch.

If you spent most of your time drinking beer and chasing girls then good for you. But I'll guarantee you that the crews living in those alert bunkers during the real Cold War had an entirely different experience. You want to see what it was like, watch the movie A Gathering of Eagles some time. Sure, it's got some Hollywood BS in it, but it does a pretty good job of showing what the pressure on the crews was like in those days.

spaceCADETzoom
December 26, 2005, 12:35 PM
Hey gents,

What does the military do with people who have advanced degrees (masters/doctorates)? I'll probably be done with my Ph.D by 27 or 28, have no plans to join the military, but I am curious.

I'm finishing my masters in political science right now. LIke you, I am sure, most people seeking advanced degrees aren't doing it for "trade-school" like reasons. People don't always go for Ph.Ds just to get bigger paychecks. That said, you'll be hard prressed to find field grade or general officers without them...

There's often a question of what does your college degree (the question often revolves around bachelors) "do" for you. To the cynics, and on instances of face value, the answer is "absolutely nothing." After all, being in the corps of engineers doesn;t rely on you having been an engineer as an undergrad, nor does a signal officer need to have been a conmputer science major. I can't tell you how many friendly conversations I've had where people think i should go MI because they hear of my b ackground finishing up an MA in political science. Overall, college is about what I reference above...bettering yourself...many will disagree...but I'm pointing to the old addage of you get what you put in. In any case, on a technical standpoint, the technical matters you get from your specialized degree don't transfrer specficially. If you're a mechanical engineer, you honestly wont take those number crunching skills specifically, keeping in mind many of your peers may be english majors(even in seemingly technical branches like the corps of enginneers and signal). People more often than not undervalue thier college experience...failing to cite thier increased research skills, verbal/written skill, critical thinking process, and an overall wider field of knowledge (it's not just about your specific major or field of study)...your drinking skills...:). A good number of NCOs have bachelors degrees and even more advanced ones. Again, the military, contrary to a lot of outside misconceptions, the military would like educatetd soldiers and leaders...robots can't plan wars...

College degrees only show you have the ability to learn...potentially...

SamlautRanger
December 26, 2005, 04:08 PM
These days in most branches to see E-8 an associates degree is needed, and in many career fields because the selection is getting thin, a bachelors degree is probably needed to rise above the rest in the selection process. (SF is probably the exeption, and most critical MOS). But I will see if you want to see E-9 you definately need a Bachelors Degree.

I had 4 college courses under my belt (english 101, world history, biology 101, Chinese 101) when I went back into the Army as enlisted. I was able to work with Peirce Community College that had a branch on Ft Lewis while I was stationed there. Over my last year I was able to take 4 courses (a physics course, an algebra course, a creative writing course, and a political science course). Those 4 course, combined with the previous 4 courses I had taken and combined with all the college credits I was able to get for my military schooling was enough for Pierce College to award me an Associates Degree in Technology. I was very proud of that and helped boost up my NCOER. They gave me a lot of credits for military course I had had. Most colleges will (i got outdoor education and physical education credits for Ranger school, supervisor credits for NCO leadership courses, alnguage credits for the 6 month Language school I attended, and various technical credits for the SF Engineer course I completed).

Pierce college was great in that even though I was in a SF unit that was deployed a lot, they had program for us and the 2/75 RGR bn at ft lewis to help us out. For example they offered a special designed one month long Political Science course just for our SF unit. We had about 20 guys enroll. Was taught by a retired 3 star. (definately was not liberal biased!). For the Physics 101 course I taught we had only 6 guys in the class!! I got an A+. If I would have taken that course at Purdue I would have been in a lecture hall with 400 students, being taught by a TA with only limited knowledge of english and probably would have been lucky to get even a C, witout all the one on one instruction.

I later then used my GI Bill to complete a BS degree at Purdue Univ. Besides the GI Bill the VA also would reimburse me for hiring tutors! I would not have made it through advanced chemistry and calculus courses without that.

Well, just pointing out that there are many many ways to continue your education while in the military. It is all up to you and how you want to spend your off time. Just like any other job, what you put into it will decide how much you suceed.

Nicky Santoro
December 26, 2005, 08:20 PM
thoughts on joining the ARMY

Finish school first. You'll be more valuable to yourself and to the Army with an education.

Browns Fan
December 27, 2005, 09:00 AM
Quote:
"I'll be back at Planet Bragg by 29 DEC. We'll hafta get together and do a mini-High Road shoot oover at McKellars."

Hey, that sounds great! That's where I shoot. Count me in! :D

Joe

bmbsqd630
December 9, 2007, 06:25 PM
Just FTR, "armyranger" has now been busted as a Ranger poser on yet another site. He also immediately shut down his myspace site where he claimed Ranger quals.

cbsbyte
December 9, 2007, 06:29 PM
It's alive!!! You know this thread was dead for over two years.

paintballdude902
December 9, 2007, 10:52 PM
hey i just got my asvab- my afqt was an 82

i spent friday at the army recruiter

im plaaning on using the army to go to college and not leave my retired dad(a retired a.f. colnel) not stuck witht he bill that and i wanted to join anyways


i really want to fly or jump

Javelin
December 9, 2007, 10:55 PM
Decide for yourself but while your serving and when you get out, Air Force is your best option. Don't take my word for it. I am just stating a fact. I didnt get this information. So maybe it will help you.

goon
December 9, 2007, 11:04 PM
For the most part it was a good experience but due to my current political beliefs I wouldn't do it again.
Also, understand that after you sign that contract they own you. If you are OK with that go ahead and join.

Lewis Wetzel
December 9, 2007, 11:10 PM
at how the never-served types view military service as servitude and total loss of freedom.

Even more amazing is how those who ended up at E-4 think that anyone who 'served' (did time) in any branch is a flippin' Audie Murphy.

I like Capt. H.W. McBride's (A Rifleman Went to War---see Cooper, Jeff) opinion that no one who has not been in some kind of a major engagement should not be considered a 'veteran'.

Sure, there is some glory in war, but nowadays 'serving' for the U.S. FedGOD is serving Imperial Rome on the Potomac...it AIN'T WWII.....!

Evenflo76
December 9, 2007, 11:20 PM
paintbal dude. If you are under 21 go ROTC. MAKE THEM PAY FOR YOUR EDUCATION FIRST.

When people look at job applications, they never discount seeing the qualification of a military officer.

My $0.02

bearmgc
December 9, 2007, 11:22 PM
Deciding to enlist is really a personal choice, not one to be taken lightly. Considering the pros and cons, and your personal feelings about killing another human being in time of war, and your beliefs about our involvement in Iraq, will weigh heavily, if you haven't already defined your values. Its not about basic training, though basic training can have a maturing effect. I've known people who enlisted in the guard for the college money, never thinking they would be deployed, then freakin surprise, the Iraq War arrived. Like they never really thought this would happen. What were they thinking,Hey? Gotta be realistic about the possibility of being wounded or killed. I am a veteran, and the Military did give me the opportunity to finish my college education, but not without the risks.

carlrodd
December 9, 2007, 11:52 PM
Even more amazing is how those who ended up at E-4 think that anyone who 'served' (did time) in any branch is a flippin' Audie Murphy.

I like Capt. H.W. McBride's (A Rifleman Went to War---see Cooper, Jeff) opinion that no one who has not been in some kind of a major engagement should not be considered a 'veteran'.

Sure, there is some glory in war, but nowadays 'serving' for the U.S. FedGOD is serving Imperial Rome on the Potomac...it AIN'T WWII.....! -lewis wetzel


lewis, CPT mcbride sounds like a blowhard. more often than not, joining any branch of the military is a huge sacrifice. it's a commendable thing to do. as far as 'nowadays' not being WWII.....no one said it was.....but the similarities are endless nonetheless.

i know a number of WWII vets...infantryman some of them. from what i gather, though somewhat different, their experiences in many ways are equal to that of a soldier with a combat MOS in iraq or afghanistan these days. my dad's uncle was part of a heavy weapons platoon in an infantry outfit. he fought at messina, anzio and monte casino, to name a few. we both agreed on one thing....life in a combat zone can be awfully boring.....LONG stretches of nothing, punctuated by usually brief spurts of violent chaos.

don't make the mistake of deifying WWII vets at the expense of your contemporary veterans...and they ARE most certainly veterans. these soldiers in combat units go out every single day, in an almost unbearable climate, putting themselves in the crosshairs of some really awful people who seek to hurt and demoralize them in whatever way they can. all this while being separated from just about everything and everyone they value. they make the choice to do this of course, but don't downplay it. if you had ever experienced anything like it yourself, you wouldn't make such uninformed comments.

paintballdude, you sound excited about this. go do it. i think anyone could benefit from the experience. if nothing else, it helps you appreciate what's important in life. and nothing against our infantry brothers, but if you want to join a group in the regular army that will truly make your mama proud, ask your recruiter about being a cavalry scout. a squared away 19D can do an infantryman's job, and everybody else's if need be:) the eyes of battle....a proud title. god bless you whatever you decide.

Lewis Wetzel
December 10, 2007, 12:48 AM
lewis, CPT mcbride sounds like a blowhard.

You need an education...read his book. Two years in the trenches in France, WWI. Emma-gees, he was a seminal sniper before Haskett-Prichard had the schools....was a Capt. in U.S. reserves...resigned, went to Canada, enlisted, rose to Capt. in those two years....Yeah, a real 'effing blowhard....

As to deifying WWII vets, I did nothing of the sort...separation by category is not deification...it is clarification. I would simply point out that the German soldiers of WWII are every bit as honorable...and dishonorable...in their actions and missions as the present U.S. military. They both fight for their 'country', no matter what the lies they (and the citizens) are fed to justify their actions. The "Thank you for your service" line is SO tiresome...service to whom? The government? The people? A fireman who puts his a$$ on the line every flippin' day...now THAT is service to the people...I draw a distinction between service to the GOVERNMENT (and it's insidious affiliations with the corporate interests that guide U.S. Government policy) and those that serve the people...People, Government, Nation, Country...the terms are not interchangeable.

Let's not conflate concepts and issues.

HAPPY to help...

4v50 Gary
December 10, 2007, 12:53 AM
Go with ROTC and finish college first. You don't have to worry about ticket punching like a regular and can pursue a normal life afterwards. By normal, I'm referring to the constant transfers service personnel get. It's great if you're single, but once you meet a girl and want to settle down, she'd better be predisposed towards uprooting and moving or she'll leave you.

Lewis Wetzel
December 10, 2007, 12:57 AM
hey i just got my asvab- my afqt was an 82

i spent friday at the army recruiter

im plaaning on using the army to go to college and not leave my retired dad(a retired a.f. colnel) not stuck witht he bill that and i wanted to join anyways


i really want to fly or jump

Paintball, just remember, once you are designated, that's pretty much it. Maybe it's different in the Army than the USMC, but if you get tagged with a certain kind of duty from the get-go, that's pretty much the way it's going to be, barring some special incident along the way, such as you being discovered to be the greatest thing since sliced bread in doing (fill in the blank).

Just my two cents....

AZ Husker
December 10, 2007, 12:59 AM
It's a whole new game bud! I just wish I would've stayed in for my 20, I'd be long retired and would have had plenty of time for a whole new career (expecially LEO, which I did for 20 years) and would have been a "double dipper". When I went in, the draft was just ending, and they were offering felons the choice of prison or the Army/Marines. My draft number inferred that I was going in, so I went down and talked to every recruiter, told them whoever gave me the best job could have me. Army offered the best deal, so I took it. Never knew that that was the last draft, and they never called anyone off the list! I never regretted it, spent my time, and used my GI Bill for college. Just wish I would've stayed in until my minimum retirement time. Best wishes, and thanks for whatever service you decide! Jump if you have the chance!
Tracy

Chris B
December 10, 2007, 01:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdharmon
why so many differences in opinions? is it what you make it or what?

That pretty much sums it up fella. Some people live their whole life and don't figure that out, be it concerning the military, school, their job, their marriage, or pretty much everything else too. Some folks adapt well and thrive in the Service, some just aren't cut out to be in the military.

+100

Life is what you make of it, aside from certain aspects that you can't control.

I believe in the existential philosophy that man first of all exists, then surges upon himself, then defines himself later.

Misery can be found in all walks of life. I know rich folks who could have or do anything they want that are miserable. I know poor folks that are too. I know servicemen and women who are miserable. I also know rich people, poor people and service people who are content with their lives.

I have no military service background. I will tell you the stories of three of my close friends from high school who joined:

Friend 1- Graduated high school and while he has the mental capacity for college level work decided not to go. One day his father kicked him out of the house. After several unsuccessful attempts at finding employment he joined the Marine Corps. He graduated basic and was as gung-ho a Marine I have ever seen He convinced friends 2 and 3 to join. He spent some time in California before being deployed to Iraq. He saw combat. He relayed to me that it is not glorious and he dreaded every minute of it. He completed his term of service and was honorably discharged. When he got home he gave me this advice: "Never enlist. If you do, never re-enlist." He is now back home but slightly disabled (hearing loss and limited use of left arm) and severely addicted to alcohol and painkillers. His psychologist attributes his addictions to PTSD.

Friend 2- Graduated high school and found himself in a grueling dead end construction job. Joined the Corps at friend 1's reccomendation. Spent time in various schools before being deployed to Japan and the Phillipines. Currently stationed in CA and will probobly get out without seeing combat. He can't wait to get out.

Friend 3- Also joined at friend 1's reccomendation, only on the day he went to sign up the MCRS was closed. He went next door and joined the Army. He was deployed to Iraq shortly after basic. He saw combat. By his account he took several lives (including those of women and children). Upon returning to the states he found himself unable to readapt to life outside of a combat zone. He couldnt sleep. He developed a bad case of alcoholism. He was dishonorably discharged after physically assaulting a superior officer. He went home and the downward spiral of alcoholism led him to harsher drugs (cocaine and crystal meth). His mother forced him to check in to rehab. Fortunately he is doing much better but he says he is still troubled by what he saw and did over there.

I have nothing but respect for those who do join the services. I will not touch on my opinions of our governments actions, that discussion doesn't belong here. The services are a great option for those who have limited other options, or for those who feel compelled to serve. It is a great credential to have to raise your value concerning employability. But so is a college degree. The way I see it, enlisting is just signing up for a job. Going to college or becoming an officer is a career path.

That's my $0.02

Pilgrim
December 10, 2007, 02:58 AM
You get from the military what you put into it. One of your biggest obstacles will be peer pressure not to excel, to only just get by.

You have to decide that if you are going to invest three, four years of your life, you are going to get everything out of it there is to be had. That means you are going to do everything you can to make your unit, squadron, ship, etc. the best of all others.

The Navy paid my way through college by the NROTC scholarship program. I graduated with a BA degree and no debt. I had a job on graduation and entry into a career I loved, naval aviation.

Pilgrim

bogie
December 10, 2007, 03:03 AM
Guys, remember that MOST of the Army is not an adventure... They tell half the 11bangbang fellows that they're going to get to apply for jump school, etc., etc... Yeah, and when these recruiters retire, they're going to be selling used cars, and screaming about how all credit applications will be considered. Doesn't mean that you have a chance in hell of going to jump school, much less passing. And you sure ain't gonna be special forces or a ranger without passing a BUNCH of hurdles.

Sign up for a specific job. Something other than defusing crap, okay? There's a big bonus for that one, but they only give half of it to you before you start, and a lot of folks don't collect the other half...

plexreticle
December 10, 2007, 03:21 AM
I'm sure this will seen as flame bait but this is my opinion based on over 20 years spent in the military working with all of the uniform services:

-If you want to go combat arms join the Marines.
-If you want to stay out of the s*** and learn a trade join the AirForce or Navy.
-If you want idiots in charge of your life join the Army.

KABA
December 10, 2007, 06:53 AM
If your're joining the military as a career move; or for what you can gain from the experience; then you're joinng for the wrong reasons.

Joining the military should be something you do because you want to serve some purpose higher than your own needs and desires. It is all about self-sacrifice.

The best of luck to you and whatever decesion you make.

U.S.SFC_RET
December 10, 2007, 07:10 AM
I joined the Army in '81 and left a little cotton farming town south of Athens Georgia. I went back to that cotton farming town 15 years later, (still in the Army) and this is what I discovered.
People remained the same.
Some got college degrees only to go back doing just what they were doing.
Very few recognized me.
I got the impression that the little town changed. It didn't, I did and for the better. The influence you receive while in the military will astound you if you are in it for a number of years. If you go back to your hometown roots you will see why.
They never change and there is nothing wrong with it. The changes that happen to you are enormous. You people skills are immeasureable. Your responsibility level is very,very high. The skills you learn (it's up to you to learn them) makes you marketable.
Attitude gets you places. if you develop a bad attitude in the military you are in for a rough ride. If you have a good attitude then the military is alot easier.
I learned to speak German and I doubt that anyone in my hometown can do that.;)

carlrodd
December 12, 2007, 12:44 AM
Let's not conflate concepts and issues. -lewis wetzel

lewis, clearly you have serious problems with the federal government.....i don't blame you. but your inability to separate service to it, which in many ways translates into direct service toward the american public, and pvt whoever being somehow complicit with our 'leaders' and their often questionable agendas does a tremendous disservice to veterans. there are innumerable reasons to find oneself at odds with where our government is going, but without a military you would have no country to complain about. the military is a body that in many ways exists outside of the whims of any contemporary group of politicians...it always has. in many ways it is unchanging, and there is a great deal that is good in it and about it. you may not appreciate the role it is playing currently, but its mere existence ensures, and has always ensured your continued ability to pursue life in just about whatever way you see fit.

the purpose of the military, in a nutshell........"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. " -george orwell

if there was no such thing as the war in iraq, or our involvement in any conflict for that matter, we'd still need willing people to fill our military, and it's a worthy sacrifice.

possum
December 12, 2007, 03:58 PM
i want to do my 9 weeks of basic then enroll for airborne training
make sure you get this in your contract, or you might have a tuff time getting it later.

i think you should go infantry, i personally there is no other job in the army for well bodied, and men in good health than the infantry, i personally couldn't and wouldn't be happy with my service if i was anything else than a door kicking, ruck humping grunt but that is just me.

maybe serve some time overseas doing whatever, and coming back and trying out for the special forces.
there is no maybe about it if you get in i am sure that you will find yourself in the sandbox at least once or 2 times before your enlistment is up.

sf is great and it is great to have goals but see what you think of the army first and what it has to offer and then make that decision to go to sfas then. that is my advise there is however a way to go sf right off the strret and you will never see a regular army unit if you make it all the way through. but i highly detest folks that do this and i think that you should spend time in the regualr army first.

RKBABob
December 12, 2007, 04:05 PM
Plexreticle wrote:
-If you want to go combat arms join the Marines.
-If you want to stay out of the s*** and learn a trade join the AirForce or Navy.
-If you want idiots in charge of your life join the Army.
Oh, I hear this at every holiday gathering...

My Navy relative learned construction and carpentry skills...
My "Chair Force" relatives became EMT's and "hospitality specialists"...
My Army relatives learned to say "Yes, Sir!"
My Marine relatives learned how to kill people.

I didn't join the military at all... so I learned nothing!

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