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Thread: Thinking of joining the Military

  1. #1

    Default Thinking of joining the Military

    Howdy folks!

    I've been thinking long and hard about it, and I decided that I may seriously consider joining the military once I'm done with school. Some research explained to me that I would be eligible to get a commission as an officer straight out of college and go through Basic Officer Training (BoT) instead of standard Basic Training, at which point I would getting paid as an 0-2 officer (1st Lt) after some automatic bumps I'd get from some various things.

    I've been looking at the Air Force, simply because I know they have the most jobs that would involve a particular speciality of mine. However I'm ultimately willing to consider any branch, as I'm not at all afraid to get down and dirty with the more 'military' branches such as the Marine Corps.

    Does anyone have any insight/previous military experience? What, in your opinion is the best branch to consider?

  2. #2
    CrinklySiren

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    I have 2 friends in the military, be wary of those "automatic bumps", because to them automatic means "after a year or 2". My friends joined the Navy because they would be bumped to higher statuses based on their test scores, but it took each of them about 2 1/2 years to get to where they were "promised", and the sign-on bonus wasn't really all that much (meaning that it was given to them in installments and QUICKLY depleted) My friend who is a petty officer and part of the tech crew, she told me that she barely makes enough to live on her own (she got lucky because she met a guy and they moved in together, she was also given a house after volunteering for a 6 month Afghanistan thing)

    My other friend is in Nuclear (which does pay very well) but he tells me that he's learnt things that have traumatized him. I obviously don't know what these things are (classified information) but I'd say if you have the stomach and the patience for a military branch, go right ahead.

    Conspiracy, economic standing, and promises aside - my friends say they both love what they do despite struggling from time to time. So it really depends on you.

  3. #3

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    What is your specialty?

    Unless you're coming out with certain professional degrees, you'll enter service as a butterbar (O-1). BOT is harder than Boot Camp, and it should be as it incorporates all of Basic Indoctrination with the required Officer Training under a similar environment. You might get O-2 pay, but you certainly won't have the rank or accrue Time in Grade.

    Based on Prior Service, your first year or so is likely to be very frustrating. And with good cause, you'll technically outrank most of your chosen service (based on the breakdown between Enlisted and Warrant Officers vs Commissioned Officers) but will have less experience than everyone around you. There's a common joke: "What's the difference between a 1 Lt and a Corporal? The Corporal's been promoted twice." It's not nearly as facetious as it sounds: as the FNG in O Country you'll be assigned to secondary, learning billets with little real responsibility until you prove you can hack it. While most people make JG on their first board, it's not a gimme (unlike E-2).

    Seriously ask yourself if you can deal with your subordinates training you for the first few years, always having someone over you, literally belonging to the Government. The reality of Active Duty is day to day suckage punctuated with moments of sheer terror and spiced with monotony.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    Seriously ask yourself if you can deal with your subordinates training you for the first few years, always having someone over you, literally belonging to the Government.
    I think the last part is what few people appreciate. You aren't getting a job, you're getting a 24 hour lifestyle which includes a job. The job is nearly a minor detail by comparison.



    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    The reality of Active Duty is day to day suckage punctuated with moments of sheer terror and spiced with monotony.
    I think it depends on the billet. A year ago I was very close to entering the Navy. The military was my goal in high school but I turned away because I couldn't in good faith serve under Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Now that that's gone and my career was in the doldrums I was considering the option. The US Navy has one of the best infectious disease research programs in the world for select agents and category four biohazardous pathogens. But that's an assignment where my job would have been a lot like what I'm used to anyway- 12 to 16 hour-a-day scientist once I got through basic and OCS.

  5. #5

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    Regardless of how you go in the first years are competitive especially with the draw down (MC experience here). Each direction has its ups and downs, for instance I'm enlisted and I did know what job I would have, for the most part, when I shipped to boot camp. Officers are a little bit different unless you have an air contract you compete for your job in TBS, with the higher demand jobs (infantry, intel etc.) going to the highest placed student. feel free to PM me if you have questions in am still in so I have a great grasp on the current atmosphere.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Traemo View Post
    What is your specialty?

    Unless you're coming out with certain professional degrees, you'll enter service as a butterbar (O-1). BOT is harder than Boot Camp, and it should be as it incorporates all of Basic Indoctrination with the required Officer Training under a similar environment. You might get O-2 pay, but you certainly won't have the rank or accrue Time in Grade.

    Based on Prior Service, your first year or so is likely to be very frustrating. And with good cause, you'll technically outrank most of your chosen service (based on the breakdown between Enlisted and Warrant Officers vs Commissioned Officers) but will have less experience than everyone around you. There's a common joke: "What's the difference between a 1 Lt and a Corporal? The Corporal's been promoted twice." It's not nearly as facetious as it sounds: as the FNG in O Country you'll be assigned to secondary, learning billets with little real responsibility until you prove you can hack it. While most people make JG on their first board, it's not a gimme (unlike E-2).

    Seriously ask yourself if you can deal with your subordinates training you for the first few years, always having someone over you, literally belonging to the Government. The reality of Active Duty is day to day suckage punctuated with moments of sheer terror and spiced with monotony.
    That's a scary thought! Particularly because the job I already halfway have is in intelligence. God only knows how much training/time spent learning the trade would be involved there...

    I don't at all mind learning from those with more experience, even if I outrank them. If I understand it correctly, the only reason I HAVE to outrank them in the first place involves the job I'll be doing. Apparently it's mandatory for whoever is in the position to be at least an E-9 or higher. The massive change in lifestyle/being owned by the gov is something I've thought long and hard about, and finally determined that I would be quite alright with it. If anything, I consider myself very patriotic, to the point where I'll do anything and everything if it involves service to my country.

    Of course, this is all very subject to change. Although I do know that the intelligence job will be waiting for me, should I want it.

    - - - Updated - - -



    Quote Originally Posted by pkarm6172 View Post
    Regardless of how you go in the first years are competitive especially with the draw down (MC experience here). Each direction has its ups and downs, for instance I'm enlisted and I did know what job I would have, for the most part, when I shipped to boot camp. Officers are a little bit different unless you have an air contract you compete for your job in TBS, with the higher demand jobs (infantry, intel etc.) going to the highest placed student. feel free to PM me if you have questions in am still in so I have a great grasp on the current atmosphere.
    I appreciate the offer! I'd happily hit you up on that later as things progress! While I have a lot of friends/family that have experience in working for the federal government/military and whatnot, I am still kind of in the dark as to how a lot of things work.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan09 View Post
    That's a scary thought! Particularly because the job I already halfway have is in intelligence. God only knows how much training/time spent learning the trade would be involved there...
    One important component of going into the military is having a specialty with occupational demand in the civilian world (provided you aren't planning to stay in the service for your entire career). Being a gunner's mate sounds awesome when you're 18 but has extremely limited vocational relevance after your discharge. Military intelligence is a very good field to go into. Depends what you do there, but it has a lot of potential.

  8. #8
    Zpeed

    Default

    Free clothing, food and a place to stay, not to mention all the exercise
    I'd join !

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zpeed View Post
    Free clothing, food and a place to stay, not to mention all the exercise
    I'd join !
    Very true! Plus, from what I've learned about the Air Force specifically..the accommodations are quite nice!

    Plus, a lot of what I'd be doing in the military directly translates to what I plan on doing in a post-military civilian job.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan09 View Post
    Very true! Plus, from what I've learned about the Air Force specifically..the accommodations are quite nice!

    Plus, a lot of what I'd be doing in the military directly translates to what I plan on doing in a post-military civilian job.
    What I would do is contact Whisko with a PM. He is a current member of the air force.

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