Guys, I could really use some input...

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Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:44 am

Let me start out by saying thank you to all of you who have served in the military. You have my utmost respect, and as a nation, we-the United States-are entirely in your debt.

That being said, here's why I need some advice/input. Some of you may be annoyed by this post-some may think I'm being a pansy, etc., but here goes:

Guys, I'm 20 years old, and this fall I'll be a junior in college. I'm a smart guy-I make good grades, and I work hard. My problem is, I don't really know what I'm working towards. I have a major, and I do find it interesting; I'm also considering attending law school and taking that route after undergrad. This issue of my future I've flip-flopped back and forth over since high school. However, the one thing that has not changed is my interest and fascination with the military. I know that I don't want to make the military my career; there are other things I know I want in my life that the military life couldn't provide me with. What I am interested in, however, is serving in the army or marine core for the minimum service length after graduating. My plan would be to complete the Officer Candidate Course, and become and officer. I would fulfill my required active service, and then go to either graduate school or law school while on inactive reserve status. There are 2 things preventing me from going ahead and making this decision: 1) my fear that the time I spend in the service could put me at a disadvantage as far as postponing my completion of graduate or law school, and in doing so, putting off a career; 2) I love my girlfriend-we've known each other almost all our lives, and I plan on marrying her-I sometimes worry about the affect my service would have on her, as I know she worries.

Guys, I'm not expecting anyone to come forward, able to answer all of my questions and uncertainties. But what I would really appreciate is some insight from guys who have been through the same type of situation. What was your experience like, would you recommend it, did it impact your life in a positive or negative way...these are some of the types of things I would really be interested in hearing about.

Thanks in advance, and thank you for your service.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby revrat » Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:42 am

OK. Here's my take. First, if you plan on marrying your girlfriend, she must, absolutely, 100%, without reservation, be on board with your joining up. I will be honest here. Military service WILL put a lot of strain on a relationship. If your relationship is strong, you will likely get through things OK. I won't pretend to know anything about your relationship status, but I will say that I have seen TONS of marriages fall apart after one party or the other has joined the service. Please don't take this as me trying to discourage you, but you should both be aware that there will be lots of seperation and uncertainty, and that can cause problems for the strongest of couples.

If you plan on making a career of the military, being an officer is the way to go. If you're planning on a minimum service time obligation, enlisting is a great option too. You can have a shorter active duty service time commitment, and there are lots of more interesting and fun jobs available to an enlisted man. If you go in as an O1, you will be doing more admin crap than you will ever care to do. I always felt sorry for the 2nd lts (and some 1st lts) that came around. Taking crap from every direction for their lack of experience. I wouldn't think that you would have a very fulfilling term of service if you went minimum service length as an officer. By the time you have a chance to develop some respect and leadership ability, you would be looking at leaving. It just seems like a waste to me to lay all the groundwork, and complete all the schooling to become an officer to just walk away from it once you have completed the minimum required time. If you want the "adventure" of joining the Army, or being a naval security gaurd :biggrin: , I would enlist and go into one of the combat arms branches. Like infantry, cav, or something similar. Try to get jump school in your contract, or even Ranger training. Sign up for the GI Bill to help pay for grad school when you get done.

As far as being put at a disadvantage upon completion of your grad school or law school, don't fret that at all. Your peers from your your class will be at a disadvantage due to your superior resume with military experience on top of your school accomplishments. I know who I would hire if I was presented two resumes with equal school credentials, but one with military service to go with the education, and one without. Your career down the road will only suffer in that you will be getting a bit of a late start. The experience and leadership ability you will gain will only help you in the job market when you get out.

I say go for it if that's what you want to do, but make sure you go into it prepared, and make sure you think very thouroughly about what you want out of your experience. Also include your girlfriend in all discussions and in the decision making process if you really are that serious about marrying her.

Good luck, and thanks for considering serving our great country!

PM me if I can help in any way with your decision.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby devildog28 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 1:23 pm

This may be harsh, but having seen all types of people in the military personally I don't want you to join with your mindset.

You're worried about a chick that you haven't even married yet and you'll be one of those whiny types that I saw cry all the time if you don't realize that it's your life and you have to choose something that makes you happy first. If it's meant to be then it'll be. If not, she doesn't have enough backbone.

Think about it this way. A few years from now when you're too old to join and she might be gone you'll have kicked yourself for not joining the military and it'll haunt you daily. All because you were worried about what someone else thought.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby Jhaze1812 » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:28 pm

Hey bud. I was in the same boat. I was 20 years old in love with my girlfriend and facinated with the military while doing very well in college working towards nothing. I joined the Marine Corps Reserves in 2005 and have one deployment under my belt. It is a HUGE step to join the military. My schooling alone was 8 months 8 days long. Bootcamp MCT and Tank School. It destroyed my relantionship. Destroyed me for a time and built me back up, stronger than I was before. I thank God everyday for it. My Girlfriend at the time did not want me to leave. It was doomed from the start. The person who said that your girl must me 100% on board is right. So right. My wife and I have been married for just under a year. We got married while I was in Iraq we started dating 6 months before I left. I missed everything major, her birthday, our "wedding", her being in the hospital. I've also missed so much more. Birthdays, anaversarys (sp), holidays, funerals, births, weddings, etc. The military even the reserves is absolutely no joke.

If I were to be given the chance to do it all again I would in a heart beat. There is absolutely nothing like that satisfaction I get everytime I look in my bonus room and see all my gear and I think to myself "Good job Marine." It is one hell of a step bro. Look at officer plans. The dark side is the best side for a family, that I am certain. I am enlisted, an E-4. The Marine Corps has been the best and worst thing to ever happen to me, but the best things far outweigh the bad things. That is for sure.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby airborneduckhunter » Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:18 pm

I couldn't agree more with everyone's comments so far. The girl, if she truly loves you and believes in you and has no desire for anyone other than you, she will support you and encourage you and follow you forever...if not, then it just won't happen. I have been in the Army now going on 10 years. Best decision of my life. With your education, definitely go officer, but not if you just want the minimum obligation. There are a few reasons that have been listed already; lack of respect, no experience, and by the time you get high enough in the rank structure, you will be getting out. Also, enlisted guys have more fun. We kick in doors, blow stuff up, and only have to deal with our leadership. As an officer, you get all the admin stuff, plus you get to be responsible for a full platoon of guys, which can be straining. The pay difference is definitely worth it, though.
In short, if you go short term, go enlisted, combat arms and have fun. If you wanna go the long haul, go officer. As far as your girl, IF she is the one, she will stay, if not it's better to get it out of the way now and not later.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby SUTHERNDUCKHUNTER » Tue Jun 29, 2010 3:54 pm

Hey man...
Im 24, enlisted in the navy at 19. I agree with everything being said. Some may sound harsh but it is the truth. The Lady friend will be by your side if it is meant to be reguardless if you're in the military or not. One thing I will add, no matter what branch you decide to go with, you will learn Life experiences both good and bad, that will do nothing but Better you for the future. It will be hard, it will be sucky, and you will ask yourself WHY more times than not, but in the end you'll look back and appreciate everything for what its worth! Whatever you do, do it all the way and be proud of yourself!

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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby ramsfann » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:11 pm

I joined the Army right out of high school. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, My girlfriend was a year behind me and we both knew we were going to get married when she graduated. The time we spent apart while i was in training and then stationed in Korea was very good for us. We have now been married for 24 years. As far as being behind in anything, most schools and employers look upon military service as a good thing, the experience and training go a long way to getting ahead of your civilian counterparts.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby dpo152 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:26 am

ROTC Looks like a good idea for you. I have been in for 6 and a half years. I am an officer in the Army National Guard. Also an ROTC instructor. Let me know if you want to discuss it further.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby DUCK-DAWG » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:50 am

Thanks to everyone that has given me their input. It holds more weight with me than anything I've seen or read, and will go a long way in helping me make my decision.

Once again, thank you to every single one of you that has served.

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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby NC hunter » Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:02 pm

PM me for more insight- 15 years in as an Army Officer...done it all from what you see on TV, the papers and classified stuff...been thru many decisions, many wierd places, many hard and great times, many women, amny beers and most importantly- have had more time and more money to kill more ducks than any civilian buddies from high school...almost got married out of college and glad I held off. Ended up marrying a great woman at 34 years (me) who supports my hunting addiction and cooks/eats game. The best business to be in right now is the military- got many friends who can give you answers to any questions you may have.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby copeman85 » Sun Dec 12, 2010 7:16 pm

She'll cheat, they all do. Keep being a book worm.

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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby 37lbgoose » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:10 pm

i deal with military lawyers all day long. there are programs where you can come in as a 1LT and they will send you thru law school on your way to CPT and beyond. in fact, i'm pretty sure its a requirement by the time you make O3 that you have the degree. best part is, the military will pay for it. i can tell you from working with the agents, your gonna have to deal with some really horrible folks. military was the best choice i have ever made, and i'm sad that i have to go. but i think that every able bodied person should do it. it will either make a break you.
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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby Daffy Ducking » Wed Dec 22, 2010 9:50 am

DUCK DAWG, I am a retired U.S. Army Warrant Officer after 20 years 5 months of service. I flew Medevac and had the opportunity to fly with all different kinds of rank from Privates to Generals. I think it is great that you are considering becoming an Officer and joining in the fight against Terrorism. I want you to know that you are 20 years old and not knocking are still very young and have MANY years to go to decide what you want to do. The military I feel is great for a young man to go through to experience and learn discipline, leadership, and responsibilities.It truly did that for me. I enlisted when I was 16 because all of my friends were doing it and I thought it would look good on paper for a job. Well I never expected to do 20 years, 5 months and become a pilot as well!! As far as the significant other this is where you truly find out how she feels about you. Will she stand by you faithfully and trust all of your decisions or will she move on? The other thing to remember to is if you consider OCS when you graduate you are going to have enlisted folks below who will rely on you to take care of them. If you are in the OCS thing just to come in as an officer and get through a 4 year deal you are going to come in with blinders on and forget about the young guys below you who will be making 1/2 of what you make and they will hate you. Don't be that guy!! Be open to suggestions and consider expanding your career! You can still persue college while you are serving and if it isn't your bag you get out with no regrets! Take FULL ADVANTAGE of what they offer you!!! Education, G.I. Bills, Bonuses, etc. and don't be afraid to ask!! If Law is want you want to persue become a JAG Officer, get your education and decide what you want to do...Stay In or Get Out. Let the military pay 100% of your school. I hope I have not offended you or upset your girlfriend. I am truly telling you from a 20 year Veteran. You would missing out on ALOT!!! If you have any questions PLEASE do not hesitate to drop me a PM and I will help you with whatever I can.

I wish you the best of luck with your future and Happy Holidays to you!


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Re: Guys, I could really use some input...

Postby devildog83 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 6:26 pm

If you want to do it, do it! Don't let anyone stop you or you will regret it later in life. As far as the branch of service goes..............
well the Marine Corps is the only way :umm: !!!
Semper Fi and good luck on your decision!
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