Thinking about enlisting...

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Thinking about enlisting...

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:00 pm

Well me and the whole college thing ain't really working out as well as I thought...heck I haven't even got my foot in the door. So I've been reading every little thing on the army's website for the past few hours.

And well I've got a few questions for you enlisted guys.
Did you do ROTC or did you just straight up join?
Is basic really as hard as it sounds?
Do you enjoy all thats involved?
Do you feel like you have opportunities for jobs after you get out?

Like I said, I'm just now starting to look into it. Probably going to go talk to a recruiter later this week or next. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys :thumbsup:
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby flyfisher76544 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:25 am

Well, lets see here....you can do ROTC and it may help you come in with some rank, but it is not necessary. Basic is hard for those individuals who do not like to listen and hard headed and are not team players. Are you an active person? If you are thinking about joining the military, start running everyday and preparing yourself. Push ups, sit ups and just generally getting yourself into shape...it will make it easier on yourself and give you an advantage over the other recruits. As for the jobs after the military life, depends on what your job is. I always tell folks who are looking to join to look at the jobs offered to you and figure out how those jobs transfer to the civilian world. There are some really cool jobs that you can do, but there isn't a civilian job that matches. So of course those individuals have an issue with finding work once they leave the military.
It seems you have the Army as your primary choice. Check with all the recruiters and see what each branch has to offer. You also didn't say if you were thinking of going active, national gaurd or reserves. Take the test at MEPS serious, the score will affect what jobs you will be able to choose!!!!!
I am active duty Army. If you have any questions or concerns send me a PM. Good luck on your choice and keep us updated!!!
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby TomKat » Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:40 am

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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby FITZH2O » Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:36 am

As far as the job goes, why not do something for 4 years that you will never be able to do again? Heck most of the jobs that do transfer to the civvie side sound pretty boring, except pilots. You also need to remember that 4 years in a combat MOS will give you management and leadership experience that a hippie fresh out of 6 years of college thinks he has.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby flyfisher76544 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:12 pm

FITZH2O wrote:As far as the job goes, why not do something for 4 years that you will never be able to do again? Heck most of the jobs that do transfer to the civvie side sound pretty boring, except pilots. You also need to remember that 4 years in a combat MOS will give you management and leadership experience that a hippie fresh out of 6 years of college thinks he has.


He asked and I answered. Most companies are not going to hire someone with just 4 years of military experience in a management position....he'd have to do 20. Othr wise, you start at the bottom and have to work your way up the food chain. The combat arms MOS's are "fun" and I did 6 years as a Combat Engineer, but when transfer that to civilian and you just lost all that experience. Thats the issue a lot of these soldiers are facing once they leave the military, there isn't a civilian job for driving a tank, artillery or infantry unless you hook up with a contractor and head back overseas. Or be a cop or something like that.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby cwsims84 » Sat Aug 20, 2011 7:15 pm

After having been in the Army for the last 8yrs, I would say stay in school and get your bachelors degree.. after that join and go officer! the way things are changing and shaping up, you wont make a career out of things with the retirement the way it is.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby brktrt-18 » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:42 am

If you are having trouble with college ROTC is not really an option unless your only issue with college is paying for it...then ROTC can help. Being successful in the Army is really about showing up on time, in the correct uniform, and following orders. If you do that and stay out of trouble off duty you will succeed. If you are in decent physical shape and do what I recommended above basic is easy. It is people who think they know better then the drills that get into trouble and have a hard time.

"Do you enjoy all thats involved?"
Nothing is life will you enjoy all that is involved. The Army can give you some great experiences, great friends, and a paycheck with good benifits (for now). If you have a family it will be rough on them. Figure on working at least 6:30 am to 5 pm 5 days a week and more then you are in the field or deployed.

Do you feel like you have opportunities for jobs after you get out?
Depends on your MOS and what you did while you were in. I agree FITZH2O but a lot of emplyers don't see it that way. If they haven't served they will not know the amount of responsibility a squad leader has and how that will help his bottom line. Veteran unemployment is double what rest of the country is for that reason.

I don't regret any of my time serving. Good luck with you decision.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby Woodiewacker » Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:50 am

I went into my recruiters office...Signed up to take an ASVAB 2 years out of highschool...Took it and went back in a few days later..He smiled at me and asked what I wanted to do..I told him" jump out of planes and shoot at bad guys." 4 weeks later after swearing in at MEPS(Military Entrence adn Processing Station) I had a date for basic training..I loved every minute not every second mind you...It was what I was meant for...I went to jump school then to RIP then to a Ranger brigade... I went in lean and healthy.. I came out a Lean Mean Fighing machine..LOL Im 5'6" and weigh 135...Im small...I had no problem with basic or any other training..Its the END GOAL that matters..Its why you are there...Its the heart and will power and determination that you set for yourself that gets you through the tough stuff..Its the guy that just doesnt "get it" that you help..Its the big guy who helps you the wirey little guy...Its SOOO much more than push ups and sweat...ITS MENTAL!!!! If its what you want than the rest is EASY....Take it from me a Little guy...its SOOO worth it...However ,like anything in live, its about what you in put that determines what you get out of it....
Best of Luck...Itll be the best thing you can do for youself...
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby BB1 » Wed Aug 24, 2011 1:33 pm

The key is too lay out ALL of your options and weigh the cost of all of them and benefits, including the present and future. I know way to many people graduating college that only went to college because they thought they were supposed to. Got some degree in something useless, can't find a job, and wonder why.

Do HONEST research about what you are getting out of your college degree. Every single department at any school is going to feed you a ton of BS about how great their program is and how many jobs and how much that pay. The people that run departments are basically politicians; in other words don't trust them. Same can be said for military recruiters. There is a lot of pressure on them, and a lot of ridicules requirements that make their job way harder than it should be.

Personally I thought college way awesome. You have thousands of kids in the ages of 18-24 with new found freedoms. If you keep your head on straight, you can have a great time, get a useful degree, and graduate in 4 years. Some people don't like the whole college scene, so for them it wasn't as fun.

Also look into some of the guard options to get the military to pay for school while you serve part time. You might get deployed during school, and while some think that is a negative, it will probably give you a decent pay check, and having money in college is nice. My friend has gone this route, and he loves it.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby FITZH2O » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:09 am

flyfisher76544 wrote:
FITZH2O wrote:As far as the job goes, why not do something for 4 years that you will never be able to do again? Heck most of the jobs that do transfer to the civvie side sound pretty boring, except pilots. You also need to remember that 4 years in a combat MOS will give you management and leadership experience that a hippie fresh out of 6 years of college thinks he has.


He asked and I answered. Most companies are not going to hire someone with just 4 years of military experience in a management position....he'd have to do 20. Othr wise, you start at the bottom and have to work your way up the food chain.


You are correct... I did not mean to suggest one could get a managers job with just 4 years in the military, but coupling that with a bachelors degree and you are 10 steps ahead of everyone else. You should move up faster than your peers. This, of course, is based upon what my brother and buddies experienced after getting out, not my own as I'm still in. They are good Marines and that has led them to success in the civilian world. I am sure that all of the mouth breathers that I have served with are working mediocre jobs that mirror their time in the military.

flyfisher76544 wrote: The combat arms MOS's are "fun" and I did 6 years as a Combat Engineer, but when transfer that to civilian and you just lost all that experience. Thats the issue a lot of these soldiers are facing once they leave the military, there isn't a civilian job for driving a tank, artillery or infantry unless you hook up with a contractor and head back overseas. Or be a cop or something like that.


True, but that doesn't mean they can't succeed elsewhere. While technical MOS's teach skills that may potentially lead to a job in that field, the leadership skills learned in a combat MOS can be transferred to any career path. It is really dependent on the individual though. Take my brother for instance... He did 4 years with AAV's, got out and went to school, and now he is a data geek working a cubicle making 2x what I make with only 2 years experience in his new field. Now granted 2x what I make is not a ton of cash but he is well on his way to doing good for himself and his family. He didn't know a thing about computers until he went to school.

brktrt-18 wrote:
Do you feel like you have opportunities for jobs after you get out?
Depends on your MOS and what you did while you were in. I agree FITZH2O but a lot of emplyers don't see it that way. If they haven't served they will not know the amount of responsibility a squad leader has and how that will help his bottom line. Veteran unemployment is double what rest of the country is for that reason.


I disagree. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.nr0.htm

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/vet.t03.htm

http://www.gijobs.com/the-real-story-behind-veteran-unemployment-rates.aspx

If you have the time look at the above links. The first 2 are stats and what not and the 3rd one explains why the figures may not show the entire picture.

Bottom line... Total veteran unemployment is lower than non-veterans. Unemployment for veterans with a bachelors degree or higher is only 4%.

Tens of thousands of young veterans take advantage of the Post-9/11 GI Bill to go to college. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), more than 440,000 veterans or family members have used the new GI Bill since it was enacted in 2009. But even before the Post-9/11 GI Bill, 15 percent of veterans between the ages of 18 and 24 enrolled in college in the first month after separation from the military, according to the BLS, which tracked the transition of veterans from 1998 to 2008. Two years after separating, nearly a quarter of veterans ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college.

Those who took their time enrolling were likely collecting unemployment while they decided what to study and where to go to school. Veterans also can collect unemployment while they research schools, apply to schools and wait for classes to start – a process that can take months. This also drives up the unemployment rate for America’s youngest veterans.


This is sad. Only 25% use their GI Bill.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby cwsims84 » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:35 pm

FITZH2O wrote:As far as the job goes, why not do something for 4 years that you will never be able to do again? Heck most of the jobs that do transfer to the civvie side sound pretty boring, except pilots. You also need to remember that 4 years in a combat MOS will give you management and leadership experience that a hippie fresh out of 6 years of college thinks he has.


If you think that you will get a management position straight out of 4yrs with the army... you might be referring to a management position at Mcdonalds... I did 4.5yrs active and I have been in the reserves the last four yrs. My full time job is at AT&T and there is no way with only 4yrs you would walk into management. The skills that you learn in the army are very limited to civilian applications in almost all combat arms MOS' and for the most part on a lot of other MOS' unless you go to school during that 4yrs. Dont give this guy bad advice. look at the status quo..... Go to school, get your degree, and if you still want to join then do it.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby FITZH2O » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:35 am

cwsims84 wrote:
FITZH2O wrote:As far as the job goes, why not do something for 4 years that you will never be able to do again? Heck most of the jobs that do transfer to the civvie side sound pretty boring, except pilots. You also need to remember that 4 years in a combat MOS will give you management and leadership experience that a hippie fresh out of 6 years of college thinks he has.


If you think that you will get a management position straight out of 4yrs with the army... you might be referring to a management position at Mcdonalds... I did 4.5yrs active and I have been in the reserves the last four yrs. My full time job is at AT&T and there is no way with only 4yrs you would walk into management. The skills that you learn in the army are very limited to civilian applications in almost all combat arms MOS' and for the most part on a lot of other MOS' unless you go to school during that 4yrs. Dont give this guy bad advice. look at the status quo..... Go to school, get your degree, and if you still want to join then do it.


Please read my last post. I completely agree that a person should get a degree after leaving the service. I'm not trying to give bad advise, just trying to tell him some of the things you get out of serving in the military. Perhaps I misspoke by using the word experience and should have said skills. Then again I guess it depends on what you do while in the military, how you view your time in the military, and how you sell that to prospective employers.

MOHuntingguy - Did you talk to the recruiter this week?
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby BB1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:36 pm

There is way too much there is only one answer to a problem in this thread. Not everyone should go to college straight out of high school. Not everyone should join the military. Way too many factors that we don't have a clue about for this guy in terms of major life decisions.

I am not saying discussion is a bad thing, just trying to remind people not to get tunnel vision.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby BB1 » Mon Aug 29, 2011 8:52 pm

To which I realized now he asked some basic questions, so I guess the best thing is to answer them straight up.

Did you do ROTC or did you just straight up join?
Had an Air Force ROTC scholarship, but had a different academic scholarship so it wouldn't have been worth jack so I didn't do ROTC. Ended up doing Navy OCS after college.

Is basic really as hard as it sounds?
If you do ROTC you don't do basic. If you enlist you do boot camp (basic). If you go to college and become an officer you do OCS. I did Navy OCS and I can say it isn't "hard" but it is sucks. But it is only 3 months and if you keep your eyes on the goal you get through it. From what I have heard boot camp doesn't suck as much (from people in my OCS class that did Navy, Marine, Air Force, and Army Boot camp). Marine Corps OCS is harder because they can kick you out easier for a bunch of things, but doesn't suck as much. I don't know about Air Force and Army OCS.
The bottom line is basic should NOT be a consideration in what ever path you choose. It is a couple months that will suck, but really a small period of time in your life.

Do you enjoy all thats involved?
Hell no. But I sure as hell wouldn't change anything if I could go back.

Do you feel like you have opportunities for jobs after you get out?
Yes, but as noted I had a college degree before joining. If you do enlist you can easily get a degree if you choose to do so (be it while in the service or the GI bill) Don't let people say you can't, because you can. Yes it does require work on your part, but most things in life worth having do require work.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby MOhuntingGuy » Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:27 pm

Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it. I really just want y'alls opinions, good and bad.

FITZH2O wrote:MOHuntingguy - Did you talk to the recruiter this week?

I have not had the time to this past week and this week. Been really busy with work. I will have to make some time this next week though.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby FMFdevildoc » Tue Aug 30, 2011 1:56 am

I do not regret being enlisted versus officer nonetheless any prospective member I talk to I highly encourage to pursue the Commissioned Officer or Warrant Officer route (IF theyre qualified) That being said I feel that if one is considering enlisted than the JOB selected will be instrumental in ones success

I wanted to be an FMF Corpsman with Marines and I got what I wanted which = high job satisfaction for me personally

The only other advice I would offer is to NEVER take "no" for an answer - if you want a specific career field insure you obtain it priot to commitment - it has been discussed ad nauseum yet do not accept and "open" contract from ANY branch unless you've got a great deal of humility and dont mind taking literally whatever job the bean counters throw at you Speaking for the Navy an "open" contract almost invariably = no actual job specification which = painting ships and being a ship's slave labor for 1+ year as an E - nothing

I respect the hell out of guys who come in on "open" or undesignated deals buy Ive also seen WAY TOO MANY really good intelligent guys wielding paintbrushes when they would be better suited in a technical job

Your mileage may vary - just my 02 cent tirade I hope you get in and get what you want
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby TomKat » Tue Aug 30, 2011 5:32 am

BB1 wrote:There is way too much there is only one answer to a problem in this thread. Not everyone should go to college straight out of high school. Not everyone should join the military. Way too many factors that we don't have a clue about for this guy in terms of major life decisions.

I am not saying discussion is a bad thing, just trying to remind people not to get tunnel vision.


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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby FITZH2O » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:22 pm

Everything that BB1 said is spot on. I didn't know that ROTC got people out of boot camp though. Is that in the Navy?
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby brktrt-18 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:41 am

ROTC does not do basic. They do a summer of military training, usually between their junior and senior year of college, called advanced camp (Army). Not sure about Navy and Marines. It isn't as demening as basic but covers a lot of the same skills. OCS get basic and academy cadets do a basic at each academy.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby lumpy2181 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:46 pm

Feel free to PM me if you consider joining the US Marines. Devildoc can probably give you some good info as well. I just separated after 8 years and have a bunch of friends all over the Corps in all types of job fields. I was an F/A 18D Ordnance Technician (Weapon Systems and Bombs/Missiles) and Imagery Intelligence during my 8 years. Best bit of advice I saw was if you find a job that you want to do, keep saying no until they say yes. Also, sign up after Oct 1st, thats when the recruiters get all the $$$ for bonuses :beer:
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby TomKat » Tue Sep 27, 2011 6:52 pm

Eric, you are a pretty good shot. Why not go into the USMC and become the best of the best? Sniper school-

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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby Gilligan » Thu Oct 20, 2011 3:23 am

I'm a Marine. I just finished recruiting about 5 months ago. Pm me for more info.
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Re: Thinking about enlisting...

Postby WOODIE13 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:11 pm

MOhuntingGuy wrote:Well me and the whole college thing ain't really working out as well as I thought...heck I haven't even got my foot in the door. So I've been reading every little thing on the army's website for the past few hours.

And well I've got a few questions for you enlisted guys.
Did you do ROTC or did you just straight up join?
Is basic really as hard as it sounds?
Do you enjoy all thats involved?
Do you feel like you have opportunities for jobs after you get out?

Like I said, I'm just now starting to look into it. Probably going to go talk to a recruiter later this week or next. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys :thumbsup:


The military is a good career, just depends on what you want to do after as was said before. As far as PT before, nothing crazy, break a leg, kick out your knee and you will never make it in, make the height/weight standards and you are G2G.

As far as jobs, it is endless, but I do lean more toward applicability to the outside world. Look at something in the future, DHS, police departments, fire and rescue, commo, IT, medical, but BLUF=Do what you think will make you happy.

I served as an MP for over 20.5 years, I was also a dog handler for almost 15 years, best job in the Army, but you will do your staff jobs based on rank, I worked at FORSCOM and the Pentagon, called it after jockeying a desk there a couple years.

You can take all the advice in the world, but you are the sole decider. BTW, my oldest son is going into intell and my middle son is currently doing basic at Paris Island.
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