Question about the military...

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Question about the military...

Postby ducks~n~bucks » Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:01 am

So I decided to join the military once I'm out of highschool. I told my brother in law about it and he said "Do it but get a real job in the military, don't be stupid like me" (he was an Infantryman in the Marine Corps) So I was wondering, what branch of the military would be best? I'm talking the benefits you get, the living conditions, and having jobs that give you a skill for civilian life, so you don't leave the military unprepared to be a civilian. I wan't to do something like Fire Protection, or become an M.P.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby TomKat » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:44 am

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I think the USMC would be your best bet for a police job after the service.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby benelliquackerstacker » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:20 am

ducks~n~bucks wrote:So I decided to join the military once I'm out of highschool. I told my brother in law about it and he said "Do it but get a real job in the military, don't be stupid like me" (he was an Infantryman in the Marine Corps) So I was wondering, what branch of the military would be best? I'm talking the benefits you get, the living conditions, and having jobs that give you a skill for civilian life, so you don't leave the military unprepared to be a civilian. I wan't to do something like Fire Protection, or become an M.P.



If you want good living conditions, and a good job to fall back on in the civilian world.I would say join the Air Force the and get any type of medical job, especialy a rad tech job (radiology). Yes we in the AF do get a good ribbing form our sister services about being wimps and slackers, but in reality we all fight for the same country and the same freedoms. I am partial to the AF because its all I have known, and after 7 years I cant really complain. The AF has better living conditions and a better "quality of life" from what I have seen, both here CONUS, OCONUS, and in the sandbox. As an AF member, if you happen to get stationed at an Army or sister service base, you will get paid more because the sister service bases are not up to AF living conditions, kinda odd but true. Go talk to each recuiter and see what suits you best, but dont sign anything until you are completely satisfied, but be careful, recruiters are damn good salesmen. Thank you for being interested in joining the ranks of the US military. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to PM me.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby NHDuckHunter » Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:32 pm

All depends on what you want to do when you get out. You said MP or Fire Protection... obviously there are no MP's out of the service, and I am not quite sure what fire protection is. I was on a submarine and it was all of our jobs to make sure we were protected from fire (despite recent news articles).

If you are interested in becoming a cop when you get out, it doesn't matter what branch you join. Most police depts or states give you pts for being a veteran, I believe you even get them if you were a Coastie. :rolleyes:

You have to decide what YOU are joining the service for and what you want to get out of it, then its easier to figure out which branch to join.

I got a talk just like your BIL gave you when I joined, but mine came from my brother. He just graduated boot camp days before and he said to me "I don't know how, but some guys I graduated with already had promotions, don't join unless they guarantee you E2 or E3" The Navy was the only one that did that for me, so thats what I joined. :lol3: After being in a short time, I realized they all did it for all kinds of different reasons. I got my free promotions because I was willing to join for 6 years and volunteered for sub duty. You can get it though for college, if you're an Eagle Scout, accept a harder to fill job, etc.

Just decide WHY you want to join, and use that to decide which branch is best for you.


If you are joining looking for good living conditions, you are out of your mind. There's got to be an easier way to get a nice apartment. :lol3:
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby Cougar125 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:25 pm

Think of it this way. The military is a job. After the military, you get another job. If you decide enlistment is the way you want to go, I would decide what you want to be doing in 10 years, then decide if you still want to be doing it in 20 years. Pick the branch of service that will guarantee you that in writing.

Here recently the Navy was doing a lot of cutbacks. I was nearly not eligible for retention, but a promotion helped me beat that. While I was subject to the draw down, I contacted the other branches of the military to see what I would be able to do. The Coasties and the Army were the only ones that said I would be good to go there. The reason the AF told me I couldn't join them was because I was "over-qualified". After talking to some AF guys, truth be told, I AM overqualified. The AF trains guys to do 1 job, we'll say opening a panel on an aircraft for example. The Navy taught me to open the panel, turn on the jet, test its systems, replace parts, troubleshoot and read out wiring, etc. In the aviation field, the Navy has made me much more marketable to the civilian side than the AF would have. The marines didn't want me simply because I've had a couple surgeries since I've been in and I am stil hindered from storming a beach.

Benelliquackerstacker is right. The AF does get the most ribbing when it comes to the other services and they are given the biggest amount of crap for it too. They also get cushy "dorms" while the rest of us live in barracks. They have nice mess facilities while the Navy has galleys. They get paid extra if assigned to a non-AF base because of "sub-standard" living conditions.

It really breaks down to what you want to do, and how marketable you want your skill set to be. DO your own research, talk to people (in Real Life and not just forums), and talk to the recruiters. Find out who will guarantee you what.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby joec » Thu Aug 09, 2012 12:16 pm

Definitely figure out what branch best suits you. Regardless of what branch you decide, once you are in it will not be about what suits you anymore. When I graduated high school I was enlisting in the Marine Corps, didn't follow through. Then I was going into the Army, never followed through. Once everything broke out in the Middle East I said enough and went back to the recruiter. After talking with the Army, Navy, and Marines for the second time, I felt the Navy had the most to offer me. I wanted aviation because I wanted to be a pilot. I became an AO (aviation ordnance). Then decided I wanted to be in the small boat community. Cross rated to BM (boatswain mate). I enjoyed a faster paced environment with fast boats and lots of weapons. Loved small boats and wanted to go SWCC, never happened. Did 8 and got out. I do have a college degree but not much of my actual job training applies to the civilian world unless I want to work in law enforcement, which I don't. Remember, the fast pace and adrenaline that comes with working in certain communities of the military doesn't last forever. It will stop one day. So keep that in mind when picking a specialty. The one huge thing that stuck with me from training was my pride and work ethic... you will get these qualities from any of the branches. Basically what I am saying is try to figure out before hand what you want out of life. 20 years in with retirement? Maybe do 4 and apply the skills you acquired on the outside? Figure out who you are and what you enjoy and would like to do for a career. Are you an office type guy or the guy getting crap done? Then pick the branch that can give you the best shot at doing it. But always remember, it is about what suits you best before enlisting. After signing that dotted line, its the needs of the military that will decide what it is you will do. Best of luck to you with whatever it is you decide. This will be one of the best times in your life. Not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could go back to the beginning and do it all over again! But like anything else, there are plenty of crappy times and it won't be til after the fact that you look back and say it was all worth it.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby quacknstack6 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:05 pm

joec wrote:Definitely figure out what branch best suits you. Regardless of what branch you decide, once you are in it will not be about what suits you anymore. When I graduated high school I was enlisting in the Marine Corps, didn't follow through. Then I was going into the Army, never followed through. Once everything broke out in the Middle East I said enough and went back to the recruiter. After talking with the Army, Navy, and Marines for the second time, I felt the Navy had the most to offer me. I wanted aviation because I wanted to be a pilot. I became an AO (aviation ordnance). Then decided I wanted to be in the small boat community. Cross rated to BM (boatswain mate). I enjoyed a faster paced environment with fast boats and lots of weapons. Loved small boats and wanted to go SWCC, never happened. Did 8 and got out. I do have a college degree but not much of my actual job training applies to the civilian world unless I want to work in law enforcement, which I don't. Remember, the fast pace and adrenaline that comes with working in certain communities of the military doesn't last forever. It will stop one day. So keep that in mind when picking a specialty. The one huge thing that stuck with me from training was my pride and work ethic... you will get these qualities from any of the branches. Basically what I am saying is try to figure out before hand what you want out of life. 20 years in with retirement? Maybe do 4 and apply the skills you acquired on the outside? Figure out who you are and what you enjoy and would like to do for a career. Are you an office type guy or the guy getting crap done? Then pick the branch that can give you the best shot at doing it. But always remember, it is about what suits you best before enlisting. After signing that dotted line, its the needs of the military that will decide what it is you will do. Best of luck to you with whatever it is you decide. This will be one of the best times in your life. Not a day that goes by that I don't wish I could go back to the beginning and do it all over again! But like anything else, there are plenty of crappy times and it won't be til after the fact that you look back and say it was all worth it.


AMEN! I couldnt have said it any better. I served 2 years active duty, 1 year in South Korea at Camp Casey and 1 year at Ft Campbell. I am a 91H which is a track vehicle mechanic, been in for 5 years now and cant really say i have loved every minute of it, but looking back on all of it i can say without a doubt it was not only worth it but it molded me into who i am today. I have been offered SF with the 20th out of Louisville but turned it down because it would not help me in what i wanted to do with my life. Been offered a apache mechanic and am very likely to take that job after my deployment. Not because it is another mechanic job but because it will help me to be more of a well rounded person in my field. Its not so much as being good at your job but instead being able to do jobs that are outside of your own. No matter which path you take you will not be disapointed. Good Luck and Be Safe.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby tknight006 » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:54 am

joec wrote: I became an AO (aviation ordnance). Then decided I wanted to be in the small boat community. Cross rated to BM (boatswain mate). I enjoyed a faster paced environment with fast boats and lots of weapons. Loved small boats and wanted to go SWCC, never happened.


-You are the first person I have met who actually cross-rated to BM... I give you props, those guys bust their ass.

There are many things that you can take into account when deciding what branch of service to join. First off, know that whatever service you join, is going to convince you that it is the best branch. Either way, joining is a noble sacrifice and we all strive for the same common good. I have worked with every branch, and we all get along in reality.

You will never really know if you are going to make it a career or just do your first enlistment until you are actual in the situation, so keep an open mind as to what your future could hold. I joined thinking that my main job was going to be a Helicopter Rescue Swimmer... in all reality, that is actually a very small portion of my job. I am a Helicopter Crewman in the U.S. Navy, and I love it. I have done some pretty awesome stuff from inserting seals in Africa, to chasing down drug boats in south america... While this is cool, it doesn't really give me a ton of options for when I retire. If I were to recommend a job that would help in the civilian world, my first recommendation would be something dealing with computers. Information Technology (IT) is the future, and any branch can set you up on that path. You will get a sercret, or top secret clearance that will open more doors for you than you could ever imagine. Just my opinion...

Location is another thing to consider. Look at where bases are, and where you could possibly end up. I love the ocean, so the navy worked for me. I also am in a Helicopter squadron, so I don't have to be on a ship except for when I go on an actual deployment. I've been in Jacksonville, Fl for 11 years and I love it... its great hunting and fishing. I plan on being here until I retire.

Whatever choice you make, do your best and don't be a dirtbag.... thats all that matters.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby birdbustr » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:31 am

Branch of military.......all are on hard times. AF is probably the worst hit by the Force Restructuring. The Army and Marines don't advance very quickly in most cases, and the Navy is probably much worse than it has been in decades, but it really depends on some good preferences alread mentioned by others.
:thumbsup: You are doing the right thing by talking to someone other than the recruiters. I'll tell you the truth like you were my son coming to me with this one. The quick answer is today's military isn't going to be a career for most, so the most important thing it to do something that will keep you viable in the civilian world. I recommend anything with 1) IT (Information Technologies=Computers and Communications) or something related to 2) Aviation Maintenance or 3) Supply (will build skills that you can apply towards business management). I'm not talking about barbers and cooks, I'm talking about those that manage the storage and issueing of parts/supplies. They traditionally don't have the super-high ASVAB scores that the other two mentioned above require, and they usually have a more than manageable work load (meaning that they don't work that hard in comparison to the average military members=good quality of life). Supply guys, sorry, I'm being honest here, you know it's true.

It's hard times for the military. Try to wait this low out by going to college. I've been in almost 12 years and I know first hand that it ain't rainbows and butterflies my friend!
The last 8 years have really bent most of us over some stumps and the last 4 we are all feeling the pinch that it has to get better soon. The deployments recur more frequently and last longer due to the "FORCE RESTRUCTURING" and budget cuts. Critical lows are being felt in some specialized skills from some rates and reduced funding to repair, maintain and rotate pieces of equipment (for example ships) have made everything more difficult than you could possibly imagine. Doing more with less is a way of life in the military. :hammer:

To sum it up Force Restructuring: The numbers of service members by forcing out many Senior Enlisted personnel or converting them into other rates (jobs). This force restructuring is making less and less Subject Matter Experts by force converting those that can and getting rid of the rest. That means those that stay have years of Technical Expertise lost. Every military command that you may talk to will most assuredly tell you that they are "in transition" right now, basically meaning that they are having to be really creating to find ways to meet all of their requirements with less people and less money. All the while the US keeps commiting our forces like we were at our traditional strength. PM me and I'll give you my number if you want to talk more.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby birdbustr » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:14 am

ducks~n~bucks wrote: I wan't to do something like Fire Protection, or become an M.P.


BTW,

If you are going in the Navy and you have interests to do what you have stated above, I strongly advise you to be a Master at Arms (MA) rate. It's Navy Law Enforcement with some twists, but in the outside world it probably won't make you rich. It will probably make you a policeman or some form of Law Enforcement that doesn't really pay well enough for what they have to endure.
The fire protection piece, anyone can be part of a repair locker on a ship and satisfy their love of fire, but DO NOT become a DC (Damage Controlman) unless you really love hot, humid environments and long hours in the Engineering Plant! These are some most rode-hard guys, and like all of those Engineering Navy rates, advancement is slow, the work is non-stop, the assessments and certifications are many, and the hours are long.

IT, Aviation Mechanics (electrical, structural), MA, or LS (Logistic Specialist) for Navy. The branch doesn't really matter as long as in the end you get the training to do one of the above in my opinion. Good luck.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby joec » Fri Aug 10, 2012 12:02 pm

tknight006 wrote:
joec wrote: I became an AO (aviation ordnance). Then decided I wanted to be in the small boat community. Cross rated to BM (boatswain mate). I enjoyed a faster paced environment with fast boats and lots of weapons. Loved small boats and wanted to go SWCC, never happened.


-You are the first person I have met who actually cross-rated to BM... I give you props, those guys bust their ass.
.


Haha yeah I know right. I wanted small boats so bad and tried to stay and AO and was forced to cross rate. I was originally going to just take a GM billet but my command told me that was a no go, still can't figure out why. I have never actually worked as a BM though, I manned a .50 or 240 on the boats.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby devildog28 » Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:30 am

You don't join the military for "benefits and which one has the best living conditions". Do the country a favor and don't waste the recruiter's time.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby lostag1775 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:25 pm

devildog28 wrote:You don't join the military for "benefits and which one has the best living conditions". Do the country a favor and don't waste the recruiter's time.


x2

If you want to join the military you need to have a good reason. "Quality of Life" is not one! Today's Youth!! :help:
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby Adam Gibbs » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:57 pm

I would go the other direction than your brother in-law said. Everyone told me that when I joined the Marine Corps, pick something that would transfer to the civilian world. So I did, and chose aviation. I was then trained to work on 53E helicopters. It isnt bad, but in the end, it's not what I wanted out of my military experience.

If I were you, I'd pick something that you couldnt do anywhere else but the military. YMMV

Oh and dont listen to the recruiters promises, get everything in writing.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby CrowToes » Tue Oct 02, 2012 6:15 am

I really like being Active Duty Coast Guard. I have had lots of good times and it is by far the easiest job I have ever had. Plus you never have to worry about serving over seas unless you want to.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby NC hunter » Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:15 pm

I got 17 yrs in and now an officer (carreer type)...I say two things:

1- Plan to serve your time, then use the govt benefits to go to college....if you like the military, then return as an offficer and make it a career; if not, go to college and do what you want to

2- Join the USMC and go infantry, or join the Army on a Airborne Ranger or Special Forces contract....thats where the real men are and where you will be tested. If you wanna be a nurse or an air conditioner repair man, don't join the military- go to a tech school. If you are looking for a challenge and want to see what you are made of and be with real soldiers/Marines....USMC infantry or Army Special Operations...my two cents after 17 years. PM m if you want more details
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby kenneymc » Fri Oct 05, 2012 3:20 pm

I agree with most of these guys. I spent 14 years in the military, 4 of which I was a recruiter. Don't waste your time in their, get a guarantee in writing for your job field, one you can use on the outside. I was a Firecontrolman in the Navy. advanced electronics field. I know from military and civilian jobs that the Navy hands down has the best training. I was able to get out and go straight to work for companies repairing electronic equipment, presently doing field service work for a global medical company. They will send you through their schools to learn specific pieces of equipment. It's not all fun and roses. But sometimes it is. Get to see and do a lot. Navy conditions on ships are often cramped. Next best branch IMO is the AF for reasons stated above. You know, either way or branch you choose, you come out of their with a better understanding of the world, more mature, leadership potential, worldly traveled, and GI benefits to help you out. All branches have the same basic benefits, GI bill, etc. it's really up to you what suits you better. Well sometimes not up to you. You have to be able to pass the ASVAB test with high enough score, and be mentally and physically fit to join any branches. Requirements differ a little from branch to branch. After leaving, I got a 2 yr degree, and now a 4 yr degree, and it cost me nothing but time. I know I would not be where I am today, if not for the military, best decision I ever made in my life.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby lukea.becker » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:10 am

why don't you want to go to college? go to college, have a little fun, study hard, and become an officer. You will make a TON more money, take less crap, and if you decide to make a career of it your retirement will be much better.

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Re: Question about the military...

Postby bflow08 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:19 am

Ill give you some advice, I joined straight out of high school and I have been in for 5 years, I re-enlisted, I have been overseas and deployed, and now state side. I looked into every branch, and what they had to offer, I was like you I wanted fire protection or military police. I wanted something I could do that would benefit me in the civilian life if I chose to get out. Here is what I found,right off the bat (no knock on the Army or USMC) but that wasn’t for me. There are a select few jobs in those services I think could have prepared me for what I was looking for but with the Marines it was to strict for me, the base availability wasn’t big enough. The Army, there are just to many people, you can get lost with so many people, plus the living conditions (I speak from experience, they are not up to par with the USAF or the USN). I ended up deciding to go to the USAF for the simple fact of I wasn’t interested in working 12 hours a day on a ship for 6 months out of the year, not seeing friends and family. Now with all that being said each branch is different and the same. You still get the same pay per rank, the same medical and life benefits. But in the AF when I went to my job training I had one roommate and my own bathroom. Plus all my classes counted towards college credit. When I got to my first base I had my own room and bathroom, and shared a kitchen with 3 other people. And when I hit 3 years I moved out on my own by myself. In the AF it’s a family it really is, supervisors treat you like a human, we have things we do as a squadron. I have been in 5 years now and am 4 classes shy of my degree and haven’t paid a cent. They work with you and the training is second to none. I have been all over the country and world for training a week here and week there, but never long enough to get tired of where I was at (except being deployed). Like I said before I can’t speak to much for all the branches, and depending on your personality and interests, a different branch might be for you. But I never regret joining, the best thing I could have done. Where else in this country can you retire when your 38 have a free education, give your GI bill to your wife and kids, 30 days paid vacation a year, full medical and life benefits, get a housing and food allowance, and find a second job when your 38? Any branch you go into as a young guy will teach you discipline and respect, will make your country proud, be a role model and demand respect. Best of luck to you.. and remember it’s your choice don’t let any of us make that decision for you.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby gander_lander34 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:41 pm

I'm not sure if you've made a decision yet, but I will say this. You need to find out what means the most to you. By that I mean, does the pay mean the most or do you wanna do something you love? Reason I say that is this. I've been in the Army for 8 years, 3 deployments, and have had a couple different jobs. I'm a junior NCO, so I make an "ok" paycheck, but it's nothing "extravagant" like an officers would be. Though I don't care about the pay. I wanna be on the ground with the guys. I had an instructor tell me once, "If you want a certain color beret and a tab, I'll give you mine. You don't do this job for a piece of wool or a tab. It's about the job." I 100% agree with that statement. Join the military because you want to do the job. If you join up thinking that you're gonna have the time to "go to school", think again. Deployments come and go like crazy. Granted, the community I'm in is a little different than what we call "Big Army". We're gone all the time. My point being, whatever service you choose to join, do it because you want to be part of a team and serve something bigger than yourself.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby robert331 » Fri Oct 26, 2012 6:32 am

I have been in the Air National Guard for 12 Years. Of those 12 I have been an AGR (Active Guard Reserve) for 6. I have been deployed 4 times to the sandbox and it is true that the Air Force does have a better quality of life. Also the deployments are shorter in the AF. Just a word of advice if you are not 100% sure of your decision try the guard for a while and if it is what you want then you can either get a full time position like me or go active duty. Some good careers to look into for civilian jobs on the outside are Avionics, Jet Engine Mech, or any thing that might be useful in the airline industry. I have several friends that did 6 years in the guard and now work for Delta making good money. Security Forces is ok for experience but most of the time if you want a Cop job on the outside you still have to go to some sort of academy on the outside to get POST certified. Firefighter is ok but it is getting harder to get these jobs on active duty because a lot of them are going Civil Service or contract. Good luck.
benelliquackerstacker wrote:
ducks~n~bucks wrote:So I decided to join the military once I'm out of highschool. I told my brother in law about it and he said "Do it but get a real job in the military, don't be stupid like me" (he was an Infantryman in the Marine Corps) So I was wondering, what branch of the military would be best? I'm talking the benefits you get, the living conditions, and having jobs that give you a skill for civilian life, so you don't leave the military unprepared to be a civilian. I wan't to do something like Fire Protection, or become an M.P.



If you want good living conditions, and a good job to fall back on in the civilian world.I would say join the Air Force the and get any type of medical job, especialy a rad tech job (radiology). Yes we in the AF do get a good ribbing form our sister services about being wimps and slackers, but in reality we all fight for the same country and the same freedoms. I am partial to the AF because its all I have known, and after 7 years I cant really complain. The AF has better living conditions and a better "quality of life" from what I have seen, both here CONUS, OCONUS, and in the sandbox. As an AF member, if you happen to get stationed at an Army or sister service base, you will get paid more because the sister service bases are not up to AF living conditions, kinda odd but true. Go talk to each recuiter and see what suits you best, but dont sign anything until you are completely satisfied, but be careful, recruiters are damn good salesmen. Thank you for being interested in joining the ranks of the US military. If you have more questions, do not hesitate to PM me.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby mallardman2008 » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:45 pm

I am currently in the US Air Force have been for 3 years work as an HVAC technition which means i work on heaters and air conditioners for the AF a very good job to have for the civilian world and they have cooling or heating anywhere you go so the base list you can go to with that job is pretty big. Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Gotta love the Air Force.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby Wyleecoyote » Sat Dec 01, 2012 9:08 am

It's interesting, most of the time if you ask a duck hunting question most users will either ignore you or feed you misinformation.

If you ask for advice from someone in the military, everyone goes out of their way to help....we need more military duck hunters...

Back to your question, to get a job that can be used outside the military. If money and having plenty of options is your primary concern these three field would be my first second and third choices.

1. medical (only civilian sector that continued to grow during the depression, and will be in high demand for the next 30 years) and don't become a medic. You would want a if highly specialized job like X-ray tech, or heart lung machine operator, or something in anesthesia.

2. Computer tech.

3. Commo, (working on or operating radios)

Their are pros and cons of each branch... I don't know much about the navy but there is definitely sea life you have to deal with and most naval Jr enlisted never impressed me.

The marines are definitely more disciplined than your average soldier. I've heard that families come second to the marines.

The Air Force for sure has better living and working conditions than any one else, but advancement in rank is probably the slowest.

Then there's the Army, probably the best option for rank (pay grade) and the largest organization out there.

Sorry if I offended anyone.

I started out in the Army. I began shooting down scud missiles with the Patriot missile system. I then moved into the infantry for a few years and then I became a helicopter pilot. Which is what I do now. If I had to do it all over again knowing what I know now I'd probably get into the medical field.

I would talk to each service and see what kind of job I could get and then make a decision. All the recruiters will lie to you to get you to sign on the dotted line. They know you're ignorant to the process.

Feel free to pm me with any question.
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby UKBDM » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:22 am

My experience is US Army. Enlisted, ROTC in college, and then officer. Here is my perspective of the branches in the Army:

Combat Arms - Infantry, Field Artillery, Armor, etc. - you will develop leadership skills and make rank faster. You will spend more time in the field and less at home. Very few of the technical skills learned will carryover to civilian employment.

Combat Support - Signal, Engineers, Military Police, etc - a little slower advancement; more time at home and more skills that transfer to civilian employment.

Combat Service Support - Quartermaster, Ordnance, Finance, etc - slowest advancement but most time at home; most skills that transfer to civilian employment.

Here is what I would tell my son(13) when he asks some day: Enlist for 4 years right out of HS in the Signal Corps. Volunteer for every additional school/training opportunity you can and excel in everything. Make E-4 (or maybe E-5) by the end of your enlistment. Stay in if you love it or go to college if you don't. Leverage your military training and college degree for a good paying job when you graduate. Miss the service during college? Join ROTC or go to OCS in the summer.

I think that a lot of young men gain more from their college experience if they complete a four year enlistment first. More self discipline and maturity. I was 11B(Infantry) as an EM and a Infantry officer(Ranger/Airborne) after college. The things I learned were leadership and psychology. They have helped me in the sales/marketing world that I work in. I also have a bad back and bad knees. :smile:
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Re: Question about the military...

Postby Blackfoot down » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:38 pm

I have been in the Army for 25 years and still love it. Think of the military as a job, not an end to a job. I have made it into a career and wouldn't change it. Just because I am in the Army, doesn't mean that I don't think we all have a "fit" for one service branch or another. The Army isn't for everyone just as the Marines or the Airforce or the Navy aren't either. We will all rib the crap out of each other about why our branch is the best. Within our branch we rib each other over what job (MOS) is the best. Within the job, we rib each other over what unit is the best! It is all in good fun and rivalry is sort of a military tradition! The bottom line is that any of us would lay our life down to help each other, but if we were in a bar and bored, we might fight each other for fun. But, if any civilians jumped in, we would all help the other vet! That is the brotherhood of veterans. I only suggest that you pick what you want to do. After that, it is up to you to earn the respect of your peers and superiors for the rank and promotions. Just make sure that you don't forget to use your benefits like education. Every service member has one thing in common, one day they will get out...Retirement, ETS (your enlistment is over), medical discharge, or death. Plan something to fall back on as a secondary career. Good luck!
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