Joining the military.

Beowulf

Sparrow
Well, if you want to know a bit more about the Officer side of the Marines, we definitely have a few guys on here. I'm currently in the Officer Candidacy School applicant phase, so I know a bit about applying to be a candidate, but I couldn't tell you what it's actually like. If you were thinking about going to college and then trying to commission, send me some questions and I'll do my best to answer.
 
I almost joined the marines at 17 to avoid going to jail but wound up opting for a bootcamp program instead. Honestly I wish I had joined the military at 17 or 18. At 17 or 18 your not missing out on the that much as most of your friends are just putzing around working min wage jobs not really doing anything wiht their lives. If you join at that age you come at out 20 or 21, can then do college, have some life experience under your belt, are fit, probably have some skill that will land you a job.

Honestly if you wait til after 23 or so to join the military your kind of an old man going in as funny as that sounds.

Funny thing, most all my family and buddies who did the military thing all say they are glad to do it and it was a good experience but all said they woudln't recommend it to a yonger brother or friend or whatever.

A good family friend just got out. Something I've picked up from him is the military is constantly fucking over members of the military. He was on several tours, has ptsd, has a fucked up foot from getting blown up in a humvee and it seems like he constantly has trouble with doctors appointments, just recently is finally officially out and I forget the details but basically waited until he was out to give him a promotion he had earned a long time ago basically so they didn't have to pay him more money for the promotion while he was still in.

Just seems like you serve and sacrafice just to get fucked over, over and over and over again by the military or our government. That alone would make me question joining. I get its not supposed to be about you and about sacraficing and serving but at least take care of those who do which doesn't happen.
 
What is your opinion on the military?
A massive, welfare program in disguise but instead of the usual stigma, well meaning people will shake your hand "thank you for your service"
hehe

The question is too open ended.

Where do you want your life to be like at the end of your enlistment?
What do you want to do 6 - 7 days a week for the next 4 years?
If you tell us the top 10 MOSes which have your interest and the reasons why, then some of us can give you a rundown on what its really like and advice on how to best prepare. I

If you are only in it for the job training you should look at the other services because they have a lot more to offer CS/CSS soft skills.

If you really need a kick in the ass and afterwards the discipline of a regimented life then join the Marines, the USMC has a martial edge across all MOS', the other services soft skills reminded me of civilians that just happened to wear a uniform and carry a gun (improperly).

edit: Spalex, I don't know how they do things in Poland/Australia but in the US armed forces those medically discharged with injury usually receive lifetime monthly compensation based on disability ratings, no need to turn tricks
 
Beowulf said:
Well, if you want to know a bit more about the Officer side of the Marines, we definitely have a few guys on here. I'm currently in the Officer Candidacy School applicant phase, so I know a bit about applying to be a candidate, but I couldn't tell you what it's actually like. If you were thinking about going to college and then trying to commission, send me some questions and I'll do my best to answer.

I am talking about the British military here so it might be a bit different. However is 23/24 a late age to join as a military officer. It seems to me that a lot of army lads I know are joining as officers around this age. Mainly because they usually take 3/4 years to finish university and then take a year working overseas or trying civvy street.
 

spalex

Kingfisher
SupaDorkLooza said:
What is your opinion on the military?

edit: Spalex, I don't know how they do things in Poland/Australia but in the US armed forces those medically discharged with injury usually receive lifetime monthly compensation based on disability ratings, no need to turn tricks

Yeah thats what they tell you they will do!
In 99% of cases those mother fuckers are worse than a shady insurance company when it comes to paying out.
 
24 years Army. About 3/4 of that I'd relive, the rest sucked. But, you'd say that about any career.

Did stuff I'd never thought I'd do. But, as others allude to, you have to stay on the VA like a goddamned hawk. Fight for every benefit scrap, because they sure as hell won't do the decent thing and give it to you.

Good luck with your decision.
 

Easy_C

Peacock
Don't you DARE think about joining the military until you read what John Reed (West Point alum, officer in 82nd airborne, and later Harvard Business School alum) has to say about his experiences. I can personally vouch that most of his criticisms are true although how his complaints manifest has shifted slightly over the years (e.g, I didn't see much false document signing). http://www.johntreed.com/military.html

In particular read this post:

http://www.johntreed.com/gotousma.html



That said I will point out that there's a lot of post-military benefits. You get access to a lot of the same hiring benefits that LGBT/blacks/women get (vets count towards diversity quotas) and access to some unique hiring opportunities. For example Goldman Sachs has something called the "veterans integration program". If you want to go back to school you'll also find that a lot of institutions absolutely love military veterans(and a few hate them, but most love).

The catch is that these benefits aren't going to cut it for you. If you've got a shitty GPA at a shitty undergrad school don't expect your military service to make up for that. It will however give you a significant edge against people with a similarly competitive profile competing for the same jobs/schools you want. An exception is blue collar jobs like energy and transportation. I've witnessed those companies hiring vets aggressively and the recruiters that I've spoken to say that it's because the vets they've hired generally have a better work ethic, resilience, and more respect for authority than the ones they hire right out of school
 
Easy_C said:
Don't you DARE think about joining the military until you read what John Reed (West Point alum, officer in 82nd airborne, and later Harvard Business School alum) has to say about his experiences. I can personally vouch that most of his criticisms are true although how his complaints manifest has shifted slightly over the years (e.g, I didn't see much false document signing). http://www.johntreed.com/military.html

In particular read this post:

http://www.johntreed.com/gotousma.html



That said I will point out that there's a lot of post-military benefits. You get access to a lot of the same hiring benefits that LGBT/blacks/women get (vets count towards diversity quotas) and access to some unique hiring opportunities. For example Goldman Sachs has something called the "veterans integration program". If you want to go back to school you'll also find that a lot of institutions absolutely love military veterans(and a few hate them, but most love).

The catch is that these benefits aren't going to cut it for you. If you've got a shitty GPA at a shitty undergrad school don't expect your military service to make up for that. It will however give you a significant edge against people with a similarly competitive profile competing for the same jobs/schools you want. An exception is blue collar jobs like energy and transportation. I've witnessed those companies hiring vets aggressively and the recruiters that I've spoken to say that it's because the vets they've hired generally have a better work ethic, resilience, and more respect for authority than the ones they hire right out of school

That is absolutely correct.

In many countries, but especially in the US you have unique job opportunities after your military career either in government posts or in some corporate areas.

The problem in war times (we are in war times now for many countries) is to get out of it unscathed. Combat troops have the most fun, but often get fucked up and then your life is as good as over. Being in the Swiss or Norwegian combat troops is great, but kicking in doors in Afghanistan or some of the 100+ countries where US troops are stationed at is not so great (there are plenty of conflicts going on we are not told about - Ukraine, African countries, South America - plenty of chances to die in an official "helicopter accident".

But you don't have to be one of the combat troops to get veteran benefits.

If Goldman Sachs is your desired goal, then do the CFA and CAIA while in the service. Those are courses that you just need to study on your own with yearly tests. If you leave the service with the CFA and CAIA under your belt and get priority hiring by Goldman, then you are doing good.

Unfortunately most recruits don't plan ahead smart enough. Idealism is probably the worst reason to join. The force doesn't give two shits about you - and it's not even personal - the officers would love to give you everything possible, but they can't. It's a negative system - you gotta milk it as much as you can.
 

Sp5

 
Some states have absolute veterans' preference in hiring for state and municipal jobs.

That means they have to take all of the qualified veterans before they take any of the non-veterans.
 

cool guy

Sparrow
Easy_C said:
Don't you DARE think about joining the military until you read what John Reed (West Point alum, officer in 82nd airborne, and later Harvard Business School alum) has to say about his experiences. I can personally vouch that most of his criticisms are true although how his complaints manifest has shifted slightly over the years (e.g, I didn't see much false document signing). http://www.johntreed.com/military.html

In particular read this post:

http://www.johntreed.com/gotousma.html



That said I will point out that there's a lot of post-military benefits. You get access to a lot of the same hiring benefits that LGBT/blacks/women get (vets count towards diversity quotas) and access to some unique hiring opportunities. For example Goldman Sachs has something called the "veterans integration program". If you want to go back to school you'll also find that a lot of institutions absolutely love military veterans(and a few hate them, but most love).

The catch is that these benefits aren't going to cut it for you. If you've got a shitty GPA at a shitty undergrad school don't expect your military service to make up for that. It will however give you a significant edge against people with a similarly competitive profile competing for the same jobs/schools you want. An exception is blue collar jobs like energy and transportation. I've witnessed those companies hiring vets aggressively and the recruiters that I've spoken to say that it's because the vets they've hired generally have a better work ethic, resilience, and more respect for authority than the ones they hire right out of school

His Facebook also has a lot of good info on current events. https://www.facebook.com/johntreed.publishing
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
Easy_C said:
Don't you DARE think about joining the military until you read what John Reed (West Point alum, officer in 82nd airborne, and later Harvard Business School alum) has to say about his experiences.

I second, third and fourth all of that. Reed knows his shit. I was in the US Army, both active and reserve components, for just shy of a decade, most of it on active duty. I was both conventional infantry and later an SF guy (yes, green beret), CONUS and OCONUS stations of duty.

Your question is very open ended so I would not throw all of the options into the yes/no military bin. It is a different question for you than it was for me since you are deciding whether or not to serve the CURRENT manifestation of this place called America. Illegal aliens are on juries, politicians have sold out to foreign interests wholesale, rabid homosexual advocates and SJWs wag the dog of government, and their politically correct tentacles make their ways into critical decisions where they have no business being. I just could not be part of (or proud of) that mess anymore.

But it isn't my life.

Whatever route you choose, remember one thing - if you go the he-man route and sign up to be a badass in the Army or USMC, you WILL be stationed far, far away from any access to poon for the duration of your enlistment - unless maybe you go to a favorable spot overseas. Korea and even Thailand occasionally (not p4p) were very good to me, but it was still tough to find the time. The combat arms need to be someplace in the middle of nowhere to train for their jobs, and the middle of nowhere is exactly where the poon is NOT. You will be surrounded by fat chicks with attitudes and on average about three to four points below civilian women on the looks scale. Be very certain you need to do this and don't do it just because you think you have no other options.

Then please, investigate **all** possibilities in the Air Force. At least they have better looking women.
 
Unfadable said:
I have been in the regular army for about 6 years. 90% of the army has nothing to do with fighting, just support.

The first 5 1/2 I was in the Infantry. I had a good time, met a lot of people and did a lot of cool shit, but at 28 years old my body is literally destroyed. There are a lot of things I cant do anymore, and every moment of the day I am hurting one way or another. I was always either deployed or training as well, so I never had time to go anywhere or do anything other than work. Even exploring the places I went for special training type events was out of the question, because we were locked down at all times. The level of suck is not even worth trying to explain.

Last year I was injured during training, and the army sent me back to school for a commo job once I recovered. I am in charge of the help desk now at a foreign naval base. We pretty much just handle computer imaging and network issues for the units here for about 8 hours a day. I have a government car, get to go do what I want after my shift is over, work in an air conditioned building with DOD contractors, and have already started getting job offers if I decide to get out. The army pays for my technical certs like a+, net+, sec+, and gives me time off to attend 2 week training courses designed to help pass those exams any time I want. Overall, it is a completely different world. There is still the usual army bullshit to deal with, but you can't get away from that anywhere.

If you decide to join up, when you are sitting in that chair choosing your job...choose wisely my friend.

How many long-term infantry veterans have injuries like you do? Is it virtually guaranteed from infantry service, or do only the guys who drew the short straws end up like that?
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
Injuries are a way of life with any physical job. If you join the infantry, you will march - a lot - with a ruck sack. The ruck sacks, by he way, have gotten considerably heavier since about the 1980s. There's just more stuff to bring that old soldiers never had - commo, chemical gear, night vision, batteries, etc. Plus the "bring everything just in case" mentality of the commanders nowadays. Expect your ruck to weigh a minimum of 60 pounds, plus your other crap - vest, LBE, whatever else they're putting on these days. Back in Vietnam there was rarely armor (it sucked anyway), the average ruck weighed about 45 pounds - and it was almost all ammo in there.

Depending upon how many years you spend in a line unit, your spine will compress, making you about half an inch shorter upon retirement, if you stay that long. Your tendons, feet and other body parts take a serious beating also.

It wasn't as bad for someone of my generation and earlier who a) drank milk as a kid, providing calcium to strengthen bones and b) played outside quite a bit, further developing musculo-skeletal durability. Youth of today are not only more obese but on average have 8-10% less bone mass than the youth of 20 years ago. Injuries from just rucking up and down the mountains of Afghanistan bear this out, as do the higher injury rates of females who try to play tough guy and keep up (in combat support units)

Some people say the wear and tear comes from parachute jumping but thats bull - other injuries happen but the jumps are so infrequent compared to marches there's no comparison. Infantry loves to ruck march and ruck marching wears you down.

You are a disposable pack mule in the infantry - yes, it will build character and camaraderie, but your body will pay the price if you ignore the warning signs along the way.
 

Unfadable

Pigeon
draketton said:
How many long-term infantry veterans have injuries like you do? Is it virtually guaranteed from infantry service, or do only the guys who drew the short straws end up like that?

I agree with slickyboy on all of his points. You are a glorified pack mule as an Infantryman, and are probably treated worse than one most of the time.

I would also say it is kind of luck of the draw. Your mileage in the army really varies depending on the units you get assigned to. Some of my friends don't have any major issues, but all of us from my first deployment to Afghanistan are broken. It was a rough tour in shitty terrain and our mission tempo was non-stop, to the tune of 400+ patrols in one year with no days off, aside from RnR.
 
If you go infantry, armor, airborne, other MOSs with high physical demands, then 20 years is going to cause some permanent damage. No way around it. Can you live with it? Sure- tens of thousands of vets do every day. But your body will be worn down pretty hard. I have many vet friends in these specialties who are almost all disabled to some degree....not necessarily debilitating, but it's something to consider.
 

Easy_C

Peacock
Not long term, former Artillery officer here. I received some relatively minor injures from an IED blast that probably should have killed me. There may be some more serious damage due to TBI but that's still a medical investigation in progress.
 
Out of interest, those who have been in the military.

Would you say there is another job which is on par with working in the military, or is there another career path that you would have chosen to do over the military if you had your options again ?
 
The Marines changed my life for the better in every way possible. In high school, I was socially awkward, introverted, skinny fat and unpopular. It is a big decision, but I made the plunge. In 3 short months of bootcamp, my life turned around. It made me realize the sky is the limit, gave the confidence to take on the world, and forced me out of the box. My lay rate went up exponentially, I became popular, started whooping ass, and gained an invaluable skill set. I used to think I'd never see foreign countries, but after visiting around a dozen while enlisted, I realized my desire for travel, and have lived abroad for years.

I get preference with having that EGA on my resume, along with the years of defense contracting. Employers know that no matter what kind of shit they throw at me, I can handle it and lead a team through the toughest of times.

When someone asks whether or not they should join, I tell them to read The Ants and the Grasshopper.
 
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