Joining the military.

BBinger

Kingfisher
Dr Mantis Toboggan said:
This is mostly true, I was not a 35P but re-enlisted to go to DLI after I'd already been in for a few years (and already had my clearance). Doing it this way means more total time in service but also allows you to pick your language and makes your time in Monterey more enjoyable, as you are not still in an extended form of basic training and are generally treated like an adult.

The one thing I strenuously disagree with is that studying a language on your own can be just as effective as DLI, it simply isn't--your full time job for 6-16 months depending on your language is studying, you're in class 6-7 hours a day (usually full immersion after the first couple months) plus 1-3 hours a night of homework. It's intense but it's the best way to get fluent or near-fluent in a foreign language, especially the complicated ones like Chinese and Russian, without living in that country (and depending on the language you may get to spend a month or so living abroad--I got to study in Taiwan about 2/3 of the way through the course, the Russian students got to go to Estonia or Lithuania IIRC).

My Chinese is pretty rusty now (need to get that back up) but at the time I graduated it was as close to fluent as I could've possibly gotten without spending several months living in China or Taiwan.

Mandarin or Cantonese?

For the longest time I though enlisting when I was 18 would have been a quick fix for life, but now. Not so sure. Sure, the Coast Guard could have trained me to be a pirate, but...
 

Waqqle

Kingfisher
BBinger said:
Dr Mantis Toboggan said:
This is mostly true, I was not a 35P but re-enlisted to go to DLI after I'd already been in for a few years (and already had my clearance). Doing it this way means more total time in service but also allows you to pick your language and makes your time in Monterey more enjoyable, as you are not still in an extended form of basic training and are generally treated like an adult.

The one thing I strenuously disagree with is that studying a language on your own can be just as effective as DLI, it simply isn't--your full time job for 6-16 months depending on your language is studying, you're in class 6-7 hours a day (usually full immersion after the first couple months) plus 1-3 hours a night of homework. It's intense but it's the best way to get fluent or near-fluent in a foreign language, especially the complicated ones like Chinese and Russian, without living in that country (and depending on the language you may get to spend a month or so living abroad--I got to study in Taiwan about 2/3 of the way through the course, the Russian students got to go to Estonia or Lithuania IIRC).

My Chinese is pretty rusty now (need to get that back up) but at the time I graduated it was as close to fluent as I could've possibly gotten without spending several months living in China or Taiwan.

Mandarin or Cantonese?

For the longest time I though enlisting when I was 18 would have been a quick fix for life, but now. Not so sure. Sure, the Coast Guard could have trained me to be a pirate, but...

I never heard of anyone being assigned Cantonese but that doesn't necessarily mean it has never happened. Everyone I knew who was in Chinese was in for Mandarin. There were some Chinese-Americans who grew up speaking Cantonese at home there though. They tended to have an easier time learning Mandarin than their non-Chinese classmates. Same is true for the Chinese-American students who spoke Mandarin and were assigned to Korean because something like half of all the vocabulary in Korean is derived from or identical to Mandarin. That's only what I saw. Mantis definitely knows more about the Chinese program at DLI than I do.
 

BBinger

Kingfisher
Waqqle said:
I never heard of anyone being assigned Cantonese but that doesn't necessarily mean it has never happened. Everyone I knew who was in Chinese was in for Mandarin. There were some Chinese-Americans who grew up speaking Cantonese at home there though. They tended to have an easier time learning Mandarin than their non-Chinese classmates. Same is true for the Chinese-American students who spoke Mandarin and were assigned to Korean because something like half of all the vocabulary in Korean is derived from or identical to Mandarin.

Thank you. I have a couple friends looking to make friends with native level Chinese speakers for access to all that good manufacturing shit, but...

The advantage of knowing when other English speaker dealing with Chicoms are not going to get their "promised" outcome would also be a big boon.
 

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Mandarin. The purpose of the school is to teach military personnel critical languages for national security (hence the most common languages I listed a few posts back), I can't say they've never taught Cantonese there (maybe back in the 50s/60s?) but they don't now.

As for classroom vs live learning...speaking with strangers is the best way to develop your skills but it's only a major difference if you're in a full immersion environment, outside of Spanish you aren't going to really find that in the US. You can get some practice with the Asian languages though both in Monterey itself and especially if you go up to San Francisco or San Jose. Some friends and I also met a bunch of mainland Chinese students from MIIS--a small university in Monterey aligned with Middlebury College that focuses on international studies and has foreign students from all over--I actually went out on a date with one but then got paranoid about getting spied on by MSS and ghosted her (one guy actually married one, but he was kind of "special"). It'd probably be easy enough to get outside practice in a lot of the other languages like Farsi and Russian too.
 

Bird

Pelican


As COVID-19 vaccine rates continue to inch upward and cases continue to fall across America, the Navy’s top personnel officer said this week that sailors should expect the vaccine to become mandatory in the not-too-distant future.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccines, the Navy will likely make it mandatory, like the flu jab, Nowell said this week, echoing what other admirals have said in recent months.

“When it’s formally approved, which we expect pretty soon, we’ll probably go to that,” he told a sailor who asked about COVID vaccinations and differing sailor opinions on getting the jabs.


 

MartyMcFly

Woodpecker
I would strongly advise against joining the full-time military, but if you are sure that you are happy in the current state you live in, I would advise joining the national guard. The nice thing about the national guard is that you still experience basic training and tech school meaning you get job training and the discipline. Basic training is not all fun but certain parts are actually a good experience in a way such as the obstacle courses, the rifle ranges, the road marches, etc... Find good people to work with and make friends with in basic training and tech school. This makes a HUGE difference because they are stressful periods.

Everybody's military experience is different. I was in an army unit with bad morale and power-hungry leaders at the top who were miserable and just liked to threaten people to show they were tough. The military actually made me a worst person. Several people in my unit were kicked out or disciplined for various reasons including drug abuse. I became very reclusive except in my last few months when I met some decent people to hang out with. I was lucky my 2 immediate supervisors were laid-back and friendly or I might not have made it. I was immature and mentally weak before joining which didn't help. However, I had good work ethic and did well in my McDonald's job. I was not lazy and didn't mind working hard if the work had a useful purpose. I joined the military thinking I would have a job that was useful and instead I mostly counted inventory (which had not been moved for several months), picked weeds, and did weekly inspections of equipment that hadn't been used for months. I had more pride in my pervious job as a McDonald's cook/cashier because at least at that job, I could see that I was doing something useful and I was paid for the time I worked and I felt resentful knowing I was just wasting time doing useless tasks. For dating, it is awful for men. You will likely be in a city where the ratio of males to females in your age range is 4-1 meaning even 300 pound land whales are treated like supermodels.

Joining the national guard means you get the benefits of the military (college tuition paid for, job training) while still being able to live a normal life in the city of your choice. You will be around people from various walks of life and it presents good opportunities to network and make friends with various people in your community. If you enjoy the national guard and realize you like the military life a lot, it is possible to become full-time national guard or join the full-time military later. Think of it as a good way to try out the military. Also, if you are deployed overseas, it is better to be with your guard unit than with a full-time unit. The guard people I met in Kuwait were more relaxed overall versus people in my unit.

If you join the full-time military, it seems the Coast Guard and Air Force are better branches than the Army or Navy. The Marines are likely more serious and focused than the army. People in the army may joke about them but they also respect them because they are tougher. However, they get the same pay as people in other branches and have a worse quality of life.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird


As COVID-19 vaccine rates continue to inch upward and cases continue to fall across America, the Navy’s top personnel officer said this week that sailors should expect the vaccine to become mandatory in the not-too-distant future.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration fully approves the vaccines, the Navy will likely make it mandatory, like the flu jab, Nowell said this week, echoing what other admirals have said in recent months.

“When it’s formally approved, which we expect pretty soon, we’ll probably go to that,” he told a sailor who asked about COVID vaccinations and differing sailor opinions on getting the jabs.


I got a lot of shots when I was in the military, but never do I remember them making a flu shot mandatory - nobody even talked about it.

They forced us to get the anthrax by way of a paper drill at the FDA, but it was easier then because there was already one approved use for the drug (animal handlers regularly exposed to sheep, at risk of skin contact anthrax). This time I think it will be more difficult since the vaccine is not formally approved.

If they can move the COVID jab from the massive drug trial it is now into regular approved status that quickly, I think the liability door will swing wide and companies will want to renegotiate their standing.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
I would strongly advise against joining the full-time military, but if you are sure that you are happy in the current state you live in, I would advise joining the national guard. The nice thing about the national guard is that you still experience basic training and tech school meaning you get job training and the discipline. Basic training is not all fun but certain parts are actually a good experience in a way such as the obstacle courses, the rifle ranges, the road marches, etc... Find good people to work with and make friends with in basic training and tech school. This makes a HUGE difference because they are stressful periods.

Everybody's military experience is different. I was in an army unit with bad morale and power-hungry leaders at the top who were miserable and just liked to threaten people to show they were tough. The military actually made me a worst person. Several people in my unit were kicked out or disciplined for various reasons including drug abuse. I became very reclusive except in my last few months when I met some decent people to hang out with. I was lucky my 2 immediate supervisors were laid-back and friendly or I might not have made it. I was immature and mentally weak before joining which didn't help. However, I had good work ethic and did well in my McDonald's job. I was not lazy and didn't mind working hard if the work had a useful purpose. I joined the military thinking I would have a job that was useful and instead I mostly counted inventory (which had not been moved for several months), picked weeds, and did weekly inspections of equipment that hadn't been used for months. I had more pride in my pervious job as a McDonald's cook/cashier because at least at that job, I could see that I was doing something useful and I was paid for the time I worked and I felt resentful knowing I was just wasting time doing useless tasks. For dating, it is awful for men. You will likely be in a city where the ratio of males to females in your age range is 4-1 meaning even 300 pound land whales are treated like supermodels.

Joining the national guard means you get the benefits of the military (college tuition paid for, job training) while still being able to live a normal life in the city of your choice. You will be around people from various walks of life and it presents good opportunities to network and make friends with various people in your community. If you enjoy the national guard and realize you like the military life a lot, it is possible to become full-time national guard or join the full-time military later. Think of it as a good way to try out the military. Also, if you are deployed overseas, it is better to be with your guard unit than with a full-time unit. The guard people I met in Kuwait were more relaxed overall versus people in my unit.

If you join the full-time military, it seems the Coast Guard and Air Force are better branches than the Army or Navy. The Marines are likely more serious and focused than the army. People in the army may joke about them but they also respect them because they are tougher. However, they get the same pay as people in other branches and have a worse quality of life.
Pretty much how I feel about it now. If I were a young man and asked to do it all over again, it's not likely I would. But if so, it would only be for the benefits and long term advantages - to hell with "patriotism" if all it means is being cannon fodder for zionist causes. Even absent a "war" in some middle east trash heap, The peacetime lifestyle is akin to being in a voluntary minimum security prison. You can't leave, you can't tell your boss to f-off, and you pretty much have no rights to privacy or your own free time - you are a service member 24 hours a day for the duration of your contract.

But once you check that block, you have some advantages - college tuition in some states is greatly reduced or free for national guard members. You can get a zero down payment VA loan on your first house, something you probably won't really appreciate until you have a family. You can get training certifications paid by the VA in many cases. Notice I'm not talking about how you can get war stories to tell all your buddies - nobody will ever care about that.

If you must check the "veteran" block, the national guard or reserves is a pretty mild way to do it with the least amount of misery. And yeah, you don't want to know what it's like being active duty as a single guy in a military dumpster fire town. Land whales had attitudes back then - can't imagine that plus all of the amped up wokeness they must have now. Avoid that nonsense - you have a life to live.

This is going to piss a few people off, but I would also forget the Marines if you are thinking active duty. Men who join the Marines do it because they're looking for some kind of brotherhood they couldn't get anywhere else. That's understandable and it really helped generations of guys looking for that. But stop and ask what's happened to that beloved Corps lately. What kind of brotherhood do you think is left in an organization now run by woke self serving generals? There's a lot of fat females and low end simps driving water trucks, probably with gay flag stickers in their wall lockers. Are you really going to pretend it's the way Hollywood says it is? Forget all of that, it's already forgotten you.
 

MartyMcFly

Woodpecker
Pretty much how I feel about it now. If I were a young man and asked to do it all over again, it's not likely I would. But if so, it would only be for the benefits and long term advantages - to hell with "patriotism" if all it means is being cannon fodder for zionist causes. Even absent a "war" in some middle east trash heap, The peacetime lifestyle is akin to being in a voluntary minimum security prison. You can't leave, you can't tell your boss to f-off, and you pretty much have no rights to privacy or your own free time - you are a service member 24 hours a day for the duration of your contract.

But once you check that block, you have some advantages - college tuition in some states is greatly reduced or free for national guard members. You can get a zero down payment VA loan on your first house, something you probably won't really appreciate until you have a family. You can get training certifications paid by the VA in many cases. Notice I'm not talking about how you can get war stories to tell all your buddies - nobody will ever care about that.

If you must check the "veteran" block, the national guard or reserves is a pretty mild way to do it with the least amount of misery. And yeah, you don't want to know what it's like being active duty as a single guy in a military dumpster fire town. Land whales had attitudes back then - can't imagine that plus all of the amped up wokeness they must have now. Avoid that nonsense - you have a life to live.

This is going to piss a few people off, but I would also forget the Marines if you are thinking active duty. Men who join the Marines do it because they're looking for some kind of brotherhood they couldn't get anywhere else. That's understandable and it really helped generations of guys looking for that. But stop and ask what's happened to that beloved Corps lately. What kind of brotherhood do you think is left in an organization now run by woke self serving generals? There's a lot of fat females and low end simps driving water trucks, probably with gay flag stickers in their wall lockers. Are you really going to pretend it's the way Hollywood says it is? Forget all of that, it's already forgotten you.
I was pretty naïve when I joined. I expected to be in a unit with good comradeship where everybody worked well as a team. However, many people around me had gangster attitudes. There were decent people but I experienced better teamwork and leadership at my McDonald's job in high school. Medical units seem to have better teamwork and professionalism from what I hear though. I worked in an army quartermaster unit (I don't want to say too much to be cautious about internet doxing) and these units seem to have lower morale as a whole (at least from ones I have seen at the base I was at and training school).

I figured out my hourly pay based on the actual time I had to work including mandatory PT. My average pay was about $6.50 an hour in my last year (when minimum wage was $5.50 an hour) because of the extra work such as GI parties and other extra duties. The work itself was not hard overall just tedious and pointless. The benefits were not that special. Free food is nice but food is not that expensive if you can cook for yourself. Housing was free but I shared a small room and 4 people shared a bathroom. I can find similar housing conditions for $200-300 a month in many towns (6 people sharing a 3 bedroom apartment will be cheap in most towns). I will say that conditions in the military seem better now. New barracks have been built and many soldiers now get their own room and have access to a shared kitchen. Having your own room makes life MUCH better.

Positive point: The military is a good place to save money. If you don't drink your check away and you are single, you can easily save 90% of your pay (being in a boring place made it easier). I had a nice savings account when I got out. Of course, you can do this without joining the military but it would be harder.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
Don't regret my service. It was something I had to do to get where I am now ... Hi highs and lows lows and all that.

But it'd be hard for me to do it now with all the social engineering in place.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
many people around me had gangster attitudes. .... I worked in an army quartermaster unit...
I know exactly what you are talking about and the kinds of people who join those units. Quartermaster and Artillery are two areas requiring the lowest scores to enlist, so they tend to get the bottom of the barrel. Throw in the difficulty of generating any kind of esprit de corps over being the supply team (versus a front line combat MOS) and you already know the kinds of attitudes that can develop there. Similar situation with transportation units.

I will say that conditions in the military seem better now. New barracks have been built and many soldiers now get their own room and have access to a shared kitchen. Having your own room makes life MUCH better.
It is nicer for the solider, but even then I'm sure the current crop still thinks it sucks. That the military has to go to single rooms for every solider not only raises the cost but it also tells you a lot about where things have gone in terms of discipline, cohesion and martial tradition and what they've had to do since the end of the draft to attract bodies. That, plus gender-blending and severely lowering the fitness standards means we aren't exactly raising an elite copes of Spartans willing to stand at Thermopylae.

Alas, raising an army of true Spartans begins with a society that values one in the first place - something we've forgotten how to do a long time ago. One day we - or whoever has replaced us - may yet figure it out again.


 

MartyMcFly

Woodpecker
I know exactly what you are talking about and the kinds of people who join those units. Quartermaster and Artillery are two areas requiring the lowest scores to enlist, so they tend to get the bottom of the barrel. Throw in the difficulty of generating any kind of esprit de corps over being the supply team (versus a front line combat MOS) and you already know the kinds of attitudes that can develop there. Similar situation with transportation units.


It is nicer for the solider, but even then I'm sure the current crop still thinks it sucks. That the military has to go to single rooms for every solider not only raises the cost but it also tells you a lot about where things have gone in terms of discipline, cohesion and martial tradition and what they've had to do since the end of the draft to attract bodies. That, plus gender-blending and severely lowering the fitness standards means we aren't exactly raising an elite copes of Spartans willing to stand at Thermopylae.

Alas, raising an army of true Spartans begins with a society that values one in the first place - something we've forgotten how to do a long time ago. One day we - or whoever has replaced us - may yet figure it out again.


I think better barracks are important. I felt resentful thinking that dregs in society get to live in nice government housing while soldiers were placed in crappy barracks. The soldiers had to spend hours buffing floors (which is really a huge waste of time) while people in government housing projects can collect welfare checks and get to enjoy having their own bathroom and kitchen and not have inspections that are over the top. Why should losers in housing projects (not everybody is bad in them but a high percentage in the projects are losers) get decent housing while soldiers live in squalor? Of course, I am also fine with reducing the quality of housing projects to be fair as well. That is for a different forum though.

The cost is high because the US govt. wastes money on everything. They also spend over $20,000 a year to house one prisoner. The prisoners are not living in luxury and their food is not fancy. There is waste somewhere. Same for nice barracks. The conditions are decent but not amazing. Giving soldiers their own room that is 12 X 10 feet is not expensive considering it is just 2 rooms and one bathroom. The shared kitchen was for the entire barrack building so that is also not expensive. The laundry room was also shared. Of course, when the govt. builds it, costs are ridiculous. Even tent housing for homeless people is expensive when the govt. creates it.

Lowering fitness standards is not a good idea. I think it is OK there are women in the military but they should not be in combat jobs. This is a huge problem and it will lower unit cohesion.

Good leadership and having a sense of purpose are extremely important and this seems to be a reflection of American culture in general. I watched a video about a Japanese firefighter. His team is professional and serious and well-trained. Nobody seems to act arrogant and they help each other. Morale seems to be high in his team because they are well-trained and confident in what they do. A lot of soldiers in my unit (including myself) were poorly-trained and really not very good at their jobs. It is hard to have good morale when most of your leaders also have poor morale. I think most people are willing to work hard as long as they know there is a purpose behind it and if they are guided by good leaders. I am including the video. It is long but enjoyable. Maybe some military units are like this as well. My own unit could have learned a lot from this video.

 

Dr Mantis Toboggan

Kingfisher
Gold Member
I got a lot of shots when I was in the military, but never do I remember them making a flu shot mandatory - nobody even talked about it.

They forced us to get the anthrax by way of a paper drill at the FDA, but it was easier then because there was already one approved use for the drug (animal handlers regularly exposed to sheep, at risk of skin contact anthrax). This time I think it will be more difficult since the vaccine is not formally approved.

If they can move the COVID jab from the massive drug trial it is now into regular approved status that quickly, I think the liability door will swing wide and companies will want to renegotiate their standing.

Flu shot was definitely mandatory and at least for me it always seemed to be given in the middle of a field exercise or something when you didn't really want to be run down for a few days. Luckily the units I was in always gave the nasal spray so I would get it, mouth breathe until I got outside, then snot rocket it out.

Agree with the post above about the tangible financial benefits of serving, I was able to use my GI Bill to finish my bachelor's and get a master's degree, then used the VA loan to buy a house with basically no money down. Those 2 things are huge in terms of building wealth for your family. I'd still advise most young men to join for those reasons, pick an MOS where you can get a skill to bring with you into civilian life as well--whether that's a trade, a second language, whatever.
 

Philosopher

Kingfisher
Orthodox
It highly depends on who your squad leader/NCO is - they can make the difference between duty being a breeze and something you dread. If you have a high tolerance for being humiliated like me and don't take things personally, than it is worth it. Was able to buy a condo by the beach.
 

get2choppaaa

Ostrich
I think
It highly depends on who your squad leader/NCO is - they can make the difference between duty being a breeze and something you dread. If you have a high tolerance for being humiliated like me and don't take things personally, than it is worth it. Was able to buy a condo by the beach.
Yeah leaving the military with the gi bill, disability if you're fortunate,/unfortunate enough to rate, the professional prestige and respect, and actually having seen the world and understanding how fortunate we actually are in America compared to countries like Libya/Yemen are all valuable things i benefited from.
 

SlickyBoy

Hummingbird
I think better barracks are important. I felt resentful thinking that dregs in society get to live in nice government housing while soldiers were placed in crappy barracks. The soldiers had to spend hours buffing floors (which is really a huge waste of time) while people in government housing projects can collect welfare checks and get to enjoy having their own bathroom and kitchen and not have inspections that are over the top. Why should losers in housing projects (not everybody is bad in them but a high percentage in the projects are losers) get decent housing while soldiers live in squalor? Of course, I am also fine with reducing the quality of housing projects to be fair as well. That is for a different forum though.

The cost is high because the US govt. wastes money on everything. They also spend over $20,000 a year to house one prisoner. The prisoners are not living in luxury and their food is not fancy. There is waste somewhere. Same for nice barracks. The conditions are decent but not amazing. Giving soldiers their own room that is 12 X 10 feet is not expensive considering it is just 2 rooms and one bathroom. The shared kitchen was for the entire barrack building so that is also not expensive. The laundry room was also shared. Of course, when the govt. builds it, costs are ridiculous. Even tent housing for homeless people is expensive when the govt. creates it.

Lowering fitness standards is not a good idea. I think it is OK there are women in the military but they should not be in combat jobs. This is a huge problem and it will lower unit cohesion.

Good leadership and having a sense of purpose are extremely important and this seems to be a reflection of American culture in general. I watched a video about a Japanese firefighter. His team is professional and serious and well-trained. Nobody seems to act arrogant and they help each other. Morale seems to be high in his team because they are well-trained and confident in what they do. A lot of soldiers in my unit (including myself) were poorly-trained and really not very good at their jobs. It is hard to have good morale when most of your leaders also have poor morale. I think most people are willing to work hard as long as they know there is a purpose behind it and if they are guided by good leaders. I am including the video. It is long but enjoyable. Maybe some military units are like this as well. My own unit could have learned a lot from this video.

When we have to depend upon the obese gibsmedats in the housing projects, I will start being concerned about what effect their living arrangements has on their discipline and combat effectiveness. Yes, they are a massive waste of money, but no, there's no second order effects about a crew too soft to do a dangerous job under pressure. With military housing, it needs to be adequate, but not so plushy it winds up creating welfare soldiers who STILL hate being in the military anyway. One of the first things they did during the early Iraq years was build a Cinnabon and a Burger King at the major US bases. "It's taking care of soldiers" they say. Yeah, taking care of soldiers starts with them being able to do their jobs, which they can't if they're carrying around an extra 20lbs of body fat on their midsection.

I hasten to add that "adequate" housing does not have to mean squalor. I knew people who lived in in the old 82nd barracks who couldn't flush their urinals without piss going all over the floor - disgusting. Then they got new housing. Then they broke things anyway - but yeah, I bet those floors are buffed beyond belief every other day - it's an easy excuse for something to get Joe to do instead of expensive training.

Troops also don't do much to help by putting holes in the wall and trashing things provided to them. Even a college student is expected to pay for dorm damage, but in the military for some reason that's considered screwing over the solider. SMH...

Regardless, we need not worry about creating a legion of out of shape welfare soldiers with their palms extended since we already have that. As to the video you linked, you can have a highly trained and disciplined Japanese firefighter since after all, he's Japanese, on an all Japanese team with mostly male coworkers and lives in a world where "woke" isn't in the dictionary. He never has to worry about BLM and Pride month taking priority over his training.

We've moved so far past that world in the US military that the only thing for a sensible man considering the military to do is calculate is how much he can get out of it for how short a commitment. I don't hold that against anyone, but I do recognize where this brings us in terms of team building, cohesion and readiness.
 
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