Armed Polite Society

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

R.I.P. Scout26

Author Topic: Joining the military post degree?  (Read 2643 times)

Guest

  • Guest
Joining the military post degree?
« on: July 13, 2005, 07:15:04 AM »

I'm 18, almost 19. Nearly joined some branch of the military back when I was 17, stuck it through with my life though. Now my mom needs me around for help/some support, and there's a lot I'd like to do with my life for a while.

But. I'm interested in joining when I'm 23-35, with a college degree or two and a few other creditations. Shooting for an officers position and having the financial solidity to not only equip myself with anything the army can't (body armor plates etc) but possibly a good portion of the unit too. (In a couple years, I could be making six figures. Or I could be living under a bridge.)

The whole "join the military because it has a magical effect on you and makes you into something more durable" or whatever meme doesn't really hold water with me. For one thing, I've already been through the types of prolonged experiences that most people don't have that bring about real changes. I can probably survive anything short of a concentration camp now without being overly fazed, either had to get to be like that or die.

There's basically three things I'd like to do: Fly helicopters, some sort of advanced combat medic, or airforce pararescue. All three of those would bring about elevated levels of dopomaine in my system, and have use in the private sector later. I could even get a rotary bladed pilot's license / build up some EMS type training over the next few years in order to have a jump start going in. Same with physical fitness and leadership skills, a few foreign languages, a martial art..

I'm not thinking of GI-Joe firefights and adventure. Same with not expecting to make it into the rangers, or seals, or whatnot, cool as that would be. I know I'll need the Lasik, but in a year or two I'll have reached confidence level in that technology as well.

Thoughts? Opinions?

wmenorr67

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 12,775
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2005, 08:02:16 AM »

If you have to have Lasik you can almost forget about flying in the military.  You can serve as a crew member on an aircraft but will not be able to be a pilot.  Secondly any "civilian training" for flying will not do you any good.  The military is still going to send you to their school.  If you are able to be bringing in six figures in the next couple of years I would suggest going either National Guard or Reserves.  It will be hard to keep making that kind of money from being on active duty.  Plus you need to be realistic.  As it is right now everyone in the military has the possibility of being in GI-Joe firefights.  If you are not ready to go to war and be shot at stay out of the military please.  It is not all fun and games as you seem to think.  Yes it is a great way to get training.  But it is not the Boy Scouts.  It is life or death.  If you really think it is something you want to do I suggest that you go find someone you is presently in the service and talk to them about the experiences.  Not trying to flame you but trying to give you some food for thought.
There are five things, above all else, that make life worth living: a good relationship with God, a good woman, good health, good friends, and a good cigar.

Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.  One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

Bacon is the candy bar of meats!

Only the dead have seen the end of war!

Winston Smith

  • friends
  • Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 498
  • Cheaper than a locksmith
    • My Photography
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2005, 08:43:40 AM »

Eh, don't listen to the naysayers. Plenty of haterade to go around.

It seems like you have a crystal clear idea of what you wanna do, which I envy. I'm just guessing here, but that's probably what's been one of your single best assets in leading you up to this point... what with the possible six figure income and all...

I don't know anything, really, about the military, and joining up, nor helicoptering or pararescuing... but it seems to me even without knowing you that you REALLY want to do it... it's stuck with you since high school... so do it! Why not?
Jack
APS #22
I'm eighteen years old. I know everything and I'm invincible.
Right?

Moondoggie

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 523
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2005, 02:16:16 PM »

Don't know about the Army or Air Force, but I do know for a fact that any Naval Aviator (that includes the Marines) program requires 20/20 uncorrected vision from the gitgo.  You have to pass the same flight physical as a pilot before your application gets forwarded to DC, not to mention (Marine-specific, here) going to 10 wks of OCS, 26 wks of The Basic School, THEN primary flight training, THEN advanced flight training, THEN assignment to a squadron as a closely supervised no-nothing FNG.  It's no casual process.   Also, you have to have a BA in something to get to OCS in the Marines/Navy.  There are some avenues to a commission for exceptional enlisted folks, but they are required to complete a degree within a specified period after commissioning.  I was an Officer Recruiter in the Marines once upon a time, and spent my last 13 yrs of active duty in Marine Corps Aviation Units.

The Army WO progarm for helo pilots is shorter, but still no cakewalk.

Also, Title 10, USC stipulates that no one shall recieve an initial commission after having attained their 29th birthday.  Prior military service can be subtracted from your age to arrive at a "constructive age" to obtain a waiver.  The Marine Corps very, very, very rarely grants such a waiver.

Actually, your chance of being involved in actual combat is very small unless you are in combat arms.  There's approximatley 1.6 million folks in uniform including the reserves.  About 150K are presently serving in Iraq/Afghanastan.  For every "trigger puller" in the Marine Corps, there's at least 3 or 4 folks serving in support roles, and we are by far the leanest of the services (escept maybe the CG).  The trigger pullers gotta be paid, promoted, awarded, fed, clothed, housed, watered, washed, etc.  Somebody has to fix the rifles, vehicles, airplanes, answer the phones, etc.  Getting blown-up while driving down the road is bad news, but it's not the same as "actual combat"' i.e. "Locate, close with, and destroy the enemy by fire and manuver."

From what you've written Blackburn, your understanding of the military is a little off-base.  That's not your fault, but if you have any questions lease feel free to PM me.
Known from coast to coast, almost!

Felonious Monk/Fignozzle

  • Guest
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2005, 02:39:07 PM »

Blackburn--

You remind me of me.
I haven't ALWAYS been a fat, sentimental middle-aged washout.

Halfway through my college education, I put the .edu on hold and enlisted...as a combat medic.
Finished Basic Training and AIT, and MISTAKE 1: I wish I had gone Regular Army instead of Nat'l Guard.

Back to the real world to resume the college ed, where I found myself eligible to skip 2 years of ROTC and go straight into the Advanced ROTC program.  Also did SMP, at the time they offered a simultaneous membership program where I became a Cadet E-5 in my Guard unit, and a ROTC Cadet at school.  Double dipped on the $$$ for school!

The one thing I wanted most in the world was to fly dustoff-- Medevac helicopters.  My guard unit commander wanted me to structure my own training during the 2 week active duty annual training-- I spent all but one day on the firing line with the Blackhawks, Cobras, and Medevac Hueys.

Turns out I'm color-blind.  
Oh, Sorry.  Nice Try.  We have some LOVELY parting gifts for you: "Tell 'em what he won, Johnny!"

Mistake 2: not finishing ROTC to get my butter bar and a few years of Active Duty as an officer, even if I COULDN'T fly dustoff.  

I was SO focused on that goal, there was NOTHING else I was willing to do.

If you can fly dustoff, you can fly civilian MedFlight.

Final chapter: I went to a doctor about 10 years ago.  Very plain-spoken, a little rough around the edges.  He and I hit it off big-time!  We became friends, and I asked him "how did you get started in Medicine?"
His answer:
"I enlisted as a Combat Medic and let the Army send me to every bit of Medical training they'd let me have.  8 years later, I was an M.D."

Woulda Coulda Shoulda.

Moral: Life is often what happens while you're making other plans, BUT DON'T forsake the alternatives in front of you if the door closes on your FIRST choice.

Regards,
Ben/Fig

hkOrion

  • New Member
  • Posts: 5
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2005, 07:49:13 PM »

I tried this exact thing when I was out of college for two years and had some 'real world' experience under my belt.  Went to the Coasties and told them i wanted to fly helo's on Search and Rescue, and that if they could guarantee me a position, i'd sign that day.  They can't guarantee squat.  The told me that I could put in for that position, but it would be about 15 weeks before I heard anything concrete, and that wasn't even guaranteed.  Knowing my luck I'd have ended up like my dad peeling potatoes on the galley floor.  No thanks.  Just remember - if anyone promises you anything get it in writing (which won't happen) - and then they'll stick you wherever they want anyways!

roo_ster

  • Kakistocracy--It's What's For Dinner.
  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 21,225
  • Hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2005, 07:31:03 AM »

BT, DT.

The armed services generally benefit from enlistees whith some maturity and experience.  There is a reason they come in as greater than E-1.

If you happen to have a degree and go enlisted, get ready for envious NCOs with a chip on their shoulder to make your life in the service difficult.  Most NCOs are squared away, but some are walking personality defects who take pleasure in lording it over those with lower rank but greater education/credentials.  It won't matter if you just try to fit in, do your best, and are fanatically motivated...your Ed & credentials are in your record.  Be ready.  I did not find officers to have a similar problem.

Your wisest route would be to go officer.  If you simply must get some enlisted experience, go Nat Guard while going to college and join a ROTC program.  ROTC+enlisted experience made good Os, IME.  

There are other VERY smart ways of doing things, especially if you want to be a MD or a lawyer.
Regards,

roo_ster

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”
----G.K. Chesterton

Ezekiel

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 819
  • Intellectual Masturbationist
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2005, 06:43:05 PM »

"Also, Title 10, USC stipulates that no one shall recieve an initial commission after having attained their 29th birthday."

Which is why a Spanish-speaking American Indian -- of 33 -- with an MPA cannot get a sniff.  I'm not going NCO against no-nothing 20 years olds, and I'm too old to get commisioned.

"Their loss", I think.
Zeke

Sean Smith

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 257
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2005, 09:46:14 AM »

Quote from: Blackburn
But. I'm interested in joining when I'm 23-35, with a college degree or two and a few other creditations.
Age restrictions have already been noted by others.

Quote
Shooting for an officers position and having the financial solidity to not only equip myself with anything the army can't (body armor plates etc) but possibly a good portion of the unit too. (In a couple years, I could be making six figures. Or I could be living under a bridge.)
You aren't going to be doing any of that *expletive deleted*it, this isn't 1860.

Quote
The whole "join the military because it has a magical effect on you and makes you into something more durable" or whatever meme doesn't really hold water with me. For one thing, I've already been through the types of prolonged experiences that most people don't have that bring about real changes. I can probably survive anything short of a concentration camp now without being overly fazed, either had to get to be like that or die.
That all depends on what you are actually going to do in the military, now doesn't it?  You can almost always find some aspect of military service that will push your mental and physical limits.  If your military service isn't a life-changing experience, that is typically the fault of the person in question.

Quote
There's basically three things I'd like to do: Fly helicopters, some sort of advanced combat medic, or airforce pararescue.
As far as the Army goes, you get to pick your MOS *if* your ASVAB (sp?) is high enough, and get said MOS in your contract.  Same goes for some schools, like Airborne.  Recruiters may be weasels, but if it is in your contract, you can really screw 'em over if they try to bait-and-switch you later.

Quote
All three of those would bring about elevated levels of dopomaine in my system
Um, OK.  That statement makes you sound like an immature ass, sorry.

Quote
I could even get a rotary bladed pilot's license / build up some EMS type training over the next few years in order to have a jump start going in. Same with physical fitness and leadership skills, a few foreign languages, a martial art.
Foreign language can get you extra pay if you score good enough on the DLPT.  Getting in shape should be focused first on maxing the physical fitness test for the service you are going into, then ruck marching 12+ miles in <3 hours with 50+ lbs on your back, then anything else you feel like a distant third.  Prior EMS training and a pilots' license would be nice, but nothing more.  A martial art would be a waste of time, except as good exercise and something that is generally cool... nobody will care if you know kung fu.  "Leadership skills" training is usually a complete waste of time.

Quote
I'm not thinking of GI-Joe firefights and adventure. Same with not expecting to make it into the rangers, or seals, or whatnot, cool as that would be. I know I'll need the Lasik, but in a year or two I'll have reached confidence level in that technology as well.
As noted, with 20/50 you are probably out of the running for being a pilot, all the other branches pretty much don't care about a vision defect as long as it is correctible and/or not to severe.  Going Ranger isn't that hard, actually, provided you are very fit and can pass the schools.  SEALs are a different story.

Oh, and if you have a degree, you should go the officer route, definitely.

doczinn

  • friend
  • Senior Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1,205
Joining the military post degree?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2005, 09:15:54 AM »

Quote
Foreign language can get you extra pay if you score good enough on the DLPT.
IF it's one of the languages specified, said languages being things like Russian, Farsi, and Arabic, not Spanish or French.
D. R. ZINN