Possibly Joining the Armed Services

Jthoss0837

Sergeant
Full Member
Minuteman
Apr 19, 2010
390
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Greenville, South Carolina
So ive been thinking alot lately as what i want to do after Highschool.
My parents obviously want me to go to college first, then enlist if i still feel the need.
My family isnt made of money, so a nice university is kind of a burden. MGIB has been mentioned by both recruiters (Marines/Army)
And to be honest the Army looks like a better choice. Not because its easier or whatever, just career and benefit wise. Ive been told i can still go to college after enlistment after highschool, and even if im deployed i can still take distance courses

What im lookng for is an unbiased opinion of those who have served in any military service, your experience if you feel like sharing it, and if you think you made the right choice in joining.
 

ZLBubba

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Jan 15, 2009
843
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Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

You'll get a lot of great advice here. You don't have to worry about the Montgomery GI Bill. If you do three years active duty, and get an honorable discharge, you're automatically qualified for the post 9/11 GI Bill, which is way better that the MGIB.

I'd say apply to the colleges you want to go to, then look at the ROTC programs they offer. The military will pay for your schooling that route as well.

The one advantage to enlisting in the Army is that you can usually choose your MOS. Don't underestimate how great it is to decide what field you'd like to train and deploy in. You don't get that if you're an officer like you do if you're enlisted.

Feel free to PM me with any questions you have.
 

Ol' RD

Grouchy Old Curmudgeon
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Minuteman
Aug 30, 2008
58
56
Shelby County Alabama
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

Good for you, you've got half licked already, you didn't believe all the BS the recruiter told you. It's been almost 20 years since I got out of the service but believe me if you don't have it writing.... "You Ain't Got IT! Just don't limit yourself to Army or Marines. Look at ALL branches, Air Force and Navy too. See what the offer you. Biggest thing I can tell you is to have them put it in writing. Because one of my best friends in the service, probably the best con man I ever knew, went into recruiting. I spent more time at sea in 6 years than he did in twenty. LOL! We have stayed in touch this whole time, came by for a visit just this winter. He now is in charge of ROTC at a college out in Texas. Trust me when I say I would trust him with my money, my car, whatever! But I'd tell you to get anything he tells you in writing. I've got plenty on him from the 1 West-Pac he did do, so I have leverage, you will not. Recruiters are not your friend, your priest or your Daddy, they will lie through their teeth if necessary.
I personally wouldn't trade those six years for all the tea in China. It's up to you.
 

BlackWhiskey

USMC
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Minuteman
Dec 5, 2009
466
0
Salt Lake County, Utah
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

I was in a similar situation in high school. I wanted to do college and military at the same time. After receiving some great insight from my dad, I decided that both college and the military (the Marine Corps in my case) required and deserved my full attention.

I found that it would be impossible for me to get the whole experience of being a Marine infantryman if I was at the same time trying to get good enough grades to get into a decent graduate program.

I say take one thing at a time and enjoy it to the fullest.

I finished my four years in the Corps, and am now going into my junior year at the University of Utah, and I couldn't be more happy with my choice.

 

ecdbcd

Private
Minuteman
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

I'd look into ROTC programs, as mentioned above. They will pay for school, and you will be commissioned as an officer when you get out. I'm in the process of joing Army ROTC for my last two years of school. Whatever you may do, be absolutely sure to do your research, talk to folks who have done it, etc.

Also,
Whatever you decide, try and stay out of trouble, keep yourself healthy, get good grades and do extracurriculars/community service, it will help you with or without Military service.
 

astro3006

Private
Full Member
Minuteman
Jul 9, 2008
101
70
mississippi
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

One of the few things I regret is not joining the Military. If had all to do do over again I would. I will also tell my on son that this is a great option for him too...
 

TNT

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Oct 30, 2006
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35
Arlington, VA
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

TANSTAAFL - don't put a lot of weight on the career post-service or benefits. Signing up isn't worth it if that's the payoff. Pick the service that you feel offers the best opportunity for your growth and potential to contribute.

Get ready to do something other than what you expect/want. If you get your choice, great. If you don't, hopefully you joined for the right reasons and are still satisfied at the end of the day. I am doing a job that is as far from what I wanted to do as can be. I'm still satisfied. I'll never regret my decision, despite the jokes I tell to those who ask.

Oh, and distance learning/online course sound like a great gig, simple, and quick way to get a degree. Well, they are pretty easy, but they are also a significant time sink, and usually the last thing you want to do after a day's work. This coming from a desk jockey, who has more free time than most... I can only imagine someone deployed, coming back after a patrol(s) to sit down and do managerial finance or some brain Novocaine like that for the 30 minutes he has to spare.

Forgot to add: for those wondering what "alot" is...
http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/04/alot-is-better-than-you-at-everything.html
(can't have a thread without a touch of humor)
 

Switchblade

muf kin poser
Full Member
Minuteman
Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

PAY ATTENTION!
College First!
Did I say College First? Before you sign jack or shit, look HARD at what you want to do with your life. DO you want a career in the military? Do you want to use four years of the military as a stepping stone to a IT/Commo job? Or do you want to go military as a career then have it ripped out from under you in the next few years when they draw down(Mark my wrods gents, it's coming, and within the next 5 years or so, maybe faster).
Army better than Marines? Who says so? If you consider a group that has more social issues and less esprit de corps, and less discipline better, have at it.
Ask both a Marine Recruiter, then the Army recruiter what college programs they have that you can join, go to college, then be an officer. If they tell you to go pound sand, then go to college and while you are getting a degree think about it real hard. We are at a point of time where our amrmed forces are once again too large and will be drawn down. Money is tight because certain people have worked at destroying everything we have worked toward.
If you look in the mirror and see a die hard, don't screw with me individual looking back out at you, go be a Marine. If you see a guy hwo doesn't know what he wants in life, go to college. If you see a guy that has a idea he is strong, maybe a little tough but not quite sure, maybe Army is the way to go. Yeah, I'm biased a bit, but I have the advantage of being in both branches as well as the National Guard. Marines were the best. Army and National Giard, well, I am currently leaning toward National Guard because it was filled with better people, small, and tight.
Whatever you choose, COLLEGE FIRST!
 

427Cobra

Lt. Colonel
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Nov 24, 2005
    5,856
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    Sanger, TEXAS!
    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    If I had to do it over again I would join the Marine Corp, I was talked into the Air Force by my father, serving my Country was the greatest thing I have ever done, everything I have today is because I enlisted, Uncle Sam taught me aircraft maintenance, that turned into a career, the 20 years since I got out I have had a few jobs, but I have never been unemployed.
     

    Jthoss0837

    Sergeant
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    Apr 19, 2010
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    Greenville, South Carolina
    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    I have decided along with my parents talking to me. That I will go to college either USC, Clemson, or the citadel. I respect my parents far too much to blatenly say f u and join against their will. When I get out of college I'll decide what I want to do from there. I couldn't live with my self knowing my parents hated what I was doing
     

    N2DADARK

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    Jan 3, 2010
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    Even with the Air Force (speaking from experience) go to college while school is fresh in your head. Join ROTC while your in school.
     

    J.Boyette

    Gunny Sergeant
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  • Nov 13, 2003
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    Jthoss0837,

    Let me tell you this.

    I guide my life by this one simple policy. I was told this on a construction site back in 1994. My dad was never around and so I had a old duct worker tell me this and it VERY true.

    When you are 70 years old, and you look back on your life what will you say?

    I am glad I did that!!!

    OR

    I wish I did that....

    This applies to every road you take. I have nothing since that day to now, I can look back and say I wish I could have. I still have 40 years o go, until I hit 70, but not a single day will be directed by I wish i could have.

    I will do it!!!

    John
     

    lwrkeysfisher

    Sergeant
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    Jun 15, 2010
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    Gloucester, VA
    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    Go reserves or National Guard, do your drills and a deployment or two and go to school in the mean time. ROTC is fine, but it is nice to get a little paycheck and Tuition Assistance, plus boot camp is always a good thing to experience. By your junior year you'll qualify for the full MGIB. I think you'll be impressed at how much easier school is after a deployment or two as well... Finish your degree and decide whether you want the military as a career or to do something different.

    This is what I did, and have been active duty for just about 9 years, after 3 in the reserves. I finished my degree while on active duty in '04.
     

    Greg Langelius *

    Resident Elder Fart
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    Aug 10, 2001
    9,041
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    I second the advice about college first. Regardless of any educational benefits, it starts you out in the service on an entirely different, and better, foundation.

    My only reservation re: ROTC is the inevitable packs of anti-this and anti-that bungholes, who tend to get harbored and catered to on most campuses. They are mainly just a complication, but ROTC tend to be squarely in their sights and I just don't favor voluntarily taking up residence in front of the bulls eye.

    Greg
     

    ZLBubba

    Sergeant
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    Jan 15, 2009
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    Whatever you do, enjoy your time in college. If you don't need financial aid, then take the ROTC courses without signing a contract. Then you've got the freedom to do what you want. Hell, I was packing an old M60 during an FTX in 2001 at Camp Butner, and I didn't have a contract.

    College is a time for you to get some education and maturity, and see what's out there. One thing I will say: if you want to turn some heads, learn Arabic, Chinese, Korean, or Farsi and do some study abroad. One skill set that is difficult to find in the military is foreign language ability (just ask the USASOC guys how many 2/2 guys they have in the crical languages).
     

    dhutch

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    Jan 14, 2010
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    Frisco, TX
    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    College first.....Either go to college and join ROTC and get your degree, or just get your degree. The Army and Marines will always be around.

    I can speak from experience when it comes to this matter. I chose to join and try and do college while I served. It is pretty tough and you can never be fully concentrated on your school work. Your 4 year degree ends up taking 5-6-7-8 years instead of just 4.

    Some people say, serve your 3-4 years and then goto college...That's all fine a dandy but do you realize the amount of shit you forget in 3-4 years, especially when it comes to school. Example: I took calculus my senior year in high school and got an A. I always thought I was pretty good at math. When it came time to take a college level math class that was lower than calculus, I was completely lost. I forgot almost all my advanced math skills since I never used them for a 3 year period.

    Just my .02
     

    bikemancs

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    May 7, 2010
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    I joined the National Guard 1st Semester Sophomore year while participating as a non-scholarship cadet in the ROTC program. I went to Basic and AIT for 11B, came back, and signed a contract with ROTC. I qualified for State and Federal Tuition assistance (one came at the beginning of the semester, the other at the end), the Montgomery GI Bill, plus I earned my stipend from ROTC and my drill pay from the Guard (E-5 pay grade). This is the SMP (Simultaneous Membership Program).

    If you have the opportunity, go this method. you can also finagle Airborne or Air Assault if you go for it and work with your recruiter (aka, don't sign until its on the paper). the background of being enlisted, or at least having gone to the enlisted school will help out your Officer career. I still use the Infantry fundamentals and training methods even though I am not a combat arms Officer.

    go to school, get your degree, request your branch and duty location and see what the Army gives you.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions.
     

    John Roache

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    Jun 18, 2010
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    Re: Possibly Joining the Armed Services

    <div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Jthoss0837</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I will go to college either USC, Clemson, or the citadel.</div></div>
    Go to The Citadel (THE BEST school in SC ;)) and choose any branch you desire! They offer all of them. I did the SMP program there and drilled with a NG unit in Mt Plesant. That will give you time to decide if you want to go active, or stay in the Guard and have a civilian career also!