Joining the Military

go1lum

New member
Looking at going this route now in my life. Just wondering what the general concesus is about it here. Those of you who are active or retired vets. I spent a few hours today at the recruiting office today talking with the army. I know that I shouldn't take everything they say as the golden truth. But they told me that with my college background and industry experience that I should be able to enlist as an E4. I just think this could be a great opportunity for me. I'm 22, single, no kids. They told me that if i scored high enough on the test and didn't take any signing bonuses they could pay off up to 65K on my student loans. I took USVAB pretest today without any studying or planning and scored a 67. Which they said was terrific, the national average is somthing in the low 40's. Do I guess do any of you have any advice to offer me in this possibly huge step in my life. :wantyou:
 

Fastdemise

New member
I joined the Navy and just finishing up my 6 years. I scored a 82 on my ASVAB and from what I can see from your pretest can do whatever job the Army offers. Take a look at other branches and see what they can offer as well. If you have a degree already I know you can join as an Officer. But my experience has only taught me Navy so that's as far as my knowledge goes. You seem smart enough to do whatever you want so pick something you know you'll love. :) Good luck!
 

go1lum

New member
I have an apointment with the navy recruiter tomro, also going to talk with the air force. See which one stimulates my interest the most. I just need something more out of life right now. I would love to see the world on unlce sams penny. Also I can't join as an officer, still have one year left for my BS degree. But I think I would benefit more from joining as an enlisted to start with. It think it would help build my strenght, leadership, and moral abilities.
 
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bluejeepkid

New member
i took the ASVAB in high school and scord an 81. the local air force recruiter wanted me, said id be working on nukes and crap.... kinda wish i had taken the route.
 

soopergoober

New member
Make sure whatever you are offered by the recruiter is in writing in your contract, otherwise assume you'll never see/get it. A good recruiter can make a used car salesman seem honest. Other than that I'm all for joining the military as long as you use it and everything it offers to you're advantage and don't let it use you. I would have joined like the last two generations of my family (Marine Corps), but never passed medical (pre-existing condition).
 

XJ_Vikings

New member
Finish school first, then join the military. That would be the smartest move, IMO.
If you're going for a career, I would suggest navy. You can do OCS over the summer and get commissioned after you graduate. The Army will throw money at you before you even do anything, I believe even reimburse you for schooling (someone confirm/deny this). I would not suggest not joining the Marines if you want to go career. However, if you want to be dirty, wet, cold, and generally miserable, go Marine infantry for 4 years and get out. If at all possible, bring someone that is currently in the military with you to the recruiters office. These guys arnt kidding when they say they will try and screw you. You are a number to reach a quota to them, but anyone in the military should be able to read what you are signing and translate all the acronyms and numbers.

p.s. I would question what he said about joining as an E-4, i hope to god thats not true.
 

tdkask

New member
as an 18.5 year veteran about to retire in a few months who is right now on a carrier returning from deployment soon, I am somewhat mixed. I see some of the younger guys here who needed this. It gives them direction and focus and some mentoring to make changes in their lives to get on track. I see others who are not meant for it and are only able to survive independently, not under rules or authority. Furthermore, the Navy, at least, is less "military minded" today than 1-15 years ago with a military based on education and technology with budgets in mind where in older days the answer was to throw more money or people at a obstacle than to think through it and come up with a cost effective efficient way. We are somewhat an "enterprise" in a lot of ways... in some ways like a company whose job it is to provide a service as defined by the leadership way up. What all this means to you? It means that it's not the movies you see from what the military was, nor it it the recruiting commercials on TV, but is somewhere in between. You will learn a lot, you will grow as a person, you will develop teamwork and unity... but you will also stand a lot of stupid watches and do some crappy jobs that don't make a lot of sense to you, just like a regular job in the civillian world. Still, like mentioned above, that recruiter is a salesman. His job is to sell that service. Also, just like a car dealer, they aren't trying to sale any car, but are trying to get you to buy their car... the recruiter is not selling the military in general, but his particular service. They do work together sometimes, but not at a detriment to themselves. Get everything defined clearly and get everything promised on paper. If it's not clearly on the contract, it never happened. Also beware of obligated service for those promises. You may get a couple thousand dollars, but did it cost you a couple extra years? And think.... a bonus of $6k for two years isn't that much of a bonus. Finally, read it all over several times and understand it all before signing. They are in a hurry and will try to hurry you through. What is routine for them could be a big difference in your life. Above all, if they tell you thsat you have to commit to something right then or it will be gone they are just pressuring you. They will get you something that suits you and that you qualify for or you should tell them to call when they CAN get it. If you walk because they didn't get you the right job and circumstances, I PROMISE they will call back later with something suitable. They will try to get one over on you, so insist on what you need in life. Next, bootcamp is a head game. Almost everyone can do the physical and mental part of it. the only challenge is knowing when to let the BS roll away and not affect you... they are just playing their rolls, and then they go home to their normal lives as normal people. The real military is nothing like bootcamp, and bootcamp is designed as an extreme environment to reprogram as part of a group. So if it's what you want ask all the questions and decide what's best for you and go for it, just know that the commercials and movies are not reality. (actually, the show "Carriers" is pretty accurate, and the XO from that ship is now my CO.) Above all, hold onto your rig... you'll want it when you finish bootcamp. So many people sell their rides before leaving and then wish they had it... you'll appreciate a bit of something from home and what you like to do. Maybe I'll see you out here one day?
 

SC Rednek

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
As an Air Force officer, I would HIGHLY recommend becoming an officer. Among other perks the pay is a lot higher. http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/militarypaytables/2010WebPayTable34.pdf
As an O-2 with 2 years I already make as much as an E-7.

If you really want to join now, finish that BS degree as quickly as you can after basic training, and then go OTS (Officer Training School). Either way, in his economy the job security in the military is great.

Which service you join should really depend on the job you want. Do some research and figure out exactly what you're looking for before signing anything.
 

yossarian19

New member
Looking at going this route now in my life. Just wondering what the general concesus is about it here. Those of you who are active or retired vets. I spent a few hours today at the recruiting office today talking with the army. I know that I shouldn't take everything they say as the golden truth. But they told me that with my college background and industry experience that I should be able to enlist as an E4. I just think this could be a great opportunity for me. I'm 22, single, no kids. They told me that if i scored high enough on the test and didn't take any signing bonuses they could pay off up to 65K on my student loans. I took USVAB pretest today without any studying or planning and scored a 67. Which they said was terrific, the national average is somthing in the low 40's. Do I guess do any of you have any advice to offer me in this possibly huge step in my life. :wantyou:
Do you like your legs?
The Army and Marines are meat grinders.
I don't mean any disrespect to current or retired military. I can't over state, though, the cons of going army / marine corp at this point in time
Returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan have HUGE rates for
Suicide
Depression
Violence
Insomnia
Auto accidents
Domestic abuse
etc.
Those are just the mental issues. A LOT of guys are coming back with physical disabilities IE missing limbs.
I've got a good friend who did 2 tours and came back with a fortune saved & no missing limbs.
6 years later, he can't sleep a full night & is constantly on the verge of violence. You don't want what he's got, dude.
 

offroadr

New member
I agree with tdtask, the recruiters are looking for their numbers, the less work they have to do to get you in, the faster they can get someone else in. Really sit and think about what you want to do in the military, yea running and gunning is cool and all, but what does it translate to in the civilian world? Not much. So if your looking at staying military, it's fine, if not, think about a MOS that will enhance your education the field you are interested in. If your good with computers, look at going to the signal branch. If your good at management look at quartermaster or supply. You've got to be willing to walk away to get what you want. Tell the recruiter exactly what you want, and get it writing. He will probably give you a line about not being able to get that job, it's closed or what ever, tell them fine, you'll wait till it's available, get up and leave. They will call you back in no time. Don't rule out the other branches either... they all get paid the same.

The military does provide pretty good benefits, mainly the medical benefits - the PX and commissary really aren't much cheaper than other retailers. Also Military service opens up a lot of doors later in life.

In the Army, to join straight as an E4, I believe you have to finish your bachelor's degree. At the recruiters, you can ask about going straight to OCS after basic training to become an officer. Also, after several years being enlisted, you can go warrant officer - they specialize in one particular field, from finance to maintenance to aviation.

Also keep in mind deployments Army's 12 months - I got out because I was deployed every other year. Yea, you get more time at home now, but it's still hectic. Again, just do your research, and make the best decision for yourself.

Hope this helps.
 

XJ_Vikings

New member
I'm guessing instead of USVAB you meant ASVAB... I must say though, with a score of 67 you might have a lot of doors closed for you. A lot of MOS's have required scores for particular sections, most common is a GT requirement, or general technical. I find it hard to believe that the national average is 40 when failing is somewhere right below 30. With a college degree you should be able to rip off a 90+ in about 30 minutes...
 

dennis461

New member
..still have one year left for my BS degree..
FINISH THIS FIRST. (Take extra classes or summer, get-ur-done)
If "they" ship you round the country, you'll never be in one school long enough to get a degree.

The degree,IMHO, will get you more out of life than a military reference.
 

Hexfactor

New member
I was never the college type and went enlisted Air Force. If you already have college, go officer, it's worth the piles of money you'll make.
 

XJ_Vikings

New member
To all those saying finish school first... You can do OCS over the summer, finish your last year of college, then go right to job school after. You're commission will be waiting for you when you graduate. Also, I'm sure (depending on what service) you will get some money towards the last year of schooling.
 

SC Rednek

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
To all those saying finish school first... You can do OCS over the summer, finish your last year of college, then go right to job school after. You're commission will be waiting for you when you graduate. Also, I'm sure (depending on what service) you will get some money towards the last year of schooling.
Not sure if that works in the Air Force, if you're interested I can ask around and find out.
 

mcantar18c

New member
I'm guessing instead of USVAB you meant ASVAB... I must say though, with a score of 67 you might have a lot of doors closed for you. A lot of MOS's have required scores for particular sections, most common is a GT requirement, or general technical. I find it hard to believe that the national average is 40 when failing is somewhere right below 30. With a college degree you should be able to rip off a 90+ in about 30 minutes...
He took the EST test... the Army's practice ASVAB test. Its designed to be tougher than the actual ASVAB to get you to study harder and do better when it comes time to take the real one. Without studying for either one, I scored a 67 on the EST (same as OP) and then went in and scored an 89 on the ASVAB, qualified for everything in the Army. I think he'll be fine.

I say go Army. Plenty of jobs to pick from, more doors open to you than in the Marines, you aren't stuck doing jack shit on what equates to a floating city like with the Navy, and you're not sitting on your ass doing nothing like with the chAir Force. Then again, I'm biased.
And yes, with a college degree you can enlist as an E4.
 
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