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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:15 am 
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Regular Guy wrote:
Jeriah, sssooooooo, what cha thinkin' bro. :lol:


Right now I'm just gathering info so I know what my options are if I don't get any of the full time teaching jobs I've applied for. I definitely won't be doing anything before May 2012, as I have civilian obligations at least until then.

There is a big part of me that really wants to do it, but there are also some major reasons against it, mainly it sidetracking my civilian career as an educator (taking four years off would mean when I came back I'd be rusty, etc.), and also some obstacles I'd have to overcome if I did want to go ahead with it (age, Steph's objections, and some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered).

Like I said in the original post, this isn't something I'm going to rush out and do. More like something I'm going to be bearing in mind as a possible back-up plan as I sit around waiting for rejection letters. (Not to sound negative, that's just what applying for teaching jobs is like, you send out tons of applications and get rejected until finally you don't.)

I have ruled out the Coast Guard (too old), and despite the better conditions, I don't think the Air Force is for me either. I don't have the math skills for the badass jobs (and I'm too tall to be a fighter pilot), and doing something like maintenance or something wouldn't really "scratch the itch". Kind of feeling the same way about the Navy; I don't want to spend a long time at sea so I can be a fancy electrician or something. And all of the part-time (Reserve and Guard) stuff is a different question for me, an "in addition to" a civilian job, not an alternative to one or a backup plan.

So the options that make sense to me are Army or Marines, officer or enlisted. Officer would be preferable for obvious reasons, unless my juvenile troublemaking can't be waivered, in which case it might not be an option. (I don't want to go into specifics online but suffice it to say, the troublemaking is mild enough that a waiver is possible, serious enough that one would be necessary, not something that affects my legal rights as far as voting or gun ownership, but definitely something I'd have to disclose and have waivered, if possible, to serve in the military. One thing I'm looking into is whether they're stingier with waivers for officers than enlisted.) Although the Marines have a hair more "bragging rights" I think the Army might be a better fit for me, in terms of attitude/culture, although I think I could adapt to either. I like the Marines "everybody's a rifleman" thing, I feel like the training might be a little more bad ass, and woo hoo free ACOG! (I know, I know, you have to give it back when you're done.) But then, Army gets to wear MultiCam, which looks sweet, if you go to Afghanistan, which weirdly (and to Steph's consternation) I'd really like to do. So I think my top choice would be Army Officer, then Marine Officer, then Army Enlisted, and then Marine Enlisted, in descending order of desirability.

So right now I'm continuing to look for full-time teaching jobs to start Fall 2012, and if I'm not getting any nibbles by about May 2012, I'll start re-examining my options and talking to recruiters about finding out the waiver situation.

Thanks for all your help, everybody.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:33 am 
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You know, it might not really be a kink in your career. Look into it, but a couple years ago they were running a program to turn military into civi teachers. I don't recall the name of the program, or any of the requirements, but it was there. It was on AFN commercials a lot. If you already have your teaching degree, joining active duty might help get your foot in the door a little quicker/easier.

As far as what to do;

Officers get paid more, work less.
Enlisted get shit on, but get lots of experience.

Officers have better living conditions
Enlisted don't.

Officers generally suck at life.
Enlisted don't.


AF standard of living is above and beyond all the other branches. My unit would exercise at a local Army base and take over their dorms. Granted, we got the condemned dorms, but looking around the rest of the base, the AF wouldn't put enlisted in the housing that Army officers were so proud of. My experience in the field was quite a bit different, as we were a first in unit. Bottle water showers were the norm, as well as baby wipe baths. Shaving was not encouraged because it was a waste of drinking water. Most of the Air Force doesn't know how to open an MRE, much less survive off of them, so your typical AF life will be much more comfortable.

AF wears multicam in AFG as well. Lots of them. If you're working ISAF, you'll most likely be in multicam.

To scratch your itch, I think you're pretty well assed out in the military department. As has been stated, armorers aren't special. They remove and replace broken parts on the guns, just like a well trained monkey.

An armorer will also argue that:
"Lack of oil did not cause the malfunction, it was carbon build-up."
"I fired 25 rounds through it."
"It was carbon build-up. Listen, this is my job, these things don't need oil in the desert."

True story on my first "real AF" deployment. This time around we didn't bring our issued rifles. They boxed up some random junk, sent it out the door. Then we went to the range to sight in. The guns were dry as a two day old dog turd on the streets of Phoenix in the summer.

The most common question I've been asked by the regular Army is "How do I join the Air Force". The answer being "Talk to a recruiter", I always thought that was pretty obvious. Some random ass NCO in the desert isn't going to say "Well, you know what? You look pretty sharp, here's an U.S. Air Force tape and some stripes. Put these on in the morning and come on over". I mean, who walks around with extra stripes in their pocket?


For differences in Reserve and Guard:

Want training, go Reserve. More money for equipment and schools. Typically get first pick of active duty hand-me-downs.

Want education, go Guard. Most States have free college for Guard members. Less money for equipment and training.

Promotions suck in both. There is a slot you will fill. Say it's an E4 slot. You can make E5 if you're a really good boy and the CC feels like doing the paperwork. Want more than E5, somebody has to die. They could retire, but death of old age is more likely. It's not uncommon to see 30 year old E4's.


Active Duty is the preferred choice, as CLEP tests are free, tuition is free, OJT is great, promotions are, theoretically, skill based, and it's a good job. The reason everyone dogs the AF is because the chicks are hot and the standard of living is high. Also because it's full of sissies, but that's minor considering POG's are the primary skill sets in all branches.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:52 am 
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Jeriah wrote:
some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered).

They're gonna make you sit on the Group W bench.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:37 am 
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shrapnel wrote:
Jeriah wrote:
some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered).

They're gonna make you sit on the Group W bench.

...with the father-rapers? :shock:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:45 am 
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jamoni wrote:
ei8htx wrote:
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I am currently earning a bachelors degree in Liberal Arts :roll

Not to derail, but for fuck's sake, change your degree.

Accounting isn't too far off and is compatible with most jobs out there.

Yup. Unless your career path is to sit around complaining that you don't have a job. :)


You wouldn't be the only who feel that way. Industrial Design or acting/directing/producing are what I want to do, this is kind of a middle ground. The advantage of the degree I am getting is I will graduate debt free with a diploma from a fairly well respected school that starts with a H and ends with D. I then intend to pursue my other choices Further. Again, it's a fucked up plan :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:50 am 
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Jeriah, hey, start now. Really, this process will take longer than you think. Start losing weight now, start jogging now, doing the Army PT test now. Get the paper work going now.

You are not getting younger. You have an itch to test yourself. Hook it up. Life is short, everything will work out.

I gave up a 'career' in construction to join the military. Don't worry about what your going to come back to, engage where you're going. You will not be the same, you're not going to lose yourself, but you will grow, experience, all that.

I know this sounds like a silly pep talk but I think you're ready. Really what's keeping you there? A career? A 401k? The benefits and experience of the military will carry you farther than you think you will go. It's worked for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:56 am 
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LowKey wrote:
shrapnel wrote:
Jeriah wrote:
some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered).

They're gonna make you sit on the Group W bench.

...with the father-rapers? :shock:

And litterbugs. :gonk:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Don't walk in singing "You can get anything you want/ At Alice's Restaurant..." or they'll send you for PsychEval...

Jeriah wrote:
Regular Guy wrote:
Jeriah, sssooooooo, what cha thinkin' bro. :lol:


Right now I'm just gathering info so I know what my options are if I don't get any of the full time teaching jobs I've applied for. I definitely won't be doing anything before May 2012, as I have civilian obligations at least until then. If you start now, you may be ready to ship by then. You can drag your feet or walk away at any time, but trying to rush the machine ain't gonna happen. "Hurry up & wait" is, after all, a phrase of military origin, and they will keep you waiting. MANY times...

There is a big part of me that really wants to do it, but there are also some major reasons against it, mainly it sidetracking my civilian career as an educator (taking four years off would mean when I came back I'd be rusty, etc.), You will not get rusty, you will spend so much of your time teaching people things that you will leave well versed in teaching to peaple that don't even speak your language, or share your culture. Also, Troops to Teachers is still a benefit after your service. and also some obstacles I'd have to overcome if I did want to go ahead with it (age, Steph's objections, and some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered). Given the time elapsed since these events, and your general law-abiding activities, getting a waiver should not be an issue.

Like I said in the original post, this isn't something I'm going to rush out and do. More like something I'm going to be bearing in mind as a possible back-up plan as I sit around waiting for rejection letters. (Not to sound negative, that's just what applying for teaching jobs is like, you send out tons of applications and get rejected until finally you don't.) Put this iron in the fire now, so you can get on the payroll before your bills are past due. You can drag your feet or change your mind at any time.

I have ruled out the Coast Guard (too old), and despite the better conditions, I don't think the Air Force is for me either. I don't have the math skills for the badass jobs (and I'm too tall to be a fighter pilot), and doing something like maintenance or something wouldn't really "scratch the itch". Kind of feeling the same way about the Navy; I don't want to spend a long time at sea so I can be a fancy electrician or something. The Navy actually has a lot of "off ship" jobs, my grunt bros are quite happy in those. And all of the part-time (Reserve and Guard) stuff is a different question for me, an "in addition to" a civilian job, not an alternative to one or a backup plan...

So right now I'm continuing to look for full-time teaching jobs to start Fall 2012, and if I'm not getting any nibbles by about May 2012, I'll start re-examining my options and talking to recruiters about finding out the waiver situation. Like I said, start now, the process is long. They can wait on your schedule, but they can't rush you in to start your pay. If you get a great job and decide not to go, they won't take it personally. Plenty of applicants just dissappear at various points through the process.


Like RG said, start PT'ing now. You ain't getting younger, and it will benefit you in ways you can't forsee. Part of you needs to know. Don't grow old still wondering, it will be one of your great regrets. On the other hand, I've never met a vet who regretted serving.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:09 pm 
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The one aspect of preparing for this I have no problem with starting right away is PT. I need to do that anyway. I am on a good regimen of approx. 3-4 hours bike ride every Thursday (biking to work) which is a good workout (divided into two 1.5-2 hour legs), but I need to get into doing something daily, and some upper body strength training since that's a weak area in addition to weight loss.

Question re: backing out if I get a good job whatever. The steps I know I need to take are, basically, 1.) PT and shit, 2.) ask about the waiver thingie, 3.) fill out an application and see what they say. I know that they then at some point give me one contract to put me on inactive reserve, which doesn't get me paid but gets me "in the system" or whatever, and then a FINAL contract that I have to look at really carefully because that's where they actually promise me any money, incentives, etc. My question is: up until what point can I walk away with no (legally significant) hard feelings? Until I sign the final contract? Until I sign the initial (IR) contract? Until I submit the application?

Also, is the waiver request part of the application (automatic when you confess your sins, or an extra page), or something separate you do first?

Also, if you join as an officer, can they say, "You're not good enough to be an officer, guess what, you're enlisted now, too bad?" Or does that not happen unless you've been demoted for a specific wrongdoing?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:23 pm 
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Again, I'll only speak to the Marine part. Honestly, you can back out anytime until you show up on ship day, but to do so anytime after you go through MEPS, sign your contract and are sworn in, it is dick-like behavior. Since you already have a BA, you can go all of the way through Officer Candidates Course and bail before commissioning with no hard feelings. A buddy of mine went through PLC Junior and PLC Senior. He was offered a scholarship to pursue a graduate degree at Harvard and he took it. I think he still wishes he'd done four years in the Corps and then gone on to grad school.

At no point in the officer process will they say you have to go enlisted.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:39 pm 
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KYZHunters wrote:
At no point in the officer process will they say you have to go enlisted.

But beware the sneaky recruiter who tries to sign you up for an MOS with OCS as an "option".
You'd go through basic and AIT, then off to OCS....and if you failed OCS you'd revert to your enlisted MOS.

Take the above with a grain of salt or two, it's been a decade or two since I ETS'ed.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:36 pm 
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shrapnel wrote:
LowKey wrote:
shrapnel wrote:
Jeriah wrote:
some juvenile troublemaking that, as I have learned, I'd have to disclose and have waivered).

They're gonna make you sit on the Group W bench.

...with the father-rapers? :shock:

And litterbugs. :gonk:


But all I did was put one envelope at the bottom of a pile of trash!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:06 pm 
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Holy crap, Jer... this one sure came out of left field.

I Want to mention something and I don't mean to discourage you. I'm a few years older than you and you know I'm pretty hardcore into fitness. I've got concerns about making it through some of what guys in basic would be expected to do at my current level of fitness. The fitness tests are all doable, it's the heavily loaded marches that are challenging.

You're going to have to show me your war face one of these days. Then I can determine whether or not this is completely crazy. If you don't scare me, forget it. :)

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jnathan wrote:
Holy crap, Jer... this one sure came out of left field.

I Want to mention something and I don't mean to discourage you. I'm a few years older than you and you know I'm pretty hardcore into fitness. I've got concerns about making it through some of what guys in basic would be expected to do at my current level of fitness. The fitness tests are all doable, it's the heavily loaded marches that are challenging.

You're going to have to show me your war face one of these days. Then I can determine whether or not this is completely crazy. If you don't scare me, forget it. :)

-Jeff



Army basic is not hard. You wont have anything more then 20lbs in your ruck...unless you go infantry but I think you ruled that out. Oh and don't expect to have a bunch a cool guy training unless you get a combat mos or have a very squared away chain of command...not likely.

Seriously you do need to call me though. I dont have all the answers but I can point you to a few people that can help. Like say the half of a dozen recruiters I know and I trust with my life. And do it before thursday cause we get out last cycle of the year on friday.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:16 am 
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LowKey wrote:
KYZHunters wrote:
At no point in the officer process will they say you have to go enlisted.

But beware the sneaky recruiter who tries to sign you up for an MOS with OCS as an "option".
You'd go through basic and AIT, then off to OCS....and if you failed OCS you'd revert to your enlisted MOS.

Take the above with a grain of salt or two, it's been a decade or two since I ETS'ed.


It's probably different in the Army, the "High School to Flight School" program springs to mind, but not really a problem in the Marine Corps; officer and enlisted recruiters are two different dudes. The one you want to talk to is the Officer Selection Officer (OSO).
Also, when you enlist in the Marine Corps you have to sign a statement of understanding that spells out clearly what you are signing up for and says that you've been made no other promises written or verbal. I used to get Congressional Interest Correspondence (CongrInt) all the time from representatives saying that Johnny's mom said Johnny said he had been promised he was going into the Enlisted Astronaut Program and was sent to a rifle company. I would pull the kid's SOU, back in the day we made them write it out themselves by hand, and fax it back to the proper office and that was that.

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jnathan wrote:
<snip> The fitness tests are all doable,

42/52/15:54 for an 18 year old male.

Minimum 42 push ups in 2 minutes.
Minimum 52 Sit-ups in 2 minutes.
2 mile run in 15 minutes and 54 seconds...or less.

There's a sliding scale based on your age, but if you can hit the standards for an 18 year old you'll be fine.


jnathan wrote:
<snip>it's the heavily loaded marches that are challenging.

Eh....I was 19Kilo (Tanker). Our heavily loaded road marches involved shclepping a bunch-o-heavy-crap down to the motor pool, loading it on the tank, firing it up and driving in convoy to the destination.
The only road marches we performed on foot were the ones in OSUT*. 40-50 lb alice pack, weapon, battle rattle, and walk-trot-run-walk (gotta love the slinky effect) for 20-30 miles. A bit of soreness the next day but nothing too bad considering the shape you should be in by the end of basic.



*One Station Unit Training, referred to by recruits as O-SHIT when they find out it means they'll be in basic training for 8 weeks + the length of their MOS school.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:40 pm 
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LowKey wrote:
There's a sliding scale based on your age, but if you can hit the standards for an 18 year old you'll be fine.

...And it starts at 29(USMC), so you walk in on the "Old Man PFT" though I don't remember what those numbers are.

I was 23 and a shit runner, the first unit run I actually stayed up with was the "4 Mile Motto Run" @ Boot Gratuation.

That said, it's not pass/fail with everything, there are tons of things you'll do that don't score anywhere. Obstacle course, endurance course, and rope climb come to mind. You'll catch a lot of shit from a DI, but short shits like me just don't do well getting over shoulder-height logs, oh fucking well. Take the IT like a man. You, of course, are gonna have an easier time on high obstacles, you can scoot your ass onto them and throw a leg over :wink: It's the grazing-fire test that's gonna hurt you...

IST/PFT and Rifle Range are the big things you NEED to pass, IIRC.

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Jeriah, my time in the service was one of the most positive shaping things about my life, BUT, I went in married to my high school sweetheart, and we just BARELY struggled through that time in our relationship... took years to get over. I would just suggest that your significant other goes into it with a perpared mind set, knowing what she's getting into.....its a young, SINGLE mans game


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 5:17 pm 
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lailr wrote:
Jeriah, its a young, SINGLE mans game

I agree wholely with this. I, and most of the Marines I served with, were single. A few picked up GF's here and there, but mostly, the married guys had marrital problems...

However, most of those that were solid before were solid after. I think you two will be good.

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Well, what you plan and what takes place ain't ever exactly been similar.
TravisM.1 wrote:
If a rifle is an option, a rifle is usually the answer.
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I've said it numerous times, a quality rig is only as good as it's weakest link. Which usually is the nut behind the butt.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 6:34 pm 
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Hey Jeriah, I think it's a good decision. A couple of pointers from a Navy Vet:

Don't believe anything a Recruiter tells you unless it's in writing. Not kidding about this.

Talk to Wrangler before you decide anything.

If you decide to Go Navy, even though it doesn't look like you will, go into Aviation (maintenance or other jobs) - anything except Helicopters. You'll have your choice of aircraft carriers if you really want to be on a ship and everything else is shore duty.

Definitely go Officer. You'll get better pay, you'll be treated better, and you'll have an almost guaranteed place in politics in the civilian world (at least it looks better on a political resume).

That being said, if you also learn everything your Enlisted people under you have to do and can do it better than they can, you'll get more respect. Enlisted people think Officers don't work for a living or don't know how to do an Enlisted man's (or woman's) job. Plus, listen to your Sergeant (or Chief).

Basic Training isn't hard. If I did it, you can do it. The hardest part of Basic for me was being away from my family for the first time. Letters from your family and friends are awesome. Especially the ones with perfume on them. (No, I did not get letters from my family with perfume on them :lol: )

http://www.armystudyguide.com

Learn everything you can. Take advantage of every opportunity. Get the G.I. Bill.

If you join up AND muster out (get discharged and come back to live here) in Illinois, you're qualified for the Illinois Veteran's Grant. Which gives you the ability to go back to school with paid tuition at a state funded Illinois college - the number of credits they pay for are equivalent to the number of credits needed for a Bachelor's Degree - which you can also use towards a Master's or PhD. It's a nice deal.

Gave advice to a kid I know that went into the Air Force a couple of years ago. Keep your nose clean, your stuff stowed away, and your dick wrapped. He's at Nellis AFB and parties in Las Vegas all the time. I think he's an E-4 now. Hopefully he's keeping it wrapped.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:15 pm 
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WI has a GI Bill, too, so you may want to do a little research and see which would benefit you more.

It would not be hard to establish residency in WI prior to going in, especially if you wanted to go to a school here after.

By then, we may even allow CCW on campus. Try that in IL :lol:

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