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 Post subject: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:22 pm 
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So, I'm strongly considering enlisting in either the army reserves or the national guard. I have not gone and talked to a recruiter from either as of yet. I was hoping some of you might be able to tell me what you know of the two and what your thoughts on them are? I am 30, soon to be 31 in December. My main motivation is money, hopefully some money toward my school loans as well. I have also wanted to join the army since I was a kid but as a teen became unmotivated in that regard and then just followed a career path that I now am no longer interested in or even on. I have a job that pays decent enough, but pending circumstances will require more. As for MOS I am mainly interested in infantry, and would really like to try for special forces (yes the guard has that), but my mechanical background could be useful elsewhere I'm sure. I know I'm not the first 30 year old to enlist as a weekend warrior but that doesn't make it any less of a big decision so any and all advice, wisdom and experience is welcome and appreciated.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:36 pm 
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What state are you in? Guard units can be very different depending on the state.
I was in the FL Guard, we did have one late 30s guy going through medic school with us. He did fine with most everything except for the being treated like a kid, hard to be older than 20 and being told you have a curfew and ect.
FL Guard has an SF unit, I got to work alongside them as a sickcall/bubba cut my foot off medic when they taught a Pathfinder course, very cool bunch of guys.
I heard that a bunch of FL Guardsmen were having trouble getting school paid for, but that was a few years back and people with active service weren't having any issues as they used the GI bill benefits.
I would love to see any actual mechanic working as a mechanic in the Guard, the ones we had were...special.
You can PM if you have specific questions about FL Guard.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 3:56 pm 
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ManInBlack316 wrote:
What state are you in? Guard units can be very different depending on the state.
I was in the FL Guard, we did have one late 30s guy going through medic school with us. He did fine with most everything except for the being treated like a kid, hard to be older than 20 and being told you have a curfew and ect.
FL Guard has an SF unit, I got to work alongside them as a sickcall/bubba cut my foot off medic when they taught a Pathfinder course, very cool bunch of guys.
I heard that a bunch of FL Guardsmen were having trouble getting school paid for, but that was a few years back and people with active service weren't having any issues as they used the GI bill benefits.
I would love to see any actual mechanic working as a mechanic in the Guard, the ones we had were...special.
You can PM if you have specific questions about FL Guard.


I'm in California. I fully understand and expect to be treated no better than any other recruit. I like to consider myself a pretty humble person and don't mind taking orders. From what I have read, the guard gets perks on both the state and federal level. Is this true? I am not entirely sure that vocational school I already attended would even qualify for the GI bill benny's, but obviously it is something that I want to find out.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:09 pm 
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Qualifications
http://www.goarmy.com/special-forces/qu ... efits.html

Quote:
Army Soldiers who wish to join the Special Forces must meet the following requirements:

20-30 years old
Be a U.S. citizen
Be a high school diploma graduate
Achieve a General Technical score of 110 or higher and a combat operation score of 100 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery.
Qualify for a secret security clearance.
Qualify and volunteer for Airborne training
You must take and pass the Army Physical Fitness Assessment (PFA)
You must successfully complete the Pre-Basic Task list
You must have 20/20 or corrected to 20/20 in both near and distant vision in both eyes
One year of college is preferred, but it is not a mandatory for enlistment


If you want to do it better hurry, the clock is ticking.


I would not plan on making much money in the NG. IF you are planning on going to college then it is a great program to get lots of money for school. For Student Loan repayment you have to sign up for a critical MOS. Infantry is not usually on that list. If your loans are over $65K you probably are better off signing up for active duty for three years. You want to check the rules carefully to make sure your loans qualify.

If you finished college enlist for OCS, you should be able to get LRP with OCS. The pay and benefits are worlds ahead of enlisted pay and benefits.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:49 pm 
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Guardsmen gets no support from fed without active duty time, you're not even eligible to go to the VA. You could volunteer for a deployment overseas which will get you active duty time and then you could go back to the Guard with some of the active benefits.
Stercutus has a point, if you want the money, go officer. I think I made $200 in a weekend in the Guard as an E4, but I would actually make more money at my day job. This is offset a little bit if you have a job that let's you double dip (my local Sheriff's department does).
Besides officers get the A/C :awesome:

One thing to think about, joining the military they basically pay you to learn the tasks of whatever job you get/pick, why not choose something more useful than infantry to learn? Not putting down the grunts, but I knew a couple of them who were a little dissapointed because no had need of trained grunts on the civilian side (obviously there's the usual security jobs and the like).
:words:


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:01 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:32 pm 
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As for OCS, I attended Wyotech. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this scheme...er I mean school, it is a vocational training school for automotive technology. I received a diploma, not a degree. Not sure if that makes a difference, but I wanted to put that out there for more precise feedback. I wouldn't mind hearing more about OCS. Does anyone have any firsthand or secondhand experience in regards to that?

As for the infantry, I figured with my background they would just usher me into an MOS like mechanic. But, as Stercutus pointed out, clocks tickin and I think I would really like to try for SF. If the timeline for that is too short, if its not a real possibility for me then I am certainly smart enough not to stand in my own way. I know you guys can't tell me everything I need to know to make this decision, but I have heard a lot of stories about recruiters being sketchy and lying to young guys. I'm assuming there's a commission or quota or bonus rate that inspires this kind of misguidance. I figured if anyone would give me honest feedback about both the guard and the reserves and even active duty for that matter it would be you guys.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:37 pm 
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We had the oldest recruit in our company when i went to boot camp in 05. He was 28 at the time.

30 isn't too old, but 40 sure is. I'd enlist before you forget about it for a few years and get too old and lose the opportunity.

You won't make a whole lot of money doing weekends in the guard, but there's that intangible benefit of knowing you signed up when others did not.

I'd definitely want a blue cord if i was in the guard. Hell, my little brother is the smart one, he went 03xx... if i could do it again i'd want to be a grunt.

...people say there's no job skills in the civilian world just because you went 11b/c, 03xx, etc. But my business degree and mechanic experience has landed me exactly 1 phone interview in this horrible job market in the last two months.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 8:57 pm 
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PlugUgly wrote:
As for OCS, I attended Wyotech. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this scheme...er I mean school, it is a vocational training school for automotive technology. I received a diploma, not a degree. Not sure if that makes a difference, but I wanted to put that out there for more precise feedback. I wouldn't mind hearing more about OCS. Does anyone have any firsthand or secondhand experience in regards to that?

As for the infantry, I figured with my background they would just usher me into an MOS like mechanic. But, as Stercutus pointed out, clocks tickin and I think I would really like to try for SF. If the timeline for that is too short, if its not a real possibility for me then I am certainly smart enough not to stand in my own way. I know you guys can't tell me everything I need to know to make this decision, but I have heard a lot of stories about recruiters being sketchy and lying to young guys. I'm assuming there's a commission or quota or bonus rate that inspires this kind of misguidance. I figured if anyone would give me honest feedback about both the guard and the reserves and even active duty for that matter it would be you guys.


Having spent two years in charge of a recruiting company I can assure that not only are all the stories true they are even worse than what you have heard. A lot of the worst behavior gets covered up as best as possible. As someone there on temporary duty I had rather contemptuous relationship with the full time recruiters.

Most active recruiters are required to recruit two people at month. National Guard varies by state but is most often higher.

Here are the rules to ensure you get a fair shake:

- Get in writing, if it is not in your contract it is like it never happened.
- Don't allow the recruiter to run some kind of scam with you, it will come back on you and he will throw you under the bus straightaway. Most likely nothing bad will happen to you no matter what he does but best to avoid anything shady.
- If you fail to ship to basic training there are absolutely no repercussions. So if everything is not the way you want it walk off. Sometimes just threatening to walk off will get things fixed in a hurry.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:23 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:

Having spent two years in charge of a recruiting company I can assure that not only are all the stories true they are even worse than what you have heard. A lot of the worst behavior gets covered up as best as possible. As someone there on temporary duty I had rather contemptuous relationship with the full time recruiters.

Most active recruiters are required to recruit two people at month. National Guard varies by state but is most often higher.

Here are the rules to ensure you get a fair shake:

- Get in writing, if it is not in your contract it is like it never happened.
- Don't allow the recruiter to run some kind of scam with you, it will come back on you and he will throw you under the bus straightaway. Most likely nothing bad will happen to you no matter what he does but best to avoid anything shady.
- If you fail to ship to basic training there are absolutely no repercussions. So if everything is not the way you want it walk off. Sometimes just threatening to walk off will get things fixed in a hurry.


This is exactly what I'm finding in all of my research, well all of it except for the personal experience you've had with recruiters. Thanks for sharing all that.

So lets just say I get past the recruitment stage. I get in there at an ideal time (late sep, early oct? end of the fiscal year right?) so I get an MOS I want or at least I will be happy with. I'm confident I have the self discipline and what it takes to get through boot (bct). And for sake of probability I missed the boat on SF. What happens then? Does being married or having children make a difference in pay like it does for an active duty soldier? And how frequently do promotions actually occur (for the sake of this question allow me to explain I am the type that learns quickly, and in my civilian job am promoted early and often)?


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 10:53 pm 
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While on active duty status your pay should be exactly the same as active duty military of the same pay grade and time in grade. This includes a housing allowance if eligible (legally married, wife/ kids living in leased or owned housing). Normally you won't get a ration allowance if you are getting rations and are not deployed.

I say "should" pay problems with Reserve and Guard units are legendary and can be epic.

The fiscal year ends 1 October. Their mission will end a few days before that. If the entire service is short on mission they may throw up some incentives to close the gap. If they are not short they won't care.

Guard promotions vary a lot by state so IDK. It's not unusual to hear of an E4 with nine years or more in the NG.

Active duty promotions are automatic to E4 and then merit based after that. A new, married E4 makes about $36K a year. Figure that will take 12-15 months if you start as an E3 with your college credits. E5 is easily doable within 3 years and E6 within 5 years for a fast mover. A dud will still be E4 after six years. An E6 with six years makes about $50K.

Things slow down and get more challenging after that.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 7:01 am 
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I will pass along the same advice I received from my uncle when I was looking to enlist. GET MORE OUT OF THEM THAN THEY GET FROM YOU.
so be a POG (person other than grunt)

If I remember correctly, you have to have a few years in service to attend selection. if you go, you might consider going active, and trying for a ranger tab. they were offering us a slot in RIP (sort of pre-ranger school) at jump school.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:05 am 
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PlugUgly wrote:
So, I'm strongly considering enlisting in either the army reserves or the national guard. My main motivation is money, hopefully some money toward my school loans as well.


You mention you're in California. And that you have bills from vocational colleges with schooling that you're no longer interested in.


If your main motivation is money go to a coding academy. After a couple months of training you're ready for jobs that pay $80k+ with starting salaries, full benefits, and crazy tech company perks, and give you access to job paths that can pay you $300k+ in more senior positions. An academy will run you $10k-20k (with about $10k-15k being average).

Do a little research on google (if you can't do that, a job in tech likely isn't right for you). The courses that cost a little more have more in depth instruction and tend to offer some kind of job placement. Many tech companies look very favorably on candidates with this background for entry level work.

You know how housing in the SF Bay Area is getting crazy? It's because this is the tech capital of the world and the jobs in that field pay accordingly.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 11:33 am 
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I would not join the military for money and a reserve force unit like a national guard is even worse since you only been payed when on a call up

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 1:21 pm 
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PlugUgly wrote:
Stercutus wrote:

Having spent two years in charge of a recruiting company I can assure that not only are all the stories true they are even worse than what you have heard. A lot of the worst behavior gets covered up as best as possible. As someone there on temporary duty I had rather contemptuous relationship with the full time recruiters.

Most active recruiters are required to recruit two people at month. National Guard varies by state but is most often higher.

Here are the rules to ensure you get a fair shake:

- Get in writing, if it is not in your contract it is like it never happened.
- Don't allow the recruiter to run some kind of scam with you, it will come back on you and he will throw you under the bus straightaway. Most likely nothing bad will happen to you no matter what he does but best to avoid anything shady.
- If you fail to ship to basic training there are absolutely no repercussions. So if everything is not the way you want it walk off. Sometimes just threatening to walk off will get things fixed in a hurry.


This is exactly what I'm finding in all of my research, well all of it except for the personal experience you've had with recruiters. Thanks for sharing all that.

So lets just say I get past the recruitment stage. I get in there at an ideal time (late sep, early oct? end of the fiscal year right?) so I get an MOS I want or at least I will be happy with. I'm confident I have the self discipline and what it takes to get through boot (bct). And for sake of probability I missed the boat on SF. What happens then? Does being married or having children make a difference in pay like it does for an active duty soldier? And how frequently do promotions actually occur (for the sake of this question allow me to explain I am the type that learns quickly, and in my civilian job am promoted early and often)?


People in my unit got no extra pay for dependents and housing, pay was only based on the basic pay scale of rank/time in service. With FL Guard, promotions were on an as needed basis, no units near you need an E5 when you're an E4? Too bad, no promotion for you.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:01 pm 
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Quote:
If your main motivation is money go to a coding academy. After a couple months of training you're ready for jobs that pay $80k+ with starting salaries, full benefits, and crazy tech company perks, and give you access to job paths that can pay you $300k+ in more senior positions. An academy will run you $10k-20k (with about $10k-15k being average).


https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/10/pleas ... n-to-code/

http://gizmodo.com/programming-sucks-wh ... 1570227192

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Perhaps saying "money is the main motivation" was a poor choice of words. I have no interest in code writing, but I appreciate the input. I have a job that pays about 45k a year. The additional money is nice, but I'm actually hoping that there is some future gains to be made by serving. I have a personal interest in joining, and further more in at least trying to get into special forces. Slim as those chances may be. Provided I can determine if the entire endeavor is right for me and mine.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:26 am 
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IF you are looking to go SF, your time is short. a quick google search came up with this http://www.military.com/special-operati ... orces.html
looks like 30 is the cut off age for SF.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:43 pm 
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Stercutus wrote:
Quote:
If your main motivation is money go to a coding academy. After a couple months of training you're ready for jobs that pay $80k+ with starting salaries, full benefits, and crazy tech company perks, and give you access to job paths that can pay you $300k+ in more senior positions. An academy will run you $10k-20k (with about $10k-15k being average).


https://techcrunch.com/2016/05/10/pleas ... n-to-code/

http://gizmodo.com/programming-sucks-wh ... 1570227192

TNSTAFL



Wait, you mean someone somewhere doesn't like a thing!? Stop the presses! haha

Sure, no one major or area for vocation works well for everyone. I mean, no one has ever regretted enlisting in the military, right!? Heh I mean, there's no chance I could look on google and find articles suggestion people avoid this branch or that branch or every branch of the military when we're not currently at war (let alone being drafted). No way I could find people who regretted enlisting.

I've got several friends who went to coding bootcamps and are now making very good money. They work. It isn't magic, I don't think I suggested that everyone who sits in for one of these immediately gets a job in that field and makes amazing money.

My girlfriend is a mortgage underwriter and she does loans for people all day long. She sees all the details for how much people spend and how much people make. She does loans for people regularly who in their 20s or 30s went to a bootcamp, came out and not long after are making 100k+ and looking to buy a home in the bay area (one of the most expensive areas in the country). So, every week or so she does loans for people who make 80k per MONTH (960k per year). These are people in the tech industry, seems like a solid industry to be in.

If the guy was all about being a patriot, then enlisting makes immense sense. Absolutely! Become a soldier, serve your community as a peace officer or a firefighter or a politician. Serve your country, your state, your city, do that! Guy is now 30 and hating his recent decision to learn a skill at a vocational school for a whole, whole lot of money (unknown if he also went to college earlier in life). The $10-15k bootcamp sure is less money than a lot of students spend on a single semester at school, and it prepares you for high paying work. Kinda like getting a master's degree.


2014 Average tech salary in the San Mateo area (think google and facebook): $291k
2014 Average tech worker in SF $156k
http://blog.sfgate.com/pender/2014/08/2 ... tound-you/

2016 Facebook pays people with less than 5 years experience an average of $116k
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/sil ... 0dab33ce96

2016 Master Degree (many years of college tuition): $96k
http://www.payscale.com/college-salary- ... te-degrees


Army Salary: about $20k starting
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Emp ... rmy/Salary
http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Soldier/Salary
http://www.militaryfactory.com/military_pay_scale.asp
http://work.chron.com/average-salary-us ... -9060.html

Obviously it's not all about money. But, money seemed to be his primary motivation, and he's in the right part of the country.


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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:21 pm 
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Honestly, the biggest motivation is that I don't want to be a person who takes part in a conversation about rights when I haven't stepped up to defend or maintain those rights. I don't feel as if I've done my part. Without getting too political, I'll just leave it at that.


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Have you considered the Police force then? I think it would be far easier physically at this point and you are still serving just in a different way. I am in my 30's and when I look back at my teens and 20's it's really amazing how fast your body can heal and bounce back compared to your 30's. There is a reason 30 is considered old in the NFL (at the non prima donna positions :lol: ). Can it be done? Sure, but it's rare. Today a good day is when I wake up and nothing hurts but you will find that out on your own. :words:

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The Twizzler wrote:
Have you considered the Police force then? I think it would be far easier physically at this point and you are still serving just in a different way. I am in my 30's and when I look back at my teens and 20's it's really amazing how fast your body can heal and bounce back compared to your 30's. There is a reason 30 is considered old in the NFL (at the non prima donna positions :lol: ). Can it be done? Sure, but it's rare. Today a good day is when I wake up and nothing hurts but you will find that out on your own. :words:


Ain't you heard the police are only there to oppress people and deny them their rights?

Quote:

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn't hurt.He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being "brutal". If you hit him, he's a coward. If he hits you, he's a bully. A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake. A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But...If he catches the criminal, he's lucky; if he doesn't, he's a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn't, he's a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.


You can't win in that job, you are better off joining the Army.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 3:09 am 
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PlugUgly wrote:
Honestly, the biggest motivation is that I don't want to be a person who takes part in a conversation about rights when I haven't stepped up to defend or maintain those rights. I don't feel as if I've done my part. Without getting too political, I'll just leave it at that.



You dont have to join the miltary for that. Becom a voulantry wilderness rescue or a EMT or become a cop. Lots of ways help society. Not every one needs to be a solder. A EMT defends and maintains the rights of a naistion in his own unique way.

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 Post subject: Re: Enlisting at 30?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2016 1:27 pm 
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PlugUgly wrote:
Honestly, the biggest motivation is that I don't want to be a person who takes part in a conversation about rights when I haven't stepped up to defend or maintain those rights. I don't feel as if I've done my part. Without getting too political, I'll just leave it at that.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

I'll leave this here. And this is speaking as someone who has served (no deployments though so go ahead and poke fun).


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