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Posted: 2/8/2010 6:12:19 PM EDT
I don't know if this is where I should post this but here it is anyway.

I desperately want to join the military, combat arms specifically. I am college senior graduating in May and I do not want a job, I want the opportunity to fight for my country.

I have been talking to a Marine Corps officer recruiter and that has been going pretty well. But from the talks I have had with him, it seems like its really tough to grab an infantry spot from the officer side. That scares the shit out of me, because I would eventually like to see my self working up to a MARSOC/Recon position within the USMC.

I have also looked at the Army, enlisting with a opt 40 contract or under the 18X program.

I literally cannot figure out what I want to do. There is so much shit out there that I want to do, and its extremely hard to narrow these decisions down.

May is coming closer and I need to get my shit together.

Can anyone offer any insight on what they would do if they were in my shoes?
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:19:43 PM EDT
I went Army, when I found out that the Marines will not guarantee your MOS (job).

Thanks for wanting to serve.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:21:41 PM EDT
From the officer side, go USMC.

Otherwise, the Option 40 and 18X are good to go.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:23:38 PM EDT
Army OCS now branches college options on order of merit. If you want Infantry it's yours for the taking.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:30:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2010 6:31:21 PM EDT by cobra-ak]
First, graduate from college...OCS is only for college grads. Of all the OCS's Quantico is the toughest, physically demanding but more mentally demanding. You will be evaluated every step of the way for leadership, you may be King Kong Mr. 20 pullups but you have to make leadership decisions every step of the way and if you are not fit to pack the gear as an Officer of Marines you will be dropped. The only good thing about any of the services OCS's is if you wash out you incur no obligation, so its the civilian workforce or graduate school when you say you quit. They will do their damn best to make you quit.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:35:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cobra-ak:
First, graduate from college...OCS is only for college grads. Of all the OCS's Quantico is the toughest, physically demanding but more mentally demanding. You will be evaluated every step of the way for leadership, you may be King Kong Mr. 20 pullups but you have to make leadership decisions every step of the way and if you are not fit to pack the gear as an Officer of Marines you will be dropped. The only good thing about any of the services OCS's is if you wash out you incur no obligation, so its the civilian workforce or graduate school when you say you quit. They will do their damn best to make you quit.


Army OCS incurs a three year obligation, if you wash out you will be branched needs of the Army and go be a E4 somewhere. Don't wash out, it's too easy.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:37:03 PM EDT
going 18x myself. i graduate college in December.

i hear from numerous sources(recruiter/soldiers) that if you fail then there is a +/-80% you will be sent to the 82ndA/B.

and you have numerous chances to take the SFAS.

i dont know much about the USMC.

hope that helps.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:43:48 PM EDT
Army OCS is overloaded. They have two students for every slot. PT scores under 270 aren't even classing up.

Go Marines...

Or 18X/Option 40/CA/PSYOP.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:46:14 PM EDT
Whichever way you choose, America will benefit from your service. Thank you for stepping forward. You are not choosing a life of comfort and ease,
but you may retire to such a life. You are volunteering to face hardships, difficulties, challenges, possible injuries, possible capture by an enemy, possibly
even death. It takes a good man with a courageous heart to do that. Signing the document that means that , regardless of what service you choose, regardless
of what specialty you end up in, you can be ordered into harm's way, is not a decision that is ever taken lightly. I know, I did it in 1987.

Thank you for your stated intent to enter the service of our nation. I truly hope that you follow through on it and that you become a leader among men.


CJ
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:50:25 PM EDT
you could spend 3 lifetimes in the military and not do everything you want
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:51:58 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
Army OCS is overloaded. They have two students for every slot. PT scores under 270 aren't even classing up.

Go Marines...

Or 18X/Option 40/CA/PSYOP.


It was that way when I went thru in 07, I got my bar.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 6:55:29 PM EDT
Coming from someone that was an enlisted man for 9 years, if you've got the degree, go officer.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 7:35:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
you could spend 3 lifetimes in the military and not do everything you want


Thats the way I feel, there is so much I want to do.

Im worried if I go the officer route, i'll just be telling people what to do instead of getting out there and doing some pretty awesome stuff. Any insight into that?

To the people who said it would be tough, I know its going to be extremely hard, and I like that. ALOT. If I wanted to take the easy way out, I would just get a job like my friends are, shuffling papers across desks.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 7:49:14 PM EDT
Right now it will take you 18 months from shipping to get to your unit, if you go officer.

An enlisted Soldier or Marine will be back from their first tour by then, or even getting ready for a second.
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 8:06:25 PM EDT
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
you could spend 3 lifetimes in the military and not do everything you want


Thats the way I feel, there is so much I want to do.

Im worried if I go the officer route, i'll just be telling people what to do instead of getting out there and doing some pretty awesome stuff. Any insight into that?

To the people who said it would be tough, I know its going to be extremely hard, and I like that. ALOT. If I wanted to take the easy way out, I would just get a job like my friends are, shuffling papers across desks.


dude ive got 6 years as a civil affairs specialist in that time ive been to afghanistan and iraq and was an instructor at ft bragg for a year, i went from e2 to e6 and id never ever give up the time i spent. im actually ETSing in 2 months. i have to drop back to an e3 but im going to change MOS so i can do more. trust your gut instinct and youll be ok. but if it was me, id do army every time
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 9:41:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sphayes73:
Originally Posted By cobra-ak:
First, graduate from college...OCS is only for college grads. Of all the OCS's Quantico is the toughest, physically demanding but more mentally demanding. You will be evaluated every step of the way for leadership, you may be King Kong Mr. 20 pullups but you have to make leadership decisions every step of the way and if you are not fit to pack the gear as an Officer of Marines you will be dropped. The only good thing about any of the services OCS's is if you wash out you incur no obligation, so its the civilian workforce or graduate school when you say you quit. They will do their damn best to make you quit.


Army OCS incurs a three year obligation, if you wash out you will be branched needs of the Army and go be a E4 somewhere. Don't wash out, it's too easy.
Not if you choose the College Option, the 3 yr obligation is with the Active Army Option...with the Active Army Option you are basically enlisting to attend OCS
Link Posted: 2/8/2010 9:57:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By cobra-ak:
Originally Posted By sphayes73:
Originally Posted By cobra-ak:
First, graduate from college...OCS is only for college grads. Of all the OCS's Quantico is the toughest, physically demanding but more mentally demanding. You will be evaluated every step of the way for leadership, you may be King Kong Mr. 20 pullups but you have to make leadership decisions every step of the way and if you are not fit to pack the gear as an Officer of Marines you will be dropped. The only good thing about any of the services OCS's is if you wash out you incur no obligation, so its the civilian workforce or graduate school when you say you quit. They will do their damn best to make you quit.


Army OCS incurs a three year obligation, if you wash out you will be branched needs of the Army and go be a E4 somewhere. Don't wash out, it's too easy.
Not if you choose the College Option, the 3 yr obligation is with the Active Army Option...with the Active Army Option you are basically enlisting to attend OCS
I stand corrected, yes you do enlist in the Army, and you do incur a 3 yr obligation if you are dropped or refuse a commision....the Army is the only one that does that.

Link Posted: 2/8/2010 11:56:09 PM EDT
I highly recommend you go to a board designed to support you: ArmyOCS. There are links to the other branches' OCS boards as well.

Can't speak for the Marine Corps but if you want to lay your path out in combat arms, you can do it in the Army. Don't worry about a potentially overloaded class... if you want to be an officer you'll make it. The Army requires you to select three combat arms branches in your wish list so if you put 1) Infantry 2) Cavalry 3) Armor, you're going to get one of them. You can always go through Ranger school once you complete your branch specific schooling and you can always go throuh SFAS if you want to go for Special Forces (regardless of branch). So in my opinion:

1) Enlist in the 09S program (OCS option) with option 40, if you want Ranger school,
2) Request infantry or cavlary as your primary branch of choice
3) Upon completion of training serve as a platoon leader
4) Apply and attend SFAS
5) If you pass and get selected... sky's the limit.

But I do recommend you visit the ArmyOCS board that I mentioned above, they've got guys who've been through your decision process and have made the decisions, even some former Marines.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 3:55:04 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kudzu630:
I highly recommend you go to a board designed to support you: ArmyOCS. There are links to the other branches' OCS boards as well.

Can't speak for the Marine Corps but if you want to lay your path out in combat arms, you can do it in the Army. Don't worry about a potentially overloaded class... if you want to be an officer you'll make it. The Army requires you to select three combat arms branches in your wish list so if you put 1) Infantry 2) Cavalry 3) Armor, you're going to get one of them. You can always go through Ranger school once you complete your branch specific schooling and you can always go throuh SFAS if you want to go for Special Forces (regardless of branch). So in my opinion:

1) Enlist in the 09S program (OCS option) with option 40, if you want Ranger school,
2) Request infantry or cavlary as your primary branch of choice
3) Upon completion of training serve as a platoon leader
4) Apply and attend SFAS
5) If you pass and get selected... sky's the limit.

But I do recommend you visit the ArmyOCS board that I mentioned above, they've got guys who've been through your decision process and have made the decisions, even some former Marines.


Just to clarify cavalry isn't a branch you can pick, it's a job filled primarily by armor officers (but with some infantry officers). For example, I branched armor then chose the 82nd (which only has cavalry slots) to guarantee I'd be a cavalry officer. That said, within the cav community there are primarily three types of units: Heavy platoons, Stryker platoons, and light platoons. THe type of platoon you lead will be determined entirely by your unit. The big deciding factor on what your follow on schools will be at the end of BOLC3 (basic officer leadership course) is your timeline (IE when are you deploying), the desire of your gaining unit, and your personal preference.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 4:03:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2010 4:21:51 AM EDT by R0N]
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
I don't know if this is where I should post this but here it is anyway.

I desperately want to join the military, combat arms specifically. I am college senior graduating in May and I do not want a job, I want the opportunity to fight for my country.

I have been talking to a Marine Corps officer recruiter and that has been going pretty well. But from the talks I have had with him, it seems like its really tough to grab an infantry spot from the officer side. That scares the shit out of me, because I would eventually like to see my self working up to a MARSOC/Recon position within the USMC.

I have also looked at the Army, enlisting with a opt 40 contract or under the 18X program.

I literally cannot figure out what I want to do. There is so much shit out there that I want to do, and its extremely hard to narrow these decisions down.

May is coming closer and I need to get my shit together.

Can anyone offer any insight on what they would do if they were in my shoes?



You have about a 1 in 2 or 1 in 3 chance of being a combat arms officer in the Marines if you are not an air contract (about half of the officers in the Marines are aviators oi in aviation support).

If your desired are to go to MARSOC as an "operator" than any officer can go there, but there is a backlog of qualified officers right now. Similarly Recon can take any officers, with majority being infantry and ground intelligence, but they too have a backlog of qualified candidates.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 4:17:54 AM EDT
Originally Posted By kudzu630:
The Army requires you to select three combat arms branches in your wish list so if you put 1) Infantry 2) Cavalry 3) Armor, you're going to get one of them.


Cavalry isn't a branch, and they don't use a wishlist anymore.

Originally Posted By kudzu630:
1) Enlist in the 09S program (OCS option) with option 40, if you want Ranger school.


You can't get two Options. OCS Options is an Option 11 contract.

Originally Posted By kudzu630:
3) Upon completion of training serve as a platoon leader


In what capacity you serve is up to your Battalion and Company Commanders.



Link Posted: 2/9/2010 7:11:09 AM EDT
Army.....Airborne Infantry.....don't go through life being a leg.

Good Luck and thanks for wanting to serve and give something back to the country.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 9:31:45 AM EDT
Lot's of good info in this thread and some confusion, Army OCS has changed a lot in the last few years. I second that ArmyOCS.com is the best place to go for info. I went through the pipeline 3 years ago, I got tons of good advice and info there. Whatever you decide, you will have a blast. I'm partial to the officer side of the house, but have nothing but respect for my NCO's. Either route is a valid choice. Look at your long term goals. It's easier to go officer from outside the Army than it is from inside. If that's what you want do it now. A lot of people will tell you to enlist then go OCS. That gives up control of if or when you go to your COC. I've seen good ones that will send you, and bad ones that try to keep "good" Soldiers so they can use them. Just something to think about.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 9:43:06 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/9/2010 9:43:16 AM EDT by Combat_Jack]
Originally Posted By sphayes73:
It's easier to go officer from outside the Army than it is from inside. If that's what you want do it now.


This needs emphasis...
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 4:58:43 PM EDT
IM sent
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 6:03:18 PM EDT
Lots of information to soak up here, Thanks to everyone who posted.

Right now I see myself in somewhat of a conflict. I do not want to be the guy telling someone what to do (my understanding of an officers duty), I want to be the guy doing it (enlisted). BUT, my family has been strongly pushing me to go officer because "they don't want me college to go to waste". I also find this situation to particularly frustrating because I think its impossible to make a bad decision, no matter what I end up picking I am going to enjoy aspects of it but still wonder about another opportunity I passed over.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 6:13:05 PM EDT
First, my spirit is lifted by fine young men who hear the call. I salute you for your ambitions and dedication. Many years ago I was in a situation where I felt compelled to serve. It was a family tradition and after all these years I treasure the time I served, the memories I have and the pride I still feel to have served with some of the best this country has to offer.

You have a confusing array of choices and many here have given you very good advise. In the end you have to look inside and decide for yourself. I would say to finish college and then go to Officer School. You will NOT end up sitting in some office. You will have many options and will find the opportunities you desire. Marines or Army...its your call. I went Army for personal reasons and have no regrets. I worked with Marines when I was in Viet Nam and later in life and always had the greatest respect for them. Either branch is a fine choice.

We need great officers. Men who can take charge, inspire others, and lead their men. I have have had the honor and pleasure of getting to know some young Army officers as I am very close to Fort Knox. All I can say is that I have been very impressed with these fine people. They were all gentlemen, patriots, intelligent, wise beyond their years, and dedicated to their service and the country. If I were young again I would be happy to serve with them or under them. Their men looked up to them and respected them in every way. We need those kind of leaders.

Best of luck with whatever you chose to do. I will let those younger and more up-to-date fill in the details. I am just an old guy who served long ago in a far away place. But once I was in your shoes and I had to make decisions like yours. You will be fine...
Link Posted: 2/9/2010 6:42:26 PM EDT
Officers don't tell people what to do, NCO's tell people what to do. Officers plan and resource. Even as a LT if I'm telling people what to do outside of a tactical/field enviroment something is wrong. My first job was as a Platoon Leader. I spent a lot of time planing training, running ranges, and taking care of my Soldiers. I tried to "do" as much as I could. I spent time in the Motor Pool, I went to every training event I could. I did a lot of cool shit, I don't feel that I missed out on anything my guys did. I prided myself on making sure my "maintainers" were the best Soldiers they can be. Even as logies we did lots of tactical training. I currently work as a BN S4, I focus on logistics. My NCO and his Soldiers take care of the day to day operations of the office. I make sure they have the tools they need to do so and take care of any projects out side of the norm. My big project over the last 6 months was deploying our BN to OEF. I learned a metric shit ton, and planed and cordinated the movement of over 20 Containers and our PAX to theater. It's not kicking in doors but I was most certainly "doing" something. Don't worry about not "doing" anything as a LT, you will be drinking from a firehose, you will do plenty. I've run ranges, planed convoies, set up LZs, learned purchasing and contracting, taught classes, been on numerous FTXs, cordinated joint service training, deployed my unit, taken care of my Troopers. and am currently deployed, all in less than two years. I have buddies who have done twice what I have in the same time. I love being a officer. I'm a Ordnance LT, in a FA Bn in the 82nd Airborne. I'm a pogue who gets to go play with big guns and infantry guys. To me it's the best of both worlds.
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:02:40 AM EDT
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
Lots of information to soak up here, Thanks to everyone who posted.

Right now I see myself in somewhat of a conflict. I do not want to be the guy telling someone what to do (my understanding of an officers duty), I want to be the guy doing it (enlisted). BUT, my family has been strongly pushing me to go officer because "they don't want me college to go to waste". I also find this situation to particularly frustrating because I think its impossible to make a bad decision, no matter what I end up picking I am going to enjoy aspects of it but still wonder about another opportunity I passed over.

Thanks again.



Warrant Officer...

Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:03:49 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:09:39 AM EDT
Sorry to highjack but I think it's in line with the OP. If you already have a degree and want to go officer, besides physical fitness, are their any other tests you need to take or prepare for? i,e. ASVAB or whatever else? Thanks! I graduated 5 years ago so I haven't studied for any tests since then. Thanks!
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:12:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:45:32 AM EDT
I have heard of Warrant Officers, but really don't know what they are. Could someone give a brief rundown on what that is?

To the guy who asked about tests and what not, Im not really sure about the other services but the USMC told me I don't have to take a test because I did well on the ACT when I was in High School.

What does it mean that Army OCS is full? they just are not taking anyone anymore until more slots open? when would that be?
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 9:58:07 AM EDT
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
I have heard of Warrant Officers, but really don't know what they are. Could someone give a brief rundown on what that is?
To the guy who asked about tests and what not, Im not really sure about the other services but the USMC told me I don't have to take a test because I did well on the ACT when I was in High School


You have to be enlisted first to be a WO. My cousin was EOD in the Marines and told me that they were much more respected than the LTs.
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 10:32:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2010 10:33:51 AM EDT by CFII]
Link Posted: 2/10/2010 10:42:28 AM EDT
Originally Posted By CFII:
From recent reports, Army OCS is full. The selection has been elevated to a USAREC level decision, no longer at the Battalion. If I were you, I would max my PT score, study and ACE the ASVAB, and take it from there.


Wow, I had not heard this, Makes me glad I came in when I did.
Link Posted: 2/13/2010 3:16:43 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Combat_Jack:
In what capacity you serve is up to your Battalion and Company Commanders.



Oh yes. This needs to be said.

So you become an Army infantry officer, hey awesome!

But guess what, you can still end up running your battalions S4 shop.

In my first battalion, they wouldn't even let the officers be platoon leaders until they finished Ranger School. Battalion was full of butter bars with no tabs, line company officers all had tabs.

I was an 11B. After we deployed the started sending everyone to the promotion board, suddenly there were way more E5's than they had room for. I had been an E5 for a while, but sure wasn't ready to move up to s squad leader position and even if I was, none were open. So to make room for the new E5's, I got sent to battalion commo.

Moral of this story, the Army can and will do whatever the hell it wants with you
Link Posted: 2/13/2010 3:19:06 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CFII:
Try the WOFT program. Some of us have some good luck at it


My dad was a 20 year Army officers. He flew Kiowas, Chinooks, and then a desk for 12 years.

He always said if he had to do it all over again, he would have gone the warrant officer route. Those guys fly their entire careers.
Link Posted: 3/7/2010 7:12:55 AM EDT
Update if anyone is interested:

Chose the USMC OCS route. Contracted a few days ago, got my fingers crossed for selection.

Thanks again.
Link Posted: 3/8/2010 8:23:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/8/2010 8:23:48 PM EDT by onetwobravo]
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
Originally Posted By CAsoldier:
you could spend 3 lifetimes in the military and not do everything you want


Thats the way I feel, there is so much I want to do.

Im worried if I go the officer route, i'll just be telling people what to do instead of getting out there and doing some pretty awesome stuff. Any insight into that?

To the people who said it would be tough, I know its going to be extremely hard, and I like that. ALOT. If I wanted to take the easy way out, I would just get a job like my friends are, shuffling papers across desks.


dude ive got 6 years as a civil affairs specialist in that time ive been to afghanistan and iraq and was an instructor at ft bragg for a year, i went from e2 to e6 and id never ever give up the time i spent. im actually ETSing in 2 months. i have to drop back to an e3 but im going to change MOS so i can do more. trust your gut instinct and youll be ok. but if it was me, id do army every time



seriously, please do tell. this statement raises eyebrows and i would hate to think you are a big liar on this board.

no way in fuck is an E6 going from E6 to E3 through reclass. not to mention you are "ETS in 2 months"

Link Posted: 3/8/2010 8:47:53 PM EDT
Originally Posted By northernmifan:
Update if anyone is interested:

Chose the USMC OCS route. Contracted a few days ago, got my fingers crossed for selection.

Thanks again.
Start running. Get your wind, if you cannot run, you will not be selected.

Link Posted: 3/9/2010 10:56:30 AM EDT
Go guard with a guaranteed officer slot, then you can transfer active army.
Worth a shot.
Or 18X with warrant/OCS later.
Enlist Infantry and live the dream.
If you are single, enlisted pay will get you by.
Link Posted: 3/9/2010 4:24:18 PM EDT
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