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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 6/17/2003 10:35:30 PM EDT
Well, I'm a few months past my 22nd birthday and I'm thinking of joining up. I have spent some time after high school trying things out. I was going to college, for a semester, but I did not have the concentration, and did not see much point to it. Did not help that my high school sweetheart played my heartstrings after breaking up with me while I was trying to make a start in academics. Next girlfriend got pregnant and the boy ended up not being mine. That did not last long, but taught me some serious lessons in life. Spent most of the last 3 years of my life trying to make other people happy. Now I'm thinking of me. I have always thought the military was a good place to be, as long as you are there for the right reasons. I have had friends in the Air Force and Army. My one buddy (AF) has always said I'd probably enjoy the military, and encouraged me to go for it. I have always had a very patriotic side to me. I get teared up when we retire a flag with the boy scouts, or when we'd fold the flag every night at camp. My father was in the Air Force as an avionics tech during Vietnam, he got out about a month before his unit was shipped overseas. Had other relatives that I never knew that died in that war. My grandfather served in the Navy in the Pacific at the tail end of WWII. 9-11 turned me inside out, as only the day before I was talking to my father about how easy it would be for terrorists to strike on US soil. When we fought in Afghanistan, I felt like maybe I should be going too. I felt the same when my Air Force Buddy was shipped to the middle east to load the bombs that fell from Air Force F-16's to Baghdad. I felt like maybe I could make a difference. I think I need a direction in life. I think my heart has been telling me this since high school. I Haven't made my decision yet, but I'm giving it serious thought. I understand some of the benefits, like VA loans and the GI bill for school... but I guess those are secondary to what I'm really thinking. I feel it might be time for me to give something to my country. To put something on the line, every day. Lord knows I Haven't chose the easy road in life, but I think maybe life is a lot bigger than just what I see. I don't think the war on terror is over, I think it's just beginning. I know that if I join, I may be asked to put my life on the line. I'm no coward... But I know I'm not bullet proof either. Anyway, If I join, I'm thinking of joining the Air Force... but more possibly the Army. Also thinking of trying to get into MP or security type duty, so that I have a marketable skill as a police officer if I decide to get out after my first years of service. Would't mind being a line grunt, or jumping out of planes either, I don't really want to "fly a desk" for 4 years. Some questions for the guys who've done it: How much influence does a recruit really have over what type of duty he's assigned? What can I expect at boot camp? Would I be wise to start a PT routine before heading in (not in bad shape now)? If I enlist, how high up the chain can I go vs a commissioned officer? Some of these questions might be answered tomorrow, If I decide to go see the recruiters. [usa]
Link Posted: 6/17/2003 10:50:40 PM EDT
You're buddy is a weapons troop. I did that job for four years in Active Duty. You sound like me when I was 22. I had done the college thing for a few years but didn't feel like I was getting anywhere. I also felt like it was my time to step up and fill the gap. Needless to say I joined in '97 when I was 22. actually turned 23 in basic. The AF isn't bad and loading bombs is a pretty cool job. I loaded F-15E's. anyway, i have since gotten out of active duty and joined the Alaska Air national guard. I'm now and Aerial Gunner on Pavehawks. Which is a pretty cool damn job too. Go for it dude. It's only four years and it goes by fast. DG84
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 12:06:53 AM EDT
I was in the same boat youre in. I was 26 and I realized life was passing me by. I was living with my folks, had a dead end job an a girlfriend who was fucking with my head and and my money. I was going crazy, then one day things seemed to click in my head. I joined the Air Force. Things sucked at first in basic but once I got to tech school I realized it wasnt too bad. I made it through to be an SP and life is good for me now. I have a good life, a decent job, I pay my own bills and I have the pride knowing I made things work for myself. Yeah Im a 29 year old E-4, but Im on my own two feet now. Id say join the AF. But do what you want. We live good and they try to keep you around. Ive done some cool stuff and Ive met some really great people. The work conditions might suck but its not bad. Someone always has it worse than you. The military made me grow up and taught me responsibility. Ive guarded generals to uploaded B-52's with nukes. Ive shot up alot of desert with .50's and MK-19s. The benes are good too. They pay me to do fun stuff. Look into all your options and make the right choice, get everything in writing and everything will be alright. Everyone needs to know what theyre made of sometimes. Good luck to you.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 3:25:59 AM EDT
I was prett aimless after high school myself. I took some college classes but after 12 years of public schooling the last thing i wanted to do was sit around and do MORE pointless homework. so i joined the army. as an infantryman. i thought it would be fun and exciting, but really it was excrutiatingly boring, physically torurous, and emotionally draining (the sheer amount of idiotic govt bullshit will drive you batty). On the one hand, i figured out real quick i didn't want to be an infantryman for the rest of my life. my experience also made me tougher, and gave me a real pride in acomplishing things i would have thought impossible before. on the other hand, it was a miserable two years, and a waste of time, since i didn't learn any job skills for the real world (not entirely true, i did learn some people skills, and how to put up with idiocy.) would i do it again knowing what i know now? Hell no, at least not as an infantryman. But if you're going into the military to learn a skill that can be used in the real world(mechanic, machinist, etc.), the military may not be such a bad idea. one last word of warning: don't be a cook, an MP, or a grunt. Those three jobs are probably the hardest in the military. The cooks and MP's were the only guys who *I* ever felt sorry for. If you wanna learn to cook, go to college. if you wanna be a cop, go to the police academy. Dont join the infantry unless you thrive on hardship and adversity and feel a real need to kill your fellow man. PS- the air force is a good choice, but i'm not sure they guarantee a specific MOS (that's a military specialty- your job) like the army does.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:09:11 AM EDT
Go for it! It is yoru life. Take charge of it.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:35:12 AM EDT
I graduated high school at 17 and it only took about 2 months of flipping burgers before I decided to take the plunge and join the Air Force. I was an AMMO troop for 20 years. Had a great time, some great assignments and met some great people. Not the best career field to learn a trade in but I'm not doing too badly since I retired 5 years ago. Now working as a technical writer for a defense contractor. You won't be in forever. Look for a career field that translates to a civilian job. Medical and electronics jobs might be the way to go. Take the ASVAB seriously when you take it. How high you score on it depends on what types of jobs you will get offered. Good luck!
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:38:59 AM EDT
Go for it. Just try and figure out weather you want to be enlisted or an officer BEFORE you join. Big difference.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:45:26 AM EDT
Nephew is in flight school for the F15C, #1 in his class. His sister rags on him for not joining the Marines. I would join the Marines.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 6:45:51 AM EDT
There is absolutely nothing wrong with going into the military, go for it, as it may forcibly correct some the personality issues you appear to have. Case in point:
I have spent some time after high school trying things out. I was going to college, for a semester, but I did not have the concentration, and did not see much point to it.
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These sound like excuses possibly masking lazyness and apathy. Angry at this statement? If you are, you may want to reconsider your choices, as your superiors in the military will say and do much worse if this is their impression of you. I submit that you will find your life much more enjoyable if you stop being a "pleaser". You seem to be on the right path simply by acknowledging you are:
Spent most of the last 3 years of my life trying to make other people happy.
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Stop it mon...[slap]...People pleasers are usually walked all over their entire lives.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 7:00:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 7:02:56 AM EDT by C4iGrant]
I was in a similar situation. I went to college for 2 years on a scholarship and couldn't find anything that really interested me. So I joined the NAVY and let them tell me what to do for 5 years! I owe everything to the NAVY because without them I wouldn't be where I am today. I currently work as a civilian for the USAF. The flight I am in is filled with 3CO's (communications) and all I can say is that they have it REALLY GOOD! Their advancement rate is one of the highest in the AF and they get 60K to re-enlist! They also get awesome training for the outside world. I would stay way from the SP world. Most of the cross trainees we get into our shop are former SP's (they hated it). C4
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 7:20:15 AM EDT
Dude, you pretty much are in the same position I was a year ago. I'm 21 now, and ever since high school I have been living my life in a way that would make other people happy with what I'm doing... I was miserable the entire time. I just signed up to join the Army. I'm pumped. Can't wait to ship out.
Originally Posted By WesDesRat: Some questions for the guys who've done it: How much influence does a recruit really have over what type of duty he's assigned?
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You can get your job garaunteed in your contract. Like me.. I'm garaunteed to be an infantrymen.
Would I be wise to start a PT routine before heading in (not in bad shape now)?
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I would say it depends on what you want to do. If you want to be a grunt, Ranger, or SF... I would say yes. If you want to be a mechanic or something... it won't hurt to get physically prepared, but its not as important. Do alot of research on your own before you make any decisions. I researched for about a year before I even talked to a recruiter. I definately have no illusions about what my job will be.
Link Posted: 6/18/2003 8:17:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/18/2003 8:18:41 AM EDT by TennVol]
I am active duty Air Force and have been in for almost 19 years. If you want to get a job that is marketable on the outside and you like LE type jobs, join the USAF and be a Security Forces troop. After about three years you can apply to re-train into the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) career field. The OSI are our "elite" police investigators (same as CID in the Army). I've never known an OSI agent who didn't retire or separate and not walk into a sweet job with LE on the outside. Just be sure to do the best you can on your ASVAB test before you join. It makes all the difference when you try to get a guaranteed job prior to entry and it determines if you are eligible to retrain into a more demanding career field later on. Good luck on whatever path you choose. TennVol MSgt, USAF Peterson AFB CO
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 10:26:29 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DriftPunch: These sound like excuses possibly masking lazyness and apathy. Angry at this statement?
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LOL... dont take my one post as what my life really amounts to. I've never been lazy, and always been driven (Eagle scout, team captain in HS sports, assistant management, etc...) But I'm goal oriented. Lets just say the targets I was shooting at were bouncing and I was moving. Kinda hard to "score" target that way. Make sense? I did decide talking to a recruiter right now is not my best option. Need to talk more in depth with my friends who have been in, and then take another serious look.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 10:49:59 PM EDT
Mind if I ask what your AFQT was on your ASVAB when you were in high school if you took it?
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 10:58:34 PM EDT
Originally Posted By WesDesRat: I did decide talking to a recruiter right now is not my best option.
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WHIMP![:D]
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 11:08:24 PM EDT
Originally Posted By TennVol: I am active duty Air Force and have been in for almost 19 years. If you want to get a job that is marketable on the outside and you like LE type jobs, join the USAF and be a Security Forces troop. After about three years you can apply to re-train into the Office of Special Investigation (OSI) career field. The OSI are our "elite" police investigators (same as CID in the Army). I've never known an OSI agent who didn't retire or separate and not walk into a sweet job with LE on the outside. Just be sure to do the best you can on your ASVAB test before you join. It makes all the difference when you try to get a guaranteed job prior to entry and it determines if you are eligible to retrain into a more demanding career field later on. Good luck on whatever path you choose. TennVol MSgt, USAF Peterson AFB CO
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Very true, my father is a retired CID agent who went MP then CID. Let's just say he had an awesome job waiting before he retired.
Link Posted: 6/19/2003 11:24:18 PM EDT
WesDesRat, I was in your shoes. I went in for a hitch and then went to college. Drop me an IM if you want to talk offline. Hell, just drop me a line if you want to go shooting to get it on the back burner of your mind for a bit. That can help sometimes. Let me know. -Tony
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 4:18:08 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Corporal_Chaos: Mind if I ask what your AFQT was on your ASVAB when you were in high school if you took it?
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Didn't take it. I know it's not the same... but I've had above average scores on ACT tests, SAT, etc... not too worried.
Link Posted: 6/20/2003 6:13:00 PM EDT
If, you do decide to eventually join the Army and you can take your time about it, no hurry, I'll give you a piece of advice my dad gave me when I joined: "Don't take any MOS that begins with the number 1" :-) I didn't listen and became an Artilleryman. (13B) No regrets, but I did eventually re-up for a different MOS.
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