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12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 2/26/2007 12:58:40 PM EST
I'm married with 2 kids. 27 and in very good shape. My wife isn't very happy with the idea of me leaving for months of basic and OCS or whatever, and wouldn't be happy with the cut in pay either. But after a year of me telling her how much I want to serve she's starting to open up to it, and realizes how much I want to do this.
Is it doable? I love my country, but I love my daughters more. The way people talk around here, they make it sound like it's a definate marriage killer. Can you be active duty military, and still have a successful family?
I guess I'm looking for good examples to share with my wife, and if there's a website or something that I can refer her too also, that would be great.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:05:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 1:08:21 PM EST by Chairborne]
Of course it is "doable". There are many who come in at your age or later, and most do well in the military, their higher maturity level helps out. My brother came in at 28, he has earned every promotion the first time and is doing great. He is also married and has a kid now, but only time will tell how that works out. Yes, the military is a hard life for married people, but so are many other jobs. If you have a solid marriage now you will be fine, if you have problems they will be amplified.

ETA: My home station is in WA, I would be happy to put you in touch with some success stories from my squadron. Unfortunately everyone I know is divorced or heading that way.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:14:03 PM EST
I enlisted at 24, married but with no kids yet. Both of my sons were born while I was in.

I was an Avionics Technician in the Air Force. In your situation I would ONLY join the Air Force. It's the most friendly to maintaining a family life. I had a great job that I enjoyed and only got out to try to make my wife happy (It didn't work).

I have two regrets;

1 - I should have gone in when I was 18

2 - I should have stayed in and retired
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:17:30 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/26/2007 1:19:03 PM EST by Lee0302]
I was prior enlisted but I went through OCS at 28. Plenty of people go through with kids, family etc. You wouldn't be unique but its definately extra stuff you have to deal with on deployments etc. I say do it even for just the initial four year committment and if you get out you can say you did it. If you never do it you will always wonder what it would have been like.

Which branch BTW? MOS?
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:21:28 PM EST
The military is very big. It all depends on what you want to do, you didn't mention that. I'm USMC infantry and you couldn't come in now at your age with a family. No way. There are guys (myself) who do have families at your age but we have put in 8-10yrs service and have alittle more freedom. Coming in enlisted at your age with a family is the worst decision you could ever make. I can't speak for the non-infantry or other branches. PS- ever since 2003, I have spent more time over seas than stateside. And when I'm stateside, I have spent more nights away from home than in my bed. Just something to think about.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:27:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By Warhawk:
I was an Avionics Technician in the Air Force. In your situation I would ONLY join the Air Force. It's the most friendly to maintaining a family life.

I have two regrets;

2 - I should have stayed in and retired


I can confirm the above from personal experience.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:33:28 PM EST
I joined at 28. Went through Basic and AIT. Being treated like a prisoner sucked but I made it through OK.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 1:33:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lee0302:
I was prior enlisted but I went through OCS at 28. Plenty of people go through with kids, family etc. You wouldn't be unique but its definately extra stuff you have to deal with on deployments etc. I say do it even for just the initial four year committment and if you get out you can say you did it. If you never do it you will always wonder what it would have been like.

Which branch BTW? MOS?



There is no such thing as a four-year commitment anymore. Just ask all the guys who were IRR and THOUGHT that they had sent in their resignations.

I joined at 32, went to BCT, came home and went through NG OCS, Traditional. My situation is different than yours due to the fact that my wife has 17 years in (16?). So getting her support was not a problem. But whatever you do, now is the time to do it.

You will be doing it for your kids, even if it means that you spend less time with them. Attempting to ensure their freedom and future happiness is just as important as being there as a father.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:36:03 PM EST
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Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
You will be doing it for your kids, even if it means that you spend less time with them. Attempting to ensure their freedom and future happiness is just as important as being there as a father.


Glad somebody else sees it that way, too.
I was planning on going Air Force, but I just found out today that they have like zero need for officers. Despite a 4 year degree in business, my 3.1 GPA excludes me from being an officer. And they need 4 year "technical" degrees. Hmm.
He pretty much guaranteed me that I could go in enlisted, and become an officer a year later... but this was coming from a recruiter.

Thank you for the replies, and your service. Anybody else have experience or thoughts on the matter?

Those of you who said you would have stayed in, why? (If you don't mind me asking)
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:38:35 PM EST
I'm glad I got it out of the way early.
Link Posted: 2/26/2007 2:52:12 PM EST

Originally Posted By buster22:

Originally Posted By Jame_Retief:
You will be doing it for your kids, even if it means that you spend less time with them. Attempting to ensure their freedom and future happiness is just as important as being there as a father.


Glad somebody else sees it that way, too.
I was planning on going Air Force, but I just found out today that they have like zero need for officers. Despite a 4 year degree in business, my 3.1 GPA excludes me from being an officer. And they need 4 year "technical" degrees. Hmm.
He pretty much guaranteed me that I could go in enlisted, and become an officer a year later... but this was coming from a recruiter.

Thank you for the replies, and your service. Anybody else have experience or thoughts on the matter?

Those of you who said you would have stayed in, why? (If you don't mind me asking)


Well, the Air Force is downsizing right now. They way "overhired" junior officers so some are leaving voluntarily to thin the ranks and some will be kicked out this year. There is definitely no pressing need for more Os. OTS for all intents and purposes closed after 2003, trust me I was planning on going but got my degree a year too late. If you don't qualify for a flying job (you are too old for pilot or nav, age is non-waiverable) or don't have a very narrowly defined "technical degree" they don't want you (or me). Don't believe that bullshit from the recruiter for a second, you will have the same shot at OTS as an enlisted Airman as you do as a civvie, nothing changes for you. You are also too old for ROTC, the age limits really piss me off, since I was 30 before I completed my degree. If you have your heart set on a commission you will have to go Army, if you want a family life with half a prayer of succeeding that may not be the best move right now. I've been thinking lately about blue to green and an Army commission but I haven't decided yet if it's better to be enlisted in the best branch of the military or an officer in the third best.
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