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Posted: 2/19/2006 6:17:34 PM EDT
Hi, I am a senior in high school and when I get out I would like to become an officer of the law and maybe find myself as a member of a SWAT team before im 30 years old. The question I have is whether I should go to college and get myself some more edumacation(Criminal Justice) or join the United States Marine Corps for four years. I know with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq that the Marines isn't the smarter choice over college, but it is something I have always wanted to do. A problem with the military is that I know my girlfriend isn't going to stick around and wait for me if I do join, I don't blame her, I wouldn't want to wait around either. What did you guy's do? What would you suggest I do? Thanks.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 6:20:27 PM EDT
Me- 5 years USMC now LEO.
If I could do it all over again I would have stayed in the USMC until retirement then LEO.
Get all the education you can while your young...its tough to find time for it when you work full time or have kids.
Link Posted: 2/19/2006 9:53:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By cblandford:
Hi, I am a senior in high school and when I get out I would like to become an officer of the law and maybe find myself as a member of a SWAT team before im 30 years old. The question I have is whether I should go to college and get myself some more edumacation(Criminal Justice) or join the United States Marine Corps for four years. I know with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq that the Marines isn't the smarter choice over college, but it is something I have always wanted to do. A problem with the military is that I know my girlfriend isn't going to stick around and wait for me if I do join, I don't blame her, I wouldn't want to wait around either. What did you guy's do? What would you suggest I do? Thanks.



College? Yes.
Military? Yes.
Both are good choices. Either looks good on an application and during your interview.

Even better is if you can go military (any of them) and get some college time in while you are on active duty. My brother did 26 years active and came out with two degrees and complete a third a couple of months after he retired. He took college hours at most of his duty stations on weekends and nights. He never overloaded his schedule but didn't need to since he had 26 years to do it.

As far as college, just my two cents but I would go with something other than CJ. Especially if you stay in Texas. It is just not needed for about 99.9% of the jobs out there and for the ones that do require a small amount of college, any degree program will do. Might as well get a degree with you can use somewhere else just in case or after you retire. Most of the guys that I work with that got a CJ degree ended up going back to get another degree program.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 5:54:50 AM EDT
I did 4 years active duty in the Army and did SOME college also. Both are good choices and will give you some life experiences before becoming a LEO. Getting on SWAT will take time, luck, and skill. If you really want to become a LEO keep your nose clean and do whatever it is you feel is best for you. The military would get my vote though.

As far as your girlfriend goes, She will be running around with Joey as soon as you get to Basic anyway, so don't sweat it.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 10:40:43 AM EDT
Consider going to college and taking ROTC. ROTC will give you a taste of what the military is about, and whether or not it is for you. If you don't like it, you can simply quit (during your first two years) with no obligation. If you do like it, you'll finish with a college degree and an officer's commission, which means a much higher starting salary, and broadens your options when you get out.
Link Posted: 2/20/2006 8:45:47 PM EDT

Originally Posted By USMCSKI:
Me- 5 years USMC now LEO.
If I could do it all over again I would have stayed in the USMC until retirement then LEO.
Get all the education you can while your young...its tough to find time for it when you work full time or have kids.



+1

I retired from the Army and graduated from college first, and then got into LE full time. You will find that after HS, your age will be the biggest "negative" to getting hired... you will need some "time" under your belt.

College and military are two useful ways to spend the years right after HS, and either one will provide you with the highly sought after "lifes experience" that most agencies look for.
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