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Posted: 3/4/2006 8:24:04 AM EDT
My apologies in advance if this is an annoying question. I'm sticking my nose into a culture I'm not a member of and I don't know the rules. Also apologies for the 1-post account - I do have a paid membership on arfcom, but there are people I know from work on arfcom every day.

Me: late 30's, pay grade equivalent to an O-9+, run a cyber-security engineering team of 50 people, consistently rated top 5% in my pay grade in a large company, 15 years experience in my field, signing authority of $500K, annual budget mgmt of over $10M. No degrees; I've worked from the bottom up. (I know, looking at the pay grade, that anything mil would mean a paycut.)

Recently I've felt a calling for the military. Or something. It's kinda driving me nuts. It's like this insistent pulse way down deep. It's a little late in life for it, and it might go away, but in the meantime - well here I am, trying to figure out my options.

I spoke with my local army recruiter, and he gave him two options: Join as enlisted, or go ROTC. No credit for work experience in either case.

I'm not excited about going back to college, and it sounds like once I did graduate, I'd be considered "the same" as the rest of the ROTC graduates, in spite of my experience. I know there's lots I'd need to learn about the military to be a good soldier and officer, but I've always assumed that the best way to learn is by doing. It's worked well for the last two decades. (Physically I'm sure the military would be a big challenge, but I'm in great shape, and I like physical challenges. I'd look forward to that.)

Questions:
Are the above options really my only two? Are there systems for people like me? (Maybe there are no people like me... that wouldn't be surprising.)
Is there a way for a professional manager without a college degree to enlist and become an officer, without going back to college and getting a degree?
Does the military give credit for industry experience?
Say I did go ROTC - presuming I kick ass, where would I likely wind up in 10 years of service? Is there any benefit to my non-military work experience?
Should I just assume it's 20 years too late, go away and do something else?
Are these even the right questions to ask?

Thanks for your time,
CG

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 9:26:14 AM EDT
You must have a deegree to pin on CPT; you have to be darn close to that degree to get commissioned these days. Not waiverable; no exceptions.

While your other experience would be valuable in the sense that you are more mature and would shape your deciions making process, but there would no formal asstiance to you OPMF.

Bottom line is you would be starting at the bottom.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 10:54:11 AM EDT
Always remember, in the military the bottom,,,,,,,,is really at the bottom. Try 24K a year and you mop floors in your spare time.

With all the cyber quals, some of the three-letter agencies may have a real use for you. You can do quite a bit to help guys in the trenches from that angle as well.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 12:13:22 PM EDT



SCREW THAT!!



Keep your job, Paying taxes through the nose at a high paying job helps this country just as much.


Somebody has to pay for the Army.

If you HAVE to enlist, go National Guard (ARMY if you are cool) and after 4 years of scrubbing toilets, running, sleeping in mud, and mabye a deployment or 2, it'll pretty much be out of your system!

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:26:10 PM EDT
Reserve duty may be right for you, you get to serve your country while still working at your current job.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:46:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 2:01:48 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Illinigunner21:
Reserve duty may be right for you, you get to serve your country while still working at your current job.



That is, if your current job is standing a check point in Iraq.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 2:21:50 AM EDT
Join. Serve. Be proud. Live your dream.
Link Posted: 3/5/2006 2:44:57 AM EDT
CareerGuy; do you have a family? If so, do NOT join the service. Don't get me wrong, i'm a vet and I believe we all owe some form of service to our country. But this late in your life wanting to make such a change will drasticly impact your family beyond comprehension. You OWE more to your family to provide for them then to lend your efforts (and possible life) to the country. It sounds like you are doing good now and the drastic reduction in income could be disasterious to your family. Even if you are single this may be just as bd financially. Even if all is well, you might findit harder to reenter civilian life afterwards and resume to the level you have achieved. Think about it...
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 2:46:08 PM EDT
CareerGuy,

I'll be very frank here. I was enlisted in the Air Force for four years. I got out and built a career like the one you're describing (income and education-wise). You probably are twenty years too late.

The military won't use the experience and talent you've developed. They don't care what you did before you came in. If you've got a degree you could become an officer. If you don't you go in enlisted. I've been a junior enlisted guy. With your life's experience and career experience you'd go absolutely crazy.

I'm with the guy who said make a lot of money and pay the taxes. Your taxes will be the salary for the Private or Airman that's out there getting the job done. Maybe take up working for a defense contractor if you're looking to make a more direct contribution?

My $.02.

God Bless,
SP
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:04:27 PM EDT
Have a Coke and a smile and fucking forget about it.
Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:29:05 PM EDT
This is exactly the kind of feedback I'm looking for. Good career advice from arfcom... Who knew?

Thanks very much.

I'm likely going to bail on pursuing .mil, although it's going to be hard. Tough shit I guess. Oh well. I have some contacts in some other places that I'm going to investigate, either as a full time gig or something part-time.

Thanks again,
CG

Link Posted: 3/7/2006 3:54:47 PM EDT
I kind of felt that way after 9/11 but with a family it was out of the question. I did serve 4 years a long time ago.

Look for a contrator supplying people over seas. I ended up working in Iraq rebuilding the Baghdad city and regional goverment. Had a blast! got to shoot and be shot at, Would do it again but now I'm back in a normal job, with a promotion for the work experiance I got while over seas. Money was good but it was spent real quick, the experiance was something I will relish for the rest of my life, glad I did it.
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