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We are thinking of speaking to a military (army?) recruiter.........


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For my oldest. His grades are not good. ;) He would not qualify for scholarships. I can't pay for college (neither can his Dad).

 

He's "handy" and "hands on" and would do well with something mechanical.

 

We'd welcome college help, at some point.

 

Before we look into it, what do we need to know?

 

(Please, be respectful. We are a family who believes in the military, in "defense", and there are several service members and veterans on all sides of the family, even the step-sides.

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For my oldest. His grades are not good. ;) He would not qualify for scholarships. I can't pay for college (neither can his Dad).

 

He's "handy" and "hands on" and would do well with something mechanical.

 

We'd welcome college help, at some point.

 

Before we look into it, what do we need to know?

 

(Please, be respectful. We are a family who believes in the military, in "defense", and there are several service members and veterans on all sides of the family, even the step-sides.

 

What does your oldest think about this? Not sure how old he is, but this has to be his decision, I'd think. You can certainly talk about advantages and disadvantages with him, but if he is old enough to be in the military, he's old enough to look into it himself.

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What does your oldest think about this? Not sure how old he is, but this has to be his decision, I'd think. You can certainly talk about advantages and disadvantages with him, but if he is old enough to be in the military, he's old enough to look into it himself.

 

He'll be 18 in April, he's a Senior and he's the one who mentioned it. :confused: I'm trying not to be insulted by this post.

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First I would suggest having someone who is prior military go with you...if possible. I would also say-get everything in writing. Don't let them verbally "guarantee" a job...it is not guaranteed unless you have it in writing. I am sure I will come up with more, but those are the two things I tell anyone thinking about military.

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Have him talk to all the recruiters, not just Army. If the Army can't offer him what he wants, one of the other branches may be able to. Don't forget the Coast Guard, either!

 

With the Navy, make sure he gets an A school right away, or he'll be working in a kitchen somewhere. However, nothing is certain. A young family friend was promised a great school (air traffic control) but she failed her physical for that rate. They sent her to barber school. :( I don't know if there's a get-out-free clause for those instances, so be sure to ask.

 

Also ask what the minimum enlistment is. It used to be 2 years, but that was a well-kept secret.

 

Ask about the GI Bill....what it covers, how long ds can use it, etc.

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What does your oldest think about this? Not sure how old he is, but this has to be his decision, I'd think. You can certainly talk about advantages and disadvantages with him, but if he is old enough to be in the military, he's old enough to look into it himself.

 

Actually, you know what? I *am* insulted. Why would I post if HE weren't interested? Why would you even POST that?

 

 

You can allow your young adults to move on without information, coaching, support. In spite of having many military people in our family, we are not a military family. Being HIS FREAKING MOTHER and 46, I know it's prudent and wise to ask some questions about how best to go about this before we sit in front of a trained professional who will want to woo and seduce him into service.

 

Good Lord.

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He'll be 18 in April, he's a Senior and he's the one who mentioned it. :confused: I'm trying not to be insulted by this post.

 

Ok. No insult intended. You left out this pertinent information, and it read as if this were something you were going to pursue for him. Clearly, you did not mean that. My apologies.

 

It just takes a certain kind of personality to flourish there, so it would need to be self-motivated, I think.

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Actually, you know what? I *am* insulted. Why would I post if HE weren't interested? Why would you even POST that?

 

 

You can allow your young adults to move on without information, coaching, support. In spite of having many military people in our family, we are not a military family. Being HIS FREAKING MOTHER and 46, I know it's prudent and wise to ask some questions about how best to go about this before we sit in front of a trained professional who will want to woo and seduce him into service.

 

Good Lord.

 

Simmer down. I already responded to your last post and now you've worked yourself up to being truly insulted. You just didn't mention that he was interested. If he is, great.

 

Customarily, people say stuff like, "My son really wants to go into the Navy...has anyone done this? What's the best way to research it?" or something like that. You didn't. It seemed like a pertinent point. No need to get all twitchy about it. You've corrected my misunderstanding. My apologies.

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First I would suggest having someone who is prior military go with you...if possible. I would also say-get everything in writing. Don't let them verbally "guarantee" a job...it is not guaranteed unless you have it in writing. I am sure I will come up with more, but those are the two things I tell anyone thinking about military.

 

:iagree: I'm a veteran (AF). I think it's good for many people. It's stability and brotherhood. (sisterhood?) I couldn't stand military life though. I loved the camaraderie, but nothing else. Maybe the health care. I did my time, honorably, and never looked back. :001_smile:

 

Do you have specific questions? Recruiters are like used car salesmen. I'll probably offend someone, but my dad was an army recruiter and he tells some crazy stories. Don't believe anything unless it's in writing. It's been almost 10 years since I enlisted, and I do believe it's harder to get in now.

 

Some of my advice might be outdated. Make sure he signs up for MGIB as soon as they offer it. There is no going back, it's a one time offer.

 

Even a guarantee is not guaranteed if you can't get the security clearance or necessary job requirements (understandable, just be aware of what they are before he enlists). Otherwise, they'll stick him in a random job. Ask me how I know.:glare:

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Definitely have someone military walk you through it. They'll promise all kinds of stuff, and then change it once you sign, but there are ways to almost get what you want. Dh's cousin is retired Army, and he says to request helicopter/aviation. He also says if you like to eat, you should go Air Force. :D

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First I would suggest having someone who is prior military go with you...if possible. I would also say-get everything in writing. Don't let them verbally "guarantee" a job...it is not guaranteed unless you have it in writing. I am sure I will come up with more, but those are the two things I tell anyone thinking about military.

 

:iagree:

 

We have known a few people who have learned the "get it in writing" lesson the hard way. The recruiters made a lot of promises, but none of those promises were ever kept. You may have to be very pushy about getting everything in writing, but this isn't the kind of situation where he can just quit and go home if things aren't exactly the way he's expecting them to be, so be very firm!

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First I would suggest having someone who is prior military go with you...if possible. I would also say-get everything in writing. Don't let them verbally "guarantee" a job...it is not guaranteed unless you have it in writing. I am sure I will come up with more, but those are the two things I tell anyone thinking about military.

 

:iagree: Also, make sure he knows his options and doesn't let the recruiter talk him into going into something he really doesn't want to do. Army recruiters are really slick, and they're great talkers. Make sure your son knows what he wants to do and sticks to it, or he could find himself talked into signing up for an MOS he hated for the next six years.

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If he isn't really excited by the idea of entering the military after he meets with recruiters there are good paying jobs for strong young men to make money for school with if you think outside the box. For instance I know several young men who are good with their hands who worked for a tire company that pays really well and they saved money for school. I also know young men who made money for school drilling oil wells and commercial fishing.

 

I think the military is a wonderful thing for those who really want to go, but it is not the only way to pay for college. Most people I graduated from high school with had NO money from their parents for school and lots of them got degrees paying for it themselves a little bit at a time.

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The military is a great way to go. Well, the Navy is cool. Everyone else is lame:tongue_smilie:. (Military branches just have to make fun of one another)

 

First, I would have your son research the different jobs offered in each branch. There are so many different fields he could go into.

 

Next, take the ASVAB. That will specify what rates (Navy)/jobs he qualifies for in various branches. And don't just talk to one branch! Talk to recruiters for different branches. He may qualify for different jobs in different branches.

 

I would highly, HIGHLY recommend securing your rate/non-Navy job (whatever it is called) IN WRITING before your son signs anything.

 

Both dh and I were enlisted Navy. We were in the nuclear field, which attracts cynical people who complain a lot, but honestly, we owe everything we are and have now to the Navy. We both went to college thanks to the MGIB. We met so many different people and had so many great experiences. The military is what you make it to be. It isn't always easy, but if you play your cards right, it can take you so far. My parents could have never afforded college. The Navy paid for much of my education. Dh was not ready to go to college at 18. Because of the Navy, he has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from a top 50 school.

 

You will get no chastisement from me for considering the military for your son. It builds character and can provide great opportunities if you play your cards right. Please feel free to contact me if you decide to pursue this path. I can provide help if your son is leaning towards the Navy.

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If he isn't really excited by the idea of entering the military after he meets with recruiters there are good paying jobs for strong young men to make money for school with if you think outside the box. For instance I know several young men who are good with their hands who worked for a tire company that pays really well and they saved money for school. I also know young men who made money for school drilling oil wells and commercial fishing.

 

I think the military is a wonderful thing for those who really want to go, but it is not the only way to pay for college. Most people I graduated from high school with had NO money from their parents for school and lots of them got degrees paying for it themselves a little bit at a time.

 

I hear you and some time (maturity) between High School and college would be a good thing for him. I teach a bunch of community college students, and I am not against that.

 

He's attracted to the military for reasons beyond college help.

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Even a guarantee is not guaranteed if you can't get the security clearance or necessary job requirements (understandable, just be aware of what they are before he enlists). Otherwise, they'll stick him in a random job. Ask me how I know.:glare:

 

:iagree: And they're thorough when they check. When I was in the Army it was with military intelligence, and they even talked to my teachers from high school. If your son has anything in his background they might raise any eyebrow at, it's best to go into something where that won't be in issue.

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Simmer down. I already responded to your last post and now you've worked yourself up to being truly insulted. You just didn't mention that he was interested. If he is, great.

 

Customarily, people say stuff like, "My son really wants to go into the Navy...has anyone done this? What's the best way to research it?" or something like that. You didn't. It seemed like a pertinent point. No need to get all twitchy about it. You've corrected my misunderstanding. My apologies.

 

Joanne, I have to admit that, until you clarified, I didn't get the impression that your son was interested in joining the military, either. I was thinking that you and your ds's father were trying to think of some good options for him, and you were trying to get some information and opinions about it before you suggested it to him.

 

I didn't get the idea that you were trying to make any career decisions for your ds or anything like that. I just thought that you were trying to help him out by researching some possibilities for him.

 

I can't speak for TranquilMind, but I suspect she was thinking along the same lines I was, and I'm sure she didn't mean to offend you, although I can understand why you might have gotten upset, because you knew what you meant when you posted, but we didn't know that your son was the one who came up with the idea. I don't think anyone would have intentionally suggested that you shouldn't be a concerned mom and do everything possible to help your ds. I think you are very smart to try to learn all the ins-and-outs of what it's like to join the military.

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I've known some people in several branches of the military and I have 2 nephews (Nat'l Guard and Navy). For some kids it is really great. Helps them grow up. They move on to successful careers and/or use the GI Bill for college.

 

I have known one kid who did not respond well to authority in the military, who eventually went AWOL, and it messed up his life for a while. Last I heard he was finally after several years of messing up and problems on top of problems, he is getting things straighten out (there was drugs and other stuff too).

 

For a kid that is handy but not into college, you might also look at trade schools.

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Catwoman: Joanne, I have to admit that, until you clarified, I didn't get the impression that your son was interested in joining the military, either. I was thinking that you and your ds's father were trying to think of some good options for him, and you were trying to get some information and opinions about it before you suggested it to him.

 

 

Exactly the way I read it too. I guess I should have waited awhile until someone else brought it up but I happened to pop in early on the thread. I guess I should just go to bed.

 

I didn't get the idea that you were trying to make any career decisions for your ds or anything like that. I just thought that you were trying to help him out by researching some possibilities for him.

 

 

Me either, but it did occur to me that something like the military requires you to be really interested.

 

I can't speak for TranquilMind, but I suspect she was thinking along the same lines I was, and I'm sure she didn't mean to offend you, although I can understand why you might have gotten upset, because you knew what you meant when you posted, but we didn't know that your son was the one who came up with the idea.

 

 

Yes, I was, and Thank you. I'm glad someone can understand what I meant. I apologize for my lack of clarity.

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I have to admit that I too thought you were looking for info to talk to your son. I did not assume that he was coming to you with the interest and wondered what his opinion on the matter was. So, I don't think anyone was trying to insult you, just trying to get the necessary information.

 

I also come from a family with military on both sides. But, it has always been ROTC, or in one case the Air Force Academy. Would he have any interest in trying for ROTC? Could that motivate him at all? I think the military is a great option for the right person. The career of an officer offers many opportunities.

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I have to admit that I too thought you were looking for info to talk to your son. I did not assume that he was coming to you with the interest and wondered what his opinion on the matter was. So, I don't think anyone was trying to insult you, just trying to get the necessary information.

 

I also come from a family with military on both sides. But, it has always been ROTC, or in one case the Air Force Academy. Would he have any interest in trying for ROTC? Could that motivate him at all? I think the military is a great option for the right person. The career of an officer offers many opportunities.

 

Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

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I was Active Duty Army for 4 years, but that was a while ago, but here's what I think he/you should know.

 

I agree with everyone who said to get everything in writing. Not just a promise or a note, that means nothing. The only thing that matters is the contract you sign at the end. And when you sign it, even some of that is up in the air, like your MOS (military occupational specialty, or job title). The MOS is something that can be changed, they switch jobs around a lot and after you've enlisted, they have the right to move you into something similar.

 

If he joins, he needs to do it with the understanding and acceptance that he may very well end up overseas or in a war zone, even if he has a support MOS. He can sign up to be a supply person and end up in Afghanistan, it's just part of military life.

 

If he hasn't taken the ASVAB, he needs to take it. If he did and it was a low score or it's been awhile, take it again. He needs to KNOW his ASVAB score. The score will be the first barrier to what type of jobs he is eligible for (super low score means combat jobs, high means intelligence, and everything in between).

 

When he talks to a recruiter, the recruiter will try to make military life sound great. But the recruiter has no power. The real decisions get made at MEPS (military entrance processing station). This is where all the physical testing happens (physical, vision, hearing, reflexes) and where they'll tell him what jobs he qualifies for. If he can have someone go with him for that, he ABSOLUTELY should. Some of the recruiters there will try to zero in on one job, but he needs to find out all his options. Difference jobs can give different benefits and bonuses also (extra college money or cash bonuses after training is done, for example, I got $6k fifteen years ago when I completed tech school).

 

Before he goes through all that, you and he need to decide if he can do military in the first place. In my opinion, basic training isn't hard, but I don't mind being pushed physically and being yelled at didn't phase me. But if he can't deal with being yelled at (harshly, swearing and all that) or being singled out for ridicule or as an example or doesn't like doing 100 pushups on demand, basic might be rough. And in the long term, military life means someone else calls the shots. You always have someone giving you orders. Not just during the day job, but walking on base, in the barracks, on lunch break, you're always "on". He needs to be able to handle that.

 

Personally, if his ASVAB score is decent and he's not really into the gung-ho Army or Marines thing, he should look into the Air Force or the Navy. In general, they are often more relaxed in their cultures. For example, the Air Force guys I worked with all went by their first names, but in the Army I couldn't even call my husband (also Army) by his first name when on duty.

 

I think the Army was a great experience for me, but it wasn't for me for the long-term. It could be good for your son, it just depends on his perspective and what he's looking for.

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First, about recruiters-I think the biggest problem with recruiters is that they have forgotten what the average civilian doesn't know. Some of them can be deceptive, but I don't think that's always the intent.

 

There are lots and lots of Military Occupational Specialties in the Army. It is the biggest of the services, by far. It has over 550,000 people compared to the Navy's 320,000, the Air Force's 330,000 or the 200,000 who serve in the Marines. It is the least specialized.

 

The basic branches include:

 

Infantry-this is what people generally think of as the average soldier.

 

Adjutant General's Corps-these are Human Resources people.

 

Engineers-build stuff and/or blow stuff up

 

Finance-anything dealing with money

 

Quartermaster-this is the most diverse branch. They deal with fuel, water, food, any type of supply that is not medical or repair parts. Mortuary Affairs also falls under this branch. There is some crossover in jobs among the logistics branches.

 

Field Artillery-howitzers, mortars, rocket launchers are the types of weaponry used by this branch.

 

Armor-tanks

 

Ordnance-most people think of bomb disposal when they think ordnance, this branch is also responsible for maintenance of all types of military vehicles and equipment. They are also responsible for supply or repair parts.

 

Signal-any kind of communication falls under this branch. Setting up LANs, weather forecasting, military intelligence, everything.

 

Chemical-tasked with defending against all kinds of chemical, nuclear, biological, etc weapons.

 

Military Police-similar to civilian police.

 

Transportation-how everything moves.

 

Military Intelligence-I am sure you know what they do.

 

Air Defense-anti-aircraft

 

Aviation-the Army has some of its own aircraft, mostly helicopters.

 

Special Forces-they have very specialized jobs. Along with Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations, they are often tasked with bringing down the enemy in a variety of ways, to include winning the hearts and minds of the locals.

 

Medical-doctors, nurses, dentists, vets, etc.

 

Chaplain-This one is obvious

 

Judge Advocate General's Corp (JAG)-military lawyers. No, you cannot be a lawyer and a fighter jet pilot.

 

The most tricky thing is that you cannot necessarily sign up for any job in the military at any time. They have openings and school slots for the recruiters to fill. They have priority fill assignments. If that is not what your son wants, then don't take it. Wait a couple of months and see what comes open.

 

There are also times when it is hard to make promises to recruits. You cannot just sign up to be a special forces soldier. If you qualify, then they can put you through the qualifying course. But if you wash out (and MOST people do), then they will slot you in a back-up job according to the needs of the Army at the time.

 

There are a lot of resources on the army website. Look through it. Once you have done that, then you might have a better idea of what questions to ask.

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I am hoping that what I post next does not offend any of my military sisters...

 

I would also consider other branches. Military life is not easy...especially since 9-11, but IMO the Army and Marines have it the hardest. Army and Marine deployments are long, often, and normally in less than ideal conditions. They truly are to be commended, because they are doing the brunt of everything...but it again, it is HARD. The AF and Navy normally have shorter deployments, longer periods between deployments, and the conditions are normally MUCH easier. My husband was Security Forces (cops) in the AF. SF are probably deployed more than any other job in the AF (outside of CE)...but as much as he deployed, it did not even come close to the deployment rate of the husband of a really good friend of ours.

 

Again, I am in no way knocking the other two branches (I really do not know enough about the Coast Guard to comment on their branch) what they do for us every single day can't be measured...but know what your options are, and don't rule any of the branches out.

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Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

 

:iagree:

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I was Active Duty Army for 4 years, but that was a while ago, but here's what I think he/you should know.

 

I agree with everyone who said to get everything in writing. Not just a promise or a note, that means nothing. The only thing that matters is the contract you sign at the end. And when you sign it, even some of that is up in the air, like your MOS (military occupational specialty, or job title). The MOS is something that can be changed, they switch jobs around a lot and after you've enlisted, they have the right to move you into something similar.

 

If he joins, he needs to do it with the understanding and acceptance that he may very well end up overseas or in a war zone, even if he has a support MOS. He can sign up to be a supply person and end up in Afghanistan, it's just part of military life.

 

If he hasn't taken the ASVAB, he needs to take it. If he did and it was a low score or it's been awhile, take it again. He needs to KNOW his ASVAB score. The score will be the first barrier to what type of jobs he is eligible for (super low score means combat jobs, high means intelligence, and everything in between).

 

When he talks to a recruiter, the recruiter will try to make military life sound great. But the recruiter has no power. The real decisions get made at MEPS (military entrance processing station). This is where all the physical testing happens (physical, vision, hearing, reflexes) and where they'll tell him what jobs he qualifies for. If he can have someone go with him for that, he ABSOLUTELY should. Some of the recruiters there will try to zero in on one job, but he needs to find out all his options. Difference jobs can give different benefits and bonuses also (extra college money or cash bonuses after training is done, for example, I got $6k fifteen years ago when I completed tech school).

 

Before he goes through all that, you and he need to decide if he can do military in the first place. In my opinion, basic training isn't hard, but I don't mind being pushed physically and being yelled at didn't phase me. But if he can't deal with being yelled at (harshly, swearing and all that) or being singled out for ridicule or as an example or doesn't like doing 100 pushups on demand, basic might be rough. And in the long term, military life means someone else calls the shots. You always have someone giving you orders. Not just during the day job, but walking on base, in the barracks, on lunch break, you're always "on". He needs to be able to handle that.

 

Personally, if his ASVAB score is decent and he's not really into the gung-ho Army or Marines thing, he should look into the Air Force or the Navy. In general, they are often more relaxed in their cultures. For example, the Air Force guys I worked with all went by their first names, but in the Army I couldn't even call my husband (also Army) by his first name when on duty.

 

I think the Army was a great experience for me, but it wasn't for me for the long-term. It could be good for your son, it just depends on his perspective and what he's looking for.

 

The bolded part is so true. I was actually ticked in Navy bootcamp when we didn't get to shoot real guns! Yes, people yelled at us, but it wasn't all "Full Metal Jacket" yelling. The Navy and Air Force, while still maintaining that whole military vibe, are much, MUCH more relaxed than the Army and Marines. IMO, the Navy and Air Force have many more technical jobs/mos/rates than the Army and Marines (though the Marines have the best uniforms;)). The Army and Marines seem better for shaping up wayward young people. Now, those guys are hard-core, and they do most of the dirty work, but personally, I would steer my own ds towards either the Navy or Air Force if the military was a temporary thing.

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I also come from a family with military on both sides. But, it has always been ROTC, or in one case the Air Force Academy. Would he have any interest in trying for ROTC? Could that motivate him at all? I think the military is a great option for the right person. The career of an officer offers many opportunities.

 

Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

 

Agreed. And right now? If his grades and motivation aren't there? I don't think he could get an ROTC scholarship. It is very tough competition right now. We have even known people who graduated ROTC and did not get put on active duty. It is no guarantee.

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Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

 

:iagree: and I did not say otherwise. I said nothing about or against enlisted personnel (guys and gals) in my post. I did not disparage or question the work ethic, educational prospects or job prospects of enlisted people. I figured if her son were talking to recruiters they had aspect that covered.

 

ROTC can keep some kids interested in college, who otherwise might not think it is an option. It is good to know all options, yes?

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:iagree: and I did not say otherwise. I said nothing about or against enlisted personnel (guys and gals) in my post. I did not disparage or question the work ethic, educational prospects or job prospects of enlisted people. I figured if her son were talking to recruiters they had aspect that covered.

 

ROTC can keep some kids interested in college, who otherwise might not think it is an option. It is good to know all options, yes?

 

:grouphug: It's not you, it's me. From what I have gathered from other branches, the disdain/looking-down-upon/dislike of enlisted people is much more pronounced in the Navy.

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IMO, the Navy and Air Force have many more technical jobs/mos/rates than the Army and Marines (though the Marines have the best uniforms;)).

 

I don't know if this is true, unless you get *seriously* technical like nukes. It is true that the Army has more grunt jobs, but that is because it has more people in general; it has over 550,000 people (severely rounding all of these figures) while the AF is around 330k, the Navy 320k and the Marines 200k.

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I am hoping that what I post next does not offend any of my military sisters...

 

I would also consider other branches. Military life is not easy...especially since 9-11, but IMO the Army and Marines have it the hardest. Army and Marine deployments are long, often, and normally in less than ideal conditions. They truly are to be commended, because they are doing the brunt of everything...but it again, it is HARD. The AF and Navy normally have shorter deployments, longer periods between deployments, and the conditions are normally MUCH easier. My husband was Security Forces (cops) in the AF. SF are probably deployed more than any other job in the AF (outside of CE)...but as much as he deployed, it did not even come close to the deployment rate of the husband of a really good friend of ours.

 

Again, I am in no way knocking the other two branches (I really do not know enough about the Coast Guard to comment on their branch) what they do for us every single day can't be measured...but know what your options are, and don't rule any of the branches out.

 

I agree. I joined the Air Force specifically because of this. I joined after 9/11. But, since then, the AF has become more difficult, more frequent and longer deployments, stricter fitness requirements, etc. It is nowhere near Army/Marines, but not nearly as lax as it once was.

 

Also because the AF has better quality of life, it is harder and more competitive to get in. ASVAB scores must be (relatively) high and no blemishes on your record at all.

 

Does he have specific "perceptions" of Army? By that I mean, does he want to join Army because that is "military" to him? Because despite the jokes about other branches, IMO, service is service. A mechanic fixing an airplane in the AF is just as important as an Army infantryman on the ground in Afghanistan. Both are vital to the defense. But one comes with a higher risk and a greater price.

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I don't know if this is true, unless you get *seriously* technical like nukes. It is true that the Army has more grunt jobs, but that is because it has more people in general; it has over 550,000 people (severely rounding all of these figures) while the AF is around 330k, the Navy 320k and the Marines 200k.

 

You are probably right. Dh and I were both Nukes. Based only on my ASVAB scores, I qualified for highly technical rates (Navy equivalent for mos). Our experience with the military is limited. We were told we were the mostest awesomest people ever. So I happily defer to to smarter, more experienced Army/Marine people to explain the jobs available in those branches.

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You are probably right. Dh and I were both Nukes. Based only on my ASVAB scores, I qualified for highly technical rates (Navy equivalent for mos). Our experience with the military is limited. We were told we were the mostest awesomest people ever. So I happily defer to to smarter, more experienced Army/Marine people to explain the jobs available in those branches.

 

Are you suggesting that perhaps you are not the mostest awesomest people ever? :eek:

 

You are totally awesome! :thumbup:

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Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

 

I am an AFA grad (and Dh is WP...we were both officers) and whole-heatedly agree with this sentiment. I had a lot of enlisted personnel that I worked with who were doing some amazing things. I was intelligence and worked both in Space Command and with aircraft at different times in my career. These guys and gals were knowledgeable and fully marketable (usually with degrees) by the time they were leaving the service. Although I loved being an officer, I would completely support any of my boys who wanted to enlist. Many of my airman were able to work on their degrees and gain a lot of maturity even when serving only 4-6 yrs. Now, I did have a couple for whom it did not work out. It wasn't necessarily discipline issues, but more of a personality conflict with the authority and lifestyle.

 

Joanne, I would definitely have him check out each branch thoroughly. Being AF and married to an Army guy, I saw how different those two branches were. It was surprising how different my job was compared to my counterpart in the Army. It wasn't because of the different missions per se, but that they have a completely different structure and use of manpower. Jobs can also make a huge difference as others have said. My sis is still in the AF, but her experience has been very different from mine as she is on the support side of things (contracting) instead of operations. Having someone who understands the lingo and structure can help a lot. I didn't go through a recruiter, but I've heard some crazy stories.

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Just to clarify (and get a chip off my enlisted shoulder), you do NOT have to be an officer in the military to make something of your life. Enlisted guys work darn hard too. Many earn real, respectable college degrees while in the military. Enlisted people can be hard-working, intelligent, respectable people too. My enlisted chief (E-7) dh got the exact same job right out of the Navy as many officers.

 

 

My daddy left the Navy a Master CPO (after 20 years, most of that in NIS) and not only was that man nobody's fool, he was the hardest working man I've ever known.

 

I once asked if he'd ever been offered OCS. He was, but he said he flunked out of the pre-screening class, a$$-kissing 101, so he couldn't go. :D

Edited by Audrey
wrong grade
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Here is my 2c and i hope it doesnt offend anyone!

 

DH decided he wanted to join the Army in 2005. He did NOT think it all the way through for the next 4 YEARS. He was only thinking about right then (FTR, I wasnt even keen on him going but the thought of a secure job sounded great!). We had just got married and i was pregnant with my 2nd child. We went to talk to a recruiter and of course they promised him the world- NEGLECTED to tell him about FTU/FTC IF you FAIL the basic fitness test to get in, which DH did. DH did pass his ASVAB with flying colors though and was going to go in for Mechanical Engineering. Well he left with no plan and no money. I had to live at my grandparents and parents house.

I BEGGED him to come home because in his phone calls and letters he wasnt happy. He was at FTC/FTU because he failed his run. He could of been sent down range as soon as he would of passed but who knows when that would of been. I wrote letters to his officers, he tried talking to them... Finally? I talked to the GI RIGHTS Hotline. They told me how to go about getting him out the right way vs him just going AWOL and getting in trouble.

He came home after i drove all night to Ft Leonard Wood to get him, waited 30d then drove him to Ft Knoxx and then he was discharged with an other than honorable after a week.

 

Lesson? DONT join if you dont have a plan and arent 100% sure this is what you want to do and if your life isnt together.

 

and i realize this does sometimes offend those who are in or connected to the Military and i am sorry. I just thought id point out how it didnt work out for US. Even now, years later if they asked DH to come back- he has said he wouldnt go back.

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Ok enough is enough :D

 

I was once one of "the fewer, the prouder" and I'd just like to say that the Marines shouldn't be ruled out just because they're a smidgen harder. :)

 

I will resolve for here on out not to shrare my opinions of the Marines. And I will not share the creative acronyms we super awesome Sailors came up with for the ladies and gents in the admirably cooler uniforms. My fingers are twitching to write out those acronyms, but I will be the bigger person:tongue_smilie:.

 

Joann(e), your son really cannot go wrong with any branch. I have found that I have an instant camaraderie with any former-military person. That is a valuable life-experience I would never give up.

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How is he with languages? If he enjoys them, he can take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery and go to DLI if he scores well enough. :D Every service is there and your language is based on your DLAB score and the needs of your particular service.

 

I'm just mentioning it because the Defense Language Institute is a SUPER cushy, super awesome assignment. Monterey rocks!!!

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Here is my 2c and i hope it doesnt offend anyone!

 

DH decided he wanted to join the Army in 2005. He did NOT think it all the way through for the next 4 YEARS. He was only thinking about right then (FTR, I wasnt even keen on him going but the thought of a secure job sounded great!). We had just got married and i was pregnant with my 2nd child. We went to talk to a recruiter and of course they promised him the world- NEGLECTED to tell him about FTU/FTC IF you FAIL the basic fitness test to get in, which DH did. DH did pass his ASVAB with flying colors though and was going to go in for Mechanical Engineering. Well he left with no plan and no money. I had to live at my grandparents and parents house.

I BEGGED him to come home because in his phone calls and letters he wasnt happy. He was at FTC/FTU because he failed his run. He could of been sent down range as soon as he would of passed but who knows when that would of been. I wrote letters to his officers, he tried talking to them... Finally? I talked to the GI RIGHTS Hotline. They told me how to go about getting him out the right way vs him just going AWOL and getting in trouble.

He came home after i drove all night to Ft Leonard Wood to get him, waited 30d then drove him to Ft Knoxx and then he was discharged with an other than honorable after a week.

 

Lesson? DONT join if you dont have a plan and arent 100% sure this is what you want to do and if your life isnt together.

 

and i realize this does sometimes offend those who are in or connected to the Military and i am sorry. I just thought id point out how it didnt work out for US. Even now, years later if they asked DH to come back- he has said he wouldnt go back.

 

Very few people fail the PT test by the end of basic training. Most are simply recycled and start over. If you are really out of shape, then, yes, they can put you in a conditioning camp to get you up to standard. Sounds like you all decided that he didn't want to make it, after all and managed to get him released?

 

Joanne, it would be wise for him to start running. There is lots of running in the army. In case you didn't know. ;)

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How is he with languages? If he enjoys them, he can take the Defense Language Aptitude Battery and go to DLI if he scores well enough. :D Every service is there and your language is based on your DLAB score and the needs of your particular service.

 

I'm just mentioning it because the Defense Language Institute is a SUPER cushy, super awesome assignment. Monterey rocks!!!

 

And it is a growing field in the military. It is something they need. So, having a language makes you more competitive.

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Very few people fail the PT test by the end of basic training. Most are simply recycled and start over. If you are really out of shape, then, yes, they can put you in a conditioning camp to get you up to standard. Sounds like you all decided that he didn't want to make it, after all and managed to get him released?

 

Joanne, it would be wise for him to start running. There is lots of running in the army. In case you didn't know. ;)

 

I have been told there's lots of running in the Navy, too. You wouldn't think so, but apparently that's pretty important asea. ;)

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I have been told there's lots of running in the Navy, too. You wouldn't think so, but apparently that's pretty important asea. ;)

 

We did run a lot, in bootcamp. After that, not so much. Dude, we only got to shoot laser guns!!! This hippie liberal wanted to blow up something! Laser guns?!?!?! But, we did get to sail on cool ships/submarines. I guess that makes up for the lack of real guns. And I can tie a mean knot.

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Very few people fail the PT test by the end of basic training.

 

 

The PT test is before Basic Training. At least it was in 2005. They sent DH to base and they gave him all the shots, physical, check in...then they sent him to do the PT test. If he passed hed go to Basic, otherwise to FTC until he passed and then hed go on to Basic.

 

is that what you meant or do you mean they send you to Basic first?

yes i agree, get started running now :)

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The most tricky thing is that you cannot necessarily sign up for any job in the military at any time. They have openings and school slots for the recruiters to fill. They have priority fill assignments. If that is not what your son wants, then don't take it. Wait a couple of months and see what comes open.

 

There are also times when it is hard to make promises to recruits. You cannot just sign up to be a special forces soldier. If you qualify, then they can put you through the qualifying course. But if you wash out (and MOST people do), then they will slot you in a back-up job according to the needs of the Army at the time.

 

This. "getting it in writing" is a nice idea. But the simple truth is army needs come first. Always. (ditto air force, navy, whathaveyou)

 

Say you get in for a specific MOS. You do basic. They realize they don't need that MOS. You get re-slated. Or, you wash out. You get re-slated. You wanted to specialize further and they "promised".... they no longer need it. Too bad. Re-slated.

 

Mission First. Army needs First. Its about the team, it is never about the individual.

 

Promises to you don't matter. The mission does. You need to know that going into it, and be flexible. Push for that MOS you want when you sign, it's your best bet. But there are NO promises in the military.

 

Make sure he knows that upfront. Its a wonderful ride when you are okay with army first.

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Actually, you know what? I *am* insulted. Why would I post if HE weren't interested? Why would you even POST that?

 

 

You can allow your young adults to move on without information, coaching, support. In spite of having many military people in our family, we are not a military family. Being HIS FREAKING MOTHER and 46, I know it's prudent and wise to ask some questions about how best to go about this before we sit in front of a trained professional who will want to woo and seduce him into service.

 

Good Lord.

 

The way you worded it, it also sounded to me like you and his father were looking into it, not your son. I was wondering if parents can really decide that, until I read more.

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For my oldest. His grades are not good. ;) He would not qualify for scholarships. I can't pay for college (neither can his Dad).

 

He's "handy" and "hands on" and would do well with something mechanical.

 

We'd welcome college help, at some point.

 

Before we look into it, what do we need to know?

 

(Please, be respectful. We are a family who believes in the military, in "defense", and there are several service members and veterans on all sides of the family, even the step-sides.

 

Just a different idea... not that I don't think the military is great... but some are saying it might depend on certain factors. So, if it doesn't work out he may want to look into AmeriCorp. My sister's nephew did this because he wasn't really the college type either (no money, bad grades, no interest in it at all). He did it for a year, found his passion (plumbing IIRC), and now has a career in that field. It was a positive experience for him.

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