Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

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Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:18 pm

So for those in, how did your parents handle it?

All I am getting from my dad is that the military changes people into killers and they are different people. He said those who dont get changed from the tough guy attitude, are either dead, lost  alimb, or mentally broken from seeing death. He constantly bombards me with the negatives in a final push to keep me from going to MEPs.

He also tells me that even if i go intel there is def a chance they just send me to the frontlines anyways to kill or be killed.

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by ap4305 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:21 pm

[quote="Trackrunner220"]
All I am getting from my dad is that the military changes people into killers and they are different people. He said those who dont get changed from the tough guy attitude, are either dead, lost  alimb, or mentally broken from seeing death. He constantly bombards me with the negatives in a final push to keep me from going to MEPs.

He also tells me that even if i go intel there is def a chance they just send me to the frontlines anyways to kill or be killed.
[/quote]

Don't forget what Tex has told you multiple times on this thread....the Army does not treat its enlisted folks well.

Saying "the military" (as if "the military" is one homogenous culture) changes people into killers is certainly a bit of hyperbole.  Nevertheles, emotional difficulties and full blown PTSD are legitimate problems among some combat vets.   

There is definitely an element of risk when enlisting in the Army in the middle of a war, especially this one in which the Army's resources are very stressed after nearly a decade of combat.  Obviously anyone who goes over there is in danger, but in this war it isn't so much a "frontlines" vs. "non-frontlines" issue.  Do recognize that as a non-combat arms soldier, you may still be placed into some pretty dangerous places, but without the training and without the highly trained teammates that you might find in combat arms units.  And yes part of the job may include killing, just as it does entail the risk of being killed.  The Army has plenty of highly trained guys whose job it is to hunt the bad guys and kill when needed, but the fact that you wear an intel insignia on your uniform as opposed to an infantry one doesn't mean you are immune from very bad things happening when you go outside the wire.  We have lost more than our share of men and women over there due to incidents in which the bad guys did not even fire a round and were not even physically present at the time. 
Last edited by ap4305 on Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by TexNav » Sun Jan 09, 2011 2:25 pm

Big Army doesn't treat its regular enlisted folks too well....I guess I did say that a few times already huh? Haha

As a side story I have a friend whom I worked with in Afghanistan, and 17 years in and an Army E-6 (take a note of the time in vs rank....very sharp guy too). What I was not aware of early on in meeting him was that the first 16 years that he was in the military, he was a Marine. Obviously the discussions as to why he switched came up and he wanted to stay in past 20, but as part of this, wanted to go Warrant Officer but the USMC wasn't filling many billets, so he switched. I still do not forget, what he told me when I asked about the different cultures. He said that that USMC just has a brotherhood which is not there in the Army. His very next comment, he gave a quick story- in the first 16 years that he was a Marine, not once did he have any personal article/items stolen, nor any military gear stolen. But in just over a year into the Army he had already had items stolen on 3 occasions. It is funny too, as when a group of Marines is walking in a group of Army folks even the Army guys typically will divert their glance at least for a moment. If you just really want to do some type of ground-based Intel, and just absolutely are willing to go enlisted, I'd say USMC. Yes, some of the deployments are more austere. But the conditions are not what matter, it really is all about the people you serve with, the man that is next to you (just like they say in Blackhawk Down).

I believe that what the military does to you mentally is what you allow it to do, unless you are just weak of mind and not very introspective. Contrary to what is shown on TV and movies, the Military in my experience, even out in the field doesn't want a person who just takes orders with complete unthinking blindness. Yes, when given an order to have to obey those orders. But in a field like Intel, you could very well end up in a position where you might even be briefing a 4-Star General Officer. Or you might have to be able tell that Officer what your Assessment is when it comes to building an OP Plan for a convoy operation through potentially dangerous routes. The last thing you want is an Ooo-rah, trigger happy moron in that position. I also don't agree with the blanket, kill or be killed statement. And AP is also right. You might be deployed and "inside the wire" but in a war zone no one is really ever "safe". Some locations are just much more risky than others.

Granted, a lot of this is just my observations, opinion, experience, etc. But I don't believe it is far off in general accuracy and those I have served have essentially the same assessments.

My $0.02 would also be that you need to take some more time before signing on. I don't think you have done all of the homework which you could have done. From your first post regarding the military, back in August, until the time you chimed in again, you haven't come across as being much more well informed. There are some very good military forums out there in which you can get much more input from other military folk, as compared to the few on this board.

Also, perhaps it was just a wording issue, but your statement "So thats where this messageboard has led me". Actually, I believe if you reread the general theme from day 1 of this post, it was for the most part 'don't go Army enlisted, and don't go enlisted if you can find a way to go OCS'. Getting orders to OCS sometimes does take weeks, perhaps a couple of months to get, depending on numerous factors. I also get the impression that you are perhaps intimidated by owing college debt. But you are about make a decision that will affect your happiness on a daily basis for the next 4-5 years. And there is no backing out. There is no magic or mysticism to the military, if you have questions still, the answers are out there. And you seem to be on the right track in talking with the 2Lt., etc., that you did. But also, if you are having issues with handling your parents questions, not that you have to sway them, but perhaps in dealing with their questions with informed responses, you might want to research some more. The last thing too though about your statement above, the messageboard shouldn't have led you anywhere, at least not this messageboard alone. It's a place you've come to, to get information and opinions. But it should be about where you have taken yourself. Just my $0.02. And understand as well, that I am a tad blunt as I can't stand hearing disgruntled folks in the military who hate what they are doing and/or claim that they didnt know what they were getting into. Those are the last folks you want around when your safety depends on it.

Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:05 pm

I understand the messageboard said from day 1 to do OCS, but the year of intel training in california seemed like a really good option, and I scored 119 on my GT section so I have the scores to go to OCS when I can. If all goes well After my year of AIT ill be with my unit for about 6 months than i will start OCS, if all goes to plan. It never does, but we will see what happens. I just want to thank eveyrone for contributing and hopefully this message board helps someone else out.



I swore in today after  a long day of processing.

Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:46 am

Does anyone know how much of background they do to check your medical history? I said no to everything, even though I had asthma growing up (even after age 13), but I have not used an inhaler in a few years and I run 10 miles everyday. So I am worrying myself sick that I am going to get in a lot of trouble even though everyone i talk to tells me to not worry.

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by ap4305 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 1:06 am

[quote="Trackrunner220"]
Does anyone know how much of background they do to check your medical history? I said no to everything, even though I had asthma growing up (even after age 13), but I have not used an inhaler in a few years and I run 10 miles everyday. So I am worrying myself sick that I am going to get in a lot of trouble even though everyone i talk to tells me to not worry.
[/quote]

They'll only do further investigation if you give them a reason to, such as by answering "Yes" to anything or if you have a medical incident involving your condition.  Even in those cases, the onus would be on you to provide the requisite documentation from your past.  But no, MEPS does not randomly audit your "No" responses.
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Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:26 am

Alright thank you...Just making sure. Its the thing I am most worried about

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by ATimmins » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:05 pm

everyone says no to everything, they would probably let a parapalegic sign up if he answered no to everything.  It's not the best practice in the world, but its what is done. 

You will be fine.
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Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:15 pm

Hah Thanks. I was most worried about the clearance interview. But everyone tells me that is only credit and criminal.

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by ATimmins » Wed Jan 19, 2011 9:44 am

unless you have something outstanding or some really bad credit, you'll be fine.  The military is one of those programs that the best and worse get into.  There is a very large divide between the two and you will be surprised what gets let in.  With that being said you must be above the influence and not get sucked in. 

Remember once that hand goes up, you are no longer a child. You are swearing to protect the nation.
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Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:30 pm

Funny thing happened, I froze on my Dlab and only got an 89, so now I have to renogitiate my contract.

Ive tried to talk about OCS again but he keeps saying its a 30% chance and a process that takes awhile, but if i go reserves it is easier to get in but...i may not get any money for my loans...so do I go for the loan money or the officer.

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by ap4305 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:01 pm

I'll just reiterate what others have been telling you here for months: Unless your financial situation is such that you need an immediate infusion of cash that can only come from signing an enlisted contract with a formal loan repayment program, you are better off pursuing officer opportunities given your background.  If it is simply a matter of staying current with monthly payments for the indefinite future, the two options (enlisted vs. officer) should cancel out financially in the longer term. 

I'll also remind you again a) I wouldn't treat that 30% as gospel and b) even if it is correct, some of those people in the 70% are PT casualties (couldn't meet fitness scores) or had some disqualifying medical or criminal history item.  If you take the automatic (or near-automatic) disqualifications out of the pool, your odds are far greater than 30%.   
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Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:09 pm

Thanks for the reply AP. I have 130k of debt from college (Im still amazed and in wow) So the 65k would do wonders to make my loan more manageable. However family problems are making me rethink active and go reserves so I can be home more often, and I figured if I was going to go reserves then I would do the OCS since its a lot more guaranteed.

I would consider OCS(active) but my recruiter said it would be about 8 months before I knew if I was accepted or not, and I guess I can work a job while I wait.

My main thing is getting an Intel job after OCS since it is much more difficult to obtain an intel MOS after OCS than it would go to enlisted. That is my main issue of going OCS over enlisted.

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Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by lumpynose » Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:42 pm

I was in the Navy.  If I were to rank the different services I'd put the Army at the bottom and the Marines at the top.  The Marines have the most esprit de corps of all of the services.  It's not just a job with them; lots of pride, and well deserved in my opinion.  As someone else pointed out, joining the military is a commitment, so I say, why do it half baked?

The Marines are sort of a sub branch of the Navy so I was around Marines a lot and I was always impressed by them.
Last edited by lumpynose on Tue Feb 15, 2011 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Trackrunner220

Re: Military: Anyone in it? Out of it? Opinions?

Post by Trackrunner220 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:45 am

Thanks for the response! My main thing is getting a loan repayment, which the Army gives me. I have to much debt to just put a paycheck into, so the army will definitely help me in that aspect.  Otherwise I would go Marines, and go to their Officer Candidate Course, but they wont give me 65,000. I want the training and I want the money, but I also want to serve in a military branch but I have to prioritize my wants and needs, and depending if I stay in or get out of the armed services, I need to try and knock out as much debt as possible.

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