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Old 05-31-2011, 04:04 PM
 
5 posts, read 7,043 times
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Default Joining the Military

I turned 23 years old recently and not exactly sure what to do with my life. I am single with no children nor do I plan on having kids. I have an Associate's Degree at my local community college and my plan has always been to go back to a University and finish getting my B.sc and then pursue graduate school. I've had quite a bit of drawbacks and a lot of procrastinating. I still live with my parents, in a pretty overprotective household. I've only had one job (very short-lived) through the school but other than that I have no real work experience. I've been thinking about joining the Air Force (ideally), Navy or Coast Guard to attain a steady job where I don't need some lengthy resume, and to finish up my schooling(which is still and always will be a first priority). I feel like it would be the perfect option since there would be no way I could pay for school this up coming semester nor do I want my father to co-sign on a loan for me (and he may not even be eligible since he's co-signed on several of my sister's loans).

I really desire to gain thicker skin(something I seriously need), and to be mentally and financially independent.... I feel like I can achieve that through the military. I don't see myself making a career out of the military just a way to really get my foot in the door, come out with a bachelor's degree, work experience, paying off my previous student loan, and forming a life for myself. I know my family will always be there for me so I will have a safety net, but I need to start doing things for myself.

The main problem right now is approaching the subject to my mother, she's an excessive worrier but she's very opinionated about things and I have a feeling she's just going to get really angry and say how stupid a decision that would be and how I don't know anything about military and all the risk involved and all that............... and I even though some people may just tell me grow a pair of proverbial balls and that I am an adult and can make my own decisions, I still feel like she has an psychological hold over me, if that makes sense lol...plus I would really want her support on this, but I figure that's not gonna be possible. My father was in the military (army) for over 20 years, retired in 1999 I believe...I mentioned the topic to him and he didn't seem to keen about it...but I know I could get him to support me on this decision so that's not really a problem..but yeah...sorry if I'm blabbering.


What do y'all think? Any suggestions? Thank you very much.
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Old 05-31-2011, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
517 posts, read 1,025,296 times
Reputation: 581
I'm speaking from the Mom perspective here I have three children and raised them by myself. Eleven years ago, my son enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was fresh out of high school, no motivation, no discipline etc. The Marine Corps was the best thing that ever happened to him. He's still serving, to this day. When we went to his Boot Camp graduation, my youngest daughter, who was 10 at the time, got stars in her eyes and said she was going to join the military one day. My other daughter was 12 at the time and though her sister was crazy.

Four years ago I married an Active Duty Soldier. Both my girls were still living at home, and they seemed very interested in what "dad" was doing as far as work. The older daughter came to us a year and a half ago and said she'd like to join the Army. She was overweight and lazy, and never seemed to be able to keep a job. I started working out with her and took her to meet with a recruiter. It took a lot of hard work and a mindset change for her, but she shipped to Basic Training this past February and graduated in May. I could not believe the difference in her when I saw her. She was standing so proud and so tall! She had a confidence about her that I had never seen before. She is currently finishing up her AIT (job school) and will go on to Airborne School in a few weeks. She plans on using the Tuition Assistance Program to get her degree while she is in the Army.

My youngest daughter went on to college and graduated last year at the tender age of 20 with her BA from a university. Shortly after graduating from college, she came to us and told us she, too, was joining the Army. She shipped to Basic Training on Mother's Day and will graduate in July.

At 23 years of age, you need to stop worrying about what your parents will think and do what is best for you. I can guarantee you they will be very proud of you when they see that you are happy and doing something meaningful with your life. Go talk to a recruiter and see what they have to say!

Best wishes to you!

Barb
Proud Army Wife
Proud Marine Mom
Proud Army Mom (soon to be x2)
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Old 05-31-2011, 06:35 PM
 
Location: New Mexico USA
16,453 posts, read 16,181,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissChrissy2088 View Post
What do y'all think? Any suggestions? Thank you very much.
I think you need to go talk to all of the recruiters as soon as possible...

Good luck to you.


Rich
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:26 PM
 
39 posts, read 40,421 times
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Other people may not agree with what I'm about to say, but in my opinion, you should do what's best for you. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to be a professional dancer. I danced my whole life and never saw myself working a regular 9-5. My parents didn't support that and I listened to them. I regret that. I got pregnant at 19 and raised my son on my own. When I met my husband (who is a marine) I was totally impressed by him. He was my age (mid-20's), had seen the world and was making good money. He had already taken vacations to places like Austrailia and lived in Japan and I was at home trying to get through college. Just being with him has forced me to have thicker skin and I do wish I would have joined myself. I don't know why I never thought to. So, go for it...your parents will be okay...this is something a lot of people our age go through (trying to make our parents happy) but you will resent them if you don't do this for yourself.
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Old 06-01-2011, 06:02 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,320 posts, read 26,134,564 times
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Go for it!

Talk to the recruiters
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:10 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,840 posts, read 4,462,507 times
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Take your parents with you to talk to the recruiter
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Old 06-01-2011, 08:16 AM
 
27 posts, read 35,232 times
Reputation: 47
If you really want the military experience and get the so called thick skin you mentioned, you're not going to get it in the air force or coast guard. Maybe the navy to a lesser extent, but if you really want to toughen up, the Army and Marines are your only options. The major beneift of the Army is that you get to choose what job you will do, while the other services (not sure on the Navy) place you where they want you.

As others have said, your best bet is to talk to recruiters to make an informed decision. Joining the military isn't something as easy as joing the team at McDonalds. It is a life altering decision. Only you with the right information can decide if its best for you.

Experience: Active Duty Army Captain with over 10 years of experience.
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Old 06-01-2011, 09:44 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 12,511,320 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Flagg View Post
If you really want the military experience and get the so called thick skin you mentioned, you're not going to get it in the air force or coast guard. Maybe the navy to a lesser extent, but if you really want to toughen up, the Army and Marines are your only options.
Have to respectfully disagree, Cap'n. I believe ALL of the branches will allow anyone to develop thick skin (and many other positive traits, as well). I found myself in many situations in the USAF that enbled me to gain "thick skin"! And I have no doubt there are the same things in all the other branches. All of the 5 branches have to meet their manning requirements. The trick is to get your personal goals to meet their requirements as closely as possible. And, who knows, you might find yourself in some military specialty you knew nothing about but are now glad you're in. That's what happened to me...
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:11 AM
 
27 posts, read 35,232 times
Reputation: 47
I guess it's all relative in what you're looking for. In my opinion, the Marines were more hooah than the Army just to say they're hard. While compared to the civilian world, any military branch will toughen you up. But there is definitely a difference in culture and expectations among the primary four. When I was in Iraq, Kirkuk to be more precise, the airmen didn't even carry a weapon around the FOB and had a day once a month where they dressed up in full battle rattle to keep them 'fresh'. I'm not degrading one over the other, just illustrating that each has a different lifestyle. to each their own.
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Old 06-01-2011, 10:17 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 12,511,320 times
Reputation: 9657
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Flagg View Post
I guess it's all relative in what you're looking for. In my opinion, the Marines were more hooah than the Army just to say they're hard. While compared to the civilian world, any military branch will toughen you up. But there is definitely a difference in culture and expectations among the primary four. When I was in Iraq, Kirkuk to be more precise, the airmen didn't even carry a weapon around the FOB and had a day once a month where they dressed up in full battle rattle to keep them 'fresh'. I'm not degrading one over the other, just illustrating that each has a different lifestyle. to each their own.
No doubt, the USMC has the most Esprit de Corps than the other services. And the sharpest uniforms. And I truly enjoyed working with the Marines I met while on active duty. But I just feel all of the branches offer different paths to growth and "skin thickening". Just depends what flavor you want it in. Thanks for your service!

In the aircraft maintenance arena, I found myself thinking that we Airmen went by the book TOO much, while our Marine brethren didn't go by it enough...

Last edited by Crew Chief; 06-19-2011 at 09:07 PM..
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