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Old 10-03-2011, 10:02 AM
Location: Detroit, MI
48 posts, read 138,232 times
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As a member of the military, I can tell you that if you have a HS degree and none of the above-mentioned disqualifying situations (tattoos, criminal background, medical issues) it is harder than it used to be, but it's not hard. Certain career paths may be taking less people and waiting lists may be longer, but I can guarantee that the army is always looking for grunts (infantry). There is no reason that someone who meets all the requirements would wait more than a few months.
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Old 10-04-2011, 02:57 PM
175 posts, read 240,444 times
Reputation: 134
Originally Posted by jerky1280 View Post
but I can guarantee that the army is always looking for grunts (infantry).
Maybe, maybe not. I still speak with my recruiters and they've said that there have been a number of times this year that they've been told to hold off on giving out infantry slots because with the Army downsizing and the wars supposedly starting to die down, they don't need as many 11B's anymore. I know some infantry guys have had trouble re-enlisting to stay infantry (some have been told to re-class or get out) depending on when they were trying to re-enlist because they were told it was over-strength. That has been an up and down thing for them particularly this year.
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:17 PM
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
23,003 posts, read 35,218,851 times
Reputation: 26691
Interesting article:

Military no longer a sure bet for Nev. job seekers

September 21, 2011

"We haven't turned anybody away," Gilbert said. "But we used to give you money to leave within the month. Today when you sign up, you're most likely heading off to training in six to nine months."

The unofficial waiting period lets the military forward-count recruits, since they aren't fully recruited until they head to basic training. But that means when the new recruiting year begins Oct. 1, the Army will already have signed up 35,000 of the 64,000 they'll need to enlist in fiscal 2012.

"Some people, they don't want to wait that long
Military no longer a sure bet for Nev. job seekers - Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/news/article/Military-no-longer-a-sure-bet-for-Nev-job-seekers-2182563.php - broken link)

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Old 10-05-2011, 01:19 PM
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,365 posts, read 16,565,125 times
Reputation: 18238
An acquintance of mine is an AF recruiter. He told me right now with the economy the way it is, he's practically beating people off with a stick. As the article above mentions, it is taking on average 6 - 12 months for recruits to depart for basic training right now. The days of walking into a recruiters office, even with a high ASVAB score, and demanding a guaranteed job are over for now. Now, you tell them which five jobs you're interested in and they will try to match you to one of those jobs if and when one is available. If you've got any sort of legal troubles you can probably forget about it, at least from what he tells me of the Air Force. Not sure about other branches.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:44 AM
Location: On a Long Island in NY
7,477 posts, read 7,408,898 times
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I have a friend who has been waiting to go to USMC basic training at Paris Island for almost 10 months now. I think he is doing artillery fire control.

I know they are downsizing and all but you would think the military would be ecstatic to have all these recruits.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:14 PM
Location: Tioga County
511 posts, read 1,757,539 times
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....Sorta fits in with this topic...saw news item on the net....30?40?50? years ago..don't recall which timeframe..about 90% of all 18-35 yr old males were eligible to enlist in the military....now..about 40% of that same group are eliible to serve...reasons given for the decline include...weight problems, health/med issues, legal issues, tatoo problems, etc....
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Old 10-15-2011, 01:47 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
2,452 posts, read 3,937,068 times
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Originally Posted by WIHS2006 View Post
I have a friend who has been waiting to go to USMC basic training at Paris Island for almost 10 months now. I think he is doing artillery fire control.

I know they are downsizing and all but you would think the military would be ecstatic to have all these recruits.
The problem is the planned attrition rate. All the services expect to take in X recruits with attrition over time. Those same recruits will get out either very quickly (failure to adapt), a little less quickly (some kind of criminal or drug issue), die or get hurt (even in peacetime), or reach the end of their enlistment, which is typically 3 or 4 years.

Some of those who make it to the end of their first enlistment won't reenlist, and of those that do there's a fairly predictable rate they leave the service before retirement.

All the systems, schools, processing, and replacement mechanisms are set up for a steady trickle of people entering. They can even ramp up to a heavy flow.

You can't take in *massive* amounts of recruits all at once or even in a short period of time (like 1 year), because the majority will be gone exactly four years later. The economy might be great then and we couldn't keep up the flow to replace that huge bubble.
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:26 PM
5,677 posts, read 14,403,244 times
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All I can speak for is what I saw my niece's husband go through to get in. He was 22 at time. He originally wanted to join the Marines but his tattoos disqualified him (he has a sleeve). The Navy said no as well but the Army was more lenient. He did not graduate from high school so he had to get his G.E.D first but he did do this right before bootcamp. The military did pay for it. It took him about a year before being accepted and he jumped through a lot of hoops. I don't know much about the military in terms of joining but it did seem easier years ago because a few guys I went to HS with joined and were gone.
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:54 PM
Location: Petticoat Junction
930 posts, read 1,465,525 times
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The below is a summary of the Sgt Major of the Army (SMA)'s briefing on Army issues to troops in Afghanistan. Note the part about an upcoming Army drawdown, weight, and tattoo issues.
.................................................. ...................................


The current retirement program we are under is not going to change for those
already in the Army. He said that he can't find one Congressman that
supports changing our retirement plan for those already serving. Less than
1% of US citizens serve in our Armed Forces and our nation owes us this for
standing up for our freedoms. Our Nation would be breaking a commitment /
agreement to those that volunteered to serve our nation.

The SMA said that the Chief of Staff and him trust us to do the right thing
and we need to trust them with this issue. The SMA also made it clear that
the Army does not control this. Congress does. He also gave examples of how
the military pay has changed in the last 30 years. Final pay to high three
and the 1990 Redux.


The Army will be drawing down. This will be accomplished through less
retention, a selective early retirement board for those that are retirement
eligible and by separating Soldiers for mis-conduct.

Average Performers:

NCOs / Soldiers that are just average performers may find it difficult to
stay in the Army or in their current MOS when it comes time to re-enlist.
For those that receive a no on the values portion of the NCOER, receive a
poor NCOER, DUI, or Article 15 may find it difficult to stay in the Army.
If they are allowed to stay they could be forced to fill a MOS, other than
their current one, that the Army needs help in filling. He used the phrase
"Tightening up the ranks" a lot tonight.


NCOERs are over inflated. NCOERs will be changed to be in line with FM 6-22
(LEADERSHIP). More responsibility on the rated individual along with
stricter counseling requirements that are documented.


The new APFT is under his review. He stated that the run will not be 1.5
miles. He would like to see it changed to 4.0 miles. He is also reviewing
two of the new events, broad jump and the shuttle run, and a proposal for
the new APFT will be submitted in February 2012. Another COA would be to
just keep the current one, but I feel the run is going to change due to his
comments concerning overweight NCOs/Soldiers in the ranks. Age groups are
also being discussed. Possibly just one age group or two. Under 40 and over
40. The standards will remain different for males and females.

Overweight Personnel:

We have the highest tolerances for body fat % in the armed forces. I am
tired of being last and want to be first. Personal appearance will be
addressed in the upcoming new version of AR 670-1 that will be released in 6
months. We are going to "Tighten up the Ranks" on overweight personnel and
he feels that it is a leadership failure for a lot of the overweight
personnel in our ranks. We should be conducting more counseling, monitoring
PT training plans, and getting rid of those that do not comply. SMA Quote "
can't look like a stuffed summer sausage in your ACUs".


A change is coming on tattoos that service personnel may have. No Tattoos
above the neck or past the wrist area. The uniform should cover all
Tattoos, "no red lips on your neck". For females, if you get a Tattoo on
your calf, then you will not be able to wear the Army skirt, you will wear
pants, so the Tattoo may not be seen. If you get a Tattoo that is visible it
could become grounds for separation from the Army. You are a professional,
and if you want to serve in the Army you will look professional or leave our

Grooming standards:

Haircuts. Photos are coming showing what proper haircuts can look like.
There will be an authorized short, medium and long haircut. As a uniformed
service, we should look uniform (a like). Females included.

Side burns. No pointy sideburns. Reg's not changing, just enforcing the
length, shape and density.

Fingernails. No long finger nails for men and no finger nail polish for
females in duty uniform. Polish in ASUs will be neutral tones or may go away

Earrings for females while wearing the duty uniform. This reg is being
reviewed and may be changed to allow female Soldiers to wear studs while in
duty uniform.

Sexual Assault/Harassment:

Must conduct sexual assault training, 95% of sexual assaults are males
against females. He sees on average 2 sexual assault / harassment cases
concerning E-9s per week. He feels that if training and counseling were
conducted more Soldiers would be ID'd early in their career and separated
from the Army if this type of behavior continued.

There will be a reduction in the civilian work force for US Army Bases. For
example, Soldiers manning gates and cutting grass, FT Stewart is already
doing so.
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Old 11-10-2011, 07:53 PM
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,070 posts, read 2,030,388 times
Reputation: 1404
I can talk from (very recent) experience here. I just finished my MEPS physical testing today.

I went and talked to a recruiter a few weeks ago. I took the ASVAB and got high scores (high scores definitely help. They test basic logic, english language and reading comprehension, mechanical knowledge, math skills...). That was a week ago (Thursday, November 3rd). Yesterday, I drove to the recruiter station, and checked out all the MOS's I qualified for. Picked one that I liked, and that had good incentives, and reserved it. Drove to the hotel last night, checked in, woke up at 4 this morning, and was shuttled to the MEPS center (same place I took the ASVAB). It was an all-day thing today. Started at about 5:30 this morning, finished around 15:00. This included the entire physical test (vision, audio, height / weight, flexibility, health, etc), a security screening (my MOS requires high clearances), finger printing, and finally the oath. Now I'm sworn in, and leave for basic in July.

The process was really straight forward, and pretty easy. There were a few small snags (when I showed up to take the ASVAB, someone put in the last 4 digits of my phone number as the last 4 digits of my social security number!), but asides from small typos it all worked out.

As well, there were people going through testing with me who had tattoos. There's actually an entire form devoted to tattoos. Like others have said, if it's clearly visible below your uniform, or contains derogatory content, or anything bad, you can be disqualified (DQ'd).

Nobody in our MEPS testing group got disqualified. There was one person, however, who wasn't able to get the MOS he originally requested, because he failed the depth perception test (though he wound up grabbing an MP job, with better incentives!).
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