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Old 11-29-2011, 06:34 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,568 posts, read 21,741,355 times
Reputation: 44332

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First let me say, that I know little about the military. My father served in the Marines in Korea, although never saw combat, and well that is about it.I know what the branches are and have a very basic knowledge of what each do.

I have an 18 year old son who is a nice young man.Unlike many in his generation, he is friendly and respectful. Adults like him and besides going to High School, he holds a position dealing with the public as an sales associate in a department store. He gets high reviews from his superiors, is well spoken, engaging and works hard at his job.

School however, is another matter. Although his teachers, peers and guidance counselors, adore him, his grades are mediocre. He just gets by, and constantly has to be coerced to do school work.

Getting him to fill out college applications has been a chore for me, as is getting him to study for his SATs and writing and revising college essays.I feel that just getting him to begin and to complete such tasks, is more effort on my part than it seems to be worth.

I am beginning to wonder if college at this point in time is right for him. Is he going through the motions - poorly at that, because I want him to do this, or might he benefit from time in a branch of the armed forces, which might be an experience that will impart maturity and personal growth.

An additional issue is that college will be a great financial sacrifice for me. We are sending he and his sister to private school, mostly because the schools in our city are poor. This is a sacrifice that I have made, with a view to getting them into a good college. It is working out wonderfully for his sister, I am wasting money on his education, as far as I can see.

I am almost thinking of pulling him out of High School now. He just turned 18. He could get his GED and join the service.

I went to college and I went to high school. I was looking forward to his leaving home in the fall. I do not get any support from his father, my husband. I am not interested in holding his hand as he goes through a community college. I in fact want to obtain my Masters degree. I cant do it if I am spending all of my time, helping, yelling, cajoling and pushing.

I admit that I do not want him to be killed or injured. He has a high IQ and I am sure that he will do well on the entrance exam. Will a GED be sufficient for entry?

I am willing to listen to all or any advice about this issue. I am beginning to think that if he goes to a third rate college, he will still not do well, if past performance is any indication of future performance. He can also ruin his ability to obtain financial aid if he flunks out.

He really is a basically good kid. But college may not be for him at least not right now. Thanking you in advance for your input.
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Old 11-29-2011, 06:58 PM
 
Location: El Paso, TX
3,302 posts, read 3,754,492 times
Reputation: 2524
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
First let me say, that I know little about the military. My father served in the Marines in Korea, although never saw combat, and well that is about it.I know what the branches are and have a very basic knowledge of what each do.

I have an 18 year old son who is a nice young man.Unlike many in his generation, he is friendly and respectful. Adults like him and besides going to High School, he holds a position dealing with the public as an sales associate in a department store. He gets high reviews from his superiors, is well spoken, engaging and works hard at his job.

School however, is another matter. Although his teachers, peers and guidance counselors, adore him, his grades are mediocre. He just gets by, and constantly has to be coerced to do school work.

Getting him to fill out college applications has been a chore for me, as is getting him to study for his SATs and writing and revising college essays.I feel that just getting him to begin and to complete such tasks, is more effort on my part than it seems to be worth.

I am beginning to wonder if college at this point in time is right for him. Is he going through the motions - poorly at that, because I want him to do this, or might he benefit from time in a branch of the armed forces, which might be an experience that will impart maturity and personal growth.

An additional issue is that college will be a great financial sacrifice for me. We are sending he and his sister to private school, mostly because the schools in our city are poor. This is a sacrifice that I have made, with a view to getting them into a good college. It is working out wonderfully for his sister, I am wasting money on his education, as far as I can see.

I am almost thinking of pulling him out of High School now. He just turned 18. He could get his GED and join the service.

I went to college and I went to high school. I was looking forward to his leaving home in the fall. I do not get any support from his father, my husband. I am not interested in holding his hand as he goes through a community college. I in fact want to obtain my Masters degree. I cant do it if I am spending all of my time, helping, yelling, cajoling and pushing.

I admit that I do not want him to be killed or injured. He has a high IQ and I am sure that he will do well on the entrance exam. Will a GED be sufficient for entry?

I am willing to listen to all or any advice about this issue. I am beginning to think that if he goes to a third rate college, he will still not do well, if past performance is any indication of future performance. He can also ruin his ability to obtain financial aid if he flunks out.

He really is a basically good kid. But college may not be for him at least not right now. Thanking you in advance for your input.
I just retired from the Army last year 32 years ago. Why I enlisted? Because I wanted to get an education. I only had elementary education from Mexico. In time I got to love serving the nation. In the end I retired with a master's degree.
The service can be a way for your son to get a direction in life. However, it is something HE needs to look into if he wants to serve a life that is regimented and requires discipline. Even though I believe today's Soldiers do not get the strict environment than when I enlisted I still believe it is better than the civilian world.
What I would suggest is to sit down with him and help him look at different options for him in life, the military one of them. Have him talk to people that have served short and long terms.
I believe the biggest obstacle is for him to have sometype of goal and focus at this point in his life. Maybe he does not. You can help simply talking to him and try to find out what are his interest and how much he is thinking of his future. Do not do it as if trying to put pressure on him because all you will do is turn him off.
As far as education, you are correct, the military does prived great educational benefits during and after we leave the service. As I said I retired with a master's degree and next year I plan to still use my GI Bill for a second master, probably a PhD.
The military does help young men and women mature and learn to take on responsibility as they go up in the ranks.
Your son does have an advantage than many in my generation. When I enlisted numerous peers of mine enlisted because a judge told them either jail or the Army. Many of them enlisted and became great leaders and mentors and retired honorably and have said that the Army was the best thing in their lives. Of course, others enlist and the Army was actually a problem becuase they were never able to adopt to the military discipline and actually go in trouble and ended up being discharged by the Army. Depending on the type of job they may be looking in the future the discharge they get can affect their chances for some good jobs.
In today's world companies with great benefits do look closely at someone that served and see what type of discharge they got. Getting an Honorable Discharge does not mean it is OK if they got discharged before the end of their enlistment because the could not cope with military life. In many of those cases it would have been better they never enlisted.
Maybe it will take longer for him to mature and get focused in life. Sadly, in today's generation many kids do not grow up to maturity as early as past generations did, my observation. Many kids today do grow up with some type of entitlement attitude and expect things to be given to them. Many do not seem to want to tackle life as soon as they become adults. Many stay with mom and dad way past their 20s. I am not saying your son is like this, you know that better than I do.
However, I am very proud of many young men and women today in the military. I have seen some of them before and after they enlisted and have seen how they have grown to maturity faster.
Many of them have learned to lead large groups, protect their lives, care for them, etc. at very young ages like 20 or so.
In your case it is a matter of trying to find out more of what he wants, find mentors that can guide him, and at times do demand some expectations from you. I do not know but maybe set a time frame where you expect him to achieve something. It would not be wrong as far as I am concerned if you let him know there is an age where you expect him to go out into the world and fend for himself. You can start to train him and prepare him for that by starting to expect to pay at least partly for his living with you to the point that he may have to pay for every service he gets from the house so he gets an idea of what it takes to be on his own and survice. Take care.
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Old 11-29-2011, 07:48 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
Reputation: 28092
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am beginning to wonder if college at this point in time is right for him. Is he going through the motions - poorly at that, because I want him to do this, or might he benefit from time in a branch of the armed forces, which might be an experience that will impart maturity and personal growth.
Military may be good for him.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I am almost thinking of pulling him out of High School now. He just turned 18. He could get his GED and join the service.
Bad idea.

It is getting more difficult to get into the service. GED is not being accepted many times.

Perhaps you need to take him down and both of you talk with all the recruiters...


Rich
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:27 PM
 
2,379 posts, read 4,282,348 times
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Opportunites are very limited in the military with only a GED. I think that both the Marines and Air Force require a dipolma all of the time, and the other two services (Army and Navy) have limited times/jobs when they will take GED.

All the branches of the military are drawing down right now and people are being forced out .... it's harder to get in than most people think.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,027,829 times
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First off..has HE said anything about joining the service? Or, is Mom just pushing him somewhere else? Granted, there are some kids who need a push (mine did), but if he's not interested in where you want him to go, he'll likely be more trouble to the service than he's worth.

As a Drill Sergeant, I came across many a young man who felt Mom or Dad had pushed them into the Army and the experience ruined far more than it helped. With zero motivation, too many of them became disciplinary problems and upset the cohesiveness of their training platoon. Sometimes, stiff discipline sorted them out, sometimes it didn't. On other occasions, their fellow platoon members would mete out their own discipline and it usually wasn't pretty. Most manage to graduate basic and AIT, but just barely. What happens to them when they arrive at their permanent duty station is another matter. A few are sent home from basic training. Failures for life.

The point is that if he's not interested, don't push him.

Next...IF he's interested, do NOT take him out of high school! IF the Army will take him at all with a GED, his MOS choices will usually be limited to two: Infantry or Artillery. There's nothing wrong with those branches. The Army needs warriors more than it needs mechanics, but if he wants any kind of skill training for later life, he won't get it with a GED.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:28 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
17,568 posts, read 21,741,355 times
Reputation: 44332
I agree Sargent. I brought it up tonight and he seemed some what interested and relieved. He said he is not sure if he's ready for college. He's not against it either.

I do not agree with some peoples thinking that the military is some kind of free reform school. First of all,he doesn't need a reform school. He needs something that he loves to do and wants to be a part of. He has not broken the law, he is generally a good kid, a lot of friends, volunteers at church, into activities and sports. School just seems to bore him.

I only thought of this tonight. I know that my dad was in college, dropped out and joined the Marines. Was in Camp Leujune and paris Island and served in Korea in Puerrto Rico in the Korean Conflict. When he got back, he finisher college, my mom agreed to marry him, and he was more focused. I also had a tenant who was going to a community college part time. She was not hetting much out of it, and was dropping classes and fooling around. She joined the Air Force and she loves it. It was her idea, and no one including her parents thought she would last, but it's proven to be a really good choice for her.

Honestly I don't know where to begin. If he has more passion about this than about college, it might be write for him.

I'm not sure where to begin.

He has the rest of this year to get his HS diploma. I thought a GED was OK. I just hate paying tuition when he is not serious about school.

What is the best way for him to begin exploring opportunities in the military?
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Ashburn, VA
467 posts, read 1,276,184 times
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I was much like your son, and the military helped me, quite a bit. It took me from being a C student in high school, to being an officer of a large corporation with a master's degree.

That being said, please listen to the folks here - a GED will not cut it. He needs to graduate from high school. Go and sit down with recruiters with your son. He needs to take the ASVAB as well, to determine his potential choices.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:40 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,027,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I agree Sargent. I brought it up tonight and he seemed some what interested and relieved. He said he is not sure if he's ready for college. He's not against it either.

I do not agree with some peoples thinking that the military is some kind of free reform school. First of all,he doesn't need a reform school. He needs something that he loves to do and wants to be a part of. He has not broken the law, he is generally a good kid, a lot of friends, volunteers at church, into activities and sports. School just seems to bore him.

I only thought of this tonight. I know that my dad was in college, dropped out and joined the Marines. Was in Camp Leujune and paris Island and served in Korea in Puerrto Rico in the Korean Conflict. When he got back, he finisher college, my mom agreed to marry him, and he was more focused. I also had a tenant who was going to a community college part time. She was not hetting much out of it, and was dropping classes and fooling around. She joined the Air Force and she loves it. It was her idea, and no one including her parents thought she would last, but it's proven to be a really good choice for her.

Honestly I don't know where to begin. If he has more passion about this than about college, it might be write for him.

I'm not sure where to begin.

He has the rest of this year to get his HS diploma. I thought a GED was OK. I just hate paying tuition when he is not serious about school.

What is the best way for him to begin exploring opportunities in the military?

Take him to a recruiter and let THEM tell him how important it is to stay in school, especially if he has an idea of what MOS he wants to train for.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:55 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 2,961,848 times
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You mentioned he's currently getting good reviews and doing well at his current job. Is this perhaps a path he can peruse? What are the other alternatives besides college and the military? What's wrong with Community College? Some of the most in-demand jobs require trade school rather than a BS/BA, and later he may choose to convert a 2-year degree into something higher.

Overall, if he's ready to become an adult, it's time for you to let him make his own choices. Don't project onto him your narrow measure of success.

* and to complete the thread: GED - Bad idea. Not just bad for the military, but bad for most any other career choice.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:31 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,116 posts, read 20,145,602 times
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The structured environment the Military provides may be just what he needs, it sure set me straight.
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