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Old 04-04-2012, 08:34 PM
 
2 posts, read 17,599 times
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I'm new on the forum here. So, I'm 34 years old. I'm a college graduate and currently work as a police officer in a medium size city. Anyway, lately I've been needing a change and recently I've been thinking about going into the military. Several years ago, just after 9/11, I started looking into it, but decided against it. After losing several jobs, I went to the police academy and began my current profession in 2004.

The problem that I'm having with my law enforcement job is that the hours are taking a toll on me and statistically speaking, I'll probably only live 5-10 years after I retire due to the stresses of this job. I love it, but I'm not in love with it anymore.

Today I started thinking about my options of going active duty or Reserves. I have pros and cons about going active duty. I think my biggest con is having to uproot my family every few years to move around.

I'd like to hear from some folks if going active duty is an option I should explore or just stick with my current career path.
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Old 04-05-2012, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
2,555 posts, read 1,655,770 times
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Age may be an issue. Not sure what it is for the other services, but for the Air Force you will need a waiver, and right now all the branches are cutting back on recruiting. Furthermore they may see your LE background and try to bring you in as Security Forces/Military Police...

Regarding Reserves vs Active Duty, you won't make enough to sustain yourself as a Reservist; most people do this in addition to their primary civilian job or their spouse is the main breadwinner.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:20 AM
 
Location: Northern Virginia
478 posts, read 637,833 times
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You still meet the age requirements for the Army. However, I think you are too old to compete for Officer Candidate School.

I think the military is a great career. Will you move a lot? Compared to most people, yes. For me, it is one of the best things about the military.

As a college graduate, you'd come in the Army as a Specialist (E-4). I don't know if that holds true for the other services. Salary wise, that may be a pay loss for you but remember you don't pay healthcare and you receive other allowances as well.

Another option might be to join the National Guard and then apply for their Active Guard-Reserve Program (AGR). AGR Soldiers are full time but since they are still in the Guard, they rarely, if ever, move.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
1,580 posts, read 1,917,928 times
Reputation: 2590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suprdav95 View Post
I'd like to hear from some folks if going active duty is an option I should explore or just stick with my current career path.
If I do the math right, you've been a police officer for about 8 years. The few police retirement plans I am aware of let you retire at 25 years of service, which means about 17 more.

In terms of should you do it: Patriotism, desire to serve, "I wish I'd always done it," all factor in and those are valid reasons. But in my opinion and experience people join for love of country and adventure and stay because of how well they enjoy the day-to-day life, their actual job, the benefits (including retirement), and how their family is treated.

What you need to understand is, that under current rules, to retire from the active military, you need 20 active years. You can't be credited for any of your previous time, even law enforcement. You'd be starting from scratch, and at 20, you get 50% of base pay.

34's a tough road to take, not impossible, but tough. It's a young man's game. As a cop, you have a leg up on the discipline issue-I have police officers in my family and the two mindsets really are pretty similar. You'll be, at minimum, 54 before you could finish, and would probably be an E-7/E-8 (Sergeant First Class or Master/1st Sergeant in the Army) if you do reasonably well.
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:07 AM
 
1,725 posts, read 1,974,822 times
Reputation: 699
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suprdav95 View Post
I'm new on the forum here. So, I'm 34 years old. I'm a college graduate and currently work as a police officer in a medium size city. Anyway, lately I've been needing a change and recently I've been thinking about going into the military. Several years ago, just after 9/11, I started looking into it, but decided against it. After losing several jobs, I went to the police academy and began my current profession in 2004.

The problem that I'm having with my law enforcement job is that the hours are taking a toll on me and statistically speaking, I'll probably only live 5-10 years after I retire due to the stresses of this job. I love it, but I'm not in love with it anymore.

Today I started thinking about my options of going active duty or Reserves. I have pros and cons about going active duty. I think my biggest con is having to uproot my family every few years to move around.

I'd like to hear from some folks if going active duty is an option I should explore or just stick with my current career path.
I'd take a long look at the Air Guard/reserves. If you find the right unit you can become a part time Air Force person and a part time police officer. A lot of the career fields require more than a weekend a month or have deployments and training opportunities available more than one weekend a month. In my unit we had several police officers who did this as it gave them a chance to decompress from the job so to speak.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
15,952 posts, read 12,582,500 times
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If you are 34 and have no prior service I fear you are too old. I went back into the reserves and then back on active duty after a 20 year break but already had 6 years active. I'm not sure what the rules are right now but the services are shedding personnel, I'm pretty sure they won't want someone your age.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:53 AM
 
2 posts, read 17,599 times
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I was afraid that my age would be a factor. This is what I was thinking, I would keep my job as a police officer and go into the Navy Reserve. According to their website, I can be up to 39 in order to become a commissioned officer. I understand that the military is downsizing on a major scale and that's why I don't want to push the active duty thing. Looking back, I should have pressed on when I originally wanted to go in and I would have been just fine. I figure that if I go into the Reserves now, I can take advantage of some of the benefits, work part time and get the extra pay, and get a second retirement check.

Here's the details about my LEO job. I started with the city in 2004, but I didn't make police officer until 2006. So, I have about 6 1/2 years of LEO under my belt. I enjoy the para-military atmosphere and try to conduct myself with as much discipline and professionalism as possible. In my city, I have to work 25 years to retire with a portion of my base pay. I have to go 30 years if I want a comfortable retirement. We have been on a salary increase freeze since 2006 and my family health insurance costs me about $600 a month. I literally have to work all the time just to make ends meet. I'm just in this situation where I need something else or something different. Does all this make any sense?
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:03 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
17,638 posts, read 19,027,454 times
Reputation: 20267
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suprdav95 View Post
Does all this make any sense?
Yes it does make sense. Forty+ years ago I was real sad when I got my draft notice. I ended up staying in. Now every morning I do count my blessings. Been doing that for over 15 years now and I'm at age 63.

Go talk to all the recruiters, reserves and don't forget National Guard.

EDITED - ADDED - Start looking at USAJOBS - The Federal Government's Official Jobs Site There are a variety of jobs you may be well qualified for...


Good luck to you...


Rich

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 04-05-2012 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:30 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
17,638 posts, read 19,027,454 times
Reputation: 20267
Recruiters - (Updated 11 Jan 2012):


Rich
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Old 04-05-2012, 01:16 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
3,464 posts, read 5,053,051 times
Reputation: 2232
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suprdav95 View Post
The problem that I'm having with my law enforcement job is that the hours are taking a toll on me and statistically speaking, I'll probably only live 5-10 years after I retire due to the stresses of this job. I love it, but I'm not in love with it anymore.
<<< the hours are taking a toll on me>>>
The Armed forces is not the place if the above is a factor ...
I do not see *peace* in the next 15 years or so ...
The only 8-5 job in the Armed Forces, is if you are some pencil pusher in Washington ...

<<< the stresses of this job>>>
If you think that the Armed forces in war time do not have stress, you are not up to date with what is happening to the brothers we have now coming back from their assignments ... (I did two tours in Vietnam, and still have bad dreams)

I suggest, if you have an impeccable clean record, you find yourself a security job in the private Industry, that has regular hours.
I say security, because you have already 8 years previous *experience* (do not ever say you hated it ...)

What is your degree in ? Are you proficient in anything else but law enforcement ?
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