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Old 03-12-2015, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560

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When I first enlisted, if you said that one day a guy could fly radio-controlled airplanes for a career, I would have thought you were dreaming. The service changes.

Each community within each branch is different from all other communities. No two people will have the same experience.

Where I served, working on college degrees was expected and everyone was paid bonuses. After posting on these threads for a while, I see that my career was entirely different from most others experiences.

There is no such thing as a single 'best' branch.

I do agree that if you focus on rough-and-tumble, you will not likely complete 20 years. Rough-and-tumble jobs accumulate disabilities. Nobody is bullet-proof.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
1,539 posts, read 1,593,766 times
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Air Force; hands down. The best careers that will likely transfer into civilian life. And assuming you have a family at some point in the next 20 years; Air Force seems to be the better branch for limiting time away, ect. It is all relative though; totally depends on the career field you are going into and your goals. The one negative about the Air Force is they tend to promote at a slower rate than the other services. My husband has served 20 in the USAF and still going strong Good luck to you.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:47 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
7,625 posts, read 13,983,366 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtyGuy View Post
I recently worked with a pilot on a deployment and his motto was, "Poli-Sci to fly". They care about grades more than majors.

No doubt, because Political SCIENCE is a BS vs a BA degree. Again, the SCIENCES (yes, even fringe) are what is getting a commission today. Too many kids with Bachelors of ARTS these days. Grades would certainly help the cause as well.

Last edited by Poncho_NM; 03-12-2015 at 07:13 PM..
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:53 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 4,997,057 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paka View Post
No doubt, because Political SCIENCE is a BS vs a BA degree. Again, the SCIENCES (yes, even fringe) are what is getting a commission today. Too many kids with Bachelors of ARTS these days. Grades would certainly help the cause as well.
The broader point here is that there are some BS degrees in which you might have one or two classes using high level math but will mostly have BA difficulty classes. BS doesn't automatically mean all STEM classes all the time though it can if you want it to.
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Old 03-14-2015, 05:20 AM
 
4,159 posts, read 4,192,017 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxwinxx View Post
First of all, I am a 23 year old male and I am currently doing intensive research in order to decide wether joining the military is for me. At this point, I believe that I will end-up joining but I still have a lot of research to do.

If I do join, I will do so with the intention of staying at least 20 years, that is my priority. I realize that my question is really vague because there are lots of things to take into consideration such as what job I have in the military, downsizing, etc. However, without getting into the grimy little details, what branch would you say is most conducive for a military career? Furthermore, what specific jobs would you recommend that are in high demand? What I want to avoid is doing 10+ years in the military and then getting the boot because of reasons outside of my control.

I realize the military doesn't owe me anything, and nothing is guaranteed to me. However, from my research so far it seems like military life is for me. I don't mind the constant traveling, relocating, etc. That's actually a plus for me.
The services have changed since I was in but don't commit to a 20 year career until you know what it is like being in the service.

Best? - Depends on what you do in the service more than which branch you pick. You get the wrong career field and you will hate it.

Career Field - All career fields change and can be downsized. I saw ET's getting the boot despite the need for ET's. You have to look ahead 10-20 years and see what demands the economy will have for your skills. I think IT is a good field and will always be there but technology will improve and require fewer people to manage it.

What are you good at? Pick something that you can sink your teeth into and run with it. When you join they will give you a test (practice for it) and give you some choices. Really study up on what jobs they offer before picking one.

Keep "plan b" in your hip pocket. Your career can go sour real fast. Go from a great command to a real hell hole and you will hate it. One positive aspect is that you can move every 2-4 years so if this command is bad you can be out of there in a few years.

I was in the Navy and it was very rough at times. I think the Army has a great Warrant Officer program so that is worth considering. The Air Force treat their people the best but promotions are slower and they seem to be downsizing and reorganizing a lot.

No matter what you do from the day you join plan on the day when you leave. It might be in 4 years or 30 years, but have a good, solid plan for that day. That means money in the bank. Stay away from buying the new 30k car and buy used. Go overseas (Japan is great) because it's a good experience and you can actually save a lot of money. Buying a house? It's a toss up depending on where you live.

Retirement - I think the 20 year retirement will be gone in a few years. Some sort of 401 pension system will be in place. The medical insurance after you retire will be turned over to the VA (TRICARE is the medical insurance for active/retired people). So plan on having your own 401 and finding medical insurance after your retire. Sure, the VA is there, some people like it.

All in all, I loved my career in the Navy and the best friends, people I ever knew I met during my career.

Good luck.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Richmond, VA
2,633 posts, read 4,391,959 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totsuka View Post
I think the Army has a great Warrant Officer program so that is worth considering.
True.

With only one or two exceptions, if you think you *might* want to be an Army Warrant Officer, you need to think about what MOS (Military Occupational Specialty-the job skill) you enlist into-and pick the right one.

MOSes are "feeders" into the associated warrant officer job. Usually you must be in this feeder MOS, and frankly usually must have some experience.

Your best bet is to enlist directly into the feeder, trying to change MOS later is sometimes possible-but you wouldn't be as competitive as someone who had been working that field for a few years. You also can't be *too* old, they are looking for people with 8-12 years of service to jump to warrant officer.

Don't pick an MOS *because* it's a feeder, but be aware whether the MOS you are looking at *is* a feeder.

For instance, to become an Airdrop Systems Technician, you must have been a parachute rigger. To become a Petroleum Systems Technician, you must have been a fuel handler, lab specialist, or water specialist.

Aviation Tech (pilot) doesn't have a feeder and occasionally has taken direct enlistees (not sure if that is still happening), but it's competitive.

The complete current list of warrant MOSes and associated feeders:

U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Warrant Officer Recruiting Information Site
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
5,822 posts, read 3,765,015 times
Reputation: 4977
Quote:
Originally Posted by usnftcret View Post
If you want a career in the military that is in high demand and secure, choose a Nuclear Rate in the Navy. But be warned, these guys are some of the hardest working in the Navy but they earn their pay and bonuses.
I have a coworker that got out in the last few years. He turned down a bonus of over 90K to re-up for two years. He worked Nuclear power in the Navy. He says the reason he got out was boredom. I think they work long hours and there is probably stress due to the critical nature of the job, but from what I gather, it is monitoring the plant and pushing rods in and out as needed.

Of course, he is content taking college classes in the evening, pulling in about 25K/year from his VA educational benefits.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Hiding from Antifa?
5,822 posts, read 3,765,015 times
Reputation: 4977
Whatever service you pick I would recommend one thing. Perform every day as though you are planning to stay for a retirement, even if you decide in the first year that you will get out at the end of your first enlistment. Otherwise, you will have a similar experience that Howest2008 had in post #7. You might think early on that you will never re-enlist, but later on, circumstances might change your mind. If you've already burned your bridges, it may be too late and you'll be out and unemployed.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:32 AM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
24,130 posts, read 38,859,608 times
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U.S. Army MOS 153A - Rotary Wing Aviator. Any MOS can apply. More info. U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Warrant Officer Recruiting Information Site

I've known three enlisted soldiers who have been selected for the MOS.
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Old 03-14-2015, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,721 posts, read 47,472,880 times
Reputation: 17560
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruzincat View Post
I have a coworker that got out in the last few years. He turned down a bonus of over 90K to re-up for two years. He worked Nuclear power in the Navy. He says the reason he got out was boredom. I think they work long hours and there is probably stress due to the critical nature of the job, but from what I gather, it is monitoring the plant and pushing rods in and out as needed.
A lot of the rates on subs get that level of SRB.

During my career the SRB cap was $65k, it changed to $90k in 2001.
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