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Old 01-11-2018, 09:02 PM
Location: Minneapolis, MN
430 posts, read 144,404 times
Reputation: 639


So my younger brother is getting in a butt load of trouble and, at this point, I'm out of ideas and running out of hope.

Basically, he's already gotten a juvenile record for breaking and entering, fights in school, ditching, and robbery. It's gone from him just getting in fights, and knowing him it could be for something as simple as name calling, to him appearing in court for breaking into peoples cars. Since his dad is, and for most of his life has been, nowhere to be found I've basically picked up the slack and been sort of shoved into the older brother/dad position. Due to this, I used to be able to just talk to him and he'd act right but now? Now, I'm surprised if it works.

Now he's 17 and will be 18 next year and at that point, he can and will go to jail and whatever clean slate he has is finished. I don't want him to be another black male with a criminal record. Our mom called and admits he listens to me the most, so she wants me to talk to him and now I'm thinking of suggesting he talk to a recruiter for the marines.

My reasoning is basically cause if someone can straighten him out, I'm pretty sure it'll be a drill sergeant with no time for his bull. I'm aware the tough love "ignore him until he's in jail" sorta thing route doesn't work, as (to be honest) he's been treated like<bleep> most of his life and talked down to. That's why he listens to me the most these days. I've always been in his corner as his mode of encouragement and kind words but, at the same time, someone who disciplines him and get him to act right. Throughout this, I also influence some of his decisions and know I can probably get him to do it if I make it sound awesome enough.

So basically: My brothers in trouble, mother and grandmother have laid responsibility of helping him on me, and I'm thinking of suggesting to him that he talk to a recruiter for the marines or something and go for it. Really don't know if this would work, but might it help him? Or could it horribly backfire?

Last edited by Miss Blue; 01-12-2018 at 06:56 AM.. Reason: language
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:16 PM
Status: "Living the good retired life." (set 19 days ago)
Location: Wasilla, AK
5,822 posts, read 3,113,284 times
Reputation: 11759
The military stopped being a place for troubled youth a long time ago. 50 years ago this would have been a possibility, but not today. About 75 percent of young people today are not eligible for military service for one reason or another.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:45 AM
12,987 posts, read 12,391,651 times
Reputation: 37191
There's a guy in my life who joined the military out of prison. Probably one of the last people who were allowed to do that (30 years ago). But he was also exceptional in that he got close to perfect scores on all the entry tests. He's literally a genius and there was a judge who thought that shouldn't go to waste. Strings were pulled as well. You can try, but I've got a cousin who's a decent enough kid who's having one heck of a time getting the military to even look at him.

I'm going to advise getting him a construction job. That's what set a relative of mine on the right path. Just a lot of hard physical work that pays ok and miraculously his employers were open to mentoring him and helping him get vo-tech training. Today he's a very successful entrepreneur. But it was touch and go for a while.

I tried to help a kid like your brother a couple years ago. A kid I'd known when he was young - he just had a lot of dysfunction and abuse in his past. I just walked away after things got too crazy and maybe I'll try again in another decade - but he wasn't ready to change his life, and I wasn't going to support his self-destructive ways. It's hard. And you're right - the "tough love" approach of just letting them go to jail and self destruct rarely ends well. It's incredibly painful to watch as well.

I'm sorry for what you're dealing with.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:21 AM
11,638 posts, read 16,397,227 times
Reputation: 16227
US Armed Forces are not a reform school. He would have to get his mindset straight, have the required back ground, pass entry tests and make a commitment.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:35 AM
Location: Herndon, VA
1,907 posts, read 1,798,994 times
Reputation: 6149
I'm surprised people still have this misconception in this day and age.
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:36 AM
Location: Vermont
10,088 posts, read 10,585,035 times
Reputation: 13433
There is a Military Life and Issues forum here and the people seem pretty knowledgeable, so that might be a better place to ask these questions. I do have the impression, though, that the doors are not wide open to potential recruits with questionable backgrounds.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:06 AM
Location: Newport Beach, California
31,341 posts, read 18,362,733 times
Reputation: 12119
well, I know As with the other services, the United States Marine Corps and United States Navy screen applicants for "moral qualifications" (criminal history). This is done:

a. To prevent enlistment of persons whose social habits, such as theft, arson, resistance to authority, etc., are a threat to unit morale and cohesiveness.

b. To screen out persons who would likely become serious disciplinary problems in the Navy and Marine Corps, and who would consequently divert resources from the performance of military missions.

c. To ensure enlistees and their parents that the enlistee will not be thrown into close association with criminals.


By no means, am I suggesting your brother has no future. He might want to talk to a recruiter and see if he can get a moral waiver. You never know, maybe military service is a good choice for him, maybe not. No one can give you a definite answer.

In my humble opinion, (and by no means, am I saying your brother is a bad person), a professional military organization is better off avoiding people with criminal records. They might help you to raise the number of soldiers on the battlefield temporarily, but in the long run, they will do more harm than good.

Being “brutal, desensitized to violence,” is not a plus in a professional military. Brutality and desensitisation to violence will always lose to discipline, team cohesion, and being a part of an effective, well led, well organised fighting force.

All these said,

There was an old saying that the Army makes men and the Army breaks men. But, there is no way to sort the good from the bad until they have met themselves, face to face, so to speak.

The most often mistake that people make is think of the US military as an army prepping for war. the military is very much a society like the civilian one. There are all kinds of rates such as a cook, a mail man, a priest, a librarian, a dentist and many more.
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Old 01-12-2018, 08:38 AM
5,104 posts, read 6,044,614 times
Reputation: 9671
I feel for your situation. Been there with a rebellious child and it hurts to see them going wrong. You just hope they don't do something too bad before they grow up and get a clue.

That said, I don't think the military is for him even if they would accept him. Just gives him one more authority to strike at. One more nose to cut off his own face to spite himself.

You might just ask him(in a moment when he is receptive) what do YOU intend to do with your life? what are YOU going to do? or What are YOUR plans? That should be about all you can do at this point. He either has to want to live the life he has been living or he has to want to make a change for a better future. He is a man physically now and soon legally a man.

It is up to him, not you. but you can offer a listening place and deflect thoughts back to him in a positive direction for his life. I liked the construction idea BTW.

And call Mama and tell her the responsibility of parenting is back on her shoulders.

Good luck
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:31 PM
Status: "delete" (set 12 days ago)
3,191 posts, read 1,263,476 times
Reputation: 2351
I was a troubled youth. Military worked out fine for me. Tell him to join.

If it doesn't work out, he'll wash out.

Not sure why everyone is being so negative. Sometimes, it's best to drown out the negativity.

I think some people have become delusional, especially the old heads.

They are under this assumption that jobs out there are plentiful and are going to continue to be that way, and that we will all have the opportunity to enjoy the same standard of living they enjoyed.

That's a LIE.

They live in an illusion. There is something called global competition and technological advancement.

The world is no longer a fairy tale where you can get a high paying job without a degree.

Instead, nowadays, you need to go into debt about 100K and have at least a Masters to be competitive.

Have him go to the military. It will be the best option for him. It's up to him to determine whether or not he follows through though.

If he's as "bad" as all the posters in the thread are making him out to be, he will be identified early and wash out.

He deserves a chance.
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Old 01-12-2018, 01:41 PM
Status: "delete" (set 12 days ago)
3,191 posts, read 1,263,476 times
Reputation: 2351
Also, look at other services besides the Marines. Look at specific jobs in particular.

He should also study for the ASVAB if he's serious. He should be studying everyday until he walks into the room expecting to get a 99.
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