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Old 06-12-2008, 11:11 PM
6 posts, read 30,562 times
Reputation: 12


Ok, so here's my background...

29 year old female, 4 year degree, play Div. I soccer at the Univ. of South Carolina, married (no children) living in Raleigh, NC, triathlete, runner... pretty much an athlete my whole life so I know I have a mental/physical toughness about me... I am a former HS health and PE teacher and LOVED IT! I want to go back eventually, but finishing my teaching certification is difficult to do while working and money being an issue to pay for classes (I was doing what is called Lateral Entry)... before that, I was working in the non-profit world (YMCA) and just recently lost my job in the corporate world... (I HATED IT ANYWAY, SO LOSING MY JOB WAS BITTER SWEET)... What ever I do, I WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE and I WANT FINANCIAL SECURITY!

So, with all that, within the past month or two, I have been contemplating the idea of going in the military. I don't know which branch yet, but what I do know so far is NO to the Marines (just not my style). The branch I've looked the most into is the Army National Guard. I have talked to two different recruiters (I think both with the National Guard), friends, my husband, and several city data people to give me some insight. Some friends say Air Force because they are more about the "people". What does that mean? I am going to talk to a friend of mine next week about the Navy... she just graduated from the Naval Academy... what are your thoughts...?

With this contemplation, I have realized that peoples' opinions tend to be a bit biased (b/t branches) either b/c they were in a certain branch or new someone that was in a different one and what I would like to find is someone or something that will kind of spell things out for me... pros and cons... and I have also heard and read that recruiters won't really tell you the truth about what you are getting your self into. And what about jobs that I qualify for and pick... is it true that they can throw me into anything they want me to be in? Meaning, I know NOTHING about mechanics and have no desire... they wouldn't put in a job that I have no knowledge or interest in, would they? Should I go in as enlisted... or as an officer... I am getting mixed info. about both...

Please, take time to give me your honest and educated opinion...

FYI - I already took the ASVAB. I don't know what jobs I qualified for yet.

Thank you for your time!
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Old 06-12-2008, 11:56 PM
Location: US
1,189 posts, read 3,494,313 times
Reputation: 802
First off, I was inches from joining *a branch* at one point in time; I had an extremely high ASVAB and so on...and all the branches were hounding me at one point in time. I was naive... but suddenly had enough sense to goof my way out of MEPS with little hassle only to never return (This was a bit after "9/11" when the dust was settling and the BS detector started going off in a lot of people's minds-- delayed reaction on my part perhaps). Do I regret it? Yeah, sometimes...

But I digress...anyone here is welcome to call me on my crap, but I believe this to be pretty accurate as it is limited information since I've never been in the military.

If you want the cash and career, go in as officer in the navy or air force. You say you want to help people, you have a degree, and you're older? LEAD THEM. They don't care what the hell you got your BA/BS in because they will educate you in whatever field they are lacking if you didn't agree to anything particular in your contract. (I know this is true in the air force. They could care less if you have a BS in Aviation, just as long as you have that 4 year degree...and most likely they will choose someone with History BA over Aviation. This was true the last time I talked to the recruiter.) If you were a decent teacher surely you can propel people in other ways!
You can pick the awesomest MOS you want with the recruiter if you have proper ASVAB score, but not a damn thing matters until you go to swear the oath and sign the dotted line. READ your contract. This isn't kosher generic lawyer stuff billed at flat rate of 200$/hr, this is government property at that point. The air force and navy recruiters have always been straight shooters with me, but the marines are some sneaky sobs. They will do almost -anything- to improve their numbers. I imagine now in current times even moreso. -Few- and the proud indeed.. Your mileage may vary, but again you already said no to marines so you may have had similar circumstances.

If you want to make a difference and have a career out of it, I would strongly consider the navy or air force. However, I do lean toward air force personally.
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:36 AM
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
8,322 posts, read 12,815,462 times
Reputation: 4857
My grandfather was Air Force, my grandmother was Army, my uncle is a Marine gone Army, My cousin is a Coast Guard, both my parents were Navy, both of my Parent-In-Laws were Navy. I've got friends in the Marines, Army, Navy, and Army National Guard. I'm still wavering between staying with my Naval Contractor position and the Air Force - but my husband is almost dead set on joining a Branch of the military, he hasn't 100% decided which one yet.

Every branch has its ups and downs. The big questions I would ask you:

What do you want to do?

What do you hope to accomplish?

What is your reasoning to join?

Are you willing to use a firearm if necessary?

Are you willing to travel the world on a moment's notice?

Truth of the matter is that the Military is more likely to put you in whatever position is open if you do this with haste. Think carefully about what you want to do for the next 6-20 years of your life. Once you have an idea of what you want, visit the recruiting offices and speak with them about what you would like to do and what it would detail with that specific branch.

Find the niche that best suits you. You might have a delayed entry based on the availability and timing at the A Schools, but that means that you're more likely to get the field you want.

You really should keep in mind that this is the Military and once you sign the dotted line, there's almost no going back. Not trying to intimidate you from this... but joining the military is (as my mother described it) almost one step from selling your soul.

One benefit is that you get to see the world as part of your job. This is great for those who have no loyalty to a specific place in the states. My sister-in-law is leaving for Guam here soon. One of my best friends just got back in December from a Sea Duty tour that took him to more than 10 different countries.

If you want more personal advice, feel free to PM me with any questions or concerns you have.

Two extra tidbits - Despite what people might think about the Air Force, the Navy is actually the branch with the most objects in the air. Aviation is more desired in the Navy.... Also, make sure to thoroughly read your contract before signing the dotted line.

What did you get on the ASVAB, if you don't mind answering?
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:18 AM
5,270 posts, read 11,499,616 times
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Well I was in the navy for 8 years and worked closely with all branches due to the nature of my job.

Given your bio, I would suggest the air force. The navy will keep you away from your husband (and maybe someday your children) too much and infidelity in that branch of the service is a way of life. The army is a mixed bag- a cross between the marines & navy. The air force allows its people to stay in oine place longer (if they want to) and yet affords plenty of opportunities to live overseas and other very nice places. I think it's also the best branch were women have a good chance of getting ahead without having to compromise themselves too much (that does not necessarily mean with sexual favors, but the air force I think you're judged more fairly without having to become something you're not- if you want an example, ask).
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Old 06-13-2008, 03:06 PM
3,191 posts, read 7,834,693 times
Reputation: 2167
I agree with blazer. I have numerous family members who are or were in the different branches of the military. And I would agree that the Air Force would the better choice. Definitely a 'kinder' choice...

thank you for your willingness to serve....it can work in your favor, and you can certainly further your education also
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:02 PM
6 posts, read 30,562 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for writing... I am still taking it all in!

I got at 45. I passed, but heard that it may be slightly low to go in as an officer... I am still waiting for what jobs I would qualify for; not sure what jobs are out there, so until then, I am not sure what I would want to do.

Thanks again.

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Old 06-13-2008, 05:42 PM
3,088 posts, read 7,497,579 times
Reputation: 2023
if you want to help people have you thought of going into the peace corp?

Anyways this is a good site Military.com Forums - Powered by eve community
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Old 06-13-2008, 08:12 PM
Location: Tucson, AZ
2,121 posts, read 7,293,693 times
Reputation: 2768
If you are not sure what military career fields are available, I suggest web visits to the home pages of all the branches. You can browse through all the fields that are available for enlisted personnel to get a good idea, because they need officers to lead the enlisted people in all those fields. I would think that Army might be a good choice, if you can't get accepted to air force OCS (officer candidate school), you might be able to get into army OCS. Army is a larger branch of service and has more turnover and a bigger need for new officers. If you have experience as a teacher, that is a huge plus, and make that a big selling point on your application for OCS. Military needs officers who are comfortable in leading and motivating groups of young people with little experience in the world. That's a big part of a new officer's job. 90 percent of military officers are primarily working in positions like a supervisor or manager at a private company would, except many of these jobs involve large equipment or weapons systems. Good luck.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:12 PM
Location: Land of Thought and Flow
8,322 posts, read 12,815,462 times
Reputation: 4857
In all honesty, if you want to go in as an Officer, I would think you would need a higher ASVAB score. Talk to the recruiters and get a breakdown of what you did well in, what you did poorly in. If the 45 is indeed too low, study really hard and try it again.
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:03 AM
6,351 posts, read 18,471,002 times
Reputation: 9882
Good advice above. Freas8312, a whole book wouldn't cover everything you need to know before you join the military... But it's a wonderful career choice, IMHO. Served 23 years in USAF but believe ALL of the services (and don't forget the Coast Guard!) have great things to offer. Certainly, being an officer offers more prestige, pay and opportunity to lead than being Enlisted. But the politics in the oficer ranks can be something else... Have you talked this over with your hubby? Being a military spouse is a whole different ball game than having a working spouse in the civilian world. Is he willing/able to follow you around the world as you pursue your military career? Can he deal with underemployment/unemployment??? Can he deal with you being deployed frequently and for long periods? There's a LOT to think about when it comes to your spouse and (future) children.

Military training is among the best in the world. They'll thoroughly train you for any job you're given. And certainly serving in the Guard/Reserves would keep you at home (but with deployments still a very real possibility)

Hope this helps.
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