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Old 02-19-2009, 11:54 PM
 
Location: ***Spokane***
1,092 posts, read 2,995,117 times
Reputation: 453

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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
We are finally going to sit down with the Army recruiter next week sometime and I need to know what kind of questions to ask, and what lies we will hear !

So far, DH was told over the phone that when our son signs the contract, he will start getting $1000 a month and he will get a 10k graduation bonus. He will also get a 70k schooling fund. All he has to do now is go sit at the recruiting office on Saturdays to help out.

Currently our son is a Junior in HS (will be 18 in Sept) and due to graduate early - in Feb 2010 - because he has enough credits. I have a HUGE issue with this. I want my son to graduate next June with the rest of his class and experience all the fun of his Senior year - including prom. DH doesn't think it is a big deal and our son is rather neutral about it. Of course the minute he graduates, the Army will take him and as a mom, I am totally dreading this.

My son is in his 3rd year of ROTC and knows he is going in the military. I am in favor of this solid career choice, however I am scared to death and I do not want him to die a young soldier. This is very very hard for me.
I spent over 10 years in the US Army Recruiting Cmd, and can tell you recruiters are like anyone else, some are very good and some are not...I kept in touch with my recruits through their AIT and some I have e-mail contact with well after their initial training...With your son having ROTC, he'll have an advantage of other trainees' due to his knowledge of the military structure , D &C , history of the military and also should enter the military in a higher grade due to his ROTC, at least E2 , based on changes in Army regulations could be higher, this is in the regulation; just have his recruiter show your son and you the grade in the regulation. Is your son interested in the Reserves or Active duty? Below is primarily based on
Active duty..

Does he have current ASVAB (test for military recruiters) test results ? Some high schools administrator these tests at no cost to the student, and tells the recruiter of any service and the high school guidance counselors' what your son is qualified for in the military or within vocational trades, but also his physical results from the Mep (Military Entrance Processing Station) is also used along with his ASVAB for qualifications for the career. I must throw in to this conversation that the needs of the Military is always first and foremost, "but" also the request of the applicant is considered based on openings of the specific job such as Military Police , artillery, Medical Technician and so on.. his qualifications, when the school begins and a pre-security clearance is initiated while an individual is in the delayed entry program (such as seniors can be in the DEP through his or her senior year. The nice thing about the DEP is you are guaranteed the job at the time you swear to the oath of enlistment conducted by a commissioned offier. Being I was an Army recruiter for over a decade, and am now retired , you can pm me for any questions and I will answer based on my experience . I did enjoy my position, primarily helping young people get a jump start on life, with as little as a 2 year enlistment initially. In closing, I always a week before I were to arrive at a home with parents and son or daughter; I would have them place on a document the pro's and con's of joining the military and will it help you in your future endeavors? Good Luck...Pm if needed..
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,704,421 times
Reputation: 667
Thank you everyone for your responses! I am printing this out and sharing with my DH and son. My son wants an Army career - not just a 4 year job.

Chosing his MOS will be easy - he wants to be a Ranger. LOL - this sounds like a difficult job to attain. I want him to be a cook - much safer or at least a job that will give him skills for his 'second career'. It seems that the most important issue is chosing the MOS he wants, and not what the recruiter wants. I find it hard to believe that a 17 year old can even intelligently chose his career at that young age. At 17 I had no clue and have been thru 3 career choices - 2 of which were/are just jobs. We have alot of things to learn.

I especially want to thank the mom's who responded. Only a mother knows what I am feeling. We are a very close family and the thought of him being away from me for over a year (even though he will be an adult) is heartbreaking - never mind the fear factor. I looked at the goarmy site yesterday and I have a feeling I will be there ALOT!
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:36 AM
 
Location: hinesburg, vt
1,574 posts, read 4,345,323 times
Reputation: 395
It's important to remember that kids that are in their teens see the world and opportunities in a different light. They are very lured by positions which the military is very good at advertising. I am in no way knocking the services, I have been in since '79 both active/reserve, but before signing any enlistment contract it is important to take some time and put some real thought into it. As far as dealing with recruiters. You have to remember that they operate for one purpose and one purpose only, to put people into the service. Some are very good with a good wealth of knowledge and some are not. Hence, don't expect them to make any promises on what track your enlistment will take. They can surely tell you that by signing up and shipping to basic you will have the options later to do this or that or serve here and there, but by no means can they guarantee anything other than when you are leaving and what bonuses you initially qualify for. If ROTC is being considered, there are numerous programs for both the active and reserve components and that can involve a different recruiter. Another benefit for college bound kids is that while doing ROTC they are non deployable while in school and while in the program they may very well develop different ideas on which direction they want to track, hence, it gives them time and perhaps even better options to get more focused. My younger son will be graduating this spring with a commission and his whole outlook and plans changed while in school towards a path that I feel will benefit him more had he just decided to do an initial enlistment and then follow that with going to school.
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Old 02-20-2009, 09:24 AM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,438,161 times
Reputation: 1957
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post

Chosing his MOS will be easy - he wants to be a Ranger. LOL - this sounds like a difficult job to attain.
I think someone said this already but its worth emphasizing. If that is all he wants to do in the Army he needs a "get out of the Army free"(not what its really called) stipulation in his contract if he washes out so he does not end up stuck in something he hates.

My husband entered the AF with a training slot for a very high washout rate job (I think the washout rate is 85-90% for the training he went through) and he had something in his contract to get him out of the AF if he did not make it.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:16 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,873,761 times
Reputation: 14611
This is true. Ranger school is extremely grueling/difficult.

As for the comment about being a "cook" - although having excellent cooks is important to our soldiers -I can't say the MOS will give a soldier the necessary skills to function in the outside world in anything more than someone working at McDonalds.

Being a Ranger is similar. Our soldiers with warfighting skills often leave the Army will very few skills that would be useful to the civilian world. Most soldiers with these skills go into law enforcemet, from my experience.

Make sure your son goes into an MOS that can transfer into a useful civilian world occupation.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Hampton Roads, Virginia
1,123 posts, read 4,704,421 times
Reputation: 667
I actually spent some time today looking at the goarmy site and the career choices as well as the youtube videos someone suggested.

My son has 2 interests (long term interests) other than video games . He loves maps and weather. I found 2 different jobs that are related to these interests - one is a Geospatial Engineer (mapping out battlefields) and a Field Artillery Meterorological Crewmember (monitors weather so that missiles can be launched correctly). I am anxious to show these to my son to see if these might be good 2nd choices! The engineer job would give him good future career skills. The next step will be finding out from the recruiter how hard or easy these choices are to obtain.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts! I have learned so much!
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Old 02-20-2009, 02:41 PM
 
Location: in love with life!
5,289 posts, read 1,104,076 times
Reputation: 844
I have a very good friend that was a Ranger (now a Green Berets) and my uncle was a Ranger. It is a great calling, if it is his calling.

You've received a lot of good advice here, not much that I could add. But, as a military mom there are some good websites to visit where military spouses and parents get together (online) and sound off. Some of them are great, because they put into English the language your son will be speaking. Even after having been in ROTC he will learn even more lingo, and to civilians it sounds like a foreign language! I grew up a military kid and I remember getting frustrated when I'd be trying to tell civilian friends something and they would look at me and say "what?"

CinCHouse - Military Spouse - Military Wives - Military Wife - Military Discussion Board
mainly for wives, but has some good stuff

~ Military Moms - Home of the Proud Military Mom

Military Mom at Home

MOMS | Home

Once your son finishes basic and ait and finds out where he will be based you can go online to the base's website (ok, so he is Army so it is called a post. Navy has bases, the Army has posts...) and keep up with what is going on.

All my prayers for you, your DH and your son as y'all begin this journey! God bless you!
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Old 02-20-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,873,761 times
Reputation: 14611
Quote:
Originally Posted by stacylee926 View Post
I actually spent some time today looking at the goarmy site and the career choices as well as the youtube videos someone suggested.

My son has 2 interests (long term interests) other than video games . He loves maps and weather. I found 2 different jobs that are related to these interests - one is a Geospatial Engineer (mapping out battlefields) and a Field Artillery Meterorological Crewmember (monitors weather so that missiles can be launched correctly). I am anxious to show these to my son to see if these might be good 2nd choices! The engineer job would give him good future career skills. The next step will be finding out from the recruiter how hard or easy these choices are to obtain.

Thanks again for everyone's thoughts! I have learned so much!
Geospatial Engineer? Wow! I didn't know we had those job titles. Be careful with those job title and descriptions. A geospatial engineer is a soldier first - meaning he'll likely spend little time actually monitoring the weather, but actually loading 155 mm Howitzers or other guns in Field Artillery. He'll spend a lot of time "in the field" - on "exercises" with his unit. I have to admit when I first entered, those job titles were misleading. "Culinary Arts Specialist = cook"

Army Jobs and Skills
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Old 02-20-2009, 06:46 PM
 
Location: Back in the gym...Yo Adrian!
9,371 posts, read 17,494,909 times
Reputation: 18346
Make the army wait, they will always be there and he won't be turned away. The only reason the recruiter is pushing so fast is because he doesn't want to lose him. Regardless of what the recruiter tells him...he will be going to either Iraq or Afghanistan, no two ways about it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 12:27 AM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
27,798 posts, read 24,873,761 times
Reputation: 14611
possibly 2 or 3 times
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