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Old 08-10-2009, 12:46 PM
 
2 posts, read 19,698 times
Reputation: 11

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I'm a 21 year old male in a bit of a situation. First, I want to start off by saying that I respect all of our servicemen no matter what position their fill. My grandfather (RIP) served for nearly 30 years as an officer in the USAF.

My situation is that I don't feel like I'd be joining for myself. My girlfriend of 5 years (we're considering marriage ) is horribly in debt (student loans) with no degree because of a bad trade school and is joining the Navy to get her life back in order and take advantage of the Student Loan Repayment Program.

I am already in a career myself and wouldn't normally consider enlisting (although I considered it strongly in HS) but there is no way we could maintain a relationship unless we both enlisted (and did the Spouse Co-Location program, which I'm told is pretty good).

Now I feel like I don't know if I'd be "throwing away" four years of my life or not. I think any time spent in the service to be well-spent and do not think any our servicemen are "wasting their time" but I've gotten a great head start on a career and don't want to come back to a job market and start over.

Now, I'm currently in IT, which means the enlisted rates are about a third of what the civilian market pays. However, I also don't have a degree. I've heard you can earn one while in the service, but that it's also almost impossible to find time?

I really need some advice and insight into this. I feel like I will enlist anyways, but I'm really stressed out about this and don't want to feel like I'm making a mistake!

Thank you everyone who has taken the time to help me.

edit: Random details: I would be joining as E-3 and going for the CTN rating. My AFQT was 94.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,236,810 times
Reputation: 903
Just worst case it and see if you'd still enjoy serving.

Worst cases:

GF bails on you or you bail on her.

One (or both of you) wash out of training (Basic or A-school). Washing out of Basic is bad (ticket home). Washing out at A-school can mean serving undesignated. (I taught at a joint school for four years and the Navy kids got really really upset when they faced a drop becuase they feared continued service undesignated. I suppose that still how it goes.)


Chances are, things would go swimmingly and it would all work out. (Being a little older (20-25) when joining often results in the plans working out as intended, but that's just my observation based on experience)

But in general, I would not reccomend anyone join for a woman (or a man) but for themselves and their country. I've seen too many "BF/GF" relationships go south from shipping day.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:21 PM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,424,609 times
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If you did the co-location program you'd have to be married obviously. If you were married and you were not in the Navy, then you would go with her anyway.

Co-location is not guaranteed. Even if you get it, what if you are TAD while she is home and she is TAD while you are home?

I had a friend (not a boyfriend) try to get me to enlist along with him into the AF while we were in college. I told him, no thanks, but you go right ahead. Guess what, he washed out of basic due to an old back injury that flared up.

Just a few things to think about.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:23 PM
 
7,038 posts, read 15,964,092 times
Reputation: 4390
Yea, you don't sound like your joining for yourself! And, if by chance you do get split up from your girlfriend, how will you feel-what will you do then? Sorry, cann't give you much advice. I enlisted in the Navy due to the Draft being extremely close to me! And, didn't get married or have a girlfriend the entire time I was in! I met girls and we had fun, but that was it.
Just curious, how can you join as an E-3/Seaman?
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:47 PM
 
2 posts, read 19,698 times
Reputation: 11
What can make you wash out of BT? If you really 'give it your all', don't screw up (and break rules, etc.) and persevere, are there still a lot of things that can send you home?

As for the E-3, I'm an Eagle Scout which I'm told qualifies me for E-3 (once out of BT, obviously. Everyone is a new recruit there!)
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:25 PM
 
158 posts, read 401,928 times
Reputation: 127
zomgie, enlisting in any branch of the armed services isn't something that I would suggest unless it something that you want to do.

A relationship can be maintained without serving because the other person is serving.

I wanted to ask you what is your game plan for your career as of now (without service).
Can the Navy help you attain those goals? How so? Or would it be easier for you to stay in the civilian sector?

How do you feel about an enlistment contract with the Navy given that the USA has been involved in a War on Terror for quite a few years now, with no change in sight? What if you are called into a combat situation? Those are things to think about.

Yes you can continue your education while enlisted. My Husband has, and will complete a BS next spring and then intends to start on a Masters prior to seperation.

The bottom line is: What do you want? How do you plan to get it? What are you willing to sacrifice for it?
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Columbia, SC
519 posts, read 1,823,103 times
Reputation: 615
Oh, wow, PLEASE do NOT enlist just so you can be with your girlfriend!!! I would never recommend making life-altering changes for someone you are not even married to.

The others have given you great advice. Unless you truly want to be in the Navy, you'll more than likely be miserable the entire time and regret your decision.

Best wishes!
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:07 PM
 
3,651 posts, read 8,106,306 times
Reputation: 2747
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattleite61 View Post
Oh, wow, PLEASE do NOT enlist just so you can be with your girlfriend!!!
No kidding. Sorry if this sounds harsh but frankly that also tells me that neither of you are anywhere near ready for marriage - and PS that is not a slight to either of you per se, because EXTREMELY few people are really ready for marriage at such a relatively young age (I know 21 may not seem young to you now, but trust me, in a fairly short number of years you'll look back and realize what an easy statement that was to make).

You are both still figuring your lives and yourselves out and may find in those few short years that what you want out of life, the people you want to be around, even the kind of relationship you want, may very well be VERY different. And if it's meant to be, your relationship will still be there later anyway.

If you join just because your girlfriend is or she wants you to, you are making what odds are will turn out to be a HIDEOUS mistake. Don't.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,230 posts, read 6,175,493 times
Reputation: 10026
You can move in with her when she gets her first duty station. Even if she is assigned on a ship she will be in port sometimes. Get a cheap apt and go for it! Then you can still have your career and see what happens with the relationship.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:21 PM
 
9,807 posts, read 12,880,530 times
Reputation: 8127
Quote:
Originally Posted by zomgie View Post
What can make you wash out of BT? If you really 'give it your all', don't screw up (and break rules, etc.) and persevere, are there still a lot of things that can send you home?

As for the E-3, I'm an Eagle Scout which I'm told qualifies me for E-3 (once out of BT, obviously. Everyone is a new recruit there!)
You would have control over your BT in " giving it your all"
You would have absolutely no control over your girlfriend's BT .

Since you are 21 and she has been your girlfriend for 5 years, you, evidently had no control when she was getting herlsef into a financial mess.

You would have no control of her BT whether she eccels or washes out, yet your future plans are locked in based on her not washing out.
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