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Old 12-12-2023, 07:15 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
25,555 posts, read 17,256,908 times
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For me, the answer is yes to both.
I'm an old guy who served many years ago. Nine years, navy.
I got so very much out of it, I would recommend it for everyone. Problem is, a lot of kids today can't get in - drugs, physical, and all that.
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Old 12-12-2023, 08:12 AM
 
2,912 posts, read 2,045,192 times
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Yes, strictly for the benefits and retirement (even though the current retirement plan(s) is vastly different than in my day. I would forgo volunteering for one 4-year assignment that gave me most of my health and psych issues I have to this day though.
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Old 12-12-2023, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Southeast
1,852 posts, read 867,463 times
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No. I wasn't in for very long (three years in the late 80s, given an early-out option) and I didn't appreciate my time in, so I didn't accept any of the benefits.

But having seen my daughter marry into the military, they don't take care of our active duty very well, nor their families. I can't tell you how much trouble my daughter has getting medical care for their children through Tricare, and sometimes he isn't paid on time. It's a disgrace, and I would never suggest anyone join now.
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Old 12-12-2023, 08:50 AM
 
4,510 posts, read 5,048,411 times
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No to both. Wasted my time. 1960/63

Last edited by Nodpete; 12-12-2023 at 09:45 AM..
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Old 12-12-2023, 09:43 AM
 
6,091 posts, read 3,330,622 times
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I would 100% do it all over again. It’s been a wonderful 30+ year ride.

But would I recommend service today? I would, but young people need to think of it differently.

In 1990, I was so proud to wear the uniform. Every day I would wake up and be so grateful just to be a part of the world’s best fighting force. I was so naive.

Young people of today need to think much more pragmatically than I did. Military service today should be thought of transactionally. You are pulling yourself out of poverty and into the middle class, and the reason you are being allowed to do this is to increase the wealth and power of the 1%.

Once you understand what you are actually doing, and what you are actually getting out of the deal, it all becomes clear.
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Old 12-12-2023, 11:11 AM
 
Location: NE Mississippi
25,555 posts, read 17,256,908 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WK91 View Post
I would 100% do it all over again. It’s been a wonderful 30+ year ride.

But would I recommend service today? I would, but young people need to think of it differently.

In 1990, I was so proud to wear the uniform. Every day I would wake up and be so grateful just to be a part of the world’s best fighting force. I was so naive.

Young people of today need to think much more pragmatically than I did. Military service today should be thought of transactionally. You are pulling yourself out of poverty and into the middle class, and the reason you are being allowed to do this is to increase the wealth and power of the 1%.

Once you understand what you are actually doing, and what you are actually getting out of the deal, it all becomes clear.
In 1968, we got out of uniform whenever we could. Some girls actually shunned me when they found out I was in the service, but certainly not all. And we didn't make much money.
But I was always proud. I went to the best schools, got the best duty assignments. I crossed both great oceans and was loaned out to both the Colombian and Philippine navies for 6-month terms. I served with Adm McCain in the Mediterranean, worked river patrol the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, and was co-pilot on the world's largest hydrofoil.
We no longer hold hydrofoil reunions because the crew has gotten too old, but for many years we did. We all agree that we did not know it at the time, but it was the greatest adventure of our lives and was the time we made the best friends of our lives.


From poverty to middle class describes my experience exactly. Whether any of us made it to the 1% though, has been up to each individual. After all, there are a great many one-percenters who came from poverty, and many of them were enlisted as opposed to commissioned.
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Old 12-12-2023, 12:45 PM
 
Location: South of Cakalaki
5,716 posts, read 4,682,005 times
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Not a chance. Iraq disillusioned me. Lot of dead friends for a made up reason.

Don’t get me wrong, in 1985 it was perfect for me. But I actually discouraged my kids from joining. You aren’t defending America. You’re defending corporate interests. You think we really care about the people of Iraq and Afghanistan? Not a chance. Trillions of dollars in natural resources were what both places were about.
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Old 12-12-2023, 06:47 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
6,340 posts, read 4,892,353 times
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Best thing that ever happened to me.

Two college degrees on the GI Bill.
VA loan on my first house.
Now, 50 years later, VA health care.
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Old 12-12-2023, 07:06 PM
 
Location: South Raleigh
504 posts, read 258,405 times
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Yes, very, and maybe. 11 years USAF ( started during the Vietnam era ) and loved it. But I would only recommend it to folks I thought would be well suited to it. It is not for everyone.

The USAF put me through graduate school and provided a career with a lot of responsibility ( managing a $40m technical intelligence program as a Captain ). That led to a GS-15 position in DOD followed by SES certification a year later. I went from Major-selectee to one-star equivalent civilian in less than two years. Retired at 57 with 33 years service ( not counting a three-year stint as a defense contractor ) ( made a ton of money then went back into civil service ).

My greatest joy in the service came from being Assistant Professor and Commandant of Cadets at an engineering college. One female student I chose for Cadet Corps Commander went on to a fantastic career and made four-star.

But the greatest benefit for me came from personal growth. The service gave me the training and confidence I needed in order to succeed. And that is priceless. Not to mention the value of integrity and serving one's country.
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Old 12-12-2023, 08:38 PM
 
Location: SC
634 posts, read 326,832 times
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Knowing what I know now, as far as how the military works, how to play office politics, things like CLEPs and the CCAF to prioritize, etc? Yes. It's still a good way to get by, and the education benefits and stuff are still great.
If I were at this moment a know-nothing 18 year old again without any of the knowledge I have now? I don't know. The world, the economy and job market, and more are a lot different than when I was originally 18. There are just too many variables. Am I an 18 year old again but with the same parents I had when I was first 18? Then yeah, I still probably wouldn't have been set up very well for being an adult and still wouldn't feel like I had many options, so I'd still probably join.

Would I still recommend it? Yes, I would, to other people's kids. I still think the military provides great opportunities for young people but it's not what I want for my kids.
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