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Military? Maybe? Advice/Opinions please.

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by ryanlvv, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    the obsolute more important thing about being in recon is being honest. there is no reason for the army to train you, and send you off someplace to find and observe something, if they can't trust you to come back and report the truth. so, going into the army and serving in a good unit should make an honest man out of you. and that will serve you in good stead the rest of your life.
     
  2. ryanlvv

    ryanlvv Well-Known Member

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    So far, I've talked extensively with the Army recruiter. (Only branch in town, which is weird considering its a college town) I plan to speak with USMC as soon as I find out whats happening with my case. (I hired a lawyer, and so far it's been pushed back to January.) I've been upfront with everything in my life, no lies. (I know they will find out everything anyways.)

    I plan on enlisting Infantry on either.
    (03xx)
    (11x)
    I'm just going to go back to college after I'm finished, not trying to find an MOS that translates into civilian life.
    Then either finish up for free with an accounting, pre-PT, or engineering bachelor, then onto masters.

    The one thing I'm concerned with is:

    I'd enter the Army as at least an E-3
    The USMC as an E-2.

    The Army promotes faster.

    I feel like I'd be at ease more fighting alongside Marines who really want to be there, etc. over Army guys who might just be in the Army for steady pay or benefits, etc.

    I don't think the Marines have a loan repayment plan which the Army has that pays off student loans before enlisting. (I already have 20,000+ in student loans)

    I feel like the Marines are a lot more physical and prideful, which I am into.

    I hear that the Marines are kind of anti-family, and I am engaged and will be wed before I enlist.

    It's a tough decision.
    My heart says Marines, my brain says Army.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  3. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    I have never given thought of joining either branch, so I have no advice. But what I am reading from you is that you mostly want the best benefits and options for you, which is fine. So, don't kid yourself, join the one that best fits your plan. Which one would help you with a career in engineering, or whatever? Which one will be a stepping stone for your future?
     
  4. Fang66

    Fang66 Senior member

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    I think the OP should become a ninja, that is much cooler than Army or Marines.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. JustinW

    JustinW Senior member

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    I don't know much about the US services enlistment (my dad was an 0311 in Viet Nam during the Tet Offensive, but I served in the Australian Defense Force), but it sounds like you get a lot of choice about what branch, unit and job you go to in the US. I've been thinking about this a bit lately, wondering if my son would ever want to serve in the military in one of his countries.

    If you are looking for benefits and rewards (uni scholarships, pay, healthcare and all that), there's nothing wrong with that - find a good job in the rear where you will learn some skills and have a relatively easy enlistment while accruing benefits. I have a workmate driving trucks for the National Guard on weekends to pay for his law school studies.

    I also see what GT is saying - once it's all done, you don't want to be the guy at the bar with a chip on his shoulder because everyone else was in a combat arm while he was a member of the Remmington Raiders (well, I guess these days it would be the PC Workstation Paras or something). If you are only going to be in for a few years, there's a lot to be said for going to the sharp end and doing it properly.

    Personally, I liked having a slightly unusual job (I was a combat medic) rather than being one of a gazillion riflemen. There are a few specialist roles that let you get out there with the infantry and cavalry platoons in action while having a little status and 'specialness' over the regular grunts burning the latrines and policing-up trash. If you don't make it into the commandos or special forces or whatever, consider something a little different like Forward Air Controller or maybe artillery FO. Signals used to be a cool job, before the digital age, but I think they are now stuck in the rear while junior officers just key a satphone or burst radio themselves.
     
  6. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    I served 6 years in the Marine Corps, with my final two working as a liaison between the monitors (the folks in Quantico who decide what specific MOS each new recruit receives) and the recruiters. So unless standards have relaxed significantly since I got out about a decade ago (and judging by friends who are active duty recruiters and the economy, things haven't relaxed), no matter what a recruiter tells you, you will not be able to go Recon with a misdemeanor conviction on your record, let alone a felony. You will need a minimum of a TS clearance to go into Recon and you will not be able to obtain that with nearly any conviction on your record - especially any conviction as recent as this one that you are up against.

    Regarding going into the Marine Corps Reconnaissance program, they actively recruit Marines from any MOS, not just the 03XX field. In fact, just based off of my experience with those I knew who went into Recon, the majority did not come from the infantry. While many were in the infantry, I'd wager than an equal number came from communications (06XX), intelligence (02XX), signals intel (26XX), linguistics (27XX), tankers/AAV (18XX), data/comm (28XX), etc. Recon units operate in much smaller groups than your typical platoon therefore often need Marines who know how to do more than put lead down range.

    Would you be able to make it into the disbursing field with this on your record? Probably, but that is a very small field with only a few billets available each year (relative to many of the other fields in the Corps) and when the monitors are looking at who to place into the disbursing field and they see somebody with a conviction on their record and somebody without, all other things equal, you can pretty much guess who they would choose.

    Even with the conviction on your record, there are still plenty of good opportunities available and I personally would advise strongly against going in as infantry. I personally cannot think of one advantage to being in the infantry, but if that's what you really want, I would advise going in as something else, giving it a couple of years, and then attempting to make a lateral move into the infantry. Because the turnover is so high in the infantry, they are always looking for NCOs with a bit more experience to come into the field. If travel and seeing some "action" are your big concerns, one of the advantages to the Marine Corps over the Army is that it is so much smaller and nearly every unit is a deployable unit. I spent my time as a paper pusher but did so all over the place including cleaning up after an earthquake in Turkey, earning a CAR in Kosovo, auditing Marines at U.S. Embassies throughout Asia and the Pacific, etc. In the end, doing the "cool" stuff comes down to what unit you get attached to more than anything else.

    I know it may be too late since your court date is sometime today, but if you are serious about joining the military, I would do everything in my power to get the charges against you dropped completely. I'm no lawyer and don't know what state you are in or how serious a Theft III charge is but as others have mentioned, it would probably be a wise idea to have a lawyer with you. Let the judge know you are considering joining the military, are willing to do extra community service, etc. Basically, the fewer blemishes on your record, the better chances you will have at getting one of the more coveted jobs.

    As for JustinW's comment about signals probably not being such a cool job anymore, I can say that at least in the Marines our enlisted signals intel folks are definitely out on the front lines (I'm sure there are of course some in the rear too). Of course there are probably a lot few signals and crypto folks these days than there were 20 or 30 years ago so it's a tougher field to get into initially. Whether we were aboard a ship or on the ground somewhere, I remember our signals folks were always getting sent out on operations - often attached to a small Recon group or some other small detachment.


    Edit:
    The OP had mentioned in one of his posts about tuition repayment options through the Marines v the Army. He is correct that the Marines do not have a tuition repayment plan. They used to have a $75k Marine Corps Scholarship available to certain recruits which might be something to look into. Also, if you are currently a junior at your university, you likely do not need quite so many classes to finish your degree and while you are in the Marines, they do have 100% tuition reimbursement (unless you fail the class and they take the money back from you) that could be used to take the final accounting courses you need to get your degree while you are on active duty.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  7. ryanlvv

    ryanlvv Well-Known Member

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    Indiana
    


    I don't have a felony?

    I thought it was Secret not TS.

    http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/marines/a/reconselection.htm


    but thank you that is the kind of informed post I am looking for.
    I still have some time to figure it out, I have to finish this next semester before I can make any decisions anyway and my court date has been pushed back to the middle of January because I hired a lawyer and he is hopefully working his magic.

    I heard it is a lot harder for Marines to attend school while enlisted than any other of the branches, any truth to that?

    I'm heading to Seattle for Winter break, I think I'll try to talk to a Marines recruiter when I'm there 12/23-01/02. (If any offices are even open)

    Thanks again guys.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  8. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    OP, what state are you in? PM me if you'd prefer.
     
  9. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    I didn't mean that you have will have a felony (Thief III certainly didn't sound like a felony to me), I thought somebody else earlier mentioned something about enlisting with felony convictions...

    The link you posted regarding the obtaining a secret clearance may be technically correct, but generally when billets for recon are available, you will be competing against other Marines for selection and every strike against you will hurt your effort. And when spots become available in one of the recon battalions anybody who meets the basics can apply but they will advertise that they are looking specifically for Marines from XXXX MOS backgrounds or who have served with particular units, are eligible for TS/SCI clearance, are proficient with some random language, willing to extend their contracts... The Marines who meet those additional criteria will be looked at more favorably than those who meet only the minimum basic requirements.

    In the end though, a misdemeanor conviction can really hurt your chances of being eligible for even a secret clearance, as can a poor credit rating, a recent divorce, drunk driving conviction, etc.

    I cannot tell you if there is any truth to attending school being more difficult as a Marine than in other branches as I only served in the Marines. But I took some courses and never had an issue with it and knew quite a few Marines who finished a BS from start to finish while they were serving (I didn't finish my undergrad degree until after I was out though). You wouldn't have time to be a full time student but if you only had a year and a half of schooling left to do, you shouldn't have an issue taking those courses (as long as what you need to take is available) within the 4-6 years of your first enlistment. Even if you get sent out on a deployment and are stuck on a ship for 6 months, they bring college professors out and offer courses on the float as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  10. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    What? I was in the 1/75 Ranger Bn (Airborne) and was in Ranger School Class 2-84. We had a few Marines/Navy/Airforce soldiers in my class, but it wasn't real common for Recon Marines to go through Ranger School - they have their own training.

    I have nothing but good things to say about the military. Honestly, I joined to grow up and get college money and succeeded on both counts. The physical part of elite unit training is highly over-rated; it's really 90% mental. Can you handle the suck? Any idiot can learn to do pull-ups, push-ups and run - but try a forced ruck march for 20 miles with 80 lbs. in your pack and wearing boots. Every step sucks and a lot of people can't handle that.
     
  11. ryanlvv

    ryanlvv Well-Known Member

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    I'd like to say that I can handle it, but anyone on the internet can say that.

    On the other hand, I'm pretty optimistic person, I never give up, I'm always trying to better myself, when I used to wrestle or if I do MMA now I'll usually just get choked all the way out unconscious or almost have my arm broken instead of tapping.( I don't think that's the smartest thing but I can't give up on myself if there is still even a little bit of a chance.)

    So I'd like to say I can adjust to the mental state needed, plus I haven't lived the poshest or easiest life already.
     
  12. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    Every once in a while, one of my nephews will have a friend who is leaving for boot camp (or a son/daughter niece/nephew of a coworker ) and they bring them to see me and get my advice about what to expect. And basically what I bolded above is what I tell them. Go in with a positive attitude and stay optimistic. Ninety-five percent of boot camp in the Marines is the Drill Instructors trying to break you down mentally and basically beat the idea of teamwork into you (and I imagine it's the same in the other services). As Grayland said, any idiot can learn to do some pull-ups and I'll even go a bit further and say that any idiot can do a forced march with the weight on his back. The folks that don't make it through training are the ones who get all depressed and think the DIs are out to get them and/or cannot learn to shut up and follow directions (there will be time for voicing your opinion once you are out in the fleet).

    I'll also second what Grayland said about Recon Marines not having to go through Ranger school. Occasionally some will go off to Ranger school for additional training, but that is the exception, not the rule. The Marines that do go to Ranger school are ones that have usually completed their Recon training and been in the one of the Recon Battalions for some time and are being rewarded with the opportunity for some additional specialized training.
     
  13. dune

    dune Senior member

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    One of the things that I regret most in life that is I couldn't even try to join the Marines (Belgian, no permanent visa of any kind) - business school was the second option for me. Good luck.
     
  14. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I remember going through a moment when I wanted to enlist. I contacted the air national guard but never heard from a recruiter. I took it as a sign and never considered the military again.
     
  15. Duff_Man

    Duff_Man Senior member

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    [​IMG]
     
  16. Grayland

    Grayland Senior member

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    That is great.
     
  17. Michigan Planner

    Michigan Planner Senior member

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    They aren't called the chAir Force for nothing!
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2011
  18. JustinW

    JustinW Senior member

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    LOL. We called them the Royal Australian Air Farce and the RAF Ground Defense Pretend Soldiers were the chAirborne Rangers.

    On the scale of like to dislike in the Australian army, it went something like this:

    RAN
    NZ Defense Force
    Brit Army
    USMC
    Brit Navy
    American army
    American Air Force
    Australian Air Farce
     
  19. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    Throw urself on the mercy of the court....
     
  20. Liet

    Liet Member

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    The Army made a big deal about a couple traffic violations I had to go along with a briefly suspended driver's license. Granted, this was for commissioning, but I was really surprised that it was such a hurdle.
     

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