Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tracy, Apr 8, 2008.
If there was one piece of advice that you could give someone about to sign... What would it be?
Go in committed or don't go at all.
Make sure of what you want.
If the recruiter promises it, make sure it is written on the contract! If you are promised a duty station or school, make sure the contract says so.
Also, read the fine print. The recruiter most likely will not tell you that your 4-year enlistment is actually 8-years....the IRR status can and most likely will put a person right back on active duty.....then there is the STOP-LOSS. That means they don't have to let you out if they don't want to.
Don't get me wrong, the military is a good thing. You just need to know when you are getting into, and don't fall for your recruiter's omissions.
Go in with the attitude that serving is an opportunity to learn, with an open mind. (And get used to the idea that your opinion will be given to you.)
If he must join....
My advice is re-read Tackleberry's post. Recruiters LIE! And make him understand that it really is an 8 year commitment, not just 4.
Germany is good.... go with that.
Lot's of future jobs for ex-MP's.... big brother is gettin bigger all the time. It'll always need more alphabet cops.
Pretty much what everyone else has said, MAKE SURE IT IS IN THE CONTRACT!!! If it isn't on paper, it isn't going to happen. Make sure he knows that if he isn't sure he shouldn't sign! Take the paperwork home and read it over if he has to to make sure he really is getting what he wants. And my final piece of advice: Don't join the Army, join the AIR FORCE!!! Inter service rivalry aside the AF tends to treat it's members more like human beings than the other branches do. I'm not just saying that because I'm in the AF, I'm in a Joint command right now (all services) and every last one of the guys I work with agrees with me on that point. But, if he wants to "rough it" and spend lots of time in Iraq and Afghanistan, by all means, go Army.
+2 I didn't want to sound "parochial" but AF all the way . The AF puts 2 guys into a room the army would put 6....Why volunteer for extra abuse??Looking through my Af association mags, AF basic now has incorporated alot of field training,( more than I had anyway)So if he wants to "play army"in the dirt he'll still get his chance,
AF tech schools are top notch( even if my advanced microwave measurement and calibration(k4) course was taught by navy instructors).
Agree get it in writing and ask all the "stupid" questions.My joining up straight outta h.s. formed the basis of the rest of my life. Best decision I ever made. bar none. of course life was simpler then: SAC, TAC or "mother" MAC... Goodluck.
I forgot to mention that CCAF (community college of the Air Force) is an accredited college that gives college credit for technical and on the job training. I attended a six month tech school that counted for actual college credit. I took a few CLEP tests and earned an Associates degree which I can apply to a four year university. All for free, and all in the course of my normal duties.
Be careful on the stoploss, I was stop-lossed from 31 July 2006 to 31 March 2008. Which put me well over my 8 year MSO. One other thing, if you work toward an education, DO NOT even think about becoming a commisioned officer, my former guard unit has two officers that have been placed on indefinite stoploss and as it stands they are looking at spending the rest of thier lives on AGR status.
I would say to always remember two things . . .
1) No law is written in stone - there are ALWAYS exceptions. I made it my personal duty to find those exceptions. Had a lot of fun.
2) Don't be afraid to VOLUNTEER! Had some great times lucking into cushy duties and jobs that nobody else volunteered for. Had a lot of fun!
If he wants to travel - join the US Navy! I did more traveling in my first year of Navy than in four years of USAF! Great for a single guy - he'll have lots of fun!!
+1 for the Navy. Better training (see the above from the AF guy). Just be careful to select a job code that gets you around. Best way for that is to become so good at what you select that they keep you back as a trainer and troubleshooter. It is possible to see a lot of different ships in a lot of different places, not just tool around the open ocean in a galloping greyhound.
Duty to country is an awsome thing, but it should not be the primary reason for joining the military. The military will chew you up and spit you out, regarless of the branch. When you have done this 25 years, like I have, you have to start fighting the system to get compensated for the damage done. This is a job and that is all it is, the military is a non-profit corporation that needs it's people to sacrifice for little in return. If he wants to join the MP's, he needs to understand that while he may get Germany, he wont stay there long, it will be a jumping spot off for the next unit that will be heading into Iraq or Afjihadistan.
Lofty goals are nice, however, they make for very disgruntled ex-military. Go into it knowing that the military is 99.999% boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror and he will do fine. There are days that I absolutely hate my job and want to find something else to do, then I have days like yesterday where I got selected to perform the fly over of the KU national champions and right this moment am sitting here on emergency alert for flood duty.
As for the contract statements, great for peace time, but we are at war and that trumps everything, it only gives a point to diverge from. At this time, the needs of the military are greater than the needs of an individual. Eyes open, mind clear, strong stomach for BS and he will do fine.
In wayback times, when I was in (not long after rocks and shoals was outlawed) the articles of enlistment promised one hour of rest, every day, and one meal (not described.) There was also all sorts of promises "so long as qualified" and the catchall "needs of the service." The articles were, and may still be, a good example of indentured servitude, the only such contract allowed under US law at the time. For all that, they did try and get the training promised for you (so long as remained qualified) and all things being equal, you got out on time. As noted above, officers are obligated in a different way and for a variable time depending on how their advancement progressed. In the wayback times, once the prescribed time was satisfied, it was an extremely rare occurence for SecNav to refuse/disallow a letter of resignation from a commission.
SC is right, many hours of boredom with short periods of extreme activity. That is when training puts you in autopilot or bad things happen.
i did 17 yrs in the Army Guard with 1 activated ...be advised that recruiters lie lie lie....make sure u get any and all bonuses kickers gi bill bennies school incentive monies mos duty stations etc etc in writing and in the contract go over with a verrrry fine toothed comb !! i wont take anything away from the Army in general(in fact one of the few regrets i have in life is not doing 4 yrs or so active duty), but i spent quite a bit of time interacting with Air force people and air force bases and the Air force does treat its people better all the way down the line!!
No USMC fans here then?
Love 'em for what they do but sure as heck wouldn't want to be one. Tough job, poor conditions, little support for families. If someone doesn't KNOW they want to be a Marine I wouldn't recommend it to them.
They're not bad in the sack, does that count?
Seriously, Navy +3.
Keep in mind it's a JOB, sometimes has great perks (travel) IF you keep an open mind. Dirty, exhausting, tiring, mind-numbingly boring at times. But then it can also be exciting, rewarding and a hellaciously grand experience!
Best thing for a recruit to keep in mind: if some ass gets in your face and chews you a new one, it really isn't personal and don't take it as such. It's a JOB and he/she gets paid for chewing ass. Hell, sometimes they're getting paid to cover their own ass.
Do what ya gotta do to get the job done and forget 'going down in a blaze of glory'. That crap's for faerie tales and recruitment videos.
Ok, that's the best I can do with next-to-no caffeine yet.
This is a counter-macho comment but AF works 0730-4:30(12's during alert or "generation" of aircraft)then we went home. Navy buds saw rotating 12 on 4off, 4watch,4 "off" and saw alot of the inside of the ship while "traveling"At least we had a fairly "normal" life. Once you got past tech school No morning formation( navy:"muster"?)You just get up and go to work.
Very much like a civilian job.Hate to admit it but its was hardly"hardcore"(at least my 16years: munitions maintenance, electronics, technical investigations).
I have actually wanted to enlist in the Marine Corp, but to be an armourer and not cannon fodder. Whats the name for the armourer?
Ah Ha! I found it, leave it to the marines to make it sound exactly like it is: Small arms repairer/technician. Thats what I'd do.
Separate names with a comma.