Jack Kevorkian for White House Physician
Serious thread. Calling all military past/present.
Short background 2010-now:
Grad HS in 2010, went to college lost direction and screwed off for 2 years acquiring nothing but some debt and few credits.
2013: Start local community college (different school) full and part time (when necessary) and finish with AA december 2015. (5 years for a 2 year degree, nothing to show)
Since 2014 (during cc-now) working low pay, low opportunity job (non retail/resturaunt), little saved. Direct admit to UCF due to community college co-op.
Now: Planning on going to ucf utilizing pell grant / loans while trying to figure out a job (part time to full) and a place to live. I have bills and such to pay. This would still acquire 10-14k debt yearly (thinking 3 years to finish with a transition year)
Monday: At the gym, I get approached by a guy while working out. In shape, confident look. (What could this be?) Turns out he's a marine, asks me a bit about my current job and goals and such and drops the recruiter line and goes on to tell me about his experiences, opportunities and success (im no investigator so ill take his word). He's been in for 9 years and is 3 years older than me. I'm 24 and don't really have much going for me currently and the debt outlook i'm not quite a fan of but that is entirely my fault. So he gives me his card and asks if i'd stop by to listen to what he has to say and give me some info (tuesday). (ended up talking for an hour.)
Tuesday: So I go in to entertain the idea and give him some of my time for his effort. I ended up at the office for about 3 hours just talking about what the marines can do for me etc, how they can help me achieve my goals. Not in a stereotypical we can show you the world type of way but a pretty up front presentation. Anyway I was in ROTC all 4 years of high school but didn't really entertain the idea of the military too much because school was soooo important and I HAD to have an education (family influenced), in hindsight learning a trade or going military might have been better but that's in the past.
So here is my dilemma. Do I try to get whatever job for as much pay and time as possible while going to school incurring debt and still gaining no real experience? Or do I further entertain the idea of going military with my AA, taking advantage of whatever degree program availability and maybe getting some useful experience, direction, discipline and opportunities.
I haven't signed anything, made a decision on the marines or thought about other branches. The recruiter sold it pretty well to consider marines over the others but I won't be swayed just by ones experiences. I need more.
The Token Staff Sergeant
It is bad luck to be superstitious.
Served 6 years in the Marine Corps enlisted though not officer (PS: I work with three previously active Marine Corps officers). I'm pretty sure you would need a BS/A to go the officer route but i'm not fully aware of the officers programs pre-oath. When your in there's plenty of programs for achievers that want to try and move to a officer track. I'm also pretty sure there's a way to be an officer where they take on your debts but you owe them service for the years they took on basically.
If you want to chat about my USMC experience let me know, I am also around tons of active duty Marines who can give you the climate here in 2016 vs as it was in 2013. I got subscriptions to most of the military "tabloid" magazines and what not if you want a copy to find out the stuff going on.
Leatherneck, Gazette, and Marine Corps Times
PM if you want to meet up i'm currently in Iraq so i'm +7 from EST.
I joined the army in between my junior and senior year of HS, back in 2005. I've been in the reserves ever since, and I wouldn't change anything for the world. With almost 11 years in, I'm currently an E6 promotable, and do work as a DS at Fort Jackson, SC. I've been able to do more with my military career than most people do in their full-time work, and I enjoy the hell out of it.
Originally Posted by AOD_Qrow
The experience I gained, not to mention the money I had access to while attending school, made life 100% easier. Not to mention the real world skills you gain from working in an environment that provides structure, which is something so many young people need but never get these days.
You need to decide for yourself what you want out of it. The branch is going to determine a lot of things for you, not the least of which influence your decision to stay in, or get out because you're miserable. Some people do it and immediately regret it, and it jades them for life. Others do it and it makes a complete difference in the direction of their lives.
You were approached by a marine first, so that's going to shape all of your decisions into: "how does this compare with the marines". Do yourself a favor and look at it with a more objective perspective. Each branch has its own perks, and each branch also has its own pitfalls. Don't let them pin you by comparing themselves to other branches. Do your research and make your own decisions about who offers what.
There are a couple choices:
- Finish your degree and then go in as an officer. Tuition assistance and SLRP (Student loan repayment) will help take care of the debt you accumulated in school. Plus you'll make a bit more money.
- Join now and go reserve, and attend school afterward. Montgomery GI Bill will pay monthly while you attend. I raked in 500$ a month while I was in school, on top of financial aid that essentially paid for my classes and books.
- Join now and go active, attend school afterward. Post-9/11 will be hugely advantageous because it's based on the amount of active duty time. A buddy of mine took this route and ended up bringing in 1400$ a month while in school.
You also have things like TA (Tuition Assistance) which pays up to 2400$ a year while you're in service. I'm assuming all branches offer these programs, because they are all through the VA office, and every college (the ones you want to go to, anyway) has one. And things like TA, SLRP, and GI Bill can all be used simultaneously. I graduated with my bachelors in 2015 with $0 debt.
At the end of the day, it's just about doing your research, and figuring out how you want to live going forward.
Last edited by AOD_Guybrush; 04-20-2016 at 10:39 AM.
Guybrush hit everything I would have touched on (and he's still wearing boots so probably has more up to date info - I'm retired). Having said that, just like Darkness alluded to and butters mentioned, we've got several vets in AOD (and many of us know each other). I'm more than willing to discuss the option with you, but would stop short of advocating. It's a personal decision, and we all did it for different reasons.
Sent from space at 27000 miles per second with enough kinetic energy to blow your fricken mind...
Jack Kevorkian for White House Physician
Originally Posted by AOD_Guybrush
For me the biggest things would be to get some discipline and direction in my life and some stability, I'm not in control of where I am going doing what I am doing financially and personally. The tuition assistance option was one of the things I had discussed and would more or less be how going to school next semester would be minus debt. (Working/ school). I realize I would not have the chance to full time school right away but the opportunities, experiences, and security that I currently don't have would be way higher than where I am currently at.
The military has always interested me, and I realize every branch has something to offer. My thoughts aren't influenced off of potential education and monetary gain either. One question I do have is can I make it work for ME? IE: Will any work and effort I put forth will yield more opportunity and better results or do I have to take what comes to me? Can my initiative get me ahead in life if I join?
Military experience will always be a great resume padder. It's never going to be a bad decision. It only ends up badly for people who either don't take it seriously, or they waste the opportunity to excel.
The skills you will get (punctuality, discipline, respect, ability to deal with stress and adversity in a positive way, teamwork) will take you farther than those who never joined. If nothing else, it makes you stand out from the crowd.
Truthfully, no one else can answer the question of "will it work for me" but you, and you'll have to find that out for yourself. However, the decision to join is not to be taken lightly.
Jack Kevorkian for White House Physician
Thanks for advice and experience all, talked to some family and friends too (military). I feel it would be a smart decision to visit some other recruiters to get a better feel of what I want.
I will be checking in on this thread from time to time to see if anyone else has posted. Will keep updated on a decision.