I need advice about the military

Discussion in 'All Other Discussions' started by JamieinNH, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. JamieinNH

    JamieinNH
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    I have a boy (19) I have "adopted" a couple of years ago, he is a good kid, but has some inherent problems that he just hasn't gotten his life together.

    When he moved in he was a drug user, a liar, didn't have a job, no GED, nothing going for him at all. His mother had kicked him out to the streets and he had no place to go or live.

    Now, he has his GED, he has a job, he is just starting to make a life for himself and then it happened...

    He has talked to a recruiter and this guy is promising him the world and he is almost ready to sign up.

    I have nothing against the military, I almost joined myself but thought it would be better for me not too.

    Anyways.. can anyone tell me if you think under these days and times is it a smart move to join? Never been in the military, tell me your thoughts.. Ex military, tell me your thoughts.. currently in the military tell me your thoughts...

    I don't want this to become a patriotic thread, or a thread that bashes the military, I am looking for honest opinions to help Brian with his decision and also help ease my mind I suppose.

    As a lot of you are aware, I am going through some things in my life where I will probably never have kids so Brian is as close to a son as I will possibly have so I just want what is best for him.

    Thanks for your thoughts and please pray for him during this time of decision.
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I have seen many kids in similar situations as the one you talk of join the military.

    Sometimes it has been good.

    Sometimes it has been bad.

    It is kind of what they make it.
     
  3. JamieinNH

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    Ok, so no one but Saggy wants to give me their opinion.. :)

    A different but related question: If he has his mind set on joining, which I think he does, which branch would you say would be the best bet for him?

    He is looking to be a mechanic of some type and loves loves working on cars.

    Thanks for any input!
     
  4. Carl B

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    I retired from the military in 2004. The benefits have changed one way or the other since I left. For the active duty, there is free medical care (I have to pay now) There is a chance to get an education, (in between deployments) virtually free depending on how its done. Job security.
    Joining for me was easy, I was an air force brat and then enlisted for 20 years myself, it was all I knew. And I very much miss it.
    As far as safety while deployed...I've heard from others that some believe they were safer in Iraq than in our own country...

    Basic training does break you down, so they can build you up, Thats what happened in me. It's not for everyone, A lot of prayer would be recommended for sure...hope this helps.
     
  5. Salty

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    He should check with all branches. Do not accept any verbal promises. If its not in writing, its not a true promise.

    Each branch has its pro and cons.

    navy - lot of time at see
    Air Force - basically in rear areas
    Army - promotions tend to be quicker
    Marines - great esprit de corps

    an excellent to go to would be Military.com The page will link you to recruiting info

    He should immediately start some physical training. Just start small, then work your way up.

    If you would like further info, feel free to email me at [email protected]

    The one bit of advice I always give is to keep every piece of paper the Army gives you, including medical

    Sarge Salty

    ps total of 23 years of military service.
     
  6. Benjamin

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    Couldn't agree more. At 18, no GED, and no-good reputation, (I will spare you the rest of the details), I also went to a recruiter. I went to the Air Force first and took a test and was offered an AIT of 2 years to become a "Computer Repairman" but I was going to have to wait for 9 months to go in, and sign up for a 6 year enlistment because of the 2 year schooling prior to Permanent Party.

    This seemed like a life time commitment at 18 so I talked to the Army which would put me in right away and promised me to come out being a skilled electrician. Once in, I got a rinky-dink 6 week training that if you couldn't pass test at the end, which would fulfill their part of the contract, they would give you the answers! Then, I was sent to a platoon with all the other dummies that signed up for electrician, plumber, carpenter, and quickly realized that I would never-ever be wiring up buildings and learning any worthy outside skill.

    To this day, I look back at how BIG of a mistake that was, especially seeming computers was in an infant stage back in 1976 and I could have got in on the ground level. I'm sure with the 2 year training I was going to actually learn and do the job I would have been enlisting for in the AF.

    My advice is to tell him my story, and suggest to him to pick a good career field if he is going to go in, don't rush it, and choose wisely. If he only wants to go in to be a grunt, then he should plan on saving money for when he gets out and try to go to school while in. It is a shame to do 3-4+ years and have nothing to show (other than patriotism) for it when one gets out.
     
    #6 Benjamin, Oct 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2008
  7. chuck2336

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    I was in the Navy, it was the best time. I would still be in if I was not married and had a daughter. The Navy can be hard on the family. Sea time does not always mean ship side, it could be overseas, or even serving with the USMC if in the medical field.

    I agree with others that have said get EVERYTHING in writting. If it is not in the contract it will not happen.

    Pick a job that translates into a civilian job. I know a guy who went in and was a meterologist (weatherman) in the Navy, but when he got out found out he needed a degree in that field to get a job on the outside.

    I miss the Navy very much, my wife says the best years of our marriage came six months at a time! (Six month deployments)

    I encourage most young people to look into the military. It is not for everyone, but I think most folks could make a great career out of it.
     
  8. Carolina Baptist

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    A little over 25 years ago I joined the Coast Guard. I enjoyed the search and rescue and the maritime law enforcement. After a knee injury, they stuck me in an office and gave me the "left over" duties. I didn't care much for that.

    You need to know up front that there is very little about the military life that promotes a Christian life. Each year, before the station would open for the season, we had a station party where the "Morale Fund" paid for the keg. I didn't drink so I was put on duty that night. (I got to clean the station after the party) The Christians will band together and so will the "party crowd"

    He would learn many things: duty, honor, responsability,etc. But I met very few Christians that were not already searving the Lord when they joined.

    I noticed this in your post: "He has talked to a recruiter and this guy is promising him the world and he is almost ready to sign up." If you can find a way to convince him, he needs to know that a recuiters promises can be about as reliable as a politicians promises.

    I don't regret joining but a career was not an option (medical discharge).
    Now I wish I had joined a branch that offered better training, and more education benefits. Maybe the Air Force of the Navy.


    PS I made the mistake of being a Boatswain's Mate. I live 200 miles from the ocean. No need for boat operation specialist arount here.
     
    #8 Carolina Baptist, Oct 31, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2008
  9. LeBuick

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    I couldn't agree more, after spending 12 years in the Army I wished I had of went Air force. My MOS was electronic repair but the Army has no where near the technical level of the AF. People from the AF could use their skills in the civilian world where as all I knew was how to fix certain military radios. Basically we did pluck and chuck module swapping.

    I also suggest you go with him to each branch. I know you've noticed he has interest, gifts and strengths in certain areas, try to match his job selection with something he can excel in. This will keep him focused in his new career since he's doing something he loves.

    Lastly, be careful of the signing bonus jobs. They offer you a bonus to take that job for good reason.
     
  10. hawg_427

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    I did 4 years in the Army and then went into the Coast Guard for 1 year. I don't think he can get into the Air Force with only a GED. The Army is not bad, it will eith straighten him out or he will be out. LOL I personally think everyone should do at least 2 years in the branch of service of his/her choice. It would makes alot of kids grow up fast and learn responsibilities.
     
  11. I Am Blessed 24

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    I come from a military family, and my husband is a retired Navy Chief, after 26 years active duty.

    My grandson just went into the Army a few months ago. He and his family are living in Hawaii. He is being deployed to Iraq, January 4th.

    I cannot remember what he trained for in boot camp, but it has nothing to do with what he will be doing in Iraq. He will be in Military Intelligence. He said he really likes it though and intends to make a career out of it.

    He is 23 and has grown up and accepted responsibility in the few months he's been there. Like the Army says, "You make them strong, we'll make them Army strong".

    From his first day in boot camp on, he started a Bible Study group and has seen several soldiers come to know the Lord.

    As someone else has already said, it is what you make it and water will seek it's own level...

    I would recommend the military to all young men whether they intend to make it a career or not.
     
    #11 I Am Blessed 24, Nov 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 1, 2008
  12. padredurand

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    My middle son is at Fort Jackson, SC for his AIT. madre and I were convinced he would spend the rest of his life wrangling shopping carts at WalMart. You cannot believe the change in poise, attitude and outlook since Basic Training. He is continuing a family tradition that predates the Revolution. I was in the Army from 79-84 following my father, his father, great-grandpa, Stanley who was wounded in Chancellorsville....... It is a great opportunity.

    Here's a short video I put together about his basic training...
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn8AJYyk9Pk
     
  13. Tim Jay

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    My opinion is that the military teaches a person anti-Christian values.
    Such as, "Thou shalt not Kill".

    There is no good reason to send a boy into situation that will only teach him wrong habits, that will prevent him from living a life of peace and happiness.
     
  14. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    God certainly is not anti-Christian and He sent plenty of nations into war.

    We need to keep our freedoms and that can't happen without the military.

    If the young men/women were raised Christian, they're not going to leave that at the door when they step into a uniform. We need MORE Christians serving...not less.
     
  15. mcdirector

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    We do have plenty of young (and old) Christian men and women who need our prayers and support. I know this is an aside and terribly off topic - but like Sue, I just can't leave it hanging with so many that have family members in the armed forces.
     
  16. blackbird

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    I ain't never been in the military------but my father has---USAF Korea---1948-1953 He was 3 months from discharge when the Korean war broke out----and they "froze" all discharges----and he extended his "vacation" on the sunny slopes of Seoul

    I had a favorite uncle who walked all over Europe during WW2---Belguim, Holland and then lovely Germany

    A good friend of mine graduated high school in '66 and was afraid he would be drafted(innoculated) into the Army and would be forced to take his "Senior Trip" to the Mekong Delta-------so he joined the Air Force!!! The Air Force recruiter told him--------"Shucks, no!!! The Air Force ain't in Vietnam!!!" ----------so he enlisted-----believing he would not be sent to Vietnam------------he did his basic at San Antonio and his first assignment was in beautiful Honolulu-------he was excited about being stationed there in lovely Hawaii------he got on a plane in San Antonio and "jetted" to Honolulu-----------"The Good Life!!!!"--------when he arrived in Hawaii--------there was a special man there with the rank of Captain-------handing out neat little white envelopes--------stuffed in side the envelope was more deployment orders-----fun, fun, fun!!!!! In less than 48 hours-------he had jetted his way to Honolulu-------and found himself in Saigon, South Vietnam--------guarding F-4 Phantoms with an M-16 Assault rifle-----lovely little "Senior Trip"-------given to the graduating class of 1966 from our dear, dear Uncle Sammy!!!

    Then I have a buddy who is career Air Force----------with the rank of Colonal-------a good USAF career as a F-22 Fighter mechanic-----since there are no presence of F-22 "on the ground" in neither Iraq or Afganistain--------his presence is not needed in neither place

    I have all respect to the military-----had probably joined when I graduated HS in '77 but I had poor eyesight-----had I joined----it would have changed my future as I know it-------but as for now---I'm glad I have the history I have by not joinin'

    Blackbird
     
  17. SpiritualMadMan

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    Recruiters! Some Honest Some decidely NOT!

    First there are limits to what a Recruiter can and can't do...

    And, there is very little he can put into writing...

    The rule for any contract is if it ain't in writing it "probably" ain't gonna happen...

    With that said never give up on God's Hand in things, even Military.


    I joined at 17 with parental permission. I had dropped out of ninth grade three times in two years and was managing a small Rock Bank.

    I had met Phyllis (we later broke up) at a dance the band was playing at and we were very fast friends very quickly.

    As a dropout I had very little to offer her. So, one day as I was bumming around downtown Norfolk, VA, on a lark, I stopped in at the Navy Recruiters Office.

    We struck up a conversation and he asked me to take his "dummy" test which, I guess, impressed him.

    He leveled with me that he couldn't offer me anything. But, that if I gave him a couple weeks he'd see what could be done.

    (This was during the Vietnam Draft. So, anything he could do, would probably be better than going "In Country".)

    I got a call that he had made arrangements for me to take the GED (VA required to be 21) If I failed, no obligation. If I passed, and joined I could keep the scores. I was under no obligation to join.

    With a GED he could offer me various High School Programs, Like Electronics Technology, that I had an aptitude for. (Not to mention love for...)

    So, I signed up for the six year ETHS program....

    When I got to the induction center the ET program was full. But, they offered me the AT Program (Avionics). First Hand of God, because AT was the better choice for me.

    Then, there was a rather large battery of tests in Boot Camp.

    Here was another Hand of God. I scored 114 (higher than most two year ET Grads and some four year grads) on the ETST (Electronics Special Test)

    What the Recruiter hadn't told me was that I'd have to do well on the Boot Camp Battery of Tests in my field of interest to actually get in the program I wanted...

    But, God's Hand was in the "dive-bomb-Charlie" on the correct tests.

    I have NEVER regretted the decision to enlist even though Boot Camp was really hard on this mommas boy. What I have regretted is getting out after a mere six years... But, then, I probably wouldn't have this awesome wife and the two fantastic children I have now...

    As for training...

    All the services have been skimping on first enlistment training...

    At the time I was in, the Navy had the absolute best Tech Schools...

    Today, for a mechanic I would say that The Marine Corps probably has about the best program there is, **IF** you can handle being put through the crucible as well as DI's (Drill Instructors) being in your face.

    If you can't handle that... Go Air Force. :)

    Right now I am the Subject Matter Expert for the US Marine Corps VADS (Vehicle Automated Diagnostic System) here at the US Marine Corps Logistics Base Electronic Calibration Facility. Yes, there are higher level experts... But, not where I work.

    Marine Corps Mechanics use VADS to diagnose and repair pretty much everything in the inventory...

    I wish your son the best in his and your decision...

    I grew up a lot in Boot Camp and the following years...

    As for the dangers... I dodge the "bullet" every day just driving to/from work with all these other yahoos...

    Mike Sr.
     
  18. Jon-Marc

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    One thing I do know is that recruiters lie in order to get people to enlist. They make promises they can't keep. Still, military service can turn a boy into a man. It was one of the smartest things I ever did. Unfortunately, I wasn't smart enough to stay in and retire from the military.
     
  19. JonC

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  20. JonC

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    I am currently active duty in the National Guard (AGR program). I work with soldiers who enlist but have not finished training (pay, bonuses, personal issues, etc). Prior to this I was over the ARNG guidance office at MEPS (we wrote the contracts).

    I served over 10 years in the Army. I was a mental health specialist working at a hospital, then a combat engineer (Also recruited for the Army, Reserves, and National Guard). I believe what is more important in the service chosen is the job chosen in that service. For me, it seems like each time I changed jobs was like changing services, the commands were so different.

    The military has been the best thing, career related, for me. It has provided me with a good career, finished paying for my college, and it is something I sincerely enjoy. I wouldn’t consider doing anything else.

    It does, however, come with the possibility of deploying and being away from my family (I’ve deployed in the past, but now have a 5 year old son and don’t really want to deploy). I will, however, deploy if needed without complaint. That’s probably the biggest thing people considering the military have to look at. There's always that possibility of deployment.

    The Army, Reserves, and National Guard have a GED plus program that will allow enlistees to obtain a GED prior to initial training. If the solider doesn’t get a GED, the soldier is discharged. I do not know if other services have that option. I doubt it due to the size of the force.

    The quality of training between services is the same. For my first MOS our instructors were Army and Navy. Our class was 50% Army and 50% Navy. It was the same training. My cousin is an Air Force instructor, at an Army post training both Army and Air Force. Of course there are some jobs that are strictly service dependent.

    Some recruiters may mislead or lie to applicants, however it has been my experience that they are in the minority. Still, they are enough to give the other recruiters a bad name, and you may end up talking to a bad recruiter. Everything that can be offered in the military is also online (on the services site if you want accurate information). The main thing is to check out what is being told, and it is easily done.

    Military contracts are computer generated at a military entrance processing station.. There is no fine print, everything promised is easily identified. If it is not on the contract, the applicant didn’t get it – no matter what a recruiter has told them.

    I would not recommend a reserve component (reserves or National Guard) at that age unless the person has a good career plan or is intending to attend college on a full time basis. That’s just a personal opinion based on my experiences in both services.

    Last piece of advise - don't rely on other's experiences. While I have enjoyed the military, and will not retire without kicking and screeming for just one more year, I have friends who did not like their term of service. I think it was a "grass is greener on the other side" thing (except for one friend where it was a "I'm in love and gona get out and farm" thing). Anyway, expierence in the military is to a great extent dependent on the servicemen's attitude during that time.
     

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