Anyone in (or been) in the Army?

2A Batterie

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Out of a Suitcase, USA
I'm about to audition for a gig as a musician for the Army. It's a good gig that is for the band in the White House, and it comes with lots pf perks. However, I have to go through basic training and enlist in the US Army for three years. I'm not too worried about the basic training part, but being part of the Army scares me a little bit. I'm extremely anti-Bush and anti-war. I have a goatee and earing and would generally be considered liberal. From what I get, being a musician in the Army is a whole different bag than the rest of its positions. I'm trying my darndest to create other options for myself, but financially things are hard... I can't even afford to have my cell on! Does anyone have any experience in the US Army? And from what I can tell, they are all PC. I talked to the recruiter about this but he had no idea what was up. The Army musician who contacted me loved my website and we talked about computers.... he definitely is not down with Apple.
 

wdlove

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Oct 20, 2002
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I think that it's a very honorable thing to serve ones country. It's honorable no matter where you serve. From what you have said you may not be a good fit for the military, basic training is tough. Although since I went into the Air Force as an Officer, I bypassed the regular basic training.

It is a personal decision to serve and should not be taken lightly. Three years can be a long time if you aren't happy. It would seem to be an honor to be able to play in the White House. What are your feelings about the military in general?
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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Yeah I'd say it's probably not worth it to join up just because you want to play in the band. It sounds like you need a musical outlet, not a military gig.

Just my opinion though.
 

miloblithe

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Nov 14, 2003
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Washington, DC
On the other hand, there are lots of people in the military who love the military, love serving our country, are left-wing, and think the President is a jackass.

You won't be able to wear your politics on your sleave as much as you might if you were in civilian positions, but it's also important that the US Army remain the US Army, not Bush's Army, if you catch my drift.

That said, I'd be very wary of that contract.
 

2A Batterie

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Out of a Suitcase, USA
Thanks for the input! I'm in very good shape and the physical aspect of basic training would not be difficult. My problem is that I am dead broke and making a living as a musician is very difficult. With all the benefits, loan repayments, and generous salary, I would be making a very nice living. I'm essentially starving right now and I would like to at least live normally. I just don't agree with the Miltary's attitude towards homosexuals and the current war in Iraq. This is a tough choice, but I have to pass the audition first. I just want to be prepared in the event that I win the gig.
 

LeeTom

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May 31, 2004
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Think about the next 3 years a little too...
There is a very good chance you will be shipped off to Iraq or another country in wartime, and you will have to fight.
Is that worth the job you have a possibility of getting at the end?

Lee Tom
 

maya

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Oct 7, 2004
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LeeTom said:
Think about the next 3 years a little too...
There is a very good chance you will be shipped off to Iraq or another country in wartime, and you will have to fight.
Is that worth the job you have a possibility of getting at the end?

Lee Tom
At present I believe they ship you off in the first 3-6 months to Iraq. Right after Basic you get some soldier training and you are sent. You often don't have too much of a say in matters since you are placed where you are needed.

Well that is what I heard from someone who is in. :)
 

maya

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Oct 7, 2004
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2A Batterie said:
Thanks for the input! I'm in very good shape and the physical aspect of basic training would not be difficult. My problem is that I am dead broke and making a living as a musician is very difficult. With all the benefits, loan repayments, and generous salary, I would be making a very nice living. I'm essentially starving right now and I would like to at least live normally. I just don't agree with the Miltary's attitude towards homosexuals and the current war in Iraq. This is a tough choice, but I have to pass the audition first. I just want to be prepared in the event that I win the gig.
I wish you good luck, though it seems you are joining for some wrong reasons. I can see where you stand with the lack of funds issue.

I also don't think you will have any trouble with Basic or the Music part of it all.

Once again Good Luck to you and all the best if you do get the position. :)
 

miloblithe

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Nov 14, 2003
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Yeah. Make sure you won't get deployed. Jesus. You don't want to go to Iraq. Afghanistan is another story (from what I've heard), but it's not like you get a choice.
 

maya

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Oct 7, 2004
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miloblithe said:
Yeah. Make sure you won't get deployed. Jesus. You don't want to go to Iraq. Afghanistan is another story (from what I've heard), but it's not like you get a choice.
ONE does not get a choice, unless there is a special circumstance. If he is sent to Iraq or Afghanistan that is where he will have to go.
 

clayj

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Jan 14, 2005
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I grew up in an Air Force family (Dad was a pilot, retired as a Lt. Col.), so I know something about this.

1. You'll have to lose the goatee and the earring.
2. Yes, they're strictly a PC (non-Mac) organization.
3. Members of the Armed Forces are generally prohibited from making any sort of critical statement about the Commander-in-Chief, aka the President. Violation of this policy can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including bad conduct discharge.
4. Yes, they can reassign you at will. If you're in the service, your ass belongs to them.

Given your feelings about the President and his policies, you have to ask yourself... can you bite your tongue (figuratively speaking) for the duration of your enlistment? If not, I'd definitely recommend that you look elsewhere. Joining the Armed Forces is not a decision to be taken lightly... if you have any doubt whatsoever, don't do it.
 

jelloshotsrule

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Feb 7, 2002
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miloblithe said:
On the other hand, there are lots of people in the military who love the military, love serving our country, are left-wing, and think the President is a jackass.
.
exactly. i know of some soldiers in iraq that wanted some nader bumper stickers sent over there. now how about that for left wing! hah
 

wdlove

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Oct 20, 2002
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My feeling is that if you pass the audition and enter the music corps, then you would remain in that corps. Everyone is right, the military has a very strict code when is comes to dress and presence. You have to be able to follow orders. So if you are one that balks at being told what to do, then the military would be a very unhappy life.
 

cluthz

macrumors 68040
Jun 15, 2004
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Norway
Atleast here (norway) the music corps is very strickt. They rehearse maching and shoe polishing 7 hours a day...

I was in the Norwegian Defence (we call it defence since you don't have to go outside our country in war if you don't want to) because everyone has to do it.
I had a very relaxing service, I was a instructor in computer comunications and I mostly went skiing and drank lots of coffee and played Escape Velocity and read a lot.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
I'm a wee tad out of date, given that I went into the Army a bit over 50 years ago. :)

Odds are, if you have a contract sort of deal, they'll stay with it. They really don't want guys going into combat units who are adamantly opposed. It leads to bad PR, and PR is far more important nowadays than it once was.

When I was in, any protest was generally met with, "Hey, go to the Chaplain and get your TS card punched."

Griping and grumbling is not only tolerated, it's ignored. All it means is that things are normal. Commanders--at least the smart ones--worry when there's no grumbling and grousing. That means the troops are really upset about something...

I have no idea about today's world and earrings. Yeah, a burr haircut is the deal during basic training, but hair grows. And, after all, no matter how long or short is your hair, nobody knows what you're thinking. I spent years working for a boss who referred to me as "that damned short-haired Hippie".

For sure, that particular music gig sounds great.

Best luck,

'Rat
 

2A Batterie

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Out of a Suitcase, USA
It's always great to get others input as it helps put things in a different perspective. I know for a fact that if I won the audition that I would stay with the band and not be transferred to another unit or Iraq. For this gig, the starting salary is very high because I already am trained in the field I will be working in, and this is the premier band in the military. Having all of my college loans paid off and full medical and a modest salary for playing in the best band in the military is tempting, but the military part of it is what makes me wary. I'll be flying to the audition next week so I'll post results and continue to agonize over my decision. Thanks for the input!
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
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2A Batterie said:
It's always great to get others input as it helps put things in a different perspective. I know for a fact that if I won the audition that I would stay with the band and not be transferred to another unit or Iraq. For this gig, the starting salary is very high because I already am trained in the field I will be working in, and this is the premier band in the military. Having all of my college loans paid off and full medical and a modest salary for playing in the best band in the military is tempting, but the military part of it is what makes me wary. I'll be flying to the audition next week so I'll post results and continue to agonize over my decision. Thanks for the input!
Your very welcome. At least you have been able to see different view points. Hope that you are successful. Will look forward to hearing about the audition and it's results. How long will it take to hear the results?
 

2A Batterie

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Original poster
Jun 9, 2004
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Out of a Suitcase, USA
The auditions will be a week from tomorrow and I should find out by Wednesday. Of course if I don't make the audition, my recruiter is still going to try to persuade me to enlist with hope that "something will happen" :rolleyes:
 

Blue Velvet

Moderator emeritus
Jul 4, 2004
21,652
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2A Batterie said:
Of course if I don't make the audition, my recruiter is still going to try to persuade me to enlist with hope that "something will happen" :rolleyes:
Something will happen?

What, like going into Falluja in 6 months time to sort out some local difficulties?
 

stubeeef

macrumors 68030
Aug 10, 2004
2,702
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2A Batterie said:
Thanks for the input! I'm in very good shape and the physical aspect of basic training would not be difficult. My problem is that I am dead broke and making a living as a musician is very difficult. With all the benefits, loan repayments, and generous salary, I would be making a very nice living. I'm essentially starving right now and I would like to at least live normally. I just don't agree with the Miltary's attitude towards homosexuals and the current war in Iraq. This is a tough choice, but I have to pass the audition first. I just want to be prepared in the event that I win the gig.
Just remember the military is run by the civilians, homosexuals in the military policy is a fact of congress, and is not self impossed by the military. There are a lot of things the military may want or like, but the policies are determined by civilians, mostly congress. There are many democrats as well as republicans who stand on both sides of this issue.

The military was good for me, I had little or no direction coming out of college.

If you go in, and don't have a bachelors degree, you will find it easy to get while in the military (Masters Degrees as well). Don't worry, I don't think they send the drum and fife in front of battle anymore.

There is a lot for you to consider, and not lightly, if stop loss is in effect when you want to get out, they may not let you! Be aware.

edit: was in community forum not political
 

StealthRider

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2002
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Here and there!
clayjohanson said:
3. Members of the Armed Forces are generally prohibited from making any sort of critical statement about the Commander-in-Chief, aka the President. Violation of this policy can lead to disciplinary action, up to and including bad conduct discharge.
Hmm...I think that policy only applies to officers, but I'm not sure. Also, if you go in with a 42R or 42S MOS (Bandsperson and Special Band Member, respectively), I don't think there would be much call for you in Iraq...but anything can happen. If you need any more technical help, ask here, or you can PM me.
 

Desertrat

macrumors newbie
Jul 4, 2003
2
706
Terlingua, Texas
A college degree and enough smarts to score decently on the tests makes one eligible for Officers' Candidate School. Dunno about music, thereafter, but the Army uses many, many different skills. One reason that the military is effective as a military is that there are ten in support for each one in the fighting...

'Rat
 

maya

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Oct 7, 2004
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2A Batterie said:
The auditions will be a week from tomorrow and I should find out by Wednesday. Of course if I don't make the audition, my recruiter is still going to try to persuade me to enlist with hope that "something will happen" :rolleyes:
If you do not get what you want do not sign the contract. Signing you life away for something you do not want that is tough.