Should I join the military?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dukebound85, May 25, 2009.

  1. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #1
    I have always had the utmost respect for the military and the thought of joining has always been there since I was 17. Should I?

    My lifelong goal has to always become a pilot. I would love to achieve this via the military

    However, my eyeseight isnt the best:(

    I talked to a recruiter and he says I can apply to be a pilot a year after I have the procedure done. Very enticing

    I would like to go the officer route. I figure since I have an engineering degree, I would fit in well with the military in some capacity....even if I don't become a pilot


    Pros of joining in my mind:

    1) I WANT to serve this country....even though I am currently with the job I have...I just want to be more involved
    2)I want the sense of discipline and order/respect environment
    3) I would like to travel
    4) I would like to feel I am doing something with my life

    Cons of joining
    1) money probably isnt near as good as civilian side
    2) you have a commitment...though i dont view this as a neg
    3) running...lol i dont really view this as a neg either


    I came really close to joining the Navy 2 years ago and its ironic as the job I am involved in is pretty much the civilian version of what i would have been doing there sorta

    Anyone been through the military care to lend their thoughts?

    After doing the engineering gig for a couple months, i can tell i dont want to be a desk jocky lol
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
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    #2
    I was an Electronic Tech Submarines and I had a very good experieince and glad I served. Subs are a very unique, tight knit community. its very much like a frat.
     
  3. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #3
    What do you want to fly?

    BTW, you'll need PRK, not LASIK, if you want to fly in the military.
     
  4. tdgrn macrumors 6502

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    May 1, 2008
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    Little Rock, AR
    #4
    I think that if you do it for the right reasons, then the military can offer a career that no other job can. However, you must make sure that it is for the right reasons, otherwise you will be miserable. I have a friend who joined recently (Marines) but I don't think he did it for the right reasons...

    With that being said, now that I have talked to him after Boot Camp (no windows involved :p) I think that he will be a very successful, whatever he wants to do...

    This really isn't a question you ask on a forum, as this is a much larger life issue than what type of computer you should get... Good luck with your decision.
     
  5. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #5
    Definitely second the above poster ... you really have to want to be in the military, because there will be times when you have to do some straight BS.
     
  6. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    I can only imagine. Subs are very cool
    Jets to be honest

    Is PRK somewhat affordable?
     
  7. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #7
    Jets ... you'll want to look at the Air Force or Navy.

    PRK pricing ... honestly, I don't know. I had mine done in the military, so it was free to me.
     
  8. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #8
    is it hard to be a pilot? i can imagine the demand to be one is super high:eek:
     
  9. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #9
    OK, due to some medical issues and really bad eyes (and no such thing as laser surgery when I was coming out of high school), I never joined the Air Force like I wanted. However, I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. :)
    Oh wait, I meant I worked at an Air Force base that conducted the majority of the Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT or JUSPT), and I got to know a few pilots.
    Anyway...is it hard? Yeah, most people would say it is. You have to go through Initial Flight Screening and get around 20 or so hours of flight training. Then you go into the UPT program, which lasts about 52 weeks total. The first phase is a lot of academic stuff, and it is a fairly heavy academic load, and after that, you start phase 2, which is actual flight training. After that, you get selected for a track, which is fighter/bomber or tanker/airlift. Phase 3 will get you training in your track. After all that, you finally go to training on your specific aircraft assignment. Check out this link for more info: http://www.baseops.net/militarypilot/

    As you can see, the Air Force sinks a lot of time and money training pilots, and it isn't easy. But if it is something you think you would like, you should go for it. Sometimes I regret that I didn't go in after I got my medical problems cleared up. Had I gone active duty shortly after high school, I would be able to retire in a couple of years.

    Oh yeah, as for pay...if you make it, pilots make pretty good money. Officers make pretty decent money, and you get stuff like flight pay, housing allowance, signing bonuses, etc. on top of all that. I work for the National Guard in my state, and a lot of my co-workers who are in the Guard actually make more money when they are on active duty than at their civilian jobs.
     
  10. mac88 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    How much of your decision weighs on the commitment factor? You could always do your time, and while doing that take a civil service exam and become a police officer and serve your community when you get out. You will have served your country and then quite possibly the community that you and/or your family reside in.
     
  11. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #11
    thanks for this info

    I am currently 24, in decent shape and have a degree. Would it be hard to get accepted for this course of action? or is it very competitve (like getting into harvard or something?)

    funny you say that. i would not mind making it a career. I have also thought about joining the police so its cool you brought it up

    im just not a desk type of person
     
  12. steve2112 macrumors 68040

    steve2112

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    #12
    Well, you aren't much older than most of the people entering the program, since most of them are just out of college. It wouldn't be easy, though, since you would be competing against ROTC and Academy folks. I don't remember the cutoff age for entering SUPT, though, so if you are interested you may want to investigate as soon as possible.

    It is pretty competitive, but truthfully, most of the washout rate comes in Phase 1. A lot of people can't handle the physical or academic requirements. Some more people wash out of phase 2, as well. And that is the drawback of all this. If you do wash out, you still have a commitment to fulfill.
     
  13. buffalo macrumors 65816

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    Colorado Springs / Ohio
    #13
    If you need eye surgery do not get LASIK. This will disqualify you on the spot. Let the AF give you the PRK surgery at no charge.

    This is pertaining to the Air Force... The available of pilot slots varies by year given the need of the AF. AFA grads will generally get first dibs on UPT slots. Between 55-60% (basically anyone medically qualified that wants to fly) of each graduating class goes on to UPT. Some years there are plenty of slots for ROTC and OCS, other available slots are very competitive.
     
  14. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #14
    well i have no doubts when it comes to academics

    physically, i should be fine

    it would be a bummer to join and then go to ocs and find that there are no slots in a sense
     
  15. buffalo macrumors 65816

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    #15
    In addition, be willing to accept a longer service obligation. Academy graduates have an 8 year service commitment. Academy graduates that go on to fly get that commitment bumped up to 10 years after completion of UPT. My knowledge is with the AFA, so I can not say with certainty how things work with OCS. I imagine it is similar though...

    Be sure to get things in writing, including selection to OCS. It would be a bummer to enlist, planning to go to OCS and then not go.
     
  16. shivermetimbers macrumors 6502

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    #16
    I am in the Air Force (enlisted), I will hit my 18 year mark in Aug. I do not regret a thing! They will pay for college classes unless you fail one...then its on you. You should also be in very good shape or they will thumb their nose at you.

    Its been a good life! I learned a trade...yes the USAF will dump a crapload of money into your tech training! I also met my wife abroad (over-sea's). I am already set with a job on the aviation side of GE when I retire.

    If you fancy travel, I have been all over Europe, Asia, New Zealand, Antarctica, and the sandbox.

    Our pilots.......some drive Porche's and Ferarri's...they make bank! Then they retire...still making bank and go fly comercial aircraft to make more money.

    Only thing, if you're squeamish about the war.....you will fly combat missions....
     
  17. The Californian macrumors 68040

    The Californian

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    #17

    How could you have doubts about the academics when you have an engineering degree? My girlfriend is currently in school for Civil Engineering with an emphansis in architecture and here classes are pretty intense.
     
  18. dukebound85 thread starter macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #18
    good call, meant to say i didnt:eek:
     
  19. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #19
    Why now?


    Does the timing of this thread have anything to do with the girl you just met, who happens to be in the marines?
     
  20. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040

    DakotaGuy

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    #20
    As a 14 year member of the military (Army Guard) I can tell you that in my career the pros have outweighed the cons. If you want to discuss it further, for example career paths, branches, even PT standards feel free to send me a private message.
     
  21. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #21
    You took the words out of my mouth. :)
     
  22. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

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    #22
    I haven't been in the military myself, but I grew up in that environment (my stepfather was in the navy).

    There were only two real cons about life in the service as far as I'm concerned, and either one was a dealbreaker for me joining as an adult.

    (1) Moving around every 2-3 years really, really, really suxs. It's just long enough to get yourself established in a new place, make some friends, then say goodbye and leave it all behind - and start from square one in a new city (or country). You also don't get an incredible amount of choice as to when you move or where you move. You get to choose whether you go this year or next year, and you get to choose whether you go to this country or that country, but it's still too rigid for my liking.

    (2) When you're in, you're in. You can't just quit and get another job like you can in the private sector. And lately you can be drawn back in even after you do get out. I know many people will see this as a positive (job security), but I didn't like the idea of being tied down.

    Other than all that, it's pretty much as you described it. My stepdad was enlisted, so our housing wasn't all that great, and his salary wasn't all that great. The only place we ever moved that I was happy about was Coronado, CA - but even then we ended up having to move during my junior year of high school.
     
  23. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #23
    Hehe I thought the exact same thing.

    Is it true Duke? Are you doing it for the girl?
     
  24. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #24
    I'm wondering the same. Duke, make sure you're thinking with the big head, not the little one.

    That said, you have seemed a bit lost lately. The military could definitely be a good thing for you. I don't see any harm in you giving it a shot. Just make sure your motives are pure. ;)
     
  25. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #25
    Some food for thought Duke.

    Military marriages can be difficult -- especially when in different services that do not have co-located bases/facilities. And of course raising children.

    IMHO, you have to want to be in the military. There is BS regardless of rank.

    The military can be a great career. Just be sure it is one that you really want.
     

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