US Armed Forces?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by B777Forevar, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. B777Forevar macrumors 6502a

    B777Forevar

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    #1
    Sorry for the bland title, but I don't know what to call this thread. I currently am not happy with college atm, so I'm looking into joining either the Navy or maybe even the Illinois Air National Guard soon.

    Can anyone here who served tell me what the Navy is like? How is life out on sea? I've heard everything from "awesome" to "depressing".

    Also can anyone tell me what the air national guard is like?

    As for the other branches, I have some buddies in the Marines and they said its a pretty fun experience but I don't think that the Marines is for me.....ha
     
  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus

    r.j.s

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    #2
    Active duty Army SFC (E-7) here. I know a little about the Navy, but not a whole lot.

    I can tell you that no matter which service you are, your experiences are mostly determined by the job you pick - so choose wisely.
     
  3. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #3
    Yup. Pick your job wisely.

    I recommend aviation or medical fields.
     
  4. rick snagwell macrumors 68040

    rick snagwell

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    #4
    i am retired USAF.

    i can tell you that being in the navy, you will probably be stationed here in san diego, which is awesome!
     
  5. B777Forevar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B777Forevar

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    #5
    Actually I am looking to be in the aviation side of the Armed Forces.

    How was the Air Force? They are also my other option.

    San Diego is a very nice place. I visited some of my friends who was stationed near there last year and I had a blast.
     
  6. brentmore macrumors 6502

    brentmore

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    #6
    Active Army here. I tried college right after high school but it wasn't for me at the time. Enlisted shortly after and ended up going back to college much more motivated the second time around. Fast forward 10 years and a couple of degrees later and I gotta say it was a greatest decision I've made.

    There are a lot of opportunities out there - just make the best of it and really give it your all.

    Go Army, Beat Navy
     
  7. SandboxGeneral, Jul 16, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2012

    SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #8
    Former US Marine here and I spent a fair amount of time on ship with the Navy. Personally, I loved it. I love the ocean and naval ships.

    There isn't a lot of room or a lot of privacy on a ship to be sure. If you go in as an officer, you'll be afforded slightly better amenities than enlisted folks. Activities outside of work are quite limited, but if you were to get on a newer ship, you get access to the Internet a bit more than older ships. It isn't high-speed, but it gets the job done for email and such. Otherwise its a small and limited gym, and running in small circles on the flight deck, if the ship has one.

    I watched those sailors work their tails off though, so don't think it would be a cake walk. Actually, none of the services are like that, they all have some serious work to be done.

    If you think you have the ability to command and lead people, I highly suggest you go in as an officer. Attend the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD and you have your choice of Naval officer or Marine Officer.

    If I hadn't chosen the Marines, my next choice was the Navy.

    Here are a few pictures I took while on the USS Belleau Wood. These are of the USS Dubuque and the USS Germantown.

    EDIT: I saw you are thinking about aviation. Here are two of Marine aviation. The CH53 in 29 Palms, CA picking up Scout Snipers and a row of A/V 8B Harrier "Jump jets" on the Belleau Wood.

    To be a pilot, you have to be an officer. Otherwise you're part of the crew as enlisted.
     

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  8. malman89 macrumors 68000

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    #9
    My sister's in the Navy. For the most part, it's a complete joke. Just a paper pushing/admin/HR type on an uncomfortable aircraft carrier with long work days. However, the Navy did a lot of good to give her direction. She was a community college dropout and part-time retail mall employee, so clearly she wasn't doing well for herself prior to enlisting.

    She grew up - somewhat - and met a guy in the Navy and after a while they got married. Not even to exploit the benefits! He's a great guy, actually, and had been in longer and got transferred to the Pentagon. So deployment sucks for her because they're even further apart from one another (and they're still in their post-wedding lovey dovey stage).

    My brother wasn't in a much better situation, so seeing how the Navy worked for my sister, he joined the Army for Intelligence. Unlike the Navy, where what you sign up for is exactly what you do, after basic/a-school/whatever, they basically had him wasting away doing nothing for a few months. He enjoys it a lot more now that he's doing actual work in coordination with the NSA in Maryland.

    I would just take the time to really research what you'd be getting yourself into by talking to those who (ideally) are still in and look at what opportunities you can take advantage of while you're in. That's the one positive thing about my sister and her husband being Yeomen - they know all the programs and tracks they should use/exploit/whatever to maximize their time in the Navy before they both get out.
     
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #10
    +1 for PICK YOUR JOB WISELY!!!!

    And do your research because your recruiter will lie to you. I forget the original MOS I had but it was something cool because I had a high ASVAB score. I wanted to be a reservist so that I could still go to college and told my recruiter that. We went to MEPS, did the whole in processing thing and then I saw an active duty contract in front of my face and I said no to it because I wanted to be a reservist. Both the recruiter and the guy at MEPS told me I had to sign up for active duty, then switch to reserve the first day of AIT and that that was the procedure. I ended up signing it thinking that since two people told me the same thing it was true.

    It then turned into a fiasco once my friends who were in told me I was lied to. I had to meet with a colonel and all kinds of stuff and go through all kinds of hoops to get it changed.

    The recruiter then told me it was a policy change he was unaware of (and I naively believed it at the time) and that it was an accident. I had to repick a new MOS since mine wasn't available in the reserves. I asked if there was a computer programmer MOS and he told me 92A (in the Army) was a computer programmer, all the other recruiters backed him up and even the guy at MEPS said thats what it was. Again, I naively believed it.

    Imagine my surprise when I got to AIT and found out I was a warehouse worker :/

    Also in the guard/reserves, you may not do your job...ever. (Again, this depends on the job). I haven't touched 92A stuff since I was in AIT and instead did NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) stuff.
     
  10. Davy.Shalom macrumors 6502

    Davy.Shalom

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  11. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #12
    Retired Navy here. Been on a Marine base, Camp Smith; an Air Force base, Hickham, and numerous joint tours with everyone else. 3 aircraft carriers, 3 amphibs, 1 cruiser, and 4 subs. Loved every bit of it.

    Yes, pick a job carefully, one that you think you will enjoy. Don't really worry about what you can do with it after you retire or get out. Get out there and have fun. Learn from the good ones, don't do what the bad ones do, and look out for your peoples.
     
  12. KJmoon117 macrumors 6502a

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    NC
    #13
    Not trying to hijack your thread but I'm thinking about the same as the OP.

    I'm thinking about finishing college first then going as an enlisted to get my citizenship (currently a greencard holder) and possibly becoming a medical officer in the Navy/Army.

    But there are so many cool MOS in the Army/Navy/MC! Are the MOS actually like their titles? For example if you work in intelligence, do you actually work in intelligence or are you a paper pusher?
     
  13. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #14
    For the most part intelligence is paper pushing, and Power Point.

    You'll definitely be doing intelligence stuff though.
     
  14. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502

    UTclassof89

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    #15
    Amen to that!!!
    Basically disregard everything a recruiter says. Period. Even if something is in writing, the military gets to rescind what it wants to (recall all those people who signed up for 4 years, and discovered that the military gets to renege on any contract "not in its interest"; they got to spend extra years in Iraq- woohoo)

    My navy experience was the worst of my life. I would only recommend the military to HS dropouts, or delinquents forced (by a judge) to choose between it and jail time (which is actually how quite a few enlistees land there) and the navy was quite similar to being in jail.

    It's unlikely you would land a shore duty assignment-- being at sea for 6-12 months straight sucks so much that everyone in the navy wants shore duty (where you get to go home at 5pm like a normal job) and those billets are awarded to those who kiss ass the best.

    My experience was that everyone's goal was to avoid work and push it off to their underlings. The common saying is that "S--- rolls downhill" and you of course start at the bottom of that hill.

    If you have any reasonable prospect at doing what you enjoy outside of the military, try like hell to stay out! The happiest day of my life was walking off that ship forever.
     
  15. B777Forevar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B777Forevar

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    #16
    Thanks for all the input! I am researching the career fields very carefully.

    Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing! I thought the Marines retired the Harrier...or was that the RAF?
     
  16. SandboxGeneral, Jul 17, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2012

    SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #17
    I'm sorry to hear your experience was a bad one. But for the others reading this, the military is what you make of it, just like any other job. There are some differences to be sure, but your attitude towards it goes a long way. Sea life isn't for everyone, and 6-12 months out there can be burdensome to folks who cannot handle the isolation.


    Be sure to do your own homework on whichever service you choose, and anything any recruiter tells you, take with a grain of salt and get a second opinion. If you know anyone in the service you're looking at who isn't a recruiter, talk to them.

    Again, my recommendation is to enter the service as a commissioned officer; the pay is better, you are treated better and afforded better privileges. But along with being an officer, comes a lot of responsibility, and decision making.

    It was the Royal Air Force which retired the Harrier. I've been out of the Marines for 11 years and as far as I know, we (USMC) are still flying them.

    I'd also like to point out something special about the Marine Corps that differs from the other services. I don't know if this is part of your plan or not, but I think you should at least be aware of it.

    Back in the 1990's when I was in, the services (Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard) would advertise and give bonuses anywhere from, I don't know, $15K-$30K for use towards college on top of the GI Bill. But the Marine Corps didn't and still doesn't. The Marines do not want people joining their ranks as a primary means to gaining money for college. The Marines want people to join them in order to be a Marine and carry the fight to the enemy.

    That's not to say they want dummies or to prevent Marines from getting an education, because that isn't true. One can get money from the Marines for college, but it isn't easy and they don't advertise it. You can go to school while on active duty, if your command allows it and your duties don't take you on deployment a lot. The Marines want your priority to be on them, not trying to get money out of them for college and not putting your all into the Corps.
     
  17. B777Forevar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B777Forevar

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    #18
    I'm heavily looking into that actually after doing some research and talking to recruits from the Air Force and Navy this week, I might just finish college and go to the Navy's OCS.
     
  18. sk1wbw Suspended

    sk1wbw

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    #19
    Army has the best officers, hands down. They are trained to look after the other people, not just ignore them and use them. I've had officers from each branch of the military as a supervisor, and the ones I had in the Army were the best, hands down. The Navy pulls up last.
     
  19. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

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    #20
    I think that would be a wise decision. Go as an officer. Plus, when and if you decide to return to civilian life, your employment opportunities will be better than if you were enlisted.

    I'm partial towards the Navy/Marine Corps/Coast Guard and encourage you to go that route. But there is nothing wrong with the Army or Air Force.

    I'm not going to downplay any branches officers, but I believe they all have superior training respectively. But that can mean nothing if the individual isn't properly motivated or has their priorities wrong. My officers in the Marines were fantastic except for one guy that I had as a platoon commander, and he didn't last long.

    Bottom line is, as with anything, your mileage may vary.
     
  20. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #21
    My step son was joined the marines and early on he wanted to make a career out of it. He did not re-up for his second tour because he hated what he was doing.

    Instead of choosing a MOS that best fits his abilities and like, he chose what wol give him the biggest bonus to sign up for. The bottom line is he hated it, don't chase after the bonus money and choose what best fits your likes and abilities.

    I personally wish I went into the navy when I was younger, but circumstances worked against me, including my health but that's neither here nor there.

    I think joining the navy or another branch of the military is a great choice, serving the country, it also provides a vocation and if you stay in the service you have a great retirement benefit.
     
  21. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #22
    SIGINT Intelligence is split into two pieces.

    You got your guys in the SCIF staring and data and putting together strike packages, and then you have your LLVI tactical side.

    On the LLVI tactical side, we spent all our time doing all the high speed stuff you could ever dream about. Lets put it this way, I was wearing multicam, had modified grooming standards and was rocking an HK416 back in 2005.

    Plus you get your top secret security clearance, and a language in DLI which is basically a beach front vacation for a year or so depending on your language. And the civilian contractor jobs pay insane amounts of money if you don't want to re-up.

    If you want MI, MOS 35P is the way to go.
     
  22. eric/ Guest

    eric/

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    #23
    On the other side (if you don't fail out of Farsi), you may end up sitting in a room in a division HQ not doing anything related to your MOS.

    Not that 35P is bad or anything, I'm just saying....
     
  23. Technarchy macrumors 603

    Technarchy

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    #24
    If you are considering USAF or Air Guard, look at a JTAC or TACP slot. Short of pilot, it might be the coolest job in all the USAF.

    Mind you, I like being with the ground pounders. It's not for everyone though.

    ----------

    My language is French. Almost none of the guys in my unit speak Farsi or Arabic. That's what terps are for. They make the adventure that much more interesting :)

    But what you say is true for any MOS. One of the most awesome guys I know in SF is stuck in an S3 shop and isn't allowed to do anything that isn't admin. How much would that suck.
     
  24. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #25
    Why? What is your background in relation to the armed services?

    If you go Navy, I used to work in the NUPOC program as a civilian engineer and had some friends go the officer route in the NUPOC and had many coworkers work nuke as enlisted men. It seems to be and I have heard is that it is very rewarding but one of the more stressfull assignments
     

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