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lefty7226
12-03-2012, 18:00
My son has decided that he wants to join the Marines. We are super proud of him and think he would make a fantastic Marine. I have a question though. He is (6) classes away from getting his associates degree at a community college. His degree will be in Criminal Justice. I have told him that he should finish what he has started and get the Associates before he joins. I am interested in opinions on this issue?

What would you all tell your 20 year old child? He really wants to join now.

Will the Associates be of any benefit to him in the Marines?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. And Thanks to all of you that have served in any capacity. God Bless.

Detectorist
12-03-2012, 18:09
He should finish school.

If he wants quicker advancement, he should join the Army.

GreenDrake
12-03-2012, 18:12
I may be incorrect but I am pretty sure an Associates degree doesn't cut it to be a Marine officer. Finishing the degree is never a bad idea. I personally am very proud of a friend's son who just a half hour ago stopped by in his dress blues, two days home from Boot Camp and a brand new Marine. I gave him the Eagle Globe and Anchor my Drill Instructor handed me the day I graduated, and a gold plated coin with the Marine Corps Seal on it. He handed me his Crucible coin and a fistful of dirt from MCRD San Diego. Proud of that young man.

robin303
12-03-2012, 18:14
Welcome to GT sir. He needs to finish school 1st. There will plenty of time for him to join up and go over there which is an armpit of the world. After all the time I spent in the Army I try to tell the young bucks check out the Coast Guard.

kpuscg04
12-03-2012, 18:16
6 classes is 1 semester. It won't be fun, but bootcamp won't be much fun either.

Finish the degree, the Marines will still be there in 6 months.

raven11
12-03-2012, 18:21
Finish school, I think the Army gives out E-3 for a associate degree, don't know about the Marines

Harley6133
12-03-2012, 18:22
Finish school. Add 2 short years then gone Marine Corp as an officer. This would be a life changing event. 2 years is not that long.

USN Chief Petty Officer

Southmansfield
12-03-2012, 18:24
The easy answer is finish the degree.

However, if he wants to join now, go ahead. He won't use an associates degree in the Marines, and he can always go back later on GI Bill.

Averageman
12-03-2012, 18:24
Finish School and Become a Warrant Officer. I believe you can do that with an AA Degree.
Warrant Maintenance is a pretty good field and it is a skill that will make you 70+ K when he retires.

Patchman
12-03-2012, 18:27
Six (6) more courses? That's (at most) the upcoming Spring semester and a couple of classes over the summer. As someone already said, the Marine Corp will still be around come September 2013.

Besides, tell your son the Marines don't expect their people to start something (like schooling) and not finish it. Complete the Associate degree as a point of pride.

cesaros
12-03-2012, 18:28
Yes, FINISH SCHOOL!

Too often young men/women come into the military thinking they will have time to finish education, only to find out, those last few classes will take 3 years to complete due to training/deployments/work.

I wen't through the same thing 5 years ago when I joined the military at 18. I wanted in NOW, and didn't finish my education. 5 Years later, I still don't have my associates because its so high tempo now-a-days.

However I will be finishing school next year (for my associates, in Criminal Justice).

But, he will do whatever he wants to do...no matter what you tell him. All you can do is feed him the facts, and let him choose.

M2 Carbine
12-03-2012, 18:29
By all means finish his education and go in the military as an Officer.


I joined the USMC (1955) when I was 17. Made Sergeant.

Later I managed to become a Army Warrant Officer (pilot).


I wouldn't take anything for my USMC experience but I definitely liked being a Officer better than being an enlisted man.

Pay was better to.:)

cesaros
12-03-2012, 18:35
Now a days, education is becoming more and more important.

10 years ago, you could make it to E8 without college..

Now, its transitioning to where you could be required to have a Bachelors before promotion past E7.---Not sure about Marines, but thats how the Air Force and Navy are headed.

blackjack
12-03-2012, 18:39
Finish school. Add 2 short years then gone Marine Corp as an officer. This would be a life changing event. 2 years is not that long.

USN Chief Petty Officer

This ^^^^^^ See the website below to check out the options:

http://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/commissioning-programs

wrenrj1
12-03-2012, 18:52
Finish the AD, get into the military (regardless of service) as enlisted. Have the military pay the rest of the way while in the service. An AD isn't going to get a commission if that's what he's considering. Get on the road to a BS/commission/or go OCS, but there are educational requirements. Do some research on this.

lefty7226
12-03-2012, 18:53
These comments are fantastic. What a great resource you all are. My wife and I are both extremely happy with all the advice. Thank you all.

glock30user
12-03-2012, 18:55
Finish school first. He will probably want a bs or ba later and it will only make it easier. Education is also another bullet on evals to help him stand out.

Batesmotel
12-03-2012, 19:28
USMC 0311 here.

Finish school. If he only finishes the associates now it will make it easier to get a BA or BS while he is in. If he wants he could try to go mustang then and become an officer with the BA/BS

He could finish a BS and apply for OCS after.

He could finish the associates then go ROTC, finish the BS and get commissioned.

He could finish the associates, enlist then a BS and just stay enlisted.

With a degree he could enlist then look into Warrant Officer programs.


But the point is, finish the associates. He is so close.

aplcr0331
12-03-2012, 20:05
An associates degree will get him E2. He can finish the rest while on active duty. I completed my first BA while on active duty in the infantry. It was very difficult, but it can be done. There are a ton of programs in the Marine Corps if he wants to become an officer as well. There are more opportunities in other branches of the service, but if someone wants to be a Marine you really don't do it for the reason most others join different branches of the service. Good luck with whatever he choses.

93GT
12-03-2012, 20:43
4 year degree, PLC, OCC, or NROTC and get commissioned. If he doesn't, don't worry about it, I got the same recommendation and didn't listen either.

I was accepted to college and went the next day to enlist in the Marine Corps as an 03XX. In hindsight, I am very grateful to have the experiences that I have, but after 12+ years in, I am still 4-5 years behind others that are my age that just went officer in the first place instead of getting accepted to an enlisted to officer program.

Another thing is the enlisted to officer program is fairly competitive, you are currently required to be a Sergeant to apply (5 years+ TIS for some MOS's), and being older than 28 when you commission is usually not seen as desirable. I have met plenty of folks that applied multiple times and weren't accepted. Some got out and went into the reserves, then did PLC anyway. If he is like I was at 19, he won't care about any of that stuff I just typed in the last two paragraphs though. I didn't even care that my college credits got me PFC, but I should have. I just wanted to join. Just keep in mind, when you enlist, it isn't just one day you decide you want to pursue a commission and then bam you are at OCS and in college again.

TBO
12-03-2012, 20:44
Another vote to finish.

BuzznRose
12-03-2012, 21:10
I don't know about the Marines, but an Associate in the Air Force will give him E3 from the start. Regardless, finish the degree.

And tell your son an old retired USAF Chief would like to thank him in advance for his patriotism and desire to serve our Nation.


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ray9898
12-03-2012, 21:48
Finish the degree without question.

Glockin26
12-03-2012, 23:50
Do both. If he hasn't even sworn in yet he will be in the DEP (Delayed Entry Program) for a minimum of 5-6 mo if he chose AD. I just checked into my first unit and it took me 2 months and plenty of nagging to get into boot camp early and i mistakenly joined the reserves. Get sworn in and do his last quarter. I will tell you this. If hes not 100% down to be the best then join something else. It seems from your post that he has made the decision but just make sure he realizes its going to be easier/promotions in every other branch of the military.

Semper Fi Marines

WarEagle 1
12-04-2012, 00:22
Semper Fi!! He should definitely get his degree first then go in.

mixflip
12-04-2012, 01:16
Why the rush to join? The Marines arent going anywhere. Well they may deploy to the middle east or Africa but he will be able to catch up to them at any time.

Get the degree. He will probably get to start as an E3 vs an E1 if he has a good recruiter who is actually looking out for his best interests. Every penny counts.

DWARREN123
12-04-2012, 01:46
I would advise to finish the degree and use it to join the military in a related field and aquire more related education while in the military.

Bren
12-04-2012, 03:59
Welcome to GT sir. He needs to finish school 1st. There will plenty of time for him to join up and go over there which is an armpit of the world. After all the time I spent in the Army I try to tell the young bucks check out the Coast Guard.

There is certainly not "plenty of time" - we are rapidly running out of chances to deploy and they'll be pretty much gone in a couple of years. If I was the OP's son, I'd join the Marines now and get the 6 hours of college later - in fact, if it was 6 hours of electives, he might get it by completing basic training. An associates degree isn't a benefit anywhere I can think of and being a Marine who has served in combat will do him more good in life, career and even on a resume.

To add to that, the Marines give less rank for college than the other branches and if he does qualify for E2 with an associates, it will take him longer to get the degree and join as an E2 than to join as an E1 and work up to E2.

"Finish college" is the knee-jerk advice people are programmed to give - that doesn't make it good advice.

I have a JD (law degree) and a BA in accounting. If I had it to do over again, I'd never waste my time walking into a college.

Bren
12-04-2012, 04:10
These comments are fantastic. What a great resource you all are. My wife and I are both extremely happy with all the advice. Thank you all.

I have often said Glock Talk is a bad place to get advice and this thread is no different.

I notice nobody gives you any solid benefit of finishing the degree first and then going to the Marines, over going to the Marines now. Just the standard "finish your education" that old people always give.

If your son wants to be a Marine, he'll want to do it now, while there is still a chance to deploy to Afghanistan. You don't become a policeman to avoid crime or a fireman when you don't expect to fight any fires. Being the guys who come in after we are out of Afghanistan is going to suck and we could very well be out in a couple of years.

I say this as someone who has served in the peacetime Army, who has come to a unit right after the latest chance to be deployed and been one of the "ain't been there" guys, who has gone to college, and who has gone back into the Army in war time and served in Afghanistan.

The Maggy
12-04-2012, 04:39
There is certainly not "plenty of time" - we are rapidly running out of chances to deploy and they'll be pretty much gone in a couple of years. If I was the OP's son, I'd join the Marines now and get the 6 hours of college later - in fact, if it was 6 hours of electives, he might get it by completing basic training. An associates degree isn't a benefit anywhere I can think of and being a Marine who has served in combat will do him more good in life, career and even on a resume.

To add to that, the Marines give less rank for college than the other branches and if he does qualify for E2 with an associates, it will take him longer to get the degree and join as an E2 than to join as an E1 and work up to E2.

"Finish college" is the knee-jerk advice people are programmed to give - that doesn't make it good advice.

I have a JD (law degree) and a BA in accounting. If I had it to do over again, I'd never waste my time walking into a college.

I have to agree on all points.

I was pinned E5 at three years and two months and had a date for the E6 board at my 4.5 year mark.

The only effect that college credit would have made for me is that I would have been pinned E5 at three years and one month. Had I stayed in the military, college credit would have made me more competitive while attempting to transfer over to the WO side of things.

OP, I joined to go to war. I didn't join to wear a pretty uniform and work ****ty hours stateside. If it were my child and having been where I have been and done what I have done; I would not tell him to wait.

Yes, the Marines will always be there; but I seriously doubt that the institution of higher education will be going anywhere either.

Peace Warrior
12-04-2012, 06:01
<<< In the finish school crowd.


An aside: A 17 year old just had an argument with his parents. His parting shot to them as he headed to the backdoor was this, "I'm tired of everyone telling me what to do, I'm gonna go join the Marines!"

Bren
12-04-2012, 08:11
<<< In the finish school crowd.


An aside: A 17 year old just had an argument with his parents. His parting shot to them as he headed to the backdoor was this, "I'm tired of everyone telling me what to do, I'm gonna go join the Marines!"

So give him a reason.

Why is it better to get an associates degree now than join the USMC? Honestly, I can't even think of a job an associates degree helps with.

Have you gone to college, then served in the military, then gone to college again after? I have.

Rabbi
12-04-2012, 08:15
Why is it better to get an associates degree now than join the USMC? Honestly, I can't even think of a job an associates degree helps with.

I can think of a lot.

For an obvious example, and RN degree is an associates degree.

fnfalman
12-04-2012, 09:27
Finish the Associate degree, join the Air Force and laugh at the Marines and Soldiers sleeping in the mud.

aplcr0331
12-04-2012, 10:15
19699012join the Air Force and laugh at the Marines and Soldiers sleeping in the mud.[/B]


/thread

Glock20 10mm
12-04-2012, 11:28
Let him know who is commander in chief is... that might change his mind to stay in college and finish the degree.

Bren
12-04-2012, 11:55
Finish the Associate degree, join the Air Force and laugh at the Marines and Soldiers sleeping in the mud.

Then later the Marines and Soldiers who slept in the mud can laugh at you for being a peacetime airman.:upeyes:

Glock20 10mm
12-04-2012, 12:01
Then later the Marines and Soldiers who slept in the mud can laugh at you for being a peacetime airman.:upeyes:

It's all perspective and the simple fact is they are all on the same team. How they choose to support the team is their choice. Not every one can be the quarterback, somebody has to do the support jobs which are just as important as the front line. Just saying... the arrogance from all sides is stifling. We have bigger issues at had that need to be addressed.

nikerret
12-04-2012, 12:09
... and i mistakenly joined the reserves. ...

Please elaborate.

Big Bird
12-04-2012, 12:35
If Marine recruiting is backlogged anything like Army recruiting currently is your son should go talk to a recruiter ASAP. Currently, in many Army specialties you will wait 9-16 months after contracting before a basic training slot opens and you can go on active duty.

So he might have to contract now and wait to ship anyhow...

Talk to the recruiter to get the straight poop.

GRIMLET
12-04-2012, 12:50
If Marine recruiting is backlogged anything like Army recruiting currently is your son should go talk to a recruiter ASAP. Currently, in many Army specialties you will wait 9-16 months after contracting before a basic training slot opens and you can go on active duty.

So he might have to contract now and wait to ship anyhow...

Talk to the recruiter to get the straight poop.

I agree 100%. Go talk to a recruiter. These days the slots are backlogged. It is not easy walking in with a Bachelors degree and getting an officer position. I sat down with a USAF recruiter with my friends son last week. They were very honest about staffing and the wait even for enlisted positions. They are flush with applicants.
I also found the USMC recruiters very honest last year dealing with my son.

To the OP, any education will give points for promotion to be an NCO. as far as finishing or enlisting, I cant answer. There are a few variables.
Who is paying for school?
Does he like school?
Is he making good grades?

Go with him to the recruiter. Soon. Learn the options now.


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Left-Right
12-04-2012, 12:56
If he wants the military, ask him if he likes taking orders or giving orders. If he wants to lead, tell him about ROTC. 4 year degree and he gets to be second lieutenant when he graduates. If he decides later the military isn't what he wants, he's got his degree and a nice start to his resume.

lefty7226
12-04-2012, 14:49
I cannot thank all of you enough. This post has given us a lot of view points and we are very appreciative.

It is great to hear the view of those that have been there and done that.

Thanks again.

fnfalman
12-04-2012, 15:03
Then later the Marines and Soldiers who slept in the mud can laugh at you for being a peacetime airman.:upeyes:

They'd still sleep in nice beds and chowing down good food.

vart
12-04-2012, 15:06
If your son wants to be a Marine, he'll want to do it now, while there is still a chance to deploy to Afghanistan. You don't become a policeman to avoid crime or a fireman when you don't expect to fight any fires. Being the guys who come in after we are out of Afghanistan is going to suck and we could very well be out in a couple of years.

I say this as someone who has served in the peacetime Army, who has come to a unit right after the latest chance to be deployed and been one of the "ain't been there" guys, who has gone to college, and who has gone back into the Army in war time and served in Afghanistan.

Are you actually advising a young man to actively seek to experience the horrors of war, after admitting you actually haven't experienced them?

What makes you think you are qualified to give such advice?

arclight610
12-04-2012, 15:08
Finish School and Become a Warrant Officer. I believe you can do that with an AA Degree.
Warrant Maintenance is a pretty good field and it is a skill that will make you 70+ K when he retires.

In the Marine Corps, you have to be an E-7 to go warrant. E-5 if you become an admin Warrant.

arclight610
12-04-2012, 15:14
I have to agree with Bren on this one. All he needs to be a contract E-2 is 18 s/h of college. Also, the opportunities to deploy are shrinking fast. If he waits, he might find himself in a unit where he looks around and everyone else has a Combat Action Ribbon except for him. His quality of life wouldn't be good. Community college will pretty much always be around, but not everyone gets to go to war when they want.

Averageman
12-04-2012, 15:57
In the Marine Corps, you have to be an E-7 to go warrant. E-5 if you become an admin Warrant.
And it is worth every minute of work it takes to get there.
I work with a lot of retired Warrant Officers. That rule of E-7 doesn't apply in the Army, most candidates are E-5's and E-6's in slow promoting maintence MOS's.
Ask any one of them if the effort wasn't worth the reward and see what they say.
Not only do you have less headaches than an Officer or an NCO, you get a lot more benefits in the long run. Better Pay, Better employability, more training, and the ability to work with cutting edge developments in weapons systems and your treated like an Officer.
I pulled my paperwork for W.O. Flight about a month before heading to Ft. Rucker and I kick myself in the butt everytime I think about it.
Warrant is the way to go.

Bren
12-04-2012, 18:17
Are you actually advising a young man to actively seek to experience the horrors of war, after admitting you actually haven't experienced them?

What makes you think you are qualified to give such advice?

Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. Thanks for reading before posting...or not. :upeyes: The patch in my avatar pic wasn't even a hint?

So I have been there and right now I'm looking for an opportunity to go back - one came up recently and every member of my company volunteered, but none of us got it. Waiting for word on another where a guy is trying to pull some strings for us. You don't get the chance to go to war every day.

Have you been?

No? Thought so.

So how am I qualified? Well, I went to college, quit to join the Army and went back to college later. I've been to Afghanistan. That seems to cover the whole issue.

Glockin26
12-05-2012, 02:41
Please elaborate.

I realized after boot camp that I didn't want to be a reservist anymore. I wanted to stay with my brothers and be active duty. Being in reserve its not the same camaraderie. By the time my mistake was realized, there was absolutely no chance of going AD unless i get retrained in a different MOS. If your going to join the military go active duty.

Bren
12-05-2012, 05:03
I realized after boot camp that I didn't want to be a reservist anymore. I wanted to stay with my brothers and be active duty. Being in reserve its not the same camaraderie. By the time my mistake was realized, there was absolutely no chance of going AD unless i get retrained in a different MOS. If your going to join the military go active duty.

Why would you not want to get another MOS? I'm in a reserve unit where most people have also served on active duty and many have more than 1 MOS - some have 3-4. I have 2. We have people go from reserve to active pretty regularly.

Of course, they'd take back any bonus for your current MOS/enlistment.

Peace Warrior
12-05-2012, 05:21
So give him a reason.

Why is it better to get an associates degree now than join the USMC? ...
Are you serious? :whistling:
... Honestly, I can't even think of a job an associates degree helps with.

Have you gone to college, then served in the military, then gone to college again after? I have.
No, I have neither done the exact same things the exact same way you have, nor have you done things in life the exact same way I have; however, I find it interesting you have to insist on key holing another person's path, whether giving it a thumbs' up or thumbs' down, by ONLY filtering it through the individual worldview you have created from your personal life experiences.

Can you please clarify one thing: You either want the kid to go into the military without going to college first, or you want the kid to do a full four years of college, in lieu of two, and then go into the military?

I'm thinking he is ALREADY in school. In other words, he started something. Part of character building is for one to finish what one starts. He's already in school, my advice would be for him to finish. Heck, he may decide to become and attorney, surgeon, or nurse and skip joining the military altogether, which in my opinion would be fantastic! Or, if he does decide on joining the military, a little college first may make him smart enough to sign up with the Navy. :supergrin:


All things equal, because you started school, left, and then finished after a few years in the military you have decided that no one else is able to achieve what you've done? Listen pal, there are literally THOUSANDS of people that have decided to run from the challenge of college and join the military. The character they developed while in the military allowed them to return to college and be highly successful. You're not special in that you have done it, you're special in that you think no else is capable of overcoming that particular challenge.

Bren
12-05-2012, 07:36
Are you serious? :whistling:

No, I have neither done the exact same things the exact same way you have, nor have you done things in life the exact same way I have; however, I find it interesting you have to insist on key holing another person's path, whether giving it a thumbs' up or thumbs' down, by ONLY filtering it through the individual worldview you have created from your personal life experiences.


In other words, you disagree with me giving advice based on actual experience with the issue, while you admit giving it based on none. Well done.:upeyes:


Can you please clarify one thing: You either want the kid to go into the military without going to college first, or you want the kid to do a full four years of college, in lieu of two, and then go into the military?


Either of those would be better choices than delaying to get an associates degree.


All things equal, because you started school, left, and then finished after a few years in the military you have decided that no one else is able to achieve what you've done? Listen pal, there are literally THOUSANDS of people that have decided to run from the challenge of college and join the military. The character they developed while in the military allowed them to return to college and be highly successful. You're not special in that you have done it, you're special in that you think no else is capable of overcoming that particular challenge.


Are you familiar with the term "straw man argument"? That's where you make up or exaggerate my argument, to make it easier for you to refute. Unfortunately, you still don't seem to have a counter-argument. Since I advised him to do what I had done, how could that even mean I "have decided that no one else is able to achieve what you've done"? Looks more like it means the exact opposite - there is no way you make sense of what you wrote there.

Peace Warrior
12-05-2012, 08:14
Bren,

Purposely misquoting and removing the context of a post you are disagreeing with is a sign of a notable character weakness as far as debates go. Just an FYI.

In other words, you disagree with me giving advice based on actual experience with the issue, while you admit giving it based on none. Well done.:upeyes: ...
Strawman much? Or is it that you have no efficiency(ies) when it comes to reading and comprehension? Simply put, I guess the old term, "six of one and a half dozen of the other" is a apropos here.

...Either of those would be better choices than delaying to get an associates degree. ...

Again, says you through narrow, egocentric view that refuses other perfectly viable and INDIVIDUALLY appropriate options.

... Are you familiar with the term "straw man argument"? That's where you make up or exaggerate my argument, to make it easier for you to refute. ...
Yes, I do, and this why i asked for a clarification so as to avoid such a possibility. By the way, while on the subject of strawman arguments, let me ask you, "Project much?" :whistling:

... Unfortunately, you still don't seem to have a counter-argument. Since I advised him to do what I had done, ...
Thanks for clarifying your position, or if I missed your post advising your position earlier in the thread, then mea culpa sir.

However, this is precisely what I am getting at, please see your wording to reveal your own PERSONAL thought process(es) on the whole matter. To wit, and i quotew you verbatim, "Since I advised him to do what I had done..."

By proxy and assumption of the reciprocal, you are saying if he doe do it in a way which you haven't done, then he is either derelict in his decision making process, or he will somehow be coming up short in "the game" of life.

I am saying he may not do it the way anyone has done it, including your way or my way, and yet this could still very well be the best possible path and the perfect choice for him as an INDIVIDUAL. IMO, your flaw is expressing your chosen path onto others due to it working for you so well up to this point, at least in your estimation, and Bren, frankly it hasn't worked so great, and until you humble yourself to that fact please do NOT give anyone outside your "life's circle" ANY professional career advice.

... Since I advised him to do what I had done, how could that even mean I "have decided that no one else is able to achieve what you've done"? ...
Again, your advice may be the wrong advice in this situation.

... Looks more like it means the exact opposite - there is no way you make sense of what you wrote there.
Again, strawman much? Or, are you unable to read and comprehend?

Rick O'Shay
12-05-2012, 08:44
A friend of mine was promised by the Marine recruiter that the Corps would pay off his student loans, from a 4-yr college he'd completed. When sign-up time came, they renigged.
Then he was told by the Army recruiter that they would pay off his student loans. When he finished basic training, they paid off half. When he finished AIT, they paid off the other half.
Not exactly the answer you were looking for, but thought I'd toss it in just FYI.

arclight610
12-05-2012, 08:55
A friend of mine was promised by the Marine recruiter that the Corps would pay off his student loans, from a 4-yr college he'd completed. When sign-up time came, they renigged.
Then he was told by the Army recruiter that they would pay off his student loans. When he finished basic training, they paid off half. When he finished AIT, they paid off the other half.
Not exactly the answer you were looking for, but thought I'd toss it in just FYI.

Some of the Army guys that were in my unit have been out for a year, and their still working on getting their promised enlistment bonus from 5 years ago. It happens in all branches.

Bren
12-05-2012, 09:02
Bren,

Purposely misquoting and removing the context of a post you are disagreeing with is a sign of a notable character weakness as far as debates go. Just an FYI.


Everything I quoted was in contaxt and as you wrote it. Are you saying you do have experience with the military and college and I'm misquoting you somehow? I loooked back at what we both wrote and it is accurate.


Again, strawman much? Or, are you unable to read and comprehend?

One of us is. I advised a guy that he should/could do what I had done and you came out with that crazy rant about how "because you started school, left, and then finished after a few years in the military you have decided that no one else is able to achieve what you've done?" Which is, again, the exact opposite of what I said. Are you posting this while drunk, or what?

Somebody else feel free to chime in and explain to me how I've misquoted Peace Warrior?

KommieforniaGlocker
12-05-2012, 09:15
My son has decided that he wants to join the Marines. We are super proud of him and think he would make a fantastic Marine. I have a question though. He is (6) classes away from getting his associates degree at a community college. His degree will be in Criminal Justice. I have told him that he should finish what he has started and get the Associates before he joins. I am interested in opinions on this issue?

What would you all tell your 20 year old child? He really wants to join now.


Will the Associates be of any benefit to him in the Marines?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. And Thanks to all of you that have served in any capacity. God Bless.


Finish school, and by that I mean when he gets Associates, have him transfer to local state College that has an ROTC program, get a Bachelors then Join, no so much for the commission, just to get education out of the way. it is alot harder to get back into school mode once your out for a while, and I believe if he has gotten this for another 2 years of school is nothing when compared to the rest of his life, and with an ROTC program he can already begin process.......Then go for it.

Peace Warrior
12-05-2012, 09:32
... Somebody else feel free to chime in and explain to me how I've misquoted Peace Warrior?
Still need the approval of the herd huh?

Your way is not necessarily the best way bren. Deal with your ego or it will become capable of fooling even you.

KommieforniaGlocker
12-05-2012, 09:35
There is certainly not "plenty of time" - we are rapidly running out of chances to deploy and they'll be pretty much gone in a couple of years. If I was the OP's son, I'd join the Marines now and get the 6 hours of college later - in fact, if it was 6 hours of electives, he might get it by completing basic training. An associates degree isn't a benefit anywhere I can think of and being a Marine who has served in combat will do him more good in life, career and even on a resume.

To add to that, the Marines give less rank for college than the other branches and if he does qualify for E2 with an associates, it will take him longer to get the degree and join as an E2 than to join as an E1 and work up to E2.

"Finish college" is the knee-jerk advice people are programmed to give - that doesn't make it good advice.

I have a JD (law degree) and a BA in accounting. If I had it to do over again, I'd never waste my time walking into a college.


This is really bad advice

You would have never earned your Juris Doctor had you never wasted your time walking into a college.

ldn0125
12-05-2012, 09:39
As a mom of an active Marine, I naturally would say for your child to complete their degree program before heading off to the Corps. Once in active duty, there will be less hours of study needed to complete a bachelors degree. Even if your child completes their degree and goes into the Corps, they still need to have a plan to ensure the future when they either retire or decide not to reenlist. The Corps will not be the last stop on the employment/career path.

With the changes coming in 2013 with sequestration, it is my belief that there will be a lot clearer picture of what the next few years holds for all the military branches by next summer (hopefully).

My son will be heading off to MCRD San Diego in either April or July to become a DI for 3 years. You just never know what your child will end up doing during their years of enlistment. We've been through Iraq, Afghanistan, 3 years of embassy duty (Vienna, Kathmandu, Munich), 3 years of Okinawa, special missions -- so far. I love my Marine and I visit him and his wife as often as I can!

Good luck regardless of what your child decides. You can only guide him.

If your child isn't in tip top shape, I suggest the next months to build stamina, strength and endurance so that boot camp doesn't take a harsh toll.

Java Junky
12-05-2012, 09:40
If he'd consider dropping his classes to join, maybe he's too hot-to-trot.
Finishing what's started always a good way to go.
Being hot enough to consider abandoning what he's already invested sounds like it might be in his best interest to spend the time applying himself to finishing school.
And like 'most everybody's already said: the Corps'll be there when he's done.
(Provided the flim-flam man doesn't do anything to end the "Marine Corpse", as he calls it.)
Semper Fi bruthas.

Bren
12-05-2012, 09:43
This is really bad advice

You would have never earned your Juris Doctor had you never wasted your time walking into a college.

That certainly does not make it bad advice. I work with lawyers every day, all day and supervise a few. I rarely meet one (as in, none I can think of) who is enthusiastic about it, who is more than 5 years out of law school. Just a matter of having adjusted to the income level, before figuring that out.

scottz0369
12-05-2012, 10:10
I dropped out of community college after a year (I went for no other reason other than it was expected of me by my family, friends, and school counselors) it wasn't for me. I joined the Marines against just about everyone's advice; the argument was mainly that I would be wasting my potential, whatever that meant. I chose the infantry over other jobs because it was something I couldn't do in college; my reasoning was that college wasn't going anywhere, and I'd finish it later. I didn't take any courses during my first enlistment even though they were available, so I re-enlisted with the intent of finishing a degree. Didn't do any classes on that enlistment either, but I was newly married and on recruiting duty, so chose to spend my limited free time with my wife. I eventually finished my AA, then a BA while in a deploying unit, and started a MS program while still on active duty. I has to drop the MS program due to deploying to Iraq a couple of times. I retired in 2008 as a MSgt, and am now finishing up a MBA.

So for the OP's question, in my experience, not finishing college prior to joining seems to have worked out. I got it done eventually, and gained experiences I couldn't have gotten elsewhere.

Having an AA prior to joining may give him E2 instead of E1 to start. I dont't think E3 is an option, but it's been some time since I was a recruiter. An AA in the Marines doesn't qualify someone for Warrant Officer, unlike some of the other services, it's based on other things as a poster noted earlier. Also, as another poster pointed out, there is a wait to go to boot camp, so he could always use that wait to finish some classes. One possible benefit of having an AA is the increased opportunity for enlisted to officer programs like MECEP.

If it were my son, I'd say sign up now for the job he wants, get a boot camp date and work on school until it's time to go. I he can finish, fine. If not, there's plenty of opportunity to knock out whatever is left whether it's through CLEP testing, night courses on base, online, or ACE credits from military training.

Whatever the outcome, I wish him luck, and thanks for being willing to serve.

Scott
MSgt, 0369 USMC 87-08

Outdoor Hub mobile, the outdoor information engine

Taphius
12-05-2012, 23:56
As the other military members have said. If he really wants to join, go sign up and complete as many classes he can until ship out date as an associates does not really amount to much. I enlisted and wasted some time before hitting the books again and I still finished 42 credits in two years between work/ojt/injuries/surgeries on my legs (used my tuition assistance completely those two years) and CLEP 6 credits. Graduate in May with my BS

But I was AF so time availability may be different, my NCO's had no issues with me doing classwork during down time.

mixflip
12-08-2012, 00:44
For those who said "the chance to deploy over seas may not be there in a couple years?"

HUH??? we will have boots on the ground trying to secure chemical weapons depots in Syria soon most likely. If not on the ground just outside Syria thats for sure. You dont think there are bases in Europe ready to deploy as we speak?

There are more Chinese in many African towns than actual Africans, taking its natural resources... There will be plenty of chances to deploy to a hot zone in the next few years.

I have a friend who is deploying to North Africa as a state dept contractor very soon and he said get used to seeing Africa on TV over the next few years.

AA_Khost
12-08-2012, 04:47
Finish school first.

93GT
12-08-2012, 05:42
So give him a reason.

Why is it better to get an associates degree now than join the USMC? Honestly, I can't even think of a job an associates degree helps with.

Have you gone to college, then served in the military, then gone to college again after? I have.


I tend to agree with your point about the associates. I do have a personal opinion that he should finish his four year degree and seek a commission through PLC unless he is already doing poorly in college. That is based on experience, but it doesn't necessarily mean that I believe I am right and there is no other possibility. From my perspective, commissioned at 22 with a four year degree instead of picking up Cpl at 22 is where I would want to be in his position. Of course, I am not him and I don't have all the information.


In the Marine Corps, you have to be an E-7 to go warrant. E-5 if you become an admin Warrant.

Correct.
E-7 with 16 years to be appointed a CWO-2 Marine Gunner
E-5 with 8-16 years for other MOS's (comcam, logistics, admin, food services, supply, comm, aviation ordnance, etc...) to be appointed a WO-1

I have to agree with Bren on this one. All he needs to be a contract E-2 is 18 s/h of college. Also, the opportunities to deploy are shrinking fast. If he waits, he might find himself in a unit where he looks around and everyone else has a Combat Action Ribbon except for him. His quality of life wouldn't be good. Community college will pretty much always be around, but not everyone gets to go to war when they want.

15 credit hours in most cases.

Finish school, and by that I mean when he gets Associates, have him transfer to local state College that has an ROTC program, get a Bachelors then Join, no so much for the commission, just to get education out of the way. it is alot harder to get back into school mode once your out for a while, and I believe if he has gotten this for another 2 years of school is nothing when compared to the rest of his life, and with an ROTC program he can already begin process.......Then go for it.

I agree with this one for the most part unless he is doing poorly in school. Even if the Corps isn't for him, a 4 year degree combined with 4 years of commissioned service isn't a bad place to be when looking for a job at 26. It is education combined with immediate entry into leadership/management positions with at least 3 years of actual on the job experience.

I have a lot of friends that got out after 4 years when I was enlisted that hated life, clammered to get back in, moaned for years that they should have stayed in when they had the opportunity at 22 or 23. Many got out only because they hated life so much while they were in that nothing else could possibly be worse. Out of a hundred, I can only name a handful or two that are doing well and are happy with their decision and they still miss things.

Something about not having time to do what you want, but having the salary to do it in the Marine Corps compared to having all the time in the world, but not a penny to your name and no brothers to sit around and complain about your shared misery with. That isn't a one sized fits all answer, but if I were playing the odds, I would say that Bren is more the exception to the rule than the rule itself. I don't know too many of my old grunt friends with law/accounting degrees. Most of the successful ones are firemen or police officers, but by far the majority are still sitting at home reliving their first years in the Marine Corps a decade after their EAS. JMHO.

I have benefitted from being in the right place at the right time. Pure dumb luck and relentless pursuit of something, even if I didn't know what was on the other side of the decision. If your son works hard at whatever path he takes regardless of how many set backs he suffers, I am sure he will be successful whether it be continuing college or enlisting as soon as possible.

After all of that rambling, make sure he talks to an both an OSO and a recruiter in the area so he can make an informed decision. I don't think he can go wrong with either one.

Tx-SIG229
12-08-2012, 18:21
Welcome to GT sir. He needs to finish school 1st. There will plenty of time for him to join up and go over there which is an armpit of the world. After all the time I spent in the Army I try to tell the young bucks check out the Coast Guard.

this.

on the other hand... do the marine thing and then return to college. not much one can do with an AA in CJ .... hopefully after a stint in the military, he will have a better idea of what he wants to do when he returns to college.