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Rotn1
12-23-2012, 08:09
22 Year son just graduating from college. Has earned a good / tough degree with cumulative grades in the 3.25 range. Was a teaching assistant for last two years for which he receive a glowing letter of recomendation from the department head / professor. He has an attractive girlfriend who also finishes her degree in the spring. All appears good. No loans / no student debt.

Out of the blue he says he wants to join the army, and try to qualify for the army ranger school!

Never before did he show any interest in the millitary. He never considered of ROTC, and also shows no interest in OCS because of the apparent wait. Says he doesnt want the responsibility of leading either.

He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

His mother and I are besides ourselves. We both have the highest respect for those in the service(s). We believe he is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of finally having to start a life on his own and having to get a job.

He is very athletic so the physical demads should not be a problem. He is not mature thinking and tends to be obsessive / compulsive.

I do not want him to enlist. I want him to at least try to get a job outside of the milliatry and take more time with such an important life decision.

Ultimately, it is his life and his decision and I must support whatever he chooses.

I know there are many millitary and former millitary members on GT. I would appreciate your advice.

I sincerely hope nothing I have said is construed to be disrespectful to the armed forces. in any way. This situation is just a shocker for us.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Averageman
12-23-2012, 08:15
Well Dad at this point you can only wait and see.
Not having served as an Army Ranger, but being a Army "selected" Recruiter someone will try and B.S. this young man in to a chump enlistment to make this months quota. Don't let that happen.
Get a currently serving Ranger in a Ranger Battalion ( a tab wont be as much help) to show your Son how it is done. Dont settle for less or he might end up a Mortar Crewman for the next 4 years and be very dissatisifed with his decision.
You must have raised him right, he is looking at a calling and not a job.

Kingarthurhk
12-23-2012, 08:19
Encourage him to get a Master's degree. At least then he can be a comissioned officer, and may end up with a nice retirement in 20 years. The grades don't seem like a JD is in his future, those guys make their own ticket.

sourdough44
12-23-2012, 08:19
I joined at 17, don't have any regret. He will surely mature during the process. Lots of other ideas would worry me more, as a parent. He'll have options down the road with his degree.

raven11
12-23-2012, 08:24
i'm assuming he at least has a Bachelors degree, tell him to go the officer route

my father was pretty anti military, i would build toy forts and lego guns when i was a kid and my dad would always take them. but I joined regardless of his opinion, never lost sleep over it.

the choice is his either way, so do you want to be there at his graduation from basic or not.

lunarspeak
12-23-2012, 08:24
he's 22...cut the cord and take the nipple out of his mouth...

M&P15T
12-23-2012, 08:26
What do you think he means by "make a difference"?

Do you think he wants to see combat?

If so, it's probably too late for that, since we're looking at being out of Afghanistan at the end of next year.

pipedreams
12-23-2012, 08:27
Maybe a stint in the military would do him good if that is what he wants. He should go and talk with the recruiters and see what is offered. He would do well in the military with his education and TA experience. While he should not go into it blind trying to stop him may may cause real issues in the family. With all the cut backs coming in the defense dept. he may find they have no interest in him.

mac66
12-23-2012, 08:27
There are worst things than joining the military. Could smoke dope and run off and join a commune and be a stinking hippie. :supergrin:

If he is immature then joining the military might mature him and teach him some leadership skills. He can always go to OCS at some point when he is in.

With the wars winding down it might not be a bad choice right now. Get a some good training, do his duty and grow up a little.

My son is 27 now. Three of his childhood friends joined the military at some point after high school and college. One went Air Force and basically fixed toilets on a base for 4 years. (got a good job as a plumber afterwards though). One went Marines and despite trying to go oversees, he guarded nuclear subs in Seattle for his enlistment. He is now working security at a hospital. The other joined the Army and is still in. He went rangers/special forces and has been in the Philippines (his mother was Filipino) teaching their army and fighting rebels. He is having a great time.

I say let him go. It is a process of cutting the strings and growing up.

Kingarthurhk
12-23-2012, 08:28
he's 22...cut the cord and take the nipple out of his mouth...

I agree with the cutting the cord, but I am about twice his age and married. I am definately against the second part.:rofl:

dvrdwn72
12-23-2012, 08:29
Well, all I can say is its not for everyone. Its 90% mental,10% physical. They used to give ranger contracts during enlistment. Problem is if he "washes out" he will be most likely placed where they need him which could really suck. If he really wants a challenge, look into afsoc, pararescue,combat controller, etc.

Rotn1
12-23-2012, 08:29
Encourage him to get a Master's degree. At least then he can be a comissioned officer, and may end up with a nice retirement in 20 years. The grades don't seem like a JD is in his future, those guys make their own ticket.

I have tried for the last year to convince him to stay in school and get his Masters but no luck so far. Never considered in the context of the services.

KommieforniaGlocker
12-23-2012, 08:30
Have him go here. http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/become-an-officer.html

Averageman
12-23-2012, 08:31
What do you think he means by "make a difference"?

Do you think he wants to see combat?

If so, it's probably too late for that, since we're looking at being out of Afghanistan at the end of next year.
I don't see Army Rangers being a yawn of a job at this point despite talks of leaving Afghanastan.
I'm sure he can make a difference and see some action in a 4 year tour as a Ranger.
I joined at 18, took a combat arms job and lived most of my first 10 years in Germany patroling the border. I know I made a difference, part of the pressure we applied won the Cold War.
Being a Soldier is a lot like being a Cop or a Nurse or a Firefighter. The pay sucks, but you do it because it is what you are.

Rotn1
12-23-2012, 08:37
What do you think he means by "make a difference"?

Do you think he wants to see combat?

If so, it's probably too late for that, since we're looking at being out of Afghanistan at the end of next year.

I am really not sure. I want to give him a few days at home before we heavilly engage in the discussion.

My initial thought it is something the local recruiter told him. One of those indefendable (and usually true) tag lines, that mask what he is really thinking.

I already know from my checking of the process and what he has said was the recruiter lied to him multiple times. If he does proceed I will have his preliminaty file transfered to Philadelphia.

Kingarthurhk
12-23-2012, 08:37
I have tried for the last year to convince him to stay in school and get his Masters but no luck so far. Never considered in the context of the services.

At least in the Airforce to be a comissioned officer they require a Masters Degree. That way can probably make full bird Colonel before he retires.

M&P15T
12-23-2012, 08:37
I don't see Army Rangers being a yawn of a job at this point despite talks of leaving Afghanastan.
I'm sure he can make a difference and see some action in a 4 year tour as a Ranger.
I joined at 18, took a combat arms job and lived most of my first 10 years in Germany patroling the border. I know I made a difference, part of the pressure we applied won the Cold War.
Being a Soldier is a lot like being a Cop or a Nurse or a Firefighter. The pay sucks, but you do it because it is what you are.

If the OP's son's meaning of "making a difference" means getting into actual combat, specifically, then it's too late.

So, YOUR experiences mean bupkiss. What the OP's son's expectations are mean everything. If the OP's son thinks he's gonna get into combat before things wind down, it probably not gonna happen.

Rotn1
12-23-2012, 08:44
[QUOTE=M&P15T;19770683. What the OP's son's expectations are mean everything. If the OP's son thinks he's gonna get into combat before things wind down, it probably not gonna happen.[/QUOTE]

This is a great question I will certainly ask him.

jph02
12-23-2012, 08:47
If he says he doesn't want the responsibility of leading, then the military is not for him. Military is all about leadership at every level. That said, does he have leadership qualities? If so, he might just be huffing and puffing and the military might be perfect for him.

Perhaps he might consider the National Guard or reserves. They undergo the same training and meet the same standards, but Guard/reserves have civilian careers and lives, too. If he really likes it, he can still go active. But if he decides the military is not for him, fulfilling that contract in the Guard/reserves is not as in your face as having to finish out 4-6 years doing it 24/7.

I would encourage him to look at all the services. Ranger school is rather selective and the recruiter cannot guarantee that for him. He should see what kind of career fields each branch has to offer. Then he can decide based on that more than the cool factor of Ranger school. Meaning no disrespect to the Rangers, it's not for everyone.

For the record, you can get a commission with an associates degree, but need a bachelors to make O3 (Captain in the Army). There's no requirement for a masters, but having one could help for selection boards to higher ranks later on.

Airborne Renegade
12-23-2012, 08:49
22 Year son just graduating from college. Has earned a good / tough degree with cumulative grades in the 3.25 range. Was a teaching assistant for last two years for which he receive a glowing letter of recomendation from the department head / professor. He has an attractive girlfriend who also finishes her degree in the spring. All appears good. No loans / no student debt.

Out of the blue he says he wants to join the army, and try to qualify for the army ranger school!

Never before did he show any interest in the millitary. He never considered of ROTC, and also shows no interest in OCS because of the apparent wait. Says he doesnt want the responsibility of leading either.

He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

His mother and I are besides ourselves. We both have the highest respect for those in the service(s). We believe he is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of finally having to start a life on his own and having to get a job.

He is very athletic so the physical demads should not be a problem. He is not mature thinking and tends to be obsessive / compulsive.

I do not want him to enlist. I want him to at least try to get a job outside of the milliatry and take more time with such an important life decision.

Ultimately, it is his life and his decision and I must support whatever he chooses.

I know there are many millitary and former millitary members on GT. I would appreciate your advice.

I sincerely hope nothing I have said is construed to be disrespectful to the armed forces. in any way. This situation is just a shocker for us.

Thank you for your thoughts.

I am a current active duty paratrooper with the 82nd airborne division. I would support his decision. The Army is great for single soldiers. If he is wanting to do the whole Ranger thing I would suggest that he whip himself into shape and make sure he signs on as an 11b with a ranger contract upon entering the Army. It will ensure he gets a slot in the Ranger regiment and he will go straight from basic training to advanced individual traing to airborne school to Ranger training. It's the best way to do it as he will be used to all the physical demands. I know you said your son is in decent physical shape but trust me, no matter how physically fit he thinks he is, there is always room for improvement. Is a matter of fact, I will leave you my email address and please have your son get in touch with me and I will let him know all the things the recruiter won't tell him and give him advice on how it will work for him. The Rangers is an awesome place for quick promotions if he can hang with it. The only concerning thing you said was that he doesn't want the responsibility of becoming a leader. If he doesn't want to be a leader then the Rangers is not for him as at some point he WILL be put in charge. That actually goes for the entire Army. Please have him get in touch with me and I will give him first hand information.

bunk22
12-23-2012, 08:53
At least in the Airforce to be a comissioned officer they require a Masters Degree. That way can probably make full bird Colonel before he retires.

No they don't, just have to have a bachelor's degree unless I'm missing your point here.

As for the OP, your son is an adult, you give him advice and he follows it or he doesn't, that's my lousy two cents.

Cavalry Doc
12-23-2012, 08:56
I joined the Army with a high school diploma, and left with the ability to practice medicine. I have no regrets.

My advice, is to get him in touch with an infantryman, a Ranger if possible. Rangers are elite soldiers, but still have to live with some of the same living conditions of other light infantry soldiers. Be sure his eyes are wide open, and he knows exactly what he is getting into. I was a Pharmacy Tech my first 10 years, and a PA my last 10. I can count the number of days I slept out of doors in years. Below zero temps in Germany, 120+ in different deserts. Burn out latrines, cold food, sand/mud/snow in all kinds of places you don't want them. Weeks without a proper shower.

Life can be rough, but it does help you appreciate the good times. If he is sure that's what he wants to do, and he has factored how much time he can expect to spend away from home (even in peacetime), support him.

My advice to my kids is that they can join the military, any branch they want. But only after they complete their degree, have chosen a job that they will enjoy, preferably with a direct commission.


Your son, if he joins the military will lead others, or he will be kicked out. No one stays a private forever. There are retention control points, where if you do not make a certain rank by a certain time, they thank you for your service, and let you go.

Averageman
12-23-2012, 09:07
If the OP's son's meaning of "making a difference" means getting into actual combat, specifically, then it's too late.

So, YOUR experiences mean bupkiss. What the OP's son's expectations are mean everything. If the OP's son thinks he's gonna get into combat before things wind down, it probably not gonna happen.
You're a little testy this morning aren't you?
So with 21 years of service, 2 combat tours and 10 years in the defence industry and a stint as an Army Recruiter my experiance means "Bumpkiss?"
Ohhhhhhhkay.
I can assure you that if that young Man enlists, and goes to Ranger School and graduates and fulfills his enlistment; he will make a difference.
Will he see combat? I would give it about a 80% chance based on todays world political climate.
I think Cavalry Doc said it best, but it was pretty much what I tried to express.

mac66
12-23-2012, 09:07
I joined the Army with a high school diploma, and left with the ability to practice medicine. I have no regrets.

My advice, is to get him in touch with an infantryman, a Ranger if possible. Rangers are elite soldiers, but still have to live with some of the same living conditions of other light infantry soldiers. Be sure his eyes are wide open, and he knows exactly what he is getting into. I was a Pharmacy Tech my first 10 years, and a PA my last 10. I can count the number of days I slept out of doors in years. Below zero temps in Germany, 120+ in different deserts. Burn out latrines, cold food, sand/mud/snow in all kinds of places you don't want them. Weeks without a proper shower.

Life can be rough, but it does help you appreciate the good times. If he is sure that's what he wants to do, and he has factored how much time he can expect to spend away from home (even in peacetime), support him.

My advice to my kids is that they can join the military, any branch they want. But only after they complete their degree, have chosen a job that they will enjoy, preferably with a direct commission.


Your son, if he joins the military will lead others, or he will be kicked out. No one stays a private forever. There are retention control points, where if you do not make a certain rank by a certain time, they thank you for your service, and let you go.

Hey Doc, my son is finishing PA school in the spring. He wants to specialize in emergency medicine and has got his idea of teaching trauma/emergency meds to combat medics as a civilian contractor. Any insight into this?

Cavalry Doc
12-23-2012, 09:23
Hey Doc, my son is finishing PA school in the spring. He wants to specialize in emergency medicine and has got his idea of teaching trauma/emergency meds to combat medics as a civilian contractor. Any insight into this?

www.usajobs.gov

Most of the training of medics (outside of the school house, which is overrun with nurses), is done by active duty PA's. Most with plenty of pre-hospital trauma management experience.

Not sure about "contract" positions, but the link above will give him a start on the civil service options.

M&P15T
12-23-2012, 09:30
You're a little testy this morning aren't you?
So with 21 years of service, 2 combat tours and 10 years in the defence industry and a stint as an Army Recruiter my experiance means "Bumpkiss?"
Ohhhhhhhkay.
I can assure you that if that young Man enlists, and goes to Ranger School and graduates and fulfills his enlistment; he will make a difference.
Will he see combat? I would give it about a 80% chance based on todays world political climate.
I think Cavalry Doc said it best, but it was pretty much what I tried to express.

I'm being logical about this discussion.

The OP himself, has no idea what his son really means by "making a difference". So yes, your experiences mean nothing, because we're not talking about you, your experiencs or your expectations. We're talking about someone else.

If what he expects is to see combat during his 4 year stint, those chances are not very high if he joins right now. Of course that's just a guess, just like your guessing that he would see combat.

Neither of us know what conflicts may happen over the next 4 years. But his chances of being involved in the fighting in Afghanistan defintely are slim, since were are leaving at the end of next year.

BicycleDay43
12-23-2012, 09:43
I joined the Army when I was 17. Graduated Infantry OSUT at Ft Benning a month after I turned 18. From there was sent to Fort Campbell, Ky and was assigned to 1st BCT (Bastogne), 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). I was only at my unit for about 9 months before I got out due to some personal issues, due to the way my head was being *******ed with there.

That being said, I grew up preeetty fast being young and in one of the Army's higher end line Infantry units. Just in that span of 9 months, we did an unbelievable amount of training and were constantly in the field regardless of severe weather conditions or certain holidays that most soldiers would get off. Its all a part of the job. If you don't want to freeze your ass off in the rain while its 10 degrees out and your friends in other companies and battalions are all in Nashville getting s*** faced, then the Infantry probably isn't for you.

The biggest suggestion I can make is to get in great physical shape. There usually wasn't a single week where my company didn't do at least a 7+ mile run at least twice a week. I was never a Ranger, but I can assure you their PT is probably a lot more strenuous. 95% of the bull-s*** I dealt with was getting constantly hazed and smoked because I didn't have a great PT score. Not to mention my platoon tended to be a toxic biohazard when it came to how team leaders, squad leaders, and even plt leaders treated privates. We would get smoked just because our team leaders were bored and wanted to see us shed little private tears of muscle failure.

So yeah, I'd say if your son wants to be a Ranger, he should probably start running, lifting weights and taking protein supplements every day. If you're in shape and can handle the bs, the combat arms portion of the Army can and will be am extremely rewarding experience.

I was only in for a pathetic total of about a year, but I still walked away mentally stronger than the average kid my age. By the time I was not even 19, I'd already done a few UH-60 and CH-47 Air Assaults, traveled to Fort Carson for mountain warfare training and suffered in the harsh winter of Tennesse/Kentucky for weeks at a time.

Oh, and your sons Drill Sgts will just LOOOVE the fact that he went to college. I can assure you that much. :biggrin:

Sent from the Duke City using OHM

Glock13
12-23-2012, 09:48
At least in the Airforce to be a comissioned officer they require a Masters Degree. That way can probably make full bird Colonel before he retires.

That is not true...just a bachelor's.

OhioGlock90
12-23-2012, 10:08
I agree that he shouldn't rush into the military because it is a big commitment however maybe he has been thinking about it for a long time. I would advise talking to him a little new and find out why he wants to join, how long he has wanted to join and if it would be a career choice or just for the next four years. If you open the lines of communication it could go more smoothly for you. Also feel good that you raised a man who is willing to serve our country. Good luck

Averageman
12-23-2012, 10:20
I agree that he shouldn't rush into the military because it is a big commitment however maybe he has been thinking about it for a long time. I would advise talking to him a little new and find out why he wants to join, how long he has wanted to join and if it would be a career choice or just for the next four years. If you open the lines of communication it could go more smoothly for you. Also feel good that you raised a man who is willing to serve our country. Good luck
Look we aren't talking about a kid here, he has a College Degree.
At this point if Dad doesn't have "Lines of Communication" it aint gonna happen.
Just get him informed and dont let him get screwed by a recruiter and be happy.
You did a good job Dad.

MDLibertarian
12-23-2012, 10:35
To the OP, what is the degree your son will be awarded? Is it in the sciences, engineering, or liberal arts? Knowing that would help as well as knowing whether or not he wants to pursue a technical or non-technical field in the military. If he wants something technical his best bet would be to join either the Navy or Air Force since that's what these services focus on whereas the Army and Marines are focused on combat arms. However, all of this is moot if he's used any illegal drugs within the past six months (possibly even a year), especially if he wants to pursue a field that requires a security clearance, so make sure you have this talk with him if you haven't already. I served in both aircraft maintenance and intelligence during the eight years I served in the Air Force, so I could give you some idea of what those two fields are like if you're interested. If your son eventually wants to pursue a commission each of the services has programs he can compete for with OCS/OTS being the most common, so don't rule those out since I recall prior service candidates have more slots available to them than non-prior service candidates.

t4terrific
12-23-2012, 10:40
If he trusts the government, then it's a great idea. I just wouldn't want my sons surrendering themselves to the government. I don't trust it.

Detectorist
12-23-2012, 10:44
Being in the combat arms you are constantly in the field and very uncomfortable. This is fun for a little while. Additionally, the fat puke sitting in a comfortable office gets paid exactly the same as a combat arms soldier.

Make sure your son realizes that.

Rangers have to be in shape. Most of the folks I knew who went through Ranger school lost weight, even after being in tremendous shape....

muscogee
12-23-2012, 11:01
He will come out of the Air Force with much more marketable skill than he will get in the Army. The civilian world does not need very many ground pounders.

Averageman
12-23-2012, 11:07
He will come out of the Air Force with much more marketable skill than he will get in the Army. The civilian world does not need very many ground pounders.
That is simply not true.
I have worked for the last 10 years in the Defence Industry, you know little about what you speak.

BAILIFF
12-23-2012, 11:12
Was a teaching assistant for last two years for which he receive a glowing letter of recomendation from the department head / professor.


He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

DEDICATED educators make a HUGE difference. And they don't get paid all that much...
Looks like a good fit.

Averageman
12-23-2012, 11:27
DEDICATED educators make a HUGE difference. And they don't get paid all that much...
Looks like a good fit.
A good quality fit for future employment in the D.I. is someone with a variety of skills and experiance. Teaching H.S. would be a plus.

Rotn1
12-23-2012, 11:29
Thanks everyone. All of your thoughts are appreciated.

I don't think he is in anywhere as good shape as he thinks he is and certainly not where he would need to be.

I don't know how long he has been thinking about this. He says the last two years, but I don't believe him. I think it is more recent.Never came up, not once.

He is very stubborn so I have to be careful how the conversation goes. If I push he will push back the other way.

I don't think he fully appreciates the work that is involved. I think he has created an idealic route where everything will happen the way he wants. That is simply not the real world.

Having said this he is a very tough kid and a trained fighter so I know he will get through it once he is committed.

Thanks again everyone.

Rotn1
12-23-2012, 11:52
To answer MDLibertarian:
He is graduating with a BS in Economics

muscogee
12-23-2012, 11:57
That is simply not true.
I have worked for the last 10 years in the Defence Industry, you know little about what you speak.

So does my son. He doesn't carry a rifle.

Airborne Renegade
12-23-2012, 12:08
There is only one MOS in the Army, the rest are all support. Infantry. Enough said.

Ruggles
12-23-2012, 12:15
Has everything going for him personally where he could live a life many wish they could have and still wants to be part of something bigger and better than himself. To sacrifice for that, to give of himself.

Good Lord, hug that kid and tell him how proud you are of him. Kids like him give me hope and confidence in our future, something many of here have none of.

He has a calling to serve, rather new or old it is there. I would say he should follow it. I have a son active duty now as well, could not be more proud.

clancy
12-23-2012, 12:46
With an uncle whose body has been eaten away by Agent Orange, a cousin who was killed the barracks bombing in Beirut due to assinine rules of engagement and 2 nephews with all sorts of PTSD, brain trauma and other issues from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan each, I am not sure I would recommend anyone enlisting. All of them have been given the runaround by the VA.

And for those who are going to get angry with my statement, I am not anti-military nor am I anti-American. I am anti sending our soldiers off to unnecessary wars and then made to fight with both hands tied behind their backs. And when they come home sick and or broken they are given the runaround or a hand full of pills and told to man up.

Ruggles
12-23-2012, 12:51
With an uncle whose body has been eaten away by Agent Orange, a cousin who was killed the barracks bombing in Beirut due to assinine rules of engagement and 2 nephews with all sorts of PTSD, brain trauma and other issues from multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan each, I am not sure I would recommend anyone enlisting. All of them have been given the runaround by the VA.

And for those who are going to get angry with my statement, I am not anti-military nor am I anti-American. I am anti sending our soldiers off to unnecessary wars and then made to fight with both hands tied behind their backs. And when they come home sick and or broken they are given the runaround or a hand full of pills and told to man up.

Few on here will defend military service more than I will. Your points are solid and real. No doubt the service is far from perfect and our active duty / vets deserve much better than they get at times. But I do not think that should be a reason to guide the young people of today away from that service. I do not think bringing up what you do is anti anything BTW :wavey:

Mr. Niceguy
12-23-2012, 13:20
Shake his hand and tell him you love him and support him whatever he decides. One of the most significant pieces of advice a father can offer his son is "What do you think, Son?". He's asking your advice, and needs your vote of confidence in him to make the right decision, whatever that is.

clancy
12-23-2012, 13:53
Few on here will defend military service more than I will. Your points are solid and real. No doubt the service is far from perfect and our active duty / vets deserve much better than they get at times. But I do not think that should be a reason to guide the young people of today away from that service. I do not think bringing up what you do is anti anything BTW :wavey:

Thank you. I served in the Air Force, but growing up I always wanted to be a Marine, like my Dad, my uncles and my grandfather. When I told my Dad I was going to enlist he said he would kill me first. It took a lot of talking, and it wasn't until then I learned what he went through in Korea and at the Chosin Reservoir. He was always intensely proud of being a Marine, but dead set against either of his sons becoming one.

Do I regret serving? No, I don't. But it was also peacetime and the world was a hell of a lot different. Sometimes I wish I had gone in the Corps, but when I was in my teens my father was not someone to be argued with. He is 79 now, and I still wouldn't.

AK_Stick
12-23-2012, 15:16
I'm being logical about this discussion.

The OP himself, has no idea what his son really means by "making a difference". So yes, your experiences mean nothing, because we're not talking about you, your experiencs or your expectations. We're talking about someone else.

If what he expects is to see combat during his 4 year stint, those chances are not very high if he joins right now. Of course that's just a guess, just like your guessing that he would see combat.

Neither of us know what conflicts may happen over the next 4 years. But his chances of being involved in the fighting in Afghanistan defintely are slim, since were are leaving at the end of next year.


Alot of what scroll bearers do, is not written about.

Chances are good that a batt boy would see combat. Average man is correct.

Drjones
12-23-2012, 15:24
22 Year son just graduating from college. Has earned a good / tough degree with cumulative grades in the 3.25 range. Was a teaching assistant for last two years for which he receive a glowing letter of recomendation from the department head / professor. He has an attractive girlfriend who also finishes her degree in the spring. All appears good. No loans / no student debt.

Out of the blue he says he wants to join the army, and try to qualify for the army ranger school!

Never before did he show any interest in the millitary. He never considered of ROTC, and also shows no interest in OCS because of the apparent wait. Says he doesnt want the responsibility of leading either.

He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

His mother and I are besides ourselves. We both have the highest respect for those in the service(s). We believe he is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of finally having to start a life on his own and having to get a job.

He is very athletic so the physical demads should not be a problem. He is not mature thinking and tends to be obsessive / compulsive.

I do not want him to enlist. I want him to at least try to get a job outside of the milliatry and take more time with such an important life decision.

Ultimately, it is his life and his decision and I must support whatever he chooses.

I know there are many millitary and former millitary members on GT. I would appreciate your advice.

I sincerely hope nothing I have said is construed to be disrespectful to the armed forces. in any way. This situation is just a shocker for us.

Thank you for your thoughts.



I've got a decade on your son, so I'm not too different in age.

I will tell you that I have always had an interest in the military and came very, very close to enlisting a few times, and of course I had an interest in the Special Forces. Considered going 18X Army.

To this day, my biggest regret in life is never having joined the armed forces.

Please do not get in the way of your son's decision.

I cannot relate as I do not have children of my own yet, but I can imagine the thoughts you must be thinking, as naturally you fear for his safety.

I will tell you that if you block this decision of his, he may regret it the rest of his life, as I regret it.

AK_Stick
12-23-2012, 15:39
Best to enlist now, and take education where he can get it during service than to wait for the war to wind down and try to join during the harder peace time enlistment process

Ruggles
12-23-2012, 15:46
I've got a decade on your son, so I'm not too different in age.

I will tell you that I have always had an interest in the military and came very, very close to enlisting a few times, and of course I had an interest in the Special Forces. Considered going 18X Army.

To this day, my biggest regret in life is never having joined the armed forces.

Please do not get in the way of your son's decision.

I cannot relate as I do not have children of my own yet, but I can imagine the thoughts you must be thinking, as naturally you fear for his safety.

I will tell you that if you block this decision of his, he may regret it the rest of his life, as I regret it.

Way to stand up and be honest, great to see someone speak from the heart on this matter :wavey:

mortpes
12-23-2012, 21:14
He will have to be extremely careful and very lucky to avoid waisting 4 years.

Rocknropes
12-24-2012, 02:52
22 Year son just graduating from college. Has earned a good / tough degree with cumulative grades in the 3.25 range. Was a teaching assistant for last two years for which he receive a glowing letter of recomendation from the department head / professor. He has an attractive girlfriend who also finishes her degree in the spring. All appears good. No loans / no student debt.

Out of the blue he says he wants to join the army, and try to qualify for the army ranger school!

Never before did he show any interest in the millitary. He never considered of ROTC, and also shows no interest in OCS because of the apparent wait. Says he doesnt want the responsibility of leading either.

He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

His mother and I are besides ourselves. We both have the highest respect for those in the service(s). We believe he is feeling overwhelmed by the pressure of finally having to start a life on his own and having to get a job.

He is very athletic so the physical demads should not be a problem. He is not mature thinking and tends to be obsessive / compulsive.

I do not want him to enlist. I want him to at least try to get a job outside of the milliatry and take more time with such an important life decision.

Ultimately, it is his life and his decision and I must support whatever he chooses.

I know there are many millitary and former millitary members on GT. I would appreciate your advice.

I sincerely hope nothing I have said is construed to be disrespectful to the armed forces. in any way. This situation is just a shocker for us.

Thank you for your thoughts.

Just out of curiosity, why don't you want him to enlist?

stevemc
12-24-2012, 05:07
My niece joined the Army because of the job market. She is now going to Afghanistan. We are very proud of that young lady, but also scared of the possible consequences. It is no joke. Make sure he knows what is in store for him when he signs that enlistment.

Pilotdude3407
12-24-2012, 05:19
Encourage him to get a Master's degree. At least then he can be a comissioned officer, and may end up with a nice retirement in 20 years. The grades don't seem like a JD is in his future, those guys make their own ticket.

No...you just need a bachelors degree. Plus, let the military pay for his masters degree...

Evosil98
12-24-2012, 05:25
At least in the Airforce to be a comissioned officer they require a Masters Degree. That way can probably make full bird Colonel before he retires.

Absolutely not true. To be a commissioned officer in any branch, you need only a bachelors degree.

Now, if you want to be competitive on promotions a masters will be great.

Louisville Glocker
12-24-2012, 05:27
Have him go here. http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/become-an-officer.html

He really should look into the officer routes. He may not think he wants it, but he probably does somewhere inside.

Like you said it is his choice to make, but at least put this info in front of him.

blackjack
12-24-2012, 05:47
@Rotn1 - As you have already acknowledged in the thread, you have received good advice here from many that have BTDT, including recruiters with an inside view to the process. My son is a decade older than yours so I will speak to the father in you and of the many paths to the future for our children.

My son specifically avoided the path I chose of college ROTC and the required service period after college. He said that just didn't fit the way he saw living life so I respected that as his choice. I don't believe he has any regrets, at least that he has expressed to me, in that choice. However, he has made other choices that I counseled him on where he made a choice that he came to regret and see why I counseled him a particular way. I call these my "Mark Twain moments":

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

(While searching for this exact quote, I just found out Twain likely never said this but it does sound like he would have.)

If you can avoid being seen by your son as giving unwanted advice, you should give him valuable information from this thread and let him go to become a man. His stubborn streak may be softened by letting him learn on his own while you will benefit from watching the process and maybe having your own "Mark Twain moment" in the future.

Bren
12-24-2012, 05:49
He simply says he wants to make a difference. He says money is not important to him. (easy for him to say at this point since he has always had everything within reach).

He can go in on an OCS contract - after basic training he will go to OCS and if he passes, becoem and officer. That is also the only way he is very likely to get to Ranger school - it is hard for an enlisted soldier to get in, but it's pretty routine for officers to go.

Money doesn't matter? An Army officer makes significantly more than the typical college graduate. I am a lawyer for state government and an Army reserve NCO, I make more as an NCO (requires a high school diploma or GED) than as a lawyer, if I'm deployed to a combat zone (tax free+combat pay). I make not that much less deployed in the U.S. I have worked with 2 lawyers who were reserve and National Guard JAG officers - they made a LOT more on active military duty than being government lawyers. One was a Navy Commander and he said he tripled his pay while on active duty, even within the U.S. It is actually a good job - last summer I was taking 3 basic trainees to sick call - of that random group, 2 of the 3 had masters degrees (OCS contracts) and the third had 3 years of college. College used to be the exception in basic training, but now it's as common as high school.


His mother and I are besides ourselves.

Why? He will get a lot of benefits from the military that he can NEVER get if he doesn't serve. Just the thinking and decision-making ability he will gain can change the rest of his life. On top of that, he'd be very lucky if he could become an officer and even get to visit Afghanistan. The worst disappointment for him will be if he doesn't finish training in time to go, which seems virtually certain. He is in more danger if he becomes a school teacher in Chicago or Miami than as an Army officer.

Honestly, it sounds like you want to baby him into failure, but if he chooses the military and succeeds, it will turn him into somebody a lot stronger and more able than you will ever make him.

Bren
12-24-2012, 05:57
My niece joined the Army because of the job market. She is now going to Afghanistan. We are very proud of that young lady, but also scared of the possible consequences. It is no joke. Make sure he knows what is in store for him when he signs that enlistment.

The mostly likely harm she will face is gaining weight - she'll have lots of food, 24 hours a day, and not much chance to exercise. Other than that, she is pretty safe in Afghanistan. They don't have girls climbing mountains with machineguns.

LEO/Dad
12-24-2012, 06:04
Obviously I am partial to the Navy. I traveled the world, including Australia twice. I seriously doubt I would have done this as a civilian. I would definitely recommend becoming a Naval Officer. On board ship they will be assigned to a department/division with a specific responsibility in running the ship. Example: My engineering officers had engineering degrees. If they become Line Officers, they will share overall responsibility of the ship, when the Captain is not on deck. I had a lot of respect for all our officers. I would recommend your son at least research the Navy, and if he is interested try to contact a former Naval Officer for his guidance.

USMCgs3
12-24-2012, 06:09
If he doesnt follow through with becoming a Ranger, his next years in the military are up in the air... Please ask him to speak to a Ranger in a Regiment, Not a tabbed soldier. Big difference between the two and ultimately its his decision, so let him make it and hope he puts his best foot forward no matter which path he chooses.

posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire (http://www.outdoorhub.com/mobile/)

cyphertext
12-24-2012, 06:23
What do you think he means by "make a difference"?


You don't have to see actual combat to feel like you "make a difference". Military, Police, Fire, Nursing, Teaching, these are all jobs that make a difference. It is the feeling of service to others, and doing something for the greater good, instead of sitting in a cubicle all day making a CEO another dollar.

I enlisted in the USAF straight out of high school, spent six years in and then got out and went to work for a government contractor. After a year of that, I went to work for a large telecommunications company, on the marketing and management side of the house. Worse decision I ever made and have regretted leaving the military since.

Some of us are just wired to feel that service to others are more important than money. It truly is a calling. Some just won't ever understand.

Rotn1
12-24-2012, 06:27
Just out of curiosity, why don't you want him to enlist?

This has more to do with my concern that he has not thought this through properly and is masking something else. By this I mean his "fear" of finally being at the starting line of life of having to face the real world, get a job and get on with his life. While these are all normal legitimate concerns all youth will have; I honestly think this is his way of avoiding this set of issues. It is not about any adversion to the services, other than a parents natural concern for a childs safety.

I also think he has glossed over the pure physcal aspect. While he is a trained fighter and as a junior represented the US, he damaged his shoulder (dislocation) while at university. My understanding of the Rangers and other speciality services, suggests a pre-existing physical injury like this may be aggravated. This of course would harpoon his chosen path and lead to who knows where.

If this was a year from now, and he had tried the common civilian path first and still felt the same way I would feel differently.

Also, if he had been taliking about this for more than just two weeks before graduation I would be less suspicious.

Averageman
12-24-2012, 09:12
This has more to do with my concern that he has not thought this through properly and is masking something else. By this I mean his "fear" of finally being at the starting line of life of having to face the real world, get a job and get on with his life. While these are all normal legitimate concerns all youth will have; I honestly think this is his way of avoiding this set of issues. It is not about any adversion to the services, other than a parents natural concern for a childs safety.

I also think he has glossed over the pure physcal aspect. While he is a trained fighter and as a junior represented the US, he damaged his shoulder (dislocation) while at university. My understanding of the Rangers and other speciality services, suggests a pre-existing physical injury like this may be aggravated. This of course would harpoon his chosen path and lead to who knows where.

If this was a year from now, and he had tried the common civilian path first and still felt the same way I would feel differently.

Also, if he had been taliking about this for more than just two weeks before graduation I would be less suspicious.
My Mother was at a loss when I enlisted; having been through multiple tours while married to my Father and getting "That Call" she was slightly irate when I called from the airport to tell her I would not be home for dinner.
After 12 years of service my Brother who had a Bachelors Degree came to me to join the Army; with the best wishes of my Mother. 6 years after graduation, 3 kids and a Wife and he was making next to nothing in his chosen field.
He enlisted as a Specialist because of his degree and experiance and has never looked back. Both of his Sons have followed him in to the Military.
You can worry, that's what we Dads do; but in the end he has free will and you can be sure that you have done your best to raise a Man. If you hadn't he wouldn't be wanting to "Make a Difference."
You don't have to like or understand it, just be happy that you did so well as a Father and be damn proud.

Rotn1
12-24-2012, 11:09
My Mother was at a loss when I enlisted; having been through multiple tours while married to my Father and getting "That Call" she was slightly irate when I called from the airport to tell her I would not be home for dinner.
After 12 years of service my Brother who had a Bachelors Degree came to me to join the Army; with the best wishes of my Mother. 6 years after graduation, 3 kids and a Wife and he was making next to nothing in his chosen field.
He enlisted as a Specialist because of his degree and experiance and has never looked back. Both of his Sons have followed him in to the Military.
You can worry, that's what we Dads do; but in the end he has free will and you can be sure that you have done your best to raise a Man. If you hadn't he wouldn't be wanting to "Make a Difference."
You don't have to like or understand it, just be happy that you did so well as a Father and be damn proud.


No matter what he does, I will be proud. I am am strong supporter of our service men and women. If this is what he chooses so be it. I know it his his life to live, not mine.

And, to all of you here on GNG, I am sincerely appreciative of the kind assistance and good advice. It is very helpful.
Thank you all.

MtBaldy
12-24-2012, 11:20
Just as an aside, I never served in the military but knew people who joined when I was younger and have now seen a couple of friend's of my wife's children join and leave. While not all enjoyed the experience at the time, all after leaving agree it was a good thing for them.

Drjones
12-24-2012, 11:24
Way to stand up and be honest, great to see someone speak from the heart on this matter :wavey:


Thank you!

I'll add a couple things:

- I feel pretty fortunate if the regret I have is my biggest so far in life, I know many people are of course worse off than I. In any case, it's still a big regret for me.

- My decision stings that much more as a good buddy of mine went Navy OCS and is flying F-18s. Talk about jealous....man...

- I have started threads here over the years and gotten advice directly from active duty people and virtually everyone said that since I have a college degree (and obviously so does your son) that I'd be flat stupid to enlist and not go OCS.

As others here have said, the increase in pay & rank is substantial. No sense for your son to screw himself by not getting all he can up front & going OCS.

blk69stang
12-24-2012, 12:09
If you're not terribly keen on the military, and he wants to "do his part" without having "responsibility" over others, he could look at being a federal LEO. No, that's not a joke.

I'm specifically thinking US Border Patrol, as it's actually considered a "paramilitary organization". The rank structure is based on the USMC, the academy is almost four months long and (I am told) is even tougher than boot camp.

He'll have a nice comfy gov't job, but will still get plenty of "action" in his day-to-day chasing illegals and drug smugglers. Even as a regular line agent, he has a fairly decent chance of getting in a gunfight. If he gets bored there are a ton of different details to sign up for, everything from fence building to horse patrol, to ATVs, to prosecutions. If he wants to be part of an elite unit, he can put in for BORTAC (the USBP version of a SWAT team) or BORSTAR (EMT trained para-rescue agents).

No matter what he's doing, he'll end up with automatic promotions every year to two years and will be making close to $100 grand after about five years. Good health insurance options, good job security, and a free gun round out the package.

PM me if you want any more detailed info.

MDLibertarian
12-24-2012, 14:47
To answer MDLibertarian:
He is graduating with a BS in Economics

With that being the case I'd strongly suggest he go into a field where he can utilize the degree. As strange as it may seem initially, the intelligence field would be his best bet since economics plays a HUGE role in strategic intelligence forecasting. He may not be initially working at that level, but if he has good leadership they'll make sure he gets an assignment where he can put his background to use, e.g. at the HQs of any of the 3-letter agencies within the intelligence community. If he's deadset on the Army, he should get a guarantee at MEPS for one of the following: enlisted MOS 35F Intelligence Analyst, 35M Human Intelligence Collector, 35N Signals Intelligence Analyst, or 35P Cryptologic Linguist; or officer MOS 35D All Source Intelligence or 35F Human Intelligence.

onebigelf
12-24-2012, 17:44
I'm ex-navy. I learned a tremendous amount in the service that is almost beyond value. I learned to work with people that I may not like. I learned to pay attention to detail and perform under pressure, actually to perform BETTER under pressure. I learned to take responsibility for myself, my performance, and for getting the job done. I learned more about teamwork than I did even playing football. I learned to rely on others and the importance of being reliable to others. I learned to put aside the BS and get on with the job at hand.

Are these skills you would want your son to have?

Perhaps you could encourage him toward the reserves and satisfy both of you.

John

hardbargin
12-24-2012, 18:26
getting into airforce acadamy. maybe he can luck out flying jets!:supergrin:

tsmo1066
12-24-2012, 18:35
With that being the case I'd strongly suggest he go into a field where he can utilize the degree. As strange as it may seem initially, the intelligence field would be his best bet since economics plays a HUGE role in strategic intelligence forecasting. He may not be initially working at that level, but if he has good leadership they'll make sure he gets an assignment where he can put his background to use, e.g. at the HQs of any of the 3-letter agencies within the intelligence community. If he's deadset on the Army, he should get a guarantee at MEPS for one of the following: enlisted MOS 35F Intelligence Analyst, 35M Human Intelligence Collector, 35N Signals Intelligence Analyst, or 35P Cryptologic Linguist; or officer MOS 35D All Source Intelligence or 35F Human Intelligence.

That's good advice. OP, if you can't talk your son out of enlisting, try steering him towards an MOS where his degree will get maximum leverage. Military Intelligence would be a good choice where he could utilize his statistical background while definitely "making a difference".

It would also afford him an opportunity to pick up a foreign language (assuming he goes the Analyst or Linguist route), and that could serve him very well in a business career later.

Ruggles
12-24-2012, 19:21
Thank you!

I'll add a couple things:

- I feel pretty fortunate if the regret I have is my biggest so far in life, I know many people are of course worse off than I. In any case, it's still a big regret for me.

- My decision stings that much more as a good buddy of mine went Navy OCS and is flying F-18s. Talk about jealous....man...

- I have started threads here over the years and gotten advice directly from active duty people and virtually everyone said that since I have a college degree (and obviously so does your son) that I'd be flat stupid to enlist and not go OCS.

As others here have said, the increase in pay & rank is substantial. No sense for your son to screw himself by not getting all he can up front & going OCS.

Well crap yeah to be a F18 pilot would be about the coolest :supergrin:

Mrs. VR
12-24-2012, 20:11
Number one son gets his asvab scores at the end of the month. He is only just turning 17. I am staying as far out of things as I can at this moment. Being supportive without nagging ( this is a difficult skill to master, leGmme tell you) and just praying that he is physically eligible to even make the types of decisions he is looking at making. It's something that is imprortant to him, therefore it becomes important to me

It really stops being about us along the way. We are certainly entitled to our own feelings, but we shouldnt make our love and support of them conditional on if they see our point or not.

Obviously each family dynamic is different. I wish you all the best.

sdsnet
12-24-2012, 20:28
As a parent I would ask him if he has considered the Navy, Marines and Air Force as well. If so then I would be interested to find out why he is leaning towards one versus the other. As others have pointed out this is his decision but as a parent sometimes we can guide them just by asking questions and suggest further research.

I regret not joining the military when I was young enough.

sdsnet

Ruggles
12-24-2012, 20:31
He will have to be extremely careful and very lucky to avoid waisting 4 years.

:dunno:

How exactly does one "waste" 4 years serving their country?

Stvan1
12-24-2012, 20:45
I personally was drafted and sent off to Viet Nam to pound the ground and get some experience with a M16. If my son had wanted to join I would not have discouraged him BUT I would have encouraged him to at least get into something interesting like being a pilot or tank driver. When I first got to Viet Nam they were looking for door gunners, looking back now I wish I had taken them up on that, at the very least I would have been able to sleep in a nice dry bunk at night.

Ruggles
12-24-2012, 20:49
I personally was drafted and sent off to Viet Nam to pound the ground and get some experience with a M16. If my son had wanted to join I would not have discouraged him BUT I would have encouraged him to at least get into something interesting like being a pilot or tank driver. When I first got to Viet Nam they were looking for door gunners, looking back now I wish I had taken them up on that, at the very least I would have been able to sleep in a nice dry bunk at night.

I was in Military Intelligence, but I would have loved to be a door gunner on a chopper :)

Fox
12-24-2012, 21:01
22yo? He will still be a young man after a four year enlistment.

At 26yo he can pursue a civilian career and can even go into the Guard or Reserves too.

robin303
12-24-2012, 21:54
Door Gunner, Did someone say Door Gunner.
This is at Ft. Hood out of a UH-1H early 90's

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w83/robin303/Army%20Aviation/04-3_zpsbba3ac2d.jpg

bunk22
12-24-2012, 22:05
Did someone say FLY...

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/bunk22/DSCF7756.jpg

If flying is an interest, it could happen. I snapped this photo in 2006, waiting to start up and taxi to the catapult. Nothing like trapping on the boat, nothing in my life career wise will equal it.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/bunk22/Bunkslastcarrierflight054.jpg

Ruggles
12-24-2012, 22:08
Door Gunner, Did someone say Door Gunner.
This is at Ft. Hood out of a UH-1H early 90's

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w83/robin303/Army%20Aviation/04-3_zpsbba3ac2d.jpg

Very Nice Indeed :wavey:

Of course you Army boys need those heavy MGs to kick butt.

We Marines just dual wield 1911s out the chopper doors :supergrin:

Ruggles
12-24-2012, 22:10
Did someone say FLY...

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/bunk22/DSCF7756.jpg

If flying is an interest, it could happen. I snapped this photo in 2006, waiting to start up and taxi to the catapult. Nothing like trapping on the boat, nothing in my life career wise will equal it.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y62/bunk22/Bunkslastcarrierflight054.jpg

And here comes the Flyboys :rofl:

Honestly that is awesome :)

robin303
12-24-2012, 22:56
Very Kewl Bunk. You fly Mach 1 and I did 120. :cool:

We were slow moving targets.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w83/robin303/Army%20Aviation/02-1.jpg

muscogee
12-25-2012, 03:50
As a parent I would ask him if he has considered the Navy, Marines and Air Force as well. If so then I would be interested to find out why he is leaning towards one versus the other. As others have pointed out this is his decision but as a parent sometimes we can guide them just by asking questions and suggest further research.

I regret not joining the military when I was young enough.

sdsnet

Army recruiters are very good at telling young people exactly what they want to hear. Young people are very good at interpreting what they hear to mean exactly what they want to hear. For example the recruiter will say, "If you pass the test you will be able to .... if ... and if ..... The person enlisting will hear, "If I sign I will get to .... They never ask, "How many people pass the test. "What happens if I fail the test?" They don't ever hear the word, "test". They don't ask what happens if ... and if ... and so on.

Bren
12-25-2012, 04:59
As a parent I would ask him if he has considered the Navy, Marines and Air Force as well. If so then I would be interested to find out why he is leaning towards one versus the other. As others have pointed out this is his decision but as a parent sometimes we can guide them just by asking questions and suggest further research.


I picked the Army because it has, by far, the biggest variety of opportunities. Does he want to fly? The Army has lots of pilots, like water? The Army has lots of divers and lots of boats (they used to say the Army has more aircraft than the Air Force and more Boats than the Navy, but I don't think that's true now). Want to be a railroad engineer? Only in the Army. Want to parachute out of planes? Very unlikely in any but the Army. The Army has more people than the Navy and Marine Corps combined, which means more jobs, more needs and more chance of getting to do what you want.

M&P15T
12-25-2012, 06:05
You don't have to see actual combat to feel like you "make a difference". Military, Police, Fire, Nursing, Teaching, these are all jobs that make a difference. It is the feeling of service to others, and doing something for the greater good, instead of sitting in a cubicle all day making a CEO another dollar.

I enlisted in the USAF straight out of high school, spent six years in and then got out and went to work for a government contractor. After a year of that, I went to work for a large telecommunications company, on the marketing and management side of the house. Worse decision I ever made and have regretted leaving the military since.

Some of us are just wired to feel that service to others are more important than money. It truly is a calling. Some just won't ever understand.

All of the above? Those are YOUR expectations and experiences.

That is not what we're talking about in this thread.

The question is what the OP's son wants to do, what his definition of "make a difference" is. Not what your definition is, not what my definition is, now what anyone elses definition is.

If it is to see combat, that's not likely to happen for him.

Boot Stomper
12-25-2012, 06:33
I am a U.S. Army veteran with three years of active duty experience. I have never met anyone that regretted joining the military. Have have met several that regretted not joining when they were young. Normally they will say I was afraid to join at 18, but I wish I had.

Let him follow his heart. He is a man now.

Baba Louie
12-25-2012, 07:09
He simply says he wants to make a difference.Have son research MOS 37F. PSYOP, Hearts and Minds. Learn a new language, jump out of perfectly fine aircraft, hang with the green beanies, Ranger Tab if he wants to earn it. Share the suck.

Take the AVSAB, be in top shape PT wise. He will meet and work with some very, very fine people.

http://www.goarmy.com/careers-and-jobs/browse-career-and-job-categories/intelligence-and-combat-support/psychological-operations-specialist.html

Averageman
12-25-2012, 08:49
For those who would suggest Military Intelligence....
As a Senior Enlisted 19 series I took over the E-7 slot in our 2 Shop. After 12 years and all of them as a Platoon Sergeant in Armor/Cavalry Assignments, I had never in my life seen such a collection of malcontents, freeloaders, drug users and Sad Sacks.
I know this does not speak for all of them, just my experiance; if they were smarter than the average enlisted guy they sure didn't show it.
$30K in lost equipment in a one hour inventory. I went to the outgoing E-8 and told him he had to fix his mess before I would sign for any of it. He was fat and happy and never too far from a donut or a coffee pot.
If thats an example of Military Intelligence I would stay as far away from it as possible.

bunk22
12-25-2012, 09:59
And here comes the Flyboys :rofl:

Honestly that is awesome :)

Flyboys = EGO's :supergrin: What?! Aviation?! So there I was....

Ruggles
12-25-2012, 11:31
For those who would suggest Military Intelligence....
As a Senior Enlisted 19 series I took over the E-7 slot in our 2 Shop. After 12 years and all of them as a Platoon Sergeant in Armor/Cavalry Assignments, I had never in my life seen such a collection of malcontents, freeloaders, drug users and Sad Sacks.
I know this does not speak for all of them, just my experiance; if they were smarter than the average enlisted guy they sure didn't show it.
$30K in lost equipment in a one hour inventory. I went to the outgoing E-8 and told him he had to fix his mess before I would sign for any of it. He was fat and happy and never too far from a donut or a coffee pot.
If thats an example of Military Intelligence I would stay as far away from it as possible.


Not my experience at all in the USMC in M.I., I was a 0231 and worked with very professional people. I certainly do not remember any of my peers ever speaking about how they were more intelligent than anyone else in a different MOS. Fact was then and is now that every MOS is there to serve the basic infantry Marine. Only the uninformed think any MOS is less worthy of respect than any other.

ChuteTheMall
12-25-2012, 11:38
I am a U.S. Army veteran with three years of active duty experience. I have never met anyone that regretted joining the military. Have have met several that regretted not joining when they were young. Normally they will say I was afraid to join at 18, but I wish I had.

Let him follow his heart. He is a man now.

It's now or never, this is his time. Let him.

Rotn1
12-25-2012, 11:45
It's now or never, this is his time. Let him.

My request for advice was to get exactly the type of advice you guys have been kind enough to provide.
I will pass this on to my son so he can make the best informed decision and direction.
There has been much helpful information

KommieforniaGlocker
12-25-2012, 13:46
My request for advice was to get exactly the type of advice you guys have been kind enough to provide.
I will pass this on to my son so he can make the best informed decision and direction.
There has been much helpful information


OCS

He graduated College Make it count for something

janice6
12-25-2012, 13:58
I never regretted my time in military service. I found it a remarkable lesson in how to get what you wanted while in a regimented society. You learn just how to use the rules to your advantage, while never violating the limits. It was a good time and I enjoyed the travel.

It is an excellent way to mature and figure out what you want your future to hold.

I would recommend it to anyone.

ChuteTheMall
12-25-2012, 21:25
I was in Military Intelligence, but I would have loved to be a door gunner on a chopper :)

How could you shoot women and children?:whistling:

janice6
12-25-2012, 21:38
How could you shoot women and children?:whistling:



You know the answer you are going to get. I do.

JuneyBooney
12-25-2012, 23:47
I would tell him not to do it. Let him be a teacher or something else even though the teaching position is more dangerous...in urban schools that is true..but unless he is going in for intel or NSA type training I would not do it. I have family in the service and I ask people now to truly tell me if they truly believe our country is as good as it was and most say no. Too many friends have been lost in wars that truly "don't matter". Just my opinion.

USMCSergeant
12-26-2012, 00:06
If he has an urge to serve his country, wants to make a difference, I think this is a good thing. OCS would be the best bet for him with the college education. He may not think he's a good leader but when he's in that position it could change his mind.