Help me steer my future, In the right direction! [Archive] - Glock Talk

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NDLAWRENCE
12-30-2012, 20:13
Ill start off by saying the gng lounge is my favorite forum of all! I read a ton, and post very little! So here's my question: I'm 17, and until the last few months I've had my heart dead set on being a mechanical engineer, but as of late I have really been considering enlisting. If I did I would want to sign with a option 40 contract (which would guarantee a CHANCE to attend ranger school(if I can make it that far) I'm really just doubting engineering because I really don't see myself enjoying sitting behind a desk, all day, every day. So I've been thinking, trying to weigh the ups and downs of both. Engineering: Plenty of money, work in the state I chose, Getting to spend time with my family, downs: may not enjoy it as much as something else. Enlisting: downs: being away from family most of the time, always moving around, money's not THAT good (but i think its enough, I realize money's not everything) Ups: getting to serve my country, doing what I THINK I would love... Getting to be around what I love.

I guess what Im looking for here is some wisdom from people that have made the decision, and tell me what you would do if you could do it over again.

MsterMike
12-30-2012, 20:18
Join the Navy Nuclear Power Program, the Navy Schools will transfer into many colleges, and you are serving your country.

I was in for 6 years, now work at a Nuclear Power Plant.

Huaco Kid
12-30-2012, 20:21
Some engineers are lucky enough to work in the field. Those guys HATE button shirts and ties and the Dilbert type office environments. They get to travel around and see crazy stuff happen every day. They get cold, wet, dirty, hot and muddy. They live and eat very well on some other companies dime. They really like their job.

I resemble those remarks.

Rabbi
12-30-2012, 20:25
No matter what you pick, something(s) will suck about it.

If you feel you must join the Military, then you must do it. If you want to be an Engineer, be an engineer. Plenty of Engineers work in pretty hands on environments. You can damned well do both if you want...and a dozen other things, all you need is the will.

And no matter what people say, money matters. A lot. You dont need it all but you do need enough.

Crimsontide6
12-30-2012, 20:35
enlist. if you think that's what you want to do then do it. You are still young and have plenty of time to go to college afterwards. Have you figured out a way to pay for college yet? you're staring minimum, $100,000 in the face. That's half a house to put it in perspective. If you want to serve your country, do it. It's an honorable thing. I personally went the ROTC route and am 1 semester away from graduation/commissioning.

Doing it all over, I'd do 4 years enlisted first for the experience. I would think a little about going the hooah ranger killer of man route though. It sounds awesome until you actually do it. I don't know anything about you personally, and I've never done any really hard infantry stuff myself, (I'm branching ordnance) just to give some perspective. What little field stuff I've done in ROTC has both been really fun and sucked hard at the same time. Infantry/Ranger/SF takes a certain breed a' cat to be happy doing it and most people who think they'd like it soon realize it sucks. If 6 hours of laying in the snow, freezing your ass off pulling security, then getting up and rucking 10k with 100lbs on your back for about 10 seconds of hooah killer action on the objective sounds like a good time to you, then have at it.

the only other thing I'd say about it (and again, keep in mind, I just did ROTC, not an actual enlistment) is that you need to be extremely resilient to bull**** because you will deal with metric tons of it. I personally love being out in the field doing all the uber hooah stuff even if I know I'm not cut out for it. It's the day to day bs that drives me over the edge, and I would imagine that ROTC provides like 1/10th of 1% of the actual tedious chicken**** you would have to put up with from an actual enlistment. Just something to think about.

Me personally, I'd enlist in something that gives me a little practical experience in what I want to do afterwards. Me doing it all over again, I'd hold out for an MP contract and be a cop when I get out. That ranger contract sounds cool now, but I haven't seen to many help wanted - ranger qualified people signs lately. Use the Army to get you where you want to go and in the mean time you'll see the world and do a lot of growing up fast.

ChuteTheMall
12-30-2012, 20:38
You're young, you have plenty of time to switch careers.
Go ahead and enlist, consider it just another step in your ladder.

Rabbi
12-30-2012, 20:43
Me personally, I'd enlist in something that gives me a little practical experience in what I want to do afterwards. Me doing it all over again, I'd hold out for an MP contract and be a cop when I get out. That ranger contract sounds cool now, but I haven't seen to many help wanted - ranger qualified people signs lately. Use the Army to get you where you want to go and in the mean time you'll see the world and do a lot of growing up fast.

Being a Cop in the Military doesnt really help you be a civilian cop. I am not saying it hurts but it doesnt do much for you over pretty much any other MOS in the Military. What it will do, if you are a Cop in the Military and a Civilian Cop is give you a very narrow skill set.

Given that it doesnt really help, diversify your skill set and do something different in the Military if you want to be a civilian LEO.

As for the Ranger thing, or anything high speed...If that is what you really want, of course, chase it, but a lot of people think they want those things, hell, some even get it, and realize it is a lot of suck with very little upside outside of bragging rights. The Coast Guard boat mechanic, who lives in a nice Stateside coastal town and enjoyes a reasonable and nice life gets the same pay and benefits as the Snake Eater sleeping in the mud for weeks on end. At 20 the ego says be the Snake Eater. At 40, the boat mechanic can get a good job and is not chewed the frick up.

Of course, the best reason to do most things is because you want to. Go for it, whatever it is.

mossytxn
12-30-2012, 20:59
Mechanical EITs come out of school making 70k+. 3-4 years later you get your PE and make 90k+. If you join up, at least take advantage of the 4 years to get a big chunk of schooling out of the way and let the GI bill pay the rest of the way.



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I'M Glockamolie
12-30-2012, 21:48
MEs in my company (pump manufacturer) usually start off as Applications Engineers (desk work), but usually ascend to Sales Engineers within a few years. SEs are in the field, usually make $80k-110k, drive a company truck, etc.

NDLAWRENCE
12-31-2012, 23:54
Great input so far.. I'm not really sure what I want but I'm not going to rush into anything yet either

Nestor
01-01-2013, 01:19
Sounds like You are pretty mature individual.
When I was 17 the military school I was in (since I was 15), was shut down and I came back home. To be perfectly honest I was happy with that. I've seen military, I did military and it's not all that great as some people say. It really sucks at times. You see, 10 years later, I graduated from the university and could possibly follow a law career, but volunteered to go with fast pace officer program instead.
I felt like I missed something.
I did that program, but I was bit too old to really think about a career (plus being diagnosed with the cancer didn't help either).
When You are 17 it seems like the life will last forever.
It won't. OK.
Believe me.
Time flies by like crazy.
Do what your heart tells You.
Otherwise You gonna feel bad for the rest of your life.
Good luck man.

Batesmotel
01-01-2013, 02:13
#1 What Rabbi Said.

#2 I went Marine Infantry, (0311, Rifleman). Cross trained in Machine Gunner, Radioman, Demolitions, Motor Transport, Did OJT with Snipers, Was the company NBC training NCO and Anti-Terrorist* Training NCO. And even company level marksmanship coach.

None of that directly related to anything I have done in the civilian world but all of it has indirectly helped me in the 24 years since I got out.

If you go in, do something you love. The experience will translate to your life later.


*Anti-terror is becoming a hard target, not going after them. That is counter terror. Anti is not taking the same route to work each day and not running your mouth at the night club. Basic OpSec.

jp3975
01-01-2013, 02:34
Whatever you do, do something and follow through with it. You will possibly regret indecisiveness later.

Going the military route isnt too bad for the college money. Go be an engineer or something that makes decent money as soon as you can.

If you're really smart, the Navy nuclear program sounds good.

Sometimes, if you can manage to get a security clearance, that alone can lead you to a well paying job.

And Rabbi is right...money matters. You can get by on a little, but the more you have, the easier life will be and the better your kids will likely have it.

roger123
01-01-2013, 06:41
Join the military, get the the GI bill, get out and go to school for next to nothing. Military is a great place to make some decent money right out of high school, has healthcare, savings plan, good sense of community, etc.

You'll learn a few things about life in an environment where it's hard to make majorly stupid decisions (unless you try really hard and take no advice from your leaders).

With nothing to base this on other than what I've seen other people do I'd highly recommend the engineering field in general. I currently am stationed at a Naval shipyard and the engineers are always in high demand (electrical, mechanical and naval). My brother is a mechanical engineer that took 6 years to finish, lived at home the whole time and was pretty much a bum. I think a stint in the military would have given him some direction/motivation.

Never know what will happen though, I came in '86 as an enlisted Nuke and 26 years later am still trying to figure out what I want to do when I retire from the Navy. I have three years left to decide.

What ever you decide, always put forth the best effort, try and have a plan, keep the big picture in sight (don't get boged down in the day to day minutia of things). Best of luck to ya!

md2lgyk
01-01-2013, 07:07
Join the Navy Nuclear Power Program, the Navy Schools will transfer into many colleges, and you are serving your country.

I was in for 6 years, now work at a Nuclear Power Plant.

Same here (except I did 8 years). But it isn't an easy path - lots of bookwork and long hours. I was an Electronics Technician ET1(SS), which of course are the elite of the Navy nuclear world. But there's nothing wrong with being an Electrician or Machinist's Mate if that's what you want.

I left the Navy in 1975 (wanted to reenlist again but the ex-wife hated military life). Nearly every job I had since then (except LEO) had something to do with nuclear power or the military. A few years after getting out, I joined the Air National Guard and ended up retiring after 24 years. With my Nuke training, I was able to get a waiver of Air Force Tech School.

NDLAWRENCE
01-01-2013, 08:40
Just to be honest,IF I didn't have family I would enlist no questions asked but I do have family, that I really love. That's whats got me debating over this. I've also given thought to being a police officer, but the pay rates I've seen don't seem like they'd be enough

Cybercowboy
01-01-2013, 08:53
Well, as a person who has an engineering degree (Electrical Engineering) I am here to tell you that an engineering degree is just a credential and does not infer upon you any real skill beyond problem solving. Lots of fields need problem solving, and in my case I quickly found that the actual EE part of my first job kind of sucked but I really enjoyed working with computers and writing software. My bosses saw that I was quite good at that and gave me more to do on that side. This was back when PC networks were just beginning to become somewhat common (mid-80's) and I learned all I could about that. Then a few years later I changed careers and went into writing software professionally instead as part of my EE job.

That little career move mushroomed into a whole new (and great) thing for me, and now I'm working at my house, on my own schedule, and make some pretty nice dough. All along the engineering degree helped me. It gave my clients confidence that I could complete the task before me, the problem solving skills were always handy to have, and it gave me confidence. Whether or not you decide to join the military, if you have an engineering bent you certainly should get a degree. Learning calculus, physics, and the other disciplines is actually pretty fun and interesting if you have the mindset for it.

G19Tony
01-01-2013, 09:14
When I enlisted in the AF at 18, my Dad, who was a Korean War Marine started giving me the business. Asking how come I'm not joining the Marines. I told him; "I want to sleep in bed at night." :rofl: What a smart ass.

Joining the AF was the best thing I've done. I was a Bomb Loader on fighters, and a Flight Engineer on transports. I was able to serve my country for 20 years and retire as a Reservist. It also helped in my civilian job as a pilot.

Enlisting is a good thing. College will be there when you ETS, and you will be better prepared for it.

Good Luck!

gjk5
01-01-2013, 10:28
Let me start you with some great advice:


Don't seek direction in life from GNG.

Good luck.

Detectorist
01-01-2013, 11:14
If you want to enlist, then enlist. Go Ranger/Airborne if you want. The advantage of that is everything will seem so much easier after doing Ranger school.

The military also offers insanely stupid educational benefits which may be reduced soon. Get it while you can.

However, just remember, you will get paid for sleeping and eating in the field the same as the schmuck who has a desk job.

podwich
01-01-2013, 11:25
If the choice were mine, I'd choose engineering. Assuming you're smart enough and dedicated enough (not everyone has the capacity to be an engineer), it's easier if you get going on these things earlier in life.

While money isn't everything, it's not nothing. It matters.

Yes, you should choose something you like doing but you need to weigh all the other parts as well. Lifestyle can be a big deal.

Good luck.

G19Tony
01-03-2013, 15:50
Let me start you with some great advice:


Don't seek direction in life from GNG.

Good luck.

Best advice yet. :tongueout: