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  #1  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:05 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Tell me why my son should not join the Marines

My 19 year old son decided against college. Worked for a year. Intelligent, not BA/BS material(at this point anyway), but not dumb either. Needs some maturity.

Just this last week he decided(I think because a friend is going into the Marines) that he will join the military. He has talked to Army recruiters, and now Marine recruiter. He hasn't signed anything yet(as far as I know). He is leaning towards the Marines.

His mother and I are of course fearful for him being sent to Iraq.

Can anyone give me some informed opinions of what is likely to happen to him if he joins the Marines in the next few months? At least, based upon your personal family or friend experiences?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:10 PM
Kilvert's Pagan Kilvert's Pagan is offline
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He'll get sent to Iraq. I have a friend whose son joined the Marines to be in the Marine band. He got sent to Iraq. (Not a big sample size, but that'all I've got.)

My arguments about your son joining or not joining are about the Bush administration, so since this is not GD or the Pit, I won't raise them here. Good luck with whatever decision your son reaches. I hope he remains out of harm's way.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:11 PM
Snooooopy Snooooopy is offline
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I imagine you've already tried some variant of, "What, do you want to get your ass shot off, boy?"
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:14 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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My little brother joined the Marines under similar circumstances. It was the best thing he ever did and the whole family is convinced that it saved him for good. He got skills and self-respect and got forced out of the narrow geographic and mental world he likely would never have gotten out of otherwise. He got married while he was in the Marines and I have never seen someone so happy to be in full Marine dress (he insisted on that as his wedding attire). Now he is living the picture perfect American dream with house, wife, kids, and job. It would not have happened that way otherwise.

Even though Iraq is still going on, the death rate is still really low for soldiers. My wife's nephew didn't take my Marine advise because his father is a pus and was scared that he would get killed. He stayed at home and then got mixed up with hard drugs and crime that he is still trying to battle. His chances in Iraq would be way, way better than that.

Glad I could offer some words of encouragement.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:22 PM
Bippy the Beardless Bippy the Beardless is offline
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Is the marines the best service to join for gaining valuable life skills?

Anyway if he can answer the question "Why do you want to join xxxxxx?" with an inteligent well thought out answer, then I can think of no reason to put someone off making such a choice. But joining "Because a friend joined" is not such an answer.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:24 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Has he talked to an Air Force recruiter yet?
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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He will earn sub-Minimum Wage.

He will go through the worst experience of his life (Basic Training), and then, he will go through a worse one (War).

He runs a serious risk of being injured, or crippled for life, out of combat, during Training. After all, he will be around people using weapons & explosives who don't yet know how to use weapons & explosives, his fellow recruits.

Everybody & his dog will have a license to run his life, & to dog his @ss.

He will be obliged to kill people that he has no personal quarrel with, some of them innocent of any wrongdoing; they merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If he doesn't like it, he can't quit. If he tries to quit anyway, they shoot him as a deserter.

If he joins, & something goes wrong, absolutely nobody can help him, not even you.


Suggest that he take a trip to Alaska for a year. He could get a job in the oilfields. That pays well, & is quite manly.
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Old 03-08-2006, 07:31 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bippy the Beardless
Anyway if he can answer the question "Why do you want to join xxxxxx?" with an intelligent well thought out answer, then I can think of no reason to put someone off making such a choice. But joining "Because a friend joined" is not such an answer.
Exactly. Fllowing a friend is not a good reason. If he can give good reasons, try steering him towards the Navy or Air Force. Both give excellent training in real world areas.

I have former students in every branch of the military, and those in the Navy/Air Force have been the ones who seemed to get the most from the experience. This data excludes two of my more...interesting students, who joined the Army and were on the first Bradleys to roll into Baghdad. They just like blowing things up.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:32 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Czarcasm
Has he talked to an Air Force recruiter yet?
Ahhhh, the military crossed with a resort.

I was in Air Force ROTC in college before I moved on to other things but it wasn't because I didn't like it. The Air Force is pretty cushy as far as the military goes and the chance of death should be low as well. The regular Navy is another option and he probably wouldn't be sent to Iraq on land.
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:35 PM
Revtim Revtim is online now
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I can never recommend anybody joining the armed forces, because their lives will be risked not just to defend our country, but also (and likely more often) to defend the political whims of our leadership. And that's not a Bush bashing; even if you agree with Bush's decisions to use force, does not mean you will agree with whoever is president after Bush, if your service extends beyond Bush's term.

And no, I have not reconciled this with the indisputable fact that we need armed forces to defend our country.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:36 PM
even sven even sven is offline
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If he does join, make sure he gets everything in writing from his recruiter. They will make promises they won't or can't keep. They will tell him "Oh yeah, you'll be in working in an air-conditioned office making phone calls, nowhere near the front" when in reality they mean "You will immediately be sent out to the front." Unless you have something in writing, nothing the recruiter says can be counted on- your assignment, your likelihood of being in combat, anything...
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:49 PM
JRDelirious JRDelirious is offline
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Most I can offer is to ask him to be sure he shops all 5 services before committing. Who knows, he may find something he likes elsewhere -- but that may then involve going out to sea in the middle of a monster storm to try to assist a tanker of toxic chemicals, there's always a catch. With Army and Marines the concern about being sent to the middle of the hot zone is very real, there's no way out of that in the short term, specially as they do need to provide some relief to the forces already long-deployed. Whichever he joins, do make sure he gets in writing exactly what job he will be trained for; even though he is subject to having to do patrols or secure perimeters if so ordered regardless of his official job, at least during tech MOS school his main risk will be training accidents.

(Will someone clear a doubt I have, if he could he be deployed as a straight leg grunt immediately after Basic and then later sent to technical training? Somehow ISTR reading or hearing this but am not sure if I did)
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2006, 07:59 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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There are better ways to gain maturity than the military. Joining the USMC because your numb-nuts friend did isn't a good way to do it.
Don't ask him if he's afraid to die. Kids his age never are. Instead, take him on a visit to a VA hospital and have him visit with the guys there who are permanently fucked up. Ask him how he feels about being blind. Ask him how he feels about losing his legs and/or genitals. Ask him how he feels about getting burnt and spending the rest of his life looking like Freddy Kreuger.
The military views their personnel as a consumable and replaceable resource. It won't matter to them if he's killed or maimed other than how long it will take them to fill his slot with another body. Tell him to get a job mining coal. It's macho, dangerous, pays better than the military, and when he smartens up he can quit.
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2006, 08:22 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Thanks for the responses so far. I do NOT think he's only joining because of his friend. I think that's why he's doing it at this time.

No, he's not talked ot any branch other than the Army/Marines. I'm looking for a number for an old friend of mine who is still, probably, a Navy recruiter and will give him the straight dope.

He does have this young guy macho problem. Hard to overcome.

And me a Humphrey-Carter Liberal. Go figure.
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  #15  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:03 PM
usar_jag usar_jag is offline
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Samclem,

I was raised in a family of Marines, my father was a Marine DI. (I'm the black sheep in the family, because I'm a Soldier.) Everyone here has good points to tell your son, even though they may not be 100% accurate. (e.g., Your son will get sent to Iraq. Not true. There are far more Marines not in Iraq, than there are in Iraq.)

If he does join the Corps, strongly encourage him to get a contract for Sea Duty or Embassy Guard duty--both relatively safe (depending on the embassy, of course) and fairly prestigeous duty for enlisted Marines.

Good luck to you.
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  #16  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:11 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
He will earn sub-Minimum Wage.
This is complete bullshit. In fact, he'll make way more in the Marines at that age than he would at almost any other entry level job that teenagers get. Burger King doesn't even come close. I have not been in long, nor am I high ranking, but I will make 49,000 this year. That's FAR from poverty level. And definitely NOT less than minimum wage. If I was sent to combat, that amount would be even HIGHER. Your claim is misleading and is probably calculating a 24 hour work day. Just because you're always in the military, doesn't mean you spend the entire time working! And we haven't even mentioned the FOUR weeks of paid vacation every year. Plus free healthcare and dental, and a Thrift Savings Plan. Please, please show me a job that a person can get out of highschool that offers all that???


Quote:
He will go through the worst experience of his life (Basic Training), and then, he will go through a worse one (War).
Some people consider Basic to be one of the best times in their life. As far as war, I know people who could list dozens of places they would rather NOT be than in Iraq.

Quote:
He runs a serious risk of being injured, or crippled for life, out of combat, during Training.
Sure. And he could also die of a car accident. Imagine that.

Quote:
After all, he will be around people using weapons & explosives who don't yet know how to use weapons & explosives, his fellow recruits.
Not true. The only "explosives" he'll ever use at Basic is a grenade. And that's the most structured, monitored and supervised throwing of anything he'll ever toss in his life. People in the military are not all "explosives" specialists. Depending on his job, he may never see another explosion again.

Quote:
Everybody & his dog will have a license to run his life, & to dog his @ss.
If by this you mean "People with more time, experience and in a higher rank and position than him", then I guess you're right... So I guess you dont have bosses where you work? I bet as a teenager he could get a job right now without having to listen to anyone.


Quote:
He will be obliged to kill people that he has no personal quarrel with, some of them innocent of any wrongdoing; they merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Possibly. Not likely.

Quote:
If he doesn't like it, he can't quit. If he tries to quit anyway, they shoot him as a deserter.
What the fuck ever. Now you're just making shit up. When was the last time the US Military did anything even close to this. I hope you're joking!

Quote:
If he joins, & something goes wrong, absolutely nobody can help him, not even you.
What the hell does this mean?
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  #17  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:14 PM
Bear_Nenno Bear_Nenno is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usar_jag
Samclem,If he does join the Corps, strongly encourage him to get a contract for Sea Duty or Embassy Guard duty--both relatively safe (depending on the embassy, of course) and fairly prestigeous duty for enlisted Marines.
Good luck to you.
If my info is still correct, I believe the Marines can/will not guaruntee a job. They can only give you a contract that says you will receive training in a specific job. But your actual job is ultimately "needs of the corps". This was always a big selling point for the Army. They would say "I can gauruntee your job!"
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  #18  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:18 PM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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Whatever branch of service he decides on, it may be the best thing for him at this stage of his life. One of my cousins, a very bright young man, flunked out of college his first year because he just wasn't motivated. He ended up joining the Army. (Mostly to get away from home, I think.) He got training in computers and ended up in quite a high security job. When he got out of the service, the security clearances he had enabled him to form a company which does computer work for the government, and he's making a killing.

I agree with the "get it in writing" about the recruiter - I heard some real horror stories while my husband was in the Army.

And definitely shop all branches of the service - one may have some training to offer that is right for him.

Good luck.
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:31 PM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
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They will unscrew his head and shit down his neck.

And he will very likely thank them for it for the rest of his life.
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  #20  
Old 03-08-2006, 09:50 PM
usar_jag usar_jag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
If my info is still correct, I believe the Marines can/will not guaruntee a job.
What do I know, I'm just an Army puke!
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  #21  
Old 03-08-2006, 10:00 PM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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I'm ex-Navy: I would strongly recommend he looks into the Air Force.
The military can be an excellent experience but might as was go for a high tech service, I would say check Air Force first and Navy second.
I kind of goofed and joined the Navy by let myself be fast talked by the recruiter.
Here is a key reason to take Air Force over Other services.
I showed up at the recruiting office to talk to the Air Force and Navy recruiters.
This was at 6:00 am. The Navy and Marine recruiters were there. The door to the Air Force door said I'll be in 9am to 3pm.
I missed this very obvious fact.

Jim
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  #22  
Old 03-08-2006, 11:37 PM
Lakai Lakai is online now
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From what I heard, the military is a good experience if you do not die. YMMV. ;j
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  #23  
Old 03-09-2006, 02:38 AM
Soylent Gene Soylent Gene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
Even though Iraq is still going on, the death rate is still really low for soldiers. My wife's nephew didn't take my Marine advise because his father is a pus and was scared that he would get killed..... .
Death rate maybe low, but what is the maiming, brain damage, paralysis, and amputation rate? How about the life-long emotional scars from seeing women and children blown to bits?

As the father of two boys who mean the world to me, I would do anything I could to keep them out of Iraq. I dont think that makes me (or your wife's brother) a pussy.

I'd happily have them join the Navy, Coast Guard, or Air Force.
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  #24  
Old 03-09-2006, 03:00 AM
Otanx Otanx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bear_Nenno
If my info is still correct, I believe the Marines can/will not guaruntee a job. They can only give you a contract that says you will receive training in a specific job. But your actual job is ultimately "needs of the corps". This was always a big selling point for the Army. They would say "I can gauruntee your job!"
This is what got me to go Army. All the other services said bascially well you "should" get what you want, but we can't guarentee it. Army put it in writing that I would get trained as a 25F, and would then be sent to my first duty station as a 25F.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JRDelirious
(Will someone clear a doubt I have, if he could he be deployed as a straight leg grunt immediately after Basic and then later sent to technical training? Somehow ISTR reading or hearing this but am not sure if I did)
Speaking of the Army I would have to say no. Someone who signed up for a technical MOS will recieve 9 weeks of basic, and then their technical training. A "straight leg grunt" / infantry / 11B gets 14 weeks of training before they are sent out. I do know the Drill Sgts like scaring people by telling them they are going straight to war from basic, but I don't think it ever happens.

As to my own experiance. I have been in for almost 18 months, and have not been to Iraq, nor are there any plans for my unit to go. Instead I got stationed in S. Korea for 12 months. I signed up to extend for an extra 24 months. After you add my training time I will put in my entire 4 years here in Korea. Did I extend to get out of going? No, I extended for the extra $400 a month. I think joining was a good thing for me to do. I got out of the house (at 25 years old). Got out of a dead end job, and got some great skills. Met some great people, seen some nice stuff. If I hadn't joined the Army I probably wouldn't be married. I am getting ready to continue my education, and get at minimum a 2 year degree before I leave. Then use the GI Bill to continue my education after I leave. They got me a security clearance which will make it much easier to find a job after I get out. Companies put a big value on having a clearance instead of them having to get one for you. Not to say there are no down sides to it. My job requires I pull a 24 hour duty atleast twice a week. Sometimes it is 24 on 24 off. I can't just quit if I don't like it. I go where they send me. I am seperated from my wife. Would I do it again? Sure, I would probably pick a different MOS/job than I did this time. Will I reenlist? Maybe. If I can get my WO packet in, and at least have a good chance of getting it approved I will. Otherwise I will be out after 4 years.

There are alot of good reasons for joining the military. What branch you decide on joining is personal preferance. They all have their good sides, and bad sides. If your son has a real reason for wanting to join then I say go for it. Like one of the other posters said, get everything in writing. If it isn't writen down it dosen't count. A friend of mine got bit with that, but luckly it turned out OK, and she got what she wanted.

The best piece of advice I would give someone thinking about joining? Make sure he does look at all the services. Don't get tunnel vision, and only talk with one branch.

-Otanx
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  #25  
Old 03-09-2006, 03:21 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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I dunno your situation, Sam, but I can unequivocably say that joining the Marines saved my stepson from a bitter, bitter life.

All the things I and his dad tried to teach him, he refused. All the things his sister tried to tell him, he refused.

He was headed down a path which led straight to the penitentiary. I'm not kidding; I wish I were.

Fortunately, he got the idea to join the Marine Corps. We went to Parris Island to see him graduate this January.

I've never, ever seen anyone so transformed by anything. ANYthing. I had a hard time keeping my jaw off the ground.

For once in his life, he believes in HIMSELF. He's up at Camp Lejeune now, learing some special ops. He is finally doing something that he's good at, and that he can excell at.

Sure, he might get an overseas assignment that ends up his head getting blown off. Hell, that can happen state-side!

At the end of the day, I see my son, doing what he loves, and loving what he's doing, for the betterment of all of us in the U.S. It takes a very special person to be a Marine, and my hat's off to all those who have what it takes.

(btw in 1978 when I first got the right to vote, I voted Democrat. So .. it's not about that. )


Semper Fi, y'all.
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  #26  
Old 03-09-2006, 03:27 AM
don't ask don't ask is offline
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I saw Jarhead a couple of weeks ago with my son. I said to him, "That will slow down Marines recruiting." Apparently not.

Seriously though of all the people I have known that served in the military, the only ones who didn't find it valuable were the ones who hated where they were when I knew them.
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  #27  
Old 03-09-2006, 07:27 AM
Kalhoun Kalhoun is offline
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My husband was a troubled youth and joined the Marines in 1962. He learned a lot about growing up and I think on the whole it was beneficial to him.

However, maturity can, as other posters have said, come from other places than the military.

He needs to ask himself if he believes in the cause. He needs to ask himself if he's willing to give his life for the cause. He has to ask himself if he will want to give up his independence completely.

He might want to look into something like the Peace Corps or AmeriCorps (?) to put some purpose into his life. There's plenty to be done right here at home and not nearly enough people doing it. He will learn skills, compassion, and teamwork.
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  #28  
Old 03-09-2006, 07:40 AM
SteveG1 SteveG1 is offline
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I just want to echo those who advise a look at all the branches - Army, Navy, AIr Force, all of them. Each has its own philosophy and way of doing things. He may do poorly in one branch and be outstanding in another. Each branch has good points and bad points. If he has any technical skills or interests already, that is a big plus. As a side issue, certain jobs or skills have faster promotion rates. That is something to consider, as promotions are somewhat keyed to need, criticality and availability of qualified people. Still, even in the Army, even if they guarantee a certain field, it will still be on him to pass the training. I was an electronic repairman (33S). The training was guaranteed. However, if I flunked that, the Army would have made the final decision on my what job would be.
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  #29  
Old 03-09-2006, 07:51 AM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Bear_Nenno --Military Law has, in all countries and at all times, had an optional Death Penalty for deserters. There may be a Scandinavian country that makes an exception; if so, I've never heard of it.

I admit that my info on pay was dated. I stand corrected.
Quote:
What the hell does this mean?
It means that if Sam's kid has a fool for a CO, or if a campaign goes south, or if a politician wants to find a scapegoat/cut his losses/sweep his own screw-up under the rug, the kid is screwed. Period. Dead, jail, public disgrace, whatever. If you'd like to challenge this point, we could begin by pointing out how fast politicians & ranking officers have been distancing themselves from prisoner abuse scandals, & how each & every one of the Enlisted & Non-Coms personnel have started out by bleating that they were encouraged to do it by higher-ups.


And Sam does not want his kid in uniform.

That's what this Thread is about. If you can't help, go peddle your papers.
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  #30  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:00 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
Bear_Nenno --Military Law has, in all countries and at all times, had an optional Death Penalty for deserters. There may be a Scandinavian country that makes an exception; if so, I've never heard of it.
The last execution for desertion was in 1945. That's 60 years ago. The reg in still on the books, but that's nothing to worry about.
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  #31  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:05 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF
The last execution for desertion was in 1945. That's 60 years ago. The reg in still on the books, but that's nothing to worry about.
His name was Eddie Slovik and he got screwed. As for not worrying, that would be a judgement call.
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  #32  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:14 AM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
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I don't know squat about the military. I have raised five teenagers. Just tell him you want him to join the Marines, and the idea will suddenly be repugnant to him.
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  #33  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:19 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup
His name was Eddie Slovik and he got screwed. As for not worrying, that would be a judgement call.
I'm not arguing the circumstances, I'm simply saying that he was the last. For what it's worth, I agree with you that he got screwed. But it's a fact that 60 years of desertions have lead to 0 executions. You have nothing to worry about in that respect.
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  #34  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:22 AM
Little Plastic Ninja Little Plastic Ninja is offline
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I'm told that boot camp is a great way to teach newly-grownups responsibility and respect and all that. That they learn discipline there and in the service. I've even considered -- more than once -- joining the military and working to be a linguist, a translator, working in intel.

I could. My parents met in language school and I seem to have picked up their facility with learning them. I'm bright enough to be in intelligence (I'm humble, too ) and I know that if I went in I could go far.

I won't, under any circumstances I could name.

I'm still young enough -- they raised the enlistment age to 40 and I'm well under that. I have a college degree so I could go in as an officer. But my parents were both in the military, and while they both have some very fond memories, my father has all but actively forbidden me from joining up.

I can see why -- I've seen what he had to deal with. I've heard what he's complained about. As awesome as it must have been going to places like Japan and Korea and the UAE and just about everywhere else, he's had to deal with some pretty crazy stuff. A lot of it could have been minimized or avoided altogether if the people he was working for were brighter, or if they had a clue what was going on, if they bothered to see beyond their own noses. "Mr. Ninja, we're sending you back to Korea, the people really seem to like you!" "Yes, that's because I treat them like people, not dogs."

Someone mentioned that everyone has a boss and that the military is no different. Bullhockey. My boss can tell me where to be and what to do but he can't shoot me if I disobey. He doesn't have control over my life. And he doesn't have control over the lives and wellbeing of other people, generally. If a stupid decision by my boss -- a decision I have to carry out -- is going to get innocent people killed, I'm in the wrong place.

I have a problem with authority -- specifically, with working for someone who won't listen to reason, who won't see beyond their own prejudices, and who cannot be questioned. I have a low tolerance for bull and a lower one for ignorance and idiocy and while I can be polite to anyone, even if strainedly so, I would have a moral problem following bad orders even if for a 'good reason'.

Now hang on, you say. Not everyone in the service is incompetent. Lots of them are fine thoughtful upstanding men and women. Inarguably, I answer. I have the deepest respect for my parents and indeed for anyone who goes into the service. It's a crazy hard job, and I don't just mean you have to think fast and lift heavy things. No, I'm willing to bet that the idiot-to-competent level in the military is no higher than anywhere else. Maybe it's even lower.

But even one dead rat in the pantry can make all the food stink.
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  #35  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:24 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF
I'm not arguing the circumstances, I'm simply saying that he was the last. For what it's worth, I agree with you that he got screwed. But it's a fact that 60 years of desertions have lead to 0 executions. You have nothing to worry about in that respect.
When they shot Slovik, there hadn't been an execution for desertion since the Civil War (80 years).
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  #36  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:26 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Fine. If you desert you'll get shot. Are you happy now?
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  #37  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:27 AM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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I thought that this might turn into a debate about military service, and I was right. Moving thread from IMHO to Great Debates.
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  #38  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:33 AM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
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If he's thinking of the GI bill to get him through college, he might want to think hard. A friend's brother is finding the bureaucracy to get the money for college so frustrating he's thinking of not going through the paperwork to get the money.
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  #39  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:41 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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There are no benefits fom the military that cannot be gotten elsewhere and the possible benefits that do exist (which aren't that great, quite frankly) are meaningless if he gets killed in Iraq. The worst part of getting sent to Iraq is that he won't even be defending his country. He would be risking his life for nothing.
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  #40  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:43 AM
Bricker Bricker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
He will earn sub-Minimum Wage.

He will go through the worst experience of his life (Basic Training), and then, he will go through a worse one (War).

He runs a serious risk of being injured, or crippled for life, out of combat, during Training. After all, he will be around people using weapons & explosives who don't yet know how to use weapons & explosives, his fellow recruits.

Everybody & his dog will have a license to run his life, & to dog his @ss.

He will be obliged to kill people that he has no personal quarrel with, some of them innocent of any wrongdoing; they merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If he doesn't like it, he can't quit. If he tries to quit anyway, they shoot him as a deserter.

If he joins, & something goes wrong, absolutely nobody can help him, not even you.


Suggest that he take a trip to Alaska for a year. He could get a job in the oilfields. That pays well, & is quite manly.
Great to see the usual love for the military from you.

When was the last time the US military shot a deserter?
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  #41  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:51 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF
Fine. If you desert you'll get shot. Are you happy now?
I never said that deserters are inevitably shot. My point is that, as long as the regulation remains on the books, there is a greater than zero chance it will be enforced. Thus, worrying about it remains a judgement call.
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  #42  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:56 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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I think we can stipulate that he probably won't be shot if he deserts. Whoop-dee-doo. What a selling point for the military They should put that in their commercials. 'Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines....we probably won't shoot you if you desert!" I'm sure enlistment would go through the roof. :rolleyes"

I think we can all agree that there are a lot better reasons to stay out of the military than fear of being shot as a deserter.
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  #43  
Old 03-09-2006, 08:58 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Two incidences in 140 years is NOT a judgment call. That is all but an iron-clad guarantee that you will not be shot for desertion. I don't know why you are arguing otherwise. You will not be shot for desertion.
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  #44  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:01 AM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
I think we can stipulate that he probably won't be shot if he deserts. Whoop-dee-doo. What a selling point for the military They should put that in their commercials. 'Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines....we probably won't shoot you if you desert!" I'm sure enlistment would go through the roof. :rolleyes"

I think we can all agree that there are a lot better reasons to stay out of the military than fear of being shot as a deserter.
The post that we're going off was a masterpiece of disinformation and scaremongering, and I think that it should be corrected, not reinforced.

Yeah, there are lots of good reasons not to join. There are also perfectly valid reasons to join.
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  #45  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:04 AM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
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Originally Posted by Airman Doors, USAF
Two incidences in 140 years is NOT a judgment call. That is all but an iron-clad guarantee that you will not be shot for desertion. I don't know why you are arguing otherwise. You will not be shot for desertion.
No, Airman, an iron-clad guarantee is if the regulation were removed from the books. BTW, lots of guys were shot for desertion during the Civil War, not just one. Slovik was shot to make an example. No less of an all-around decent guy than Ike Eisenhower himself signed off on it. Under the present administration or similar future one, I don't find it impossible to believe that an example might have to be made once more. Like it or not, the military remains a job where you can be killed for quitting.
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  #46  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:27 AM
NurseCarmen NurseCarmen is offline
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Unless he plans on going career in the Marines, an intelligent young man would do well to get high end technical training in the USAF. Sure, the Marines offer some technical training. But there isn't much call for 'Og Smash!' in the civ world (sorry jarheads). The urinals are much cleaner now that they let the 'Aim High' slogan die.

And how else could folks get to see North Dakota?
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  #47  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:31 AM
What Exit? What Exit? is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scumpup
I never said that deserters are inevitably shot. My point is that, as long as the regulation remains on the books, there is a greater than zero chance it will be enforced. Thus, worrying about it remains a judgement call.
That BS, the odds of being shot for desertion are so low as to statistically approach zero. You are just as likely to be struck by lightning. (Hyperbole)
There are drawbacks to joining the military. There are drawbacks to not joining the military too. A higher percentage of 18-20 years old civilians end up in jail than 18-20 year olds in the military. Does this stat prove anything? No.

The military can be an excellent choice for a kid without direction and gainful employment. A 4-year hitch while evaluating a lifetime hitch can be of far more benefit than working 4 years at a fast food place or retail or any other low skilled job. I have friends that got through their enlistment and used the GI Bill to get there degree. I have friends that have worked a serious of crappy jobs because the only skill they learned in the Navy was how to scrape and paint ships. The Military like everything else can be good or bad.

I would avoid the Army and Marines in favor of the Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard but then I also refuse to shoot someone and had already decided that before I joined. All 5 services can and usually teach a lot of self discipline. I would actually recommend a military hitch for almost anyone not going to college. It is a good life experience.

Jim
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  #48  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:36 AM
BMalion BMalion is offline
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My best friend's son, also from Akron by the way, joined the Air Force last year. He was one of those rude, selfish kids who seemed to be heading for a bitter disolute life.

Amazing change, he's proud, humble and more mature than I've ever thought possible. He's in MP training and hoping to be a police officer after his hitch is up.

On a side note, going to church was always a big fight with him, now he's the chaplain's assistant and leading bible studies.

I wish I had not listened to my mother and joined the service when I was a young man.
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  #49  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:54 AM
eleanorigby eleanorigby is offline
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Your son sounds like he is floundering a bit--not sure what to do with his life and there is almost too much choice. He also sounds like he might be somewhat idealistic (typical at that age).

Can he talk to a career counselor at the local HS/community college? I know he graduated, but that might be a resource to explore. Does he have a favorite teacher from HS that he could talk to about future education and jobs?

If this were my son(and I'm the mom, so it's a bit different than father to son), I would start asking him questions. Not what do you want to do with your life type questions--not many 19 year olds know the answer to that. But questions like, "do you see yourself married in a few years?" "Do you think you'll have kids?", "Remember how much you loved _______(fill in blank with favored activity or subject from school), did you ever think of exploring that more?"(if his favorite activity was watching TV, you gotta problem!).

I'm not coming up with the great questions (I don't have kids this age yet), but this should be a series of talks with you and his Mom and some other adult in his life. He needs to understand the gravity of his choice and the permanence of it--choosing the military can change his life, for good or bad. But both are permanent. Is that a chance he wants to take? To lose a limb? Have PTSD? I am dwelling on the "downside" because the downside it so grave.

the armed services could well be the making of him--but so could a good job. By that I mean a good fit for his skills and personality. Frankly, for me, the risk is too high. I pity those young kids over in Iraq and the treatment of vets in this country is shameful.

have you told him that you don't want him to go? Is he trying to live up to some unspoken expectation (not from you, but from some ideal that he thinks he needs to meet)? He may find all this hard to articulate, but better to hash it out now than for him to sign on and deeply regret it.

And if he insists on joining--get everything in writing. In fact, hadn't you better go with him, to guarantee that it does get in writing? 19 is easily put off by authority.
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  #50  
Old 03-09-2006, 09:56 AM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Statistically, the Marines forces in Iraq seem to have a more dangerous time of it than others, at least as of last August:
Quote:
Underscoring the heavy load, the Marines have taken casualties disproportionate to their numbers in Iraq.

Marines number more than 23,000 out of 138,000 members of the U.S. armed forces in Iraq, or 17 percent. Yet they have lost at least 530 of the more than 1,820 U.S. personnel who have died there, or 29 percent, Marine officials said.
530 fatalities out of 23,000 servicemembers is about a 2-3% fatality rate. Non-fatal casualty rates are approximately seven or eight times as high for all troops in Iraq, but I don't know how that breaks down by branch.

Personally, I can't see viewing the military strictly in light of personal career opportunities and/or character development. Ultimately, it's about fighting for your country, right? If you're not committed to that cause, both in the abstract and in the specific context of the current wars, I don't see how you could find military service truly satisfying.
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