Joining the U.S. Military

I wouldn’t let other people calling you an idiot for wanting to do something stop you. If you truly want to join the military, it won’t be a mistake.

It’s not what military service is about, but it is what being a citizen is about. Before you join it’s entirely germane to consider the military’s current mission(s). If you think an ongoing war is despicable or just plain stupid, then maybe you shouldn’t join: knowingly signing up to contribute to unnecessary and immediate killing strikes me as wrong.

OP: If you’re supportive or indifferent to the Iraq War, then I don’t see an ethical obstacle. However, if you think the war is evil or stupid but you want to join anyway – either for practical reasons (training, pay for college) or to satisfy your sense of patriotism – it *might *be a selfish decision, in spite of the obvious self-sacrifice involved.

What the FUCK are you talking about? What is your MOS? What unit are you assigned to? Where the FUCK do you get off making statements like: The US Army is hurting so badly for bullet sponges right now that you won’t get enough training to do your job, much less anything you could apply in the civilian world

I know this is IMHO, but I really gotta see a cite. At least, show me something other than you are spouting shit that you just made up. Tell me about the vast sacrifices the Army has made in the quality of its troops. Tell me when these sacrifices have been made, what the quality is. Better yet, tell me how the Army has maintained an all volunteer Army of untrained bullet sponges, as you call them.

AmunRa, I am seeing you post as from someone who lives under a bridge, if you get my meaning.

SSG Schwartz

Let me ask you this then. If YOU (NOT ME) had already made up your mind to join, IN THIS TIME AND DAY, would you join NOW or just wait until after the elections and see what changes, if any, are made?

Originally posted by Epicnonsense:
"My recruiter states that when someone joins the ARMY they are GUARANTEED their job that they have chosen. Can anyone else stand by this? "

I disagree. If you take the ASFAB before enlisting and it shows that you are qualified for any job in the Army, then this would be true. If you enlist and only then take the ASFAB and it shows that you are only qualified to be a ditch digger, then you will be a ditch digger regardless of the MOS (job) you enlisted for. At least this was the case during my times in the Army ( off and on between 1969 and 2002.)

Considering today’s economy, it might not be a bad idea. How about joining the Coast Guard, or perhaps one of the reserve units? (Note: my brother joined the Navy reserve, and opted to be a physical therapist. His thinking was that he’d be stationed state-side)

Just an idea. Love, Phil

In fact, the Army currently has few available spaces for your “bullet sponges”. It’s hard to get infantry assignments.

Other comments about Army jobs not being a help in civilian work is also incorrect.

Nurse, doctor, medic (EMT), other medical specialties (radiation, lab, etc…), MP (police), truck driver, diesel mechanic, safety, air traffic controller, info technology, forklift operators, dental technicians, lawyers, and dozens of other occupations readily seek veterans. You have a significant advantage for most Federal and some State jobs.

Other skills and advantages you will pick up; discipline, proper dress, medical/dental care, housing assistance, college courses or equivalent experience, life insurance, and a relatively drug free environment (you can’t believe how may folks drop out of job fairs when drug testing is announced and how many more get caught thinking their internet home remedies will somehow mask them). My employment agency friend typically has 40% walk out and another 25% fail. Another friend who hires with the railroads tells similar tales. Are your friends at home going down the drug route? The service is your best option.

You may be killed in combat, that’s true. I’m making a SWAG here but if coming from a bad drug/crime neighborhood, you may actually be increasing you projected lifespan. Driving recklessly kills and injures more young males than combat. The military isn’t free from driving accidents but you do mature faster with will all the “supervision” you will get.

You will deal with tons of crap though. The military, except when actually engaging in combat, is horribly inefficient. Expect endless paperwork at times, you will get to stand in line for probably a full year it seems (if you stay 20 years). Living conditions may not be great at some bases but are improving.

Other intangibles. Putting on the uniform for the family. Saluting the flag. Representing your service at functions. Visiting the memorials of our soldiers in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Life is what you make of it. You don’t sign up for twenty years at the start. If you can’t stand it after your initial enlistment, get out.

signed, an almost 30 year Army civilian serving in Iraq with a great group of soldiers.

A few points I agree with what Oakminster has said.

In the U.K. for example the jobs you are most likely to die in are deepsea fishing and construction and theres no moral dimension to those jobs.

If you join the services you join the services,you don’t get to pick and choose what, if any conflicts, you serve in.

You may join up to serve in an action that you support and then the very next day find yourself in an action that is totally against your principles so all this talk about supporting/not supporting your government is nonsense.

IME service people who start suddenly voicing moral doubts about the conflict that they are in are ususally looking for any easy ride or are gutless and trying to get an easy out while leaving their colleagues to do their job.

You will suffer times of boredom,fear,pain,hunger and discomfort but you will also travel,make the best ever friends of your life and experience things(and yes I mean enjoyable things) that you would never have the time or money or opporunity to experience in civilian life.

You will find people trying to discourage you from serving for a variety of reasons many of them not completely honest.

People who ARE actually in the services but are the sort of people who would be a fuck up whatever job they’re in,people of the extreme left or who are Pacifists but neglect to mention the fact and even people from the de facto enemy who pretend to be Americans and are using the net to advance their cause.

When the Irish “Troubles” were on it used to be quite common for republican terrorist supporters to go on M.B.s pretending to be Brits. or even British soldiers and say how much they hated being in the Army or were against the Armys actions.
But they always gave themselves away when they were ignorant of basics that any junior grunt would know.
I’d say to you join up and you’ll start living instead of just existing.

Its you who’s enlisting not them,if they dont want to join then they dont have to, but what gives them the right to try and stop you getting a better life just because they havent got the courage to do so themselves.

Go for it mate,there will be times when you regret it just like any other job but usually that wont be for very often or for very long .
And the good times will far,far outway any bad times I assure you.

If it were me, I would wait until we were basically out of Iraq, for ethical reasons. If I was intent on joining before then, it would be preferable to serve when Bush is not C-in-C, though at this late date waiting would be a mostly symbolic gesture (we’re not invading Iran or anything in the next three months).

Why are you joining? If you believe in the war, then now’s as good a time as any. If you’re doing it for the education, there are other ways to get a big brain.

Did you try reading the responses in this thread, or just the first post?

I’ve tried to be as objective as I possibly can reading all this. I’ve been in 13 years and plan on staying for another seven.

Almost all of the posts advocating joining have, IMO, been pretty accurate. The posts about lowered standards of prep/training (complete bullsht) and morality are also a bit off. It’s not whether you support what’s going on or not, it’s whether you can enjoy your profession and do it well even if you don’t. The two are not mutually exclusive. I’m not crazy about what’s going on, but I still do my job well and have no plans of jumping ship. And I have no delusions about some slippery slope of WWII-era Nazi-ism. If someone gives me an order which I think is not legal, I don’t have to follow it. It’s that simple.

Oakminster is right; if you join, it’s to be an Airman/Marine/Soldier/Sailor. It’s to enjoy all that the service has to offer, and suffer through the parts that suck (and I hate to sound like a chic here, but there’s a lot of bonding that goes on during those times), while still excelling at what you do. There’s a lot of personal pride to be had when it’s all over.

As far as conspiracies go… what in the world are you talking about? The SecDef just axed the Air Force CoS and Secretary for an accounting mistake. Yes, the items involved were a tad important, but nothing bad really happened. There’re no conspiracies happening at the higher levels of the military.

*Yes, disobeying an order is a huge deal, etc, but it’s not like you’re going to get capped right then and there if you do.

The bottom line is that if want to wait 'til the election is over, fine. Personally, I think it’s a pussy move and will completely taint your enlistment if you decide to join, but it’s your decision.

Also, SSG Schwartz, aren’t you a recruiter? You’d be the perfect guy to answer the contract questions.

What if they had a war and nobody showed up? The only way governments can kill people is if they have people willing to kill for them. I can see why one might be inclined to join the military if our country was under direct attack and needed defending, but think about it: the USA wastes precious budget dollars, and the lives of citizens, attacking countries who are not attacking us. Do you want to participate in that? If so, go for it, although it is so very incredibly sad.

Who promised you that? I’m not sure you can get Airborne school in your contract.I could be wrong, its been awhile sine I was a recruiter. I believe you could get station of choice if you have the test scores and choose the MOS. But Station of choice isn’t usually given when you join. A recruiter cannot promise you that, only the MEPs can write the actual contract. At least when I was recruiting you could not be promised Ranger school. Keep in mind going to an airborne unit and going to airborne school are 2 different things…and again, I could be wrong but I believe you have to be airborne qualified to go to ranger school.

Exactly. I’ve had this argument before on this board, and I don’t want to relive it. I don’t support the war in Iraq, and yes I am on active duty. I’m about to be reassigned to Ft. Bragg. I’ll probably end up deployed. Do I wanna go? hell no. I totally understand people that are against the actions the military takes at times. What I don’t get is why don’t they complain to the elected officials that give the orders? No one in the military is deciding where and when to go to war…and believe me, soldiers would rather be back home than Hell knows where in combat.

I don’t buy the whole “if you join the military you’re evil for supporting Bush’s war”. Its narrowminded and unfair to the men and women that serve. Thats all i’ll say about it since no ones mind will be changed here and this thread is not about that subject.

To the OP…what branch were you thinking of joining? My advice is to speak to recruiters of all branches, verify anything they tell you, and decide what you want to do. Do you want to work in electronics? Do you want to be a military policeman? Do you enjoy doing clerical stuff? Or do you want to be in combat arms?

When you take the ASVAB remember it is not binding. A navy recruiter can test you and you can turn around and decide to join the air force with the same test score.

The poster that said they didn’t get airborne school when they were promised it…w/o details I cannot determine what happened. I’ve never had anyone I recruited not get what they were promised and not to brag, but I was one of the top recruiters in my battalion. What happens a lot though is that someone thinks they are being promised something and not getting it for one reason or another legally. I’ve met people that score very low on the test and will ask “will i get a bonus”. I tell them “Not with your score unless you pick a critical MOS”. They decide to join and pick a non-critical MOS and then get upset that they don’t get the bonus. But I just told them that they won’t. Still, recruiters get a sometimes bad rap for stuff like that. Now granted I’ve met recruiters that were crooked. Thats why I say verify anything they tell you. If you have a friend or relative that serves or served see if they can go with you to talk to recruiters. (And I absolutely hated the job…trust me, recruiting is an awful job). And not to knock on the guard or reserves, but they are really nothing like the active force in a lot of ways. (I was in the guard before going active…at least in my experience my guard unit was a joke)

Whatever you choose OP, I wish you luck. I will hit 20 years in a year or so. I can tell you I have had good times and bad times, but I’ve gotten a lot out of the army. I’ve been stationed in Europe for most of my career, I’ve worked at the Pentagon. I’ve been to places most don’t get to visit. I’ve made a lot of good friends and while some days i wish I was out, most days I don’t.

Unless something changed since 2005 byou can’t join any branch without first passing the** ASVAB. ** I was still in kindergarten in 1969, but in 1989 when I joined you had to pass the asvab. It was the same when I recruited and AFAIK it is now.

Please, this has nothing to do with the war, stop bringing it up. Maybe my question inclines you to think I am worried about that, I am not. I’m sorry if it was vaguely stated. I should have mentioned my concern in the first post since no one reads past that before responding.

Anyways, as far as the conspiracy goes, there is a lot of “talk” going on, on the internet, the coffee shop, with friends, etc… My only real concern is that if there is the slightest chance I’d ever have to be standing guard against my own people who are outraging because of an electoral decision, a depression, etc… I would hate to knowingly put myself in that position. And yes, I understand there is a very, very, very slim chance of this actually occurring, but that is why I want to discuss it.

I’m going into the Army, like yourself. I’ve shopped around and this is what I’m gonna buy. My recruiter is a great salesman to say the least. No, his pitch didn’t convince me to join, I had already wanted to join the Army when I was 17, 5 years ago, but I mentioned during the physical (the day I was swearing in) that I had used an inhaler once. Boy, they didn’t take that lightly. The examiner claimed that I had asthma (which I don’t have) and I’d have to wait in excess of 30 days for further testing. No thanks. I knew it was a line of crappo and I disqualified myself, which I later found out that I did. Gotta wait a minimum of 2 years for your previous record to be cleaned.

Anyhoo… I have already taken my asvab and have the opportunity of choosing any MOS I want. I’ve actually been researching my options the past couple of days. Though, I still haven’t come to a final decision, I do have a general idea of what I’d like to do. It will most likely have something to do with combat. It’s a long-term decision so I want to be sure I’m content with what I’m doing.

Yes. I was in some kind of cohort program. Everybody in my platoon at Basic was supposed to go to Basic AIT Airborne then to Vicenza Italy together. The only infantry unit in Italy was the 82nd Airborne’s 3/325 Airborne Battalion Combat Team which is now the reborn 173rd Airborne. About halfway through they offered the option of RIP. Before we went to Airborne they told us that Vicenza was no longer available therefore we would not be going on to the other training. Somehow me and three other guys got sent to Airborne school like our contract stated and then on to Italy. Luckiest damn break of my life. If there is a better duty assignment for a Grunt I can’t imagine what it is. Northern Italy is paradise.

I would just like to verify that this is true. My beloved son had to wait several months before he could get a combat arms training slot in his chosen job (cavalry scout). He is newly returned to Germany from his first combat tour in Iraq, and I couldn’t possibly be any prouder of him.

I would, however, like to make a point, and I really truly hope I don’t offend any of my fine Army brethren here. I am also active duty, and AF nurse. I am currently deployed to Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. I’ve been AF enlisted/dependent wife/officer for 22 years now, and a great deal of our experience has been with the Army, due to the joint nature of military operations in the modern world, added to most recently by #1 son’s enlistment.

My point is this: if the Army doesn’t actually *have * a “Department of Screwing With and Needlessly Inconveniencing Soldiers and Those Service People in Close Proximity”, then it really acts like it does. If you join the Army, there will in fact be a LOT of frustrating and seemingly senseless crap to put up with.

Please note that I am NOT trying to dissuade you. I think the military is a fine, honorable profession. I think the vast majority of soldiers are wonderful, smart, brave people. Quite frankly every soldier here under the age of 25 is lucky I don’t chase them around trying to hug them, they all break my heart so.

However, you MUST expect the bullshit, for it will exist. If you let it, it will make you bitter and disillusioned, moreso if you joined for reasons relating only to yourself. The best defense against becoming so is, first and foremost, to join because you truly wish to be a soldier and to serve.