Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Is it a good idea to join the military.... In need of advice

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by zerocool319, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. zerocool319

    zerocool319 Tualatin New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've been thinking about joining I national guard but I don't know in today day and age...
    I think it would be good for me and with all the job xp I think it might be good for me, I don't really have any direction or goals right now, do so why not?
     
  2. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    First, don't believe it when they say "it will make a man out of you" - if you don't have it to start with, nobody can make anything out of you. You get out of something what you put into it. I got confidence out of my service, but I believe it was always there - I just needed to be challenged and given the chance to show what I had.

    If you want job experience or training, you are usually better off getting it in the private sector. Civilian employers don't care much about military experience. Most don't care if you can drive a tank, shoot a gun, work with outdated and specialized military tech, fly a drone, or some of the other things the military can train you in.

    They may care if you were a pilot - if that is the area you are looking to get into. They might care if you have experience with heavy equipment (not a tank - a dozer, semi-truck, etc.).

    When I got out, I learned that employers didn't give a damn about my military training or experience (diesel mech). It was only after I got my EE degree that they took notice.

    Find what interests you and do what it takes to get into that field.

    Sometimes it takes a while. I switched fields a number of times. I was in my early 30s when I finally found what I wanted to do. I have been doing it (software engineer) now for over 25 years and I still like it.
     
    WilliamIV, Qjay, OLDNEWBIE and 2 others like this.
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    As to "why not".

    I found out my "why not" - because I couldn't quit when I wanted to.

    I found out that I hated the fact that I felt trapped by that commitment to spend x number of years in the service. After the first two years I couldn't wait to get out. I saved up as much terminal leave as possible and got out 3 months early.

    I would say about half the people who serve only serve one enlistment - their first - and that is enough.

    The thing about the people who will be your seniors is that they realize that they have a captive audience for x number of years, that you have to obey their orders, that you can just tell them to shove it and then walk out. So they treat you accordingly. There are a lot of politics in the military and there is always some "lifer" who is there because that is what they enjoy about the military, ordering others around.

    That isn't to say that there aren't people who find the military does them good, gets them some good experience, gives them a stable base, who don't enjoy it to some degree. And some missions the military does are good too. Just that for some people it isn't all it is cracked up to be.

    In short, don't go into the military because you have nothing better to do.

    "Why not?" is not a good enough reason to make a commitment for 4 to 6 years of your life - IMO.
     
    Qjay, gaijinsamurai and OLDNEWBIE like this.
  4. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,558
    Likes Received:
    7,027
    You are in a part time commitment for 6 years and they can call you to some sandy shet hole around the world at a moments notice.
    And employers hate the national gaurd for that same reason.
     
    Qjay likes this.
  5. Bigbaddude

    Bigbaddude West linn Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    366
    Likes Received:
    280
    Join the U.S Coast Guard every where there a nice beach the Coast Guard is there. I did 4 1/2 years all in Alaska hunted and fished my a$$ off. Should have stayed in for the long haul.
    Good luck deciding.
     
    WilliamIV, Qjay, Modeler and 2 others like this.
  6. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    7,537
    Likes Received:
    10,506
    The main thing I got from serving (Army) is a strong sense of self discipline and the knowledge that I could operate in a very hostile climate! I actually liked the Army, but as above, lifers who are too dumb to make it in the civilian world can really make it a miserable experience!
    Oh yeah! You also learn to rub with a diverse cross section of society. SRG
     
    Stomper, Qjay and Caveman Jim like this.
  7. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    3,957
    My cousin did 4 yrs in the Navy and learned a lot of electronics type of skills. Translated to a good job when he got out. Ended up going back to school for more of the same. He's making big money now.

    Me, did 3 years. Loved some of it, hated some of it. Felt a bit trapped like Heritic alluded to by the last year.
    After the service I never pursued my M.O.S. of 63November or Tank mechanic/diesel and other. Had made up my mind that I was sick of dirty jobs. Ended up being a factory worker, salesman, welder, private investigator and too many other dirty jobs to mention.

    Regrets, didn't stay 20 years and retire at 37!!!

    Positives, feel good I served my Country even though I lucked out and missed Wars. Overseas travel, Army looks good on a resume', lots of fun memories off duty!

    Negatives, idiots ruling your life, an extra layer of punishment if you get trouble with the law.

    If you go for it don't believe all the recruiters propaganda. Research the different Services and the different Jobs on offer and what they translate to in Civilian life. I found myself jealous of the pencil pushers as well as the Tankers. Mechanics out in the cold, mud and rain SUCKS!!! :mad:
     
    Qjay and Caveman Jim like this.
  8. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    122
    I did 20 years in the Air Force. Started as a Power Lineman (High Voltage Electrician), then about 1/2 way through my career I was combined with the Electricians and Alarm Techs. Good experience, and I am still working as an Electrician.
    I also did a number of ancillary duties. Demo, firearms training, security, OPFOR (The bad guys), and other stuff. Also lucked out and was stationed in RED HORSE for a number of years. Got to build many buildings, runways, and other structures from the ground up. No Union Card, so I helped out a number of crafts. Very good experience.
    I was a lifer, and was tough on my folks. I was also very understanding, and helped them work through most situations so they could succeed. One thing I stressed with my Troops (and will stress here with you) is to prepare yourself to get out after your first enlistment. Save, save SAVE! Use the dorms and chow hall to your advantage. If you must have a car, save up and pay cash for the least expensive safe car you can get. Set yourself up so when it comes time to reenlist, it is your choice. NOT something you need to do because you are in debt.
    Take advantage of schooling. Get at least an Associates Degree in your specialty (job). It does help on the outside. If you can get any certifications in the state you are in for your job, get them. Nevada worked with us to get our CDLs. Very nice as we got to drive the military's equipment for training and our test.
    It is what you make it. If you go in to be a grunt, you will still be a grunt (to civilian eyes) when you get out. Folks in the Medical Fields or the Trades can many times walk out and get a civilian job pretty easily. Some worked in their off hours for their future employers (I was not lucky enough to be one of those).
    Just do your research and go in with a plan. Do be aware that deployments can mess that plan up, but can sometimes provide other opportunities and benefits. You just have to be on the lookout for them.
    One example. Had a friend who was a dorm manager. Basically a babysitter for first term Airmen. Kind of a sucky job, but he had enough study time to get a Masters in Accounting about 2 years into his 2nd enlistment.
    Remember, you get paid bu rank and not your job (with exception of reenlistment bonuses). It kinda sucked sometimes to be out in the 100+* heat, when the pencil pushers were inside. But I really did (and still do) enjoy my job. I even have had many chances to become one of those pencil pushers, I am just a gluten for punishment.
    I would not go Guard or Reserve. If you are going to do it, then do it. But that is my $0.02
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2014
    rick benjamin and Qjay like this.
  9. Qaolin

    Qaolin 1 A.U. from a G2 near Beaverton Old Army Cook Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    695
    Likes Received:
    1,055
    I echo pretty much what Heretic said, except for the pilot part. I have it on good authority airline pilots get paid squat and are treated as glorified bus drivers; aircraft mechanics OTOH make bank in the civilian sector. Old Newbie has the pros and cons down. My MOS did translate to the PS BUT cooks get paid diddley for all the stress. I'd suggest going into mortuary science, the growth industry of the 21st century as we boomers start dying off in massive numbers.
     
    Martini_Up and Qjay like this.
  10. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,350
    Likes Received:
    1,725
    Don't forget the GI bill, while you may not find your jib in the military using the GI Bill to get and education you want and a much reduced cost has its advantages.

    Personally I would look past the National guard and go full time into one of the service branches.
     
    Qjay likes this.
  11. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    5,228
    Likes Received:
    8,821
    Wow, more mechanics here than I thought. I was a 63Charlie for 3 years & got out. I came from a family of lifers (Army & A F) but I liked my freedom and my hair....
    Don't get me wrong I gained valuable skills from the Army, more than civilian life as a teen.
    Good luck with your choice and get educated.
     
    Qjay likes this.
  12. YoungBlood

    YoungBlood SW Washington Active Member

    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    126
    I would suggest sitting down and talking with some Veterans who served in combat and ones that didn't to get a good answer to this. My Dad served during Vietnam and he is the reason I never joined, but there are definite bennies like the GI bill and such, but it's a question you gave to answer for yourself.IMHO of course

    Also, Much respect for those on here who wore or are wearing a uniform
     
    Qjay and CoastRange57 like this.
  13. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    7,537
    Likes Received:
    10,506
    One thing. No matter what you are trained as, in the Marine Corps or Army, you are always a rifleman/infantryman if that's where they want you!
     
    Qjay and CoastRange57 like this.
  14. Simonsez

    Simonsez Vancouver Wa Member

    Messages:
    58
    Likes Received:
    7
    There is an Air National Guard at PDX. Might be for you
     
    Qjay likes this.
  15. gaijinsamurai

    gaijinsamurai Beaverton Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

    Messages:
    918
    Likes Received:
    677
    I did six years in the US Marine Corps and five in the National Guard. I don't regret doing it, but glad I'm out. Like a lot of things in life, I found that what you get out of military service is largely determined by what you put into it.

    The negatives: You're stuck under NCOs and officers who can be total dicks and have a lot more control over your life than a civilian boss could ever have. You'll find there are a lot of idiots in the military, who become lifers because they know they'll probably never succeed out in the civilian world. Also, I'm not sure I would want to be in the military now, under our current Commander in Chief.

    The positives: Even if it is to a sucky place, the opportunity to travel is a valuable life experience. Also, you'll have the opportunity to qualify for veterans benefits for college or perhaps, a home loan at an excellent interest rate. Finally, a lot of the memories and friends you'll make are second to none. That's what I liked the most. When I was in my early twenties, I was on a Marine Corps rifle and pistol team, getting paid to shoot matches against the best marksmen in the country, while a lot of friends from high school were stuck in minimum wage jobs or bored to death.

    Good luck.
     
    U201491 and Qjay like this.
  16. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    They are also a lot of other places - I was in the USCG and we went up the Columbia as far as the Canadian border, up the Spokane river, Ft. Peck Montana and I was stationed in the Tri-Cities (Pasco/Kennewick/Richland) for about a year doing aids to nav until I wangled a lateral out to Newport and did SAR for 3 years.

    The CG is mostly about law enforcement now - being under the DHS. I didn't mind the LEO work that much until they started getting into the drug law enforcement which is a farce. Now, under the DHS, they are also into the "war on terror" as well as the "war on drugs". :rolleyes:

    To each their own, but I decided to not stay in for a number of reasons, and I don't regret that decision at all - I am much better off for it now.
     
  17. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    6,803
    I didn't mention it, but I did think about it - the lifers who stay in because they think they can't make it in the "real world" - and they probably couldn't, mostly due to a lack of confidence. They have found a comfy spot where their lack of confidence in themselves and lack of ambition to improve themselves and learn anything fits well with the military's need for warm bodies that just do their job and don't ask questions.

    I ran into several people like this.

    One was an E-5 who actually lived in his parents basement!

    Another was a Chief who was retiring. I remember him advising people to re-enlist because he said it was too hard to make a living in the "real world". He didn't like it when I disputed his assertion - it went something like this:

    "Chief, you enlisted when you were 17 right?"

    "Yes."

    "You never had a job in the private sector right?"

    "That's correct"

    "Then how could you possibly know how hard it is to make a living in the private sector?"

    I didn't enlist when I was 17, I enlisted when I was 23, and I *knew* just how hard it was to make a living outside the military, having had to support a family since I was 19 years old without even a HS diploma.

    Here is the funny thing - this chief had visions of working on some tug somewhere or as a power plant engineer or something like that.

    The only job he could find after retiring; guarding logs at a timber mill, on the graveyard shift. I.E., being a warm body, guarding something that would take a major heavy equipment to run off with.

    The "be all you can be" motto is an interesting hook, goes real well with the "it's too hard in the private sector - stay here where it is easier" viewpoint.:rolleyes:
     
  18. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    122
    I had plenty of these in my time. I reenlisted because I got a bonus, and needed a new transmission in my car (and had NO savings). I decided to make it my mission to help the new Troops not do the same thing. Caught some flack from my higher ups about it, but I still persevered with it. I was not preachy about it, but spoke with the Troops quite a bit. I was lucky to be in a position where I was outside the normal chain of command, and had time to spend with the new Troops. I really enjoyed helping Apprentices with OJT training also. I was lucky enough to have good mentors (both Civilian and .Mil), and really tried to be one myself. "Remember when we were trouble shooting this circuit and we achieved these results. The test book working through just those theories". Nothing like seeing the light come on when you could relate the text book training to their real world experiences.

    To the OP. Make sure to get the exact job you want in writing before you go in. I lucked out when I went in "Open Electronics". I did not get even close to the job I wanted (Missile Electronics), but I did get a job which allowed me to work with many of these crafts side by side. I discovered my job (Electrical Systems Specialist) allowed me freedom that many system specialty fields did not. My results were not typical though. I had a few folks behind the scenes who listened to me and placed me where they though I would succeed. In the long run they were correct, but I had to change many of my preconceived notions to see this. Most recruiters just place you to fill a quota. I lucked out and had one with connections and was caring. He followed up with folks in Lackland and MPF to take care of me. This is NOT typical, and was mainly because he was a family friend from before he joined the AF.
     
  19. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,827
    Likes Received:
    3,957
    Don't mean to sound like a jerk but...... This and your other post about getting a gun for the first time tells me either English isn't your native tongue, or you lack a complete education. It's my understanding you need at least a H.S. Diploma and must be a Citizen correct?
    Are you sure you qualify?
    BTW my English ain't so good either a lot of the times;)
     
    Modeler likes this.
  20. frauhunter

    frauhunter Central Oregon Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    98

    Zerocool -

    It depends on where your head is at. Here's where mine is. IMHO:

    In a nutshell, you are better off starving under a bridge then taking the thirty pieces of silver to invade foreign countries, kill their inhabitants, steal their wealth, impose alien values, and otherwise knock about their tea wagons on behalf of Halliburton, the oil empire, and other filth of their ilk. And done under the guise of "Defending Freedom" and "Patriotism", too, no less. It's enough to make a dog vomit. Leave that ugly business to the mercenaries - they lost their souls a long time ago anyway.

    Had you asked this thirty years ago I'd have bought you a beer (lots of beer, actually), given you plenty of encouragement, and told you what a great and noble thing it would be. Today, all I want to do is cry. There are many good aspects to military service. It's not a bad life, better if you're single though. Pays good, benefits are great. Get to live indoors (well, most of the time). Learn a skill. The most important rewards come in ways you can't see now (life experience is one). But this country is not the same as it was earlier in my lifetime - and the "change" is not for the better. If you go in, you will in all likelihood be responsible (directly or indirectly) for the death of people who don't need to be made dead and all the other things I mentioned. Don't kid yourself - today, you get those benefits in exchange for suborning tyranny abroad and at home. Period.

    Myself and virtually everybody I was close enough to share such thoughts with went into the service because, regardless of any other reason(s), at some level, we believed it was simply the right thing to do. And that is the question before you now - and you, and you alone, will have to answer it for yourself. Given the current political climate, the state of affairs in this country and the world; given your personal world view, your beliefs, your values; is it the right thing to do? In my day, that question was a whole lot easier to answer.

    So it depends on where your head is at. And how much weight your soul can bear.


    Cheers!

    Ex Gladio Libertas