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Old 06-26-07, 10:00 AM   #1
hills
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Anyone been in the armed forces before?

im seriously thinking about joining the british army, i have the papers at home ready to send away for an application. im just wondering if anyone else has been in the army etc and could u tell me how it was.
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Old 06-26-07, 10:11 AM   #2
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Can't comment on the British Army, though I've worked with lots of fun folks in the Royal Air Force and Navy.

I've been in the US Navy for 20 years so far. Some days it's good, others not so good. Overall, the balance is on the good side.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:05 AM   #3
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I was in the US Navy back in the late 60s-early 70s. I had a ball, except for constantly wondering if I was going to be deployed with the Marines (I was a Corpsman, and that meant Viet Nam in those days, which for those of us who were attached to a Marine infantry unit that usually meant something pretty nasty. I ended up staying stateside the whole time). Aside from that, it was a great time- I made a lot of friends, did a lot of growing up, and learned a heck of a lot- it set the stage for what has been a long and rewarding career in medical research. I'm sort of biased, though- I grew up in a Navy family that goes back to that little spat we had with you guys in the 1770s, so there was this overwhelming sense of tradition. The Navy was just what we did (ok, a few along the way sold out and did the Marines thing, but just a few- they've since been forgiven ).

Anyway, I agree with the commander (great jersey, BTW!)- on balance, it's good, but like everything else in life, it has its ups and downs.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:28 AM   #4
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- there is great honor in serving your country, but the greatest reward will your own sense of personal growth...

- good luck on becoming a Tom... (or perhaps a Rupert?)...

:-)
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Old 06-26-07, 11:37 AM   #5
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20 years Navy. It has good and bad parts but I agree that the good far outweighs the bad. It allowed me to grow in ways that simply couldn't have happened otherwise. Give it a try.
Steven
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Old 06-26-07, 11:57 AM   #6
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Spent 4 years in the US Army. Paid my way through college. Do you get something like that? In a very non-combat outfit so an absolute minimum of what Yanks call "Mickey Mouse" stuff. Try for military intelligence, code-breaking, or encryption machine repair. Chaplains' assistant is also good.

Putting yourself in harms' way for the sake of your nation/empire can help you understand the way things are in a way that many loudly vocal civilians will never acheive.
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Old 06-26-07, 12:17 PM   #7
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Another Navy person here, early 1970s, 3 years. It was a good start for me, have done the same type of work ( electrical/electronics ) ever since.
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Old 06-26-07, 12:22 PM   #8
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17 Years Navy
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Old 06-26-07, 12:31 PM   #9
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Let me give a different point of view. I didn't serve and wish I had. After spending many years since my thirties working with or just knowing veterans I really think I missed out on something. Serving in the military would be very high on the list of things I wiould do differently if I could do things over.
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Old 06-26-07, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ken cummings
.......................snip...........
Putting yourself in harms' way for the sake of your nation/empire can help you understand the way things are in a way that many loudly vocal civilians will never acheive.
I could not agree more. I was in the US Navy for four years, 1963-1967. I spent my time in southwest Europe and the southeast USA. Although my skills did not transfer to civilian life, the lessons learned about getting along with people and dedication to my work (or play) have served me well to this day. I would recommend military service to any young person today.
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Old 06-26-07, 01:01 PM   #11
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Joined the Marine Reserve at age 17. Made me grow up quick. I've never regretted joining.
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Old 06-26-07, 01:45 PM   #12
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Served a mandatory year in Czechoslovakian army as an officer - promised to fight for communists against the evil west. It gave me the time to learn english and few things about myself; it was wrong government and wrong side of the iron curtain but still it was not lost year.

In normal country (like USA or UK) I would most likely make military my career.
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Old 06-26-07, 02:03 PM   #13
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I'm an active duty Army guy, 8 years now. It's been great so far...
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Old 06-26-07, 02:39 PM   #14
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Let me just add to my earlier post (and at the risk of getting philosphical)... One of the many things you'll no doubt get from a military experience (even a single enlistment if not a career) is a sense of team and responsibility to society- whether it's your family or the world as a whole. I've noticed over the years that there really is a difference between those of us who were in and those who weren't, and a big part of that is this whole responsibility to the team thing, for lack of a better phrase. I bet I speak for the vets and actives in here when I say that one of the foremost things we tend to think in situations like a rider down or when people need help is not ourselves but what can we do to get people back on their feet again. I'm sure this sounds either sanctimonious or overly sentimental, but it has seemed to be a pretty replicable observation over the years. And not to take anything away from those who haven't served, because for sure there are plenty of people in that category who have that same attitude. It just seems to be so prevalent among those who are or were in the military. I can't help but believe that whoever has that attitude and acts on it does better by society in general

Guys, what do you think- have you sensed this too?
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Old 06-26-07, 02:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingAnchor
20 years Navy. It has good and bad parts but I agree that the good far outweighs the bad. It allowed me to grow in ways that simply couldn't have happened otherwise. Give it a try.
Steven
Almost the same: 20 years Air Force. Although, for me I'd say that for me it was about 95% good, and the other 5% was just a function of having unwanted responsibilities, which I'd have had anyway as a functioning, employed adult. But I had the best situations possible, I was just consistently lucky with assignments, co-workers, and supervisors.

It's definitely a great way to get a start on life, if (like me) you don't have some particular career goal already in mind when you're graduating from high school or college. I would hesitate to recommend the US military to my daughter, if she were at the right age now, but in general it can be a very good thing.
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Old 06-26-07, 03:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBLover
Let me just add to my earlier post (and at the risk of getting philosphical)... One of the many things you'll no doubt get from a military experience (even a single enlistment if not a career) is a sense of team and responsibility to society- whether it's your family or the world as a whole. ...
Guys, what do you think- have you sensed this too?
I know what you mean. And, after 3 years in the civilian world, I find that people with a military background are so much easier to have as co-workers. They ("we," not meaning to pat myself on the back but hey, who else is gonna ) tend to be confident and competent; they have a grasp of the big picture, the judgment to know when to make a decision and when it's not their decision to make, an understanding of how to adjust their tempo to keep up with operations (and not lose it under pressure); and especially, they roll with the punches and play well with others! Maybe I've just been lucky as far as the ones I've run into, though.

As you said, these traits are obviously not limited to personnel who've served in the military, but in my experience they are pretty common in that population, not as common in those who haven't served. It just seems that military service includes a lot of skill-enhancing, character-building experiences.
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Old 06-26-07, 03:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTBLover
Let me just add to my earlier post (and at the risk of getting philosphical)... One of the many things you'll no doubt get from a military experience (even a single enlistment if not a career) is a sense of team and responsibility to society- whether it's your family or the world as a whole. I've noticed over the years that there really is a difference between those of us who were in and those who weren't, and a big part of that is this whole responsibility to the team thing, for lack of a better phrase. I bet I speak for the vets and actives in here when I say that one of the foremost things we tend to think in situations like a rider down or when people need help is not ourselves but what can we do to get people back on their feet again. I'm sure this sounds either sanctimonious or overly sentimental, but it has seemed to be a pretty replicable observation over the years. And not to take anything away from those who haven't served, because for sure there are plenty of people in that category who have that same attitude. It just seems to be so prevalent among those who are or were in the military. I can't help but believe that whoever has that attitude and acts on it does better by society in general

Guys, what do you think- have you sensed this too?
+ (a large value)

If people have not served for their country, then how do they expect their country to serve them?

I know this is controversial, but I do think there is merit of the mandatory service idea in the US, something at pretty much all European countries have.
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Old 06-26-07, 04:10 PM   #18
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Tried the U.S. Army for 20 years. Vietnam was my war. My front lisence plate says "U.S. Army Retired .. I served with pride." True enough. I have often said though that I did not make the military a career. I just was pleased with what I was doing each time a choice had to be made and before I knew it the 20 years was up.

As others here have said, there is something quite special among those of us that have served.
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Old 06-27-07, 12:24 AM   #19
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And:
I have done the typical stereotypical (sp) call. "Hey Pete, remember me, Steve,,,,, from .,,,, want to get together?" and they always want to see ya. I have a friend that I see once every few years but it is always like seeing a brother.
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Old 06-27-07, 12:40 AM   #20
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I was in the Marines......the Merchant Marines that is

The union I was in had military sealift contracts, so was around enlisted people a lot. Lots of former Navy people go to work as merchant mariners when they get out. I had a friend who was on (or is it "in"?) submarines in the Navy, he was pretty nutty (when I make a comment like that, you know he was seriously nuts!)
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Old 06-27-07, 02:17 PM   #21
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Usaf.
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Old 06-27-07, 02:48 PM   #22
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USMC - where men are men and sheep are scared!
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Old 06-27-07, 02:52 PM   #23
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Old 06-27-07, 05:42 PM   #24
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I was in the US Navy for about 5 years. My 2nd (final) Commanding Officer is the current Chief of Naval Operations. You'd want to be on his ship during a conflict, but not on it in peace time (I was on his ship in peace time)
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Old 06-27-07, 07:05 PM   #25
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US Army '82-'85,tank mechanic.Germany '84-'85.Learned how to be on time and ready.Still hate to be late or unprepared and have little patience with those who are.It's a life of duty and can be difficult but it also has rewards.I was never shot at,but understood that I'd be right there if the deal went down.My hat is off to all those who've suffered combat.
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