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Thread: Military Life

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    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    Military Life

    Well I know quite a few of you guys are active duty military and me a simple reservist is thinking about quitting the civilian life and going full-time, active army.

    Now the only thing I really can relate active duty to is Basic Training and AIT, and well those weren't very fun nor were they something I'd want to do again. I'm trying to get a feel for how it really is. Does it suck hard like training or is it pretty chill. I know it depends on lots of variables but overall is it worth it?

    Right now I'm on the verge of being homeless and though I'm a really smart guy have no cash for college and though I have a good job I feel as though I'm wasting my life. I'm looking to go active to put some order into my life, save up some cash and pay off some debt and hopefully get back into college once I'm done. What do you guys think, I need some feedback from some impartial parties.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

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    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    I spent 11 years serving our great nation and I don't regret one second of it. I would go back into the Air Force without hesitation if ever asked. If the Air Force would have let me get into computers I would have made the Air Force a career. I did the next best thing though, I married a career Air Force person and get to use the base for everything, even after she retired a few years ago.

    I can't speak for life in the Army though, but for a young person such as yourself it is a great way to learn a skill and get an education.
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

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    slower than you Applehead57's Avatar
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    I have 9 active & 18 reserve. Navy, of course.
    I know the Air National Guard does not make you go through basic a second time, the Navy makes you attend sometime kinda like basic.

    I say, go for it! It's job security, steady pay and fixed standards of conduct. Pretty easy life. You can excel, get a career & a good pension. It's the rest of your life, if you can lay it out clearly and follow the straight & narrow. And no, it's not hard to be a good soldier, a little exercise, a little discipline and a desire to do a good job.
    Make sure you get a marketable job when you retire. Artillery, infantry or sniper don't translate well to the civilian job market.
    "Lack of opportunity does not constitute virtue". Diana Tickle.

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    It is difficult to generalize about military life. What is the quality of military life for a Marine on a small firebase in the desert in Iraq? What is the quality of life for someone in the Coast Guard "guarding" the beaches of Miami?

    Looking back, thirty-five years later, I have good memories of my time in the military. But, when I re-read the letters I wrote home back then, they remind me of some of the stuff I did not like: moronic supervisors, boredom, months without contact with family and friends, people shooting at me, moronic supervisors denying permission to return fire at the people shooting at me...

    The most UN-happy people I met in the military were the people who joined the military because they THOUGHT it was an escape from the problems and challenges of civilian life. Every sort of problem that someone can have with a civilian job can occur with a military assignment. When the military gives you a job you don't like, quitting is not an option. If the military gives you housing that is not fit for a barn animal, complaining to the "landlord" is not an option.

    I saw an interview with a soldier on TV. He said that he wanted out of the military. He had joined for the "benefits", and to travel, and to save money for college. And, now the Army wanted him to go to Iraq, where people would try to kill him. So, he wants out.

    The most content folks in the military are the people who LIKE hardships and challenges. They LIKED basic training. They LIKE twenty mile hikes through a monsoon. They even sorta/kinda enjoy being in a battle zone (at least, after the fighting is over). They VOLUNTEER for the toughest assignments in the toughest locations.

    So, picture the worst job the military could assign you to...picture the very worst of locations. Often, the worst assignment involves killing people...and those people are often attempting to kill you...and when it is time to do the "body count", you will discover that most of the people killed in "modern" warfare are women and children who just happen to be "in the way" during the fighting.

    The worst job in the military? After the shooting stops, counting the body fragments, the arms, and legs, and heads, and trying to figure out just how many women and children "were liberated from terrorism" that particular day.

    If you can see yourself as being reasonably enthusiastic about taking the toughest assignment, in the toughest of locations, go for it. But, anyone who views serving in the military as a "vacation" from the hardships and rigors of civilian life will be deeply disappointed.
    Last edited by alanbikehouston; 04-06-05 at 08:51 AM.

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    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    Its just like a 9-5 job, really. You go to work, come home, eat and sleep. Sometimes you work 16 hour days, sometimes just 4. If you go on deployment life gets a little rough but all your friends and buddies are doing the same.

    It also depends on your mos, if you are a tank gunner expect to see some action. IF you are a cook, well.......

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    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston

    , people shooting at me, moronic supervisors denying permission to return fire at the people shooting at me...

    Every sort of problem that someone can have with a civilian job can occur with a military assignment. When the military gives you a job you don't like, quitting is not an option. If the military gives you housing that is not fit for a barn animal, complaining to the "landlord" is not an option.



    The most content folks in the military are the people who LIKE hardships and challenges. They LIKED basic training. They LIKE twenty mile hikes through a monsoon. They even sorta/kinda enjoy being in a battle zone (at least, after the fighting is over). They VOLUNTEER for the toughest assignments in the toughest locations.


    .
    Alan, this is a great post!!

    Junior, I'd just add that the most content in Army are also those moronic supervisors that Alan speaks about. They play the games of screwing with your head for everything they can get out of it, and make your life miserable. I was first struck at how many soldiers I talked with would introduce themselves, then tell you exactly how many years, months, days and hours that they had until they were discharged. They did this because it is such a caustic environment to be in, and this was peace time!!

    Not an easy choice, good luck and let us know what's happening bro!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Senior Member joeprim's Avatar
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    It will be what you make of it. Supervisiors come and go some will be good, most won't. You can likely get some collage while you're in and also get a decent MOS.

    The worst job they can give you is "assigmet to the Pentagon".

    Good luck
    Joe

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    EmperorNorton II norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    go into the coast guard. air force would be my next choice.

    and that does suck. damn lack of schoolin is waht's wrong with this damn country. although you may want to try just living completely off loans... i'm gonna see if it can be done.

    Merton......What can you possibly know about this topic?.....


    Uncle Norton

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    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    Wow, thanks for so much feedback.

    You all bring up extremly good points.

    I'm not looking to hide from my problems in the military, just use it as a way to solve them. Right now I have a low paying job and live in a really expensive area so my goal is to minimize my expenses and maximize my income.

    When I look back to basic the things I hated was having no freedom and having my mind toyed with every waking moment.

    I realize there is a strong possiblity I may be depolyed but that possiblity is open to me no matter what I do considering I'm still a reservist. On the plus side of going active I'll have a better idea of when I'd be deployed and I'd be deployed with my unit. With that I have a better chance of survival.

    I has great potential of either being the greatest thing that ever happened to me or the worst. I wish I knew which it was going to be before I sign the dotted line.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

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    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by junioroverlord
    I has great potential of either being the greatest thing that ever happened to me or the worst. I wish I knew which it was going to be before I sign the dotted line.
    A good deal of it will be what you make of it. Go for it.

    And, remember, your supervisors will all rotate away (or you will) usually with a year to 18 months. This rotation policy gives you an opportunity to work with and for a good many people, some great, some not so good. But, the people around you will change frequently. I found this to be generally a good thing.
    Just Peddlin' Around

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    Announcer EventServices's Avatar
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    Air Force was like summer camp. The only challenge I faced was dealing with the amazing boredom.
    I was in the 410th Security Police Squadron during the Cold War. It was 4 years of mental atrophy.

    I'd go back now in if I could, but I'd pick a more interesting line of work.

  12. #12
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    go into the coast guard. air force would be my next choice.

    and that does suck. damn lack of schoolin is waht's wrong with this damn country.
    kettle...this is pot.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    3 years active, 5 years reserve/NG

    I loved it - paid for school, military service has always been in my family (at least 1 person every generation has served - my grandfather and his 5 brothers all went through WWII), and in all honesty - I feel proud taking such a challenge and succeeding and getting what I want out of it. I say look into it - but look at an MOS that offers a REAL job skill - I chose infantry to see if I wanted to stay in the Army. I really learned a lot about myself as a citizen, and even moreso as who I really want to be. While the infantry does not translate well into civilian life (I can spit shine shoes and buff floors like no one else though!), the college $$$ was WELL worth it.
    But you really need to look at what you want in return for your years of service and make sure you get it. And that means $, benefits, and personal goals - most importantly!
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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    Senior Member Ebbtide's Avatar
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    Another more appealing option may be to change commands. If you transfer to a reserve unit that has been activated you can get a taste of active duty and still be home this Christmas if you don't like it.

    Ask around at your reserve station.

    and one more thing, Of the thousands of vets I have met none of them have said joining the military was a mistake.

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    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Don't join the Marines unless you want to work long hours get no respect and have to nurture idiots under you at the behest of the command chain.

    In fact don't join anything. They prey on people in your predicament and you will end up living in a desert and possibly getting shot at defending other people’s nations.

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    SNIKT! Karldar's Avatar
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    I did 8 years active/1 year reserve(Army)--from 1989 to 1998. I would've gotten out after my initial 4 yr enlistment, but I was afraid to re-enter civilian life due to job security concerns. Of course, when I reup'd, I got to go to Germany for 4 yrs. All in all, a great learning/growing experience. Would I do it again, now? No. Again, then? Most definitely. When most of my friends in HS had no idea what they wanted to do, I knew that I wanted to be a soldier. Joined up 2 weeks after graduation. Got to see many different parts of the world and many different types of people(good and bad). Went from Missouri to California to South Carolina to South Korea to Texas to Germany with many stops in-between. It can be very difficult, though. Being separated from loved ones for years rather than a couple of months can be very trying on a mental level. You sound like you can handle it if you do decide to go active. Good luck whatever your decision.
    I like pie!
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    EmperorNorton II norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    yeah. damn lack o schollin is whats wrong with me and many people... what's yer point?


    .....That's my nephew!.......



    Uncle Norton

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    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MERTON
    yeah. damn lack o schollin is whats wrong with me and many people... what's yer point?
    lack of "schollin" is hardly the issue MERTON. That has already been established. Bait the hook better next time.
    Or use a sharper nodachi.
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    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna
    Don't join the Marines unless you want to work long hours get no respect and have to nurture idiots under you at the behest of the command chain.

    In fact don't join anything. They prey on people in your predicament and you will end up living in a desert and possibly getting shot at defending other people’s nations.

    Too true, too true, my situation is a perfect example of the poverty draft. I already signed the dotted line in 2003 when I joined the reserves so even if I stay home and remain poor and homeless I still might end up shot in a desert so, I think I'm going to cash in on my decision.

    For the rest of you thanks for the great feedback I really appreciate it. I think I'm just about 80% decided on going active.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

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    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Try to get into the medical system, hospitals need so many people, and the training and experience will transfer after you get out. If you can go that way, keep asking for training, and look at various fields. I have a friend who kept asking for nursing school and finally the Army footed the bill for a 4 yr bachelor program, while still active duty.

    Best of wishes to you, get what you can out of the time!
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

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    Better than you since 83! junioroverlord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty
    Try to get into the medical system, hospitals need so many people, and the training and experience will transfer after you get out. If you can go that way, keep asking for training, and look at various fields. I have a friend who kept asking for nursing school and finally the Army footed the bill for a 4 yr bachelor program, while still active duty.

    Best of wishes to you, get what you can out of the time!
    Very sound advice and much appreciated. I would go the medical route if I didn't have such an aversion to blood. *chuckles* Yeah, I'm a great soldier. Actually I think it's more wounds than blood. Then again I'm a camp counselor and I see some pretty messed up stuff from time to time.

    I had a camper slice off the tip of his finger in my van door. That wasn't a pretty sight.
    "Riding bikes on the street is the fuggin jam!" Juvi-Kyle

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    Raising the Abyss celticfrost's Avatar
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    junioroverlord --- best of luck no matter what you do.

    Alot of good posts here.

    One thing though --- what's your current rank? You have to start somewhere, I was 17 when I joined and I know that I wouldn't want to be a private all over again in the Army. There's a known shortage of volunteers now (gee, wonder why? ). You should use this to your advantage, because the Army will certainly USE you for their own advantage. Don't be too gung-ho w/ the recruiter, let him know/think that you are wavering and see if you can get a promotion BEFORE signing the dotted line. Don't sell yourself short before signing-up, the Army will get plenty out of you.

    The Army really does offer a lot of great people experiences, but there's plenty to avoid too (i.e. 3 of 5 roommates were practicing felons). And get off base during weekends w/ a few trustworthy peers -- too much weird stuff going on at the local bars (and trailer parks). For me, it was a pretty manic life --- EVERYTHING I did I either loved (driving APCs, Hummers, "blowing stuff up", mind bending weekends w/ friends) or hated (dealing w/ knuckle-dragging, spiteful SOBs, having to bite my lip for fear of demotion, etc.). Just my opinion, but if you're not married now, don't get married while you're active duty. I'm probably not the most sensitive type, but I would not want to put a girl in the position of being a soldier's wife.
    "...in Las Vegas where -the electric bills are staggering -the decor hog wild -and the entertainment saccharine -what a golden age -what a time of right and reason -the consumer's king -and unhappiness is treason..."

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    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by norton
    Merton......What can you possibly know about this topic?.....


    Uncle Norton
    Seems like a smart young sprout. Wants to live off of other people's money.
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  24. #24
    titanium
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    i was in the RAF cadets for 2 years, does that count. Went for a week summer camp at an airbase it was good, im trying to think what we did other then drill lol yeah we went flying once i actuly got a second go in a microlight as there where limited places picjed at random! i flew 8 times in my time at the RAF totaling about 200 minutes flying, it was well cool, even got to do some airobatics myself like loops and barrele rolls and stuff, i did get a bit worried when the pilot took back control of the plane off of me and did not tell me that the emergancy landing he was doing was just to show me how its done and not a real emergency, i just hear him talking to air trafic control saying "are you ready to recover plane" or somthing like that and if only i had not seen a TV documentry showing pilots on emergency landings saying the same things! im suprised i didnt start screaming to ATC ahhhh where all going to die!!!, he told me it was not real right before he asked me to cut off the throtle saying that he did not tell me earlyer because he did not want to disapoint me if they (ATC) did not give permision to do it. (i still think he just wanted to scare me lol)

    well back to camp, we also went shooting at the range and did orentering, shootings quite cool remeinds me of back in my normal RAF cadet group at the local firering range, some people are better then others, some one is bad enough to hit the horizontal beam suporting the celling. The beam was like around 2 meters high maybe 5 meters infront of him, the targets 30 meters infront, you can see how hard it is to hit the beam accidently i think he hit the side walls of the range more times then he hit the adjacent one where the targets where. There where 2 sergents with us watching us, 1 of which was keeping a very close eye on this kid, and had to remind him on sevral occasions, "dont load another round before oyu fire the last one off" and had to at 1 point (as promised to any one who pointed there rifile away from the targets, so that a missfire could hit someone) kick him in his thigh, the sergant is not a weak guy, the kids leg must have really hurt although im sure he was more in shock from getting screamed at by a very loud sergant.

    Orentering was good, and we had a night excersize aswell had to use our map (it was marked on there) to find in the woods a strecher a first aid box and i think there where other things aswell. Well as it was getting dark and it was easy to get lost the enemy, which where all people in the real RAF helping out that new the area well, well we had to not get caught but because it was dark it was set up so that they will ambush us at the first place we have to pick stuff up from. As you can guess we where the flight that after a rasie of hands felt it be a good idea that we split in to two groups so we get it done faster, well of course the other half of our flight, happened to be the one with out the map who where gona run down a straight route to the checkpint pick up the stuff and run back to meet us, could not find the way back. We actuly found it quite funny untill 2 search teams went out looking for them.

    there where points awarded for all kinds of stuff including how drill and hwo tidy you left your rooms. Well we where winning from day 1 till day 5, only problem is there where 7 days and we manged to fall from 1st to 4th (last) in those 2 remianing days, and im not sure how!

    It was real fun and my guess would be its pretty simular to basic training just less demanding and less diciplined.

  25. #25
    titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackberry
    Seems like a smart young sprout. Wants to live off of other people's money.
    oh come on, cant really say that unless hes in england living on umemployment benefits. So say a compnay you work for is who pays you, chances are they are getting money from the goverment eg what if they are contracted by the goverment to do somthing the goverment is employing them or what if it creats consumer goods and people who got money off the goverment are buying those goods. What if the companys employing the compnay you work for are employed be compnays who get there money from the goverment. At the end of the day a lot of peoples money is comming from the goverment, this is also known as the multiplier effect, liek virtual money. Goverment spends 100 on a compnay, that compnay spends 90 on another, that one spends 81 on another and that one spends 72.9 on another well maybe they dont spend quite that much but as you can see a lot more is spent through the economy then the amount the goverment pumps in.

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