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Thinking about serving in the military. Any tips or things I should know?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MassachussettsMosinNagant, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. MassachussettsMosinNagant

    MassachussettsMosinNagant

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    Hello everyone :)


    I'm not sure if it was last week or maybe 2 weeks ago that the idea first hit me, but I keep getting more and more confident that it's the right choice for me. I am nervous as I assume many are when they first decide to join. If i'm being completely open, their are plenty of things that aren't what I imagine to be the way I want them in my life. A lot of things I want to fix but it seems the right avenue isn't opening up. I have a job but not a career, it's disposable with no room for improvement, no brotherhood, no leadership. Feels like i'm dragging my feet with it. My city is pretty bad with crime and job oppurtunity. I have the education, I put in a lot of effort over the past few years getting certain licenses but once I feel things are looking up, they don't really go any further then scraping by or being complacent. I think many of these things the brotherhood and the leadership mentality of the US Armed Forces would help me conquer and in a sense I will find myself.

    Although I do have a job, I wouldn't call it a career. I don't feel fulfilled with it. And it might even be all in my head as my friends consider it a good job. I'm still only 22, but time is ticking away fast. And before long I will be too old to turn back and undo what has been done. It's essential now I try new things, become a better man and build upon my knowledge for the future. I used to always tell myself I'd fight in a war once their was a war worth fighting in. But WW3 is never going to happen at least not for the next 30 years and I think it's time I enroll.


    Main questions I have

    Is basic training as bad as the movies proclaim? Is modern Basic Training as bad as it was before? My main haunting shadow of doubt is Private Pyle from Full Metal Jacket lol. But I know that's just a movie and I have also heard our current Basic Training isn't as harsh as it was circa Vietnam era.

    Do you reckon they will put most people as a ground troop or will their be a possibility i'm a chef or a barber?


    What happens to all my stuff when I leave? Who will pay the tag on my truck or keep my things from getting stolen? Protect my guns. The rent. My Truck's insurance, and things of that nature. How do those things get paid under my name if i'm not around? Do they let you pay for those things online?


    I'm really not sure what to expect, which is why I am here to ask fellow gun lovers, and the many brave veterans on here about their experiences. I would like to know the basics of what to expect.


    What I want from the experience at this point is way beyond money or a job, I need structure. I need to meet new faces and feel like I pushed myself to be better. It's essential for me.



    Thank you for any help.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  2. roccoracer

    roccoracer NES Member

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    You sound to me like the type I man I would want next to me in uniform. The military can be an excellent choice for someone like you.
    There are so many choices of what you can do in the military it would take too ling to explain. Talk to a recruiter and take the asvab, it will give you a much better idea of what you would qualify for.
    If you have any technical licenses (i/e electrician, plumber etc) it could help.
    I was in both the Navy and the Army. My personal experience was that the Navy is the best for a more technically challenging career and the Army more physical.
    I left all my stuff with my parents and sold my guns when I left for boot camp so I cant really give you advice on that question.
    The Military is in need of people who want to work hard and take pride in their service. It seems to be lacking at times.
     
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  3. hijinx

    hijinx NES Member

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    What branch are you thinking of?

    I was in the Army. Shipped to basic at Ft. Benning, Ga in late 2002. You or someone you give a power of attorney to would be responsible for your stuff and bills. You can set up automatic payments for your bills. Your experience in basic is what you make of it. Get into shape before shipping out. Do not go to basic sucking wind. You can be rolled back making your stay there longer. Best advice i can give you is to keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open in basic.

    If you need a direction in life, join up for four years and learn a skill. After those four years you will know if it is for you or not.
     
  4. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 NES Member

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    Joining was the best thing I ever did with my life. Straightened me out and gave me a strength I didn’t know I had. I gained experience that has helped me in my civilian career and friends that will last a lifetime.

    When you say you have an education do you mean college? If so you might be a candidate to become an officer depending on you gpa. If you go enlisted get a training school that can be used in the civilian world. Don’t trust the recruiter as some are good, but some are sleezy used car salesmen/women. Remember this. Unless you get it in writing, it’s not going to happen. This can be the smartest thing you’ll do.

    As to your personal stuff, see if you have friends or family then can watch them until you can access them again. Most bases though will not allow you to keep personal firearms.
     
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  5. Bonesinium

    Bonesinium NES Member

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    Unfortunately the pussification of America has reached the military, and basic training is now a joke. So no, it's nothing even remotely like Full Metal Jacket. It's more like Ernest in the Army.

    As for your job, that's up to you. What do you want to do? What branch(es) are you interested in? Don't accept a contract without a guaranteed job of your liking.

    Who pays for your stuff? You do. Not sure what your confusion is there. Not trying to be mean, but personal finances are things you deal with personally, and service in the military doesn't have much to do with it.
     
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  6. John4166

    John4166 NES Member

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    If you are casualty in combat defending our country, Half the population could give a rats ass about you.
     
  7. Fritz the Cat

    Fritz the Cat NES Member

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    I have two nephews that are currently serving. One in CG and one in AF. They both said boot camp wasn't like the movies. Sounds like it was easier than 30 years ago.
    The AF has sent him to 4 posts stateside for specialty training. Then he was in South Korea, Italy, and is now may be going to Okinawa. He started as a convoy driver, was what he wanted and he said usually you can get the specialty you want, if you Work for it. He now is a driver for upper brass and if he is sent to Okinawa he will drive for one person only. A personal chauffeur and part of the security team.
    Both nephews have met great people and regret nothing. Both went in planning to do one stint and now are both looking at careers in the service. It was the only way either would get out of the small town life. The small town is a trap that's hard to get out of. Military service makes it easy.
     
  8. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    Blend.

    Do not stand out of the crowd in boot camp. At least that was the advice everyone had my son and he later told me he finally understood why.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  9. Drix

    Drix

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    As someone who has sat in your shoes at your time in life- embrace the curiosity but *know* what you want to get out of it and how you will get there, if you don't you will be chewed up and spit out in worse shape than whence you enteted.

    I dragged my feet until my late 20's working my ass off for megar pennance, by the time I reached out it was too late, and apparently my allergies to certain antibiotics exclude me. Things are good now, but I'm unconvinced that they couldn't be better.

    My TL/DL to this though is have a exit strategy.
     
  10. enbloc

    enbloc NES Life Member NES Member

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    If you do this... Make this sacrifice. And be sure, this is a sacrifice. Do it for Honorable reasons. Do it to protect your Country, your family and your beliefs that this Country, Our Country, YOUR Country is the greatest the World has ever known. At 22 you may, or may not, still be a man-child, so think well upon what you do and why you do it, and if you decide to do it give it all you've got. Don't be selfish and say "what can this do for me?" Instead say "I will give all that I have and all that I am, to my Country, My Service and most of all the Brothers that surround me in my term of Service." For they are WORTH protecting and you must do YOUR PART to prove to them that You are worth protecting too. Be honest in all your dealings with fellow soldiers, and don't hang out with the shitbirds that are everywhere. When you have free time, train. Exercise, read and re-read the Field Manuals. You get only one chance at being the Best Soldier you can be. Don't waste it and enjoy every minute of it. And remember, training is mostly Mental, awash in a sea of sweat and sore muscles.
    Get your head straight, do your job, support your men and make us proud.
    ~Matt
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  11. MisterHappy

    MisterHappy NES Member

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    OP

    I am not a vet, but my youngest son went in last May.

    I was shocked at how hard it was to get in. Tests. Interviews. Background checks. More interviews, to make sure that you didn't make any mistakes on the tests, and interviews before. One guy was dismissed, as he had too few speeding tickets (Said 3 on a questionaire, when it was two tickets, and a "slow down, punk!"). When he went to the MEPS (forget what that stands for), everyone had passed the above. 30 showed up in the AM; by the end of the day, 6 were left.

    Then, he went to Basic. After all of the above, there was a 30% washout rate.

    Then, he went to MOS school ....there was a similar washout rate.

    He is young, and fit (lost 100 pounds before he joined), but was not ripped when he went in. He had no real problems. with the physical part. The Drill Sergeants are not there to make you fail - it's too expensive to do that. Talk to a recruiter, you can get the physical info. Remember the Recruiter is a salesperson. Just like selling cars. GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING.

    Your job will be based on what you want to do, what the tests say you're able to do, and how well you do in training. In my kid's MOS school, the washouts went into HVAC training (or so he said, he could have been messing with me. [laugh])

    You will be gone for six months, minimum, between Basic and MOS. All your stuff needs to be looked after, by you or family (or trusted friends). My kid was at home, so that was easy - I drove his Jeep a few times to keep it exercised. You seem to be more on your own - you have to sort it out. If you have friends, that you TRUST, they can lawfully hold your guns (assuming they have the right ones, of course). As noted above, you are responsible for your stuff.

    If you go active duty (my son is Reserves), it'll be a longer time away from home.

    I'm sure that others here will have more personal info/intel. My point is that you may be interested in the Army (or other branch), but the Army may not be interested in you. And, if they are, it's a big change.

    The one kid that's in....I could see it before he said, "I'm joining." I can't imagine my other son in the service.

    Best of luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  12. dhuze

    dhuze NES Member

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    This is true.

    My brother was a Drill Instructor for a few years and he said they have to be very careful what they say and do or THEY get in trouble. Just do what you’re told and don’t do what you are told not to do.
    You know that scene in Full MetL Jacket when Gomer had the donut? That seems to happen with every squad. Someone sneaks food in and they get busted. My Nephew, who was told this numerous times by my brother still tried to sneak some in and he got busted. He was the top recruit in his unit and went from being favored by all the instructors to being nobody.

    Go in for a job you want and one that can be useful outside of the military. You want an MOS that has room for advancement.
     
  13. rali

    rali

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    My experience of boot camp is 30-<mumble> years out of date, but I echo the “blend” advice. Do not be the nail that sticks out because you will get noticed and hammered in.

    To the OP - look, we can’t tell you why to do; we don’t know you well enough. For some people the armed services are a career, for others breathing space to grow up and/or get their sh*t together. And, for some folks, it’s a disaster.

    How do you feel about having a boss hover over you 18 hours a day? Do instructions have
    to make sense?

    I loved 2 and a half out of the four years I was in, but I also knew going in that it was a hiatus from my “real life” and that even if it got bad, it would end. Didn’t sign up to make my career, signed up to drive boats. And I did and it was fun.

    I did come away with a distinct dislike of white paint, though.

    R
     
  14. wahsben

    wahsben NES Life Member NES Member

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    Figure out what you would like to do and the field/s that interest you and find the branch that best fits you. If I was young enough to go back in I certainly would. Although there were negatives, going in was one of the best choices I made. I just wish I'd stayed in.
     
  15. NHKevin

    NHKevin NES Member

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  16. PennyPincher

    PennyPincher NES Member

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    first things first
    change your legal residency to a state without income taxes - like NH or TX.
    TX has HUGE benefits for military members/veterans but they are much better if you enlist as a resident of TX. - think free college, no, really. And not just for you but for your kids as well.
    You will have to take the ASVAB (is that correct?) and this will help you qualify to select a job. Choose one that will translate into a career after. Army, IIRC, is the best for guaranteeing which school you get sent to. If you qualify and have any interest, get into a cyber career that will keep you OUT of a combat zone.
     
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  17. GaryO

    GaryO NES Member

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    I never served but I can tell you as an HVAC guy, the best HVAC people I worked with were former Marines.
     
  18. Palladin

    Palladin NES Member

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    my son joined the AF last fall. tough getting in...no allergies, no med problems, and no pot. He even had to explain a birthmark on his back! He said basic was easy, he could beat the minimum course time by week 2! Except, there was one kid bullying the others and when he worked around to my son, it didn't go as planned. he took a swing, my boy ducked, then knocked him out. AF has a zero tolerance for fighting; my son was discharged, the other kid got charges. too bad, cause he was cruising at it, he really liked it.
     
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  19. PennyPincher

    PennyPincher NES Member

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  20. namedpipes

    namedpipes NES Member

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    As it was explained to me, the reason Marines are so experienced in fixing equipment of all sorts is that they are the red headed step child of the military forces and get the most beat up, worn out equipment that can be "considered" serviceable. So they spend a lot of time fixing stuff.
     
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  21. jhagberg88

    jhagberg88 NES Member

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    Whatever you do, do not go reserves or national guard. Get the active duty experience first.
     
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  22. AntiHippie

    AntiHippie

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    How recently did you go through Marine basic training, high speed?
     
  23. Pafanasiev

    Pafanasiev NES Member

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    Fock blending in.

    You want to stand out, then stand out, just don’t be a shitbird. Learn to give back to the instructors as much as they give you, it is all a mind fck game to see if they can make you break
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  24. Asaltweapon

    Asaltweapon NES Member

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    My nephew is currently in the Army down in TX. He went in a timid guy who is physically small and shorter like his mother. They got him bulked up and turned him into a little scraper. Loves to fight and does not back down. He’s the communications guy for his unit and is on the 50 mounted to the Humvee. My brother and I already had him into guns so he did very well in shooting.

    He has a collage education and was ROTC so he started out in a higher rank than the others.

    I was hoping for him to get into Customs but he didn’t pass the lie detector test due to his blood pressure was up. He was really nervous. I know he’s never done anything wrong. Nothing prevents him from applying again if he wants out of the Army but he does love it.

    My sister shipped down his guns and he joined a club that provides secure storage for them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  25. RDG

    RDG

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    Best advice someone gave me before I enlisted was to pick a job you can transfer to the civilian sector.

    I fixed airplanes in the AF, and still do.

    Best decision I ever made... I gave the AF 6 years and they taught me skill, let me travel the world, and even paid me the whole time.

    It’s not for everyone.... but it’s supposed to be like that.
     
  26. n1oty

    n1oty NES Member

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    I spent time in both the Army and the Marine Corps. The Army came first. The USMC does NOT recognize any other boot camp, so I got to do it again. At least that's how it was in the 70's. I will also say there is a world of difference between Army boot camp and USMC boot camp.
     
  27. Penniepup1

    Penniepup1

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    Best thing you could do for yourself and your country. If I could make it through boot at Ft. Benning, anyone can. It’s not that scary.
     
  28. Lip

    Lip Army Veteran NES Member

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    After you volunteer, never do it again. When going through basic, maintain eye contact with your Di's that let's them know YOU are establishing dominance. You'll do fine.
     
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  29. Rockrivr1

    Rockrivr1 NES Member

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    As long as you follow two simple rules boot camp isn’t bad. Rule 1 keep your mouth shut unless ordered to say something. Rule 2 never volunteer for anything. Follow them and you’ll fly through.
     
  30. H-minus

    H-minus NES Member

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    If you decide to take the plunge: Figure out what you want to do for a job (combat medic, rifleman, helicopter mechanic, etc). See a recruiter and take the ASVAB test. If you score high, your options are any job you want to do. Choose wisely and stick to your guns on the job you choose once you go to MEPS (the place where you actually take your physical and enlist). The recruiters at MEPS will feed you all kinds of BS that the job you want isnt available and all they have is cook positions blah bla bla. If they pull this (they will), politely tell them no thanks and you will be leaving instead. They will tell you to hold on, sit back down, and they'll see what they can do. This process will continue a few more times until they finally give you what you want. Their job is to fill positions at the army's needs first and this usually involves filling the shit jobs: cooks, truck drivers, sanitation specialists etc.

    Then, most important, make sure to have them add Airborne to your contract. Without (at least) Airborne school, you may as well join the Girl Scouts of America.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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