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I have a question for our board veterans. I definitely dont mean to offend anyone with my question. I am contemplating enlisting but like most im sure have some worries.
If you could go back and do it again, would you?
Ive seen veterans come back and service almost seemed to change their personality totally. Did your tour set you back in your life goals? Being a 24 year old im worried that ill be a 29 year old and miss valuable time in life.
Obviously there is many positives to enlisting, so i dont want it to make it seem like im pointing out the negatives, its just a big decision for me and I tend to over think things.
Do you believe in service to your country?
If you want a healthy family life, do not do it. I have seen way too many guys in the military whose wives cheated on them, then screwed them over in a divorce. Its kinda hard to have a good relationship if you barely see someone. Especially in the case of children. If you don't want to get married, then enter the military. If you do, it could be the worst decision of your life.
if your personality is that easily changed then there probably wasn't much there to begin with.
Phatboy if you had any balls I'd meet you at the AFA Boxing gym and have Coach Weichers put some gloves on us.
Im single 24 year with immediate family and friends being my only attachment, so while still hard to say goodbye, it wont be as great of a deterrent. I think some people who changed may have been looking for an identity by entering the military, which isnt a bad thing.
If I could go back and do it again I would in a heart beat. You will never beat the brotherhood you gain. It's hard to explain, but it is something you will never forget.
Only thing I would change about my time is my choice to go on a training mission that ended my career early.
I'm 27 and served 4 years in the Coast Guard when I was 20-24. Next semester will wrap up my third and final year at UMD and looking back, I'd do it all the same. I posted this in the other thread, but everyone always sleeps on the Coast Guard. I lived in Boston and Portland Oregon during my four years and I had some choice over those stations. It was really a good experience for me but everyone is different. My goal was to have a sweet job for four years, save some money and go back to school. While I was enlisted they passed the post 9/11 GI Bill,which for the most part has replaced the old benefit (regular GI Bill). The new benefit covers the cost of tuition for the highest costing state school within your state of residence. For md this is UMD, so you could attend Harvard but they will only cover the cost for the yearly rate of whatever UMD costs. I haven't seen a tuition bill in the last three years. The nicest part is the benefit also includes a housing stipend. UMD is considered to be in the Washington D.C. housing market and the stipend rate is based on locality. My rent is only 1/5 of what I receive. I haven't had to work since being back in school (just summers) but the benefit has allowed me to take internships and other low paying jobs related to my major - jobs that I couldn't support myself on solely (mostly lab jobs at UMD). I went into the service as a twenty year old pot head virgin without enough money for a hooker or a dime bag, and I left a little older and more secure. I purchased a car, got laid, flew in some helicopters, drove a few boats, stumbled into a tattoo parlor where my roommate was getting simba tattooed on his chest after his 21st birthday binge (Oh Idahoians). Don't get me wrong, there were some parts that just plain blew. I washed dishes for something like 5 months during the first two years. I've worked alot of jobs but nothing has reached a level of misery commensurate with being confined by the walls of a shipboard scullery for weeks on end. Seven years later and I still don't eat pork, but I digress. Feel free to ask any questions. Its a tough decision, but I think that the smart people come out on top. The military, or at least the Coast Guard, attracted such a wide group of people. I've met some of the savviest, hardest-working people in my life in the service but I always counter that with saying that I've also encountered some of the most ignorant, annoying windowlickers to have ever set sail. I always hated this notion that you can be changed somehow. I think it's bullshit really. However, everyone I know claims that something is different. Maybe its just perception. I did feel alot more self-confident after all this but that could be more a product of growing up. I lived by the motto while I was in that "nobody could make me feel inferior without my consent". It served me well when dealing these military sourpusses, I always comforted myself by saying "this guy is an idiot and he's your boss, what he's telling you to do is demeaning, unproductive and probably carcinogenic but I'll do it anyways. I wont satisfy him with a reaction if that's what he seeks.so fuck him. fuck everyone - just stardust - everything stardust."
This post has been edited 4 times, most recently by LeeMajors 17 months ago
No question I would do it again. My biggest regret in life was getting out after 10 years because of work. Most of my peers made CSM and a few have achieved General rank.
Reposting a previous post from Veterans Day. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
I enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves after an unproductive freshman year at Maryland so I was still able to go to school at the same time. But, I didn't get my shit together until I deployed to Iraq in 2003. While over there, I learned about life and lost a buddy, but came back to school, kicked ass, got a job for a few years in investment banking in NY, trained for an Ironman in South America for a year, did the race in Brazil, got back on Wall Street as an investor and then recently graduated from a top MBA program.
If you want to serve and find yourself, join the Marines (Officer if you can). If you want to serve and get a job, join any of the other branches. Do what you're most afraid of.
Thanks for the responses.
Was your rating relevant to your job/major now?
This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by dpatt173redux 17 months ago
I would definitely do it again.
I went in needing direction, not sure what I wanted to do after HS, and just to go do something different.
I loved every bit of the 10 years I served. Its just like anything else in life---you take the good with the bad.
It didn't change any life goals I had (which were few back then). What do you think you'll miss by serving?
As far as changing someone's personality, that all depends on the person enlisting.
Attitude Reflects Leadership
It's pretty cool, and yes, I'd do it again.
Ill ask everyone, do you think its really important to pick a job thst correlates to what you want to do as far as a civilian job? Im interested in eventually working in economics/business but not really interested in an office job in the military.
YES. Holy shit yes. I mean, it would have been cool to be a Navy SEAL, but when you get out, what will you do besides be a contractor for someone like Xe?
Pick something that you would like to do. A little secret...you can cross-rate to other jobs in the Navy if you do not like it. I mean, you have obligations for X amount of months or years in the job you are filling, but you can apply and change what you are doing.
I went into my field, loved it, and now do something similar as a civi.
EDIT: A caveat. Some people will hire you for leadership skills sometimes, but honestly, this isn't that common. I saw my old commander recently (my company hired him), and he was only one level higher than me in my company. Before, I would have to stand at attention when he walked in a room. Now, I just say hey and that's it.
This post was edited by EricTerp 17 months ago
Quick thread hijack (sorry dpatt)
I had posted something similar a few weeks back now, but never got the chance to respond. Thanks everyone for the advice, and I am in fact going forward with the Navy. Pretty pumped.
Continue on with your scheduled programming.
I would love to hear the rational behind this little gem
I felt that it was important.
I went into the medical field as my first job, and hated it. Fortunately, I was able to reclassify into communications (SATCOM, HF, UHF, etc) and it was awesome. It opened up a lot of different options for me in the Army, especially with the units I was assigned to.
That background in communications (along with a clearance) got me into my job as a contractor now.
Mitt Romney never served in the military and look how well he turned out.
my "rational" is that the whole cliche of "the military changes you, man!" is a load of crap. you don't have happy-go-lucky guys rollin into boot camp and coming out like ivan drago. the military is full of the same cast of characters that you'll find anywhere else.
guys do some growing up, but most people mature between 18-25 whether they're in the military or not. some guys might be more focused on what they want out of a career thanks to the military, but that has nothing to do with personality. once in a while you have those guys that are a little too gung-ho and completely immerse themselves. those people either 1. wanted to change, or 2. are so easily impressionable that they'd be the same way whether they were in the military or any other group, whether it's a company, a religion, or whatever. some people just want something to latch on to. you can work in any company in america and find the same kind of person there.
This post was edited by phatphelix 17 months ago
I agree with all of this.
People grow up and mature now matter what. How many people go into college and come out the exact same as they went in? The only thing I'd offer regarding the military changing people is if anything, it puts people in a mindset where they need structure. Of course, this is not always the case, but it is the biggest change that happened for me. I need everything to be scheduled or planned out as best as possible. Drives the wife crazy, but she accepts it and appreciates it when my over-planning pays off.
Congrats. What rate?
Could not agree more. Great post.
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