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View Full Version : Son looking at military...advice please


sevans105
10-29-2012, 09:13 PM
My son Michael and I met with a couple of Army recruiters this evening with Air Force coming later this week. He scored a 93 on the pre-ASVAB and is weighing options.

The program he would really like to be involved with is the UAV piloting program...Army position 15W. He is still 17, a senior in high school. PT shouldn't be an issue. He's a varsity wrestler..6'3" 165 lbs.

Looking for advice, pointers, opinions etc.

RobR1205
10-29-2012, 09:23 PM
Has he looked into applying to any of the Academies? Cutoff time for applying is sometime in February I believe. Certainly nothing wrong with enlisting, as some of my closest mentors here at CGA are enlisted. But if he's got what it takes to make it in of them, it's four years of payed for education, plus a monthly stipend. Plus he will receive his commission as an officer after graduation. I wish him luck with whatever he decides. I personally think military is a great life choice, and I'm very happy that this is what I have decided to pursue after high school. Even if he doesn't want to stay in forever, I'm sure it'll set him up for a great job after serving.

Also, ROTC scholarships are another great option too. Again, nothing wrong at all with enlisting, but just offering what I know since I went through, and was accepted into, four different applications (USNA, USCGA, USMMA, and Navy ROTC). If he decides to look into that, I'd be more than happy to help him through it.

Fordman4ever
10-29-2012, 09:42 PM
becoming an officer would be the best choice. If he wants to enlist, I would say that the Air Force is the best choice. With scores like that he can do anything he wants. Tell him to look into becoming an enlisted flyer. any enlisted flying job will raise his quality of life in the AF dramatically. I could go on and on, If you guys have any questions please feel free to PM me for my number and we can chat.

oooo35980
10-29-2012, 09:44 PM
Tell him there are "Asvab Prep" courses and practice tests online that can get nearly anyone a 99, which means your choice of enlisted job. Make sure he knows what he's getting into. I met so many people in the Navy that weren't as prepared as they thought they were for the realities of head scrubbing, group punishment, total discipline, etc. Those people end up hating their lives and drinking a lot.

You might have heard this before, probably will again, but don't listen to the recruiters. Independent research is key! I can't say too much about the Army but in the Navy it's "Choose your rate, Choose your fate." single biggest decision you make is your job, and he should know absolutely everything about the job he'll be doing before he joins up.

Fordman4ever
10-29-2012, 09:47 PM
Research is Key. Don't listen to anything the recruiter tells you. they don't know any more about the jobs you're asking about than you do.

Robulous78
10-29-2012, 09:56 PM
Research is Key. Don't listen to anything the recruiter tells you. they don't know any more about the jobs you're asking about than you do.

+1 :tpd: Had a friend or 2 make this mistake... Also I would say really look at those academies... I went to regular college and came out 60,000 in the hole... wish I had joined up and went to an academy instead... :2

Ranger_B
10-29-2012, 10:04 PM
15W So he would be flying the Raven SUAS Small Unmanned Air Survaliance. A newer MOS. I was forced to go the a three week class when we first got these to learn how to fly them an they where a lot of fun. I think its a great program to get into but he may want to consider college and then joining the Air Force to work with their UAV programs. I will have you guys in my prayers. It is great to see young troopers still wanting to join up right after school.

cjhalbrooks
10-30-2012, 07:06 AM
If he wants to fly UAVS it would be best to do AIR FORCE. Yes i am in the Army telling you to go Air Core. Officer is the way to go. Yes college makes it longer before you get a paycheck (look in to the Guard until he grads. There are guards for every branch), but i have a brand new officer that makes $100 less then i do a month, I have been in over 7 years. Make sure the recruiter doesn't fast talk him. Make sure it is all in the contract. And he doesn't sign unless he gets what he wants. When he goes to MEPS he will most likely be told that he has already committed. This is BS!!! If you tell him anything from me let it be this. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. The military doesn't give two sharts about your body.

Subvet642
10-30-2012, 07:14 AM
My advice:

http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/picture.php?albumid=460&pictureid=4848

OLS
10-30-2012, 07:19 AM
becoming an officer would be the best choice. If he wants to enlist, I would say that the Air Force is the best choice. With scores like that he can do anything he wants.

This...

OLS
10-30-2012, 07:20 AM
Research is Key. Don't listen to anything the recruiter tells you. they don't know any more about the jobs you're asking about than you do.

This x2

But as an added bonus, a recruiter is the single most skilled manipulator of the english language
that exists on the planet. One cannot be too careful with one's signature in their presence.

JohnRogers
10-30-2012, 09:00 AM
I'm a 17 year weather forecaster enlisted guy who has done and is currently doing Army support. What service depends on him a lot. A young Army troop is going to have a more regimented life. Leadership is accountable for more bodies so a bit more controlling. In the Air Force less so but also less Hoo-Ahh in mission excitement. Out in the fleet travel is great but be ready to live in close quarters. All of this is generalities with exceptions depending on what "job" he gets. So like others said research is key

Gonna echo what others have said. The recruiter is the military car salesman. The boy's life is more important than a car purchase yet think about all the research one does before buying a new ride. I'm not hating on recruiters I seriously thought about doing it a few years ago.

Service academies are great opportunities to pursue. There is much to be said about going the officer route. On the other hand some people are ready to be done with school for while although there is always a school after BMT. So if he is pumped for going right back to the classroom pursue one avenue. If he wants to get to work right away lean enlisted.

The captain I'm currently working with here in Kuwait is a sharp guy, former enlisted forecaster. He is very likely going into pilot training after this deployment. One of my close friends was medical group guy I forget the details of his boring former occupation. He is currently a disk jockey in Afghanistan for AFN radio. My point is one can make changes after being in a while. Of course it is best to set it up right from the start. Pick the "job" and sign for it don't wait till basic training is the best advice.

ashtonlady
10-30-2012, 09:02 AM
Advice I gave my daughter was go into the Air force, I wanted a better chance of her coming back home. I also agree that Officer is the better way to go.

kelmac07
10-30-2012, 11:13 AM
Being a retired First Sergeant in the Army for 23+ years...best advice is for him to do a ton of research. Recruiters are there to do a job...put numbers in the services. Have him be a bit selective and have a list of MOS's (jobs) written down that he's researched and wants to do. Nothing worse than coming into a service to do a job that you won't enjoy. Also, make sure it is a job that has a civilian counterpart..so when his time in the service is over, he can start a second career in the civilian sector. While a lot of combat arms MOS's have a huge bonus and are a very important part of the military, life after the service is very limited with that skill set. :2

forgop
10-30-2012, 12:14 PM
Research is Key. Don't listen to anything the recruiter tells you. they don't know any more about the jobs you're asking about than you do.

^This

Recruiters lie. If a recruiter says something and it's not written in the contract, it won't happen.

BTW, did I mention recruiters lie?

forgop
10-30-2012, 12:15 PM
Also, make sure it is a job that has a civilian counterpart..so when his time in the service is over, he can start a second career in the civilian sector.

Winner!

ashtonlady
10-30-2012, 12:29 PM
Recruiters are like used car sales men. Their job is to sell the product. Your job is to know what you want and not let them talk you into the lemon they need to get off the lot.
I was in the Navy and knew where I was going. My husband was in the Army first and bought into the recuiter and was put in the infintry. He then got into the Navy and had a direction, the training he got he now uses as a business owner.

pnoon
10-30-2012, 12:33 PM
^This

Recruiters lie. If a recruiter says something and it's not written in the contract, it won't happen.

BTW, did I mention recruiters lie?

http://www.deviantart.com/download/81511197/Everybody_lies_by_ersen_t.jpg

sevans105
10-30-2012, 12:49 PM
Thanks for all of your input. We have a lot to think about. He really is sold on the UAV program but really doesn't care which branch he serves in. Thank you for all of the honest advice. I will make sure we do our homework. The recruiters we met with yesterday were good guys...both Airborne, both with lots of experience. By the end of the discussion, both of them were in agreement that a Bachelor's degree was a necessary thing. Both of them were currently working on it as well because they realized that without it, they were limiting themselves both in and out of the Army.

I'll be sure to keep you all posted as things progress. We are not rushing anything...regardless of how excited the recruiters get.

massphatness
10-30-2012, 01:28 PM
a Bachelor's degree was a necessary thing

Definitely check out the service academies as well as ROTC scholarships. The Navy is paying my son's tuition and his school kicked in room & board to make it a full boat scholarship. Plus he gets $750- per year for books AND he gets a monthly stipend from the Navy: $250-/mo as a Freshman, $300-/mo as a Sophomore.

When he graduates in a couple years, he'll be an Ensign.

ROTC gives him the best of both worlds -- guarantee of commissioning as an officer upon graduation while enjoying a fairly typical civilian college experience.

Good luck in whatever he decides to do! :usa

RobR1205
10-30-2012, 02:27 PM
Definitely check out the service academies as well as ROTC scholarships. The Navy is paying my son's tuition and his school kicked in room & board to make it a full boat scholarship. Plus he gets $750- per year for books AND he gets a monthly stipend from the Navy: $250-/mo as a Freshman, $300-/mo as a Sophomore.

When he graduates in a couple years, he'll be an Ensign.

ROTC gives him the best of both worlds -- guarantee of commissioning as an officer upon graduation while enjoying a fairly typical civilian college experience.

Good luck in whatever he decides to do! :usa

+1. I ended up turning this down to go the Academy route, but there are certainly days where I wonder what it would have been like. I have many very close friends from high school (we had a JROTC program), go this route, and are doing some awesome things. I would say that its main advantage over an Academy (depending on how you look at it) is that you will get the "normal" college experience before Commissioning, which is something I definitely would have loved.

billybarue
10-31-2012, 12:51 AM
He's too late for Academy selection this year. I am interviewing kids right now for USAFA. Budget cuts hit everywhere. USAFA admissions were down 15% last year. We turned down 500 exceptionally qualified applicants. Selections will be down another 10% this year. If he hustled he might get his stuff together for this year but highly doubtful. 1200 SATS minimum to even be looked at - he better score 1350 or better. AP classes (Physics, chem, calc, etc), varsity athlete, student council, and lots of community activities to make his Academy application/interview process even minimally competitive.

In my view look to the Guard/Reserve. Specifically Guard. I wish somebody had pointed me in that direction, or I at least knew about it when I was younger. If he enlists in the Guard, oh BTW there is an AF program that allows Seniors in HS to enlist in the Guard, it is likely the state (MN for you it looks like) will pay his tuition at any state school. So you really don't have to worry about winning an ROTC scholarshiop to have your college paid for. Although ROTC is a great option and he can do that too. If he happens to go with MN Guard and go to college at the same time he can get a commission when he graduates but since he was in the Guard for the previous 4 years he will be 20% on his way to be eligible for a military retirement. He can even go active duty if he wants after he is commissioned, but because he has 4 good years of Federal Military service with the Guard he would only need 16 more years to be eligible for retirement.

I am biased but my feeling is that Air Force takes care of their people the best. Base facilities and basing opportunities I also think are uniformly excellent with the AF.

UAVs are the latest best thing, but the AF will always have a need for manned aircraft. In my view if he starts with UAVs he might find he wants to actually move into manned aircraft and the AF will find his UAV experience compelling when he competes for a pilot slot. And we happen to have a s-load of airplanes, although the Army's got lots of those "spinny" things.

I was USAFA, 10 years active, and last 11 years in the Reserves. Pretty much loved all my time on Active duty, mixed feelings about time in Reserves.

FWIW

sevans105
10-31-2012, 01:12 PM
Met with the MN Army Nat'l Guard yesterday. Good meeting. Probably the most forthright recruiter we have visited with. He's been doing recruiting in this area for 14 years and figures he has to drill with the guys he signs up...really doesn't like the idea of getting trashed for lying so he just tells the truth...good or bad.

Currently leaning this way to get through school. Still mulling options. Thanks again for all of your input. We REALLY appreciate your candor.

Mikess
10-31-2012, 08:16 PM
Also, make sure it is a job that has a civilian counterpart..so when his time in the service is over, he can start a second career in the civilian sector.

This is very very important. Skilled traits are good and all but a job that actually requires certificates/licenses/diplomas is better. Best of luck to ya'll. Also don't listen to the recruiters civilian counterpart, they can make one up for any job. Do a little research on you own. There are many groups out there that will help you.

Steelerfanatic
10-31-2012, 08:45 PM
Definitely check out the service academies as well as ROTC scholarships. The Navy is paying my son's tuition and his school kicked in room & board to make it a full boat scholarship. Plus he gets $750- per year for books AND he gets a monthly stipend from the Navy: $250-/mo as a Freshman, $300-/mo as a Sophomore.

When he graduates in a couple years, he'll be an Ensign.

ROTC gives him the best of both worlds -- guarantee of commissioning as an officer upon graduation while enjoying a fairly typical civilian college experience.

Good luck in whatever he decides to do! :usa

This is what I would do. I went Navy enlisted and was lucky enough to be picked up for Intelligence School. Did 15 years enlisted and the last 4 as an officer. Half reserves half active time.

If I had to do it over I would go the above route. The QOL in the commissioned ranks is much much better.

RWhisenand
12-07-2012, 08:10 PM
Air Force without question. OK I'm partial,but it is the way to go as far as military branches go. I would not recomend the Guard or Reserve as I believe you either do something 100% or not at all. As Yoda said,"there is no try, only do or do not" the Guard and Reserve seam like you are uncommitted. JMHO. By the way I did finish college after my enlistment which did have me involved in Desert Storm.

Subvet642
12-07-2012, 08:34 PM
http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/picture.php?albumid=460&pictureid=3464

Go Navy!





Don't this sh*t look cool?

688sonarmen
12-07-2012, 08:41 PM
http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/picture.php?albumid=460&pictureid=3464

Go Navy!





Don't this sh*t look cool?

:tu

Good looking WLR-9 Sharks Tooth on the bow:D

Fordman4ever
12-07-2012, 08:43 PM
I'm still saying go USAF. Best quality of life, best bases, shortest deployments.

Subvet642
12-07-2012, 08:44 PM
:tu

Good looking WLR-9 Sharks Tooth on the bow:D

It lights up when you put an electric razor in a torpedo tube. :r

Ubiquitous
12-07-2012, 11:38 PM
USCG For 13 years so far, and I don't regret a thing.

cjhalbrooks
12-07-2012, 11:53 PM
Scott has he made a choice???

sevans105
12-08-2012, 02:19 AM
Scott has he made a choice???

Not yet...to the frustration of many recruiters. Leaning pretty heavy for guard to pay for school (100% in MN) then Air Force.

688sonarmen
12-08-2012, 07:19 AM
It lights up when you put an electric razor in a torpedo tube. :r

!!!!ROFL :tu

bvilchez
12-08-2012, 07:59 AM
I'm still saying go USAF. Best quality of life, best bases, shortest deployments.

I'm sorry but I would have to disagree with you on this one. QOL depends on where you're located, best bases as well, and as far as shortest deployments, my niece did a 15 month tour as an AF Staff Sergeant while I know some other branches do deployments in the area of 2-3 months maximum (depending on many factors).

Gentlemen,

I would like to say to all who have given sage advice is to please continue to advise and not sell your service to Scott or his son. I have seen many state that research is key and that they can only speak for their branch they served. Please continue this process of passing knowledge to those who seek it.

To those who try and sell their branch as the best amongst all please stop. I mean this with all sincerity and honesty. We all look like fools when we attempt to downplay each other. This is definitely not the example we would want for others to emulate especially when trying to decide which branch of service to choose. Our espirit de corps as a fighting force, whichever branch it may be, must continue on as a legacy that has always been bound together by trust and loyalty.

For those who say recruiters lie, I PERSONALLY take offense to that comment for I myself was a recruiter for 3 years and can swear on a Bible and any of my children's lives that I never lied to any applicant. I actually at one time worked under one of my applicants. Every single time I see one they thank me for introducing them to this life we have chosen to pursue.

Scott,

Many have already harped on it but all I can say is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!! There are so many factors in trying to decide which branch, what occupational field, etc. If you need any specific questions answered from individuals whom you would feel would give you the low-down on the branch then we are here as brothers and sisters to help you and your son. But please understand that we only know so much as far as our branches are concerned. It is not possible to know everything there is to know.

I deeply appreciate you doing this together with your son. I know I wish I had my father helping me decide when I made my decision to enlist. If he feels he might be getting rushed into something and needs to hurry to decide then my suggestion would be not to do it. This is not a decision that should be made on rush terms. This is the beginning of a possible career and like I told my brother-in-law when he graduated high school, welcome to life. This can also be a very good learning experience for him. Just as long as he learns from it.

Whatever his decision may be, I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. My hats off to both of you. You for the support you are giving him and your son for even contemplating the thought of the military. I have a feeling that if he decides to enlist or commission that he will serve the nation proudly and make his father even prouder.

ArgusP2
12-08-2012, 01:52 PM
Where the heck is the clapping smilie?

Sage advice J!

pnoon
12-08-2012, 02:10 PM
Where the heck is the clapping smilie?

Sage advice J!

Anything for you, my friend

:cl

RWhisenand
12-08-2012, 02:25 PM
Jay, well written advise, but, although you are no doubt a very honest recruiter there are plenty who will and do lie to an applicant to get him or her to enlist. Advising a young man possibly unfamiliar with the enlistment process to be somewhat skeptical when dealing with recruiters is good advice.

Oh and to you comment about selling my(our) particular branch...it should be part of the fun to needle the different branches while taking pride in yours...go AF...Those who have served should take pride and respectfully poke a bit at the various branches...go AF...All vets have my respect, however I will continue to show pride in my particular branch...go AF...accept good natured needling, and give good natured, respectful needling to the other branches...go AF...

Thanks for your service Jay, I think the young man can take some very sound advice from this thread.

icehog3
12-08-2012, 04:26 PM
I'm sorry but I would have to disagree with you on this one. QOL depends on where you're located, best bases as well, and as far as shortest deployments, my niece did a 15 month tour as an AF Staff Sergeant while I know some other branches do deployments in the area of 2-3 months maximum (depending on many factors).

Gentlemen,

I would like to say to all who have given sage advice is to please continue to advise and not sell your service to Scott or his son. I have seen many state that research is key and that they can only speak for their branch they served. Please continue this process of passing knowledge to those who seek it.

To those who try and sell their branch as the best amongst all please stop. I mean this with all sincerity and honesty. We all look like fools when we attempt to downplay each other. This is definitely not the example we would want for others to emulate especially when trying to decide which branch of service to choose. Our espirit de corps as a fighting force, whichever branch it may be, must continue on as a legacy that has always been bound together by trust and loyalty.

For those who say recruiters lie, I PERSONALLY take offense to that comment for I myself was a recruiter for 3 years and can swear on a Bible and any of my children's lives that I never lied to any applicant. I actually at one time worked under one of my applicants. Every single time I see one they thank me for introducing them to this life we have chosen to pursue.

Scott,

Many have already harped on it but all I can say is RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH!!! There are so many factors in trying to decide which branch, what occupational field, etc. If you need any specific questions answered from individuals whom you would feel would give you the low-down on the branch then we are here as brothers and sisters to help you and your son. But please understand that we only know so much as far as our branches are concerned. It is not possible to know everything there is to know.

I deeply appreciate you doing this together with your son. I know I wish I had my father helping me decide when I made my decision to enlist. If he feels he might be getting rushed into something and needs to hurry to decide then my suggestion would be not to do it. This is not a decision that should be made on rush terms. This is the beginning of a possible career and like I told my brother-in-law when he graduated high school, welcome to life. This can also be a very good learning experience for him. Just as long as he learns from it.

Whatever his decision may be, I wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors. My hats off to both of you. You for the support you are giving him and your son for even contemplating the thought of the military. I have a feeling that if he decides to enlist or commission that he will serve the nation proudly and make his father even prouder.

Where the heck is the clapping smilie?

Sage advice J!

Anything for you, my friend

:cl

http://i196.photobucket.com/albums/aa73/icehog3/clapsmiley-1.gif

dman4505
12-09-2012, 01:02 AM
http://www.cigarasylum.com/vb/picture.php?albumid=460&pictureid=3464

Go Navy!





Don't this sh*t look cool?

Best ten years of my life
Which ever branch he chooses, congrats and welcome to the brotherhood :salute:

Don

Air Force Brat
Navy Vet

Ubiquitous
12-09-2012, 05:15 AM
Then again, there's always the French Foreign Legion. http://www.legion-recrute.com/en/

SweetHavok
12-18-2012, 04:33 PM
Not sure if anyone else mentioned it but its extremely important that he does well on the ASVAB. I know its only a test but the higher his GT score is the better job opportunities he will have, ideally he will need to score at least a 110 for some him to be considered for some MOS's. Basically concentrate on studying for the ASVAB, in the event he scores lower than a 110 he can always retake it.

LucasN
12-27-2012, 12:18 AM
I guess, some of you are aware that a number of people join the military because it will pay for university. That is true, but it is very important to consider the belief that the military does not give too much extra spending cash on top of that. As a matter of fact, military members who are in university may even need a military payday loan to help pay for their extra expenditures, such as rent and food.

sevans105
06-10-2013, 03:37 PM
Just a bit of a thread resurrection. My son, Mike, just joined the Army National Guard. He wound up getting an 86 on the ASVAB. He will be a 15-W...working with the Reaper UAV. He reports to boot in Sept at Ft. Sill Oklahoma, then off to Fort Huachuca in AZ.

Had to sign an 8 year contract to get that slot. Pretty big commitment for an 18 year old.

He's excited,I'm a bit nervous, but he'll do awesome.

massphatness
06-10-2013, 03:42 PM
:usa Congrats & please thank him for putting his country as a priority in his life

sevans105
06-10-2013, 04:27 PM
Thanks Vin. I'll pass that along. I'm pretty proud of him.

BHalbrooks
06-10-2013, 04:28 PM
Congrats Scott.

big_jaygee
06-10-2013, 04:50 PM
Congrats Scott and congrats to your son, and thank him for his service for me. :usa

RobR1205
06-10-2013, 04:50 PM
Congrats! He'll do great!

cjhalbrooks
06-10-2013, 05:28 PM
That is awesome. He will be fine stay calm dad. :tu

maninblack
06-10-2013, 05:48 PM
That's great. Congrats.

DrDubzz
08-16-2013, 11:25 PM
Congrats! That's great news (I just read through this right now)

National Guard is great and that's a good program to be in. Maybe not the most happening locations (Ft. Sill area is kind of a dump) but it'll be an exciting career with post military employment opportunities.

All the best to him and you.

AdamJoshua
08-16-2013, 11:33 PM
Congrats go your son, this thread gave me flashbacks to Ft. Benning, some pretty funny ones actually. It depends on how your put together, mentally that is, but basic was actually pretty fun to me. You really can't go wrong with the Nasty Girls, I was NG out of basic, won a free trip to the middle east and after that ended up going RA for the last couple of years.

I can tell you first hand it will help him grow up in many many ways, I went in at 18 about a year after I lost my mom, I really didn't have much direction in life so I decided the military would help and it honestly did. I'm old now (haha) I live a good life, I know what responsibility is, how to take care of myself, how to be a good person, I hope he gets everything out of it he can.

Again congrats to you both!

.cigardude.
08-17-2013, 09:05 AM
Congrats to your son.

ashtonlady
08-17-2013, 11:54 AM
8 years is a normal enlistment for reserve. I am sure that this will be great. Tell him thank you.