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I might be joining the Army

JohnWOlin

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So what can anyone tell me about it? I have a lot of questions just not sure which ones I could ask here...
 

Orion

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It's probably a lot harder than cutting tobacco.
 

1069

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So what can anyone tell me about it? I have a lot of questions just not sure which ones I could ask here...
I know a little bit about it; not too much. My son's in the army, but has not deployed yet.
I could probably answer some of your questions about BCT and stuff.
You might do better to get first-hand advice from someone who's actually been through it themselves, though.
There's a guy named Jerry here on the forum who I believe is in BCT right now. He should be back on the forum soon, you can ask him about it.
 

BDBoop

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So what can anyone tell me about it? I have a lot of questions just not sure which ones I could ask here...
I was National Guard for six years active, one year inactive. If I had it to do over again, I would have gone regular army. I loved it.
 

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The biggest question you should worry about is what are your long-term goals? Do you want to stay in the Army? Do you think you may want to stay? When you're requesting or making deals with your recruiter you need to worry two things: What do I think I will enjoy doing, and how is that going to influence my long term goals? Don't worry about what Basic or AIT are going to be like, they will suck and there's no way out so focus on something you can actually do something about.

If you were planning on making the Army a long-term career, I would say pick an MOS and career path that looks appealing in the Army, find a job you think you'll enjoy and do it. If you aren't planning on staying in 20 years, then I'd considering perhaps looking more at an MOS that will give you some post-Army skills that have civilian applications. So I wouldn't go Infantry for example because everything you learn that is pratically worthless when you leave, but if you were to stay go into Intelligence or Signal Corps you'd be much more marketable to civlians when you left. And lastly if its possible, do both, nothing wrong with keeping your options open. If you can find a job in the Army that you both enjoy doing AND has valueable skills for the civilian world if and when you get out, do that so you'll enjoy your time in and have options on the outside.

But other than that advice you should go see a recruiter, get information, don't sign up when you first walk in regardless of what he tells you about anything. And plan your time in the Army, how long you want to stay in, what programs and training you want etc, you may not have all the data to make a complete plan at this stage but at least make something which can be filled in and modified later. Also make the short-term much more detailed than the long term, you should worry more about that career path than the E-5 board for example.
 

JohnWOlin

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It's probably a lot harder than cutting tobacco.
No. It isn't lol. I can go into great detail about what you have to do while cutting tobacco. At least not phyiscally. Mentally oh yeah I'm sure it beats the hell out of you. Being a country boy I've done a lot more hard **** than most people would even imagine to ever do.

I have been going to military.com here lately and following their PFT regime for preparation to see if I could get my first badge being the PFT badge. I've been told since I have some college I can advance far quicker, and could elect to go to school to become a Lt. within 6 years.

Here is my main question atm, how do they figure out sign-on bonuses and how are they given to you? Do you get like a percentage to start out with and then a little bit more every year or what?

Also can I keep my sidearm?
 

Johnny

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The best branch is the Air Force. They live better and they're treated better.
 

1069

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The best branch is the Air Force. They live better and they're treated better.
And it's safer.
The navy and the air force have much lower casualty rates than the army and marines.
 

JohnWOlin

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The biggest question you should worry about is what are your long-term goals? Do you want to stay in the Army? Do you think you may want to stay? When you're requesting or making deals with your recruiter you need to worry two things: What do I think I will enjoy doing, and how is that going to influence my long term goals? Don't worry about what Basic or AIT are going to be like, they will suck and there's no way out so focus on something you can actually do something about.

If you were planning on making the Army a long-term career, I would say pick an MOS and career path that looks appealing in the Army, find a job you think you'll enjoy and do it. If you aren't planning on staying in 20 years, then I'd considering perhaps looking more at an MOS that will give you some post-Army skills that have civilian applications. So I wouldn't go Infantry for example because everything you learn that is pratically worthless when you leave, but if you were to stay go into Intelligence or Signal Corps you'd be much more marketable to civlians when you left. And lastly if its possible, do both, nothing wrong with keeping your options open. If you can find a job in the Army that you both enjoy doing AND has valueable skills for the civilian world if and when you get out, do that so you'll enjoy your time in and have options on the outside.

But other than that advice you should go see a recruiter, get information, don't sign up when you first walk in regardless of what he tells you about anything. And plan your time in the Army, how long you want to stay in, what programs and training you want etc, you may not have all the data to make a complete plan at this stage but at least make something which can be filled in and modified later. Also make the short-term much more detailed than the long term, you should worry more about that career path than the E-5 board for example.
I would say 6 years is the max I want to stay in right now. I have to get a legal obligation out of the way before I even join and want to wait for my baby first hence why I am waiting until next year to join.

What about the ASVAB how does that work out, if you score lower, mid range or high does that effect how fast you advance or what jobs you get? I took a practice test on military.com and scored very good on grammatical stuff, comprehension, but so so on math so far.
 

JohnWOlin

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And it's safer.
The navy and the air force have much lower casualty rates than the army and marines.
This is all very true, but the Navy and I'm sorry to offend anyone in here is for pussies and have no real bonuses. The army and marines do. My cousin is in the navy, it might as well be a ****ing carnival cruise. The airforce, well I just am not suited for them.
 

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Your ASVAB score is what qualifies you for certain jobs. The higher the score the more jobs you are eligible for.
 

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John,

Congratulations on you intention to join the Army. It is a great organization. I spent 3 years active (87-90) and 4 years National Guard (90-94). I was a track mechanic, supply clerk, radio operator, and an intelligence analyst. By far the best job I had was intelligence analyst.

I don't know what current bonuses are. The best job, in my opinion, to have for both career and civilian training and contributing to the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan is in intelligence. It is the KEY to our winning the fight.

If you have an ASVAB of 105 and an ability to get a Top Secret clearance, I would choose one of the following two jobs:

Intelligence Analyst

Counterintelligence Agent

Hope this helps,
Rob
 

Wiseone

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I would say 6 years is the max I want to stay in right now. I have to get a legal obligation out of the way before I even join and want to wait for my baby first hence why I am waiting until next year to join.

What about the ASVAB how does that work out, if you score lower, mid range or high does that effect how fast you advance or what jobs you get? I took a practice test on military.com and scored very good on grammatical stuff, comprehension, but so so on math so far.
The ASVAB is just for your placement, if you dont get a high enough score some MOS's won't be available for you without special circumstances. However once you have your MOS your ASVAB is meaningless, so it doesn't stay with you throughout your career.
 

Johnny

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I can only speak for the Marine Corps (maybe the Army is the same?) but when you choose your job you're only choosing the field. Not the specialty.

Example, if you want infantry you would join as an 0300. Then the Corps will choose whether your an 0311. 11 being a rifleman.
 

Caine

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I can only speak for the Marine Corps (maybe the Army is the same?) but when you choose your job you're only choosing the field. Not the specialty.

Example, if you want infantry you would join as an 0300. Then the Corps will choose whether your an 0311. 11 being a rifleman.
In the Army you get to choose your specific MOS.

What you end up doing as that MOS varies however, depending on what type of unit you get into.

For Example you choose to be some of the following:
Radio Operator-Maintainer | GoArmy.com
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Specialist | GoArmy.com
Food Service Specialist | GoArmy.com
Unit Supply Specialist | GoArmy.com
Petroleum Supply Specialist | GoArmy.com
Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic | GoArmy.com

And several others

These jobs could land you directly in a light infantry unit. You'd still be doing your job, but your experience would be very different than if you went to a unit specifically for combat support.

For a better example, I was a CBRN Specialist (01-05). I also volunteered to be Airborne. I ended up on a light infantry unit in the 82nd ABN DIV, and was responsible for the maintenance of Company level equipment and NBC defense training. In this position I used little to NONE of my actual AIT MOS training, and after my 4 years, I may as well have been a Indirect Fire Infantryman | GoArmy.com.

The problem is, you'll never know exactly what type of unit you will get put into, but it is something to take into consideration.

Other more specific MOS classifications will leave you a much lower opportunity to be put into a wide degree of units. Unit Supply, NBC, and Radio Operator/Maintainer are three I know of that will land you as low as Company level in ANY Army unit, those are the three non-combat arms MOSs that are on the chart as low as the company level in any unit, and even though the MTOE (Organizational Chart) says that the position is for an E-5, they will put, as they did with me, an E-2 Private in that spot if need be.
 

JohnWOlin

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John,

Congratulations on you intention to join the Army. It is a great organization. I spent 3 years active (87-90) and 4 years National Guard (90-94). I was a track mechanic, supply clerk, radio operator, and an intelligence analyst. By far the best job I had was intelligence analyst.

I don't know what current bonuses are. The best job, in my opinion, to have for both career and civilian training and contributing to the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan is in intelligence. It is the KEY to our winning the fight.

If you have an ASVAB of 105 and an ability to get a Top Secret clearance, I would choose one of the following two jobs:

Intelligence Analyst

Counterintelligence Agent

Hope this helps,
Rob
When I did the practice ASVAB coupled with something that showed what MOS I would be most interested in, it came down to something that gives you top secret clearance, and is considered spec-ops which essentially sounded like propagandist to me, but the job entailed learning arabic, how to write it, design flyers with information for people, and go door to door and gather information.
 

Winston Smith

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So what can anyone tell me about it? I have a lot of questions just not sure which ones I could ask here...
In all seriousness, don't do it. You seem like an okay guy. No reason to waste your life on a bull**** war making money for corporate profiteers. I've seen other people make that mistake and wished I could have stopped them.
 

reefedjib

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When I did the practice ASVAB coupled with something that showed what MOS I would be most interested in, it came down to something that gives you top secret clearance, and is considered spec-ops which essentially sounded like propagandist to me, but the job entailed learning arabic, how to write it, design flyers with information for people, and go door to door and gather information.
That sounds like Psychological Operations Specialist which is Secret and spec-ops. You would go through Airborne school and language school. It will require top physical conditioning. You would be more exposed than as an Intelligence Analyst as you would mix with the population more, I think. Both require 105 on the ASVAB.
 
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Redress

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This is all very true, but the Navy and I'm sorry to offend anyone in here is for pussies and have no real bonuses. The army and marines do. My cousin is in the navy, it might as well be a ****ing carnival cruise. The airforce, well I just am not suited for them.
Just so you know, we used to take the Marines stationed on our ship up on the flight deck of the carrier I was on and make them cry like babies in fear. The nature of the risk is different, but we got to see our fair share of death and major injuries.
 

JohnWOlin

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That is EXACTLY it thank you! My feeble mind couldn't remember that. That is right up my alley though. While I was in college I was studying marketing and design and have always had a fascination with other peoples cultures. Anytime I have to work around Mexicans I instantly am totally interested in what they have to say lol. I guess I would be learning Arabic then?
 

JohnWOlin

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Just so you know, we used to take the Marines stationed on our ship up on the flight deck of the carrier I was on and make them cry like babies in fear. The nature of the risk is different, but we got to see our fair share of death and major injuries.
That sucks. I dunno, just anyone I know in the Navy has had a pretty sweet deal thus far. I don't really mean they are pussies, just that they seem to me to have it much easier than the rest of the military other than the air force and the seals...I think my cousin is on the USS Abraham Lincoln?
 

JohnWOlin

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Damn big no on the PSYOPs I guess, can't have any convictions other than traffic. :( I wonder if there is a way around that?
 

reefedjib

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That is EXACTLY it thank you! My feeble mind couldn't remember that. That is right up my alley though. While I was in college I was studying marketing and design and have always had a fascination with other peoples cultures. Anytime I have to work around Mexicans I instantly am totally interested in what they have to say lol. I guess I would be learning Arabic then?
Or maybe Pashto.
 

JohnWOlin

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Oh here is another question which I'm sure is best suited towards the recruiter but how does housing and food allowance work? Say I am in Kuwait or Afghanistan could my wife still get the housing allowance or what?
 

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That sucks. I dunno, just anyone I know in the Navy has had a pretty sweet deal thus far. I don't really mean they are pussies, just that they seem to me to have it much easier than the rest of the military other than the air force and the seals...I think my cousin is on the USS Abraham Lincoln?
I got to watch the Lincoln be christened. I was on the Eisenhower, the next dock over, and we were on watch for Greenpeace demonstrators.

Depends on how you mean easier. At sea, after we finish for the day, we go down to an air conditioned berthing, which is nice, but that is after 12 + hours on the flight deck, in 100 degree heat, doing one of the most dangerous non wartime jobs, and doing it for 20 to 40 days strait without a day off or even really a short day. We then took cold showers(supposed to make showers shorter, and most of the fresh water we made on ship went to catapults), and climbed into our coffin bunks(stacked 3 high) in a berthing with 100 others. Our drinking water tasted of jet fuel, no amount of scrubbing got our hands anything other than black and grimy, and we were packed in with 6k of our closest friends.

Each service, except the Air Force, has it's own unique challenges. Many army and marine soldiers would never make it in the navy, and I know I would never have made it in either the army or marines. Cross service rivalry is intense, but in fun.

If you do decide to go in, some basic advice that fits all branches. When picking your MOS, the first, number 1, top thing to consider is whether you think you will enjoy the job. The fact I enjoyed working on aircraft made my time in the navy a wonderful experience. If I had went another way, I doubt it would have been half as good an experience. SRB's are a nice bonus if you can get one, and worthy of consideration, but not nearly as important as just finding something that sounds enjoyable. A technical job that has civilian applications is also a very nice thing if you get offered one that sounds enjoyable. This gives you options at the end of your enlistment, stay in or get out. Never pass up training while in the service. Yes, it will be mostly boring. Yes, alot of it sounds useless, but it is always worth having in your record.

Being in the military is rewarding in many ways. I cannot recommend it enough. It's not that it will "make a man" of you, you have to do that. But doing a challenging job, doing it well, and doing it to benefit your country is a great feeling. Have fun, see the world, and stay safe. If you do go in, know that you will be in our thoughts and prayers, and be sure to stay in touch with us here on the board.

Now, a joke: The Commandant of the Marines, the chief of staff of the air farce, the chief of staff of the army, and the chief of Naval Operations where at a meeting, when the discussion fell on who had the bravest soldiers/sailors. The Commandant of the Marines took them to Cap Pendleton, where he pulled aside a Marine running past, threw a grenade on the ground and said "Marine, throw yourself on that". The marine promptly did and was blown to bits. The Commandant said "that there is bravery".

The chief of staff of the air farce said "that is nothing". He took them to Nellis AFB, took them up in a big cargo plane, and pulled an airman aside and said "jump out of this plane". The airman said "let me grab a chute", but the chief of staff said "no chute", so the airman jumped out of the plane and fell to his death. The chief of staff said "now that is real bravery".

The Chief of staff of the army took them to Fort Hood, where he grabbed a soldier and told him to stand in front of a tank that was crossing a field. The soldier said "when can I get out of the way", the general said "you cannot". The soldier then went and stood in front of the tank and was run over and crushed. The general said "now that there is real bravery".

The CNO took them to Norfolk, where he went over to a carrier, where a sailor was up on a gantry painting near the top of the ship. The CNO yells out "sailor, come down here". The sailor yells back "just a minute sir I will lower the gantry". The CNO yells back "just step off". The sailor yells down to the CNO "with all do respect sir, **** you". The CNO turns to them and says "now that is true bravery the likes none of your guys had".
 
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