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blainesapprentice
August 30th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Hi everyone--

Well, this is my last year of college, and I am facing reality--it's now or never. You see, I have wanted to experience a military service track for years...I wanted to apply to Annapolis but more or less, wasn't grown up enough to feel ready for that kind of comittment. I have several friends in the army and air force, and all have said it's something they think everyone should experience--it has changed their perspective on life completly. In the past few years I have reconsidered joining either the reserves or the national guard, but was put off because of being in the middle of school and clearly the consequences of joining when our country is in such unrest across seas. However, now that I am preparing to graduate I figure this is my last logical chance to reconsider, and I don't want to go through life feeling like I have never been a part of something that I feel would be that life changing and doing something back for my country.

So now, my question for anyone out there with military history is: national guard or navy reserves? ((I know I know, it's a very personal decision--like choosing the perfect car for someone they've told me--but, I'm just speaking logistically, what are your opinions and rationale?)) Clearly, this will not make my decision for me--I'm just asking to hear your stories more or less.

Thanks everyone!

Morgan

Blackbeard's Peg
August 30th, 2007, 11:53 PM
no, thank YOU for serving!

scyfreestyler
August 31st, 2007, 12:15 AM
Never served but had I chosen to, it would have been in the air, flying something fixed wing.

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 01:25 AM
I've been exposed to every branch of the service except the Coast Guard as a civilian contractor, and as an Army cadet during college, but cadet-land doesn't count.

If you've narrowed it down to Navy Reserves or National Guard, you can make your decision by answering one question: Do you want to go to Iraq?

You didn't say whether you want to enlist or go to OCS. If you enlist, with your degree you start at E-4 in the National Guard, I'm not sure about the Navy (maybe E-3).

Someone who has actually spent time on active duty could probably give you better and more recent advice.

blainesapprentice
August 31st, 2007, 08:20 AM
I suppose that is one way to really narrow things down--do I want to go to Iraq or not. I have a few friends--one in particular there right now, and he hates it, I mean he;s there for 15months, its 130degrees, and just everything--but I asked him if he'd do it over (join the army) if he knew it would lead him on this same path again, and he said yes.and while I obvisouly wouldn't be eagerly jumping up and down to go, I think if it was asked of me, I wouldnt be upset. If theres one thing I can not stand, it's people who join the military for the benefits and then them and their families bitch and moan when they get send to Iraq....regardless of if we should be there or not, and whatever someones individual thoughts are, I can not sympathsize with someone who does that...esp. at this point--if you join now, and don't want to go to Iraq that's your problem...But yeah, that is a heavy part of my decision--I love the navy, clearly, thats where my first inclinations were, but I really love submarines and have always wanted to work on one--and well clearly since I happen to be female I can not be on one--which has kinda put me off from the navy. I like the idea of being a civillian soilder and I like a lot of the things that the national guard do as part of their job descriptions...(rescuses, natural disaster aid, drug and illegal immigration control, etc...) It's unfortunate that in this current time they are also auggmenting the army and such..but that's life.Do you know anything about Officer Candidate Schools? A couple of recruiters have suggested it to me as well. Where would that put me?Thanks again!

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 10:27 AM
I have 23 years in with 16 on Active Duty and 7 year in the reserves. I did one tour in Afghanistan. As an Army Lieutenant Colonel, I may be able to answer some of your questions.

I was commissioned from The Citadel Regular Army, but could have chosen any branch. I had a bad eye from an injury so Air Force was out. Army and Navy were very close choices. Army won because the Navy has very long deployments (6 months at sea, 6 months home, repeat).

Would I do it again knowing that I was going to Afghaistan and will probably be in Iraq this time next year. Yes, do doubt.

As an Airborne Ranger Infantry officer, I have done, be to, and met people that couldn't have been done in another profession.

If you like the idea of serving don't forget the coast guard.

BTW: the navy has the worst swimmers. I thought that was odd until I realized, if the ship goes down; where are they swimming to?

If you have specific question, feel free to PM me or post them here.

tjburk
August 31st, 2007, 11:05 AM
Morgan, from an enlisted perspective...retired Army 20 years still working and serving as a contractor....Knowing right now I could end up in Iraq would I do it again......Like Bill said "Yes, no doubt" Loved the experience. I was a discipline nightmare growing up. If anybody out there has heard of Devil Pups. that is where I ended up for two summers at Camp Pendleton California, it's kind of a boot camp for wayward teens....LOL Point is.....The military changed my whole perspective on what this country is really about, we really have the greatest military in the world.....so which ever branch you go into just remember one thing.....The experience is what YOU make of it.

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 11:51 AM
Morgan: to add a little. I've had several friends that joined the military. Some stayed most didn't some loved it, some hated it. Not one of them regrets joining.

The first step is to decide what you want to do or are interested in. Then, pick the service that best supports your desires.

Don't go to a Recruiter, first. They'll sell you what they need. Do some research and talk to those of us who have been there and set a plan.

Do you have ROTC on your campus? I'm assuming you are a senior so time is not your friend. I have access to a lot of Reserve and National Guard personnel here at Ft McPherson because the US Army Reserve Command is here. So if I can't answer the question, I can find the expert.

Also there are several governmental and non-governmental agencies doing great work. They are out of my lane, but I could assist you in that direction. I worked with many in Afghanistan and they are professionals and really making a difference around the world.

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 12:16 PM
Do you know anything about Officer Candidate Schools? A couple of recruiters have suggested it to me as well. Where would that put me?Thanks again!

I was in ROTC but I think OCS is similar, instead of 4 years of a few hours a week it's compressed into a few months full-time. The training program is probably almost identical. As with ROTC, the candidates who are ahead of you in the pipeline are your 'upperclassmen' so to speak, and run a lot of the training so they get leadership experience themselves. Another difference is that in ROTC you get two years to commit (or less if you have a scholarship), in OCS you are committed from day one.

In the National Guard, I think each state has its own OCS program (as opposed to the active army, which has OCS at Ft. Benning). I've heard that they break it up into pieces so you complete it during drills or ATs, but I could be wrong. After OCS you would go to officer basic course (OBC) for your branch (aviation, signal corps, military intelligence, etc.), which would require active duty for a few months or more. OBC is the same for everyone, you would have lieutenants from ROTC, West Point, and OCS in your OBC class. The West Pointers I met at CTLT were all fine people.

There are other options. You could enlist now and get a commission later, or you could look at the warrant officer programs.

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 12:19 PM
As an Airborne Ranger Infantry officer, I have done, be to, and met people that couldn't have been done in another profession.



did you get to 'koalify' at ranger school?

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 12:39 PM
did you get to 'koalify' at ranger school?

I was never koalafied at Ranger School.:groovy:


I hadn't heard that term since I was an Infantry Company Commander where Koalafication was common for the knuckleheads.

Thanx for the trip down memory lane.:rofl:

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 12:45 PM
At advanced camp at Ft. Bragg, the 82nd airborne soldiers running some of the training stations told us about koalafying when they caught us nodding off. The prospect scared me enough to keep me awake during later training presentations.

poolraat
August 31st, 2007, 12:45 PM
Morgan, I think if it's what you really want to do you should. Just keep in mind that it won't all be fun and games. But when I look back on my time in the service (Airborne Engineers) I don't remember the bad times but the good times and all the great people I met from all over the country. I think it's great that you are considering this amid the controversy regarding our presence in the Middle East. It was a similiar situation for me and those my age that served during the Viet Nam conflict.

I've been away far too long to offer any helpful advice as things have changed so much in the military since I served over 30 years ago, but Bill and others whose service is more recent can offer great advice and help you to determine if this is right for you. Good Luck!

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 12:52 PM
Did my advance camp at Bragg in 1983 (I Company) and taught Tactics there in 1984.

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 12:59 PM
Did my advance camp at Bragg in 1983 (I Company) and taught Tactics there in 1984.

We stayed in barracks in the old division area. I was in 1st regiment, A Co. 1st platoon, right on the corner, basically as close as you could get to the end of Pope AFB's runway.

You probably remember Leroy's Lake, right?

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 01:47 PM
You probably remember Leroy's Lake, right?

We were in the Old DIV Area too (off Buckner Rd). I don't remember Leroy's Lake, but by the unit designation you gave, I must have been there waaaaay before you.

I do remember doing the Pathfinder Training at a lake but couldn't tell you the name.

poolraat
August 31st, 2007, 02:02 PM
I was there a bit before you guys (72-75). I probably wouldn't even recognize it now, probably get lost.

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 02:05 PM
I was there a bit before you guys (72-75). I probably wouldn't even recognize it now, probably get lost.

I was there not too long ago, The barracks are the same and occupied by active duty soldiers. Believe it or not!:shakeshead:
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poolraat
August 31st, 2007, 02:09 PM
When I left they were tearing down all those old WWII barracks we stayed in. Our outfit was on the side of post near Spring Lake.

david.margrave
August 31st, 2007, 02:22 PM
We were in the Old DIV Area too (off Buckner Rd). I don't remember Leroy's Lake, but by the unit designation you gave, I must have been there waaaaay before you.

I do remember doing the Pathfinder Training at a lake but couldn't tell you the name.

I forgot to mention my year! I was there in 1992. I was wondering if they had Leroy's lake back then. It was part of the Recondo obstacle course where you had to crawl through a mud pond (not really a lake). Barbed wire was suspended across in several places so you had to completely submerge yourself to get under it, all the while getting screamed at by E-3s. What fun!

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 02:46 PM
II was wondering if they had Leroy's lake back then. It was part of the Recondo obstacle course where you had to crawl through a mud pond (not really a lake). Barbed wire was suspended across in several places so you had to completely submerge yourself to get under it, all the while getting screamed at by E-3s. What fun!

Yes, that is the place. We did that and Pathfinder there. That was a lot nicer than the City Phase of Ranger School. :censor:

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 02:55 PM
When I left they were tearing down all those old WWII barracks we stayed in. Our outfit was on the side of post near Spring Lake.

They may have torn some down, but the WWII barracks that were there in the mid 80's are still there. I remember being told that the barracks were the ones occupied by the 82nd troopers before heading over during WWII.

I love how our lexicon has changed. When I hear "outfit" and "NONCOMs", I think of the old war movies and John Wayne in "Green Berets"!

I haven't jumped in almost two years, profiled for my knee. Had a chance last year to get Belgium Jump wings and a chopper blast, but that was the day the movers came for our household goods and CINC Home said "H--- no!"
:whiteflag:

Hoo-ah!!!!
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poolraat
August 31st, 2007, 03:09 PM
This NONCOM loved chopper blasts. I'd still jump if the opportunity presented itself. Probably break something but what the hell!

MAC swimmer
August 31st, 2007, 03:16 PM
Morgan,

I am an Army civilian now. What slowswimmer is saying is legit. Frankly with your degree, you may want to try for OCS in any service. Either way, it is a great service and a great goal. (BTW, Grad school is paid for...).

Kudos!!!

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 03:16 PM
This NONCOM loved chopper blasts. I'd still jump if the opportunity presented itself. Probably break something but what the hell!

Not with the new -10D. New canopy material. Lots of chute up there. If you are ever near Ft Bragg or Benning, I bet there's a way to get your knees in the breeze again.

Airborne, trooper never died, they just pull a riser and slip away!

AIRBORNE!

Only two things fall from the sky: Mana from God and the Airborne Rangers.

Hoo-ah

poolraat
August 31st, 2007, 03:33 PM
"ALL THE WAY, Sir!"

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 03:40 PM
"ALL THE WAY, Sir!"

"ALL THE WAY AND THEN SOME!"

blainesapprentice
August 31st, 2007, 08:06 PM
Thanks everyone for all the information/ opinions/ experience sharing. I came home this weekend to work, and had dinner with my dad...and we spent the whole time talking about the military and such...funnily enough, I always thought my dad would be the most against me joining...being that I am his only daughter and such...but he didn't seem too against it at all tonight--i think he sees how long I've dwelled on it, and knows I must be serious. My dad was in the army a bunch of years ago--he joined for the monetary reasons mostly--he had no other way of going to college and no where else to go...but he is definatly a changed person because of his time.

I have found military.com to be a really good source of information on all the branches and requirements and such---I find it a little flabbergasting that according to that site, I weigh more than is acceptable for the army for my height, even though I am way below the maximum bmi...(though I doubt they'd dwell on a few pounds--and im not even looking at the army necessarily--it was just something I came across during my research).

Thanks again everyone...I'm not really anywhere near ready to make a decision, but it's nice hearing from you all, it really is helpful.

Slowswim
August 31st, 2007, 10:50 PM
That is so cool you talked to your dad!

Don't worry about weight; there is a prevision for fit people. Muscle weighs more than fat and the military is very good at get people fit. Oh that's right the olympic training camp is run by whom....the military at where....the campus of the Air Force Academy.

It very intreging, but seriously; first decide what YOU want. There are a lot of options and not all are military.

swimshark
September 3rd, 2007, 07:39 AM
Morgan, I have a bit of perspective about this. My husband is a former Navy pilot. Flew P3 Orions out of Babers Point, Hawaii. This was before I met him but he taught me a lot about the service he did. He was a senior in college when he went to a job fair. He knew he wanted to fly and the best way to get in commercial flight was to go through the military. He looked around and no one was a the Navy table so he signed up with the Navy. He was technically in the Reerves because they had openings then but he was full time for over 5 years. He did OCS. For the Navy it is at Pensacola, FL. It's 6 months and then you go onto training for your specific job. He went to another base in FL for the early flight training. During the time he was in he did go into the war zone in the middle east but not for long and no combat. He also never set foot on a ship and his deployments were short. He loved his time in the Navy but they were downsizing so he go out as a Lt. Now he works for the Treasury Dept. I would highly recommend going OCS if you are going to go in. Personally I would recommend the Navy, too but I'm baised. I think it's great that you talked to your dad and he's supportive and that you want to serve. Good luck.

Alison

PS There is a reserve squadron of P3's at Schenectady airport if you want to check them out.

tjburk
September 4th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Bill, I was in 3/325 and 4/325 (when they came back from Italy) from Jan 1983 - Dec 1986 then went into Aerial Intelligence (OV-1 Mohawks) After that!!

swimshark
September 4th, 2007, 02:11 PM
Bill, I was in 3/325 and 4/325 (when they came back from Italy) from Jan 1983 - Dec 1986 then went into Aerial Intelligence (OV-1 Mohawks) After that!!

Tracy, how does an Army guy end up in an AF town? Did you follow the little league boys?

Alison

tjburk
September 4th, 2007, 10:56 PM
After flying in Mohawks and doing Aerial Surveillance for about 10 years...the Army retired the Mohawk and put their money into a Joint surveillance system called the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS or JSTARS) It's an Airforce/Army platform....each crew has 3 Army people on board and in some instances we even fly with a Marine Marlo on board. It's a ground surveillance radar for tracking Moving Targets on the ground. Eye in the sky!!!!

One of the mottos we used to use is....you can run....you'll just die tired!!!

Slowswim
September 5th, 2007, 10:36 AM
Tracy, how does an Army guy end up in an AF town? Did you follow the little league boys?

Alison

Alison: Its easy. I spent 3 years on Rhein-Main Air Base Germany doing Arms Control/Treaty work for OSIA and 3 years at MacDill AFB (Tampa FL) doing Classified Procurement as a Comptroller for SOCOM.

We still got to jump (the DZ was 60% concrete so you had to steer well).

Since they are closing Ft McPherson, I hope to retire back to MacDill and start my next career.


Tracy: 1/504th right after Grenada. Man did I get picked on: a Second Lieutenant without a Ranger Tab or Combat Patch. Got both now!

tjburk
September 5th, 2007, 12:23 PM
Bill, at least you weren't a nasty "Leg" :lmao::drink:

Slowswim
September 5th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Nope, I did Airborne School as a civilian in college (long story) and popped my cherry over Sicily.

I was afraid to eat a chicken leg for years!!!:rofl:

We would get yelled at for calling "Legs" nasty, stinking or otherwise. They were Non-Airborne Personnel. Being a "NAP" is better.:dunno:
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swimshark
September 5th, 2007, 04:17 PM
After flying in Mohawks and doing Aerial Surveillance for about 10 years...the Army retired the Mohawk and put their money into a Joint surveillance system called the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS or JSTARS) It's an Airforce/Army platform....each crew has 3 Army people on board and in some instances we even fly with a Marine Marlo on board. It's a ground surveillance radar for tracking Moving Targets on the ground. Eye in the sky!!!!

One of the mottos we used to use is....you can run....you'll just die tired!!!

I know the JSTARS well. We used to sit off base at the end of the runway and watch them do touch and gos. Ah, the days of sonic booms!

My brother in law works for Lockheed and is engineer on the F-35. Who konws, Maybe Robins will get involved with that over time.

Alison

swimshark
September 5th, 2007, 04:21 PM
Alison: Its easy. I spent 3 years on Rhein-Main Air Base Germany doing Arms Control/Treaty work for OSIA and 3 years at MacDill AFB (Tampa FL) doing Classified Procurement as a Comptroller for SOCOM.



Cool! You mean you want to leave Hot-Lanta?

Alison

Slowswim
September 5th, 2007, 04:24 PM
Cool! You mean you want to leave Hot-Lanta?

Alison

Yes, I'm hoping for Africa Command or the Pentagon in two years, but I think it'll be Baghdad next year.

swimshark
September 5th, 2007, 04:41 PM
Yes, I'm hoping for Africa Command or the Pentagon in two years, but I think it'll be Baghdad next year.

Hey, Pentagon is not too far from me. My husband is with Treasury.

Alison

Slowswim
September 6th, 2007, 12:58 PM
Hey, Pentagon is not too far from me. My husband is with Treasury.

Alison

That's cool. I'm one of the guys always trying to get more $$ from him.

Maybe in my next career, I'm work with him in the dark side of funding.:banana:

swimshark
September 6th, 2007, 03:52 PM
That's cool. I'm one of the guys always trying to get more $$ from him.

Maybe in my next career, I'm work with him in the dark side of funding.:banana:

You don't want the kind of money he has. He deals with money laundering. :party2:

Alison

Stillhere
September 6th, 2007, 05:07 PM
Having spent a few years in the USMC as a grunt Sgt. during the Viet Nam war period, I can think of no finer job for a young American graduating college.

The freedoms we enjoy and cherish did not come without a costly price. Good luck and God's Speed to you.

Go USA...

Rocky

david.margrave
September 7th, 2007, 10:53 AM
Tracy, do you miss your ejection seat? I heard that the OV-1 was the only aircraft in the Army's inventory with an ejection seat but I could be wrong. The first sergeant in my company at Ft. Rucker (I was a cadet at CTLT) was previously an observer on OV-1s. There was an OV-1 parked near the museum when I was there in 1992.

tjburk
September 7th, 2007, 11:52 PM
Yeah, the Mohawk had a Martin Baker MK J5D Ejection Seat in it.....Very uncomfortable after being strapped to it for a few hours!

Do you remember the 1st Sergeants name?

david.margrave
September 8th, 2007, 12:41 AM
Yeah, the Mohawk had a Martin Baker MK J5D Ejection Seat in it.....Very uncomfortable after being strapped to it for a few hours!

Do you remember the 1st Sergeants name?

Pat Shaver. A friend of yours? He was a character, I've got a couple stories.

Were observers on OV-1s also trained as pilots in case of emergencies? You probably remember the enlisted OH-58 observers, I think that program was done away with long ago. Some of them got hundreds of hours of stick time.

tjburk
September 8th, 2007, 06:14 PM
Pat Shaver does not sound familiar......yeah, we got stick time occasionally but never anything official...used to fly from Ft Huachuca up to Sedona and places like that for lunch....When I was stationed in Germany we used to fly to England....have lunch and fly home....was pretty cool!!

Leonard Jansen
September 8th, 2007, 08:18 PM
When I was stationed in Germany we used to fly to England....have lunch and fly home....was pretty cool!!

Why on earth would you fly to England to eat? Technically, of course, it IS food, but still...

-LBJ

swimshark
September 10th, 2007, 07:45 AM
Pat Shaver does not sound familiar......yeah, we got stick time occasionally but never anything official...used to fly from Ft Huachuca up to Sedona and places like that for lunch....When I was stationed in Germany we used to fly to England....have lunch and fly home....was pretty cool!!

Tracy, my dad was stationed at Ft. Huachuca in the late 60's. He was a supply officer in the Army.

Alison