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Old 16-11-2012, 09:44   #1
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Anybody In/Out of the Military?

Thoughts on army/af/marines/cg, etc. Officers, specifically.

I know there are quite a bit of uniformed service people on here. The promise of a pension (hopefully) in 20 years is a pretty good benefit, including service to your country.

God knows I can't save my own money for retirement, so why not have someone else do it for me?

Interested to hear opinions on uniformed service life and whether or not it is worth 20 years for you?
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:49   #2
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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Originally Posted by sentientcj View Post
Thoughts on army/af/marines/cg, etc. Officers, specifically.

I know there are quite a bit of uniformed service people on here. The promise of a pension (hopefully) in 20 years is a pretty good benefit, including service to your country.

God knows I can't save my own money for retirement, so why not have someone else do it for me?

Interested to hear opinions on uniformed service life and whether or not it is worth 20 years for you?
This is based on personality more than anything. Military life is different than civilian life. So different in fact, it is hard to explain.

I wasn't an officer, but did serve in the Marines. I would have made it a career, but wasn't afforded the opportunity.......that's a different subject all together.

For the optimum retirement, 30 years is the best. At 20 you only get half of your base salary. At 30 you get 75% of your base salary. This does include medical, vision, and dental of course.

I was worth it to me, just didn't work out.....not my fault, just the circumstances of my timing of enlistment.

If you have the right mindset and personality, it is a good way to spend the time to get a excellent retirement.

James L
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Old 16-11-2012, 09:53   #3
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

Worked for me, but it's not for everybody. 20 years would be a long time to do something you don't like, just to get a pension. Visit the recruiting offices and research the occupations available. You can always give it a try for a few years - just don't settle for a trade that holds no interest for you, just because that's the one the recruiters are trying to fill.
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Old 16-11-2012, 10:36   #4
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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Originally Posted by sentientcj View Post
Thoughts on army/af/marines/cg, etc. Officers, specifically.

I know there are quite a bit of uniformed service people on here. The promise of a pension (hopefully) in 20 years is a pretty good benefit, including service to your country.

God knows I can't save my own money for retirement, so why not have someone else do it for me?

Interested to hear opinions on uniformed service life and whether or not it is worth 20 years for you?
Notice you put the Navy under etc.
What you're asking depends very much on what kind of person you are.
Are you good a taking orders? How well can you put up with a very regimented existence?
Are you planning to become an officer or stay an enlisted man. Just a the military life isvery different from civilian life so is an officer's life different from that of an enlisted man.
The military you would be joining is very different from the service I was in as a river rat in vietnam. But some things remain the same. I get great satisfaction from having served my country. I learned a lot about command and responsibility. Later I was able to get advanced technical degrees. I think you will have more choices the skills you can learn than I had and if you are suited for the military I would recommend it.
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Old 16-11-2012, 10:44   #5
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

If it helps I'm an attorney so JAG was the thought
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Old 16-11-2012, 10:46   #6
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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If it helps I'm an attorney so JAG was the thought
Well, that makes things a little different. A JAG officer's career is somewhat limited as to where he will be deployed.

If you don't mind be told what to do, with more energy than your used to. Go for it.

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Old 16-11-2012, 11:01   #7
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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If it helps I'm an attorney so JAG was the thought
Then you might want to call the JAG offices of the various services and ask them what they do and what it's like. I imagine the pay scales are a bit better for lawyers than they are for the pointy-enders, and you probably don't start on the bottom rung (probably O3). Talking to the people who actually do it, is the best way to get an idea if it's for you.
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Old 16-11-2012, 11:31   #8
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

I'd recommend at least a three year hitch for any young person. You'll get lots of character building you can't get anywhere else.

Another great benefit even if you choose to leave early is a lifetime of free healthcare at the VA, and in case you become disabled due to your service you can get a monthly check of almost $3000 USD. That alone is worth giving it a try.

You won't get rich but you'll be secure and you'll travel.

Terrible way to raise kids though. Many military brats end up neurotic and troubled. I'm a brat and former army enlisted so I'm doubly screwed.
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Old 16-11-2012, 11:50   #9
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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Then you might want to call the JAG offices of the various services and ask them what they do and what it's like. I imagine the pay scales are a bit better for lawyers than they are for the pointy-enders, and you probably don't start on the bottom rung (probably O3). Talking to the people who actually do it, is the best way to get an idea if it's for you.
Unfortunately, he will be a "butter bar" bottom end. Very few if any officers get promoted based directly on their experience or MOS. Now there are the ones who get a signing promotion, or OCS promotion.

You may be able to negotiate a signing promotion due to the military recruiting being slow at the current time.

This based on my knowledge of the US military, and is quite old, so your mileage may vary.

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Old 16-11-2012, 11:51   #10
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

I spent 10 years as an naval aviator, and one of my collateral duties was squadron legal officer. Here's my two cents. If you're truly interested talk with a recruiter and talk with some JAGs. Most of all, think about the military as a series of commitments, one contract at a time, and worry about the 20-year thing later. As a junior JAG your goals should be to have fun, serve your country, and gain experience. And you would find far more responsibility and life experience than in most entry level positions with a big legal firm. After your first commitment's up you can decide whether to stay or get out.

Since this is a cruising forum, I'll just point out that Navy JAGs do some interesting stuff. In addition to serving as counsel and the like, they advise admirals, skippers, and pilots on maritime law and rules of engagement. They also deal with the laws, treaties, diplomacy, and other considerations for port visits in other countries. Finally, you can imagine how the JAGs keep busy after a carrier pulls into a foreign port and 5,000 restless sailors hit the local bars and beaches....
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Old 16-11-2012, 11:53   #11
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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I'd recommend at least a three year hitch for any young person. You'll get lots of character building you can't get anywhere else.

Another great benefit even if you choose to leave early is a lifetime of free healthcare at the VA, and in case you become disabled due to your service you can get a monthly check of almost $3000 USD. That alone is worth giving it a try.

You won't get rich but you'll be secure and you'll travel.

Terrible way to raise kids though. Many military brats end up neurotic and troubled. I'm a brat and former army enlisted so I'm doubly screwed.
Careful with the free medical. Not everyone qualifies for free medical. Retiree's (minimum 20 years) and Veterans qualify. Not everyone will fall into that group.

Just because you served, doesn't mean you get free medical. The ones of us who are combat vets or retiree's do however.

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Old 16-11-2012, 12:54   #12
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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Unfortunately, he will be a "butter bar" bottom end. Very few if any officers get promoted based directly on their experience or MOS. Now there are the ones who get a signing promotion, or OCS promotion.
Starting as a licensed attorney, enter as a JG in the USN - Navy JAG :: Careers Site
Also enrol as O2 in the USAF - http://www.jagusaf.hq.af.mil/
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Old 16-11-2012, 13:08   #13
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

I did 6 years enlisted in the Navy back in late eighties early nineties. I was in doing programming and data processing so when the boom started in the nineties, I felt at the time I could make a lot more money as a civilian which turned out to be true. Who knows what would have happened if I stayed in and retired, but I am happy with my choice, and I prefer to distance myself from any military involvement nowadays.
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Old 16-11-2012, 13:08   #14
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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Starting as a licensed attorney, enter as a JG in the USN - Navy JAG :: Careers Site
Also enrol as O2 in the USAF - :: Air Force JAG Recruiting ::
Quite interesting. Wonder if the Marines do the same thing now.

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Old 16-11-2012, 13:34   #15
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Re: Anybody In/Out of the Military?

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I did 6 years enlisted in the Navy back in late eighties early nineties. I was in doing programming and data processing so when the boom started in the nineties, I felt at the time I could make a lot more money as a civilian which turned out to be true.
Me too, and I felt the same way, but when I couldn't find a job in the downturn of 2002-2003, that pension sure would have been nice.

Its funny, I hated it while I was in, but I learned discipline and saw the world. I am glad now that I was in, 25 years later.
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