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  • Career in the military

    I'm 17 years old and I am graduating high school next summer. I am planning on going to college, but not really sure what for. I've been thinking about making a career out of the military but I wanted to know why I would do if I had a career in the military. Or if I did go to college could I take classes to help my career in the military? Does a career in the military actually pay a good salary?

  • #2
    Re: Career in the military

    First, this is a forum for the National Guard, which is largely a part-time force. You could have a military career and a civilian career at the same time.

    Second, if you don't have a good reason to go to college, then perhaps you shouldn't go right now. We have plenty of people with useless degrees and a mountain of debt, you don't want to be one of them.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Career in the military

      Originally posted by Bcutberth View Post
      I'm 17 years old and I am graduating high school next summer. I am planning on going to college, but not really sure what for. I've been thinking about making a career out of the military but I wanted to know why I would do if I had a career in the military. Or if I did go to college could I take classes to help my career in the military? Does a career in the military actually pay a good salary?

      A more productive way to get the answers your looking for is to let us know what job opportunities you might be interested in! It will be much easier to tell if your college courses will help with your military career.

      Also, I would encourage you take a look at the Guard Basics section on the National Guard website. It gives a rundown of how the Guard works and what you can expect when you enlist. Here's a link: Guard Basics. After taking a look at this, let me know if you have any other questions!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Career in the military

        Originally posted by Bcutberth View Post
        I'm 17 years old and I am graduating high school next summer. I am planning on going to college, but not really sure what for. I've been thinking about making a career out of the military but I wanted to know why I would do if I had a career in the military. Or if I did go to college could I take classes to help my career in the military? Does a career in the military actually pay a good salary?
        Talk to your guidance counselor and parents about your future concerns. They should know you the best. Yes, you can make a decent salary in the military if you stick with it. None of us starve and have a place to sleep at night.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Career in the military

          Originally posted by matthew.ritchie View Post
          First, this is a forum for the National Guard, which is largely a part-time force. You could have a military career and a civilian career at the same time.

          Second, if you don't have a good reason to go to college, then perhaps you shouldn't go right now. We have plenty of people with useless degrees and a mountain of debt, you don't want to be one of them.
          Amen.

          Bcutberth, if you hang around long enough on these forums, there are quite a few examples of these people.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Career in the military

            Originally posted by Polo08816 View Post
            Amen.

            Bcutberth, if you hang around long enough on these forums, there are quite a few examples of these people.
            and most of them have shiny bars as their avatars! ....ZING

            Ok...just a little joke, no one get upset

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Career in the military

              Originally posted by HR NCO View Post
              and most of them have shiny bars as their avatars! ....ZING

              Ok...just a little joke, no one get upset
              Fact.

              5char.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Career in the military

                For your situation this is what I recommend, enlist active duty with a 4 year contract. After 4 years then get out and use the GI Bill and other benefits that you earned to get a college degree. If after the first 4 years you end up loving the military and want to make a 20+ year career out of it then stay in and use your benefits to get a degree while on active duty. In either case I highly stress getting a college degree. LTC Richie is correct in what he said, but after that first 4 years maybe you will have better clarity and direction in what you want to do with your career and life.

                College credits in general are a huge benefit on the enlisted side when it comes to promotion points. The actual classes themselves have no effect on the amount of points awarded, so an associates in arts is worth the same as an associates in science. In the civilian world an associates is worthless and so are many 4 year degrees. Now obviously to be an officer you have to have at a minimum 4 year degree to commision. As far as degree type on the officer side I have zero experience in that arena but I imagine that it could play a part at some point and dependent on branch assignment.

                What ever you do best of luck. Word of caution, don't go into the national guard with the intention of getting your toes wet and maybe going active later on. Go active first, right out of high school because it is not easy to go active while in the national guard and with the troop level reductions it will become harder and harder. In my experience at any given time in a NG unit at least 10% of the company wants to go active duty but can't because the state will not release them and the Active Army will not take them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Career in the military

                  Originally posted by SGT Juggernaut View Post
                  For your situation this is what I recommend, enlist active duty with a 4 year contract. After 4 years then get out and use the GI Bill and other benefits that you earned to get a college degree. If after the first 4 years you end up loving the military and want to make a 20+ year career out of it then stay in and use your benefits to get a degree while on active duty. In either case I highly stress getting a college degree. LTC Richie is correct in what he said, but after that first 4 years maybe you will have better clarity and direction in what you want to do with your career and life.

                  College credits in general are a huge benefit on the enlisted side when it comes to promotion points. The actual classes themselves have no effect on the amount of points awarded, so an associates in arts is worth the same as an associates in science. In the civilian world an associates is worthless and so are many 4 year degrees. Now obviously to be an officer you have to have at a minimum 4 year degree to commision. As far as degree type on the officer side I have zero experience in that arena but I imagine that it could play a part at some point and dependent on branch assignment.

                  What ever you do best of luck. Word of caution, don't go into the national guard with the intention of getting your toes wet and maybe going active later on. Go active first, right out of high school because it is not easy to go active while in the national guard and with the troop level reductions it will become harder and harder. In my experience at any given time in a NG unit at least 10% of the company wants to go active duty but can't because the state will not release them and the Active Army will not take them.
                  Great post. And with the education changes for active duty; you should be able to walk away with an associates degree in four years.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Career in the military

                    Personally, I wouldn't pursue anything less than Bachelors degree. Demand for just an Associates is rapidly decreasing in today's job market.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Career in the military

                      As an officer in the Guard, is that a full time job?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Career in the military

                        Originally posted by Bcutberth View Post
                        As an officer in the Guard, is that a full time job?
                        No. The majority of officers are M-day, not AGR/miltech/ADOS.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Career in the military

                          In the Guard there are officers (and enlisted) that are full time, but these jobs can be pretty rare, especially in the draw down of troops. For the most part the Guard is designed to be one weekend a month and two weeks a year. There can be extra trainings and meetings that both enlisted and officer have to attend, but that isn't always the Norm.

                          Some officers I know do something completely different in the Guard from what they do in their civilian jobs. In the civilian world they may work at a desk but in the Guard they are MP's or Rangers in the Infantry. Other officers I know do pretty much the same thing for the Guard that they do in their civilian career. It just depends on what you want to get out it.

                          But as has been said a few times already, education is the key to everything. As far as I know in the Guard your degree doesn't necessarily depend on what job (MOS) you will get as an officer, but you HAVE TO HAVE a degree. Same in enlisted ranks. With an edecuation you will go a whole lot further than someone who just finished high school. So make getting a degree a priority.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Career in the military

                            Originally posted by Portree228 View Post
                            Some officers I know do something completely different in the Guard from what they do in their civilian jobs. In the civilian world they may work at a desk but in the Guard they are MP's or Rangers in the Infantry.
                            It may seem like I'm nitpicking, but it is important to understand that a Ranger is a soldier assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment. This is an exclusively active duty unit. Many National Guard soldiers are graduates of Ranger School and are therefore Ranger qualified and authorized to wear the Ranger Tab, but they are not Rangers per se. If it doesn't have a scroll on its left shoulder, it's not a Ranger.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Career in the military

                              Originally posted by Portree228 View Post
                              In the Guard there are officers (and enlisted) that are full time, but these jobs can be pretty rare, especially in the draw down of troops. For the most part the Guard is designed to be one weekend a month and two weeks a year. There can be extra trainings and meetings that both enlisted and officer have to attend, but that isn't always the Norm.

                              Some officers I know do something completely different in the Guard from what they do in their civilian jobs. In the civilian world they may work at a desk but in the Guard they are MP's or Rangers in the Infantry. Other officers I know do pretty much the same thing for the Guard that they do in their civilian career. It just depends on what you want to get out it.

                              But as has been said a few times already, education is the key to everything. As far as I know in the Guard your degree doesn't necessarily depend on what job (MOS) you will get as an officer, but you HAVE TO HAVE a degree. Same in enlisted ranks. With an edecuation you will go a whole lot further than someone who just finished high school. So make getting a degree a priority.
                              I'm confused... and...

                              Comment

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