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  • How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

    I am a 18-year-old, Asian American, female, freshman Criminal Justice major at Michigan State University and (after extensive research and questioning) I've decided that I want to join the National Guard. (Ironically, the year I was applying to colleges, they had come up to me and asked if I wanted to apply to West Point because my aunt knew someone who could get me in. I actually considered it and researched West Point, but when I told them that I'd have to serve for an amount of years after I graduated from West Point, they agreed that it was a serious commitment and told me they'd rather have me go to a 'normal' college.)

    I've already talked to a recruiter, filled out my enlistment application online and consented to a background check. (Which my Marine friend jokingly says is the first step to selling my soul to the government.)

    I will return to campus the first weekend of January and talk to the local recruiter about setting a date to take the ASVAB. I plan to talk to my parents once I get my ASVAB scores.

    I will join the National Guard regardless of whether my parents support my decision or not, but I honestly would love to have their support in what I'm about to do.

    The thing is, they've had this idea of me eventually studying abroad in Hong Kong, because they want me to develop my Cantonese, or Chinese in general. They believe it will help me in the long run. In other words, they expect me to take over their import/export company in the future. (It's based mainly in China.)

    I don't know how to tell them that I may have to push studying abroad back a couple years.

    They've always emphasized schooling. They've been telling me to work hard because of all the money they're putting into my education. That's why I chose the National Guard. I'd get to stay in school, and I'd get paid doing it. Win-win, right?

    I plan on scoring high enough on the ASVAB to get my wanted MOS as 31B, Military Police. I would go to AIT, get that training and once I get out, I would get a steady job as a Police Officer in the area I'm assigned to. But because of my Army training, I'd be ahead of the game and it'd be "easier", in want of a better term, to apply to an Academy.

    This is something that's really important to me. I really want to do this and I know I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don't.

    I'm just scared that my parents will disapprove and if it comes down to it, they might possibly kick me out and disown me.

    How do I start this conversation?

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

    Originally posted by tylgnu View Post
    I am a 18-year-old, Asian American, female, freshman Criminal Justice major at Michigan State University and (after extensive research and questioning) I've decided that I want to join the National Guard. (Ironically, the year I was applying to colleges, they had come up to me and asked if I wanted to apply to West Point because my aunt knew someone who could get me in. I actually considered it and researched West Point, but when I told them that I'd have to serve for an amount of years after I graduated from West Point, they agreed that it was a serious commitment and told me they'd rather have me go to a 'normal' college.)

    I've already talked to a recruiter, filled out my enlistment application online and consented to a background check. (Which my Marine friend jokingly says is the first step to selling my soul to the government.)

    I will return to campus the first weekend of January and talk to the local recruiter about setting a date to take the ASVAB. I plan to talk to my parents once I get my ASVAB scores.

    I will join the National Guard regardless of whether my parents support my decision or not, but I honestly would love to have their support in what I'm about to do.

    The thing is, they've had this idea of me eventually studying abroad in Hong Kong, because they want me to develop my Cantonese, or Chinese in general. They believe it will help me in the long run. In other words, they expect me to take over their import/export company in the future. (It's based mainly in China.)

    I don't know how to tell them that I may have to push studying abroad back a couple years.

    They've always emphasized schooling. They've been telling me to work hard because of all the money they're putting into my education. That's why I chose the National Guard. I'd get to stay in school, and I'd get paid doing it. Win-win, right?

    I plan on scoring high enough on the ASVAB to get my wanted MOS as 31B, Military Police. I would go to AIT, get that training and once I get out, I would get a steady job as a Police Officer in the area I'm assigned to. But because of my Army training, I'd be ahead of the game and it'd be "easier", in want of a better term, to apply to an Academy.

    This is something that's really important to me. I really want to do this and I know I will regret it for the rest of my life if I don't.

    I'm just scared that my parents will disapprove and if it comes down to it, they might possibly kick me out and disown me.

    How do I start this conversation?

    Thank you in advance.
    Well before I give you some pointers on mom and dad, let me first give you some pointers on your MOS choice. I can't tell you the number of soldiers who come here or anywhere related to recruiting and want to enlist as a MP because they want to be a cop. I am not trying to talk you out of what you want, just understand these facts. A Criminal Justice degree is not a very useful degree. The course material is interesting if you are into that stuff, but even police departments that require college ont require a Criminal Just major. You would be more benficial getting something technical that can be useful to yourself or to the department (i.e. accounting, a foreign lauguage so forth). On top of this, you need to understand that being a MP is nothing like civilian law enforcement. Enlisting as an MP will not give you an more of an advantage to get into a police department then someone who enlists as a Cook. Police departments value military service, but even sometimes may frown on an MP (because of the differences). I would again recommend something technical, maybe even something that gets you a security clearance (like Military Intel).

    In short, think of this....what will I dowith my life if I don't get into a police department?? Those jobs are not easier to get, and while I am not saying you will fail, the hardest hurdles to jump in those jobs is the medical portion and the background investigation...and in life things happen. So, my recommedation would be to adjust your studies and military desire accordingly to develop a plan "B" while simoultaneously building a resume a police department can admire.

    For mom and dad, I would recommend explaining to them in detail that you have researched what it means...explain the benefits, explain what it can offer that you cannot get somewhere else. The hardest part for parents to get over is that this doest mean you are immediatly being shipped to Afghanistan, and even at that when speaking of danger it is statistacally more dangeours to drive your car down the street in your hometown (auto accidents).

    Hope that helps, please seriously reconsider and evaluate your major and MOS choice.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

      ParalegalNCO touches upon a lot of misconceptions about the MP MOS that I would have to agree with.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

        "Selling my soul to the government".

        I like that.

        I am curious on those misconceptions. From my military police experience; you do not know how many times I was propositioned from local and federal law enforcement - plus you have an edge if you want to go CID. Plus, many of my buddies that were 31B are now DA police. Yea, I heard about breaking bad habits from previous law enforcement experience at the police academy and college majors in law that will no have no bearing on the point scale but on a police application, IMHO every little bit helps. NYC has the cadet program which is a great way for college students to enter the department. http://www.nypdcadets.com/

        Conversation should go like this - "Mom/Dad, I am enlisting into the National Guard".

        I just answered a similar post about this @ http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/...566#post152566

        OP, feel free to PM on 31B or any law enforcement questions since I am experienced in that area.
        Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; December 26th, 2011, 03:08 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

          Originally posted by fmcityslicker View Post
          "Selling my soul to the government".

          I like that.

          I am curious on those misconceptions. From my military police experience; you do not know how many times I was propositioned from local and federal law enforcement - plus you have an edge if you want to go CID. Plus, many of my buddies that were 31B are now DA police. Yea, I heard about breaking bad habits from previous law enforcement experience at the police academy and college majors in law that will no have no bearing on the point scale but on a police application, IMHO every little bit helps. NYC has the cadet program which is a great way for college students to enter the department. http://www.nypdcadets.com/

          Conversation should go like this - "Mom/Dad, I am enlisting into the National Guard".

          I just answered a similar post about this @ http://www.nationalguard.com/forums/...566#post152566

          OP, feel free to PM on 31B or any law enforcement questions since I am experienced in that area.
          MP does not neccessarily give you an edge into CID. Jobs that give you a TS clearance give you an edge into CID. (I worked there for a while, before you ask)

          I will concur that some of the "bad habit" talk may not be relevant in todays world. Obviously your individual experience are going to vary. Working MPI or drug suppresion team stuff (right along CID) is certainly alot different then drill weekends as a field MP. My advice is more geared towards what does a person do for a career who is a part time MP with a CJ degree and can't get hired by a police department?? It is not a good plan.

          And please,...lets be realistic. Im not buying that Federal Agencies proposition anyone unless you have a PHD in some crazy science and speak Farsi. The FBI alone gets over 20,000 applications a year just for their special agent positions. Less then 1% even make the final interview. So I highly doubt that any high caliber alphabet agency is going to go out of their way to recruit a national guard MP, when they have their choice of individuals from pretty much any hiring source you can dream up.

          Maybe it was different 29 years ago

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

            Also, I should point out however, that this particular person does have a foot in the door being an Asian Female. Law Enforcement agencies like to be diverse for a lot of reasons. They would look favorably on that because they do not get a lot of interest from people in that demographic.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

              Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
              MP does not neccessarily give you an edge into CID. Jobs that give you a TS clearance give you an edge into CID. (I worked there for a while, before you ask)

              I will concur that some of the "bad habit" talk may not be relevant in todays world. Obviously your individual experience are going to vary. Working MPI or drug suppresion team stuff (right along CID) is certainly alot different then drill weekends as a field MP. My advice is more geared towards what does a person do for a career who is a part time MP with a CJ degree and can't get hired by a police department?? It is not a good plan.

              And please,...lets be realistic. Im not buying that Federal Agencies proposition anyone unless you have a PHD in some crazy science and speak Farsi. The FBI alone gets over 20,000 applications a year just for their special agent positions. Less then 1% even make the final interview. So I highly doubt that any high caliber alphabet agency is going to go out of their way to recruit a national guard MP, when they have their choice of individuals from pretty much any hiring source you can dream up.

              Maybe it was different 29 years ago
              As you know, I am still serving on active-duty, eligible to retire and my MP experience was in the last decade.

              The edge I was referring to is that 31B applicants can apply up to E-6 vice the rest of the MOSes which are E-5. Also, a MP troop that I supervised when I was an MP applied for CID when we were in Germany and he was a PFC at the time. His civilian law enforcement experience in Florida got him selected even though he was not an E-4 yet to apply and submit. He was promoted to E-4 prior to leaving to Fort LeonwardWood. This because of his MP status.

              I highly doubt there are alot of slots working MPI in a NG unit and getting that slot is by getting permission by your Command and having the ok from MPI to work with them. Not to the extreme as applying for CID. Also, when I was with the Guard; you didnt have to be an actual 31B to get on the task forces that require some level of law enforcement work.

              Your TS example is another example of an edge but a TS can give you an edge into any MOS that requires one. I have an Asian soldier under me now that is trying to reclass as a linguist and I am helping her out with that.

              FBI is one of the most difficult federal law enforcement agencies to get into but my MP buddy had someone that he knew at Quantico that would push his application but he wanted ESU which equals SWAT on the NYPD. Other federal law enforcement like US Marshals, Border Patrol, Air Marshal, Customs, DEA, ATF are not as stringent. Why I know? Because I was a federal law enforcement agent and got hired through the expedited hiring. Which takes about three months to get an appointment. Look it up. If you appear before the board and talk about your MP backgroup; trust me that will give a leg up.

              Again, I have brothers that are CID and they always give me the latest uptake. As an MP, you are in a big network just like any other job. Whereever I went when I was on the job and interacted with other LEO; I got a business card. Even from my patrol sup.

              Dont knock a major if it interests a student. That will keep them focus and on track to complete a degree program.

              Maybe your response will make sense if you actually are/were an MP or worked in law enforcement. You are just a paralegal. Every latina I met at a NYC salsa club does that rolleyes
              I had to counter your jab haha.
              Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; December 26th, 2011, 04:03 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                As you know, I am still serving on active-duty, eligible to retire and my MP experience was in the last decade.

                We appreciate your service.

                The edge I was referring to is that 31B applicants can apply up to E-6 vice the rest of the MOSes which are E-5. Also, a MP troop that I supervised when I was an MP applied for CID when we were in Germany and he was a PFC at the time. His civilian law enforcement experience in Florida got him selected even though he was not an E-4 yet to apply and submit. He was promoted to E-4 prior to leaving to Fort LeonwardWood. This because of his MP status.

                Other MOS's can still apply at E-6, if they wont waive the LE experience you just have to make up for it. That can be done by OJT/Internship.

                You don't have to be E-4 to apply, not sure how the rest of that paragraph is relevant.

                I highly doubt there are alot of slots working MPI in a NG unit and getting that slot is by getting permission by your Command and having the ok from MPI to work with them. Not to the extreme as applying for CID. Also, when I was with the Guard; you didnt have to be an actual 31B to get on the task forces that require some level of law enforcement work.

                I never suggested this person try to become MPI in the guard. I used MPI as an example only to compare RA MP duties with NG duties. MPI isn't a realistic expectation. CID may also not be available in this persons state.

                Your TS example is another example of an edge but a TS can give you an edge into any MOS that requires one. I have an Asian soldier under me now that is trying to reclass as a linguist and I am helping her out with that.

                You usually don't get a TS unless its needed for a MOS. So this statement just confuses me.

                FBI is one of the most difficult federal law enforcement agencies to get into but my MP buddy had someone that he knew at Quantico that would push his application but he wanted ESU which equals SWAT on the NYPD. Other federal law enforcement like US Marshals, Border Patrol, Air Marshal, Customs, DEA, ATF are not as stringent. Why I know? Because I was a federal law enforcement agent and got hired through the expedited hiring. Which takes about three months to get an appointment. Look it up. If you appear before the board and talk about your MP backgroup; trust me that will give a leg up.

                Assuming you are telling me the truth, and you are Active Duty right now as you claim, I am going to guess you were Border Patrol. No one would leave a 1811 series job to come back active duty as an MP.

                DEA and ATF are equally as stringent, also a lot smaller then the FBI, hence less positions.

                The USMS hasn't hired from outside organizations in who knows how long (with the exception of maybe one class). The only way in for a long time was through a CO OP with certain college programs like John Jay.

                Everyone thinks they have a Buddy at the FBI who is going to "get them in". It doesn't work like that. Their standards are strict, even if you know Joe Snuffy. And ALL of these agencies still have OPM guidelines to follow.

                I never said MP wouldn't give you a leg up (actually I did hint that, but I recant that sentence). Basically what I am saying, is don't put all your eggs in one basket.

                Again, I have brothers that are CID and they always give me the latest uptake. As an MP, you are in a big network just like any other job. Whereever I went when I was on the job and interacted with other LEO; I got a business card. Even from my patrol sup.


                Dont knock a major if it interests a student. That will keep them focus and on track to complete a degree program.

                A degree program is meant to do what?...It is meant to give you employment oppurtunities and money. I am not neccessarily knocking this Major, but it is as useless as a General Studies Degree. Thats great if you stay focused and pass..but what is the cost vs benefit factor?


                Maybe your response will make sense if you actually are/were an MP or worked in law enforcement.

                I have worked in Law Enforcement, and in CID (which is LE). I choose to wear Green instead of Blue.

                You are just a paralegal.

                Who knows what he is talking about.

                Every latina I met at a NYC salsa club does that rolleyes

                They were looking at me

                I had to counter your jab haha.

                Bring it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                  Seriously, I am not trying to argue with Paralegal because I like him and enjoy his advice and posts. In my opinion; 29 years ago when I was a new trooper; military service helped me get entry level jobs as security guards while I was going to college. I think especially today; employers and the public are more pro-veteran and serving will get you a better chance in career choices than someone that has never served; especially when it comes to law enforcement. I am just saying that your application is not brushed to the side because you served as an MP or took college courses in it. I think that background and experience serves to help you when your investigation is conducted.

                  But what do I know. I am just an old fogey I served in law enforcement because I love to help people; the same reason why I contribute on here.

                  Good luck OP and I hope you achieve your goals whatever they may be.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                    Wow...those are quite the responses. I'll make it more simple for the OP in regards to the original question.

                    How should you tell your parents?

                    By sending them a post card once you are at basic training of course.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                      Originally posted by RSP NCO View Post
                      Wow...those are quite the responses. I'll make it more simple for the OP in regards to the original question.

                      How should you tell your parents?

                      By sending them a post card once you are at basic training of course.
                      I like it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                        Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                        [COLOR="red"]Assuming you are telling me the truth, and you are Active Duty right now as you claim, I am going to guess you were Border Patrol. No one would leave a 1811 series job to come back active duty as an MP.
                        SSG,

                        He's an officer. So he will more than likely make more than an 1811 series job. Unless his job was in the D.C. area.

                        You do make several good point towards technical training and technical degrees. It seems thats the way that the job market is moving towards with technical fields in demand. Some recent Milpers I have seen show the Regular Army is looking at accessing officer candidates or officers into the Regular Army with STEM field degrees and backgrounds (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Which is completely different than this past year when they turned away people from these fields because they had a low GPA.
                        Last edited by Mike.; December 27th, 2011, 10:54 AM. Reason: correcting date

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                          Originally posted by Mike. View Post
                          SSG,

                          He's an officer. So he will more than likely make more than an 1811 series job. Unless his job was in the D.C. area.
                          Not neccessarily. There is something called "FLEP"..Federal Law Enforcement Availability Pay, it is a 25% salary add on for series 1811 jobs (pretty sure all are included). Think of it as "on call" money vs having to get overtime. Not to mention 1811 jobs are incredibly hard to get and considered prestigous. No one leaves to be an MP..officer or enlisted...not willingly anyways.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How should I tell my parents I'm enlisting?

                            Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                            Not neccessarily. There is something called "FLEP"..Federal Law Enforcement Availability Pay, it is a 25% salary add on for series 1811 jobs (pretty sure all are included). Think of it as "on call" money vs having to get overtime. Not to mention 1811 jobs are incredibly hard to get and considered prestigous. No one leaves to be an MP..officer or enlisted...not willingly anyways.
                            That is true but you do not get that money until you are finished with your training and at your assignment location. California is paid more than Texas because of the region and if you work in different areas of California - North on the interstate at a checkpoint, you will get paid more.

                            I left MP willingly and have those useless degrees that you mention (many of the liberal arts degree programs focus on specialization that provides a marketable skill) that have afforded me much opportunity and pay.

                            But yes with my rank and years of service - I make close to six figures now - based on my BAH location (even though I know people at a less grade making more than I based on their location). My starting pay as an agent was $28,000 (14 years ago) and with the FLEP pulled me into the the mid-30s. But once you start moving higher than GS-7; the pay gets better.

                            The OP has different opinions to make a sound decision. Nobody is right or wrong but I lived the job so I speak from experience. That is all I am saying.

                            Originally posted by ParalegalNCO1 View Post
                            Assuming you are telling me the truth, and you are Active Duty right now as you claim, I am going to guess you were Border Patrol. No one would leave a 1811 series job to come back active duty as an MP.
                            I know its not always easy to believe and understand a person's circumstances on an internet forum; I assure you what I say is the whole truth and nothing but the truth; so help me God

                            .
                            Last edited by Chief Kemosabe; December 27th, 2011, 01:12 PM.

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