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SereneScene

I am going to join the Military.

Navy or Marines   13 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you recommend the Navy or the Marines?


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114 posts in this topic

Hello, I have been debating for a while now the thought of joining the US military, last year I was interested in the Navy and even went to see a recruiter, I did not follow through because I did not feel I was ready.

This year I thought about it some more and did a lot of research into all the branches, the Marines actually interested me a lot and has been my number one choice for some time now, then I started to read up online about the lifestyle of the branches and many people say that the Marines have the poorest living conditions, dont get treated well and have little room for intellectual improvement.

On the opposite end most say that the Navy and Air Force have the best living conditions, best career opportunities and just a better ease of life. Now sure all these things may be important but my #1 concern is learning a job, a skill that I can take with me for after the service; I don't want to get out after, 4, 8, 12 years or whatever I choose and then be back to square one and have to work at a crappy 9-5 job like I am now, whats the point?

The Marines interest me because of the physical training they do, the brother hood and sense of accomplishment they have and overall physical lifestyle they have. The fact that they are SO physical though and deploy a lot worries me though, not because of combat, I am not scared of that and they prepare you for that, my concern is; will I learn a skill that I can apply to civilian life afterwords? Its cool to learn to fight, train and be tough but im not sure I to do that my whole life, I want kids, a family.

So while I do admire the Marines and have them as my top choice I also need to look to my future, I am not a 17 year old coming out of HS, I am a 23 year old who made some mistakes; I went to college because of pressure and now have 13k in loans I need to pay back, school is not for me, its not something I enjoy for the most part but neither is working at a low paying 9-5 job, I want to advance my life, see the world, meet new people. I am a very hard worker and am fine with authority, I am also a very realistic person and now exactly (bar experience itself) what Im getting into, I weighed all the pros and cons and came to the conclusion that this is what I will do.

Its just picking a branch and trying to get a job that I can use in the future is what is proving difficult for me. Perhaps I'll go in, dislike it and just do my 4 years, perhaps I will love it and make a career of the military, I wont know if I dont take the risk huh? Im very excited but a bit confused as well.

I wanted to ask here to see if anyone here has served, what your branch was, your opinion of the military and if you have any tips for a 23 who is just trying his best to find his place in life, any tips would be very very appreciated Thank You.

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Posted (edited)

Your ASVAB score is going to play a big role on what you may choose. Do some research and think about which MOS you want, take a few practice tests, and see if you will be eligible before deciding to sign up. I know someone who just got a pretty low score and doesn't really have crap to choose from.

Edited by CRYSiiSx2
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It bears repeating, don't get drunk at MEPS if staying at a hotel overnight and others are partying.

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Like a previous poster said, your ASVAB score will have a lot to do with it. I'll be frank with you, typically Marines are the rough and tumble, and air force sit at computers doing flight tech work, etc (non-pilots). The latter gets paid better than the former usually, for less physical work, but if you don't have a certain score, it can really limit your options.

Have you considered the National Guard? It's something you can do within domestic lines, easier placement in terms of how they'll asess and place you, and less detachment from your native surroundings.

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I'm in Australia so I guess it works differently here.

My son tried out for the army and they were tested and depending on their results they were given an option of jobs they could choose from. All our military are like that unless you want to be a plain soldier which I guess is your marines.

My son was then knocked back on physically grounds, due to a life long condition but he was recently contacted by the recruitment centre and has been asked to re-sit all the tests again. I don't think they knew anything about his condition before and being deployed means being able to serve at least 6months straight o/s. Hopefully he'll make it in this time.

If you want to only be in the forces for a short time then look for what ever one will offer you the chance to complete an apprenticeship so when you leave you are fully qualified in that area.

Go with your gut, do what feels right for you and good luck. :)

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Above all, remember this:

Until you sign that contract, you cannot be forced into anything. They can say anything, they can talk you into anything, they can promise anything, but you are not required to sign, you cannot be made to sign, and when all is said and done, your next four years of life are too high a price to pay for a day or two of inconvenience to the recruiter.

Take your ASVABs, and find out what you can be offered. Unless you can get an E3 billet right out of boot camp, I wouldn't bother with the military. Go to community college, get whatever credits you need, then try joining up. Have a strong preference, not just an idea, of what MOS you want. Do not, under any circumstances, accept a billet as a seaman, fireman, or airman. You will not get to meet new people, go to new places, or learn new skills, unless you are exceedingly, and very, very unusually, lucky. I don't know if they still offer 2x4 billets (I don't think they do). Again, remember, you can walk out of MEPS whenever you want. There is a reason why the contract is only offered to you at the end of the day; they are waiting for you to be tired and willing to sign anything.

To be perfectly frank, it sounds more like you are willing to join the military out of a lack of anything else to do, and not out of a desire to join the military. Your reasoning is not likely to be as mature or as reasoned as you believe it is (do not join the Marines if your reasons for joining is because it is cool to fight, train, and be tough). Talk to as many people as you can, and do not dismiss any of their reasons. Disagree if you like, but if you find yourself thinking that "that won't happen to me" consider that a red flag that you aren't thinking things all the way through.

I spent four years as a Master-at-Arms during the first Gulf War, I was in the Reserves another four, and spent another six years as an AMDO in the second. I've counseled dozens of enlisted in everything from advancement to marriage. I've spent time overseas, on carriers, and in war zones. I've sent pilots into combat, waited for them till the deep hours in the morning to come back, and once carried the body of one of my best to the coffin that would take him back to his family. Make absolutely no mistake, the first four years of military life isn't fun, and it isn't fun for a reason. The life of a soldier, a sailor, a pilot, or a marine, is precisely that: a life. A lifestyle. A lifetime. A sacrifice. How willing you are to pay that price will be determined in your first tour of duty, so if you want to get anything out of it, you need to be maxed out before you even get into it, or you will end up with nothing to show for it at the end but four years of floor-mopping and bulkhead painting to put into your resume.

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Yea my asvab score will be highly dependent on what MOS are avaliable to me, I just want to pick an MOS and get it at all costs, if its not avaliable at the time I will simply leave and wait for it.

I have a friend was a in the Marines during the Gulf War, he is obviously really prideful of being a Marine but he does not stop stressing how difficult training and Military (especially Marine) life can be, the bullcrap you have to put up with and just general annoyances, still he said said he does not regret it at all and was going to make it a career but could not because he was an only son when his father passed.

My nephew (22) has been in the Army for a year now, he is infantry (he wanted that), he says he will re enlist once his term is up, again he says there is bullcrap you deal with but for the most part he enjoys the life.

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Like a previous poster said, your ASVAB score will have a lot to do with it. I'll be frank with you, typically Marines are the rough and tumble, and air force sit at computers doing flight tech work, etc (non-pilots). The latter gets paid better than the former usually, for less physical work, but if you don't have a certain score, it can really limit your options.

Have you considered the National Guard? It's something you can do within domestic lines, easier placement in terms of how they'll asess and place you, and less detachment from your native surroundings.

Actually I want to ship out to other states/countrys, travel is a big part of why I want to go as well.

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You need to remember that this is the military. It's not some fancy little vacation abroad where you get to sip margaritas on the beach and hook up with exotic women.

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Above all, remember this:

Until you sign that contract, you cannot be forced into anything. They can say anything, they can talk you into anything, they can promise anything, but you are not required to sign, you cannot be made to sign, and when all is said and done, your next four years of life are too high a price to pay for a day or two of inconvenience to the recruiter.

Take your ASVABs, and find out what you can be offered. Unless you can get an E3 billet right out of boot camp, I wouldn't bother with the military. Go to community college, get whatever credits you need, then try joining up. Have a strong preference, not just an idea, of what MOS you want. Do not, under any circumstances, accept a billet as a seaman, fireman, or airman. You will not get to meet new people, go to new places, or learn new skills, unless you are exceedingly, and very, very unusually, lucky. I don't know if they still offer 2x4 billets (I don't think they do). Again, remember, you can walk out of MEPS whenever you want. There is a reason why the contract is only offered to you at the end of the day; they are waiting for you to be tired and willing to sign anything.

To be perfectly frank, it sounds more like you are willing to join the military out of a lack of anything else to do, and not out of a desire to join the military. Your reasoning is not likely to be as mature or as reasoned as you believe it is (do not join the Marines if your reasons for joining is because it is cool to fight, train, and be tough). Talk to as many people as you can, and do not dismiss any of their reasons. Disagree if you like, but if you find yourself thinking that "that won't happen to me" consider that a red flag that you aren't thinking things all the way through.

I spent four years as a Master-at-Arms during the first Gulf War, I was in the Reserves another four, and spent another six years as an AMDO in the second. I've counseled dozens of enlisted in everything from advancement to marriage. I've spent time overseas, on carriers, and in war zones. I've sent pilots into combat, waited for them till the deep hours in the morning to come back, and once carried the body of one of my best to the coffin that would take him back to his family. Make absolutely no mistake, the first four years of military life isn't fun, and it isn't fun for a reason. The life of a soldier, a sailor, a pilot, or a marine, is precisely that: a life. A lifestyle. A lifetime. A sacrifice. How willing you are to pay that price will be determined in your first tour of duty, so if you want to get anything out of it, you need to be maxed out before you even get into it, or you will end up with nothing to show for it at the end but four years of floor-mopping and bulkhead painting to put into your resume.

What is a billet? I assume its something that grants you E3 from the get go? Yea that would be nice..

I understand what you are saying and where you are coming from, and while "cool to fight, train and be tough" may not have been the best phrases I am not a kid who plays call of duty and say "hell yeaI I wanna be a SEAL!" I am a very realistic person and I have a variety of reasons I want to go to the military.

I am not saying I know everything about the military and I certainly know things are going to suck a lot of the time but I am willing to take the chance, if I end up haring it then whatever I get out in 4 years, If I see that my life is progressing in a good way then I will continue, I dont like school and I dont want to go to school, I tried it and disliked it, its something I simply do not want to do.

May I ask you? What do you think are the "right" reasons for joining the Marines or Navy? I mean do you think everyone who went in and ended up staying their whole careers in the military had a particular mindset? Did they all know EXACTLY what they were getting into?

I have a general idea of what I will be getting into and I dont have any delusions of grandeur, I just want to make whatever descisons now the best I can.

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You need to remember that this is the military. It's not some fancy little vacation abroad where you get to sip margaritas on the beach and hook up with exotic women.

Maybe I would have that opinion if I was a naive 17 year old straight out of HS that the recruiter could get to believe anything but I am not.

When I say travel, I mean that you will most likely go to different places and on your time off get to see things, unless I am missing something and your work 7 days a week 24/7 in the military and get no time off.

My nephew works Mon-Fri and has weekends off, on that time he can do what he wants, if he wants to leave base and do whatever; he can.

That is enough for me. Its not like I think Im gonna go on these awesome cruises, bang chicks, meet buddys, have partys and live the life, I think I tend to be more realistic then that.

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I would say Air Force but thats just me :D

I dont know what qualifications you got or your fitness

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You need to remember that this is the military. It's not some fancy little vacation abroad where you get to sip margaritas on the beach and hook up with exotic women.

OP, watch some documentaries on Netflix if you can. You'll get an idea of what day to day life is, in and out of war zones.

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I would say Air Force but thats just me :D

I dont know what qualifications you got or your fitness

Just a regular guy, HS diploma, fairly smart, decent shape.

Any reason for Air Force?

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The latter gets paid better than the former usually, for less physical work, but if you don't have a certain score, it can really limit your options.

US military service members get paid by rank, not job or branch. Regardless of your a marine grunt (infantry) or an air force enlisted flight crew, you get paid the same which is all based on rank and years of service.

I will admit that Navy and Air Force active duty stations are more well off than Marines and Army which is a perk to being the brains behind the brawn.

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US military service members get paid by rank, not job or branch. Regardless of your a marine grunt (infantry) or an air force enlisted flight crew, you get paid the same which is all based on rank and years of service.

I will admit that Navy and Air Force active duty stations are more well off than Marines and Army which is a perk to being the brains behind the brawn.

This is correct.

And yea I think Navy or Air Force is my choice, as much as I have a desire to be physical and and train I cant stop thinking about learning things that I can use for after I leave the military, again I dont want to get out and be stuck at a low paying job when I get out.

At least the Navy has SEALS and the Air Force have 2 special ops if I really wanted to try for them in the future. As of now im not sure which branch though.

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Just a regular guy, HS diploma, fairly smart, decent shape.

Any reason for Air Force?

Just by going off what other former Marines have told me, the chances of ranking above lance corporal (e3) is about as low as any other service.

In the US Army, (which I currently service under as reserves) E4 is given just based on time in service, moving up from there requires open slots, promotion points, and a board review. Might want to do research on the branch you plan on joining to see what is needed to get to the next rank.

Aquatus1 is correct, please ask the recruit what you need to enter in as an E3. If you get promised anything by a recruiter, such as rank or extra bonus, location of duty station, make sure it is in writing prior to arriving at MEPS to see the career councilor.

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This is correct.

And yea I think Navy or Air Force is my choice, as much as I have a desire to be physical and and train I cant stop thinking about learning things that I can use for after I leave the military, again I dont want to get out and be stuck at a low paying job when I get out.

At least the Navy has SEALS and the Air Force have 2 special ops if I really wanted to try for them in the future. As of now im not sure which branch though.

The Air Force has Para-Rescue. Doubt they have another one other than that.

Being that my dad has been in the Navy 25 years retiring as a Master Chief, he got to travel a lot due to his host leaving port 6 months out of the year practically every year. He visited a lot of countries while being pcs'd to Yokosuka Naval Base Japan.

Air Force, you get your choices of many OCONUS stations, however, unless you are flight crew, you probably won't travel all too often uncles you TDY or PCS.

So if seeing the world is your thing, you get a better chance in the Navy. As a fair warning, your living quarters on the boat as a low level enlisted is going to be cramp.

Your decision is really going to be based on your plan for the future. If you haven't decided on what you plan on doing after your service, then I really wouldn't recommend joining until you know that much.

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The Air Force has Para-Rescue. Doubt they have another one other than that.

Being that my dad has been in the Navy 25 years retiring as a Master Chief, he got to travel a lot due to his host leaving port 6 months out of the year practically every year. He visited a lot of countries while being pcs'd to Yokosuka Naval Base Japan.

Air Force, you get your choices of many OCONUS stations, however, unless you are flight crew, you probably won't travel all too often uncles you TDY or PCS.

So if seeing the world is your thing, you get a better chance in the Navy. As a fair warning, your living quarters on the boat as a low level enlisted is going to be cramp.

Your decision is really going to be based on your plan for the future. If you haven't decided on what you plan on doing after your service, then I really wouldn't recommend joining until you know that much.

Navy and Air force have a couple actually:

http://m.airforce.com/careers/bycategory/special-operations

http://www.navy.com/careers/special-operations.html

Im not gonna lie the rescue ones sound interesting but the more I look into these combat/very physical roles it makes me wonder what they will offer me after the service...

Obviously if I was to go into matinance or computers that would have a much larger benefit for after I leave.

As far as what I want to do after I leave? I simply do not know, there are too many variables to consider, how long will I stay in the military? Just 4 years or 12 years? Who knows, will I have a family in a few years? Who knows? Its hard to say for sure.

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Navy and Air force have a couple actually:

http://m.airforce.co...cial-operations

http://www.navy.com/...operations.html

Im not gonna lie the rescue ones sound interesting but the more I look into these combat/very physical roles it makes me wonder what they will offer me after the service...

Obviously if I was to go into matinance or computers that would have a much larger benefit for after I leave.

As far as what I want to do after I leave? I simply do not know, there are too many variables to consider, how long will I stay in the military? Just 4 years or 12 years? Who knows, will I have a family in a few years? Who knows? Its hard to say for sure.

Special Operations is different than SEAL/Para-Rescue. The Army has a SOC (Special Operations Center) as well like other services, which offer support to the SpecOps operators such as the Green Berets.

FYI, if you plan on staying past 10 years, you might as well finish your 20. By the time you retire from duty, you receive a portion of your pay based on the TOS and Rank at time of retirement for the rest of your life. Cheap medical/dental for you and your spouse. (Beats having to pay the ridiculous cost of health care now a days).

And, based on your current age, you will be 43/44. Which means you will still be coherent enough to continue education or work.

Take it from me, while serving, get your bachelors degree. It helps with your rank promotion and it will benefit you in the end.

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wow 20 years!

Honestly that thought is not really intimidating, the only thing would be being away from family; I mean sure I would be able to see them each year on leave and what not but still, I guess you have to make sacrifices. Man...my mom will be 83, my brothers 52, 61 and my sister 62....and me 44, all in 20 years...crazy!

Its hard to say until I actually join though, maybe I'll love it and stay for years, maybe I'll hate it and leave after 4, only one way to find out.

My main focus is branch and job, obviously it would help to take the asvab before anything but...branch, honestly at this point its AF or Navy, im not too sure what to base my decision on though.

You did mention travel which is something I certainly want to do which I hear Navy does get the most of.

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US military service members get paid by rank, not job or branch. Regardless of your a marine grunt (infantry) or an air force enlisted flight crew, you get paid the same which is all based on rank and years of service.

I will admit that Navy and Air Force active duty stations are more well off than Marines and Army which is a perk to being the brains behind the brawn.

True, true.

Also, from the get go you will be treated better and put in a better base in the Air Force than the Army or Marines.

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Posted (edited)

wow 20 years!

Honestly that thought is not really intimidating, the only thing would be being away from family; I mean sure I would be able to see them each year on leave and what not but still, I guess you have to make sacrifices. Man...my mom will be 83, my brothers 52, 61 and my sister 62....and me 44, all in 20 years...crazy!

Its hard to say until I actually join though, maybe I'll love it and stay for years, maybe I'll hate it and leave after 4, only one way to find out.

My main focus is branch and job, obviously it would help to take the asvab before anything but...branch, honestly at this point its AF or Navy, im not too sure what to base my decision on though.

You did mention travel which is something I certainly want to do which I hear Navy does get the most of.

Navy can mean being on a boat most of the time, maybe at sea? Sure you can visit places if allowed to when at port, unless for some reason, usually safety or threat conditions, they do not allow you to get off the boat.

Then when at sea you cannot simply leave base and go visit with the locals unless your idea is swimming with sharks.

Also in the Navy you can be at your duty station, the guy or gal who is supposed to come relieve you from your shift decided to get drunk, they get a mark and lose priveleges, you get stuck doing a double.

Another thing to consider is overall you will be around more intelligent people in the Air Force and more simple people in the Navy. You don't need the highest ASVAB scores for some Navy jobs, you do for quite a few Air Force ones. Up to you to decide who you would be more comfortable around, overall.

Finally, there is this.

In the Navy your first place to go training will be Great Lakes. If you are not used to the cold time it out to not be there in the winter.

In the Air Force your first place to go training will be in San Antonio. If you are not used to the heat time it out to not be there in the summer.

Edited by Leave Britney alone!

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Yea I guess it depends on your actual job, I think I'll talk to both recruiters, tell them my situation and just ask whatever questions I may have.

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Posted (edited)

I spent 34 years in the Army (Active and Reserve), and I had some highly technical jobs that translated well into the civilian world... And I've know Marines who also had high tech jobs - so don't think that "The Smart Ones are in the Air Force and Navy and the dumb Grunts are in the Army and Marines"...

Yes - overall the Navy and Air Force have a wider range of High Tech jobs, but they don't have a monopoly on them...

One thing to consider - that I get from a lot of ex-Air Force types... The Air Force is VERY officer oriented.. An enlisted person - while generally given good quarters (lodging) and such is very much in a support role to the Officer Corps... Now you will get that in any branch (obviously) but the Air Force seems to be the most Officer Oriented of them...

As for travel.... I've lived in Italy, Japan, Korea, Germany, Turkey, Jordan, The Philipines and several States of the US... I've also "visited" Viet Nam and Iraq... Foreign travel was one of my reasons for joining when I first did...

The other posters were right about your ASVAB - so do the best on it you can, and don't overlook MOS's like Infantry - promotion is faster than in the tech fields, and you could always change MOS's after achieving rank - depending on your ASVAB and availability....(I actually went from High tech to Infantry and never regretted it) - plus (outside of Combat situations) Infantry training was actually enjoyable...

Edited by Taun

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