Career in the US Army

August 3rd, 2004  

Topic: Career in the US Army

Hey there, I'm thinkin' bout joining the US Army when I turn 18. Right now I'm 16... and pondering what my future will be. I had always presumed I would go to college once I'm done with school, though the closer the end nears..... it doesn't sound so cool... at least, not for a little while off.

The past year I have taken a great interest in the United States war history, this has lead me to respect the military greatly. And so, coupled with the highly effective recruiting ploys the Army seems like a perfect way for me to become stronger, more confident, and overall "grow-up".

However 18 is 2 years away, so this could easily change. But what I would like to know is: how is the army as a career? How is the salary? And is the pay enough to hold you your entire life if chosen as a life career? What about free time? What possessions can you bring?

btw, I'm interested in 19K, 13B, 11C, or 19D.

August 3rd, 2004  
You can have a lot of answers from here
enjoy reading
August 3rd, 2004  
Airborne Eagle
After your initial training and depending on your MOS (your job), you may find it like any 9-5 job. You could also find yourself in Iraq.

It's a good life, but it's not for everyone. I left active to get my degree and never regretted it. I went to the Guard and served for nine more years. Now, I'm a civilian and don't miss the Guard.

The "secret" is to set goals and do what it takes to accomplish those goals. Maybe the military can help you. Maybe it will only slow you down. Above all, remember it is a serious committment.
August 3rd, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
Here is my story to help you out.

I graduated HS in 1997. 10 days later I shipped out to active duty as a 13f forward observer. At the time, I had no will to go to college. The Army was my best option for me. Basic and AIT are the same for everyone. half way thru AIT, you'll find out where you will be stationed. Most of my class went to Korea, but I went to Ft. Campbell. Once at Campbell, I found active duty to be a whole different animal than what I expected. You are contantly judged by what you do and how you say things. Since I talked back from time to time and I was not all that great at PT, I was not considered a good soldier. Finally I got my head out of my 6 and changed things. I knew my job inside and out, I got my PT score above 300 and learned to shut my mouth and follow orders. Those changes made the army a totally different experience. Basically, the army is what you make of it.

I got out thinking the grass was greener on the civi side. Man, was I wrong. Since I was combat arms, I had no skills to use in the civilian work place. Basically I settled for a job and went back to school. After 4 years of active army, college looked like a joke. I was over the whole drinking thing and actually studied. I am happy that I waited 4 years to go to college. I was so business orientated when I was 18. I later found out that I hated business and history was my calling. Well, Iraq happened and I was deployed with the reserves. That sealed the deal for me and I am going back active duty in September. My soon to be wife will also be going active duty as well.

My plan is to finnish out my 20 years and become a history teacher. In the next couple of years, I will be getting my commission. Being an officer is definately the way to go, but you can greatly benefit from having enlisted experience first. A prior service (4 yrs or more of active duty before becoming an officer) captain, makes more than the highest paid Sergeant Major. My hope is retire as a major. If I retired today, my monthly retirement check would be $2700 a month before taxes. Add on a teaching job and I will be doing pretty good.

When my wife and I go active, we will be doing good. I figured in BAH, BAS and our base pay (I'm an E-6 and she's an E-3), and we'll be making about $5600 a month befor taxes. That is not too bad for a married couple starting out. The average american family makes about $42,000 a year. I did not factor in full health and dental coverage either.

I know its a lot but I hope I've helped you
August 3rd, 2004  
Thanks a lot, folks! That story is kinda creepy, as I had made a rough draft of what I would do when I joined.... 19K for 3-4 years, then someday 19A and/or do something with history......

lol :P

But your story was helpful, I've heard quite a bit of negative about it all.

Edit: Oh, did you say you were in Iraq? Combat or not, just the same:

August 3rd, 2004  
Airborne Eagle
Without a doubt, college after active duty is a breeze.

You mean my job is to go to class for 15 hours a week and write a few papers?

You're more focussed in class and need to take less notes and you can't believe how lame excuses sound. In the military, no excuse was acceptable. Hearing some of the stuff in classes, you almost laugh at how lame it sounds.

"My girlfriend and I are going through a rough time..."

August 4th, 2004  
Duty Honor Country
Originally Posted by Chocobo_Blitzer
Oh, did you say you were in Iraq? Combat or not, just the same:
I was deployed to Iraq as a bridge builder. As for combat, I did not see much. Just a few mortar and ARTY rounds landing near our position. I would have rather been deployed as my old MOS. I have come to appreciate the no nonsense and discipline of combat arms.
August 24th, 2004  
Barring war, being in the army is like having 9 to 5 civilian job with the weekends off, but with the exception that you have to do PT at around 6 am. Also once in a while you get to go to the field.

After basic most duty stations are like this. Unless you pick and MOS like cavalry scout or something like that. You be living it the field if you do.