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  • Military career: enlisted or officer?

    Rather than clutter the "who's in the military?" thread, I figured I'd start a new one with a slightly different slant. Which do you prefer, staying enlisted or going officer? Why?

    Long ago when recruiters were chasing me, my scores made the Navy want to push me to officer school. I wasn't really interested in enlisting, but at the time I liked the idea of being a pilot (but would never have qualified for the extreme end of that) so I expect I'd need to be an officer for that. In retrospect, I think I'd like transport helo flying, but I'd probably be better suited as a mechanic or tech of some kind. So I'm curious to know how what you want to do gates whether you push for an officer slot. I have no desire for command, so that aspect of being an officer doesn't interest me.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

    snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

    Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

  • #2
    Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

    I know of a place where you could get some solid advice from military types. Check your +rep for the site.

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    • #3
      Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

      Originally posted by Gillespie View Post
      I know of a place where you could get some solid advice from military types. Check your +rep for the site.
      Mind sharing the wealth? ;)
      |TG-Irr| JWG

      Battlefield 2 - Project Reality

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      • #4
        Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

        There are too many variables to consider before saying one or the other, but I will say that the greatest officers that I've ever worked for were prior enlisted. We call prior enlisted officers "Mustangs", and I think that in every branch, in general, Mustangs make better officers.

        But just because it's good for the military doesn't mean it's the best choice for the individual. There are a LOT of things to consider...
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        • #5
          Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

          It's only fair I think.. just like they tell you to "Lead by example" and to never tell someone to do something you, yourself cannot do. It makes sense to be in the enlisted boots before you order the enlisted men and women.

          The respect is there and the experience and understanding of who you're above definitely helps grow the leadership within a Mustang officer. Well said, Cingular.

          If I may ask, which branch Cingular?
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          • #6
            Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

            I was in the Marines for just shy of ten years...
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            Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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            • #7
              Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

              I'm currently in AFROTC, training to commission as a 2nd Lieutenant. It all depends on what you're personality is. Do you excel at leadership (and are you willing to take the heat if something goes wrong?), or are you a better follower? A family friend of mine is a Master Sergeant in the US Army. She's been in since her 18th Birthday, and she's in her thirties now. She refuses to recommission as an officer, even though they've begged her many times. She even doesn't want to be promoted to First Sergeant because of the administrative duties involved. She loves being out there doing the grunt work, (potentially) sitting behind the desk or managing troops just isn't her style.

              The prior (well, currently) enlisted cadets we have at my detachment definitely have one-up on the other cadets. Many jobs are only available to Enlisted personnel as well. I obviously don't know nearly as much as the folks who have actually been in the military, but it seems to me that it all comes down to personal preference.

              I didn't join a squad once and this guy named Nardini took me into the back room and beat me with a sock of oranges.

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              • #8
                Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                Send me a PM.

                I am currently a Mustang.

                I can assist but would really like to speak one on one since discussions about career choices isnt something the entire community needs to hear.


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                • #9
                  Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                  Are there jobs where you have be an officer, but you don't necessarily command? Like fighter pilot? Can you do advanced technical work without being an officer?
                  Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                  snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                  Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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                  • #10
                    Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                    I believe so, there's always being on another officer's staff.

                    EDIT: And there's being a Chaplain.
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                    • #11
                      Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
                      Are there jobs where you have be an officer, but you don't necessarily command? Like fighter pilot? Can you do advanced technical work without being an officer?
                      Yea.

                      Some of the most technical people in the military are enlisted.

                      Some of the most technical people out there are those that deal with advanced fire systems of jets and fire control systems of naval ships. There is also the nukes.

                      I can speak for the nukes. Most the good officers knew intellectually how to do the job the enlisted did. But knowing the technical details and actually being able to do it are two different things. Every time I saw an officer attempt to do the actual work they had problems. It wasn't anything they couldn't overcome but they I wouldn't trust them without supervision.

                      For the nukes officers didn't know more than the enlisted. I really had the feeling officers where in the nuclear power program for tradition sake only. They weren't really necessary. Enlisted where held to the same professional standards as the officers. And I am sure that exists is other segments of the military.
                      Iím not racists, I have republican friends. Radio show host.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                        Fly Helos as a Warrant Officer? It is my understanding that their job is to fly, period.
                        |TG-X|Turkish

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                        • #13
                          Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                          Just got home from a year in the box. Enlisted and happy to not be an officer.

                          You definitely can make some more money as an officer, but it's a big difference in crap you have to deal with.

                          Just found out that after being gone for a year, I'm still ranked 76 on the server. :)
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                          • #14
                            Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                            Holy Crap you're back! Welcome.

                            Anyways - there are more educated people in the enlisted force, in many fields... Especially weather. There are many MSgt's closing in on their Masters in meteorology.

                            Officers, in the AF, direct. The enlisted DO.

                            Also, AFAIK, even if an officer is a fighter pilot, they will always end up with a command. At some point or another, they will work their way up to a squadron command, whether it's a training squadron or a fighter squadron. After that, I'd say from LtCol to Col, a group command is expected next. Groups are collections of squadrons. Now, again, this is all from my observations. After serving a tour as a Group commander, Col's will often be Brigidier Gen. Selects. So they either inherit a wing command and rank up or go work in Washington DC, again, waiting on their selection for promotion.

                            Plus there are hundreds of special duties and such along the way.

                            I have not met an officer yet that was not actively seeking their next rank. (Sadly, this is not true in the enlisted force...)
                            Skud


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                            • #15
                              Re: Military career: enlisted or officer?

                              Originally posted by TheSkudDestroyer View Post
                              I have not met an officer yet that was not actively seeking their next rank. (Sadly, this is not true in the enlisted force...)
                              Presumably the Peter Principle still applies. ;)

                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle
                              Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

                              snooggums' density principal: "The more dense a population, the more dense a population."

                              Iliana: "You're a great friend but if we're ever chased by zombies I'm tripping you."

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