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  • Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

    Howdy TG brothers.
    I've recently graduated from Police Academy in San Mateo, CA but found it is a difficult time to join the ranks of Law Enforcement with budgets as is. Departments can afford to be picky and they prefer people with experience and military service.
    I have been strongly considering service in the armed forces, knowing it will further my career aims and forge me into a stronger man.
    At age 24 I've graduated from college with a degree in criminal justice, and interned and volunteered in various law enforcement functions. Police Academy was rough, between the intense physical pressures, memorization of material, ability to think quickly and communicate effectively, etc....
    What I'm not sure of is how to proceed with the military. It makes sense to try and work in a military police function with my background, though I'm not limiting myself as such. I'm more or less torn between Army and Coast Guard, though but am open to suggestions of other branches. I'm no coward but I would HATE the desert, and the Army more or less promises service in a desert at this time. If necessary I'd just stomach that distaste though. I was in Army ROTC for a year of college before a shattered ankle took me out of it. My father considers his time with the Army in Vietnam a contributing reason to why he has been kept on at Lockheed when others around him have been laid off. Coast Guard is admittedly safer and much more comfortable. I've grown up near the bay area coast all my life, I like being near the ocean, if not on it. I'm concerned the Coast Guard wouldn't be perceived as enough of a commitment to convince Police Department recruiters to take me seriously in the future. I'd demand sponsorship to Officer Candidate School as part of a contract. The coast guard doesn't seem to have military police though.

    I'm asking those of you with military and/or law enforcement background to comment on what military routes I should consider given that I intend to go through OCS and have a background in law enforcement.
    I purchased ASVAB training books and am continuing a lifetime dedication to martial arts with kick boxing training. I intend to be well prepared before joining the service.
    Thank you for your imput, and see about passing this post on to other TG's to who it may concern who might miss it.
    -Christopher

  • #2
    Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

    Hey Merc, glad to see you are looking into serving. Unfortunately due to TG's external recruitment policy I cant tell you about the great time I had in the Army ;) lol

    I have served for almost 9 years now, and I am still on active duty. I am glad you are going to go OCS, thats the best for someone with your knowledge and skill set. Getting that should be fairly easy as you already have a degree, and ROTC. I dont konw anything about the Coast Guard, but I can tell you that the Army has been a great learning experience for me and I have made friends that I will keep until the day that I die. That being said, dont look at the Army as a "Sure fire ticket to the sand box". That will just tarnish your experience. Instead, look at it as a new challenge, one that very few people get to participate in. As with any job there are things that you have to do that you may not like, but its not as bad as some make it out to be. I myself have done 2 back to back tours in Iraq and yes, it was scary at times, sad at others, but the memories I have, the ones I shared with my friends are some of the best memories I have.

    Just know what you are getting into. Long hours, back breaking labor, and people that just wont understand why you do it. I would say that if you have the guts to go through the Police academy you will have no trouble in your initial training or first years as a "Butter Bar". One word of advice though is to forget everything you think you know before you go. The worst thing you can do is show up thinking you know about everything.

    The benifits are good too, especially now with the economy the way it is. You will always get a pay check, no matter how many hours you work.

    If you have any other questions or just want to talk about it, hit me up via PM or in TS.

    ~Chris

    [unit][squadl][command2]

    KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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    • #3
      Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

      In the event of deployment to a sandbox, how long does it take to adapt to the heat and wearing the heavy gear all day?

      Do you know if Army (and other armed forces) still has to wear Black leather boots and work them to a shine? During basic at least. (One of the worst parts of Academy, leather polish melted at the top of San Mateo's mountain where we trained during the long inspections.)

      Any idea on how to not get screwed by recruiters?

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      • #4
        Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

        Originally posted by Merc205 View Post
        Any idea on how to not get screwed by recruiters?
        Get everything in writing and don't trust anything they tell you without verifying it first. A high AFQT and line scores on the ASVAB will make your life with the recruiters easier, and with your background they'd probably be drooling all over you.

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        • #5
          Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

          Just like Mosati said. Make sure everything they "promise" you is on paper. When you go to work out your contract and your job remember this little tip. If they offer you something you dont want, WALK AWAY!. There is more there, they are just trying to put you where THEY want not where you want. If you dont like it tell them "No, thats not what I want" and just walk out. Until you sign your contract and swear in you are still a free man. Once you walk out, I am certain the a new slot in the job you want will "magically open" lol. Happend to me.

          As far as acclimation to the heat, you dont ever really get USED to it, you just learn to tolerate it :D And the Army doesnt use black boots anymore. They are tan, and require about 0 amount of polish. All you got to do is brush them every once in a while to get the dirt out. With the gear, you learn how to carry it all and set it up so its not a pain. Usually you wont have too much gear unless of course you are cursed like me and are a platoon medic. I had an extra 100 lbs on. Once you get used to wearing all the gear and the IBAS and whatnot it really doesnt bother you any more. Its all about learning how to adabt and overcome.

          [unit][squadl][command2]

          KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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          • #6
            Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

            Hey man being a military cop for 9 years I must echo what they said, get everything on paper but remember once you join the service yours is not to ask why...

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            • #7
              Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

              Any idea on how important going military police/provost is to a future in Law Enforcement outside of the military?

              If I go MP I'll likely forfeit the opportunity for combat/front line experience, and I've always envisioned if I went Army I would get Ranger qualified, even if I didn't end up in Ranger Unit. I suppose I don't know what MP do day to day, it could just be excruciatingly monotonous. I'd hate to be in an interview and say my only duties were guarding a base entrance for four years.

              At my Academy we had about three regular army vets, one from Green Berets. One military police from the Air Force. They were all hired before being sent to Academy. One marine put himself through but didn't find work by the time he graduated. We also had an intelligence and armor officer from the Chinese Army put himself through, don't think he was hired right out of Academy either.

              Anyways I'm training in Boxing and Kickboxing hard at the moment, and cutting far so I can fight at 185 (down from 200). An old acquaintance went in as a private and found the criminal types in his unit to be a constant threat to his own safety(he was kinda a big wimp though). How is it dealing with the scummier soldiers? Sometimes respect has to be earned through fighting, or at least looking like you're wiling to.

              DO you get more than MRE's when in basic, ocs, deployed? I didn't know the gum was a laxative until my 3rd day straight eating em.

              I have lots of questions about the modern military..

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              • #8
                Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                Originally posted by Merc205 View Post
                Any idea on how important going military police/provost is to a future in Law Enforcement outside of the military?
                If you want to be a street cop in a big city, they will look down on Military Police experience. MPs don't do much real police work. They deal with combatants and well-disciplined troops and family members and get a false sense of "been-there-done-that" which has ZERO application to real police work.

                If you want to be a fed, military service is military service. A degree is a degree. It's such a bureaucratic hiring process that the most important thing you could do is give the selecting official a phone call and let him/her know just how enthusiastic you are about working for him. If you have an interview board, they might go into your military resume, but they're looking at a lot of other things, too.

                I'm not saying that any of these things are true about any particular person, they just seem to be generalities. I've got ten years active duty and seven years as a federal agent.

                MREs are only for when you can't get hot food. The gum isn't a laxative. You don't have to worry about "criminal types" in general. I'm sure there are locations where criminal rings have popped up, but you're talking about military organizations that are insanely more disciplined than the real world. If you join, you'll see. You'll start looking down on nasty civilians, too.
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                • #9
                  Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                  Also, since you are going officer you will have the option to go to Ranger School. I would make sure to jump on that as soon as the opportunity presents itself. As CD said, the gum isn't a laxative but the cheese will stop you up, trust me on that one. As far as criminal types, there are some scummy people in the Army but they are dealt with swiftly so they wont be a burden to you.

                  I will have to disagree with CD on one point though, military service always looks good on your record. No matter what job. And going MP wont get you out of deployment. As an MP you will be tasked with training the local Police and working very closely with them. We had MP's on my last deployment that where "outside the wire" as much as we where. They didnt do the Raids, and Helicopter Insertion fun stuff like I did, but they still had jobs to do and training to do.

                  I know you still probably have a million questions, hit me up in TS or PM me and we can get a yahoo chat or something going. I would be more than happy to give you the no BS answers as best I can.

                  [unit][squadl][command2]

                  KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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                  • #10
                    Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                    Trust me I have completed over 200 convoys transporting detainees and other HVTs from bucca to abu graib, you will get front line experience as an MP.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                      I have recently looked into Law Enforcement as a possible career move. I recently took the NYPD Test, but have thought about looking elsewhere due to the number of applicants applying for the NYPD. Have you checked out the Seattle PD? They are hiring like crazy!! Also like most PD across the country they are accepting out of state applicants. I do know that in July or August they are hosting an out of state exam which if you fair well on the test you will be asked to complete the physical exam that day and if you qualify you will then be asked to stay a few days after for a background/psych evaluation.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                        Originally posted by Dredge View Post
                        I will have to disagree with CD on one point though, military service always looks good on your record. No matter what job.
                        You're not disagreeing with me there! I guess I chose my words poorly when I meant to say that MPs aren't looked at as being more experienced than a truck driver, grunt, or radio operator. MPs sometimes think they are already real cops, when that's just not the case. They've got a lot of valuable experience, just like the cook, the comm systems controller and the artillery man, but it's not anything like real police work. If the MP can't understand that, it can hurt him during the hiring process.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                          Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                          You're not disagreeing with me there! I guess I chose my words poorly when I meant to say that MPs aren't looked at as being more experienced than a truck driver, grunt, or radio operator. MPs sometimes think they are already real cops, when that's just not the case. They've got a lot of valuable experience, just like the cook, the comm systems controller and the artillery man, but it's not anything like real police work. If the MP can't understand that, it can hurt him during the hiring process.
                          Totally agree with you on that one. Because the way the military law and civilian law differ it can be a pain. However, as long as you understand the process, you should be good to go.

                          [unit][squadl][command2]

                          KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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                          • #14
                            Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

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                            • #15
                              Re: Seeking info/advice from Military and Law Enforcement backgrounds

                              Originally posted by Mosati View Post
                              Get everything in writing and don't trust anything they tell you without verifying it first. A high AFQT and line scores on the ASVAB will make your life with the recruiters easier, and with your background they'd probably be drooling all over you.
                              another thing you can do is see several diff recruiters from the same branch to get a feel of what they say in common. Keep in mind that my advice doesnt come from experience but from my mother who served as the xo of Naval recruiting district of san fransico for several years.


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