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  • Military Service After High School

    Hey everyone, thanks for reading this.

    I've been thinking a lot about enlisting in the USMC but as you can probably imagine I have a lot of questions about it. Right now I'm 16, turning 17 this summer. I am currently finishing up my Junior year in High School and I was wondering if it would be possible to enlist at the end of my Junior year and then go through training over the summer. I would, of course, want to continue High School after training, and I definitely want to get a college degree sometime in my life. I'm not entirely sure if the summer training thing is even possible, but I really like the idea of it. Also, I'm very curious about college options during/after service in the Marines. Before I continue I should tell you that I haven't talked to a recruiter yet for various reasons. For one (and I really hope I'm not insulting anyone this is just what I've heard) people have told me that recruiters will tell you a load of garbage just to get you to join. I've also heard that once you contact them they sometimes continue to try to convince you to enlist, even if you aren't interested in it. Like I said I don't mean to offend anyone these are just things that others have told me and they may or may not be true. In any case I am wondering what kind of options I will have as far as college and my future are concerned. I know that there are a variety of different service contracts that span the course of 4,6, or 8 years, and I'm wondering just how long I would have to wait before I could attend college. Also, I've heard different things about the lengths of the service contracts. If I enlist for 4 years, are 2 active and 2 inactive? And what does "inactive" mean (am I at home, at a military base, etc... hope thats not a stupid question lol) If I can enlist this summer does training/senior year in High School come out of my service contract time? And will I be paid during my year in High School? Also if I wanted additional training in a certain field how would that work out (theres only so much time in the summer and I'd probably be cutting into my senior year as it is)?

    I guess what really concerns me about all of this is my future after I've served my time. I'd love to enlist, but I want to be able to have a normal life after getting out. Sorry for all the random questions by the way I just had a lot to ask and didn't really know how to word it all... :P Thanks again for taking the time to read this and thank you in advance for replying.

    - US_Guardian
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  • #2
    Re: Military Service After High School

    About enlistment periods :
    Enlistment Periods. Thought you were enlisting for four years? Think again. It may surprise you to learn that ALL non-prior service enlistments in the United States Military incurs a total eight year service obligation. Yep. When you sign that enlistment contract, you are obligating yourself to the military for a total of eight years. Whatever time is not spent on active duty, or in the active Guard/Reserves (if you enlisted in the Guard/Reserves) must be spent in the inactive reserves.

    Paragraph 10a of the enlistment contract states:

    a. FOR ALL ENLISTEES: If this is my initial enlistment, I must serve a total of eight (8) years. Any part of that service not served on active duty must be served in a Reserve Component unless I am sooner discharged.

    This means two things: Let's say you enlist in the Navy for four years. You serve your four years and get out. You're really not "out." You're transfered to the INACTIVE Reserves (called the "IRR" or "Individual Ready Reserve") for the next four years, and the Navy can call you back to active duty at anytime, or even involuntarily assign you to an active (drilling) Reserve unit during that period, if they need you due to personnel shortages, war, or conflicts (such as Iraq). This total 8 year service commitment applies whether you enlist on active duty, or join the Reserves or National Guard.
    from http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/joini...recruiter4.htm. Might be useful to read over the rest.

    also see this thread over the the militaryphotos.net forums.


    Incase you're wondering why I know of those links, it's because I'm also very seriously thinking of joining the Corps, but probably after college.

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    • #3
      Re: Military Service After High School

      I was in the Marines for a decade, so I'll give you a few quick pointers:

      1. You heard right. Recruiters will go to great lengths to get a great potential recruit into the Marines.

      2. USMC recruiters are only going to be really interested in high school grads. There is no program that I know of that allows you to enlist, attend boot camp, then go back to complete high school before beginning your tour of duty. There are ROTC programs that work kinda like that, though...

      C. I believe all enlistments are 8 years now. My initial enlistment was for 5 years active duty, and three years inactive reserve. Most contracts are for 4 active and 4 inactive. The inactive reserve means you are a civilian, you update the military with your contact info, and if they need you, they activate you. I believe that people with certain specialties have been called back to active duty for the war.

      IV. The military occupational specialties (MOS) available to you will be determined by your score on the ASVAB test. The higher you score, the more options you'll have. If you score poorly, you're going to be limited to being a truck driver or a cook. Score average and you'll be a grunt. Score well and you'll have access to high tech specialties, intel fields, OR the infantry, motor transport, pastry chef, etc...

      5. Once you have your MOS, the training you receive will be determined by the needs of the service and your unit. If they need a marksmanship instructor, you go to marksmanship school. If they need someone to run swim quals, you go to swim school. If they need someone to advance within your MOS, you'll go to advanced training. You'll have little to no choice in any of these opportunities. Sometimes you'll get to throw your name in a hat, sometimes you'll be chosen or denied for no logical reason.

      6. You'll also be stationed where ever they need you. You'll be allowed to put in a "wishlist" of your top three choices of available duty stations for your MOS and rank, but the monitor for your MOS ultimately decides where you go.

      7. Despite all of the things that I mentioned, enlisting in the Marine Corps is one of the greatest things you can do with your life. I don't care if you want to go to college and be an officer, nowhere else will you learn the things that you will if you enlist in the Marines. All but one of my commanders in the Marines were prior enlisted (Mustangs). They all valued their enlisted time and it made them much better officers. You will learn how to lead. You will learn how to follow. Joining the USMC doesn't turn boys into men, it turns men into Marines. And that really means something. More than I can explain.
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      • #4
        Re: Military Service After High School

        My advice is to join the Marines if you're looking to do some combat-related MOS fields. Don't join the USMC to be a administrative clerk or something random like that. Want to push paperwork and work in an office? Go Air Force. Same job, much, much better quality of living.

        If you want to head up the ladder in the SOCOM world, the Army has a few more options than the Marines do (Rangers, Special Forces, Delta vs. Force Recon, SEALs perhaps?).

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        • #5
          Re: Military Service After High School

          @Delta Five Nine - Thanks for the links! I read through them and there was a lot of helpful info on joining the services and it also answered some of my questions. Best of luck in your desicion... hope we can both make a good one

          @CingularDuality - I think you are right about the 8 year contract thing judging by what Delta said and if so ROTC is looking like a good option. Also I got the summer training idea from a friend who was saying he was looking at something similar. He was looking into the Army so that might be the difference but that's where I got it from. Thanks for the tips!

          @Gill - Yeah I'm definitely looking for some sort of combat-related job; I want to be right where the action is. I've looked into some of the other branches and the Army looks like they definitly have some good options too. Ive also thought a lot about doing mech inf or some sort of armor so the Army also has some great options for that. Thanks for the input! BTW this is completely random but I love your profile pic it makes me laugh every time I see it :P

          - US_Guardian
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