Should I join the reserves at age 25?

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Mar 27, 2005
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Now that I'm graduating soon I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Ever since I was young I wanted to be a Marine, and when I was 17 and graduating from high school it was what I intended to do. My parents had a different idea for me though-they wouldn't sign the papers and told me that I had to go to college (I wouldn't turn 18 until October of my freshman year), and I enrolled in community college. At first I hated it and as a result didn't do very well, but I decided to double major in history and political science with the intent of becoming a high school teacher. I know enjoy what I'm doing, but I still feel like I'm not doing enough by not serving, especially after 9/11. As a history major I'm well aware of the sacrifices people make for this country and I want to be a part of that. Now I'm 23 and will be graduating in May of '06. I still want to teach, at least for a while. I've also thought about teaching for a few years and then applying to the New Jersey State Police. Anyway, I'll be 25 once I finish my first year of teaching, so would I be too old to join the Marine reserves? My family is still against it, as is my girlfriend, but I feel like it's the smallest contribution I can make and that I need to make it. Are there any reservists on this board?
 
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All I can say is if you don't do it you will be talking about it for the rest of your life.
("back in 2005 during Operation Iraqi Freedom I almost joined the Marines"). Chances are you would be an Officer so you would have it a little better than others but if you don't mind the possibilities of a trip to the Middle East than it might be for you. But if you don't do it than none of us will think any less than you. Most people have never joined the military. IMO we need more good school teachers these days. BTW I am not a Marine or a reservist.
 
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i don't have anything to add to this thread... except that you deserve a good deal of respect for even considering it. "kudos" :cheers:
 
N

nyk438

Guest
I was somewhat in the same boat as you, I too was going to put college off and go straight the Marine Corps right after high school. Had the papers ready and everything. Now I'm in college and am still considering dropping out and serving, I know now I'll probably end up in the service with a degree since it's the only thing I have any intrest in doing is fighting for my country. 25 yrs old I'd do it unless you have a huge attachment to teaching. You'll learn a lot and grow a lot and as an officer it's a nice career.
 
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If it's what you really want, then do it. If you don't, you'll regret not having done itt the rest of your life. That's all the advice anyone else can offer, since only you know how much you want to be a Marine, and only you know how important it is to you.

My thoughts on the war in Iraq aside, I wish you the best of luck -- whichever path you choose.

Steve
 

krzyabncanuck

USFS HOTSHOT
 
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Well , coming from a man that has done 20 years in the Army I say go for it . It did me good. Ya the pay is not that good if you get called to active but you should not be in it for that . I think the comradere (sp) is the best thing that I like about it. Not alot of back stabing like there is on the outside.

Just my .02 cents
 

HZJ60 Guy

Tank Buster
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I did nearly five years in the Army, enlisted. IF you are seriously interested in doing this DONT JUST DO IT WITHOUT LOOKING INTO OFFICER CANDIDATE SCHOOL! Dont allow your four years of college to NOT be utilized! And do NOT let someone talk you into enllisting now because you can just apply for OCS LATER! I have nothing against the enlisted ranks, hell I was one. But USE YOUR DEGREE to your favor!!! They can certainly use you now, and you have all the cards in your favor with that degree. IF you test out well you can do whatever you want!! Read that again, IF you test out well you can do whatever you want!! Personally I'd look to flight training and either being a fixed wing pilot, or a rotor wing jockey. But that of course is up to you.

Good luck and think about what I said.


Tom B
 
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It sounds like you want to do too many things in a strange order...

I've sorted things out for you. Let me know if you need any more help planning the rest of your life.

1) Finish College
2) Marine Officer - 2 yrs
3) New Jersey State Police - 20 yrs
4) High School Teacher - 10+yrs
5) Retire

Face it, if you join the Reserves, you are going over to IRAQ or somewhere similar so you might as well go regular for a couple years. If you like it, you can stay in the reserves.

Military and Police work are best done while you are young. You can teach anytime so save that for later.
 
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calamaridog said:
It sounds like you want to do too many things in a strange order...

I've sorted things out for you. Let me know if you need any more help planning the rest of your life.

1) Finish College
2) Marine Officer - 2 yrs
3) New Jersey State Police - 20 yrs
4) High School Teacher - 10+yrs
5) Retire

Face it, if you join the Reserves, you are going over to IRAQ or somewhere similar so you might as well go regular for a couple years. If you like it, you can stay in the reserves.

Military and Police work are best done while you are young. You can teach anytime so save that for later.
calamaridog, great job of cutting to the chase.

Get going. You can be a teacher later, when you have something to teach.

http://www.proudtoserveagain.com/pages/808014/index.htm
 
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Is it too late for you to go ROTC? If it isn't why not look into that?? That way when you graduate you will already be an officer (granted you will be like a 2nd LT), but it’s better than nothing. You will owe them some time on active duty but they will pay for your school, etc.

My dad went the total opposite route. He was going to get drafted after high school so he enlisted. Went to OCS/CGSC, they sent him to college for his undergrad and grad school. He did the Airborne and Ranger thing. He was an officer when he went to Ranger school I believe and retired 20 years later. He was up for his O-6 promotion but would have owed them another X years after he got it and decided he would get out before then. He also, to the best of my knowledge, had no desire to go up to an O-7 (Brigader General 1 star) or higher. I think he was the comptroller for a base when he retired.
 
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It shouldn't be too late to do ROTC. I got my commision through Air Force ROTC and they were starting some new programs that allowed you to be in the program for only one year instead of the 2-4 years that most of us do. If you want to go to flight school you need to be enrolled by the time you are 27. Just keep in mind that it can take a couple of years to get to pilot training after you've signed the dotted line.

Take a long hard look at what you want to do while you're in. If you join the Army or Marine reserves you will be deployed for 12 months or longer. The Air Force is a different story but you didn't ask about them so I'll save those thoughts for later. Let us know what you want out of this deal and what you're willing to put in and we might be able to steer you in the right direction. There is a lot of experience on this board and I'm sure we'll be able to help you out in some way.
 
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If you are considering joining, DO IT AS AN OFFICER!!!

Big difference in pay, duty, responsibility......

I'd sign up, go to OCS, and then you may be able to either stay in or continue after the commitment in the reserves....

You could actually retire at 45, teach for 20, and get retirement from that and have a great set of memories....

USE THAT DEGREE!!! IT will pay for itself....OCS<OCS<OCS
 
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deep south TX
Although i had a degree i joined the army as an enlisted man. Did 3.5 years with the First Cavalry Division. Half of that time was spent in the field or deployed. The last .5 was done under stop loss in the middle east in support of OIF.
 

TJDIV

Back in The U.P.
 
 
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Strange to read your first post, because if I hadn't joined the A.F at age 17, I'd probably be in the exact same boat you're in. My family pushed toward the military, then said to "come home" and be a state trooper.


The above 5 step layout is indeed a good one. I can promise you one thing......VERY few of us know what we'll be doing in 10 years. Having a family is a different ball of wax though, and one that I must admit I've never held much contention with.

If you do go to the military, go to O.C.S and get commissioned. Anyone else that tells you otherwise is ignorant and hasn't witnessed the waste of not doing it first hand.

It will benefit you greatly 'post-service' to have been a commissioned officer in the Marines. Especially in the education field. Keep in mind though, that if you go in the military now, you WILL [read, guaranteed] be going to a conflict region.


K-bye.
 
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calamaridog said:
1) Finish College
2) Marine Officer - 2 yrs
3) New Jersey State Police - 20 yrs
4) High School Teacher - 10+yrs
5) Retire
I never really thought of it in these terms because I never thought of becoming an officer. I'm still a little confused though. I've been looking at the Marines website and there is no clear explanation of what my obligations would be if I went to OCS after college and accepted a commission. I figured I would be in for 4 years active/4 years reserves, or have they changed something recently? I read somewhere that they were trying to get the armed services to accept 2 year active duty contracts to entice more people into joining, but I have no idea if this would apply to officers. Of course even if I had to do 4 years of active duty I would be 29 when I got out, still 6 years shy of the cutoff for applying to the State Police academy. I appreciate all the info and the encouragement-its good to have people to talk to that can look at things objectively rather than getting information from a recruiter.
 
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I was in the same boat almost. I did not join the Army until I was 24. I would venture to say that basic will be a little easier on you because you will be more mayuer. That was a big help for me.

I am glad I spent time in the military. I got out after 12 years, i know it sounds foolish but I was tired of being away from my family. The first 2 years of my son's life i was only around him for 4 months. I already had a son in GA that i almost never got to see. I just could not stand to do that to another child. If you have a famuly during your military career you will be faced with a lot that will be hard on you as well as your family when you have one.

I would not trade anything for all the memories I have from the time spemt in the Army. I am even thinking about joining the Air National Guard.

If you do join the theing to remember in basic/boot camp is they can't hurt you. They may make you hurt yourself or at least it may feel that way. If you think about everytime they make you do push up's that they are feally doing it to get you in shape it adds a little light to what they are doing. You being older you will be able to see through the games. I am sure you are sharp enough to figure it out. I know if I did so will you.

Good luck
Tony
 
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Lashcat said:
I am glad I spent time in the military. I got out after 12 years, i know it sounds foolish but I was tired of being away from my family. The first 2 years of my son's life i was only around him for 4 months. I already had a son in GA that i almost never got to see. I just could not stand to do that to another child. If you have a famuly during your military career you will be faced with a lot that will be hard on you as well as your family when you have one.
It's funny, I was just thinking of posting something along these lines and someone else posts about what I was thinking. I think I should point out that I don't see myself as a lifer at all for the reasons Lashcat outlined. I very much want to have a family as well as be around them, and I don't want to have to move my kids from school to school every few years. I have the utmost respect for those that do, but it's not for me. I just think that service to my country is important and that I should dedicate some part of my life to it as a way to payback the good fortune I had to be born an American. I don't want to be 60 years old with a bad case of the "coulda woulda shouldas." I honestly think that this country should have some sort of compulsory national service program, which would require every citizen to do at least 2 years of service to the country, whether that means military service, tutoring/mentoring kids in inner cities, etc... Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there.

P.S. I think this quote makes a good point too... Gotta love Patton

"You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON'T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, 'Well, your Granddaddy shoveled s*** in Louisiana.' No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, 'Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Georgie Patton!'"

- Speech to the 3rd Army June 5th, 1944
 

krzyabncanuck

USFS HOTSHOT
 
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I know I can only talk about the Army and Infantry, but i always found that Officers that were enlisted first and then went to the other side were better for the Army because they had been on both sides of the fence. I was enlisted my entire 20 years. And dang proud of being a grunt.
 

Josie'sLandCruiser

Stop calling it a "FJ."
 
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Hi All:

After reading all these posts, all I can say is, if you are close to finishing you college degree do so - and apply to go to O.C.S. or become part of the Naval R.O.T.C. program.

I served in the Marine Reserves back in the mid to late 1980s - early 1990s. It is not for everyone, but something I'll remember for my entire life!

Good luck to you!

Best Wishes!

Alan
Seattle
 
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