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Okay, I'm going to try and give a lot of detail, but mainly I just want some advice (preferably from those with military experience) on which branch of the military I should join, and what path I should take within that branch. I am 20 years old (21 in June) and am in my second semester of college (major: Mechanical Engineer). I'm not sure if it matters, but hours-wise I am a sophomore (but I will be in college for at least the next 3 years, most likely 4). My grandpa was in the Army until he retired. I have always had enormous respect for anyone in the military. It seems very honorable to me. I think I have narrowed down my choices to either the Army or the Marines. Being in college, college benefits do play a factor, though it won't be the main determining factor. I took a year off after high school to attend a leadership internship with a Christian ministry. Long story short, because of that year off and some other factors (now including a very rough first semester of college gpa-wise), I basically had almost no scholarships for college (which I was originally expecting). I graduated as a valedictorian and received a 29 on my ACT. I forget exactly what I made on my ASVAB, but it was something in the 80s or 90s. So now I am basically going to college almost completely on loans and I feel pretty uneasy about that. Do you have any advice on the best way to join the military while in college? I am interested in NROTC, but I don't know much about it. I attend LSU. After looking at the options as far as going enlisted, warrant officer (Army), and commissioned officer, I think I have decided on commissioned officer. It actually seems like a pretty hard decision to me though. I feel like enlisted is what I normally think of when I think about joining the military. In my research I have seen it said a few times that warrant officer gets the best of both worlds. But being a commissioned officer seems to make the most sense. If I were to go enlisted, I would want to move to Kansas (the abbreviation I'm using for "commissioned officer") at some point, but as I understand it, this would take quite a few years to accomplish. At this point, I am not planning on the military being my career (though that could change). Warrant officer sounds good, but I don't think I like the idea of being "stuck" in a certain field. Going in as a commissioned officer seems to make sense, but in some ways I feel like I shouldn't have a position like that without experience as enlisted. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure both branches know what they are doing concerning this. I would expect that I would be trained in such a way that I would be a valuable leader to soldiers who have more experience than I do. As far as my job, I have been looking at Combat Engineer (Marines) or some sort of Engineer Officer (Army). As a civilian career, I am interested in design, but I don't really know what kind of job I want after my service. I want to be able to help in combat, though I would also like something that would help advance my civilian career. Should a direct connection to a civilian job be a requirement in your opinion? I'm leaning towards no. I feel that it is important to do something that I find fulfilling. I know that every job is extremely important to the whole process, but I don't want to be stuck watching gauges on machines and doing maintenance. I like a very hands-on approach to solving problems. I know this is a lot, but I would greatly appreciate the advice (especially of those who have already been in my position). John P.S. I am a little curious about the physical requirements. Do you have to be able to pass whatever the physical tests are when you sign up, or at a later date? I've heard that they do something like a weekly exercise that helps you get prepared for basic. This last (school) year, I would wake up at 5 am and do core workouts along with a 2 mile run at least once a week, with periods of doing it 3 times a week (with the occasional 5-7 mile run through the woods on Saturdays). At that time, I was around 160 lbs. Since I've been in college... I've basically just been packing on fat. I'm around 180 (about 5'9") now and rarely run or exercise. It would be beneficial to know whether I need to get this back in control before I sign up or if I can work on it during my time at college.
I don't exactly know where to start so this may be disjointed and I am about ready to go to sleep which will add to the disjointedness. Academic major makes a difference for the Nrotc Navy Option 4 year scholarship program scholarships and for Afrotc high school scholarships but not for Nrotc Mo scholarships in the scholarship program or college program or for Army Rotc Scholarships. 1) All Marine Officer commissioning programs require a 1st class Marine PFT, 225 minimum from the outset and this includes the Nrotc Marine Option Scholarships. Few are awarded with a PFT below 280. If you have not yet completed 30 units you are still eligible to apply for the Nrotc 4 year high school scholarship. Once you have completed 30 semester units at time of application, or join the Nrotc college program you will not be able to apply for the 4 year high school scholarship but can compete for the college program scholarships which have reportedly become quite limited since they started to allow students with up to 30 semester units to apply for the 4 year scholarships. 2) LSU does not have Nrotc on campus but LSU students can participate in Nrotc at Southern University. 3) The Plc is the Marines prime college based commissioning program. The six week Plc Seniors Ocs course and the six week Nrotc Mo Bulldog Ocs course are the same course. Attended by Plc Officer candidates who joined and attended Plc Juniors the summer after freshman or sophomore year, the summer after junior year and attended by Nrotc Mo Mids the summer after junior year. Plc: With the exception of those selecting aviation all other Marine Officer Mos's are selected/assigned after commissioning at TBS, and this is without regard to commissioning source. Even the 2nd Lieutenants commissioned at the Naval Academy who do not select aviation choose an Mos at TBS. The Marines will offer a pilot slot to Nrotc Mo Mids and Plc Officer Candidates who qualify as early as freshman year. Essentially the TBS class is split into a top 1/3; middle 1/3; bottom 1/3; based on performance at TBS. Each 2nd Lieutenant ranks every available Mos and and each Mos is assigned equally from each 1/3 to achieve an equal quality spread among Mos. See Mos Handbook available at the following link for a description of the selection process: LSU has Rotc and Afrotc on campus. Army officers select a Branch and selection is determined by the national order of merit list. Ranking is based on this model: Similarly Afrotc Cadets select an AFSC and chances are determined based on ranking on the national order of merit. Scroll down to "Enrollment Allocation Selection Factors": GPA is a much more important factor for Rotc than for Afrotc. Non prior service can only apply to be warrant officers through the warrant officer flight program. Good description of Nrotc by reading the FAQ on the website of the nation's first Nrotc Battalion: Good description of Afrotc: Helpful to read all the FAQ under each heading: Basic understanding of Rotc: Besides Afrotc/Nrotc/Rotc Scholarships, most so called scholarships are not merit based but based on parents financial information supplied on the Fafsa. Public universities tend to use straight Fafsa guidelines which essentially cut out anyone whose parents make more than $70,000 per year and it is almost impossible for an unmarried undergrad to become classified independent of parents for financial aid purposes if under 24 years old. Private universities don't use these unreasonable Fafsa financial guidelines when awarding private aid. If the parents make between $70,000 and $200,000 it can cost less to a lot less out of pocket, the expected family and student contributions, to attend a private university. This page is from Yale but the table at the bottom does a good job of explaining financial aid at private colleges, most of which are not quite as generous. Good Luck!
You could try combat engineers? I'm planning on joining up as well and I know that the Navy has Seabees and they do a lot of building and construction in hostile zones. I'm pretty sure the Army has an equivalent. Just letting you know, everyone in the armed forces holds some kind of job that helps in combat whether directly or indirectly. I'm assuming you mean directly. As far as I've heard, depending on your rank, you will see more or less combat. (They wouldn't want to risk losing a Captain or Major in combat...) The more you rise through the ranks, the less you will see combat (so I've been told). Although I don't like to base my decisions on hearsay, the notion made sense to me. If you aren't planning on making the military a career, you should definitely have some sort of job that will give you experience within the civilian sector, but you are also right in that you should do what makes you happy. As for the physical requirements, you CAN be a LITTLE under the minimum requirements depending on the branch that you apply for. However you MUST meet the minimum requirements by a certain a given date. My answer might not be very helpful or very plausible but I do wish you the best and good luck!
If you choose to join, don't go as enlisted. That means you need to complete your degree - that's college, not high school - so that you have a proven track record. You'll be elegible for an officer's commission. There are many jobs within the Armed Forces that don't involve combat - for every soldier actually in the field carrying a weapon, there are seven supporting him/her. Those range from commissary officers to medical officers to maintenance and repair, medical records, financial records - the list is long and impressive. Yes, in almost all cases, you will be required to familiarize with a weapon - there are no ironclad guarantees you'd never be called upon to actually use the thing - but even now, with the country at war, thousands serve without ever seeing combat or going anywhere near the actual combat zones. Ya know, there are countless honorable ways to serve without entering the Armed Forces. Your local volunteer fire department needs help. Your local search and rescue squads need help. All civic organizations are happy indeed to recruit new volunteers. Even your local SPCA needs volunteers - somebody needs to walk those dogs waiting to be adopted. Is there a nursing home nearby that could use someone to help out a couple hours a week? How about a nearby Veteran's home? Hon, if you really want to do something meaningful and helpful, I'm absolutely sure you can find a way. Hey, you may not be able to give up the retail management job - we all need an income - but you ain't on the job 12/7. And even a couple evenings a week spent volunteering will earn you a place amongst the saints.
The fact you are looking to see what options are out there as military life, training, life style, and more has to offer is a good first step to take when considering the military. I went through hell to get in and it paid off, so don’t fret too much. I’m a Marine so I’m going to very pro Marine Corp, but as far as what different branches offer the Marines are very different. First off the Marines have a different set of rules at MEPS than the rest of the branches. You can pass MEPS and still not clear for boot camp either do to drug usage, past, or even physical. Also if you make it through boot camp your first a rifleman then a (infantry, mechanic, aviation spec) so if **** hits the fan you’re the one with a gun at all times, I take that as a plus. Second if you’re interested in aviation or tanks, you’re not just going to learn about how one part works and how to fix it. You’ll learn the electrical, hydraulics, weapon systems and so on all together, and then fix on one area to specialize in. The CH-53D Sea Stallion, AH-1W Cobra, CH-46 Sea Knight, and many more are all very different in several ways. The Army is very good branch as well to consider out of the many options. My best friend is Army and we go back and forth over who has more this, harder that, better this. One thing to consider do you want to be at sea or not, in the air or not, shot at or not, but there is a chance you’ll see all these fun in each branch it’s all part of the job. Talk to a recruiter from each branch and tell them what your wanting to do and where you are coming from and see who is more on your to do list and go for that. I will say Marines are a close net family, we are the only branch that the President can send without a lot of backing from the rest of the house. Good luck, LCpl Moerke
All i can answer is really as far as the physical stuff. They wont send you to meps if your overweight cuz you'll just get dq'd. As for them working out with out as far as i know no recruiters are allowed to do pt right now and it will probably be like that for a while. I just went through meps and you don't have to be in great shape to get through (depending on your branch you may have more to do) but most likely its pretty much a physical and walking funny (duck walks are retarded). I cant even do one push up at this point but i have 8 months to get in shape and im in the DEP so idk if that helps. Pretty much if you can meet your weight requirement you good to start out with.
You should join the army that just sounds right by what you described, but ultimately, it's your choice. Good luck you'll need it trust me