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Old 02-15-2009, 05:09 PM
REB REB is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 41
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I would like to ask a couple questions of all those who have been in the Military for a few years. What advice would you give to those of us thinking of enlisting or just starting out in our Military careers? That one thing you wish you knew as a recruit but learned through the years from trial and error? What advice if any would you give about each step taken? ie: taking asvab, MEPS, choosing a MOS, BCT, AIT, etc. I am sure I will get numerous different answers, and am looking forward to reading them all.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:09 AM
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Gunbunny13 Gunbunny13 is offline
First Sergeant
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 269

From my point of view (one that has become very jaded as of late) this is what I recommend.
ASVAB: Just go in and take it. Study if it makes you feel better, but there is no secret to it. You are going to do well in the areas that you know and bomb in others. That's why the test is given. So we don't make a doctor out of a ditch digger.
MEPS: That really is no big deal as long as you're in shape, not stoned, no legal action pending and are healthy. Don't be afraid to leave if you feel your being railroaded. You don't owe anyone squat at this point. If you really want to be a Cable Splicer and a Career Counselor is pushing Infantry on you. Say no thanks and leave.
MOS: This is important. There are many things to consider. I'm Artillery, I like the MOS, BUT there won't be any company's looking to hire a cannoner when I leave. My son is an MP. He's already got job offers. Do you want to do something that you can take into the private sector when you leave? Is that something you will want to do for a long time? regardless, you have to live with the choice you make for the duration of the enlistment.
The single worst thing you can do, is let a recruiter pick your MOS! If you feel uncomfortable with a recruiter, find another.
BCT or IET: The first good piece of advice I can give you is, take the clothes on your back, a tooth brush, have your running shoes on and maybe $40.00 for food if something goes wrong at the airport. Nothing else.
second, don't take anything personal, you will be among a bunch of other people getting screamed at, dropped, PTed and trained. You will wonder why the tasks are so repetitive, but before long they become second nature to you. You make of it what you will. The tone has changed a lot from when I went through. Not necessarily for the worse.
AIT: AIT is a combination of the BCT and MOS answers. It will be a lot more relaxed, and more of a class environment. But if your in an MOS you really didn't want, or doesn't challenge you, it can become a drawn out thing.
Be realistic, not everyone can be the superhero. If you got it in you, then great, exploit it. Just don't walk around being the PX hero or the badge hunter. Don't be the barracks rat, get out and see the world. Don't fall in love with what ever young thing that puts the **** on you. Not all of your leaders are going to be squared away. Tell people what they need to know, give no one ammunition.
Not everyone one is going to agree with me, or you for that matter, so take this advice or don't.
"Leave the Artillerymen alone, they are an obstinate lot. . ."
Napoleon Bonaparte
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:15 AM
Mikelp Mikelp is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: farm in the midwest
Posts: 30

Never be 1st, never be last.

Never, ever, tell anyone you can type.

Especially beware of any 2nd Lt who has managed to get his hands on a compass.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:43 AM
Humble Pie Humble Pie is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 8

I have this one pearl that has served me well, not just at work but in all facets of life.

"Being a good soldier is all about having good habits".

You get taught what the right thing to do is, but a good soldier will take that and continue to do it without being prompted. Here are some examples;

1. Your hair is getting long, you go and get it cut;

2. Sweat has made your camouflage face paint run, you re-apply it;

3. You're about to sit down during a patrol, you do it quietly and deliberately;

4. You get to all parades 5 minutes beforehand; and

5. Dusk is approaching, so you prep your NVG's.

This is only a snapshot, but it's the 1 percenters like these that make the difference between a poor soldier and a good soldier.
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Old 02-16-2009, 05:50 AM
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MSG Glenn MSG Glenn is offline
Brigadier General
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 2,729

"Blessed is the recruit whose name the Drill SGT doesn't know without looking at his nametape".

SFC John M.........,
Senior DS, Infantry OSUT, Ft. Benning, GA.
Proud Dad of a USArmy Ranger SFC - 3/75 Rangers
USNavy 1960-1966 Submarine Service, Navy Diver-UDT 21
USArmy 1980-2001 Airborne Infantry,G3, Army Instructor, Commo Instructor Company 1SG
Retired MSG
I was a Soldier. I am a Soldier. I will always be a Soldier.
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:17 AM
Smith06 Smith06 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 3


It is good to see so many people taking initiative and giving us a good advise on Military careers. Thank you everyone for sharing this useful information.

Most of these programs involve education in human behavior, legal issues, computer systems, and a variety of other subjects which assist law enforcement officers. The more advanced your training, the more successful your application as a police officer will be. This training will also serve you well in the field.

The potential candidates need to apply for the position and the details can be easily available from the local police department, you will have to sit for the civil service examination. The civil service exam is administered through the police department you are applying to. If you are concerned about the examination, many companies offer study guides which can help you get a higher score. The civil service exam is offered whenever a department has openings, and some departments also offer it on a regular basis to establish a pool of eligible recruits. A career as a police officer can be immensely varied and rewarding.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:39 PM
CaMike140 CaMike140 is offline
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Location: From SO. CAL. but stationed in Honduras for now.
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Ok, I haven't the slightest idea why that guy was talking about becoming a police officer unless he was referring to when you retire (many retirees become police officers). Anyway, about your request for advice, you have received a few really good responses already and I will soon add mine. Before that happens, always remember to take all the advice you get from everyone and take what works for you from it. Now for my piece. Take your ASVAB test and do the best you can on it regardless of what you aspire to be. This will allow you to select an MOS from a bigger list in the case that the MOS you were looking for is not available (keep in mind what was said by someone above, you are not obligated to enlist at this time). To BCT, take solid white underwear of the kind you like wearing because the brown issued drawers are horrible. Have an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a whole lot of patience! The money idea for the airport is also a good one but you may also stop by the U.S.O. if the airport has one. During BCT, stay squared away but don't try to stand out unless you don't mind doing details or being an example for training purposes. Being "Soldier of the Cycle" is a great start for a military career. As for standing out, you can do that and have all the "haters" but reap the benefits of what's commonly referred to as "fast-tracking", which is rapidly climbing in rank. I have had friends that have earned their E-5 in 2 and a half years and other friends that have climbed as high as E-7 in 6 and a half years. It seems impossible but isn't. However, doing this can result in not having much experience when you get put into the thick of whatever your MOS covers. Whatever advice you get and whatever you decide to keep, always remember that the military (any branch) is what you take from it and what you make out of it. I suggest, do your best, see the world, make as many friends as you can, and become cultured. Being cultured will help you to truly appreciate what you have and how you came to have it.
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Old 02-21-2009, 01:16 PM
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Exo1 Exo1 is offline
General of the Armies
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ireland (Ex Irish Army)
Posts: 10,457

Originally Posted by MSG Glenn View Post
"Blessed is the recruit whose name the Drill SGT doesn't know without looking at his nametape".

SFC John M.........,
Senior DS, Infantry OSUT, Ft. Benning, GA.
Lol...quote of the year Glenn.... needless to say, they knew mine real good!!....
"Barrel High, Powder Dry!"

"Illic est haud effrego ex Veneratio"
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:25 PM
REB REB is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Illinois
Posts: 41

I would like to thank you all for answering. I do understand that the majority of getting through the enlistment process is just plain old common sense, and keep your mouth shut and do what you're told. There were several things that I hadn't thought of. I really look forward to all that the Military has to offer, the experience, travel, friendship, and honor of being a Soldier.
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