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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys,

I am going to join the military and still deciding on which branch to go to. They all seem to have their pro's and con's. Just wondering if you guys could give me your input on which one you have served and the pro's and cons.

Few questions I have

Which give the best sign on bonuses?
Which are the best jobs in each?
Which helps with college the best?
which pays the best?

So far I am thinking air force or a marines.
 

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I am a Navy man myself, but I think the most jobs are in the Army and the signing bonus may be there as well. If you want the most challenge go Marines!
 

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I would ask the same ? my Dad asked me when I was 17 & enlisted. Do you like sugar in your iced tea? The AF was the best for me except I really wanted to work on planes & just went in in the mech mos, well surprise I ended up missle mech. I didn't even know we had them dam things 90ft in the ground, great experence though. Never regret it just thought I would have stayed to retire if I would have worked on planes. Heck everything is probably so diff now but there are alot worse things you could do. Good luck w/your decision CJ
 

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i was in the same deal as CJ....i went into the AirForce telling the recruiter that i wanted to work with weapons(guns, etc.) I ended up being a "weapons control systems mechanic" which repairs the radar on the weapons guidance system!!!!!!!!! NOT what i wanted...BUT i will tell you what my recruiter told me as i was waiting to sign up for the Armys Special Forces (what i thought i wanted to do at first) He asked" do you want to march thru the mud, day after day, and have basically no job future when you get out, or do you want to get an education in a field that when you get out, will be able to earn a good amount of money in a high tech job? The Army and the Marines are great, they protect our country as no one else can, but the training in the Navy or Air Force have a higher percentage of civilian jobs AFTER you get out...just my .02 worth.....rsbhunter P.S. the Air Force electronics training school i went to in 1973 was worth 23,000.00 DOLLARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!:blah:
 

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you just gotta remember that the recruiter is pretty much a salesman and will do whatever he can to get you in his quota. Not trying to bash recruiters, but I had a navy one chasing me for months...even after I got into marine plc. ended up calling the district office.

DO YOUR RESEARCH. You almost want to know more about what you want to do than the recruiter. Good luck.
 

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Oh and RSBhunter was right. Navy and AF guys usually have more options when they get out. Hell about 80% of the guys my dad hired to do power plant o&m (usually cat 3516's or 3612's and gensets) were ex-navy nco's. All great guys though.
 

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ERJ Aircraft Mechanic
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hey guys,

I am going to join the military and still deciding on which branch to go to. They all seem to have their pro's and con's. Just wondering if you guys could give me your input on which one you have served and the pro's and cons.

Few questions I have

Which give the best sign on bonuses?
Which are the best jobs in each?
Which helps with college the best?
which pays the best?

So far I am thinking air force or a marines.
I can't say what the current situation is as far as enlistment bonuses and such, It's been over 15 years since I retired.

Pay wise, the pay scales are all the same, based on rank.
For example an E-5 pay grade in the:
Army is a Sergeant
Marines is a Sergeant
Air Force is a Staff Sergeant
Navy/ Coast Guard is a Petty Officer Second Class
They all get the same amount for basic pay.

Some say certain branches let you earn rank faster. But some branches will grant you advanced rank upon completion of basic training based on any education you may have before entering the military. IIRC, back in my day, someone with 1 or 2 years of college graduated from basic training with 2 stripes (E-3) compared to someone just out of highschool who got "no stripes" (E-1).

Generally speaking, the Air Force will be the more "technically" oriented service. People who enlist in the AF will likely end up repairing aircraft, missles, or some sort of trade (civil engineering plumber, electrician or welder) that can be used after your time in the military is done. And usually, the job is performed in a relatively safe location a long way from where the bullets & bombs are flying. For the most part with a few special duty exceptions, the AF lets it's officers do the fighting.

The Navy gets it enlisteds a bit closer to the action on board ships & subs. But their a lot of their jobs are very technically advanced too.

The Coast Guard has a very interesting mission that encompasses everything from helping flood victims, rescuing folks from sunken boats & ships to stopping drug smugglers and possible terrorists. Every day can be something different. But then again, there's Tank who's job is to surf the internet all day.:poke: LOL

But by far, the Army & Marines has a much higher percentage of its enlisteds in higher risk combat or near combat jobs. I'm sure I might get hammered on this, but there isn't much demand for a person in the civilian world with experience as an infantry/rifleman. Go for something in aviation or heavy equipment maintenance if you go the Army or Marines route.

My advice would be to think about what you'd like to do in the civilian world after the military. Gain experience & training in the military as a stepping stone to that objective. Yea, serving your country makes you feel good and makes you proud for 4,6 or 20 years. But the reality is that pride & good feelings won't pay the bills 21 years from now.

One last point I'd like to make:
I was a B-52 crew chief for 3 years. Experience in military aviation maintenance isn't a free ticket to a job fixing airplanes at the local airport. The Federal Aviation Administration has very stringent standards for aircraft mechanics. They won't give you a mechanics license just because you fixed helicopters for 4 years. They will however give you credit for that experience. Right now I'm finishing my first of two years in school to get an Airframe & Powerplant license. I could have gotten advanced placement, but I'd been out of fixing airplanes game for so long, I welcomed the "review" that the more basic classes gave me. But its all coming back very quickly. After the first semester last fall, I had a 4.0 GPA and made the Dean's list. Next year though, will be pretty much "virgin" territory, stuff I didn't have exposure to in the military.

Good luck!!
 

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I was in the USAF in the early 1980's and really enjoyed it. I loved the travel and the work was not too bad either. My son is now in the air force and stationed at Biloxi Mississippi. He is an x-ray tech. and has completed enough training he also can do this work when he leaves the service. Sweet gig for a kid not really wanting college!!!! Best of luck and thank you for your service.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My top two choices right now are airfore and marines, probly go with air force since it will set me for life after i serve.
 

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My top two choices right now are airfore and marines, probly go with air force since it will set me for life after i serve.
I would go Air Force over Marines, for a couple of reasons.

If you are looking to do Four and out, the Air Force has great education programs. Career wise, the advancement rate is fast.

It looks like all the services will be getting cut $$$ if Obama has his way so getting in may become a challenge.

I was in the Coast Guard for 27 years but can't recommend them. Do to budget cuts, They are not recruiting many folks this year.
 

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What everyone has said on here is true. I'm currently in the Army and have been for the past 11 years. The Army Infantry which I am in is the fastest MOS (job) to get promoted in. Like I said I've been in 11 years and I've been an E-7 (Sergeant First Class) for the last year and a half. Granted I've been in special ops units and have some tough schools under my belt but generally in the Infantry if you're squared away, good at p.t, show up on time, in the right uniform, and excell in your job you'll be a E-5 (Sergeant) in no time. Also in the Army I know for a fact you can pick your job before you sign any papers, not sure about the other branches. As far as jobs outside of the Military most people unless they're retired or you have to have that specific technical skill will hire you just by seeing you're prior military with an honorable discharge. It tells them that you're more disciplined than the average joe off the street. Also, there is a ton of private security companies now that are just itching to hire prior military. Don't let the "Special ops only" signs steer you away from that. Those companies aren't going away anytime soon. Every since WWII we have left behind Soldiers and civilians in every region that we've attacked and Iraq and Afghanistan will be no different.

Best of luck in your journey and trust me, the Military gets alot better after basic training! And, thank you for your potential future service.
 

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I would go Air Force over Marines, for a couple of reasons.

If you are looking to do Four and out, the Air Force has great education programs. Career wise, the advancement rate is fast.

It looks like all the services will be getting cut $$$ if Obama has his way so getting in may become a challenge.

I was in the Coast Guard for 27 years but can't recommend them. Do to budget cuts, They are not recruiting many folks this year.
I just got a new FN on monday, so we are still letting them in, but the school lists are locked down. MST-A school is accepting a whopping ONE A/D member per class, and my other FN is #18 on the list and hating life. Either way, back to the OP, The CG is still an option and my new guy got something like 3 grand signing bonus, which isn't anything compared to what we have given in the past. If it were me, I think the AF probably has the best thing going right now though. If we ever get our budget back, I will fully retract that statement.
 

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I just got a new FN on monday, so we are still letting them in, but the school lists are locked down. MST-A school is accepting a whopping ONE A/D member per class, and my other FN is #18 on the list and hating life. Either way, back to the OP, The CG is still an option and my new guy got something like 3 grand signing bonus, which isn't anything compared to what we have given in the past. If it were me, I think the AF probably has the best thing going right now though. If we ever get our budget back, I will fully retract that statement.
Good to see another Coastie on PSN!
 

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I am working on my 9th year in the AF. For quality of life you can't beat it. depending on your job schedule you will have all the time in the world to go to school and it is paid for. My job in the AF is a 1SO71 (safety caftsman) basiclly i am like osha for the airforce. Like everyone else said find a job that will be comparable to civilian life. If you have any further questions you can PM me.
 

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This We'll Defend
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The air force is the way to go. I work with them everyday and you won't easy find a group of happier people.
 

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im in the army and have been for 9 months, already deployed to iraq, i love it, not gona make it a career as of right now but i do love it, i am a mechanic and picked my mos before i signed any paperwork, i got a 20k signing bonus for 2 years active 4 reserves. There are still bonuses out there,

just throwing out my .02

thanks,
Ac
 

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Boost Gets You Laid
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Well I am in year 6 of the Marine Corps. Although I love what I do (Avionics Technician on the AV8B Harrier) I would not recommend it if you are a guy that wants all the creature comforts. If you dont care about how bad the food is, how crappy the housing and barracks are, how slow you get promoted (even if you are squared away, some MOSs promote very slow), and how old everything that you use is due to lack of money.... The Marine Corps is for you! I have a good friend that is currently in the Air Force, same time in as me and he got promoted alot faster and lives alot nicer than me. Thats for sure. The Air Force is the way to go.
 

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National Guard here.

I've been on IRR for almost two years. My contract is up in July. I miss it SOOO bad... Join the military, doesn't matter which branch, they all have ups and down.
 
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