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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 02-07-2013, 3:12 PM
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Default Joining the Military after college...??

Hey all,

I am graduating in 4 months and I am interested in joining the military after college. I wanted to ask for advice here before talking to a recruiter.

I'll have a degree in Environmental Engineering with a Chemical Engineering background. I am thinking of either joining the Army or the Navy.

I want to join because I want to serve my country, and I know if I don't join soon, I'll regret it the rest of my life. Every kid who played Call of Duty, or BF3, thinks they can make SF, sniper, Seals, but I'll never know unless I'll try. I want to give it a shot.

I have heard that even with a university degree, becoming an officer isn't a guarantee. Is that true? Would it be difficult to get into OCS?

How do I get the AIT, or program I want? I listed my interest, then dreams per branch below.


For the Army:
-I am interested in Combat Engineering, possibly Sapper?
-Dreams of Ranger or Sniper, even fully tabbed but can cross that bridge when I'm in...

For the Navy:
-Interested in the NuPOC, Nuclear Propulsion program. Would it be difficult to get into the program? I don't mind being on a carrier or a boomber, def. not fast attack.
-Dreams of being a SEAL

All advice is welcome.

Thank you...
-Bishop
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2013, 3:46 PM
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Cant say anything about the Army but the nuke program for Navy isnt too hard to "get into". Passing it is another thing. Long as your ASVAB is scored pretty well and your eligible for TS then I dont foresee any issues with getting a billet for the nuke rates, however the schools are pretty fast paced and if you fall behind they wont hesitate to drop you.

SEALs, another ball game. Simply put, if you go in for SO and fail, expect to finish your enlistment chipping paint.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2013, 4:23 PM
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^ Not completely true on the SO thing... most of the BUD/S Duds who ring out come here to NACCS/Rescue Swimmer School. Fail out of RSS, however, and your *** is going to the fleet undes!
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Old 02-07-2013, 4:26 PM
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The really key questions are: "What do you want to do?" and, "What are you best qualified to do?" For most of us, the answers are not always the same.

Do not assume that a college degree equals commissioned service. There are a lot of outstanding enlisted service members who are highly educated and there are outstanding mustang officers without degrees.

If you're looking to make the military a career, and didn't go through a service academy, I would really recommend spending a few years enlisted before seeking a commission. It will pay great dividends. I was enlisted just long enough to get into OCS. My career would have been much better if I had waited. Your living standards won't be as nice, but you'll learn a whole lot more.
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Old 02-07-2013, 5:50 PM
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If you go Army you will most likely get picked up by engineers Combat Engineer is basically Infantry with explosives. Unless you get caught up in route clearance which is pretty likely. Sapper school is one of the must underrated schools in the Army you learn a great deal in a short amount of time. One other MOS worth looking at is EOD but its up to you.

If I had my choice of schools as you a young officer i would go Airborne, Ranger School (ROPE)

If you want to use Explosives but not have a easy transition in terms of job experience when you get out then go Army Engineer.

If you want a good carrer when you get out go into the nuke program.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2013, 6:08 PM
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I'm possibly best qualified for Nuke School, Sapper, Seebees.

I want to go Rangers, Seals, Sniper, SF, but looking toward the future, NukeSchool would be the best option.

Is it difficult to take time off to go back to school go get a masters. Say, I go on a deployment, or be 2 years active, can I go back to school to finish a masters degree, then go back to active duty?
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Old 02-07-2013, 6:18 PM
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I am retired Army, I was enlisted, NCO, CWO, then OCS and finally commisioned.

Enlisted who had college degrees and comming in enlisted were looked at as people who didn't have definitive goals or plans in life. In some cases it caused friction with the NCO's above them as they saw them as "know it all College Boys". A lot of the college grads got out after their first enlistment. In the Army you become eligible for promotion bases on a points system, take college courses while in the Army= more points, come in with degree= no college point toward promotion, they were "used" so you came in an e-3 or e-4.

My suggestion is talk with ALL the Branches and see what you would have to do to get a "Direct Commision". If it doesn't look good then look to the reserves or National Guard, same thing, can you get a direct commision? You can always transfer to the Active later.

remember, ALL branches will be cutting back on their numbers as Afganistan winds down, this could hurt you.

If you have any questions, pm me.

Good luck.

As for "picking" what you want, it has to do with what the service needs AND if you qualify. A lot of things you do you have to work towards. I hear a lot of people say, I was going to join the Army as this or that, well its just talk. To apply for those "things" you had to have a certain MOS, rank, go before a board, etc.

When i joined the Army my recruiter said, if I join this MOS and did the Following things, I could APPLY for the Warrant Officer Academy in the future, I did what he said and he was correct. My Academy was almost a year long and only had one class per year. When i graduated, I was the distinguesed Graduate, honor graduate, AND only graduate. Everyone else failed. My point, there are things you have to WORK towards, qualify for, then PASS. So, you have to be open to what the military has to offer, and see whats available and attainable. And if it doesn't work, what will you do next. The military is great and there are a lot of important jobs, even if they don't SEEM glamerous! I did 26+, would have did more but got hurt.

So keep an open mind!
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Old 02-07-2013, 6:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop2queen's6 View Post
I'm possibly best qualified for Nuke School, Sapper, Seebees.

I want to go Rangers, Seals, Sniper, SF, but looking toward the future, NukeSchool would be the best option.

Is it difficult to take time off to go back to school go get a masters. Say, I go on a deployment, or be 2 years active, can I go back to school to finish a masters degree, then go back to active duty?
Enlisted Seabees are being cut back right now, ranks are thick with us cutting three b/ns and a regiments.

Civil Engineer Corps Officers actually need new ensigns, so if you can qualify with your degree and an FE pass, you may have a good shot. CEC will also pay for your master's degree as part of the community development, but only for other engineering degrees.

If you don't know anyone in the NSW community willing to vouch for you, you have no shot at being a SEAL officer. Also, if you DOR you will never get the chance to go back. Enlisted ranks is easier, but by no means easy. You'll have to get more advanced physical screening, do the PST test (different from std Navy PRT) and have letters of rec preferably from other team guys.

If you are actually really interested in joining the Navy and want to talk Seabees or CEC PM me.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2013, 6:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop2queen's6 View Post
I'm possibly best qualified for Nuke School, Sapper, Seebees.

I want to go Rangers, Seals, Sniper, SF, but looking toward the future, NukeSchool would be the best option.

Is it difficult to take time off to go back to school go get a masters. Say, I go on a deployment, or be 2 years active, can I go back to school to finish a masters degree, then go back to active duty?
Talk to Peter.Steele, or some real sub guys that aren't recruiters, about going nuke before you think about that option. I'll leave you with two things, one of my classmates is a sub recruiter and acknowledges he will lie about everything he dealt with on the boat and with ALL the budget cuts going on, they are still the only community that offers brand new ensigns with no quals $25K upfront for saying "I want to go sub nuke for five years," and still offers at the 5 year mark for Lieutenants upwards of $50K for more time. And the detailers still can't keep people in.
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Old 02-07-2013, 6:55 PM
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OP, score high on your ASVAB and you'll open up plenty of MOS options. Just curious, how is your physical fitness? Seals, Ranger, Sniper? Some pretty high speed stuff..
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2013, 7:09 PM
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Nuke school is backed up right now about 6-9 months because 2 of the 3 the prototype plants are down. I was a nuke on subs, so if you want to know about that just pm me. I will say nuke school was pretty easy and I didn't put in much extra study time. As far as getting a masters that is a possibility if you want it. I would recommend going for pilot because that is pretty much the best job in the Navy IMO. There is a reason I fly now and am no longer a nuke.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2013, 9:20 PM
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Thanks guys. I was looking for some really truthful info and it looks like I got it. I'll keep an open mind and keep doing my research before I sign any paperwork.


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Originally Posted by evidens83 View Post
OP, score high on your ASVAB and you'll open up plenty of MOS options. Just curious, how is your physical fitness? Seals, Ranger, Sniper? Some pretty high speed stuff..
Physical fitness is something I can work towards, and never is good enough, but..... 6'1" 175 lbs Bench 225lbs, Squat 285 lbs, Deadlift 355 lbs, running sub 6 min mile. I'm lanky and thin, and I focus more on HIIT than lifting, but I know I need to hit those weights more. ..
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:13 PM
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I enlisted in the Army shortly after college and went through OCS shortly after that. Contrary to popular opinion, enlisted service does not make you a better (or worse) officer. You either posses the traits to be a good officer or you don't. Your commissioning source, basic course, and NCOs will round out the rest.

It's also worth noting that many outstanding individuals qualified to be officers chose not to go down that path for a variety of reasons.

As far as receiving your basic branch in the Army, your personal wishes are compared against your performance in OCS and the needs of the Army to determine what your branch will be. On the Reserve Component side you can sometimes make arrangements to fill a specific branch shortage before you complete OCS.

As has already been mentioned, your choices and opportunities will be affected by approaching financial and deployment changes. You can still drive your career but you'll have to fight harder than your predecessors for promotions, schools, and duty positions.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the resources on http://www.armyocs.com/.

Last edited by MRX9989; 02-07-2013 at 10:15 PM..
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Old 02-08-2013, 6:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bishop2queen's6 View Post
Physical fitness is something I can work towards, and never is good enough, but..... 6'1" 175 lbs Bench 225lbs, Squat 285 lbs, Deadlift 355 lbs, running sub 6 min mile. I'm lanky and thin, and I focus more on HIIT than lifting, but I know I need to hit those weights more. ..
If you're looking to do NSW your numbers for the PST to be competitive (the stuff of the motivator site are the minimums) should be like:

Swim 450M breaststroke or sidestroke, no wall touches or kickoffs in 9-10 minutes
80-100 pushups in 2 min (100+ for officers)
100+ situps in 2 min
20-25 pullups from dead hang, first 7 cadence are counted (25+ for officers)
Run 1.5 miles in 9-10 minutes in boots/trousers (your cardio scores added together need to be under 20 minutes, under 18 is competitive)

The weight training is good, but remember most of these programs focus heavily on endurance, and if you haven't been running in boots vice sneakers, that may take some getting used too. Some other screening metrics include a 4 mile run on the beach in under 28 minutes in boots/trousers. Other skills are open ocean swimming (duck diving etc) because you'll be in the surf for a while. Your days from muster will be getting beat all morning in the yard with dips, pushups etc, running with the boats and logs, paddling out with the boats and repeat all day well into the evening. Better physical conditioning will allow you to resist the wear/tear/pain from that end when you're freezing, chafing and sleep deprived etc.
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Old 02-08-2013, 6:55 AM
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If you go on to become a big chicken captain of your own nuclear vessel, or some high speed SEAL or Airborne Ranger, unless you wear an eagle, globe, and anchor on the daily, you will always be lacking as an officer. What I'm saying is, GO NAVY!!! AAAAAGGGGHHHHHH!!! Good morning everyone.
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Old 02-08-2013, 8:07 AM
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F all that other stuff. Go WOCS and fly helicopters for the Army. get lucky and youll fly Kiowas or Apaches... that's some good stuff right there.
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Old 02-08-2013, 8:03 PM
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where do you live in Cali?
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Old 02-08-2013, 8:07 PM
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Im located in the IE
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Old 02-08-2013, 9:38 PM
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Don't forget about the Air Force. There are numerous officer engineering positions in PRIME BEEF and RED HORSE squadrons. If you are looking for high speed, there are combat controllers, PJ's, JTAC's, TACP's, SERE, etc.
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:39 PM
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you really need to decide what you want to do. On the enlisted side it really does not matter if you have a college degree or not. You will receive the needed training for your chosen(or given) mos or rate. I think the army will let you in as an e3 after some college, talk to the navy about that as well. Ask them about loan repayment programs, (google them as well, have some background information before you walk in the office. If a recruiter says no, talk to another) don't leave money on the table.

As for the "Special" units...

If you want to be a ranger you need to ask your recruiter about an 11 series option 40 contract to get your a shot at ranger regiment. (going to ranger school and being in ranger regiment are two completely different things and I believe most people in regiment don't go to ranger school and don't wear the tab). As with all special units you need to do more than just sign papers. You will be tested during RASP and if you fail to complete it you will get orders else where.

SF is a different game. It is a different MOS field and you would be asking for an 18x contract. after completion of AIT, you will receive the 11 series infantry mos and will go to airborne school. They used to have an sfas prep school that was a few weeks for the 18x guys as well. after that you will go to sfas (assessment and selection) and they will decide if they want you. If you finish the course they can still turn you away and you will be competing against ncos that have combat experience. once you get past that you have about another 2 years of training from SERE, to foreign language and culture. (I hear they added Military free fall to the SF pipeline so that should be exciting). Mess up anywhere along the way and you go to the big army.


To enlist as a SEAL you would ask about the SEAL Challenge contract. There is a draft every month to decide who gets picked to go to BUDS. If you don't get picked up in a year you can either walk away from your contract or you can re-class and go to bootcamp as something else. Again the minimum is not enough.


Sniper school is something that you will go to once you get to your unit. Each unit(Infantry, ranger, SEAL or SF) gets billets to their version of the school and has slightly different ways of deciding who it sends. Dont think that you will just be able to walk up to your first sergeant as soon as you get to your command and ask to go. Don't worry about this right now, it should be low on your radar. As a note Officers rarely go to sniper school, and even if they do they will not hold a sniper billet at their unit.

Officer is an entirely different game. Slots for those units are extremely competitive. You have to go above and beyond to distance yourself from the minimums. if the case of sf you will have to a captain or a promotable 1st lieutenant before you can go to SFAS. so you have time to experience the big army and decide if it is for you or not. Learn a language in that time. Arabic, farsi, even spanish would help. If you go officer you will be an officer first and everything else like SF or SEALS is second.

SEALS offer contracts for officers straight after college unlike the Army and Marine Corps SOCOM elements. Obviously you are not ROTC so you would have to go OCS route. Talk to the Naval OSO for more details. They have a selection board once or twice a year. Last I heard they had 200+ applicants for 6 slots...

Dick Couch is a former SEAL and has books about SF, SEAL, and Ranger training. Buy the books and read them to know what you have ahead of you. He will also detail a lot of the differences between the units because all of them are unique and have very different mission statements. The SF mission seems to be particularly misunderstood.

Also the Marine Corps has recently stood up MSOB/MARSOC under the USSOCOM umbrella which has a very similar mission and selection process as Army SF. In fact they copied a lot of it directly from the Army(pains me to admit that as a former Marine). You have to be an NCO to attend A&S so you could spend some time in the fleet as infantry or recon and decide if that life is for you before committing to it. Recon is another option with a straight forward path from School of Infantry that you could ask your recruiter about.

For all of the above options you really need you to develop the mentality to not quit. If there is some part of you that has doubts now, imagine how you will feel in when you are colder, dirtier, more tired than you have known before and you don't know when the suck will stop. These schools are designed to find the quit in a person and exploit it. It takes a special type of person to live in the dirt and wake up at 4am after 3 hours of broken sleep ready to push day after day. If this what you really want to do, get the other options out of your head, get on a prep program suitable for the option you have chosen and do it.(military athlete has many good programs and NSW, USASOC have recommended programs as well)
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:59 PM
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Thank you call_me_ski. Your post really cleared up some confusion. I've ordered those books and will read tonight.
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Old 02-24-2013, 2:19 PM
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I dropped of my paper work last friday. Now its to play the waiting game if I get a yay or nay. Wish me luck!
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Old 02-24-2013, 3:28 PM
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If you are really serious about SF and have the level of work ethic and drive required, you will be very disappointed with the level of competence in the regular service. Just something to think about.
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I am a physician. I am held to being "the expert" in medicine. I can't fall back on feigned ignorance and the statement that the patient should have known better than I. When an officer "can't be expected to know the entire penal code", but a citizen is held to "ignorance is no excuse", this is equivalent to ME being able to sue my patient for my own malpractice-after all, the patient should have known better, right?
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Old 02-24-2013, 6:47 PM
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SF, 160th SOAR and Ranger School open to every MOS. I believe that Sapper School is still restricted to Engineers. You do not need to be in the Infantry to become a Ranger but you do need to complete Ranger School to be assigned to the Ranger Regiment. You don't need to go through Selection to be assigned to a Special Forces Group. The personnel assigned to their support units are usually just Airborne qualified. As for being disappointed in the quality of people in the rest of the military if you really want to be SF/Ranger I think you will find that the vast majority of the SOCOM community started out as a regular joe. If you are interested in doing something different that is just getting started in the Army then look into the 31K option. Military Working Dog Handler is now it's own MOS within the MP community and when they deploy they have an opportunity to work with SF. If you don't want to be an MP Dog Handler then look into doing it for SF. No matter what you do being in the Military is going to take 100% dedication on your part. Gone are the days where people can float aimlessly hidden in the masses. People are getting put out left and right and if you can't cut it you don't get to stay in.
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Old 02-25-2013, 9:33 PM
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Air Force has the hottest chicks.



Just sayin.......






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Old 04-14-2013, 12:24 PM
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What'd you end up deciding, Mr. Bishop?

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Afghanistan
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Old 04-14-2013, 12:54 PM
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Navy here. We had nuke drop outs in our et A School. They said depending on how far they made it in nuke school. Also that they had problems on essay writing and why they were dropped from the program.
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Old 04-14-2013, 1:22 PM
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Originally Posted by jeg0777 View Post
SF, 160th SOAR and Ranger School open to every MOS. I believe that Sapper School is still restricted to Engineers. You do not need to be in the Infantry to become a Ranger but you do need to complete Ranger School to be assigned to the Ranger Regiment. You don't need to go through Selection to be assigned to a Special Forces Group. The personnel assigned to their support units are usually just Airborne qualified. As for being disappointed in the quality of people in the rest of the military if you really want to be SF/Ranger I think you will find that the vast majority of the SOCOM community started out as a regular joe. If you are interested in doing something different that is just getting started in the Army then look into the 31K option. Military Working Dog Handler is now it's own MOS within the MP community and when they deploy they have an opportunity to work with SF. If you don't want to be an MP Dog Handler then look into doing it for SF. No matter what you do being in the Military is going to take 100% dedication on your part. Gone are the days where people can float aimlessly hidden in the masses. People are getting put out left and right and if you can't cut it you don't get to stay in.
This isn't all true. Ranger School has nothing to do with the 75th. You go through RASP and if you complete that you are sent to the 75th. From there you will be sent to follow on school that include Ranger School.
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Old 04-14-2013, 6:03 PM
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if you have your college degree , dont come in enlisted, im in the army enlisted and have a few guys in my company that came in with degrees and came in as E-4, still get treated like doo doo
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Old 04-14-2013, 7:41 PM
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Hey all,

Looks like my current employer renewed my contract till Sept 2014. I told the recruiter this and he said we'll start the application process back up in Spring 2014, since it coincided with going into OCS in October.

In the mean time, I will take my ASTB, pulminary function test (I have very mild asthma), over the summer. I'm pursuing two route now: either flight school and/or Navy EOD. Those don't pan out, I'll reapply for Nuke School since I'll be fully graduated and have a better GPA, if I get denied for that, SWO it is.... then reapply for Nuke School after a year in the fleet.
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  #31  
Old 04-16-2013, 2:26 PM
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If you're looking at going spec ops of any sort I highly recommend that you go over to SOFREP.com and read posts there about whatever spec ops unit you're interested. The site is run by former Spec Ops people and they'll give you the unvarnished truth on what it takes to become a SEAL, Ranger, Special Forces, etc. and what life can be like in these units. Since it sounds like you're going Navy and thinking about joining the SEALs there should be a primer on SOFREP written by a former SEAL on what it takes to become a SEAL.

As someone said previously, no matter which branch of SOCOM you want to join you have to want it badly, so badly that you refuse to quit no matter how hurt, tired, wet, hungry, and all around miserable you might be. It's not enough to simply be in fantastic shape you also have to the mental fortitude to match otherwise you'll wash out. One other thing you need to be aware of is that the initial training you undergo, like BUDs in the case of SEALs, is only the first step and you're not done after you're done with that. There are still other schools that you'll have to attend before you actually join a unit and you can still wash out of these other schools and go back to a regular unit.
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  #32  
Old 05-24-2013, 9:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpl. Haas View Post
^ Not completely true on the SO thing... most of the BUD/S Duds who ring out come here to NACCS/Rescue Swimmer School. Fail out of RSS, however, and your *** is going to the fleet undes!
You're not completely true either! Any BUD/S dud that comes out often gets I-stopped at SAR school, prior to ending up in OD (Deck Div) on a boat, as an undes seaman! So they get an NEC (0170), but still end up undes! At least it's a way for them to break out against the pack though!
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Old 05-25-2013, 1:52 AM
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Ski speaks some solid wisdom.
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  #34  
Old 05-25-2013, 4:59 AM
jeffreyliu838 jeffreyliu838 is offline
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Sounds like you're just a badge/tab chaser. If so, go be a pog officer.

If you want to go kill people go 11b op 40.
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  #35  
Old 05-25-2013, 8:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemonademaker View Post
You're not completely true either! Any BUD/S dud that comes out often gets I-stopped at SAR school, prior to ending up in OD (Deck Div) on a boat, as an undes seaman! So they get an NEC (0170), but still end up undes! At least it's a way for them to break out against the pack though!
I'm talking about Aviation Rescue Swimmer School... these guys definitely aren't going Undes; I've got two of them who are AWRs in my class, and one AWS in another class. There's also a SWCC drop who went AWR and is in the class behind me.
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  #36  
Old 05-25-2013, 9:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bishop2queen's6 View Post
Hey all,

Looks like my current employer renewed my contract till Sept 2014. I told the recruiter this and he said we'll start the application process back up in Spring 2014, since it coincided with going into OCS in October.

In the mean time, I will take my ASTB, pulminary function test (I have very mild asthma), over the summer. I'm pursuing two route now: either flight school and/or Navy EOD. Those don't pan out, I'll reapply for Nuke School since I'll be fully graduated and have a better GPA, if I get denied for that, SWO it is.... then reapply for Nuke School after a year in the fleet.
If you want any info on flight school you can PM me about that as well. Like I posted before, I was a prior sub nuke so I can also help with that.
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