Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
After college, why sign up for the military?
Old 09-28-2007, 11:47 AM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
After college, why sign up for the military?

I'm not a guy, and have no idea why recent college grads (male) do this, so hoping somone can answer this question: Why do males who recently finished college sign up for the military?
My son is checking out the JAG (military attorney) route, which is okay by me as he wants to be a government type attorney. This makes sense for him.
But I know 3 other boys who aren't going that route, and signed up for the military after college.
What is Uncle Sam offering that is so wonderful that they sign up after college?
One signed up before this Iraq thing happened, and he signed up because--and this is true--his mother babied him so much that he needed to feel like a man. I told my friend, the mother, this. Then she went to a high falutin' psychologist who told her the exact same thing I did. It was pretty obvious with this case.
But why would others sign up? I honestly don't have a clue about this. Is it feeling it is their duty to serve? Or is it some program the military has for recent college grads that is worth it?
__________________

__________________
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 09-28-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
Moderator
Sarah in SC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 11,276
My BIL finished his MBA and then went into the Navy active duty for several years, working in a Navy Hospital as an administrator. He then changed to reserves and was called up in November to active duty and is serving in Germany now, at age 36.
He believes in service to country. Most of his unit would say the same, I imagine. He is a Citadel graduate, which would attract more militarily-motivated students.

My boss is a proud Army man, who signed up after college. He stayed in the reserves for many years and wishes he'd stayed long enough to get called up. I liken it to how sure some people are about having children. They just know it is what they want.
__________________

__________________
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it's worth watching.”
Gerard Arthur Way

Sarah in SC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:08 PM   #3
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
I'm not a guy, and have no idea why recent college grads (male) do this, so hoping somone can answer this question: Why do males who recently finished college sign up for the military?
My son is checking out the JAG (military attorney) route, which is okay by me as he wants to be a government type attorney. This makes sense for him.
But I know 3 other boys who aren't going that route, and signed up for the military after college.
What is Uncle Sam offering that is so wonderful that they sign up after college?
One signed up before this Iraq thing happened, and he signed up because--and this is true--his mother babied him so much that he needed to feel like a man. I told my friend, the mother, this. Then she went to a high falutin' psychologist who told her the exact same thing I did. It was pretty obvious with this case.
But why would others sign up? I honestly don't have a clue about this. Is it feeling it is their duty to serve? Or is it some program the military has for recent college grads that is worth it?
I was sort of under the impression that there are loan forgiveness/payoff programs in the military, especially for specialties they really want. So maybe if you are heavily indebted after school it might seem appealing.

Other than that, I dunno. Idiocy? Congenital foolishness? A desire to be next to lots of other sweaty men in uniform?
__________________
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:12 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,073
Our son is a Marine officer. He joined after college because he always wanted to fly helicopters. If you watch the opening episode of The War on PBS there is a clip of a guy I think from Montana. He became a Marine Pilot in WWII. He gives a very good explanation as to why in his case and in the case of many I suspect. It was for the adventure. As he said you could be a sub commander, pilot or tank commander. Something the rural life in Montana just did not offer.

I retired from the Air Force. I believe that military brats have a completely different feeling towards the military compared to the average civilian. If you have had no contact with the military and your opinion is formed by the current Hollywood crowd then I could see why you would not understand it. It is not for everyone, and you will never grow rich, however, my sond makes in excess of 100k a year living is San Diego. In two years he qualifies for about a $125,000 bonus, and he loves what he is doing.
__________________
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:23 PM   #5
Dryer sheet aficionado
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 47
I believe for some it is a desire to serve and be a part of something greater than yourself. e.g. An IT worker who helps run a computer system for a company to make it more profitable vs an IT worker who works on combat communication systems that saves American lives.

Maybe the second half of that statement is simply a misperception on my part, but I believe that desire to do something great is a major driver. Also, I think it applies to females as well. Maybe not as large a group, but they can not be ruled out.

Personally, I have a pretty good civilian career going, but in the back of my mind I think about trying Coast Guard OCS almost daily. We'll see what hand I end up playing, the last thing I want to do is live and regret the purpose I've created for myself in this life.
__________________
hova22 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:25 PM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 9,102
I'm not sure why the question is put in terms of "guys", since lots of women sign up, too.

I don't think you'll understand it if you look at just the money (or retirement, etc). And, an officer that would sign up primarily for the pay will not be happy or successful.

Many enlist or seek a commission because they want to be a member of the armed forces. Some do it because they want the excitement/adventure that the military offers (who else is going t pay you to learn to fly jets?). Some do it because they believe that the fight we are now in (in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and in the wider war against Islamic Fascism) is the major struggle of this generation, and they want to take part in it directly. Many here will disagree with the ultimate validity of one or more of these reasons, but I think they are the ones that draw people to enlist or seek a commission.

If you get a chance to work with them you'll know that many very smart, motivated young men and women are making this decision. Which, I hope we can all agree, is a good thing for the country.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 12:29 PM   #7
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem View Post
If you get a chance to work with them you'll know that many very smart, motivated young men and women are making this decision. Which, I hope we can all agree, is a good thing for the country.
The militar officers I have worked with or met have been uniformly smart, disciplined, and effective. But I cannot agree that it is a good thing to have these people in the military for years and years: a waste of talent, IMO.

'Scuse me, gotta go renew my CPUSA membership now...
__________________
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:12 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 20,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
The militar officers I have worked with or met have been uniformly smart, disciplined, and effective. But I cannot agree that it is a good thing to have these people in the military for years and years: a waste of talent, IMO.

'Scuse me, gotta go renew my CPUSA membership now...
Middle level army officers know an awful lot about many things. In what other career will you get sent to school at your employer’s expense every few years- not only in a narrow specialty, but in large geopolitical or scientific areas. My ex-FIL has masters in poly sci, math and economics, all in a fairly short military career.

I think for many the submersion of self in favor of what somebody else wants you to do would be difficult, especially when it involves life and death as it too often does:

Was there a man dismay'd?
Not tho' the soldier knew
Some one had blunder'd:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.—

Forward the Light Brigade! (Tennyson)


But for different personality types, like other posters have said, there is a clear opportunity to serve, and to be part of something bigger than oneself.

Ha
__________________
Wherever you go may people always recognize that you have a beautiful heart.
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:15 PM   #9
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Coach's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 1,123
It used to be that the military was a pretty good career choice if you were interested in early retirement. I don't think the deal is as good as it used to be, but I don't know the details.

I'm in a town with a lot of retired military, and we get a lot of applications from them when we're hiring.

Coach
__________________
Coach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:24 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Fireup2020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,178
This topic is like discussing religion or politics. What you understand from your perspective is nearly all you can see. The other side is unimaginable. From my perspective, I am amazed that the question even was posed - meaning, "I can't imagine why someone would not seriously consider the military" - however, I cannot make you "get it" when it comes to the commitment, convictions, and attitudes of those of us serving. Career military folks can go on and on until blue in the face trying to explain why we are in - and it will fall on deaf (confused) ears. Just like trying to convert a Mormon to Judaism or a Conservative Republican to a Liberal Democrat!
__________________
Make no mistake, my friend, it takes more than money to make men rich. - A. P. Gouthey
Fireup2020 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:27 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,073
From previous post on this board it is obvious that Brewer has nothing but disdain for the military. It appears he is a part of society that believes nothing is worth fighting for, and the military should be disbanded.

Orchidflower I find your post interesting. Are you one of those that 'Support our Military' as long as it is not someone I know? My guess is you have had little or no contact with present or previous military personnel. If you did you would find out they are much like most folks, however, they believe there are evil people in this world that put our children are at risk and our way of life.

I agree with SamClem successfully officers and enlisted are not there for the money. However, the military does provide a decent living standard. The experience and education one obtains is difficult if not impossible to obtain in the civilian world. The satisfaction of doing the job and doing it better than anyone else can is a rush. Many Fortune 500 firms have ex military officers in the upper management. Hugh McColl was a former Marine officer, he took a small North Carolina bank and grew/merged it into Bank America. There are many more examples.

There are most likely as many different reasons for joining the military as there are folks serving. The different services each appeal to different types of people. The Marines are much like a cult. Once a Marine always a Marine. The Air Force, is a technical branch, and IMHO, the least military of the services. The Navy has always sold it self on adventure, IE join the Navy and see the world. The Army, well I'll leave that up to a grunt to come up with the reason having been in the Air Force, and spent lots of time as a Forward Air Controller with the Army, I not sure of why someone joins the Army.

The military is a way of life, and for my part it was a good life, and their was no hesitation on mine or my wifes part when our son chose this path.

Fireup2025 said it better.
__________________
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:36 PM   #12
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 4
I spent a few decades in, so here's my experience:
Some joined to pay off student loans (you'd be surprised how often I got this answer). Some are seduced by the TV commercials--he-he, why do you think the services are putting so much money into the TV ads? Maybe it is a rite of passage, if college didn't fulfill that need. One thing to think about is that the military actively recruits from colleges (yeah I know and in turn colleges get federal funds, etc.). A great majority really do feel it is a duty or calling, and I found that gratifying.

It is also true that some join to get some structure (and perhaps develop a goal/vision?) in their lives. As was said here before--the money is not-so-great, but serving does have its benefits.
__________________
dreamn2retir is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:44 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
maddythebeagle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,450
My dad was an Air Force officer....yeah, I think educational opportunities were key and a lot of folks talk about early retirement or least pulling in a pension and going to work another job......
__________________
maddythebeagle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 01:49 PM   #14
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
From previous post on this board it is obvious that Brewer has nothing but disdain for the military. It appears he is a part of society that believes nothing is worth fighting for, and the military should be disbanded.
Love the conclusions you jump to. You get special leg-strengthening training for that or something? Or is it just the hopping around motions you make with your head stuffed up your @ss?

I'm a pacifist who is deeply suspicious of large organizations with lots of rules. But I understand that there are people out there that desparately want to be told what to do every day. Different strokes...
__________________
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:00 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,073
Brewer, when I first started reading this board I was struck by some of your post. Approximately two years ago. I almost dropped this board becuase of some of the outright discusting comments you made about the U.S. Military. I got several private messages from folks on this board that stated and I paraphrase 'Brewer has some real wierd ideas but he has put forth some real good fancial advice in the past so we tolerate him'. I have since read most of you financial post and find them spot on, in general. And, your disdain for the military still shows through.

By the way, my post in no way was intended as an insult to you. I accept you are a pacifist, and I will never understand your thought pattern, nor agree with your conclussions. Therefore, I generally do not engage you directly on this board, and would never insult you with personal attacks as you have just done.
__________________
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:03 PM   #16
gone traveling
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 15,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
Therefore, I generally do not engage you directly on this board, and would never insult you with personal attacks as you have just done.
So this statement squares with your earlier dismissive post how? Not buying your passive aggressive BS.

But I am happy to live and let live. Leave me alone and I am happy to return the favor, at least as far as this topic goes.
__________________
brewer12345 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:21 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Thank you for your insights. I have never been in the military, and the relatives who were in Korea or WWII never talked about it much. My only contact with someone in the military, really, was my first love who was a gung ho Marine...and dumped me for a blonde (the rat!).
Many of you stated the exact things my son has said for his wanting to join: being a part of something bigger, the wonderful benefits, etc. But his eye is on a goal in political life, so, for him, this plays a big role, too. He's also pretty patriotic, and has always been.
I'm just surprised at all the college grads who join upon graduating. I had NO idea so many joined the service AFTER graduating. The only ones I met in college were going to school thanks to Uncle Sammie's benefits after doing their 3-4 years in...while I slaved away in law offices as a secretary to get the money up to go.
My son called the Army recruiters to talk with them, and they said they would send info. And didn't. And he called different ones maybe 4 times. Same lack of enthusiasm. However, the Marine recruiter drove 1-1/2 hours up to deliver info. personally and speak with him. Guess who he is interested in now...
Excuse my ignorance on this subject as I have never even had a girlfriend who joined the service ever, but I was really curious as to why the college grad would choose the military. I always thought guys joined the service to get together the money for college...not go after they finish.
I had no idea so many former officers became so successful in life as Rustic23 pointed out. Interesting...but the military builds discipline, as we all know, so this makes sense.
I haven't any reservations about my son going in at all, but I am still in the learning stage.
__________________
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:30 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 9,102
Orchidflower,
Regarding the Army recruiter's lethargy: Maybe the services have enough lawyers. I've heard that there's a glut of new lawyers in the civilian world, and this often results in many joining the military. This goes in cycles.
If your son tells a different recruiter that he's a recent grad, in good physical shape, and has had a lifelong goal to be an infantry officer, I guarantee that the recruiter will take a very strong interest in getting him a lot of information!
Your son should also check out all the services, as their cultures really are different. He's about to make a big decision, far more significant than buying a house or a car. Research is important.
__________________
"Freedom begins when you tell Mrs. Grundy to go fly a kite." - R. Heinlein
samclem is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:36 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rustic23's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Lake Livingston, Tx
Posts: 3,073
I don't know about the other services, but when I went into the Air Force, 1967, you had to have a college degree in order to become an officer. While not an exact statistic, about 98% of those officers promoted to Major, had advanced degrees. Plus, you had to have completed Squadron Officers School, and Command and Staff. Many had completed War College. All three of the were known as 'Proffessional Military Education'.
__________________
Rustic23 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-28-2007, 02:39 PM   #20
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Without talking with him, I am going to venture a guess that the Marine's cultish philosophy of "once a Marine, always a Marine" appeals to him. We have no family, and I think the idea of "belonging" like the Marines spew would appeal to him. I'll have to ask him about this when he comes up in a few weeks.
Seems as if all the ex-military who answered this appear to be pretty satisfied with their lives. That's positive and takes a load off my mind...not that I was very worried.
__________________

__________________
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bad sign - Schwab outta commision JohnEyles FIRE and Money 12 08-18-2007 07:38 PM
I'm new to the forum, just wanted to sign in. crowbird Hi, I am... 4 01-06-2007 07:30 PM
Do you sign your CC? mickeyd Other topics 19 09-03-2006 10:08 AM
Buying low or sign of things to come? Sisyphus Young Dreamers 17 07-24-2006 03:22 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:02 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Early Retirement News right to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with all the latest news to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]