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  1. #1
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    18 and considering military?

    My sophmore son told me last night that he'd like to consider serving our country when he graduates high school. I'm thrilled, and I'd be very proud if he decides to do so.
    He wouldn't go to college first, but since we homeschool, he is earning college credits now (at a rate of 6-9 per year).

    What do I need to know about ushering him through this process- I need the "unofficial guide" based on the experiences of those of you here. Better to have loose credits going in? Associate degree first? Skip it and let him earn credit on Uncle Sam's dime later? Bachelor's first? He's bright- but not West Point bright- so academy is aiming too high. He'd like to go in when he's 18 rather than later.

    I'm pretty sure he could complete enough credit to finish high school with most of an associate degree. He could certainly be within a semester or two after graduation. Someone help me get off on the right path, I'd like to research this a lot more, but I don't even know step 1. *and he hasn't picked a branch.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  2. #2
    b4cz28 is offline Registered User
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    That's great! I think you get a rank bump for an AS or AA. Major was just on, he would be the one to ask.
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  3. #3
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    When I was in (1990-1998), people that were in Basic Training with more then X number of college credits came in as an E3. I think it was 60 credits but could be wrong and that could have changed. If he is going full-time military (as opposed to Reserves) the people that got fast promotions were cooks and they got big bonuses.

    I would recommend getting the associates degree before enrolling if he is really close. Also, never sign any thing with the promise that they will "fix" it later - later never comes. When picking an MOS, think about the goal. Does he want to be employable in that field or is it just to have the experience and earn college money?

    I went for medical equipment repair and my friend went for putting missles on planes. I got a civilian job faster then him when we were done...imagine that. The friend that went for cook planned to just attend college after the Army. Does any of this help?

  4. #4
    airtorn is offline Moderator
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    I've been in the Air Force for a little over 16 years and for the most part, have enjoyed it. In that time, I've been stationed in New Mexico, California, England, and Oklahoma with another move (Missouri) coming up in less than two months. I've got to travel to great places throughout the States and Europe, some meh places (ie. Korea) and some not so fun places (Middle East locations). A proverbial ton of training has been paid for and I've received several associate's degrees, a bachelor's and a master's through USAF tuition assistance. From a quality of life standpoint, I've never had to worry about things like layoffs and when a paycheck would arrive.

    A few thoughts:

    The entry rank due to college credits varies a bit between the branches. Research the differences but in the grand scheme of things, being paid as an E-1 -vs- E-2 -vs- E-3 for a few months at the beginning of an enlistment isn't a big difference when looked at over the course of a four year enlistment.

    Promotions vary between the branches. For the most part in the Air Force, everybody gets promoted at basically the same percentage from career field to career field.

    Tuition assistance varies a bit between the branches. The Air Force currently pays a max of $250 per semester hour with an annual cap of $4500.

    Beyond that, you will need to check into the requirements for entry into the military as a homeschooler. I do know that in general, it is a bit easier with some college (15 semester hours) under the belt of the enlistee.
    MPH, A.T. Still University - 2008
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  5. #5
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Excellent suggestions and advice, please keep it coming!
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  6. #6
    AV8R is offline Registered User
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    If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would have gone into the military.....probably the Air Force. It truly is a great deal for a young person. Do you think your son could hold off just two more years before going in? The reason I ask is because if he already has around 60 credit hours at 18 years of age, he could go to a university that has ROTC and let the government pay for the rest of his degree. He would then be able to go into the military as a junior officer.

  7. #7
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by AV8R View Post
    Do you think your son could hold off just two more years before going in? The reason I ask is because if he already has around 60 credit hours at 18 years of age, he could go to a university that has ROTC and let the government pay for the rest of his degree. He would then be able to go into the military as a junior officer.
    Has he considered the Reserves? He could serve, get all the educational benefits (as well as free CLEP/DANTES), learn a skill, and not have the "full time" committment.

    Here is another option - the Coast Guard. They have the same benefits without the constant threat of activation. A bonus (to me anyway) is always being stationed by the water. When I went back in for a year in 2003-2004 for edcutaional benefits, I almost went in the Coast Guard. They even had a program where you could enter as an officer if you had a degree in a "high need" area. Just something else to explore. The down side of the Coast Guard is that they put in a lot of jobs before you pick your MOS so you get a taste of everything (that is the way my friend explained it when he was in). Another down side is limited options for training. The Army has over a hundred while the Coast Guard has maybe 2 dozen.

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  9. #8
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randell1234 View Post
    Has he considered the Reserves? He could serve, get all the educational benefits (as well as free CLEP/DANTES), learn a skill, and not have the "full time" commitment.

    Here is another option - the Coast Guard. They have the same benefits without the constant threat of activation. A bonus (to me anyway) is always being stationed by the water. When I went back in for a year in 2003-2004 for educational benefits, I almost went in the Coast Guard. They even had a program where you could enter as an officer if you had a degree in a "high need" area. Just something else to explore. The down side of the Coast Guard is that they put in a lot of jobs before you pick your MOS so you get a taste of everything (that is the way my friend explained it when he was in). Another down side is limited options for training. The Army has over a hundred while the Coast Guard has maybe 2 dozen.

    Our knowledge base, at this point, is like someone coming here and asking "what's a credit?" Seriously, he asked me a few questions, but I'm completely ignorant about the process and how to align yourself for the best outcome. Lucky we have a few years to unwind everything, but I'm going to look up a few of those ideas and send the links to him. Thanks guys!
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  10. #9
    BrandeX is offline Registered User
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    Would he like to "serve" or "lead" in the military? If you want to be an officer these days, you need a completed bachelors prior to enlisting unless you are currently enrolled in Uni, and in something like ROTC mentioned above.

  11. #10
    major56 is offline Registered User
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    Jennifer,

    Your son may want to seriously consider the Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program (WOFT) / MOS 153A – Rotary Wing Aviator. This program is for the civilian /non-prior service applicant only. There is a 3 year active duty service obligation upon enlistment for WOFT. Upon completion of Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) there is a 6 year total service obligation (e.g. 3 year active /3 year reserve). If applicant does not successfully complete the Warrant Officer Candidate School he is still obligated for the remaining of his enlistment option.

    Can he pass a Class 1 Flight Physical that is approved by The US Army Aero-Medical Center (USAAMC), Fort Rucker, AL; is a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years-old with a high school diploma or GED (a GED additionally requires 15 semester hours of college level courses); score 90 or higher on the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test (AFAST); and obtain a GT Score of 110 or Higher? If so, here’s the link:

    153A - Rotary Wing Aviator
    Last edited by major56; 01-01-2011 at 07:54 PM.
    Major56
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  12. #11
    NorCal is offline Registered User
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    Some branches will offer an incentive promotion to E-3/E-4 on the enlisted side if he has an AS/AA or 60 college units completed. (In 2001 when I enlisted, I was immediately promoted to an E-3 because I had 63 college units completed prior to my enlistment.

    Now of course, having a BA/BS would be the most ideal, however, that will take time and it sounds like he doesn't want to wait. But with his BS/BA completed he can possibly get a commission as an officer and eventually command his own unit.

    You and your son need to first hammer out a plan as to what he wants to accomplish. An AA/AS won't really do much for him unless he wants to become a Warrant Officer (Which is a great gig) or if he wants to go career (Which he won't know until he is in a few years).

    Here is an example of the enlistment process:

    1.) Take the ASVAB Test
    2.) Get a medical examination exam at MEPS
    3.) Pick a job that you qualify for with your ASVAB score
    4.) Sign an enlistment contract
    5.) Go to Military Basic Training
    6.) Go to your specialty school (MOS School)

    After you complete Basic Training & MOS School, you'll get your first duty assignment and enter the active duty military.
    University of Alabama
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  13. #12
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Quote Originally Posted by major56 View Post
    Jennifer,

    Your son may want to seriously consider the Army Warrant Officer Flight Training Program (WOFT) / MOS 153A – Rotary Wing Aviator. This program is for the civilian /non-prior service applicant only. There is a 3 year active duty service obligation upon enlistment for WOFT. Upon completion of Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) there is a 6 year total service obligation (e.g. 3 year active /3 year reserve). If applicant does not successfully complete the Warrant Officer Candidate School he is still obligated for the remaining of his enlistment option.

    Can he pass a Class 1 Flight Physical that is approved by The US Army Aero-Medical Center (USAAMC), Fort Rucker, AL; is a U.S. citizen; at least 18 years-old with a high school diploma or GED (a GED additionally requires 15 semester hours of college level courses); score 90 or higher on the Alternate Flight Aptitude Selection Test (AFAST); and obtain a GT Score of 110 or Higher? If so, here’s the link:

    153A - Rotary Wing Aviator
    Hummmm maybe!? I think he's following this thread. He is going this summer to the EAA Young Eagles Flight Academy. The local chapter is sponsoring his attendance. I think if he likes it, this might really be something for him to consider! He's flown several times with our good friend (civilian flight instructor) and his best friend earned his private pilot's license, but even around all of these opportunities he hasn't seemed all that motivated. He declined to join civil air patrol. I'll be interested to see how he feels after this summer.
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  14. #13
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Thank you for spelling that out for me NorCal. That gives me a really clear understanding of the path. We have a good 1.5 years before he hits 18, so I think we have time to add college credits to his high school if he wishes. (he may not be up for more) I don't want to discourage anyone else from making suggestions- keep them coming!
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  15. #14
    lawrenceq is offline Registered User
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    Check out the link below.

    - Joining the Military - Military.com

    He can also visit the discussion board and ask recruiters and veterans questions about the different branches.

    Military.com Forums - Powered by Social Strata
    BS Multidisciplinary Studies - Liberty University

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  17. #15
    cookderosa is offline Resident Chef
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    Oh my gosh, the military dot com website is fantastic! Thanks so much!

    I read a bit, and it definately seems like having a BS degree prior to enlistment would be a good idea. He was going to take 2 classes at AMU next fall; dump question, but would an online degree from AMU be a good idea, or B&M locally? (there are no ROTC programs locally,I already checked)
    Jennifer
    MS Applied Nutrition, Canisius College
    AA & BA Social Science, Thomas Edison State College
    AOS Culinary Arts, Culinary Institute of America

    The placebo effect should be kicking in any minute.

  18. #16
    StefanM is offline Registered User
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    Allow me to "second" the recommendation for ROTC, even if he has to go away from your location. Also you may want to look into military academies. Of course the service academies are going to require congressional appointment, but other schools like Virginia Military Institute and the Citadel are available for an intensive military structure in a college context. Texas A&M is also a very good option for ROTC.

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