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07/29/2005 01:41:39 AM · #1
Ive been talking to recruiters the past few days. And its for sure im going to be joining one of the branches, not entierly sure which one i want to join. My buddy curtis is a marine and is trying to convince me to join the marines. but my dad was in the air force and recomends air force or navy. no matter which one i choose to go in, im going to attempt to be a photographer full time, but im going do what ever they want me to do, allthough i wouldnt mind carrying a M16 around :-D. So, here is my top 3, Navy, Army, Marines.
which do you think is best and why?
07/29/2005 01:44:53 AM · #2
Originally posted by Fetor:

Ive been talking to recruiters the past few days. And its for sure im going to be joining one of the branches, not entierly sure which one i want to join. My buddy curtis is a marine and is trying to convince me to join the marines. but my dad was in the air force and recomends air force or navy. no matter which one i choose to go in, im going to attempt to be a photographer full time, but im going do what ever they want me to do, allthough i wouldnt mind carrying a M16 around :-D. So, here is my top 3, Navy, Army, Marines.
which do you think is best and why?

GO NAVY! They have a photographers rate, but I think it's very competitive - but would be true of all branches. Marines are great, but takes a certain mentailty (and physicality). The Navy and Air Force are probably safest and have the best schools.

Good luck!

ps: Just stay away from the Dentists. ;-) PM me if you want to know more.

Message edited by author 2005-07-29 01:45:49.
07/29/2005 01:50:55 AM · #3
I'm currently active duty Navy (17 years).

If you want to know anything about the Navy, feel free to contact me.

I used to be a recruiter, and also used to be a job classifier (job placement counselor), so I know quite a bit about the different fields.

Message edited by author 2005-07-29 01:52:03.
07/29/2005 02:00:14 AM · #4
Originally posted by aboutimage:

I'm currently active duty Navy (17 years).

If you want to know anything about the Navy, feel free to contact me.

I used to be a recruiter, and also used to be a job classifier (job placement counselor), so I know quite a bit about the different fields.


Ok, David was a Recruiter - contact him. (then contact me for the truth) Heeheehee.
07/29/2005 02:00:42 AM · #5
Originally posted by aboutimage:

I'm currently active duty Navy (17 years).

If you want to know anything about the Navy, feel free to contact me.

I used to be a recruiter, and also used to be a job classifier (job placement counselor), so I know quite a bit about the different fields.

what exactly do you do now? and what did you do at the beginning of your active duty? were you stationed for a period of time on a battleship, sub, aircraft carrier, or a navy station overseas, other?

07/29/2005 02:33:25 AM · #6
Well since David hasn't answered yet - I'll tell you that I joined the Navy at 17, spent 10 years as a Data Systems Technician (Mainframe Computer and Radar Display Systems Repair). My first 2 years were mostly school. The next 2 years, 8 months and 22 days, I was assigned to a brand new Spruance Class Destroyer (USS Fletcher DD-992). I went on 2 deployments, one was 6 months, the other nearly 7. Traveled to Guam, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Hawaii, Phillipines, New Guinea, Seychelles. Many things about being on the ship sucked, but that was far outweighed by the experiences. The ship I was on was decommissioned last October down in San Diego and I went on a special cruise they had last July after being off that thing for 20 years - it was a trip - more like a flashback actually.

Ok - anyway, I got off the boat, went to more schools for a year and worked at the training command in Vallejo, CA (90 minutes from my home town of San Jose) for the next 4 years or so.

The Navy has changed a lot since I got out (they now tolerate whining and are bent on Political Correctness), so David (aboutimage) can give you a more up to date report.
07/29/2005 03:02:12 AM · #7
Originally posted by Fetor:

what exactly do you do now?

At this very moment, I am an "Information Systems Engineer" for the SEAL (SPECWAR) program. I have the horrible, horrible misfortune of working ON the Coronado, CA beach ;-) I'm literally about 30 seconds away from the surf.

To be quite honest, I'd rather leave the specifics of what I do a little vague - not because I'm doing anything ultra-secret, I'm certainly not - but because my world is related to special warfare and I don't believe the details should be that public in this age of terrorism. Nor would I want something I say here to inadvertantly help someone else who doesn't have my nations best interests at heart.

My job is (and has) largely centered around managing information technology and communications systems. Computer networks, programming, radio telecommunications, microwave communications, fiber optics, that kind of stuff.

I don't even know how to relate what I DID when I first joined, because technology has changed so much. Unless "paper tape" and "HF data comms" mean much to you, explaining it wouldn't be relevant.

First 6 years were spent overseas (land-based) in Greece and Sicily. Next 3 years were spent in Japan on a ship (USS Blue Ridge LCC19). Then 5 years as a recruiter (extra 2 years by choice). Then 3 years on 3 different ships (USS Paul F Foster DD964, now decommissioned, USS Ford (FF54), and the USS Tarawa (LHA1).

Is the job good? I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've been to well over 30 countries (some of them 6-8 times). I've been offered 3 jobs that pay over twice what I make now, but I've told them all I'm finishing what I started (20 years is a pretty damn good retirement). I just got another job offer working as a counter-hacker for NCIS starting at well over $100K. Not sure if I'm going to take it, as I am running my own business and could potentially make more there. Who knows?

Has the job ever sucked? Oh yeah. I've slogged thru nasty smuggler vessels up to my ankles in the crude oil they were trying to dump directly into the ocean. While floating in the middle of a marked minefield. That kind of stuff sucked. But you know? It's those kinds of memories that make my time worthwhile. It sucked at the time, but I look back at some of it with a certain fondness. A friend once told me that your life is a tally of your "significant emotional events". Good or bad, they're what shape you. Navy has DEFINATELY shaped me.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. Would I change anything? Probably, but only the things I didn't do because I didn't have the courage at the time.

Message edited by author 2005-07-29 03:07:30.
07/29/2005 03:03:53 AM · #8
Originally posted by Fetor:

...but im going do what ever they want me to do, allthough i wouldnt mind carrying a M16 around :-D.


1. Not interested in starting a flame thing, or anything aggressive.
2. Am extremely intrigued by the comment above. Given the way our world is right now, opting for military service, I think, is a huge, serious choice. In a way, I might think it goes beyond which branch of the service one enters. I'm piqued by the idea of "doing whatever they want [you] to do." The M16 comment, I seriously hope your tongue was firmly in cheek.

I saw a news report on the BBC the other day talking about how the US military is having a difficult time recruiting, and that recruiters might have broken rules in getting the job done. The list of alleged violations include pointing out potential recruits to vendors or websites that offer High School diplomas to those who have not graduated high school, and other steps that would allow otherwise non-qualified applicants to pass through.

Needless to say, I found the report quite disturbing, and raises the question of whether or not military service is something that is appropriate for young people for whom the state has decided they're not even of legal age for consuming alcohol, etc.

Why is the American government trusting kids who can't legally drink with M16s?

To bring this back to topic, I'm curious as to why a young American these days would be interested in joining military service. Of course tradition and family history might count, but are there other reasons for why military service is an opt choice?

Again, no intention to insult or to start a flame war here. I just find this topic quite interesting.

-Rob
07/29/2005 03:15:54 AM · #9
I believe I can answer that:

-The allegations regarding the recruiters: No real shock there. The current global situation is certainly not the reason why the aforementioned recruiters were trying to "cheat". Unfortunately, this is an age old problem that is always under scrutiny. People are people - some will do whatever they can to get ahead, whether it's the right thing or not. Recruiters have a tough job. Some of them break under the fear of failing and do the wrong thing.

-Why is the gov trusting kids with M-16's when they can't drink? That's an age-old question, even asked by me when I first joined. But it's an oxymoron, if you think about it. Soldiers are TRAINED to handle weapons. When's the last time you met someone who spent 12 months at a rigorous "hold your liquor" course?

-Why do kids join the US military? Same reason kids everywhere join global militaries. Some need a job. Some need discipline (and know it). Some want to give back to their country. Some are looking for direction in life. Some are looking for adventure. Some are looking for "esprit de corps" or brotherhood they never got at home. Some want to better themselves. Some want to challenge themselves.

I could come up with more reasons, but I'm sure you get the idea here.

P.S. No offense taken. I understand the direction of your questions. I fielded FAR FAR worse as a recruiter.

Message edited by author 2005-07-29 03:25:23.
07/29/2005 03:23:18 AM · #10
USMC has combat photographers, they carry cameras and M-16's. I'm not familiar with the other branches.

There are several that have work on PBase, you might want to search them out there. I'm sure if you emailed, they would tell you what it's like and how hard it is to get that job etc.
07/29/2005 03:24:48 AM · #11
I joined the Air Force right after high school - many moons ago. The only reason I chose the Air Force over the Marines (I scored well enough for either) was the job I was promised. While I was promised a certain job and then put into something completely different, it was still a good learning opportunity. If nothing else, they teach you to be independent and responsible real fast. I tried talking my daughter into joining the Air Force, but all she wants to do is go to a private Art College that none of us can afford. Student loans will be keeping us in debt for the next 100 years! If you do join, be sure to take full advantage of their college deal.
If I had it all to do over again - I would still enlist.

- Linda
07/29/2005 05:39:47 AM · #12
I have been in the Army for the past three years. I would recomend either Air Force or Navy. They tend to treat people better then Marines or Army. Dont forget to ask about deployments to. The Army sends people for 1 year at a time all others only do 7 month rotations last time I heard.
07/29/2005 07:08:23 AM · #13

I think being a marine you're always first inline for a 'close shave' so in my opinion the further away the better!

But good on you, I understand that recruitment is down at the moment!

07/29/2005 07:32:57 AM · #14
Active duty Navy here, so naturally I'm for that route. You are more likely to be able to pick what job you want with Navy too. Any questions you have feel free to ask. Military life in any branch is no picnic, but it has it's rewards - the biggest of which is the pride you feel from providing protection and safety to those you hold most dear. We all play a part in that. (Although I'm still trying to figure out exactly what the Air Force does.) Anyway, PM me anytime with questions.
Jack
07/29/2005 08:50:55 AM · #15
Go Navy. Get into an Aviation rate. This way you are NOT stuck on a ship year round. you will be mostly land based but get to go out on a carrier.

I was an Aviation Electrician on the A6-E and spent 1 year 3 months and 28 days at sea (total time, not all at once). Its a much better life being in the aviation community than the regular Navy. Plus you get to work on cool airplanes

James
07/29/2005 08:53:31 AM · #16
I was a Marine for nine years and I cannot begin to explain how it changed my life. When I joined I was an 18 year-old punk who loved nothing more than himself. I did drugs, I drank, and was pretty much a bad person. I am now a 30 year-old happily married father of two who has a great job, nice house, and a family that I thank God for everyday. I owe every single bit of it to the Marine Corps. All the services offer unique things and none of them would be a bad choice, but being able to say you are or were a Marine is a special thing. I think Ronald Reagan said it best when he said... "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."

If you have any questions please contact me. I still work on a Marine base(Quantico), so I could put you in contact with some of the photographers here if you want. They don't always carry M-16s, but it does look like they are forced to use Nikons... poor guys.

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07/29/2005 09:00:08 AM · #17
I was active duty Air Force for four years (I hated my time in, but that had nothing to do with my job, just my location). I would recommend either the Air Force or the Navy. Admittedly If I were to rejoin (which I can do if I really want) I'd join the navy instead.
07/29/2005 09:02:36 AM · #18
Just thought of something else. I used to develop some of the pictures for the Air Force, their pictures were generally very bad quality (at least at the base I worked at).
07/29/2005 09:02:42 AM · #19
You have a better chance of getting into the photography with the Navy and make sure they get you that MOS. I do not at all discredit the other branches but the Navy and Army (again make sure they will get you that MOS) have those jobs. Good luck.

SSG Moore
07/29/2005 09:07:57 AM · #20
I have a brother that is in the Airforce. He did PR for the Thunderbirds for the past 3 years and is now working in GA for the base paper. I'm sure he would be willing to talk to you about what he does. PM me if you are interested. I know he has been through some great schools and has won some wonderful awards with some graphics has had done this past year.

As for the Navy. If you are single go ahead and join. You will be out to sea more that you are in. My husband was in for 4 years.

Which ever branch you join. Make sure you get everything in writing. And know what they are promising you. Some things promised end up being quite different from what you think you are going in for.
07/29/2005 09:46:56 AM · #21
Fetor...

Have you ever considered the Coast Guard? whom actually pre-date the U.S. Federal Navy by two years...and who have been in every major conflict.

They have a broader mission (and help rescue many lives as well as defending the country and in the current terror situation are now probably the #1 defense of the country - as many feel that a nuclear device is easily smuggled via a small sailing vessel).

One of the other benefits is that a lot of their station bilets are in U.S. coastal cities. The result is that after your first few years you can usually find a bilet on shore which makes it much easier to raise a family and serve in the military.

Just a thought...
07/29/2005 10:03:18 AM · #22
Originally posted by theSaj:

Fetor...

Have you ever considered the Coast Guard? whom actually pre-date the U.S. Federal Navy by two years...and who have been in every major conflict.

They have a broader mission (and help rescue many lives as well as defending the country and in the current terror situation are now probably the #1 defense of the country - as many feel that a nuclear device is easily smuggled via a small sailing vessel).

One of the other benefits is that a lot of their station bilets are in U.S. coastal cities. The result is that after your first few years you can usually find a bilet on shore which makes it much easier to raise a family and serve in the military.

Just a thought...


i was going to suggest them as well
07/29/2005 10:21:46 AM · #23
Originally posted by theSaj:

Fetor...

Have you ever considered the Coast Guard? whom actually pre-date the U.S. Federal Navy by two years...and who have been in every major conflict.

They have a broader mission (and help rescue many lives as well as defending the country and in the current terror situation are now probably the #1 defense of the country - as many feel that a nuclear device is easily smuggled via a small sailing vessel).

One of the other benefits is that a lot of their station bilets are in U.S. coastal cities. The result is that after your first few years you can usually find a bilet on shore which makes it much easier to raise a family and serve in the military.

Just a thought...


Actually...
CG Birthdate: 04 August 1790
Navy Birthday: 13 October 1775
07/29/2005 10:22:45 AM · #24
Active Navy here, while the military is not for everyone I will say that I'm glad I entered. My brother talked me into it 16 years ago, he has since retired and I'm the last from my generation to serve. It has taught me many things that I don't think I would have ever had the opportunity to learn on the outside without spending a boat load of money and sitting in a university all day. I've only been to Okinawa and Cuba for overseas and loved them and all my duty stations.

If I may put a bug in your ear, while they are phasing out the medical photographers you could always go medical/dental and be the Marines Medics. I did this for 3 years and wish I could again. The Marines certainly have a different respect for authority than I've seen from other services. They also make sure their "Doc" is protected, so you won't have to worry about that. I was told that I would be hated by Marines cause they would see me as a wanna-be Marine but this isn't true, they know their very lives could depend on you so they watch out for you too.

I have gotten burned out in my field (14 years pushing paper will do that), and am eagerly awaiting my retirement when I can stop traveling 400 miles a weekend to see my wife and step-daughter, then 400 back to the grind.

Best advice I can give is DON'T let yourself get into a rut and burned out, it can happen before you know it and most of the time as soon as someone knows your skills your are doing it for life...whether you enjoy it or not....sorry got off on a tangent there.
07/29/2005 10:34:40 AM · #25
what a great thread! my hat is off to all you serving and who have served--it is GREATLY appreciated!!! thanks!

and good luck to you, fetor!
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