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Discussion Starter #1
I have looked at all four branches and looked around for opinions on each and am having a bit of trouble deciding for sure, would be great to hear some thoughts from active members or veterans.

Marines: This is my top choice because of the toughness, the honor of being a Marine and their history, I like the attitude that they carry, hard nosed badasses, in this branch it seems you join to be a Marine not for anything else. From what I hear though you should really want to be a Marine instead of just joining, they also seem to have the worst in terms of living conditions, supplies on the field and tend to get treated poorly.

Air Force: Apparently the most comfortable of all the branches, offers many technical fields and in general not as hard as the other branches, if you are into technology and obviously planes this is a good choice.

Navy: Offers a lot of variety in its jobs, you have your labor jobs, technical jobs, you could be the Marines medic if you want, you also have the SEALS if you feel you could do it.

Army: Also offers a lot of technical jobs as well as labor jobs in addition to the obvious infantry, has special ops jobs, has many many jobs and many people for obvious reasons.

Now I like the thought of the close nit group of badasses in the Marines and the toughness that is needed to be a Marine but everyone seems to tell it would mean anything when in there, either its the worst branch or the best depending on who you ask.

As for the Navy I like how they have so many jobs and that they travel a lot but the idea of being on a ship for months on end is not too apealing to me.

Air Force It seems like its not as rough as the others and has many technical jobs, granted I dont like planes too much and am looking for something physical.

Army I havent considered too much but it seems like a good choice as well since they have a lot of variety in their jobs and have a lot of physical jobs as well.

Im just not sure if I should worry about just joining and picking something for now or if I should focus on picking a job that will help me in the future.
 

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Figure out what you want to do in life after the military, then see which branch has a better option for you. Being in the infantry may be your cup of tea, but doesn't have much use in the civilian world after your enlistment.
 

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I have zero military experience, BUT....

My little brother joined the Army last year, without much thought or consideration (even though he said he thought about it). He is stationed in El Paso right now, hates it, and realized that the MOS he chose is rather limiting. However, he is excited about training for special ops. So, please consider your branch and MOS VERY carefully so that you don't end up with a sh**ty contract.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
People ask me this all the time and I find really difficult to answer, I was never that kid who had a special dream job (except being a boxer) and even now at 23 I dont know, I would just like a good job to support my family, if anything I care more about a job not being tedious and monotonous and slowly eating your soul and life everytime you have to go to work.
 

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The next best step would be to talk to recruiters from each branch and ask for their perspective. I think this will help offer some insight.
 
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Yea I talked to a Navy recruiter last year, seemed like it was all good but I backed out at the time because I did not feel ready, one thing to keep in mind is that recruiters have one job, to fulfill a quota, not to say that they all dont care but many will be vauge and you have to ask questions very specificlly to get the info you want.

My main problem is that I dont have a prefered job, as long as its physical and keeps me moving im fine with it. I just want a fulfilling job, the chance to travel, meet new people and just have an experience that I can look back and be proud of.
 

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" - As for the Navy I like how they have so many jobs and that they travel a lot but the idea of being on a ship for months on end is not too apealing to me. - "

probably half of navy personnel are based on shore. A good thing about ship duty is that a sailor visits many, many foreign ports, depending on whichever fleet they are assigned to. The time they spend between ports and on long cruises is really not that boring and its an opportunity to save up pay check money.

I recall my brother, who served in the USN (1950-54), visited and took liberty in all the major cities surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and managed to buy several new cars during that time which he would keep in his home port city of Boston.

I served in the Marines (1960-64) and spent my whole tour at Camp LeJeune, NC. The best part for me was the huge, responsibilities in my assignments. My testing showed a propensity for Language and after schooling in San Diego (Communications/Electronics), due to my class standing 4th in 20) got fourth duty station choice. I chose Base Communications Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, which was at the time the premier communications center on the east coast.

Starting out I made coffee for the rest of the watch standers on my watch and made the morning "burn run" to burn the paper copies of unclassified messages at the end of the midnight watch. I also made "pub changes" that needed being made (a drudge job) which gave me a vast overview of the system I was working in, and I was advanced very quickly to the most responsible job in the comm center.

Then the Cuban missile crises happened and I was transferred over to the 2nd Marind Division (Infantry) where I was communication center chief, but in a very low echelon company level post.

One week each year we were detached to the rifle range for qualification with the currently issued weapon, at the time the M-14.

We also went on sea based landing exercises, and one Friday afternoon I was offered of being flown out to Pickle Meadows California for a week of survival training. I was "too short" (near to my discharge date ) and asked to be passed over.

Edit - take notice in the media in which honor guards from all the services participate, like a state funeral. The lowest ranking enlisted man will be a Marine, a L/Cpl (E-3) or Corporal (E-4) and the others will be staff staff sergeants and equal (E-6). IMO that's because greater responsibility is placed on Marines than other service personnel.

Oh yeah, for the Marines, each year there's the annual Physical Fitness Test: (and the Combat Readiness Test) http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Marine_Corps_Physical_Fitness_Test
 

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Discussion Starter #8
" - As for the Navy I like how they have so many jobs and that they travel a lot but the idea of being on a ship for months on end is not too apealing to me. - "

probably half of navy personnel are based on shore. A good thing about ship duty is that a sailor visits many, many foreign ports, depending on whichever fleet they are assigned to. The time they spend between ports and on long cruises is really not that boring and its an opportunity to save up pay check money.

I recall my brother, who served in the USN (1950-54), visited and took liberty in all the major cities surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and managed to buy several new cars during that time which he would keep in his home port city of Boston.

I served in the Marines (1960-64) and spent my whole tour at Camp LeJeune, NC. The best part for me was the huge, responsibilities in my assignments. My testing showed a propensity for Language and after schooling in San Diego (Communications/Electronics), due to my class standing 4th in 20) got fourth duty station choice. I chose Base Communications Marine Corps Base Camp LeJeune, which was at the time the premier communications center on the east coast.

Starting out I made coffee for the rest of the watch standers on my watch and made the morning "burn run" to burn the paper copies of unclassified messages at the end of the midnight watch. I also made "pub changes" that needed being made (a drudge job) which gave me a vast overview of the system I was working in, and I was advanced very quickly to the most responsible job in the comm center.

Then the Cuban missile crises happened and I was transferred over to the 2nd Marind Division (Infantry) where I was communication center chief, but in a very low echelon company level post.

One week each year we were detached to the rifle range for qualification with the currently issued weapon, at the time the M-14.

We also went on sea based landing exercises, and one Friday afternoon I was offered of being flown out to Pickle Meadows California for a week of survival training. I was "too short" (near to my discharge date ) and asked to be passed over.

Edit - take notice in the media in which honor guards from all the services participate, like a state funeral. The lowest ranking enlisted man will be a Marine, a L/Cpl (E-3) or Corporal (E-4) and the others will be staff staff sergeants and equal (E-6). IMO that's because greater responsibility is placed on Marines than other service personnel.

Oh yeah, for the Marines, each year there's the annual Physical Fitness Test: (and the Combat Readiness Test) United States Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
May I ask; is there a reason you chose the Marines? Did you ever consider the other branches?
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Someone showed me that to scare me and show me the truth, cant say I see anything I did not expect, I certainly dont see the Marines in a fantastical way.

If anything the impression I always got from the Marines are that behind the honor and the tradition and the respect they are there for the dirty work, to be the hardcore killers without any say in it, just do as you are told and do it will no matter what. I am not sure if thats right either but thats always been my impression.

I have no problem with living in the present and doing whatever I have to do, I guess I am just a bit worried for the future, I dont want to leave the military and be at square one and have to start my life all over again but I think that is the reality.
 

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I have a buddy in the Marine Reserves as Infantry and he has never been deployed. He was all gunghoe in the beginning and 2 years later he hates it. I was considering joining as an officer but that went to the wayside. I also considered joining pretty much all branches except the Army at one time or another. I guess it's more of what do you want to do after the military? Find a branch and MOS that will train you to do something useful after.
 

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May I ask; is there a reason you chose the Marines? Did you ever consider the other branches?
Five of my buddies and I joined in the "buddy" program which meant we got to be in the same boot camp platoon. That turned out not mattering very much but maybe I also discount it too much. I've always been a "loner" type, and in reality, because of the demanding free time constraints and very full training, even though we were in the same quonset hut we only were free to chat on Sunday afternoons when free talk was allowed. We only trained four hours on Sundays.

I considered the USN (brother) and the Air Force (dad).

I recall that, due to my test scores, I qualified for and was offered the MarCad program for Marine officer's pilot school with a paid college degree followed with six years of duty and I turned it down. Glad I did because that would have put me in the middle of worst part of the Vietnam war as a pilot.
 
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Someone showed me that to scare me and show me the truth, cant say I see anything I did not expect, I certainly dont see the Marines in a fantastical way. [...]
That video? It's a hit piece IMO, like Apocalypse Now and all the other stuff that has been used to defame what our military does; this is just a softer distortion
 
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I think the previous posters have given some very good advice. This sounds like a decision you have given a lot of thought to, and the military does offer many benefits. It just may be the right choice for you!
Just be prepared to take orders.
Best wishes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks guys, sometimes I feel like just going to a branch and taking the test and just picking an MOS and be done with it but then I sit back and think to myself, yea I dont want to be miserable either.

Its funny, same thing happened to me when I was debating college, I just didnt know what to take, I am a hard worker but i dont have a ton of interests so its hard for me to pinpoint exactly what I would like to do.

Anyone have any particular advice to picking a branch and MOS?
 

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That video? It's a hit piece IMO, like Apocalypse Now and all the other stuff that has been used to defame what our military does; this is just a softer distortion
But isnt it a real Marine saying all that? Perhaps he had a different perception of what he would be getting into and then was gravely dissapointed when he joined; bar actual experience I generally know what I would be getting into when joining each branch and the military in general.

I dont want to have too high expectations and if anything I will probably think its going to suck badly and be very anxious, I guess i should just focus on picking something I might enjoy.
 

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@ThatKid, as you mentioned there are disgruntled people in any organization; I recall that when I was in 2nd Marine Division a salty marine who'd returned from duty in the Air Wing in Iwakuni Japan had a very bad attitude and was undermining unit cohesion doing things off base that would have been a scandal if known. I drafted a letter for him to his congressman which got him out very early in his four year enlistment. I did that, in great part for the good of the Corps.

There are always misfits who rebel and act when they find the duty too hard or in some way beneath them. The military, and I would like to say any of our military services won't put up with childish behavior. They attract attention and get called out. That's one of the reasons fraternization is so frowned on and even punished when participated in by officers. I was very concerned how John Kerry (presidential candidate 2004) had his picture taken with his arms around the shoulders of enlisted sailors.

The military is a very effective meritocracy. Talent is sought, challenges offered up, and hard work is rewarded. Self development is strongly encourged. Forget the tough guy characterization; with true strength and self confidence comes gentleness. The Corps does every thing in its power to instill self confidence and to develop true strength.
 

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But isnt it a real Marine saying all that? Perhaps he had a different perception of what he would be getting into and then was gravely dissapointed when he joined; bar actual experience I generally know what I would be getting into when joining each branch and the military in general.

I dont want to have too high expectations and if anything I will probably think its going to suck badly and be very anxious, I guess i should just focus on picking something I might enjoy.
Marines are sent in first (barring special forces). What they're saying is correct. You have to be ready to kill on command and you're going to go into a lot of nasty stuff. It's why you get the training you do.
 

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I sit back and think to myself, yea I dont want to be miserable either
There will be plenty of times when you'll be miserable no matter what you are doing. It's a physical job, so if you are going to do something (you are 23 right?) I suggest you get busy with it. It won't get any easier as you get older.


-ZDD
 
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