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[Vanity] I'm considering OCS instead of Grad School.

Posted on 06/14/2012 12:41:36 PM PDT by John Will

It's been a while since I've posted but I'm just finishing up my First year of a PhD in Chemistry and so far I'm hating the academia, I've talked with a Recruiter and So far Army OCS looks good. I'm looking for some advice on what to do. I'm 27 so I'm reaching the end of eligibility so it's now or never for me. I already have B.S. and M.S. degrees in the subject.


TOPICS: Education; Military/Veterans
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1 posted on 06/14/2012 12:41:39 PM PDT by John Will
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To: John Will

Navy might make better use of your skills.

I think Navy is a better career move, and I’m ex Air Force.


2 posted on 06/14/2012 12:44:02 PM PDT by G Larry (Criminals thrive on the indulgence of society's understanding)
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To: John Will

Watch some fighter jock videos and go for pilot.


3 posted on 06/14/2012 12:44:17 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: John Will

I would lean toward finishing your PhD, but it depends on what you wan to do with your life. Remember, you are frustrated now with academia but the Army always looks better when you are a prospect than when you are a customer.


4 posted on 06/14/2012 12:45:56 PM PDT by expat2
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To: John Will

Depends on what you want to do as far as service branch goes. Do you want to kill people and break things? Army or Marines is your best bet (I’m kind of partial to the Army myself—Infantry, Rangers, Special Forces, etc). Do you want to make use of your technical knowledge? Probably better off looking at the Navy or Air Force.

I went through the Infantry Officer Basic Course with a lot of OCS guys. They were glad to be done with it, especially after Basic Training, but once you’re commissioned, it gets a lot better.


5 posted on 06/14/2012 12:47:14 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: John Will
get in better shape, even though you think you are, get in better shape....*grins*... have fun, go for it
6 posted on 06/14/2012 12:48:26 PM PDT by Doogle (((USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated)))
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To: G Larry
I agree, as a former zoomie. If I had it to do all over again, I'd go Navy.

/johnny

7 posted on 06/14/2012 12:49:03 PM PDT by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: expat2; John Will
Remember, you are frustrated now with academia but the Army always looks better when you are a prospect than when you are a customer.

lol...that is true.

Just another thing to keep in mind, as you say "it's now or never" but school will always be there.

8 posted on 06/14/2012 12:49:15 PM PDT by Future Snake Eater (CrossFit.com)
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To: John Will

Graduate school will always be there, but you are correct, your chance at OCS will not always be.

BTW, you might also consider med school, engineering, or business, as opposed to a PhD in chemistry.


9 posted on 06/14/2012 12:49:28 PM PDT by iowamark
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To: John Will
First year of a PhD in Chemistry and so far I'm hating the academia.
Sooooo, you want to run away and join the circus (Army)? What will you do if you hate the Army?
I'd take a semester off and then re-evaluate. Maybe you're just burned out; maybe chemistry isn't your thing after all; maybe it's the school.
Going to OCS is great, but it's quite a commitment.
10 posted on 06/14/2012 12:49:43 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: John Will

FYI, BS Chemical Engineers make more money than PhD Chemists.


11 posted on 06/14/2012 12:50:24 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Government is the religion of the sociopath.)
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To: John Will

I would encourage you to go Army (or Navy) but for the fact that we no longer have actual military forces.

They’ve morphed into uniformed social experiments. (And not very good ones.)


12 posted on 06/14/2012 12:51:21 PM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: John Will

What do you want to do in the military?


13 posted on 06/14/2012 12:51:55 PM PDT by paterfamilias
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To: John Will

Use a systematic approach to making your decision. If you have a MS, there’s a chance that you could get into a technical field either as a civilian employee or as an officer in any branch of service. Ask the military liaison at your school what he/she would do.


14 posted on 06/14/2012 12:52:20 PM PDT by oneolcop (Lead, Follow or Get the Hell Out of the Way!)
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To: John Will

I don’t know. If you have your masters, how much more time in do you need for your PhD? Finish what you’ve started, and then go into the navy. Sounds like you can have a promising future.


15 posted on 06/14/2012 12:55:06 PM PDT by pallis
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To: knarf; John Will
Watch some fighter jock videos and go for pilot.

Pilots out of OCS? I think not. OCS grads are the dregs of the Officer Corps. The Academy boys rule, ROTC is a poor second, and OCS are peons.

16 posted on 06/14/2012 12:59:06 PM PDT by gundog (Help us, Nairobi-Wan Kenobi...you're our only hope.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

That’s a pretty broad statement. I know several of both, and in my experience you are incorrect.


17 posted on 06/14/2012 12:59:49 PM PDT by stormer
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To: John Will

The semiconductor industry looks for MS/PHd in Chemistry.
Much better pay but limited locations.
Contact Intel in Hillsboro, OR or Phoenix, AZ.


18 posted on 06/14/2012 1:00:55 PM PDT by Zathras
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To: John Will

Talk to some officers in the chemical corpse.


19 posted on 06/14/2012 1:04:51 PM PDT by razorback-bert (I'm in shape. Round is a shape isn't it?)
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To: John Will
I'm ex-Army, but I recommend Air Force. I was stationed on AF bases my four years in Germany, and they have far better facilities than the other branches.

However, as an Army LT, you'll have much more fun as a Platoon Leader.

In my 4 years in Germany, I served in the following positions:

Platoon Leader: Chaparral and Towed Vulcan (18 mos)

Systems Maintenance Officer: about the only job I had that flat out sucked.

Asst. S-3 (Battalion Opns Officer).

S-4 (Battalion Supply Officer). My degree was Public Accounting, basically it was a matter of balancing several checkbooks. My NCOs & CW2 were the key to our success. I handled the high level stuff, and allowed them to do their jobs...usually to perfection.

If you like the challenge of being moved around in different positions, Army's the way to go.

20 posted on 06/14/2012 1:11:54 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: John Will

My son is in the Army right now. They are being very picky with new recruits, and it is VERY easy to either get out or be kicked out. Of course, if you do get in and change you mind you really want to be honorably discharged. My son is loving his experience.

On the other hand, a friend of mine was in the Navy in their nuclear subs. He now makes big bucks in the nuclear energy field.

Hope that helps.


21 posted on 06/14/2012 1:12:01 PM PDT by jdsteel (Give me freedom, not more government.)
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To: John Will

I know that a lot has probably changed since I got out in 1972, but keep in mind that whatever a recruiter promises you is not necessarily going to be what you get. If you enlist for OCS, you will get sent there. The question is what happens if you wash out? I don’t know if the current terms of enlistment allow you to walk away in such a case or if you would be obligated to complete your term of service in whatever field they choose. Be certain of what you’re getting into.


22 posted on 06/14/2012 1:12:19 PM PDT by Malone LaVeigh
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To: razorback-bert
Talk to some officers in the chemical corpse.

Can't because they're all dead. ;^)

23 posted on 06/14/2012 1:13:29 PM PDT by Yo-Yo
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To: razorback-bert

I spent 12 years in the USMC. Fighter Pilot in F-8’s. Once I went career I wound up with crappy jobs to “broaden my experience as a Regular Officer”.

I think the Coast Guard looks really interesting now. They are involved in many different activities. Sounds like daily fun.


24 posted on 06/14/2012 1:15:56 PM PDT by rickyc
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To: razorback-bert
Talk to some officers in the chemical corpse.

Thanks for the reminder bert!

I was afforded the opportunity to attend a week-long NBC Warfare course at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany.

That would be a sweet assignment for a Chemical Corps officer.

Google "Oberammergau" and you'll see why.

25 posted on 06/14/2012 1:16:31 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (My dream ticket for 2012 is John Galt & Dagny Taggart!)
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To: John Will

The Army has more options, more variety.


26 posted on 06/14/2012 1:16:40 PM PDT by ansel12 (Massachusetts Governors, where the GOP now goes for it's Presidential candidates.)
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To: John Will

You are 27 and have a BS and an MS degree?
How about get a job?


27 posted on 06/14/2012 1:18:54 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (Where can I sign up for the New American Revolution and the Crusades 2012?)
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To: John Will

My father was an OCS graduate. He was proud of his accomplishment and said he saw more than one man quit and get walked right out the front gate. I don’t know if it’s as grueling now as it was for him way back when, but it’s definitely a ‘feather in your hat’ once achieved.


28 posted on 06/14/2012 1:19:26 PM PDT by GeorgeWashingtonsGhost
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To: E. Pluribus Unum; John Will
FYI, BS Chemical Engineers make more money than PhD Chemists.

In a some areas maybe, but not in all areas. Certainly not biotech.

Get the Chemistry PhD unless you absolutely must experience the Navy. Very good pay in many areas, but avoid organic synthesis - that area has imploded.

29 posted on 06/14/2012 1:21:03 PM PDT by NMR Guy
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To: Malone LaVeigh

Your comment reminds me of a conversation with my next-door neighbor and my son, just before said son was leaving for USMC Recruit Training Depot. The neighbor asked, “what are you getting for guarantees?”, and my son kind of shrugged, and I said, “he’s getting a haircut”.


30 posted on 06/14/2012 1:22:28 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: John Will

I suggest OCS because the services need Conservatives and it is good job security when you finish.

The services have oodles of education programs and might even pay you to get your doctorate later on.

Plus, in the final analysis, I think serving in uniform is one of those things that people simply need to do. It will provide invaluable experience and insights later in life.


31 posted on 06/14/2012 1:23:52 PM PDT by Ronin (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life - Rep. L. Gohmert, Tex)
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To: John Will

I’m an Army OCS grad, (FA Ft. Sill 21-67)

Do not drop out of grad school.

If you want military, great, but get the doctorate, then get a direct commission,


32 posted on 06/14/2012 1:25:10 PM PDT by MindBender26 (America can survive 4 years of Romney. She cannot survive another 4 years of an unfettered Obama!)
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To: gundog

My best high school friend was neither Academy nor OCS. Went to Pensacola, became a helicopter pilot, served for thirty years and got out as a captain (USN - O6). That’s not quite a peonage.


33 posted on 06/14/2012 1:25:27 PM PDT by bagman
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To: John Will

Sounds like “burn out.” Stick it out and get the Phd. This wretched economy will not last forever and you do not have to restrict yourself to teaching.


34 posted on 06/14/2012 1:26:54 PM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: NEMDF
The neighbor asked, “what are you getting for guarantees?”, and my son kind of shrugged, and I said, “he’s getting a haircut”.
LOL ... I was USMC many moons ago ... glad to hear some things haven't changed.
My best to your son.

35 posted on 06/14/2012 1:32:28 PM PDT by oh8eleven (RVN '67-'68)
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To: gundog
I meant, instead of OCS .. if you've got paper, they'd consider training you to pilot.

At least that's what I THINK I think.

36 posted on 06/14/2012 1:33:06 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: John Will

BTW, son in law has MS Chem from Memphis, Ph. D. Chem from Illinois. Now a Senior Director at Glaxo

Just called him. He says “suck it up, get the doctorate!”

If nothing else, “Dr. Will” gets a better table at a restaurant, hotter chicks, and more $ than “Mr. Will.”


37 posted on 06/14/2012 1:33:06 PM PDT by MindBender26 (America can survive 4 years of Romney. She cannot survive another 4 years of an unfettered Obama!)
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To: John Will

Go into service and then when you retire (or finish your term of service), go back to school (GI Bill).

You can always go to school wherever you wish. Not so with the service.


38 posted on 06/14/2012 1:35:38 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: John Will

I know two PHd’s in Chemistry - one of them is a Colonel in the Army. The other works for a chemical company back East in a lab. The Colonel now has a “Project Manager” MOS and is going through an Army Grad school right at the moment. He had command of troops in Iraq just before I met him.

I wonder who has more interesting life?

Compare - and you decide!


39 posted on 06/14/2012 1:43:59 PM PDT by fremont_steve
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To: gundog; knarf; John Will
“Pilots out of OCS? I think not. OCS grads are the dregs of the Officer Corps.”

What? Dregs?

OTS/OCS are every bit as good as all other commissioning schools.

ROTC vs OTS/OCS vs Academy. . .they are all the same regarding knowledge, skills and ability. Academy types get the extra-lift, career-wise, because they are academy.

I went to OTS after a few years as a police officer. My peers were from all sources and the academy types were no better or worse than anyone else. This was true my entire career. The only difference observed was between engineers and liberal arts types.

Engineers were linear thinkers while liberal arts types were more free thinking. . .and that gave them an edge when flying jets—they could adapt slightly quicker and “feel” the jet, as opposed to over analyzing like engineers do.

From second of the bottom of my HS class to serving as a political-military adviser to the Sec AF (International Affairs), not bad for a “dreg.”

Our office was packed with all sorts, and the reason we have OTS/OCS is simple: The number of officers needed each year fluctuates. Academy numbers are hard-wired, ROTC seems to flux a little and OTS/OCS class numbers go up and down in accordance with the needs of the service to make their officer numbers. Too many flunk out of the Academy or ROTC graduation delayed, then OTS/OCS picks up the slack.

Go to OTS/OCS.

40 posted on 06/14/2012 1:46:41 PM PDT by Hulka
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To: John Will

You have spent a great deal of time getting an education in Chemistry. Why not go improve the world with it?

I’m a retired USN Commander (carrier aviation), but it seems to me that your skills would be best applied in private industry as a chemist.

If you can’t find a job matching your education, then find a job in the sector and prove your work ethic. Promotion will then follow, as you apply internally for jobs more demanding of your skill set.


41 posted on 06/14/2012 1:48:57 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: oh8eleven
Thanks. He was in 2003-2007. 2 Iraq tours and now he's married, used his GI benefits to get his degree, and has blessed us with an amazing granddaughter!
42 posted on 06/14/2012 1:49:27 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: John Will
Go ahead and try OCS. If you want to finish a PhD later you can.
43 posted on 06/14/2012 1:56:04 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: John Will

It really is up to you. If you decide to put on the uniform of the United States Military then please do it for something other than a diversion. That uniform means a lot and you must remember you are serving your Country. Be proud even thought here will be a pile of BS even in the military.

You can always get your PhD, and the military may even pay for it if you convince them there is a need. The Air Force paid for my Masters.

I am a retired Air Force officer and am proud of my career as a Cold Warrior. Typing that, I would probably join the Navy if I had known then what I learned through the years.

In the end, the decision is yours and when you make it step out and make the best of it.


44 posted on 06/14/2012 1:58:09 PM PDT by OldMissileer
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To: Hulka
Damn!, FreepeRs are good !

Where else can we get excellent hands on commentary.

Thanx, Hulka

45 posted on 06/14/2012 1:59:29 PM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true)
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To: John Will

I am ex- army, like many other posters. If you are reaching the end of your eligibility, then go for it. From my standpoint, and I am your mother’s age... It is much better to try something challenging than to later think “could have, should have”. Navy has the best bases, but who wants to be on a boat alllll the time? Air Force has better food and training than the Army, but less challenging. I should say, I attended advanced training with Navy, did clinicals with the AF, and spent 6 weeks with mostly marines in Fort Dix. There is plenty of time for academics and the like, but nothing like serving your country. Good Luck to ya.. Keep us posted.


46 posted on 06/14/2012 2:18:21 PM PDT by momincombatboots (Back to West by G-d Virginia. 2016 starts today!)
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To: expat2

Do OCS and finish your PHD while there. Let us pay for your education. It is well worth it.


47 posted on 06/14/2012 2:20:48 PM PDT by EQAndyBuzz (ABO 2012)
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To: John Will

My brother was ROTC with a degree in Chemistry and an MBA. He was regular Army and retired after 30 years Colonel. He was NBC.


48 posted on 06/14/2012 2:24:02 PM PDT by Mashood
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To: John Will

I would not join any organization that celebrates depravity and perversion. Plus you don’t want to be on the ship or the plane that God decides to smite. Seriously.


49 posted on 06/14/2012 2:33:02 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by nature not nurture TM)
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To: John Will

After reading abt the P’Gon celebrating gay pride month, I’d join the French foreign legion...
Oops, I forgot abt the camels....


50 posted on 06/14/2012 2:42:48 PM PDT by matginzac
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