Skip to comments.[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.
Navy might make better use of your skills.
I think Navy is a better career move, and I’m ex Air Force.
Watch some fighter jock videos and go for pilot.
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.
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.
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.
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.
FYI, BS Chemical Engineers make more money than PhD Chemists.
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.)
What do you want to do in the military?
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.
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.
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.
That’s a pretty broad statement. I know several of both, and in my experience you are incorrect.
The semiconductor industry looks for MS/PHd in Chemistry.
Much better pay but limited locations.
Contact Intel in Hillsboro, OR or Phoenix, AZ.
Talk to some officers in the chemical corpse.
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.
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.
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.
Can't because they're all dead. ;^)
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.
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.
The Army has more options, more variety.
You are 27 and have a BS and an MS degree?
How about get a job?
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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,
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.
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.
At least that's what I THINK I think.
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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Where else can we get excellent hands on commentary.
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.
Do OCS and finish your PHD while there. Let us pay for your education. It is well worth it.
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.
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.
After reading abt the P’Gon celebrating gay pride month, I’d join the French foreign legion...
Oops, I forgot abt the camels....
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