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Enlistment Advice Needed For Son

Posted on 12/26/2011 8:59:45 AM PST by PUGACHEV

I've been here ten years and this is my first post. I know many here have experience in the different services, but I have none. My son, who is 24, wants to enlist and make the military a career, but does not know which branch to enlist in. He has a high school diploma, no involvement with drugs, and no criminal record except, unfortunately, a DWI and several traffic related misdemeanors. He is intelligent, fit, athletic, and handsome. His interests are ice hockey, video games, and girls, in that order. He is a quiet person with a low arousal type personality who is very tough and self possesed. He is completely unflapable. He has good manners, no meanness in him, and makes friends easily. He has no particular work-related skills or aptitudes. His grandfather on his mother's side was in the British army from Dunkirk to the end of the war, so maybe there is some military talent lurking in his genes somewhere.

My son is looking to me for advice, and he will follow it. My questions are: (1) What branch would have him with the DWI on his record; (2) What branch would best suit his personality; and, if he had a choice, what speciality might be good for him. My first thought was the Navy, but I really don't know.

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: advice; enlistment; military
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To: DakotaGator; PUGACHEV

One thing to remember is that the military will try to get you to go into rates that they need filled, They will dote all over you and tell you how smart yo are and how great the duty is.

They tried to wrangle me into Nuke school.
There are not a lot of civilian jobs in this area and the work tends to be boring reading gauges and stuff.

Nothing against Nukes...

51 posted on 12/26/2011 9:39:41 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Mmogamer; PUGACHEV
Navy/Air force if he wants to do technical stuff. Make sure that what ever deal he makes with the enlister he gets it in writing.

There are technical MOS offering in every branch. Having played the system I recommend finding a reserve unit with an opening in a desired occupational specialty, and then moving to where it is to join that unit.

When he is sent to boot camp and MOS training, he needs to keep his nose to the grindstone and claw his way to the upper levels in class standing (which won't matter to most people in training but which will for him).

After training, he can put in for active duty if his class standing is good, and if it is really good he may leverage it into a good duty station.

USMC 2884/USAF 30451/USMC 2171

52 posted on 12/26/2011 9:39:47 AM PST by MrEdd (Heck? Geewhiz Cripes, thats the place where people who don't believe in Gosh think they aint going.)
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To: outofsalt

I was about to say the same thing.

If my son were going I would reccommend the Coast Guard to him.

What’s great about Coast Guard is small stations not filled with Officers and many enlisted in charge.Exciting work sometimes, sometimes not, An important Rescue Mission,Police work in smuggling operations. Boats mostly small and Captained by enlisted.Many stations right here in America. Yup If I were looking for a place to send my son it would be Coast Guard.

53 posted on 12/26/2011 9:39:47 AM PST by Venturer
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Whatever he decided, I recommend waiting until Obama goes down in flames. If he does.

54 posted on 12/26/2011 9:41:00 AM PST by manic4organic (We won. Get over it.)
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The Navy and Air Force are currently in the process of reducing their manpower and most likely wouldn’t waive the DUI. A lot depends on how long ago the DUI occured. Now here comes my Bias. As a retired Army Officer, I feel his best opportunities are in the Army and I believe they will waive the DUI. It is important that he get into an MOS which is in a shortage status. His best opportunities for advancement will be in the Combat Arms Fields and from there, Ranger Training and Special Forces if he can qualify. The Army will be reducing “End-Strength” in the next few years, but these are the areas that wont be affected. It is important that after he completes his training and is semi-permanently stationed somewhere in CONUS (U.S.) that he continue his civilian education (Paid by the Army) and attain a College Degree and later a Graduate Degree. This coupled with military education can lead to a possible Commission as an Officer and/or quicker advancement as an enlisted man. I encourage him to sit down with an Army Recruiter and you can join him to discuss all of this. I failed to mention the Marine Corps for which I have a great respect, but given what you told us about your son, I believe the career opportunities are much better in the Army.

55 posted on 12/26/2011 9:41:27 AM PST by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: puppypusher

“But with the Present administration doing what it will to destroy this country militarily and economicly,I would have to say Don’t do it.” That was the family consensus when Grandson #1 asked for opinions re: same.
Post #13 outlines a good strategy. I went to the local university to use their aptitude tests when I made a career change. They help a lot, because he’ll be able to pursue a career that fits his abilities, thereby freeing up some energy to pursue avocations.

56 posted on 12/26/2011 9:43:37 AM PST by Silentgypsy (If this creature is not stopped it could make its way to Novosibirsk!)
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If going career, go Army, rank advancement quicker.

57 posted on 12/26/2011 9:46:41 AM PST by razorback-bert (Some days it's not worth chewing through the straps.)
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To: manic4organic

I joined when Jimmah was in charge and the Iranians held the hostages.

No one respected Carter.
We knew what had to be done.

58 posted on 12/26/2011 9:47:04 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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I'm a retired Army First Sergeant, the description of your son sounds much like me before I joined the Army,although I did have a much worse record. His DWI won't matter, however if he gets one while in service any thoughts of making a career of the service will be pretty much over, didn't use to be that way but is now.

Without going into great detail I will say this, regardless of what service he joins, my advice is simple, these three things will guarantee success, 1. be where you are supposed to be 2. When you are suppose to be there 3. Doing what it is your suppose to do...simple to say, not so easy to do, if he accepts discipline as a reward and he will go far and fast. The advantages of a military career are vast, too many great things to mention here...Naturally I recommend the Army!

59 posted on 12/26/2011 9:48:06 AM PST by PoloSec ( Believe the Gospel: how that Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again)
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To: razorback-bert

A valid point.
USAF advancement is Sloooow....

60 posted on 12/26/2011 9:48:22 AM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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A low key guy who likes to play video games would do well in the USAF- no one shooting at him (most times) and lots of jobs that require operating a console, ie satellites, drones, inventory tracking...

There is an armed forces aptitude test that could give him some insights If he likes ice hockey maybe he could volunteer for a base in the northern tier! Why not MInot?

61 posted on 12/26/2011 9:49:55 AM PST by silverleaf (common sense is not so common- voltaire)
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To: All

I fear the Corps has/will lose its edge given the continuing weakening at its top!

62 posted on 12/26/2011 9:50:19 AM PST by harpu ( "'s better to be hated for who you are than loved for someone you're not!")
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Air Force or Navy in that order.

63 posted on 12/26/2011 9:54:15 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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Generally, the DWI and minor traffic infractions can be waived at the time of enlistment(provided that’s all the involvement with the law that there has been).

Each service has its own needs and culture dictated by the type of work they do. They all have a continuing need intelligent, trainable citizens to fill their ranks. Most offer enlistment guarantees (and sometimes bonuses) for certain highly technical occupational fields involving computers, electronics, etc.

Personally, I’d say that being set on having a career in the military (20 or more years of service) at the onset is a mistake. Life inside the services is very different from what is depicted on TV and the web. It is work that can be very boring, it is sometimes extremely dangerous (in predictable and unpredictable ways), and it is usually performed in distant locations under difficult conditions.

Instead, I recommend he focus on what each service is offering for the initial enlistment in terms of in-service training, enlistment bonuses, GI Bill education benefits, additional schooling, etc. He also needs to understand how a person progresses in the career path(s) he is interested in and what are the typical assignment patterns during an initial enlistment.

The general pattern for the initial 4 year enlistment is recruit training followed by occupational field formal training at a service school (up to 18 months for these first two in cases involving very technical fields); this is followed by the first enlistment duty station/unit. (Permanent change of station (PCS) transfers cost money so they only happen every two to three years.) And that’s about it for the first enlistment.

Sometime in year three to four, he would be up for a new assignment, so the unit career planner (basically the retention specialist) would look over his service record and be able to advise him on what options the service is prepared to offer him if: 1) the service wants to retain him, 2) his service record qualifies him for reenlistment, and 3) he wants to continue in the service.

Keep in mind that about 60-70% of all enlistees have had all the United States (fill-in the chosen service name) they want after just one enlistment and leave to pursue other opportunities.

64 posted on 12/26/2011 9:55:30 AM PST by Captain Rhino (“Si vis pacem, para bellum” - If you want peace, prepare for war.)
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Air Force or Navy or Marines in that order if he wants to get into a technical field. Army or Marines if he wants to be a grunt.

65 posted on 12/26/2011 9:56:41 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.)
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From the looks of most responses, it appears that most people are suggesting that he go Navy. In all candor, I am ex-Navy (aviation) and loved my training, shipmates and assignments, but hated the Navy.

If he doesn’t know what he wants to do, I would suggest that you have him log on to and monitor the traffic for all of the services for about 6 months before he makes a decision. I also noted that people only mentioned Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. He may also want to research the Coast Guard, as well. A lot of folks I know that were in the CG can’t recommend it highly enough.

Something else that you and your son should know: most jobs in the military today are technical in nature. There are relatively few “grunt” jobs left that involve digging in the dirt, although those who have done that mostly enjoyed it.

Before you son enlists, he will already have completed a battery of aptitude tests that will help whichever branch of service determine the type of job for which he is best suited.

Finally, beware of ANY recruiter that tries to tell your son that he is going to be a jet fighter pilot or anything else that logic suggests requires more than a HS diploma! Recruiters are like car salesmen and have a monthly quota they must meet and will tell your son anything he wants to hear as long as he signs on the dotted line. In the military, his written contract is the law and they will go strictly by that, NOT what the recruiter told him!! The only branch of the military of which I am aware that might (emphasis MIGHT!) allow him to fly (assuming he wants to and has the aptitude) is the Army and that would only be helicopters!

Last, but not least, tell your son thanks for wanting to enlist. His future brother and sister veterans appreciate his desire to serve and can’t wait to welcome him to one of the most exciting careers he could ever imagine!! As a serviceman, he will be challenged to do things he never thought possible and he will have responsiblities that no civilian employer would ever give him at his age. He’s gonna love it!!

66 posted on 12/26/2011 9:56:59 AM PST by DustyMoment (Congress - Another name for white collar criminals!!)
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If he goes navy, tell him to stay the hell off the flight deck... my hearing is shot and getting worse (what!!???!!)

67 posted on 12/26/2011 9:58:11 AM PST by joe fonebone (Project Gunwalker, this will make watergate look like the warm up band......)
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To: puppypusher

I am in agreement with you on this. It appears that Obama has a good chance of re-election, and his record with this military and treatment of its soldiers does not bode well for anyone thinking of enlisting in one of its services.

If it was my son, I’d look into finding a way to convincing the judge who convicted him (or presided over) on his DUI conviction to expunge the record with demonstrated atonement, etc. after some period of time. Meanwhile, I’d put him in a higher education venue. If the record can be minimized, then policework, other Federal or State service could be an option.

In this day and age, I’d cut my arm off before I allowed a child of mine to become subject to this Muslim appeasing despot.

68 posted on 12/26/2011 10:04:05 AM PST by Gaffer
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To: vajimbo

the DWI will prevent this. The classification clearances for this one are extremely high. They will do a thorough background check and then send in interviewers to talk to teachers , clergy, nebhors etc.

I was in the Navy from 84 to 90. Really loved it. Submarines are technical, intense, and deadly in more than one way.

I met my future wife a year before my reenlistment. I started checking on the survivability of marriages for young enlisted men and decided that I could not put my future wife through life as a military spouse. My mom was an army brat and it is a tough lifestyle for wives and children.

For a young single male the Navy is an outstanding outfit.They will administer the ASVAB (armed services vocational aptitude battery) to determine where your son lands in their world of vocations. Everything from personelman to nuclear field electronics technician, medical , and don’t forget the plethora airwing jobs.

He will be tested and given an extensive list of ratings(jobs) to choose from. If he tests out well enough their will be some six year obligations offered. Don’t be afraid of the 6 yo jobs. They are the creme of the crop if you don’t mind investing in your future. The extra time accounts for ALL of the added technical training one recieves because of the technical nature of these rates.

If you decide to go navy freepmail me and I will be glad to tell you what I know. I am not a recruiter but I came out of the navy and owe my livelyhood to that training. I am now in a midlevel supervisory position and in charge of hiring for a several million dollar a year operation. I invariably give a longer look at prior military, honorably discharged applications and I am not alone. Ask any employer and you will find that the things you learn in the service are universally applicable.

69 posted on 12/26/2011 10:11:31 AM PST by ping jockey (We have arrogant jerks for leaders and WE will pay the highest cost.)
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No one seems to have mentioned the Coast Guard. Mostly US duty stations, and if he’s over six feet tall he can walk ashore if the boat sinks.

70 posted on 12/26/2011 10:19:10 AM PST by Waverunner (I'd like to welcome our new overlords, say hello to my little friend)
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Coast Guard. He can make a BIG difference there.

71 posted on 12/26/2011 10:26:58 AM PST by GAB-1955 (I write books, serve my country, love my wife and daughter, and believe in the Resurrection.)
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To: Waverunner

Coast Guard is a lot like the Navy.. Slow on Promotions and unless you are in the “Aviation Wing” not a very rewarding career.

72 posted on 12/26/2011 10:28:13 AM PST by Old Retired Army Guy
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To: fightin kentuckian

Okay, you got me on the beer. I visited there as a child on a family vacation and the weather was miserable and the tiny hotel we stayed in was scary.

73 posted on 12/26/2011 10:28:38 AM PST by rabidralph
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Navy has best tech training and ex-Navy Techs are always in demand because of their top notch training and experience. Anything to do with aviation is best, but other technical fields good too.

He'll be reconsidering “career” during Boot Camp. Navy's is at Great Lakes, north of Chicago, maybe wait til Spring to sign up or enlist with delay going to Boot.

74 posted on 12/26/2011 10:29:54 AM PST by X-spurt
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To: JRandomFreeper

I’m with you. My focus was girls, cars and hunting.

75 posted on 12/26/2011 10:33:19 AM PST by X-spurt
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Everything else is a compromise.

76 posted on 12/26/2011 10:33:29 AM PST by CGalen
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A possible answer to the DUI question will be whether it was a felony DUI or a misdemeanor;

77 posted on 12/26/2011 10:38:30 AM PST by outofsalt ("If History teaches us anything it's that history rarely teaches us anything")
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To: Old Retired Army Guy

“Coast Guard is a lot like the Navy.. Slow on Promotions and unless you are in the “Aviation Wing” not a very rewarding career.”

The Coast Guard today, seems to me, like it is mostly, most of the time, about drug enforcement, like the DEA, except that you are on our shore on a boat most of the time. They also check ships logs, and do an occasional rescue once in a while, but even in rescues, only a couple of the Coast Guard men are usually actually personally doing the rescue work.

I would guess that stateside Coast Guard members are less shot at than any other military organization in the United States.

78 posted on 12/26/2011 10:42:07 AM PST by CGalen
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I’m a retired Army Colonel and serve as a Red Cross volunteer at our regional Military Entrance Processing (MEP) center. In the latter role I speak with dozens of new recruits each month. Without exception those who were given enlistment options for the “better” specialties had scored well on the ASVAB.

The ASVAB is comprised of subtests in the following areas:

- General Science (GS)
- Arithmetic Reasoning (AR)
- Word Knowledge (WK)
- Paragraph Comprehension (PC)
- Numerical Operations (NO)
- Coding Speed (CS)
- Auto and Shop Information (AS)
- Mathematics Knowledge (MK)
- Mechanical Comprehension (MC)
- Electronics Information (EI); and
- Word Knowledge and Paragraph Comprehension (VE).

NOTE: The Numerical Operations (NO) and Coding Speed (CS) subtests are being phased out.

Regardless of the branch of service you ultimately select the key to having enlistment options is getting a good score on the ASVAB. You should not take this test cold. There are study guides available to help prepare for it and practice tests at the website (

I’m not sure about the DWI but don’t think it’s a disqualifier. All the services do a background check so it’s very important not to hide anything or knowingly misrepresent the truth. They will find out and then you might be disqualified.

79 posted on 12/26/2011 10:42:58 AM PST by O6ret (for)
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Not to throw a bunch of cold water on the (largely) pro-military discussion on this thread, but I would strongly recommend this young man to consider community college, or picking up some sort of trade on his own. Follow his interests. He could take some time to find out if there is anything productive that he likes to do and try to get better at that.

In the military, he could spend 2-4 years doing something he might have an aptitude for, but which he hates with a vengeance. At the end of his enlistment, he might know more about what he never wants to do again, but not necessarily have gained any ground on a career.

This is a big decision, and age 24 might be considered too old by some branches.

80 posted on 12/26/2011 10:43:28 AM PST by tpmintx (Problem: The people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who VOTE for a living.)
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My son and my about-to-be son-in-law (Friday as a matter of fact, all the groomsmen will be in their dress uniforms!) are both Army. They recommend it highly.

81 posted on 12/26/2011 11:08:45 AM PST by Jemian
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First, he should figure out what he wants from a military career. Adventure? Training? An easy route to retirement? (I hope not on that one, but some people in uniform are perfectly fine with any job that gets them 20 years and that retirement check, and some other people are just programmed to think that way.)

If he has a general idea for a career field, he should comparison shop the branches and find out what a career as a computer repairman in the marines means compared to a similar job in the navy. There is a lot of overlap, and some important differences. With force drawdowns, it’s good to know if a chosen career field is overstrength, which could mean he wouldn’t be in that field for long, or be limited in opportunities.

Last, if the job and branch he ultimately selects involve a security clearance, he better not sign a thing before getting a security waiver for the DWI in writing. The recruiters don’t have authority to look past a criminal conviction, but they do know the minimum that can get through processing, and can push a recruit to give it a shot, knowing that meeting the background requirement for a clearance is a roll of the dice or worse. I know one guy who planned to be an interrogator, but because of some shady things in his background, instead he started a career as a mechanic. There is nothing wrong with a career as a mechanic, but the job satisfaction is much higher if you actually want to do it.

If, after all that, he doesn’t have a strong desire for anything in particular, don’t go in the navy unrated. Picking no job dosen’t mean you get to embark on an exciting internship rotation. Picking a job that dosen’t sound bad for a few years then changing out later is a much better plan.

82 posted on 12/26/2011 11:14:16 AM PST by jz638
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I served in the Navy, both blue water and brown water, during the Vietnam War. I served because it was my turn to follow in the footsteps of the many members of the Greatest Generation I knew when growing up. My son became a Marine during the Bush #2 administration and served with Marine Presidential Security Forces; not bad for his first job out of high school. In my wife’s and my family we have eight volunteers for military service in three generations.

I know this post is long, but sadly I can no longer recommend service in any part of the military. Repealing U.S. Code Section 654 of Title 10, also known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) relied upon deception, disinformation, and discrimination. Deception came from the Department of Defense (DOD) poll presenting the fraudulent idea that the military supports homosexual behavior. Disinformation came from requiring equivalency for rejecting homosexual behavior with discrimination based on sex and race. Discrimination came from repudiating religious freedom for Christian, Muslim, and Jewish believers.

Politicians supporting repeal of DADT relied for cover on the DOD deceptive proclamation that 70% of service members saw positive or no effect for repealing DADT. The poll was conducted after Congressional Representatives had voted for repeal of DADT. Therefore, only 29% responded by completing half or more of the questions, under the compelling logic that nobody really cared. DOD contacted equal numbers of reserve and active troops and spouses, but only 20% to 30% of those whose family member’s military specialty could place them in harm’s way. Also, nearly one third had never deployed. Supposedly all these responses provided valid information, even though people in base housing, civilian neighborhoods, and CONUS bureaucracies never experience firefights and IED’s.

The entire military exists to serve Marine and Army combat infantrymen and those in Special Operations. DOD accomplishes nothing of lasting significance until infantrymen walk the ground formerly held by an enemy, and well over half of those trigger-pullers opposed repeal. Only they understand the unimaginable totalitarian leadership and obedience demanded by their chaotic and brittle environments.

Military service deals with the issues of race and sex amid consequent extraordinary restrictions of Constitutional freedoms unknown to the civilian world. Disinformation must therefore achieve equivalency for rejection of homosexual behavior with those discriminatory issues. That objective in turn relied for vindication on the 1973 American Psychiatric Association (APA) decision to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.

Removal followed two years Newsweek described as ongoing disruptive, chaotic attacks on psychiatrists and physiologists. Yet throughout this campaign, no academic papers arose at conferences refuting any previous research. Eventually sufficient under-votes and abstentions enabled a third of APA’s 17,000 plus membership to approve removal amid political rather than scientific motivation.

Next activists established a committee targeting leading researchers such as Dr. David Reuben, and Masters and Johnson to ensure perpetual sanctity for APA actions. No research papers would again confirm initial therapy success rates of 30% to 60 %, substantiating 7 of 10 homosexuals could eventually walk away from the lifestyle. Persistent activism over 37 years enabled ubiquitous infiltration of academia ensuring pre-ordained theses, approved research designs, suitable human data points, and enchanting statistical enhancements. The result has been social alchemy.

Psychology and psychiatry abandoned scientific rigor for popular acclaim. With homosexual studies freed from objective analysis, DADT repeal advocates relied upon base antidotal, emotional politics to dominate discrimination concerns. Advocates were free to avoid the realities of military operations characterized by sacrificial, primitive and intimate relations. Psychology and psychiatry were unwilling to demand a rigorous discussion of whether any mental disorders could be tolerated within the exceptional human structures needed to defeat enemies.

The Pentagon study never addressed the area of religious freedom, placing this form of discrimination for the first time among those restricted Constitutional guarantees inherent in military service. Previously the religious faith exception provided a critical foundation for surviving the grinding stresses and shattering experiences of warfare.

Basic theology explains why Jewish, Christian, and Muslim believers find their religious freedom evaporating with repeal. Followers of desert religions, who send their pastors into the chaplaincy and believers into military service, consider homosexual behavior unacceptable. It resides among the myriad sins entrapping fallen humanity.

For tens of millions “People of the Book” foundational Old Testament scholarship concludes homosexual relationships separate believers from God. When speaking of the character, identity, and purpose of God, He is spoken of as masculine, and all humans become feminine in relation to Him. Besides creating all things, God created heterosexual marriage as the earthy manifestation of the absolute unity and love He seeks with each person. Classical Semitic theology emphasizes identifying with God in spiritual intimacy, meaning any subsequent reasoning must proceed from that basic understanding.

Therefore after repeal, when believers reject homosexuality in counseling rolls and normal life activities, these people reside outside Constitutional boundaries guaranteeing religious freedom. They see themselves becoming guilty of at least cultural prejudice, if not criminality.

This debate veered into humanist social alchemy as a means to fabricate attachments to our Constitution and to dissemble concerning military operations. The primary issues of Constitutional speech and religious freedoms, and of whether any mental disorders can be tolerated within the exceptional human structures needed to defeat enemies were not addressed.

Again I know the post was long, but it is represents definitive reasoning for me in regard to military service. Replacing the warrior ethic with social engineering to enable participation by homosexuals seems fatal to the military discipline that should continuously pervade every branch and is simply too much for me.

83 posted on 12/26/2011 11:18:54 AM PST by Retain Mike
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84 posted on 12/26/2011 11:33:53 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: ElectionInspector

My almost 16-year-old grandson lives with me. I strongly advised him to join the JROTC when he began high school last year ... which he reluctantly did. It has since become his favorite class. He’s learning leadership skills and this year he was promoted to Flight Commander. There’s a photo of him on the bottom of my ‘about me’ page.

If he chooses to go to college, an JROTC scholarship will cover most or all of his tuition costs, plus he’ll receive a monthly cash allowance.

If your son’s school offers a ROTC program, he might want check into it.

85 posted on 12/26/2011 11:40:47 AM PST by Alice in Wonderland
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To: Alice in Wonderland
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful replies. In answer to one post regarding “traffic related” misdemeanors, in Virginia, for whatever reason, all traffic offenses are misdemeanors. If you go through a stop sign, or get a simple speeding ticket, the charge is a misdemeanor.
86 posted on 12/26/2011 12:00:18 PM PST by PUGACHEV
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I say this as a vet who served when Ronaldus Magnus was Commander in Chief:

Tell your son to stay the hell away from the recruiter until we have a Commander in Chief worthy of the title. Otherwise, he's just cannon fodder for the next political stunt that comes down the pike to help Obama look tough.

87 posted on 12/26/2011 12:11:54 PM PST by 60Gunner (Eternal vigilance or eternal rest. Make your choice.)
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I have no military experience (yet), but my dad was a career navy officer. All I can say is that the enlister will say just about anything to get your foot in the door. “You want to do XYZ? Sure, I can guarantee that.” Whatever deal he makes with the enlister, get it in writing, signed by the enlister.

88 posted on 12/26/2011 12:20:02 PM PST by NakedRampage (Puttin' the "stud" in Bible study)
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To: pingman

At the risk of repeating what others have said, here’s my advice for your son. I offer it as a retired Air Force officer who spent part of his career in recruiting.

First and foremost, it is now a recruiter’s market. With budget cuts, the exit from Iraq and looming cuts in our military forces, the various branches can be extremely choosy about who they will accept as an enlistee. For example, if you son’s DWI resulted in a minor felony conviction, his chances for enlistment are virtually nil. That’s just one more disqualifier in today’s recruiting environment.

Here are some other disqualifiers. If your son is more than a few pounds overweight, he won’t be allowed to enlist. A few years ago, recruiters would wait on a young man or woman to lose the weight, but not anymore. Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to review your son’s medical records. If he was ever prescribed certain drugs for conditions like ADD/HD, that’s an automatic disqualifier. Ditto for certain types of past injuries or illnesses.

In terms of academics, your son must have a high school diploma. The days of the services taking GED grads are over. Additionally, the military does look ( HS transcripts. If they see a pattern of under-achievement, they are less likely to take that prospect than someone who was an average student.

And, as others have pointed out, your son’s ASVAB acore is critically important. Officially, you need a composite of 30 to enter the Army; 31 for the USMC, 40 for the Navy, 45 for the USAF and 50 for the Coast Guard. For the Navy, Air Force and USCG, I’d add 20 points to those acores—at a minimum. The higher the ASVAB acore, the more competitive the candidate is—it’s literally that simple. I highly recommend advance study/preparation for the test, particularly if your son hasn’t been in school for a while.

I also recommend shopping around, particularly if your son emerges as a strong candidate for enlistment. Find the branch that will offer him the best options and put it in writing. And remember: recruiters can make any job/MOS/AFSC sound exciting. If you live near a military base, ask the recruiter to introduce him to someone in that job, or come back to the boards here at FR. I guarantee you can find someone here who held a military job your son might be offered and can give him unvarnished info on that career field.

Best of luck to you and your son. One final note; if your child qualifies for enlistment, he should be very proud. Only 28 percent of young men and women in his age group currently meet the criteria for military service. That would put him among the nation’s elite.

89 posted on 12/26/2011 12:23:27 PM PST by ExNewsExSpook (uoted)
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To: PUGACHEV; ErnBatavia
One point he needs to be aware age 24, his peers - as well as those constantly ordering him around - will all be 18 or 19.

Ern made a very pertinent point and so I'm repeating it. 24 is not too late at all but it's a bit out of cohort.

A couple of observations from a self-admittedly biased ex-Naval Officer - first thing he has to decide is that he can put up with being in the military, period, and only then which branch. All of them require more personal discipline than most civilian careers and make demands on your personal time, your location, your ability to interact with family, not to mention appearance and diet. If any of these is a show-stopper it's good to know it before he takes the oath.

I am the son of a career Army officer and so I know that end of it as well. My late Dad was, at various points in his career, a buck Private in the horse cavalry, infantry, Signal Corps, and Corps of Engineering. The point is that there is opportunity within each branch to find something you're good at. But it's going to be driven by the need of the service at the time. I did not actually expect to end up driving ships myself but that's where the need was and so that's where I went. It's like that.

Best to you and to him.

90 posted on 12/26/2011 12:23:49 PM PST by Billthedrill
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If he’s tough and unflappable, maybe he’d like to test himself in the Army Infantry. If he can qualify, he could even go to the Army Rangers. If he’s bored with that, he can go into Special Forces (though you can go into SF from any branch of the Army). If he gets bored with that, he can move up to CAG (aka Delta Force). The sky’s the limit if you want to test your toughness in the Army.

91 posted on 12/26/2011 12:29:41 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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I can tell you right now that he sounds perfect for the Air Force as a Combat Controller which will prepare him for almost anything. This job has it all!

92 posted on 12/26/2011 12:30:57 PM PST by Just_de_facts ("Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it." - George Sand)
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Coast Guard or Air Force

93 posted on 12/26/2011 12:31:30 PM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: puppypusher
We had to run a mile and a half on a concrete Running track in combat boots.

There's a fine line between being hard and being stupid.

94 posted on 12/26/2011 12:34:22 PM PST by Future Snake Eater (Don't stop. Keep moving!)
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To: ExNewsExSpook; Retain Mike

If they are getting really selective who they accept based on health and mental issues, I think maybe the DADT issue may be moot. Homos are typically plagued with all kinds of mental and physical health issues. I might venture a guess that the few homos that both desire to be in the military and can pass the screening are not statistically relevant...provided they don’t start a quota for homos in the military.

Just a hunch.

95 posted on 12/26/2011 12:52:58 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: ExNewsExSpook

ExNewsExSpook wrote:

Here are some other disqualifiers. If your son is more than a few pounds overweight, he won’t be allowed to enlist. A few years ago, recruiters would wait on a young man or woman to lose the weight, but not anymore.

Not true. My son is enlisted in the USMC, ship date 9/3/12 and at least 2 others had to lose weight before their shipdates.

Additionally, it might not be a bad idea to review your son’s medical records. If he was ever prescribed certain drugs for conditions like ADD/HD, that’s an automatic disqualifier. Ditto for certain types of past injuries or illnesses.

Also not true.

96 posted on 12/26/2011 12:53:38 PM PST by msamizdat (The only justice is vigilante justice)
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Ummm. try 11 years. 8)

My youngest daughter and SIL really enjoyed the USAF.

97 posted on 12/26/2011 12:58:10 PM PST by wolfcreek (Perry to Obama: Adios, MOFO!)
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I can tell you right now that he sounds perfect for the Air Force as a Combat Controller which will prepare him for almost anything. This job has it all!

98 posted on 12/26/2011 1:02:31 PM PST by Just_de_facts ("Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it." - George Sand)
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To: msamizdat

In my experience, the Marines are a bit different in terms of allowing recruits to lose weight and get ready for basic training. I would ask how much weight your son has to drop before going to boot camp. In the past, I’ve seen cases where the recruit lost up to 100 pounds before shipping out. More recently, I’ve been told the Marines will wait for a young man or woman to lose 20-30 pounds, but they won’t wait for obese candidates—not in this market. Additionally, many Marine Corps recruiters run informal PT programs for their recruits, to get them in shape for boot camp. The rationale behind this effort is clear, but again, it’s something unique to the Corps.

Additionally, I’ve never heard of anyone being allowed to enlist if they were on Ritalin (or similar drugs) for more than a few months. By the time many prospects reach the recruiting station, tney’ve been on these meds for years, and it’s an automatic disqualifier for most branches of the military. Again, the Marines may have slightly different rules/standards.

One thing is certain: as the military draws down, the services will become increasingly selective in who is allowed to enlist.

Best of luck to your son in the Corps.

99 posted on 12/26/2011 1:20:23 PM PST by ExNewsExSpook (uoted)
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If it still works the same as when I joined, the prospective troop will take an A.S.V.A.B. test (aptitude test) that will rate his aptitudes in several different areas. The service fields that he will be allowed to choose from will depend on his test scores.

Join the service that offers him training in the field that interests him most and offers career opportunities when he gets out. Even if he spends 20 or 30 years in, he will likely need to work when he retires.

Make sure that he takes maximum advantage of all of the college tuition assistance that the military can provide both during and after his service.

100 posted on 12/26/2011 2:06:04 PM PST by Washi (Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, one head-shot at a time.)
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