Anyone with prior military experience?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by coolbrotha86, May 5, 2009.

  1. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    I've been considering applying for the US Air Force and I was wondering if anyone here has been in the military before or knows someone who has experienced it. Is now a good time to go, with Obama being president? Are you giving up a lot by going and is what you gain worth it? I've checked the website, which is basically them selling themselves, so I thought to ask people not on the website. I'm planning on talking to a recruiter soon, so what should I ask? Any input would be helpful. Thanks!
     
  2. D_Jerry_Atric

    D_Jerry_Atric Account Disabled

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    I did once think about it but the military won't take me. I'm sure with all the background checks that they do they'd be able to figure out that I've had sex with men even if I did lie.
     
  3. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    So the "don't ask, don't tell" policy hasn't kicked in yet, huh?
     
  4. D_Jerry_Atric

    D_Jerry_Atric Account Disabled

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    I'm pretty sure that it has but then again you hear about high ranking officials in the military who are officers who have been in it for decades and about them getting kicked out for coming out.

    I'm just saying that as an out queer man I personally would not feel comfortable joining the U.S. military with a policy like that. I've also heard from people who are in the U.S. military or who work for the U.S. military that it can be homophobic.

    I have no idea about what they do for background checks but I've written about my sexuality open on the internet and it's not a secret and I have even been active in GLBT groups such as social ones and even political ones like the HRC.

    I have a big fetish/attraction for men in uniform and I'm pretty sure this would show and getting hard around lots of men in a shower or group physical exam would not be good. <eg>

    I've heard of men who were in the military who were out about being bisexual/gay but this was long before "Don't ask don't tell" which I've heard has made things worse.
     
    #4 D_Jerry_Atric, May 5, 2009
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  5. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    The military does the same basic background check as any other employer.
    Perhaps with the exception of some fields - they do not comb the internet looking for references to you or care if you are gay.

    Not sure what Obama has to do with it. We are active in war zones, therefore, expect to be sent somewhere you do not want to go. Expect to not have it be like you imagined. Then expect to have to struggle with the VA after you retire.

    Upside, you can receive some really nice bonuses (although, taxed and not paid totally upfront - I was surprised by what I was offered), benefits, and access to USAA, which is really good.

    My advice, realize that recruiters are working for pay, not to help you.
    If you have no one in your circle, family or friends, with experience to consult, have an attorney go over the contract with you until you understand it completely.

    Side note, AF is a really good choice, everyone I know that enlisted was released early.

    ETA: Everyone I know in the military or that previously served is advising me not to join, so, if you can, talk to those around you and get an idea of their experiences. :shrug:
     
    #5 D_Fiona_Farvel, May 6, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  6. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    Thanks BeardedWoof and sweet_ass (couldn't type that without smiling...). My record's pretty clean and I can slide my 10% gayness under the rug if need be, so I guess I have a good chance of getting in.

    I thought that since Obama is against war and becoming popular with other countries, there wouldn't be a need for much deployment, but I guess not.

    Coincidentally, my stepbrother went in the AF 5 years ago, and he turned out ok. For him, anyway... He still gets deployed every so often, but they pay for his apartment and his classes. He says it's ok if your life isn't established (kids, good job) so I figure since I'm young and single, nows a good time to go.
     
  7. Flashy

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    well, at least from a safety standpoint, you are in far better shape joining the air force or the navy, then the army or marines.

    the likelihood of harm coming to you in the air force is very low, since only a very few personnel in the air force are actually in "harm's way".

    (unless of course you are applying for flight school or air force special forces or something of that nature, that would put in harm's way)


    same with the NAvy, you are not in grave danger serving on a naval base, or a naval air station etc...or even on a surface ship, like a carrier or cruiser.

    not to mention, the air force would be a good choice because you could learn potentially alot about some very high tech stuff, software, communications, repairing planes, etc...which could be very helpful to you in the future...

    that sounds to me like the absolute best choice for you, depending on where your future interests lie after your tenure with them is up.

    you would certainly have a safe, probably interesting time, learning communications and high technology stuff of that nature, and being posted on a safe, secure air base, out of the line of danger.

    that sounds like a smart idea to me, for someone looking for a temporary career in the military as a stepping stone.

    good luck :smile:
     
  8. D_chris anthemum

    D_chris anthemum New Member

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    If you are looking to join our nation's armed services, then I would highly recommend going see every branch's recruiter. You may find your thoughts on the different branches are incorrect. Recruiters can handle you telling them to back off, they will always welcome you back to their office. Ask as many questions as you want to the recruiters. They will be happy to answer, and the rumor that they are all liars is false.


    The enlistment contract couldn't be simpler. You DO NOT need a lawyer to look over the contract. Here is what it includes:
    • personal info (name, addr, DOB, soc)
    • Branch of service you are enlisting
    • Period of enlistment (say.. 8 years total 4 years active)
    • Annexes.. like G.I. Bill, Job garantee, bonuses, etc
    Anything not in that document is not promised to you. Keep in mind these are standard forms that are filled, it's not a custom typed document. You personally initial each line that has important items. And when the time comes to sign the final line and ship out to basic training, you are asked to look over and make sure everything is as it should be.. corrections can be made before you ship out.

    A little about the branches:

    • Air Force. This service is all air. Transport planes, helos, fighter jets, that is what they are all about. If you are not a pilot or personnel administration, you are in some sort of job supporting all aspects of planes and airfields. They mainly are designed to fly in to an area and deliver high altitude fire power. They are 328,600 strong.
    • Navy. This service is on the seas. They project firepower from the sea onto land. Destroyers, frigates, carriers, submarines, etc. Very diverse jobs. Works very close, as in side by side with, the Marine Corps. The Navy has their own air element with fighter jets and helos. They are 332,000 strong.
    • Army. They are a large, dominating land-based fighting force. The Army is designed to self-sustain continued operations for long periods of time. Very diverse jobs. Highest chance of seeing the world, there are Army posts ALL over. They are 1,082,000 strong -- very big.
    • Marine Corps. This service is designed for rapid deployment anywhere in the world within about a days notice, to go in and take or secure a location and eventually hand operations over to the Army. Cannot self-sustain for long periods of time. Works side by side with the Navy and sometime the Army. Has its own air element, fighter jets, helos mainly for close air support for ground troops. Very diverse jobs. They are 201,031 strong.
    All the branches have high tech jobs. If you want the highest of tech, go on a nuclear submarine with the navy. NOTHING is higher tech than that.

    As I said before, check them ALL out before committing yourself to one. I may be biased toward the USMC, but all I can say is, I had a great time and will never forget it.


    What not to expect from any branch:
    • That you will never see combat
    • That you will always have easy work
    • That you will be sleeping in
    • That it's a bunch of hot guys half naked in the barracks*
    • That you won't ever be seriously stressed
    • That you won't ever have responsibility
    • That you won't move around every year or two years withou or with family
    • That if you have a family, that you will not be sent away from them for half a year or more
    You are giving up a lot of yourself to become a member of the armed forces. It is an entirely different atmosphere than civilian life. You have to have thick skin, a strong mind, and physical fitness. Some enjoy it, some don't. Keep in mind that once you ship out to basic training it's too late to quit. You can quit up until you put your hand in the air and are sworn in.

    You are paid for your commitment. Medical/dental, life insurance, housing, food, tuition reembursement, G.I. Bill, bonuses. You don't have to have a bill if you don't want to. If you are 18 and single, I would say save every penny they pay you and you will come out with a good chunk of change after 4 years if you get out. Don't waste your money on stupid crap.

    The Don't Ask Don't Tell policy has been in effect for years. They don't check or ask your orientation and most guys these days don't care anyway.

    *Sometimes when it might be summer and hot and friday night with hard alcohol flowing (not allowed in the barracks**)

    **keep it in the toilet tank/in the ceiling/in your trunk/in the freezer***

    ***If you are caught you will be in deep shit, especially if you are underage.
     
    #8 D_chris anthemum, May 6, 2009
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  9. D_chris anthemum

    D_chris anthemum New Member

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    Oh, had one more thought to add:

    You will hate it sometimes, but on the other hand, you will absolutely love it most of the time, doing things that have no parallel in the civilian world, that only a small percentage of people get to do, and gaining experience that will earn you respect for the rest of your life.
     
  10. Mr Ed in Mass

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    I agree with all the good advice given.Get into something that you can use when you're a civilian again.Something high tech as was mentioned.
    You have the GI bill also. good luck.
     
  11. hairyman101

    hairyman101 New Member

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    i was in the navy and what packin83 wrote is all true. so i want have to write all of that again. i got to see europe and most of the states. i do know one thing.....keep quiet until spoken to.....and then its always "yes sir or no sir" nothing inbetween. you will go far. i was in san diego and it was HOT!!! money is not that good to start. it get better as you find your way into a job for the military.
     
  12. JuanChido

    JuanChido New Member

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    I have a cousin in Afghanistan. He says its getting really bad over there.
     
  13. faceking

    faceking Well-Known Member

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    How is that so?
     
  14. sgtrock

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    I question initially your reasoning for enlisting???

    I was an active duty marine NCO in Recon or 0321MOS. Having served through out South East Asia, on several WESPAC and NATO floats and finally in the Middle East, stationed at Twenty Nine Palms, Camp Le June, Subic Bay, Okinawa and Kaneohe.

    If you looking at it for a paycheck that&#8217;s a huge mistake as you will make more working retail out here. On the other hand if you looking at the opportunity to learn more about yourself and your country it is a GREAT opportunity.

    I speak Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean some Japanese and Farsi, Lebanese. During the almost ten years that I served I was in the best shape in my life running three miles in just over 15 minutes, 80 sit-ups in two minutes and 20 pull-ups, qualifying as an expert nine times with the M16A1 as well as the 45 and 9mm plus I was airborne trained and scuba trained. I still run four days a week and lift weights and coach track.

    Through traveling and being stationed overseas I have learned to appreciate fully every little thing that we Americans so freely take for granted. Whether it is having a running toilet with toilet paper vs. a hole in the floor and a bucket of water as when I lived in the Philippines or being able to by certain produce that wasn&#8217;t readily available, or radio and television that wasn&#8217;t heavily influenced by the government.

    Is this the right time? There is never the right time to serve as anyone who has will tell you a warrior doesn&#8217;t look to be tested but is prepared to be so.

    If you&#8217;re looking for a way to serve there are many other ways which are equally great and safer. On the other hand the joke in the military is that the Air Force are just really civilians in uniform so other than maybe the Coast Guard there is a lesser chance that you will be put in harms way.

    Again, though I would finish by asking you again to rethink your reasoning before you do anything, in the military you are asked to put your life in harms way for basic rights which you freely give up simply by swearing in. It is not something to enter into half heartily.

    SSGT USMC
    RECON 0321
    &#8216;Uncle Sam&#8217;s Misguided Children&#8217;

    Silent but deadly
     
  15. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    Wow I got more responses! Where to begin...

    I'm with Flashy when he said it's a good opportunity to learn about high tech stuff, as that is where my interest lies. I do see it as a stepping stone now but if it leads to something more, it'll be even more worthwhile.

    Packin83 your post really helped me out. Are YOU by chance a recruiter??? But I did get a feel of what I would get into. I'm definitely not going for hot guys and alcohol. I'm going so I can better myself and learn and experience new things. And if they "ask", I'll tell them I'm only 10% gay. Not too threatening, right?

    Mr. Ed, I agree with the good advice too! The high tech stuff is what I'm interested in. I don't fully understand the GI Bill if anyone wants to clarify that. Your avatar is funny too!

    Hairyman... dude you're like... a hairy man... It's cool that you got to travel the world. Yet another reason to go. My stepbrother said basic training is kinda like a mind game, with the yelling and all. To be continued... stupid word count.
     
  16. thadjock

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    my only military experience is having a dad who's a career marine . when i was little i was sure that's what i wanted to do too but by the time i got to be 16-17-18, i knew it would be the biggest mistake of my life. and my dad agreed, not because i'd be in harms way but just because of the way i'm wired. i'm not talking about being gay, but just the hiarchy you have to work in. i loved having the travel and change of place be part of my life (my older brother hated moving all the time but i looked forward to something new) but i wasn't enlisted, i was just tagging along, big difference.

    for my dad it's a perfect fit, he thrives at it, and he'd die if u took it away from him. he has an option to retire in 2 yrs but we all know he won't. and i hope he doesn't,

    I think u just have to judge ur personality, the marines won't have any trouble rewiring you if that's what you decide on, but it's alot easier if your'e the type that can sublimate yourself....in my case the outcome might have ended up more like full metal jacket.
     
  17. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    I'm kinda quiet anyway so talking back isn't a bg issue...

    JuanChido I hope your cousin is okay. My stepbrother had to go to Afghanistan and he had to run out of a tent one time because a bomb exploded near it. Scary stuff. But hopefully the good outweighs the bad.

    Faceking, I'm honored that you posted. You're like a legend around here! (You too Flashy, since I'm kissing ass now...) Call me naive and optimistic, but I figured since Obama is against war and becoming popular with other countries, there wouldn't be much danger, but based on JuanChido's post, I guess not...

    Sgtrock, believe me, I've been questioning my reasons for enlisting also. Since November of last year... It's definitely not about the money or trying to get away from civilian life. I know I said since I'm young and single, it's a good time to go, but it's more like I don't have much to lose if I enlist. I hate my job, I didn't finish college, and I'm still in my parent's basement... To be continued... COME ON WITH THIS WORD COUNT!
     
  18. thadjock

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    i dont' get why u think obama is agaisnt war. he's in favor of using diplomacy but for the most part he's kept in place all of the bush policies regarding the two existing wars we have now. and even though we have a draw down schedule in iraq, he's doubling down in afghanistan. and as a democrat there's NO room for him to look weak in any way.

    if i were enlisting now i would fully expect to be deployed to iraq or afghanistan. although it's true AF and NAVY would be less likely to go at all or by land, unless ur a CB attached to a marine division, something like that.

    doing it for the money isn't the worst reason, i think the economy has already boosted enlistments. why didn't u finish college?
     
  19. coolbrotha86

    coolbrotha86 Active Member

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    While that's not necessarily a reason to enlist in the military, one thing I know is my life isn't going anywhere and I need a change. Not only in what I do but who I am. I could get another job, but it will be just that. A job. What would I gain? That's why I want to go. For the experience of it all. I may have to miss my sister's prom and graduation, or leave my best friend for a few years, or miss listening to my parents nag about me not taking out the trash or paying car insurance (hmm... why am I not gone yet?), but I want what I gain from going to be worth missing a few basic freedoms. Funny, by writing this, I may have made up my mind...
     
  20. thadjock

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    well there's no better way to reboot ur life, the military will def do that.

    you'll have a crystal clear dividing line: BE (before enlistment) and AE (after enlistment)

    (PS: unless ur her date, u don't need to worry about missing ur sister's prom dude)
     
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