View Full Version : Just curious: is there anyone else here in the military or will be in the military?


damon_Z
02-27-2010, 02:29 PM
I am a degreed accountant who contracted with the U.S. Army in late August 2009 to be Active Duty for 3-years and Reserve for 5-years. I am looking forward to testing my physical fitness and to hopefully (and successfully) lead solders through battles depicted in Black Hawk Down. My ultimate goal is to be a Commissioned Officer for the U.S. Army Infantry and to deploy in any dangerous hot zone this exciting planet has to offer.

I am temporarily leaving my originally-owned vehicles, a 2002 Z28 and a 2006 GTO, to my very mature 17-year old little brother in Southern New Jersey. My last day of work as an accountant is Friday, March 5. I leave for warm-weathered Fort Benning, GA, on Tuesday, March 9, where at least 12 weeks of Basic Combat Training and 9 weeks of Officer Candidate School await me. I am anxious and excited at the same time. Presently, I think being rational, logical, unemotional, obedient, and having the ability to leave one's conscience out the door will be the qualities that will make any Soldier successful.

Is anyone else here in the military (or will be joining the military)? If so, then what service are you in? What's your rank and position? Where are you stationed? Why did you join the military?

Thanks in advance for the info.

southpaw0314
02-27-2010, 02:39 PM
im in NROTC so im a Midshipmen, only advice i can think of right now would be to keep an open mind and have a positive attitude.

KevinR
02-27-2010, 02:48 PM
I was in the Marine Corps. I was promoted to Sgt. in under 4 years as a Combat Engineer. Here is my 2 cents on your situation. You can make a lot more money in the "real world" but I admire your drive. If you are planning on making it a career then you are heading in the right direction with your coice of being an officer. Keep in mind, once you get into, what we called, the fleet you will be a boot butter bar that nobody really respects. (Its just the way it goes) Treat your people fair and listen to your NCO's, they hold their rank for a reason. I joined the Military in 97 because I always wondered what it would be like to hold the title of a Marine, and yes, it feels sooooooooo good. Good luck with whatever you do and keep your head down in hot spots.

blubaldmontess
02-27-2010, 07:18 PM
10 years as active duty military, US army, stationed in fort lee currently, have been around the world. Hate to say it but the stuff you see on blackhawk down doesn't happen all that often. That wasn't even a combat zone, and knowing/talking to a person from the real thing, not the movie, but was part of the blackhawk down mission, the movies gloritized the hell out of it.

That isn't something that you want, to be in a hotspot, or to lead soldiers into a hot spot. I've been on the other end of the spectrum, having to tell their parents what happened and that their soldier is no longer with us. It sucks even more having to put that person into the ground, fold the flag up and then hand it to their mother/father/spouse/child ect. The army is not all guts and glory. As a young LT being war bent and hell bound is going to get you and your joes killed. What you need to do is attach yourself to somebody you can look up to, enlisted and officer, and learn from them. Find a seasoned e7 or e8 and learn. A 1SG will be more than willing to teach you as long as you don't act like a punk.

I deployed to afghanistan in 2005-06. Emotion is part of the job. Your emotion is what pushes you to do what you do every day. This is not a job, this is a life. I worked in the ER for a year, and saw shit that you couldn't imagine. I could show you pictures that would haunt your dreams forever. I've seen soldiers die in my arms, i've seen soldiers come in piece by piece...your description of yourself, and again, no offense, but makes you sound like somebody I would not want as a leader. Post that same thing in the military lounge, see what they say, but I'm just one person with an opinion.

I joined in 2000 right out of High school. I've been in 10 years yes, and only attained the rank of e5, I joined because I wanted a job I could use when I got out of the military. I've worked as a medic and now work in the medical administration portions of the hospitals. I've medically boarded people out of the miltiary who served their country and followed direct orders, never waivering and questions, and now today they can't walk, are missing limbs, or have lost their minds. Being a commander is huge, and in doing so you have to be able to be emotional, and unobedient, think for yourself, and go against the grain, and think for yourself, we're not all machines, we're all human and people, we make mistakes, if you just go by a book, you'll punish every Joe under you w/o looking deeper, like was it a family problem, did something happen to make a soldier do this.

I don't mean to offend, and if you really want some advice let me know, I'm honest, and I don't want to see you fail, but just waht you said makes me believe that without a serious step back and reevaluation of life, you will. I hope that you don't, and I hope that you become a great leader, but my friend, it will take time, and learning, because you'll find many of your soldiers have bach. and masters degrees as well, we just enjoy being soldiers and being waste deep in the shit

Something else I can recommend, go to fort dix, nj or a close military base, talk to some of the higher ranking NCOs and Officers, ask them what makes them successful and what they've learned...you'll see a whole new world.

damon_Z
02-27-2010, 08:16 PM
10 years as active duty military, US army, stationed in fort lee currently, have been around the world. Hate to say it but the stuff you see on blackhawk down doesn't happen all that often. That wasn't even a combat zone, and knowing/talking to a person from the real thing, not the movie, but was part of the blackhawk down mission, the movies gloritized the hell out of it.

That isn't something that you want, to be in a hotspot, or to lead soldiers into a hot spot. I've been on the other end of the spectrum, having to tell their parents what happened and that their soldier is no longer with us. It sucks even more having to put that person into the ground, fold the flag up and then hand it to their mother/father/spouse/child ect. The army is not all guts and glory. As a young LT being war bent and hell bound is going to get you and your joes killed. What you need to do is attach yourself to somebody you can look up to, enlisted and officer, and learn from them. Find a seasoned e7 or e8 and learn. A 1SG will be more than willing to teach you as long as you don't act like a punk.

I deployed to afghanistan in 2005-06. Emotion is part of the job. Your emotion is what pushes you to do what you do every day. This is not a job, this is a life. I worked in the ER for a year, and saw shit that you couldn't imagine. I could show you pictures that would haunt your dreams forever. I've seen soldiers die in my arms, i've seen soldiers come in piece by piece...your description of yourself, and again, no offense, but makes you sound like somebody I would not want as a leader. Post that same thing in the military lounge, see what they say, but I'm just one person with an opinion.

I joined in 2000 right out of High school. I've been in 10 years yes, and only attained the rank of e5, I joined because I wanted a job I could use when I got out of the military. I've worked as a medic and now work in the medical administration portions of the hospitals. I've medically boarded people out of the miltiary who served their country and followed direct orders, never waivering and questions, and now today they can't walk, are missing limbs, or have lost their minds. Being a commander is huge, and in doing so you have to be able to be emotional, and unobedient, think for yourself, and go against the grain, and think for yourself, we're not all machines, we're all human and people, we make mistakes, if you just go by a book, you'll punish every Joe under you w/o looking deeper, like was it a family problem, did something happen to make a soldier do this.

I don't mean to offend, and if you really want some advice let me know, I'm honest, and I don't want to see you fail, but just waht you said makes me believe that without a serious step back and reevaluation of life, you will. I hope that you don't, and I hope that you become a great leader, but my friend, it will take time, and learning, because you'll find many of your soldiers have bach. and masters degrees as well, we just enjoy being soldiers and being waste deep in the shit

Something else I can recommend, go to fort dix, nj or a close military base, talk to some of the higher ranking NCOs and Officers, ask them what makes them successful and what they've learned...you'll see a whole new world.

I am glad that I created this thread, because I can get valuable feedback from people such as yourself. As an outsider looking in, I assumed that being detached, unemotional and obedient were sufficient qualities that would guarantee survival in the military, but I'm glad that you've disagreed and stated your reasons why. Now, I can change my focus and attitude accordingly. Thank you very much.

spcearle
02-27-2010, 08:44 PM
been in the guard for 16yrs here....11b/11c/13b

blubaldmontess
02-27-2010, 09:18 PM
Damon, sorry if it came across as harsh, but this is my life, and I knwo that if you are coming in, I want people to be as happy as I've been in the miltiary. I love my job, but my life is taking care of soldiers, mine and every other one that has a question, needs a hand ect. Remember to lead, you must follow, and even when nobody is looking, somebody always sees when you do wrong.

Don't focus on the mental aspect of it all, that will come with time, each leader has a different style, picks little things from people around them. I've learned more from leadership that has been piss poor and cruel for no reason, why, because they are the ones I don't want to be like.

In all seriousness, I would reccomend going into the military forum and asking about the 11series if that is what you are interested in, but from my experiences, I leave you with this, its a fast promoting job, but if you aren't going to make the military your career choice for life, I would reccomend trying to get into something that will allow you to learn alot more; military intel and other jobs have long term uses, where as leading troops into battle...well, you can try to motivate civilians like that, but most days it doesn't work...ask how I know :(

damon_Z
02-27-2010, 09:30 PM
Thank you again for the valuable information and insight. It's nice to know that the 11 series is a career with fast promotions.

Damon, sorry if it came across as harsh, but this is my life, and I knwo that if you are coming in, I want people to be as happy as I've been in the miltiary. I love my job, but my life is taking care of soldiers, mine and every other one that has a question, needs a hand ect. Remember to lead, you must follow, and even when nobody is looking, somebody always sees when you do wrong.

Don't focus on the mental aspect of it all, that will come with time, each leader has a different style, picks little things from people around them. I've learned more from leadership that has been piss poor and cruel for no reason, why, because they are the ones I don't want to be like.

In all seriousness, I would reccomend going into the military forum and asking about the 11series if that is what you are interested in, but from my experiences, I leave you with this, its a fast promoting job, but if you aren't going to make the military your career choice for life, I would reccomend trying to get into something that will allow you to learn alot more; military intel and other jobs have long term uses, where as leading troops into battle...well, you can try to motivate civilians like that, but most days it doesn't work...ask how I know :(

ace68
02-27-2010, 09:33 PM
I went through the OCS program at AMA last year,,,, good luck.

I have seen some others join as a 92A MOS (I think that is the MOS for OCS out of boot) none made it through. And the Cadre will be in your face because of it,, he,, he,, good times.



I am a Marine vet joined the Army and went to OCS a year after I was in. At OCS I found it more challenging than Marine Corps boot camp. You will need to score at least a 270 in your PT to avoid remedial Pt; you donít want to be there. Download an OCS guide and study the required knowledge section, you will have some down time in basic use it wisely. Be very familiar with drill and ceremony you may want to get a copy of FM 3-21.5. Knowing this will leave you time to study other things and keep you under the radar.


And forget the John Wane mentality you sound kind of eager to go to war.

damon_Z
02-27-2010, 09:44 PM
Thank you for the info, ace68. My pre-BCT PFT with my recruiter was a 290 so I don't think I'll have a problem with any of the PFT's. I'm more concerned about losing my cool so I'll do my best to stay detached if the Cadres get in my face. It's also good to know from you that I will have some free time in BCT to study ahead. I'll definitely download the OCS guide that you mentioned.

Dan-01-TA
02-27-2010, 10:07 PM
Ive been in Afghanistan for 7 months now as an Infantryman and if you think the war is like Black Hawk Down, you need to reconsider your plan. GWOT is rebuilding and peacekeeping. Good luck.

ace68
02-27-2010, 10:10 PM
GWOT is rebuilding and peacekeeping. Good luck
I think the proper term used now is overseas contingency plan

Dan-01-TA
02-27-2010, 10:11 PM
sure. i have lost all positive feelings for it.

stevethepirate
02-28-2010, 03:01 AM
Congrats.

I am debating military (OCS).
Graduating college in May, International Relations major. I currently speak Arabic and Italian, some Spanish, and English of course. I would love to be able to put my Arabic to good use. Just have to see what the options are.

berlin 83
02-28-2010, 03:06 AM
I'm Active Duty Marine, Cpl been in for 2 1/2 years i work on F-18's an am stationed in miramar cali it's a pretty good gig, aside from the B.S. you put up with

damon_Z
02-28-2010, 03:10 AM
Congrats.

I am debating military (OCS).
Graduating college in May, International Relations major. I currently speak Arabic and Italian, some Spanish, and English of course. I would love to be able to put my Arabic to good use. Just have to see what the options are.

Go for it. I've read that you can get a significant increase in pay just from being proficient in another language.

jason00ss
02-28-2010, 08:50 PM
joined in 02, 11B, nco since 05, 2 tours-oef 04-05 and oif 09, and like stated above, lose the gung ho mentality, listen to your men, especially the nco's that have been there before. i had a platoon leader in iraq that was gung ho and wanted to get into the shit. i wanted to frag him every chance i got(obviously didn't lol) if you're gonna be an officer in the 11 series mos, learn from your nco's and the ones that have been there, don't be afraid to be humble, and lead from the front and by example. good luck to you

Eskimo
03-01-2010, 02:39 PM
BTDT, got the t-shirt.

As was said, find a seasoned NCO and really listen to his advice, then find an officer who was prior enlisted and let them be your mentor.

We had 2 1LT's in my last unit... a guy who was enlisted, went WO, then OCS. Another who was a Citadel baby. Citadel ring-knocker couldn't figure out why we wouldn't follow him to lunch, but we'd follow the other guy right off a bridge if he asked us to.

damon_Z
03-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Jason and Eskimo, thank you for the heads-up. You guys put a smile to my space, because I prefer to eat lunch by myself. Just like in any situatuion I get myself into, I'm never there to make friends. I concentrate on the bottomline: fulfilling my job duties.

jason00ss
03-01-2010, 10:38 PM
Jason and Eskimo, thank you for the heads-up. You guys put a smile to my space, because I prefer to eat lunch by myself. Just like in any situatuion I get myself into, I'm never there to make friends. I concentrate on the bottomline: fulfilling my job duties.

well, don't be afraid to eat with your men, shows them that you're not afraid to slum around in the trenches with them. but there is a fine line there NOT to cross of becoming their friends. as long as you are fair and firm, you will earn much more respect than being the "buddy". not meaning to get too far off topic, but don't volunteer your men for every shit detail or kiss ass for career progression, JOES SEE RIGHT THROUGH THAT! sorry for the mini rant, but i have a major beef with bad officers. remember, NCO's lead the way

tdevil55
03-02-2010, 12:10 AM
+1^^^

I have been active duty for 14+ years, been deployed to Iraq twice, and Kuwait. I spent 6 years with the Rakkasans at Fort Campbell, KY during those deployments, and served with one of the commanders from the Black Hawk Down incident. I am not going to name him in this public forum, but he is well known. damon_Z, all I can tell you is if you plan on becoming an 11 series officer, you will have a long road ahead of you. To make that road enjoyable and easy, take advice from jason00ss and learn from your NCOs and build esprit de corps with your team/platoon. Let go of the hoowah, kill them all stuff and concentrate on getting to know your troops, and becoming a team with them. You will get your chance somewhere during your career to lead them into battle, but I am telling you from experience that the greater reward is seeing that young troop benefiting from your leadership and coming back home alive. Most commanders I have interacted with have more of a focus of how to keep troops alive and safe while completing the mission, than when is my next fight and how can I win. Take pride in teaching, mentoring, and leading the troops than the number of battles won and the number of ribbons on your chest. One of your first leadership roles is a platoon leader. As a PL, your focus will not be the battle, but the training aspect. The pride and glory will be to get your entire platoon trained and earn the EIB. You will find more joy in the single and individual accomplishments that your troops do under your leadership. The Soldiers will make you a great leader, not the battles you get into. I hope this helps some. This is just my opinion of what I have experienced, and I hope it can help guide you in your upcoming career, and congratulations in becoming an Officer in the US Army. *salute*

SSG Craig Mullis

damon_Z
03-03-2010, 01:50 PM
SSG Craig Mullis,

Thank you for heads-up. I am not an Army Officer yet, but starting on Tuesday, March 9, 2010, at Fort Benning, GA, I will be on the road to try and become one. I will definitely take your advice into consideration and hope that I have a good military future as a result of it.

GT-OH
03-03-2010, 10:24 PM
Navy Chief here. Alittle over 14 years now. I have been some places :D

upincomin
03-04-2010, 12:13 AM
Hey Buddy,
CTR2(Navy E-5) Dow here,
They say the military is what you make of it. If you keep a positive attitude, work hard and are willing to learn and listen to those above AND below you, you'll go far. There are times when you will be in a place that everyone around you will hate, they get demotivated, don't let that happen. Try to always stay motivated. I work at a joint-command (Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard) and I think it's been very stressful having two separate chain of commands.
The best advice, always be courteous, keep a smile on your face, and "don't get too high on the highs, or too low on the lows". Know that when things are going bad there is usually always someone there going through the same thing, or will at least listen.
Never take "my buddy said this is how it is" to be the truth. If you've got a question about something, whether it be policy, regulations, or anything like that... Look it up. Do you're research. The military likes to have everything written out. Most people just go by what "my buddy said" and it will get you in trouble, or if it's bad enough, end a career.
I've only been in a short time, 4 years at one duty station, but I'm re-enlisting for another 6-years, moving across country and trying something new. You'll hear a lot of opinions from alot of people never go from just the first ones you ask. Ask around and try to formulate your own opinion about matters that mean something to you. They say "Never judge your time in the military based on your first tour".
One of the biggest things you will need to learn is flexibility. Flexibility about everything. Things in the military will change on an instant for many different reasons. Getting bent out of shape every time over the little things will break you down. You have to be resilient and expect things to change, because they always seem to.

Hope this, with all of the other things people have said will be of use.
Welcome to the family... Soon to be, Sir!

BTW, HOOYAH Chief who posted above me.

supersexy
03-04-2010, 02:42 AM
Well let me tell ya take heed to the advice that these men are giving you, cause they are not blowing smoke up your ass. I've been in the ARMY now for 7 years. 2 deployments OIF 05-06, OEF 08-09. War is glorious only to those whom haven't seen it. A good saying that I have told some of my soldiers is "Even great leaders at one time or another had to follow". Best of luck!!!

WS6TransAm01
03-04-2010, 08:28 AM
Was nominated to the US Naval Acadamy in '01, never went. Always regret it. Been thinking about Navy OCS and Flight school ever since I graduated Architecture school in '07