Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Advice for 18 year-old kid: Marines, or College and Reserves?

Notices
Like Tree53Likes

Advice for 18 year-old kid: Marines, or College and Reserves?

Old 07-16-2018, 11:04 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 80
Default Advice for 18 year-old kid: Marines, or College and Reserves?

I am sort of like a foster parent to a kid who is turning 18 in September. He has always wanted to join USMC. He will be starting his senior year of high school in few weeks, but he has also applied for dual-enrollment at a local college (will find out next week if he is accepted). He gets good grades, and has no criminal record. Physically, he is sort of on the small side (5'-6", 120 lbs), and likely wont' grow much more. Strong and scrappy though, and he is on wrestling team. If he goes to college, he has free tuition paid for by the State, due to being in foster care previously.

For now, he has pretty much decided that he will go to college first, so that he can become an officer. His current plan is to be in Reserves during college and go in full USMC after. Has been talking to a recruiter lately, and they have promised him his choice of job or career (flight mechanic, etc). He is a good hard worker, but he definitely has anger issues, is subject to outbursts when pushed too hard, and does not like being talked down too. He realizes that this might pose some difficulty for him in the service.

I am somewhat concerned that he will be railroaded into a long term commitment before he really has time to decide for himself. He wouldn't graduate college until 5 years from now, and his perspective could change. Not sure how the recruitment works, or if they can or will try to get him to sign now for full service after graduation. Apparently, he would be signing something soon, or maybe in September when he is 18. I asked to bring me any contract they want him to sign, so I can read it before he signs his life away. Not sure if I'll ever get to see it though.

Personally, I don't want him to go into the service, and he knows it, but I won't stand in his way either.

Just wondering if anyone can shed light on how it works with college, reserves, contracts, job promises, committing to full time after graduation, etc. for years, I have heard stories about predatory recruiters promising things that never materialize.
Fish Haid is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:07 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Lprizman's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: RI
Posts: 5,538
Default

As my dad told me "Lance go get your degree, then do what you want, after you pull your head out of your ass you can fall back on it."
great advice - for me

Last edited by Lprizman; 07-16-2018 at 12:32 PM.
Lprizman is online now  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:13 AM
  #3  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 0
Default

I would tell him to EITHER enlist active duty for four years or go to college and get a degree, in whichever order he prefers. I can tell you from firsthand experience that trying to balance one's Reserve commitment while in college (and most likely holding down at least a part-time job) gets to be overwhelming, and performance in both the military and school can suffer.


Of course, if he enlists first and gets a good GI Bill package, that can help pay for college when he gets out. It'll also give him alot of perspective on whether he truly wants to be an officer. If he truly wants to be an officer after experiencing life as a grunt, he'll be much more motivated and probably do much better in OCS or whatever program he chooses.
Uncle Zeek is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:17 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 3,520
Default

My son will be 18 this month and starting his senior year of highschool. I was told by a retired ex Navy customer that there have been some recent changes, or getting ready to be some changes to military benefits and retirement. Might want to get some clarification before deciding on a career.
Also have a family friend who is a recruiter for the Marines, he has told me that they put a lot of pressure on individuals that are problems to get rid of them.
I would suggest that he gets professional help to deal with anger issues before joining the military.
Jonesy23 is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:18 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Perdido Key
Posts: 6,340
Default

It’s HIGHLY like that his anger issues would be a problem at Boot Camp. Been there done that. The DI’s hold back nothing and will purposely push ur buttons.
bluewaterposer likes this.
Badbagger is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:23 AM
  #6  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: WPB, Fl.
Posts: 10,319
Default

Originally Posted by Badbagger View Post
It’s HIGHLY like that his anger issues would be a problem at Boot Camp. Been there done that. The DI’s hold back nothing and will purposely push ur buttons.
Letter from best friend at PI

I would kill my DI for just one Bud pounder.
​​​​​​​
gofastsandman is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:24 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Virginia Beach, Va
Posts: 5,367
Default

You pretty much have it figured out. My stepson had issues with me and sounds a lot like your young man. He addressed his anger issues by taking up boxing. As a senior in high school, he talked to a recruiter who promised him the world. I told him the recruiter is no different than a used car salesman. After he went active duty, he changed his tune. He said I was right. I was glad he went into the military because he wasn't going to college but I wanted it to be HIS decision without any influences. Today he is glad he went into the Marines. It helped him mature and gave him a trade. It did give him educational benefits. After being out a while he joined the Army (Marines said he had been out too long.). So he got to vacation in Iraq first and then Afghanistan with the Army.

Enough about the son. I would suggest College and joining ROTC. He can drill with them and upon graduation, he can become an officer. In the reserves, he can be activated. If he works with a recruiter, get EVERYTHING in writing. I can't say enough about military service. The Navy gave me a trade that enabled me to have a career that I retired from. After retirement I moved to Virginia and went to work at Little Creek Naval base. I did the same with some young sailors as you've done with that young man. You can't buy those rewards. Thank you for what you do.

Last edited by Mud Runner; 07-16-2018 at 11:29 AM.
Mud Runner is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:26 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 131
Default

As an active duty Army officer, I strongly reccomend college first. I've seen a lot of Soldiers join with the plan of college later, but life happens and they never go (usually due to wife/kids needing support vs. getting a degree full time).
Mud Runner and bluewaterposer like this.
Tread_Head57 is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:27 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 2,179
Default

College first.
Tuvix likes this.
Brezinup is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:30 AM
  #10  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 80
Default

Just to clarify - he already has free college tuition at any state university or college in Florida.

Yes, he would presumably be working a part time job while in school, but he says that the Reserves pays too?

What is involved in the Reserves? How much time? And, they can pull him out of school at any time to active duty?
Fish Haid is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:33 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 671
Default

If the kid is a whiz in school (taking all AP classes and scoring 30+ on ACT - then college first.

If the kid is an average student with some "issues" - I'd suggest enlist, work out your problems and then come to college with a clean academic record and GI bill to pay tuition (Maybe at a school outside of Florida).. This worked for me.
Bayou Dularge is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:33 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Shore, MA
Posts: 2,096
Default

College - the next few years may not be kind to our military!
Zardoz is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:35 AM
  #13  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: South East Louisiana
Posts: 10,460
Default

No matter what, get all promises from the recruiter in writing!
midcap is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:36 AM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 16,831
Default

College degree with some kind of certification... not just a degree in "Nutrition" or some such fluff.

Then if he wants to do the military or whatever... great...
OldPete is online now  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:38 AM
  #15  
Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 10,433
Default

Originally Posted by Fish Haid View Post
Just to clarify - he already has free college tuition at any state university or college in Florida.

Yes, he would presumably be working a part time job while in school, but he says that the Reserves pays too?

What is involved in the Reserves? How much time? And, they can pull him out of school at any time to active duty?
If he has paid school, ROTC is the way to go if he wants a clear path to becoming an officer, with no hard commitments. Interest in ROTC may very well help with acceptance into school if he is otherwise borderline grades wise.
autobaun70 is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 11:47 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,614
Default

College AND reserves are tough to balance. Speaking only of Air Force Reserves, my son had ONE weekend a month and two weeks a year gone, plus they get called in sometimes 1,2,3 times a month to base...and you better be there. They don't give a shit if you have a mid term tomorrow.
My son had a 6 year enlistment in the Air Guard. They gave him a 40k sign on bonus. In year 3 decided he did not care for college anymore. In year 5 he was medically discharged.

That combo life style can be a very fluid one on several fronts.
STEELA is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 12:03 PM
  #17  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Eastern shore Md
Posts: 3
Default

As an USAF veteran
1. College first since it will be free
2. College and reserves if he insists
3. Active duty
Job specific training in a skill that will enable a job in the civilian world would be nice. Get it guaranteed in writing.
Lprizman likes this.
kramer_13 is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 12:15 PM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,601
Default

Does he know what he wants to do for a living yet? I still don't know.

If he want's to turn a wrench on airplanes, joining the air force, navy or Marines is a good start in that direction, but boot camp can't be easy if he's a hot head.

I don't have an answer for you on this, but my godson now earns 140K per and travels with the private jet on every overseas trip with hotel and expenses paid, it can be very lucrative under the right circumstances.

Thanks for taking care of your foster son, we all reap the benefits.
YFMF is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 12:19 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Destin, FL
Posts: 462
Default

1. Have him go USMC enlisted for the shortest enlistment - that will solve his "anger" issues jiffy quick and ground him for what lies ahead. If he can't be a successful follower, he has no business attempting to be a leader of men.

2. College is paid for by the foster kid thing, so get him in college and (possibly) continue on in the USMC Reserves if he can do both Unit Training Assemblies and schoolwork; while in college seek out an Officer Recruiter to get him dialed in for USMC Officer Candidate School (OCS) at Quantico directly upon graduation from college.

Why? Every swinging dick who pulls a trigger KNOWS the best combat officers are always OCS grads, particularly those who were prior-service enlisted, as I've described above. Second best officers are ROTC products, particularly those who were prior-service enlisted; worst officers are ring knocking Cervix Academy grads who are always the smartest guys in the room - just ask them.

Best of luck to the young man, he will need it - and I mean that in the best of ways.

Cheers, T.
trejsic.mejsic is offline  
Old 07-16-2018, 12:23 PM
  #20  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 3,741
Default

Originally Posted by Tread_Head57 View Post
As an active duty Army officer, I strongly reccomend college first. I've seen a lot of Soldiers join with the plan of college later, but life happens and they never go (usually due to wife/kids needing support vs. getting a degree full time).
Yes. I've known more than a couple that feel right into this. ^^

Originally Posted by kramer_13 View Post
As an USAF veteran
1. College first since it will be free
2. College and reserves if he insists
3. Active duty
Job specific training in a skill that will enable a job in the civilian world would be nice. Get it guaranteed in writing.
Agree. But he must get control of his temper and cool his jets, (AF)
round2it is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread