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Calgunners in Service This forum is a place for our active duty and deployed members to share, request and have a bit of home where ever they are.

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  #1  
Old 12-13-2017, 10:00 AM
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Default 25, married, expecting and want to enlist

I wanted some insight from those who may have taken a similar path.

I'm 25yrs old, married, and maybe a little one soon too but I want to serve my country and enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve. Under way with docs right now, please chime in and let me know what you think, what I should be prepared for, what should the wife prepare for, etc.?

Thank you.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:50 AM
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If you are joining the reserve, then I would tell them to prepare for poverty. Your monthly drill pay will basically cover your health insurance for your family. Congratulations on the kid. Go active duty for the shortest contact possible, then extend if it works well for your family. If you don't already have an education, trade or career, go for the pogest mos possible and go to school while you're in.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:59 AM
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+1 on reserve route...
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:00 AM
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Kinda off-topic but the CHP is hiring. Great way to serve your community and make a good living with medical & a solid pension.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:18 AM
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I say it is always honorable to serve your country no matter the commitment. Reserves is a way to serve (occasionally) many people who join the reserves wish they went active. I will say reserve works much better for families minus the pay. You will still need a good paying job to sustain your family. Make sure you think about what you want to do after the military. You will get out sometime and I remember grunts sitting there saying damn there are no machine gun jobs in the civilian world what am I going to do. Also go to school it should be a Gail to get at least 2 Year’s done by the time you get out. I did 12 years and if I could go back I would have done things a little different.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell0700 View Post
I wanted some insight from those who may have taken a similar path.

I'm 25yrs old, married, and maybe a little one soon too but I want to serve my country and enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve. Under way with docs right now, please chime in and let me know what you think, what I should be prepared for, what should the wife prepare for, etc.?

Thank you.
I was older than you when I enlisted in the Army Reserve. I completed my contract, did one OCONUS deployment (non-combat zone), and went to several different countries around the globe on training missions and exercises. I parlayed my military experience into my present full time career while I was still in and juggled both for a few years. I was not attached when I did any of this, but I had no regrets whatsoever. Each person’s experience will vary, but I recommend doing it wholeheartedly.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:47 AM
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A little more info on me. I have my BS in general management and am currently a office manager for a small real estate firm. I tried the officer route but couldn't keep up physically and because of some smaller injuries and was disqual after 3 years in the program. Oso said he see commitment so i can go this route and try again once I'm back from reserves.

Financially I feel that my family will be alright. I know there are other ways to serve but I've always wanted to be a marine and I just can't let this one go as I told my wife.

Plan after is to come back and complete the officers program as a reservist as well so I can take care of my family esp as the eldest son and my wife and kids.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:49 AM
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P.S. Even though Boot Camp and M.O.S. Training are the same for reserves and active duty, you will never be seen as an equal by the AD component. Not a complaint, just a fact. That should not deter you, especially if you take it seriously and conduct yourself in a manner befitting the uniform.
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:50 AM
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Kinda off-topic but the CHP is hiring. Great way to serve your community and make a good living with medical & a solid pension.
Meh coppers!
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:02 PM
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You'll certainly need another job on top of the reserves. I'm active but transferring braches soon. Better chance for me to go east coast that way.
*edit*
I'm also 25, married and have two kids. It's not impossible like a lot of people are saying. It really depends on your maturity level and mos demands. But being reserves would help minimize the stress of the second.

Last edited by JMercer; 12-14-2017 at 7:00 AM..
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Old 12-13-2017, 12:11 PM
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Thank you for your willingness to serve, and I wish you the best in your quest.
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Old 12-13-2017, 1:20 PM
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It's still an 8-year hitch for USMCR still isn't it? Depends on where you live if you want to get into a good unit. 4th LAAAD in Pasadena, artillery in Pico Rivera, ANGLICO and artillery at Seal Beach to name a few. I went reserves then active once I figured out swingin' with the Wing was the way to go for my POG ***.
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Old 12-13-2017, 1:56 PM
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Be prepared to abandon all your preconceived notions about the USMC, the military, and yourself. If you think you are hot ****, your ego will be your worst enemy.

At 25, you're seven years older than most recruits, and you're going to have a harder time keeping up with them physically. You're going to have to put out 110%, especially I'f you have prior injuries as you say.

If you want to be an officer of Marines, you are going to have to volunteer for everything, and push harder than everyone under your authority. When they are fading, you have to be relentlessly confidant and lead them. Marines expect nothing less of their leaders.

I had the opportunity after enlisting to get an ROTC scholarship. Upon self-reflection, I came to the conclusion that I would make a mediocre Marine officer; I could definitely do the job, but would not excel. I felt that enlisted Marines deserved better than that, so I remained an enlisted man.

Best of luck, and Semper Fidelis!

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Old 12-13-2017, 2:15 PM
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^Gunsmoke's talking square biz' right there Devil Pup. I was 21 when I stepped onto those yellow footprints. I was considered old even at that age. They used to call me "Pope" because I would always preach to my fellow non-rates about how to not F-up or to perhaps suggest a better use of a young Marine's time than writing (shows how old I am) letters to some broad back home that Jody's banging. More will be expected from you because of your age, most especially common sense. Reserve or not, you earn the title just the same. Reserve-asses can be studs just like anyone else.

It's rare though.
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Old 12-13-2017, 3:30 PM
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Yea I see, thanks gunsmoke50. But no i dont think im some sort of hotshot or anything of the like. I do know that I maybe a little slower than those younger guys but Ill be able to more than make up for that. Appreciate the honest reflection and insight as well.

The day will come when i can "Semper Fi" you as well, in the meantime kill!
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Old 12-13-2017, 3:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxwell0700 View Post
I wanted some insight from those who may have taken a similar path.

I'm 25yrs old, married, and maybe a little one soon too but I want to serve my country and enlist in the Marine Corps Reserve. Under way with docs right now, please chime in and let me know what you think, what I should be prepared for, what should the wife prepare for, etc.?

Thank you.
Why are you doing this to your family?
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Old 12-13-2017, 4:01 PM
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It's something I've always wanted to do and I refuse to be that "could have" guy. It's was a tough decision but I believe it will work out.
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Old 12-13-2017, 4:09 PM
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Why are you doing this to your family?
I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I agree with the above 1000%. I hate to say it OP, but you are being selfish.
You have a WIFE and a BABY and they come first ALWAYS.

Your dreams of being a Marine sailed when you knocked her up (honestly when you got married, and devoted your life to another individual).
Take BigStick's advice and go CHP and make a good living and support your family and retire WELL, AND serve the community.

You have no business going out on deployments when you have a child to raise. It would be different if you were already a professional soldier when you got hitched and had a child. But you are not, and is doing that going to be in the best interests of your family and child?

People may flame me for being unPatriotic, but honestly America NEEDS well-raised children A LOT MORE than it needs reserve soldiers....

CHP / Law Enforcement serves America a lot more than military IMO, in some crappy country, helping some crappy people that hate us....making the military industrial complex rich, oil companies rich, over pointless wars...Why are we in Iraq again? Why are we in Afghanistan? Exactly. Make a difference at home, where it actually matters, where your FAMILY lives, not some backwards dirtbags who hate you.

NO disrespect meant to vets or soldiers, but the truth is the truth. Don't let misguided patriotism cause you to make choices which are not in the best interests of your wife and child. Family FIRST.
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Old 12-13-2017, 4:38 PM
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I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I agree with the above 1000%. I hate to say it OP, but you are being selfish.
You have a WIFE and a BABY and they come first ALWAYS.

Your dreams of being a Marine sailed when you knocked her up (honestly when you got married, and devoted your life to another individual).
Take BigStick's advice and go CHP and make a good living and support your family and retire WELL, AND serve the community.

You have no business going out on deployments when you have a child to raise. It would be different if you were already a professional soldier when you got hitched and had a child. But you are not, and is doing that going to be in the best interests of your family and child?

People may flame me for being unPatriotic, but honestly America NEEDS well-raised children A LOT MORE than it needs reserve soldiers....

CHP / Law Enforcement serves America a lot more than military IMO, in some crappy country, helping some crappy people that hate us....making the military industrial complex rich, oil companies rich, over pointless wars...Why are we in Iraq again? Why are we in Afghanistan? Exactly. Make a difference at home, where it actually matters, where your FAMILY lives, not some backwards dirtbags who hate you.

NO disrespect meant to vets or soldiers, but the truth is the truth. Don't let misguided patriotism cause you to make choices which are not in the best interests of your wife and child. Family FIRST.
I would agree with this. Be a father to your child, be a great husband to your wife, i’d have more respect for a guy who served his community feeding the poor and being a great father to their child than a guy who left his child for his wife to raise while he goes off somewhere living out his dream.
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Old 12-13-2017, 5:22 PM
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I see what you guys are saying, and I appreciate the input. It's been something I've always wanted to be and in high school my pops told me to go to college first, went to college, heck was going to enlist half way in cause the recruiter told me I'd be back for next semester. Then had to take care of my parents and siblings (eldest son) now done with college but married and have to take care of wife and kid.

When the oso gave us the speech that this ain't for everybody I never felt like that was to me.
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Old 12-13-2017, 7:06 PM
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I work for the CA Dept. of Corrections as a CO. There are quite a few former military working with me and many that are in the reserves. CDC or CHP would work out well for doing reserves. Your job is safe, no resentment and you even keep earning seniority if on deployment. I suspect that you missed the boat for full time military. Get a good job (CDC & CHP are both hiring) and play in the reserves. Take care of your family first. The CDC & CHP pay and benies are top shelf.
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Old 12-13-2017, 7:15 PM
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I really do agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hunterb View Post
I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I agree with the above 1000%. I hate to say it OP, but you are being selfish.
You have a WIFE and a BABY and they come first ALWAYS.

Your dreams of being a Marine sailed when you knocked her up (honestly when you got married, and devoted your life to another individual).
Take BigStick's advice and go CHP and make a good living and support your family and retire WELL, AND serve the community.

You have no business going out on deployments when you have a child to raise. It would be different if you were already a professional soldier when you got hitched and had a child. But you are not, and is doing that going to be in the best interests of your family and child?

People may flame me for being unPatriotic, but honestly America NEEDS well-raised children A LOT MORE than it needs reserve soldiers....

CHP / Law Enforcement serves America a lot more than military IMO, in some crappy country, helping some crappy people that hate us....making the military industrial complex rich, oil companies rich, over pointless wars...Why are we in Iraq again? Why are we in Afghanistan? Exactly. Make a difference at home, where it actually matters, where your FAMILY lives, not some backwards dirtbags who hate you.

NO disrespect meant to vets or soldiers, but the truth is the truth. Don't let misguided patriotism cause you to make choices which are not in the best interests of your wife and child. Family FIRST.
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Old 12-13-2017, 8:09 PM
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I would agree with this. Be a father to your child, be a great husband to your wife, i’d have more respect for a guy who served his community feeding the poor and being a great father to their child than a guy who left his child for his wife to raise while he goes off somewhere living out his dream.
What am I? The 5th or 6th? 100% agree with Hunterb.

I agree. In all honesty, it sounds like you missed the bus. Things may play out alright for you if you go(despite the massive strain on all relationships). But as many of us have seen, that life isn't easy even on relationships that were established during the military hardships.

In 100% honesty, you're asking to lose what you have. Sometimes the time just isn't right. It's just like how when I went to college as a married man on the GI Bill, I couldn't decide that being a frat boy and living the wild life was something "that I had always wanted to do".... Well I could have decided that, but I would have lost my wife who was faithfully with me through my whole military service. See what I mean?

Edit to add: Don't let your patriotic guilt deter you from being an awesome father and spouse is my point. hunterb hit it on the head. You'd honestly do this country a greater service by raising kids in a wholesome and honest family.
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Old 12-13-2017, 8:25 PM
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What am I? The 5th or 6th? 100% agree with Hunterb.

I agree. In all honesty, it sounds like you missed the bus. Things may play out alright for you if you go(despite the massive strain on all relationships). But as many of us have seen, that life isn't easy even on relationships that were established during the military hardships.

In 100% honesty, you're asking to lose what you have. Sometimes the time just isn't right. It's just like how when I went to college as a married man on the GI Bill, I couldn't decide that being a frat boy and living the wild life was something "that I had always wanted to do".... Well I could have decided that, but I would have lost my wife who was faithfully with me through my whole military service. See what I mean?

Edit to add: Don't let your patriotic guilt deter you from being an awesome father and spouse is my point. hunterb hit it on the head. You'd honestly do this country a greater service by raising kids in a wholesome and honest family.
Add me to the list.
Yes, yes, and yes to all of the above.
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Old 12-13-2017, 9:57 PM
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Dude you should just go Active.. your Wife and your baby will be taken care of. not to mention the pay is way better. Score high on the ASVAB and choose any job you want.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:21 PM
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Having a new kid, and being a Reserve Officer/Company Commander is a mother f-ing pain in the ***.

Granted, I stepped in this while I was single, and commissioned before the kid came along, but then then kid came along, and I barely squeezed in my MOS officer training. He was born two weeks before I graduated, and I managed to juggle bringing the lady out to Virginia and having the kid born (took a day off class).

I naively took company command as a new 1LT, and I'm being bombarded every single day with things to sign, memos, discharges, inventory things, it goes on and on and on.

The USAR would place me on 102 days worth of orders, and training (none of which pays BAH), and 70+ of them are on weekdays that eat into work.

All I'm praying for is I get through this period of my reserve officer career, and then find a staff position in a unit that isn't my primary MOS (meaning I'm not driving the primary mission, and I'm along in support of them).

I'm making it work, and it's hard enough with just post TRADOC training demands.

I couldn't imagine having to deal with TRADOC in conflict with a kid/family needing me there.

If you enlist you'll certainly understand what I'm trying to convey. Then remember, your TRADOC experience starts all over again if you go officer.
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:30 PM
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Old 12-13-2017, 10:43 PM
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I will be the voice of dissent here against the naysayers. If everyone who had kids and domestic commitments opted out of military service, the entire country would be up a creek.

There is a separation aspect that cannot be overlooked. There is a tipping point in the early days of boot camp where you become overwhelmed with dread, homesickness, and a strong desire to GTFO of there. Thankfully, nearly everyone gets past that and accepts their new reality of highly regimented and unrelenting misery. But then it is over before you know it, and before too long, you start getting treated like a real person again.

Going now will be easier than later, as you get older and slower and your family demands grow. If it is eating at you to serve, and you don't, you will harbor regret for life. In some cases, that regret unfairly manifests itself into resentment against those factors that kept you from serving. You don't want that.

Just my .02
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Old 12-13-2017, 11:00 PM
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LE work is nothing like the military, and is not on the same level. The service to country from the military is unmatched. Reserves is not the same as active duty, you will not feel the full effect of the weenie (green/blue/red or whatever branch you join). good luck brother
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Old 12-14-2017, 3:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
I will be the voice of dissent here against the naysayers. If everyone who had kids and domestic commitments opted out of military service, the entire country would be up a creek.

There is a separation aspect that cannot be overlooked. There is a tipping point in the early days of boot camp where you become overwhelmed with dread, homesickness, and a strong desire to GTFO of there. Thankfully, nearly everyone gets past that and accepts their new reality of highly regimented and unrelenting misery. But then it is over before you know it, and before too long, you start getting treated like a real person again.

Going now will be easier than later, as you get older and slower and your family demands grow. If it is eating at you to serve, and you don't, you will harbor regret for life. In some cases, that regret unfairly manifests itself into resentment against those factors that kept you from serving. You don't want that.

Just my .02
I agree with this. And don't be that guy that uses having a wife or kid to try to get out of everything and screws those that don't.
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Old 12-14-2017, 8:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
I will be the voice of dissent here against the naysayers. If everyone who had kids and domestic commitments opted out of military service, the entire country would be up a creek.

There is a separation aspect that cannot be overlooked. There is a tipping point in the early days of boot camp where you become overwhelmed with dread, homesickness, and a strong desire to GTFO of there. Thankfully, nearly everyone gets past that and accepts their new reality of highly regimented and unrelenting misery. But then it is over before you know it, and before too long, you start getting treated like a real person again.

Going now will be easier than later, as you get older and slower and your family demands grow. If it is eating at you to serve, and you don't, you will harbor regret for life. In some cases, that regret unfairly manifests itself into resentment against those factors that kept you from serving. You don't want that.

Just my .02
I understand both points of view but this is how i feel now. Say I dont go, maybe that regret will fade one day maybe not but if i do go I will not regret, my wife is on board. Yes, things can change but only time will tell. Heck i might not even make it through meps for having eczema and asthma as a kid, whatever the case is now would be the time, past this...another kid comes along, ill be in my 30s, life will be flying by plus the regret for sure.

ATM i have grandma and grandpa at home that can help with the kid, a little brother and other means of family support.
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:12 AM
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I have to ask, what OSO 'program' were you in for 3 years? It sounds like you were are a tier 2 candidate and being strung along until they have a month where they can't get their quota.
If you couldn't keep up physically with officer training, I doubt that you will be able to keep up with the enlisted side either. Officer candidatess run (a lot) more, but it is not more demanding than the enlisted side.
Finally, I started out almost 18 years ago in the reserves. It is primarily younger kids going the 6 year route to pay for college or those you have already put in 8 years active and wanted a career change, but didn't want to completely give up on the time that they put into retirement. If you aren't getting that little bit extra out of the reserves, it really is not worth it.

You have a degree, go officer or don't go (the pay is so much better).
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  #33  
Old 12-14-2017, 10:49 AM
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I have to ask, what OSO 'program' were you in for 3 years? It sounds like you were are a tier 2 candidate and being strung along until they have a month where they can't get their quota.
If you couldn't keep up physically with officer training, I doubt that you will be able to keep up with the enlisted side either. Officer candidatess run (a lot) more, but it is not more demanding than the enlisted side.
Finally, I started out almost 18 years ago in the reserves. It is primarily younger kids going the 6 year route to pay for college or those you have already put in 8 years active and wanted a career change, but didn't want to completely give up on the time that they put into retirement. If you aren't getting that little bit extra out of the reserves, it really is not worth it.

You have a degree, go officer or don't go (the pay is so much better).
Marine Officer program here in Sac. Im sure I was a tier 2 candidate after never seeing my name on the progress board lol. Physically i was doing 23-24 on my 3m at the time. Usually 21:30 is what theyd like to ship with everything else maxed out.

My ultimate goal is to go officer as discussed with the GySgt - come back as a reservist then go officer.
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  #34  
Old 12-14-2017, 12:49 PM
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I will be the voice of dissent here against the naysayers.
I dissent as well.

The supposition with that argument is a man can't "take care" of his family while serving. That can't be true, based on real world examples. Now... a man might not take care of his family while serving but it's not the service at fault.

Some dudes avoid their families way more than a weekend or two a month and they're only serving themselves. Just make sure that when you are physically with family that you're 100% engaged with them.

OP sounds like head is squarely on his shoulders to me.

I had children very young. I wanted to serve but was scared to leave my family. Not scared of the challenge just literally to leave them without me.

I regret it to this day. I should've went. I can't guarantee everything would be the same with my family but you know what? People rise to challenges and challenges build character, so my guess is they would be fine, if not better.

Two cents. Best wishes OP.
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  #35  
Old 12-14-2017, 2:54 PM
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I work for the CA Dept. of Corrections as a CO. There are quite a few former military working with me and many that are in the reserves. CDC or CHP would work out well for doing reserves. Your job is safe, no resentment and you even keep earning seniority if on deployment. I suspect that you missed the boat for full time military. Get a good job (CDC & CHP are both hiring) and play in the reserves. Take care of your family first. The CDC & CHP pay and benies are top shelf.
This is good advice.

I haven't served, but I have seen several friends' families while the men were overseas. It's hell. Even worse, it's hell that they suffer completely alone because they don't want to "make him worry" by saying anything.

Your wife wants you at home.

Your child wants you at home.

Be patriotic by being a good father.
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  #36  
Old 12-14-2017, 9:02 PM
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They're are plenty of good fathers, not saying I don't want to be one but with I can be that good father and then marine as well? Why not give it a shot? I know it's my timing that makes it difficult but I don't know if I want to live my life with that regret.
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Old 12-14-2017, 9:26 PM
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It's Marine, not marine. The former is a killer that comes from the sea, the latter is of or pertaining to the actual sea. Attention to detail will do you well.
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  #38  
Old 12-14-2017, 10:02 PM
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I enlisted at 27. Was married and had 6 week old baby girl when I shipped out to MCRD San Diego. Had another when I was 2 yrs in. I turned down $35K re-enlistment bouns, and choice of new MOS and 60 points for cutting score (Which would have put me well into Sgt). I was a TIS 20 month corporal...and never had a PFT lower than 290. Ever. Because I was the same age as my Gunnys and MSgt, I was given a lot of leadership roles and left alone to do my job.

I don't say that to brag. I only say that to show, if you really are motivated, you can do just about anything.


Go AD. Pick an MOS that has transferable skills! Stay away from NBC, airwing/aircrew, and motor T off the top of my head.
Oh and I used my ALL my GI bill. Have a BS and MA. And added two more kids, since I've been out.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-14-2017, 10:32 PM
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They're are plenty of good fathers, not saying I don't want to be one but with I can be that good father and then marine as well? Why not give it a shot? I know it's my timing that makes it difficult but I don't know if I want to live my life with that regret.
You may regret the time away from your family. There may be a new world crisis and you're called up for 6 months or more, even years. And you gotta go. I would stay home personally.
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  #40  
Old 12-14-2017, 11:05 PM
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If you are joining the reserve, then I would tell them to prepare for poverty. Your monthly drill pay will basically cover your health insurance for your family. Congratulations on the kid. Go active duty for the shortest contact possible, then extend if it works well for your family. If you don't already have an education, trade or career, go for the pogest mos possible and go to school while you're in.
When I got out the army,6 years, I joined the Guard. No medical benefits except while on duty or activated over 30 days. Things have changed a lot.
https://www.military.com/benefits/tr...-overview.html
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