Saturday, September 13, 2008

So...I'm Think About Joining The Military

Saturday, September 13, 2008

One thing you all may not know about me is that I'm a huge patriot. I love my country and I'm proud to be American. In spite of its faults and ills, the United States still shits all over 99% of countries in the world.

For several years now I've been thinking about joining the military. To you it may seem like a crazy idea, but to me it just may satisfy my desire to fight for a cause and be apart of something bigger than myself, which is something I've been looking to do for quite sometime now.

A couple days ago, I went to spoeak with a Air Force recruiter. We talked about the good, bad and ugly. I haven't made a final decision yet, but who might just happen.


KennonP said...

Do you want to join Full time (Active Duty) or part time (Reserves) If you have a college degree I strongly suggest you go the officer route. Please dont let anyane enlist you, you want to go the way of a commsioned officer. The Army and Air Force have these programs.

Chet said...

I am pleased to hear of your alliegence to our country. Thank you for loving our country and if you feel the military in your heart then join, the proud the few.

Jersey Brotha said...

I wouldn't say I'm very patriotic, but I do love the country that I live in. I commend you on your bravery and patriotism.

thegayte-keeper said...

well if u feel strongly about it I say do it

Curious said...

Forgive me if I'm wrong but aren't you Gay? And if you are then would you be allowed to join up unless you lie about your sexuality? Does being a patriot then mean that your have to hide behind a facade in order to fight for your country? Do you believe, and this is not meant to be judgemental, that there is a cause out there that the military is involved with that is worth fighting for and if so what would be the chances of getting sent to a conflict that you may not agree with?

Anonymous said...

I think you should look into the Naval academy or Air Force Academy. I don't think you would want to join as an entry level pfc. Explore all of your options but the military can be a great thing if you are inteilligent and driven...which you are.


kennyking78 said...

I joined the Air Force in 1998 and decided not to reenlist in 2004. While in I enjoyed a wonderful career in Information Technology and was able to literally work all over the world (from Texas to Saudi Arabia to Germany, to Belgium, to Italy and Turkey)I was ready to get out by the end of my first six year enlistment. After the first year and a half, I made pretty good money (I started out at the bottom of the pay scale "E1" because I was right out of high school without any college), made a lot of wonderful friends and have had many experiences that most people my age never have/never will experience.

With that being said, should you choose to go in? Know that there are a lot of things to gain from the experience. On the other side of the coin, there are a lot of things that you will have to deal with as well.

1. Constant pay raises (in some places, most of your money is tax-free). If you look at the basic pay scale, you will pretty much be living in poverty, but that is a tax advantage. There are many behind-the-scene subsidies that are tax free. Once you start moving up in rank, you will see substantial increases. I am talking about thousands of dollars per pay period.
2. The military tells you where you have to live so the military has to supply you with housing and housing assistance. It will do it in one of two ways, for lower ranked Airmen it will supply you with a rent free/utility free dorm room. Basically all of your modest pay will be yours to pocket or pay for your other expenses (cell phones, etc). If you are going in enlisted instead of officer, once you start transitioning into the E-4 and definitly by E-5 the military will pay you a housing allowance that you will use to pay for your apartment or home. If you are stationed within the continental United States you will be paid a certain amount each month which corresponds with your rank. It will be your choice to find something that lines up with how much you are being paid. If you get a place that costs less than what you are allotted, then you will be able to pocket the money. If you get a place that costs more, then you will come out of pocket to make up the difference.
3. You will get 30 vacation days a year. They come in handy... most people don't take them and they will carry over until one reaches a point to where he has to use them or lose them... it is a beautiful thing... I have seen people take 40 days off of work and come back just as refreshed as they could be!!!
4. There are a lot of free or cheap fun things to do on military bases. There are movie theaters, bowling alleys, bars, dance clubs, restaurants, etc. Also, everything on all bases is tax-free.
5. Being in the military gives you time to really shape your future for what you want to do and be. It opens doors later on if you set yourself up in the beginning.
6. As long as you bite the bullet and allot $100 a month from your first year of paychecks, you will be able to receive a ridiculous amount of money for college should you choose to get out of the military through the Montgomery G.I. Bill (that is how I paid for my education at UNLV and still have a lot of money that is still available for me to tap into should I want to move on to another professional degree). Even if you don't sign up for the GI Bill (which would be ridiculous!), keep in mind, that, as long as you are enlisted, the military will pay 100% of your tuition.
6. I agree, you do get the sense that you are doing something bigger than yourself.

Potential Negatives
1. Make sure that when you see the recruiter again that you let him/her know that you want a "GUARANTEED JOB" and do not want to go in as what they classify "OPEN GENERAL". It is the first trap and will leave a bad taste in your mouth. I quite literally told my recruiter that I did not want to be carrying a gun and would not come in if they told me that I had to be a cop (what the AirForce calls Security Forces). After taking the ASVAB test, a test that highlights your abilities, I was shown a book that had jobs that I qualified to choose from, which were areas of need in the Air Force at the time. I was able to choose five that I would have been comfortable with either way. I told my recruiter that I wanted a job with air conditioning or I was not signing a thing (this is the time to talk junk, because the recruiters make money on you if you sign... this is also the last time anyone is going care what you have to say!). I got my job in the air conditioning, but I saw so many people on the day in basic training that everyone found out what their jobs were going to be come out of the office in tears because they were what? Cops. We were split up into two groups that day, GUARANTEED JOBS and OPEN GENERAL. Out of over 100 people, there were only 6 of us who pushed for a guaranteed job prior to enlisting. A lot of people became cops that day.
2. Be ready for a lot of country-bumpkin stuff that you have never seen in your life. I am city boy, grew up in Southern California. I was in culture shock when I went into the military. The majority of people are from small rural towns, so I am sure you get the point. I will leave it at that.
3. While things are easing, it is still against military law (Uniform Code of Military Justice or UCMJ)to be homosexual. In turn, it is also against military law to committ adultery or even have oral sex with your spouse. But for some reason, the homosexuality is a big issue, while the others are ignored. There are PLENTY of gays in the military, but believe me, being out is not going to be tolerated by most.
3. I felt a big class issue when I was in. There are enlisted and there are officers. I was enlisted. The officer core was considerably smaller than the enlisted core in totality. The officer core is still predominately white and the enlisted core is predominately composed of minority races. The officers have special places on base that the enlisted are not permitted to even go into, yet they have free reign and run of the land. Officers are even rendered certain customs and courtesies from the enlisted (i.e.- standing every time one comes into the room, never walking ahead of one, etc... I tell no lie!). There were days that I would liken it to modern day, legalized slavery. In the end, it is a mind game that you should be prepared for... I just made sure to remember that my mother always taught me to have respect for others, so I offered everyone the same respect, officer and enlisted included... it was my way of making it through.
4. You will never be able, at least not any time soon, be able to enjoy all of the benefits that the military provides for dependents as long as you are gay.
5. My main reason for getting out, was because I could never CHOOSE where I could live. I got lucky, because I was in great places, but there are people who don't get such lovely places. I got to work at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Italy for four hours a day and stay at a five star hotel for free and got paid $300 a day for the week I was there for food. You might get stationed in Minot, North Dakota for three years and be miserable. It is the luck of the draw. I did not want to chance having one of those kind of assignments.

All in all, you are making a big decision and should weigh all of your options. I think, with your personality and wit, you would do very well, granted you get the right job. You are also still in the age range that is suitable for a first term Airman. You don't want to go in too young or too old. You have had enough life experiences to where you will be able to spot the BS and propaganda and play the role well enough to get under the radar.

I can't wait to see what you do.

I am sorry to have taken up so much space. I just have some insight and thought it might be of some help to you. If you have any other specific questions feel free to e-mail me.

Joey Bahamas said...

This is interesting. If it's something that you want to do, who's to stop you. But, I think there are other ways to feel like you're a part of something bigger and to show your love of country.


bLaQ~n~MiLD said...

That was some great insight@ KennyKing78!

Jones, I say if this is something you wish to do, definitely think it through thoroughly. I support whatever you do. Being the strong patriot that I am, I applaud anyone who is either in the military or is willing to serve their country.


Mr. Jones said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. Especially Kenny. I hit you up with an email as well. Just to clear one thing up, I do plan to go the Ofc. route.

Joey - Please email me some ideas or just drop me a line here. I'd love to hear what else you suggest.

yet another black guy said...

don't do it. call me and i'll tell you why.

Darius T. Williams said...

Go ahead and do your thing. I wouldn't do it - but there are tons of stuff I won't do. I think you'd look cute in the uniform. Where have u been...don't be gone this long in the future.

La said...


DON'T do it. Email me and I will tell you why.

And I promise only a small part of it is selfishly motivated.

Kyon Saucier said...

Don't enter the military! Just don't! There is enough war in the world pou l'aimee du Christ! Just don't do it!

Anonymous said...

Working for the federal government is just as patriotic. Many people leave private industry for more fulfilling government jobs.

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