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    Maine Mom's Avatar
    Maine Mom Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Apr 7, 2006, 12:41 AM
    Marine officer or enlisted man?
    I need some advice from people who are not connected with just a recruitment office. My son is graduating in a few weeks from college with a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern Politics. He studied in Egypt at the American University in Cairo, and worked in Morocco for a SUNY program in the Moroccan Parliament. He has traveled far and wide, and his thesis (over 129 pages) is on the origins of Iranian Terrorism from 1980.
    Now he wants to join the Marines... feeling it is his duty to offer his service after having had these privileges. While I admire his feelings, I am, as a parent, worried. He visited two local recruiting offices (his college does not have an ROTC program) and was told by the Marines there that he would be better off enlisting in a program called "the Mustangs" because he could then head straight to language school in California after boot camp and have a chance to CHOOSE where he wants to work (intelligence).
    He thinks he would have more respect if her "rose through the ranks" but I feel he will be wasting a fine education and may find some resentment when he arrives with all his good intentions. I need some advice here... also considering nobody wants advice from their mother..
    A long time Blue State Liberal. Any help will be so appreciated.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
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    #2

    Apr 7, 2006, 04:04 AM
    Hi, Mom,
    I am 64 yrs old, married for 29 yrs, and I mention this because I have been a Dad, and now have a grandson.
    I agree with you completely about "wasting a good education and training". I also agree with you about not "starting at the bottom" and working your way up. He will be resented by some, when they find out he has all this education, is much "smarter" than most he will be with! Not all will feel this way, but many will.
    I don't know how to talk with your son, convince him he is making a mistake... but he is. There are many opportunities for someone with his knowledge, working possibly with some area of Government... not even involved with the Military.
    I am sure you have seen the TV News, showing how many Troops have been killed in Iraq, and other countries, who enlisted straight out of college, with fine educations.
    I think it admirable that anyone wants to "serve his country", but serving one's country can be done in different ways, helping this country, without actually joining the Marines, or any other branch of the Military.
    I do wish you the best, and good luck.
    PS; If he chooses to be in the Marines, please try talking him into the Officers Program; giving him many more choices; rather than "going up through the ranks" and probably being sent off to War.
    phillysteakandcheese's Avatar
    phillysteakandcheese Posts: 973, Reputation: 356
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    #3

    Apr 7, 2006, 09:47 PM
    It's his choice, and there's benefits for him regardless of which path he chooses.

    What's most important to him - Learning about himself and what he's "made of" by hitting the dirt, or applying his higher education immediately in a more strategic manner?

    The answer may seem obvious to you, but maybe he's got something inside telling him he needs to explore another aspect of who he is... and enlisting is the way to discover that.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Apr 8, 2006, 02:00 PM
    First, always a officer, he will still be there on the front lines, but making a much better difference

    Next he has a lot more opportunity in perhaps the army and even consider the state department
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 299
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    #5

    Apr 14, 2006, 04:17 PM
    I find it very commendable on your son's part to want to earn his rank the hard way. It is hard and dangerous. If he really wants to make the Marine Corp his life, then doing it that way will make him on hell of a Marine. Marines are warriors and with that experience and his education he can write his own ticket. I think your son is wiser than you are giving him credit for. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get it. Unlike so many folks, he is not choosing the easy way to obtain those goals... which will pay off in the long run. Mom, your baby is a man now and he is leaving the nest and choosing his own flight path... on a Herrier! :eek:
    deputy431's Avatar
    deputy431 Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #6

    May 25, 2008, 10:07 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Maine Mom
    I need some advice from people who are not connected with just a recruitment office. My son is graduating in a few weeks from college with a degree in Arabic and Middle Eastern Politics. He studied in Egypt at the American University in Cairo, and worked in Morocco for a SUNY program in the Moroccan Parliament. He has traveled far and wide, and his thesis (over 129 pages) is on the origins of Iranian Terrorism from 1980.
    Now he wants to join the Marines...feeling it is his duty to offer his service after having had these privileges. While I admire his feelings, I am, as a parent, worried. He visited two local recruiting offices (his college does not have an ROTC program) and was told by the Marines there that he would be better off enlisting in a program called "the Mustangs" because he could then head straight to language school in California after boot camp and have a chance to CHOOSE where he wants to work (intelligence).
    He thinks he would have more respect if her "rose through the ranks" but I feel he will be wasting a fine education and may find some resentment when he arrives with all his good intentions. I need some advice here... also considering nobody wants advice from their mother..
    a long time Blue State Liberal. Any help will be so appreciated.
    The recruiter is an enlisted recruiter, who has numerical goals he has to meet. He does not have your son's best interest at heart. Once your son enlists, there is no guarantee he will ultimately get into an officer program, but there IS a guarantee that he will be obligated to serve out his enlistment contract, being paid at enlisted levels all the while, despite all his education and training. He needs to talk to an officer recruiter, and he needs to specifically make that request. There is absolutely no way that enlisted service will work to his benefit as regards a career as a Marine officer. All it might do is waste time career wise and put him into an older category of applicants when it comes time to seek the level of career he is prepared for -- within the military or otherwise.
    airpower's Avatar
    airpower Posts: 1, Reputation: 3
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    #7

    Aug 23, 2008, 12:22 AM
    By reading the date this question was asked, I assume that the decision has been made along time ago, however I felt I have an honest answer to give none the less. After reading the answers given already, I'm less than impressed. Here is the issue. He needs to decide for himself if he is a doer, or a planner. The Officers do all the planning, the enlisted force go out in the field and make it happen. One is absolutely not better than the other in any way shape or form, they're just different jobs. I know this because I'm a military man and have been for a very long time. The only difference is pay. The officers make more money, and to be honest, what does it matter. Its better to be poor and love your life than to be rich and hate your life with a passion and drag yourself to work everyday. Since you're probably wondering, I'm an officer. I happen to like my job. I know other officers that don't. They made the wrong choice, going for higher pay than happiness. I read the first response about how he will be hated because he'll be smarter and more educated than all of the other guys. That is a load of crap. I know entry level airmen that have come in with master's degrees. I know senior nco's with phd's. That's a fine scapegoat answer for somebody that doesn't know anything about the military, but in reality that argument doesn't work. People are people. To give you some background, I'm a maintenance officer. I plan scheduled maint. Around the weekly and monthly flying schedule and monitor daily maint. To ensure that its done right. Without me, there's no plan and nothing happens. That's a fine job if you like to be on the administrative level. If you passion is working with your hands (which is extremely important because most people can't) then he will hate being an officer. He will hate it so bad that he will live for the weekends and sweat bullets at work because he hates it so bad. If he doesn't like getting dirty, being an enlisted man will be awefull. My Job is important, however a man who has the mechanical prowess to look at the machine and not just identify parts, but tell me how they work and why, is just as important, if not more. I plan the mission. A man like the one I just described will make the mission happen. Without him, I'm just a blowhard with an office who talks too much. The two must function as one unit. If not, the mission fails. Some will tell you that there is no responsibility with an enlisted job. Also a load of crap. The senior nco's are the backbone of the military. Without them, I can't get anything accomplished. They directly train, and supervise all of the new airmen. Can't ignore a job like that. Again, to recap, this is what he must do, he must ask if he's a planner, or a doer, and he must decide this from himself without any outside interference, and then act accordingly. If he's a planner, life in the field will be awefull. If he's a doer, being stuck in the office in front of a computer when the mission is going on out in the field without him will be a living nightmare. I know, I've seen it. Had a new Lieutenant come in that was a farmer and a mechanic before the air force. He got to help plan out the missions, direct maint. assemble teams to go fix broke planes all over the globe, adjust flying schedules, coordinate workshifts and who's working where, all the usual Jr. Officer duties. But he never got to go out and make the mission happen. Planning it all out and setting it in motion and then letting it happen while he watched was not nearly good enough for him. The poor kid was climbing the walls in frustration and anger, absolutely bored stiff. I felt bad for him. Did his four years and went back to the farm where he go work on machines and spend all day outside. For some people, the field is not the place. For others, anything but the field is a waste of time, they can't stand being couped up while all the excitement and adventure is going on without them. That's the only difference between Officer and Enlisted : Doing, vs. Planning. Pay is not a difference because in the end money means absolutely nothing. If you hate your life, money won't help you. You can listen to all the other answers, or you can listen to me. I know what I'm talking about. Life is all about choices. Make the right one or you're going to be sorry.
    armyisgreat's Avatar
    armyisgreat Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
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    #8

    Sep 2, 2009, 10:46 PM
    Hi airpower you may not have help the writer before but you did help me I'm a planner and a doer so I need to find out what path I want to take I'm looking into officer or enlisted

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