twiga

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Don't do it for the money!!! The pay is about 50%-65% and remember one thing if looking it non-contributory retirement: the retirement benefit depends on 'base pay' only and does not include 'bonuses'.
 

adventurer

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:thumbup:

I love the army and plan to go back in once I graduate from Pharm School (or the air force).

Lots of Pros and Cons either way-you get sent all over the world-to places you have always wanted to go and never wanted to go. I really like to travel and try new things out-if that is the case with you, you may do well.

I think you honestly have more opportunities to do different things-every time you move locations, you get a new job, if not every year or so.

The money is good if you take advantage of incentives they offer-loan repayment, lump sum bonus, etc. If you aren't taking advantage of something like that, you may feel cheated when you compare your salary to civilian pharmacist's salaries. However, a lot of the benefits you get out of the army do not appear on the bottom line of your paycheck-tax free food and housing allowance, health insurance/care, even gym memberships and cost of living.

There's a lot to think about. Its a huge decision-you have to be willing to go into a combat zone or other bad areas and also give up some controll of your destiny (I say "some" because you have input too)

Like I said-I love the military and can't wait to get back in full time
 

Caverject

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adventurer said:
I think you honestly have more opportunities to do different things-every time you move locations, you get a new job, if not every year or so.
You move and get a new job every three years, two if you go do a tour in South Korea.
 

Caverject

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bananaface said:
They would OWN you for awhile. I could not handle that.
I've p3n.....er...owned you now several times over the year and you told me you loved every minute of it. :smuggrin:
 

chloejane

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Phat Pharm said:
Hello All,
Is there a consensus on working for the military? I've checked this out...
http://medicalservicecorps.amedd.army.mil/67E/AO.htm and for a single guy like me it seems exciting. What's your take on it.


RD
My husband is in the army (not a career choice for me), but I do have a few words of caution for you... when I met my husband, we were not together and during that time he re-enlisted- something he wanted to do, so that when he got out he would be more appealable (is that even a word?!) to the civilian side of what he does. He is in a specialized field and the more experience he has, the better job he can get as a civilian. The reason that I bring this up is because of how it has affected us since then. We are now 'owned' by the military. He will be deployed when I start pharmacy school in the fall, ect, ect. I know that you are single now, but that was his rationale when he re-enlisted. It didn't really matter because he had no ties exactly. So, now that he does, the military plays a pretty significant role in every dicision that we make. He wasn't planning on 'us' happening when it did, but now he's stuck in his choice.
I guess what I'm trying to mention is that the military has a way of affecting everything you do once you belong to them. You can't go out of town for the weekend without permission, ect. It is something you very much need to consider before signing on that dotted line... are you willing to sign over almost all of your decision making power to an entity that does not care about you as an individual?

I know this sounds very cynical, but at this point, these are my raw emotions. if you have any specific questions, feel free to pm me. Me or my husband can at least point you in the direction of a reputable source to answer your questions.

Good Luck, whichever route you choose to follow!!!
cate
 

Glycerin

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Caverject said:
I've p3n.....er...owned you now several times over the year and you told me you loved every minute of it. :smuggrin:
:barf: :smuggrin:
 

adventurer

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Just from my experience, wich is the enlisted side (6 years active duty)-being an officer is very different ( rank and privaledge and all that)

1. I never had to get "permission" to go away for a weekend, unless it was a long weekend, and thats because you have to arrange for time off at work (* other than my year in Korea, then you need a pass for accountibility purposes). For the most part, your free time is your own

2. You have less controll over your life then you do in the civilian world because you can and will be sent where they need you BUT its usually manageable within certain bounderies-you work with a branch manager to find a good match for assignments

3. Many of the things that I found that irritated me on active duty were similar to the things that irritate me in the civilian world-poor leadership, "fuzzy" job descriptions, last minute tasking, working to appear busy to fill a certain number of hours....

The bottom line is that you have every reason to question if its the right thing for you or not, and to be aware of the costs as well as the benefits, but there are 500,000 active duty soldiers in the force now, and all of them have had different experiences. There is no "typical tour" and one person's good duty may be bad for another person.
 

chloejane

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The previous poster is absolutely right- there is no typical tour! My cautioning I guess came from an enlisted man's wife... and if you might meet someone, how that might affect her. However, I've also seen him evolve as he's been in, and he has grown to dislike it immensely *not saying that you might not love it* I don't know what it would be like for a pharmacist, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that you SHOULDN"T take anyone's word for how it will be (recruiter, anyone) without talking to someone that has been there, done that with that branch of the military. Recruiters especially have a way of looking at things through rose tinted glasses, then convincing you to sign up... but once you've signed, it has nothing to do necessarily with the recruiter or what they told you. My husband did a tour in Korea with a guy that worked in the pharm (might have been a pharmacist, my husband isn't really clear on the civilian classifications, ect.) and he certainly was treated no differently than "Joe" the typical soldier.

To address something else from the PP, yes, my husband and I had a choice about where he went- germany for three years or korea for one year. I'm here working on a graduate degree- I'm not going with him, so we chose korea. If that's what you mean by choices, yes, we had those presented to us.

Also, my husband is enlisted (E7) and we have always had to request permission and leave notice for leaving, even for a short period of time.

But again to agree with the pp, it will completely depend on your situation and what you want to happen...
so, good luck with your choices!
 
OP
P

Phat Pharm

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What you all had to say was great. The future is so uncertain, for ourselves and the 'profession'. Now if I could only get my hands on a Army Pharm's addy, I could for certain find some of the other answers I'm looking for. Like....do military Pharms have more freedoms as far as clinical "employment" is concerned? (e.g. access to med records) I am by no means fully educated in health care stucture, but I am interested in any new directions PharmD's can go with respect to Army Pharmacy.

Thx,

RD
 

ForgetMeNot

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Phat Pharm,

You might be able to get in touch with a graduate from your pharmacy school that went the military route to answer questions. I know that my school had a contact name and number for graduates who went into both the Air Force and the Army after school. They made themselves available to current students to answer questions about military life as an officer.
 

letjin

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I want to ask a couple questions to current military pharmacists. Can you quit being military pharmacist and go back to being a civilian pharmacist, or are you trapped in military for at least like 3-5 years?
I heard pharmacists are officers and they go through training too, was it difficult?
 

ForgetMeNot

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letjin said:
I want to ask a couple questions to current military pharmacists. Can you quit being military pharmacist and go back to being a civilian pharmacist, or are you trapped in military for at least like 3-5 years?
I heard pharmacists are officers and they go through training too, was it difficult?
I *think* they own you since a contract for years of service was signed. I don't think you're allowed to just decide one day that you're tired of the uniform and leave without getting into major trouble.
I did a rotation at a military base (although it was Air Force, not Army), and the pharmacists were officers and they made the training seem like a cakewalk.