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Military before Bachelor Degree

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Domn, Jun 29, 2012.

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  1. Domn


    Sep 21, 2011
    Hi everybody, I really need a break from where I'm living, and don't want to get into a lot of debt by going to university right now. I am currently 17 almost 18, and just graduated with my associate in arts. My cumulative GPA is 3.45, and my science GPA is 2.6 for MD schools, and 3.2 by DO school standards.

    My goal in the end, is to become an internist or a family practice doctor. I have a strong interest in infectious disease. I have been wanting to join the military for so long now, and feel like it would help me in the long run (GI bill, character development, etc). I have been talking to the army recruiter, and have my application half way filled out online. I was thinking of infantry, but after hearing so many horror stories, and knowing people with family members that have PTSD, I really am unsure of whether I want to risk going that route. I have been looking into different jobs, and am currently looking into the Air Force's laboratory specialist job ( http://www.airforce.com/careers/detail/medical-laboratory-specialist/ ). It gives me a large amount of college credit, and it allows me to CLEP general biology, and general chemistry; both of which I plan to take after I get out of the military at a community college or university.

    Do any of you have any advice on which rate/mos/service I should choose for my four year break so to speak?

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  3. theseeker4

    theseeker4 PGY 1 5+ Year Member

    Why don't you look into some of the medical tech MOS's? Not only would you be getting to work in health care, you would also be getting clinical experience and testing whether you actually want to work in medicine as a career. As far as which service, I am not sure which one would have the best chance of letting you have the MOS of your choice, something to look into.
  4. AliceNWndrlnd

    AliceNWndrlnd 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2009
    Talk to the recruiter both both services, have an idea of what you want to do and where you want to go, and then you can take go with the one who gives you the best deal. Look at all of the hospital based MOS's, they offer great experience tend to have a more regular schedule for coursework (as opposed to the infantry).
  5. silleme

    silleme SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2012
    Central TX
    Take the ASVAB, and see which career fields you qualify for if you haven't already. The Army will promote faster and deploy more often, but you'll get more hands-on job experience. The Air Force you'll have a better quality of life, but most likely still be an E-3 when you get out in 4 years...I'm not sure if this has changed since I got out a few years back though. You're going to likely be an E-5 when you get out of the Army and have the experience to go with it. Both services have their drawbacks, but both you'll grow and get experience. A lot depends on what you're trying to get out of it. Both have medical-related jobs like the posters above stated. See what the recruiters say about getting you into those jobs, and go from there.
  6. AlexJK

    AlexJK 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2012
    I was a Marine Infantry man. There are only 2 viable options for you if you want to join the Military.

    1) Join and have a skate (easy) job. If you do somthing with electronics, or office work, that would allow you to take some courses at school while your in.

    2) The better route (which I think would better suit you) is to join one of the services in a medical related MOS. For example, when I was a Marine, we always had Navy Corpsmen(Medics) attached to our units. They were considered "Green" since they worked and deployed with Marines. But instead of focusing on killing people, they focused on taking care of us. This will allow you to get 4 years of great medical training and experience. Also, my Navy corpsmen were able to work in hospitals after they finished their duty to the Marine units (a lot of them stayed with us). I am sure Army Medics would be a pretty MOS too.

    Join one of the branches as a medic/corpsman- get experience in medicine, work in hospitals, get out, go to school for free, win.

    These jobs may be competitive
  7. NightGod

    NightGod 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Air Force seems to have the best options for gaining college credit while you're still in. Keep trying to talk my daughter out of joining the Army to be a chairborne ranger, but she won't listen, and that's coming from a guy with an Army unit patch tattooed on my shoulder.
  8. miguelito88


    Apr 9, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I'm a corpsman in the Navy and being a corpsman definitely gives you an insane amount of medical experience and skills you'll need later when you become a physician. I work at a hospital right now at a general surgery clinic and have been exposed to some amazing cases and met driven surgeons who've rooted for me during this pre-medical process. However, being a corpsman, or a medic in the military can definitely place you in harm's way. I've been to Afghanistan and seen quite a bit. While at this clinic, I've completed nearly all the prereqs, but count on deployments to occur during your enlistment which can drastically reduce the rate at which you complete them. At the end of it all, however, you'll be rich with medical experience, hopefully saved some money during your enlistment and walk away with money to pay for medical school.
  9. Water Top

    Water Top

    Jan 8, 2012
    If you want a job in the AF that doesn't deploy much stay clear of Spec Ops....
  10. bigkahunaburger


    Jun 30, 2012
    wow man, wow. As a former member of the infantry, I'm telling you right now that is a huge mistake. I really enjoyed being apart of the military when I was in, and loved the guys I served with, but would never do it again. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE remember this, the recruiters WILL lie to you, you have to ask people that have recently served or are currently in. Understand, you may only be signing up for 3 years, but guess what, they can call your @ss back for then next 7 years, think this is uncommon?
    (from wiki)
    History of War on Terror activations
    February 2003:
    Marine Corps Arabic linguists and other support personnel were recalled to active duty to serve in Iraq. This activation was the first time that the IRR had been called upon since the 1991 Gulf War, when approximately 20,000 IRR troops were called up in support of Operation Desert Storm.
    29 July 2004:
    5,600 members of the IRR, mainly with specialties as military police or Civil Affairs, were called to active duty to support U.S. forces in Iraq.
    April 2005:
    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld authorized the Army to mobilize up to 6,500 Individual Ready Reservists at any one time.[8]
    3,900 IRR members with critical specialties called to active duty.
    About 550 of those called failed to report for duty, some claimed exemptions, others ignored their orders.
    August 2006:
    President Bush authorized the U.S. Marine Corps to recall 2,500 troops to active duty.[9]
    March 2007:
    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates approved the recall of 1800 Marines not in their first or last year of their IRR contract, 1200 of which were Sergeants and Captains joining the I MEF in Iraq. Specialties recalled included:
    Aviation maintenance, 361
    Logistics support, 225
    Infantry, tanks and artillery, 223
    Motor transport, 178
    Communications, 97
    Intelligence, 95
    Military police, 21
    They were used for early rotation into a 2008 deployment. If more troops were needed, another recall was planned for July.[10]
    August 2007:
    The Marines sent out another recall for a September 2007.[11] muster and screening for possible activation in early 2008.
    April 2008:
    The Marines sent out another recall for a May 30 muster and screening for a possible activation in October 2008.
    In September 2008, The Marines sent out another notification of recall for an involuntary muster and screening on October 12 for activation on May 18, 2009.[citation needed]
    As of March 2009, the US Army had recalled 26,954 ready reservists since September 11, 2001. Of those, 10,592 requested exemptions of which 6,352 were granted.[12]

    The unexpected happens, seriously consider joining the peace corp or just getting a job and scraping by in san diego and learning how to surf if you want character development, be careful about joining the infantry.
  11. bigkahunaburger


    Jun 30, 2012
    let me just clarify, the military doesn't care if you're already in med school about to graduate, if they need you they will call you back in
  12. NightGod

    NightGod 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    That's solid advice for any branch of the military ;)
  13. Domn


    Sep 21, 2011
    Since, I posted this, me and my dad had a discussion (20 years coast guard). I took a deep breath to think about my options after we talked. I decided to send off my transcripts to UW. I'm going to start working on my prerequisites next year, even though as of right now my SGPA is shoddy (stupid math). Thanks for all the advice everyone it really gave me a lot to chew on. The recruiter had a spot for 68w option 4 (medic), but I told him no thanks.
  14. xxx2012


    Jun 5, 2012
    have you considered the reserves and/or national guard?

    They still deploy but not as much. You can go to school on their dollar while in their part time too.

    That may be your best option.

    CG is another one that may interest you, especially their reserves. Much more home time.
  15. xxx2012


    Jun 5, 2012
    Look into ROTC. The first 2 years do not even require you to enlist and count as college credit (and I believe pay some bills too).
  16. bigkahunaburger


    Jun 30, 2012
    Sounds like you have a pretty awesome dad, great decision.
  17. Nate9862


    Apr 11, 2011
    Don't go in the military for those reasons, you'll end up bitter and hating it. I spent 10 yrs in the Marine Corps because I liked it, for a while. Take out student loans to finance your way through. Seriously. You'll make more than enough money to pay them back. Plus there are grants, scholarships, etc. Student debt IS NOT EVIL if you are using it correctly. I wouldn't tell you to take out 25k in debt to a B.A. in Medieval History, you'll never make enough money to live comfortably and pay that back. But, after med school and residency, you'll be very comfortable paying back those loans.
  18. LupaCupcake

    LupaCupcake 2+ Year Member

    Oct 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    <--army vet married to active duty army man

    Why don't you just look into the medical jobs of the branches? You could use that as clinical time. Not to mention you can take classes while you are active duty and the military will pay 100% of your tuition while your active duty without tapping into your GI Bill. I was in the Army so I can't speak for other branches, but I know in the Army that is not a problem. As long as you don't have any flags on you they approve the tuition assistance. Flags are things like failing a PT test, being overweight, getting in trouble for something major so on and so forth. You always have to maintain that stuff in the military though. The AIT for medical jobs is usually pretty long in comparison to some other AIT time frames and that training counts towards your degree. It counts as electives and you will get at least 15 credits applied if not more. AIT= advanced individual training, or training for your specific job in the military after basic.

    I will also add in that the medical personnel in the military usually work in the best conditions. That can vary when people get send to the sandbox of course. I would not go infantry unless you WANT that kind of job. Don't do anything combat arms unless you really want that.

    Also bear in mind that it does not matter what you want if you do bad at the ASVAB exam. That exam will outline your strengths and you will be offered jobs that fall into those categories. If someone says they were only offered infantry, truck driver, and cook then they did really bad on the asvab lol. The higher you score, the more jobs you get offered and if the one you really wanted is not on the list then that sucks for you, they don't care. You can always say I don't want any of those jobs and you don't sign the final dotted line. You will not know what jobs are offered to you until you are sent to the processing station. Recruiters have no idea what will be offered, no one in the office you visit will know. Don't worry, the processing station won't be that far from you.

    So...whatever you do.......you better be ready to score high on the ASVAB if you want a "good" job in the military.

    EDIT..JUST SEEN YOUR LAST POST ABOUT NOT DOING MILITARY. That is fine. I had to laugh that the recruiter said a medic job was available....one might have been available, but it is not up to your recruiter if you can be assigned that job. They can tell you sure this is available and that is up......but they can't actually do that paperwork to assign you that job, another type of recruiter at the processing facility does that and if your scores didn't match up to be a medic it wouldn't even come up on the screen as a possibility for you. Recruiters don't lie, they just leave our information sometimes hehe

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