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  • Pro's of Enlisted over Commissioned?

    Hey,

    I've been thinking about joining the Marine Corps after college for about a year. The main reason is it's something I've always wanted to do and I (however corny this sounds) want to serve my country and gain the respect that comes along with that.

    I've always just assumed that since I would only join after college I'd go to an OSO and get set up for OCS in Quantico, VA. I do have some hopes of one day possibly going to law school after having served. So, at this point the military is very attractive to me (having been an Eagle Scout and grown up around ex-military relatives) but I'm necessarily not sure I'd want to make a career out of it. My question is this, is there an advantage to being enlisted over being a commissioned officer if your hoping to get money for grad-school and are not planning on spending 20yrs in the Corps?

    I know the pay grades of an E-1 verses an O-1. I'm not joining for the salary but I would like whatever got me the best post service school benefits.

    Any other advice or opinions you have about USMC service. Please fire away. I've gone and talked to a recruiter, and scored well on the psych battery. I don't care for recruiters simply because I know they have quotas and everytime I talk to them they tell me whatever they think I want to hear.

    Thanks,

    15%

    BSBA Gen'l Management-TESC

    [FONT="Book Antiqua"]
    CLEP's Completed:
    Western Civ I&II-62,58 respectively
    US History I&II-both 65
    Freshman Comp-65
    Natural Sciences-51
    Humanities-62
    Macro&Micro Eco-66,68 respectively
    Social Sciences and History-54
    Principles of Marketing-66
    American Gov't-61
    Intro to Psych-68
    Human Growth & Development-63
    A&IL-70
    P of Management-63
    English Comp w/essay-62
    BizLaw-67

    DSST's completed: P of Supervision-452, Orgz'l Behavior-73, HRM-60, Intro to Business-449, Intro to comp'ing-429, MIS-446, M&B-59, P of Finance-427, P of Financial Accounting-64, BizLaw2- 68, Biz Ethics-

    ALEK's courses completed:
    Pre-calculus
    Introduction to Statistics

    TECEP's:
    Public Relations Thought & Practice
    Ops Management
    Biz Policy

    TESC Courses:
    Managerial *Comm*-A



    Hours so far = 123

  • #2
    While it is true recruiters have quotas be advised that due to the current economy they have FAR more applicants than available slots. They don't need you nearly as much as you need them so they have no incentive to lie to you.

    If you are interested in Law School then you may be better off joining the Navy. Serve in whatever Officer capacity you can then apply for the Legal Education program. If selected you will receive full pay and benefits while attending Law School full time. After graduation you would have an obligation to serve as a JAG officer for a certain length of time, not sure how long. I do not know if the Marines or other branches have a similar program but I am betting they do, look into it.

    As for education benefits everyone (officer and enlisted) gets the post 9/11 GI Bill now. That should pay for most if not all of your grad school so look into those benefits. Enlisted troops use to be able to get some college loan repayment programs but I am not sure if those are available anymore. Same deal with Officers. IMHO there is little to no benefit to going enlisted vs. officer if the deciding factor is college money. As an officer you will get paid far more money and will be able to save much faster to cover any expenses the GI Bill didn't cover.

    Your best bet is to talk to a recruiter, honestly.

    BA/Liberal Studies, TESC 2011
    AAS/Applied Electronic Studies, TESC 2010


    Comment


    • #3
      The Marine Corps does have a law program. I am aware that the competition for OCS slots is stiff I just had not connected the dots that about the recruiters...

      Thanks for the information!

      15%

      BSBA Gen'l Management-TESC

      [FONT="Book Antiqua"]
      CLEP's Completed:
      Western Civ I&II-62,58 respectively
      US History I&II-both 65
      Freshman Comp-65
      Natural Sciences-51
      Humanities-62
      Macro&Micro Eco-66,68 respectively
      Social Sciences and History-54
      Principles of Marketing-66
      American Gov't-61
      Intro to Psych-68
      Human Growth & Development-63
      A&IL-70
      P of Management-63
      English Comp w/essay-62
      BizLaw-67

      DSST's completed: P of Supervision-452, Orgz'l Behavior-73, HRM-60, Intro to Business-449, Intro to comp'ing-429, MIS-446, M&B-59, P of Finance-427, P of Financial Accounting-64, BizLaw2- 68, Biz Ethics-

      ALEK's courses completed:
      Pre-calculus
      Introduction to Statistics

      TECEP's:
      Public Relations Thought & Practice
      Ops Management
      Biz Policy

      TESC Courses:
      Managerial *Comm*-A



      Hours so far = 123

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by blu2blu
        While it is true recruiters have quotas be advised that due to the current economy they have FAR more applicants than available slots. They don't need you nearly as much as you need them so they have no incentive to lie to you.

        If you are interested in Law School then you may be better off joining the Navy. Serve in whatever Officer capacity you can then apply for the Legal Education program. If selected you will receive full pay and benefits while attending Law School full time. After graduation you would have an obligation to serve as a JAG officer for a certain length of time, not sure how long. I do not know if the Marines or other branches have a similar program but I am betting they do, look into it.

        As for education benefits everyone (officer and enlisted) gets the post 9/11 GI Bill now. That should pay for most if not all of your grad school so look into those benefits. Enlisted troops use to be able to get some college loan repayment programs but I am not sure if those are available anymore. Same deal with Officers. IMHO there is little to no benefit to going enlisted vs. officer if the deciding factor is college money. As an officer you will get paid far more money and will be able to save much faster to cover any expenses the GI Bill didn't cover.

        Your best bet is to talk to a recruiter, honestly.
        The only benefit of "E" over "O" in relation to college money is tuition assistance. TA for an enlisted member comes with no strings attached (other than a passing grade) and is simply $250/credit hour with a max of $4500 per year. Officers get the same but for every course they take there is a "pay back" equivalent as an add on to their contract.

        This may not be worth mentioning for someone just coming into the military as the pay will be greater as an "O" and will outweigh that benefit. It would be cheaper, with the extra money earned, to just pay for all of the courses yourself instead of getting the contract extensions if you are not planning on staying in long term.

        As far as the intangibles, it is definitely a different job and you will have to do some research to see what you will be happiest doing.
        BA in Liberal Studies-- TESC
        MS in Leadership- Duquesne University (in progress)

        Comment


        • #5
          Many of my co-workers are ex-military (all were enlisted). Pretty much all of them tell me to go for the "butter bars" if/when I join the reserves. Obviously for pay, but some have told me that the quality of life is better for officers. Is this true? I've never met anyone who was commissioned, so I've never heard the other side of that. If increased pay and better housing are the only benefits, then it wouldn't do much for me as a potential reservist.

          Just looking at career descriptions, the enlisted jobs seem more appealing to me. I've always been more of a worker bee type than a manager. Are there officer positions that don't require a specialized professional degree (MD, DDS, etc) where one doesn't constantly supervise others, or is that an oxymoron?

          [edit] oops, sorry for the hijack
          BS Liberal Arts
          Excelsior College

          MS Psychology
          California Coast University

          Comment


          • #6
            go officer!! You dont have to go JAG, be a Infantry or MP officer for like 3 years and then get out. You have to a have Law degree to do JAG. I would not go enlisted if I was you man, life is alot better as a officer. Money is a big thing to enlisted single coming in the military you will be in the barracks vs. LT gets BAH money to live off post.
            TESC BSBA: CIS graduate Sept. 2011

            Comment


            • #7
              Some of the negatives about being enlisted is you have to clean toilets and cut grass and other BS like that. You would probably go in as an E-4 with a degree, so might not be so bad as an E-1. You are also generally treated like a child. It really is a pain living in barracks, you have to sneak women in and make arrangements with roommate to leave for a few hours.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by andy3000
                you have to sneak women in and make arrangements with roommate to leave for a few hours.

                Man, that sounds like hell...hahahaha!

                Well, it looks like all the way around if I can survive OCS (which is supposed to be really bad) it would be the wiser choice in the long run.
                I don't care for being treated like a child constantly.

                Everyone I've ever talked to who was an officer in the military said it was a pretty good gig.

                I just hope I can hack OCS. That's my main concern. There is no physical Conditioning Platoon at OCS. Either you keep up or you wash out.
                I'm 5'6" and weigh 142lbs. I don't have a crap load of muscle on me. (This is what I get for sitting at a desk for 3 years and studying) I weighed more in highschool because I worked out.

                I can do it but it would be hell for the 1st few weeks. I used to be toned well and could run 5 miles with a 30lb pack on but that would probably have me puking right now.

                As far as the OCS entrance physical standards. go I can do 20 pull ups and I can do 100 crunches in 1 minute. but I sure as flip can't run any 18 min 3 mile.

                BSBA Gen'l Management-TESC

                [FONT="Book Antiqua"]
                CLEP's Completed:
                Western Civ I&II-62,58 respectively
                US History I&II-both 65
                Freshman Comp-65
                Natural Sciences-51
                Humanities-62
                Macro&Micro Eco-66,68 respectively
                Social Sciences and History-54
                Principles of Marketing-66
                American Gov't-61
                Intro to Psych-68
                Human Growth & Development-63
                A&IL-70
                P of Management-63
                English Comp w/essay-62
                BizLaw-67

                DSST's completed: P of Supervision-452, Orgz'l Behavior-73, HRM-60, Intro to Business-449, Intro to comp'ing-429, MIS-446, M&B-59, P of Finance-427, P of Financial Accounting-64, BizLaw2- 68, Biz Ethics-

                ALEK's courses completed:
                Pre-calculus
                Introduction to Statistics

                TECEP's:
                Public Relations Thought & Practice
                Ops Management
                Biz Policy

                TESC Courses:
                Managerial *Comm*-A



                Hours so far = 123

                Comment


                • #9
                  First you will have to get accepted into OCS. You will need prolly 2 letters of recomendation from respectable people. Then you will have to go to a board which is a interview process that officers will ask you questions. You will be fine though. Then you go to basic training bro. They will get you is shape, and 20 pullups, 100 crunches, and 18min 3 mile is maxing out, the mins are way lower, you prolly got to do like 3 miles in 24 min. Once again dont worry they will get you through it. You will prolly have to go to a job specific school after OCS. Are you doing reserve or active big difference. Reserve officers can only get MOS that the gaining unit has slots for. Meaning if you want to be a MP the reserve unit has to have MP officer slot. Active duty goes by how well you do at OCS. THrough all this it will be miserable, but im sure someone way worse then you passed it. FYI officers take on a large responsibility like leading a whole platoon into combat, make sure your ready for that. Soon as you finish up all your training dont be surprised to go afghanistan soon after as a platoon leader.
                  TESC BSBA: CIS graduate Sept. 2011

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would go active duty. If I'm going to do this I'm going to do it all the way. I would expect to go to Afghanistan. I've got a buddy who's done 2 tours over there and I know how crappy it is.

                    As an Eagle Scout I had to do some boards of review and interviews, letters of recomendation and Essays...I figure it will be kind of like what I went through with that. Obviously it's not the Boy Scouts but same kinds of procedures it sounds like.

                    Well it's comforting to think that I might not be the only skinny white boy going through OCS.

                    The thing that gets me is how much discouragement I receive for wanting to do this. It used to be that the majority of young men did time in the service and now everyone is acting like I'm choosing to imprison myself.
                    People think I'm nuts to want to volunteer for active duty.

                    BSBA Gen'l Management-TESC

                    [FONT="Book Antiqua"]
                    CLEP's Completed:
                    Western Civ I&II-62,58 respectively
                    US History I&II-both 65
                    Freshman Comp-65
                    Natural Sciences-51
                    Humanities-62
                    Macro&Micro Eco-66,68 respectively
                    Social Sciences and History-54
                    Principles of Marketing-66
                    American Gov't-61
                    Intro to Psych-68
                    Human Growth & Development-63
                    A&IL-70
                    P of Management-63
                    English Comp w/essay-62
                    BizLaw-67

                    DSST's completed: P of Supervision-452, Orgz'l Behavior-73, HRM-60, Intro to Business-449, Intro to comp'ing-429, MIS-446, M&B-59, P of Finance-427, P of Financial Accounting-64, BizLaw2- 68, Biz Ethics-

                    ALEK's courses completed:
                    Pre-calculus
                    Introduction to Statistics

                    TECEP's:
                    Public Relations Thought & Practice
                    Ops Management
                    Biz Policy

                    TESC Courses:
                    Managerial *Comm*-A



                    Hours so far = 123

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      You have to sneak women in...


                      Sounds like being married!!!
                      BSBA CIS from TESC, BA Natural Science/Math from TESC
                      MBA Applied Computer Science from NCU
                      Enrolled at NCU in the PhD Applied Computer Science

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Spent eight years in the Corps as enlisted and can't say enough good things about the experience. Of course, I didn't have a degree and only enlisted to stay out of jail (yes, I was one of "those" Marines).

                        A few things to consider:

                        Out of all of the branches, the Marine Corps maintains the lowest officer/enlisted ratio. An officer, especially a junior officer, will work his ass off in the Marine Corps, mainly because there's never enough people to go around and way too many jobs.

                        The physical fitness is going to be an issue. Start working on your running now. I haven't met too many O1's-O2's that aren't getting 300 on the PFT. If fact, if there's one annoying thing about every young lieutenant that I ever had, it's the fact they all ran like gazelles. The minimums won't cut it. You need to be competitive and the bar is set high.

                        Something I love about the Marine Corps is the emphasis they place on leading by example. As a leader, you're supposed to be capable of anything that you expect your troops to do. That includes running like the wind.

                        From the officers I've spoken to over the years, it is extremely competitive in OCS and TBS. They cull the ones that can't hack it pretty quick. The rest they whittle away until only the core remain. My enlisted basic class started with 130 recruits. We graduated with 74. Supposedly, OCS and TBS are even worse.

                        On the enlisted side, the degree won't help you much. In the army you may be able to start off as an E-4 with a degree, but in the Marine Corps that'll only get you E-2, E-3 if you're **** hot in basic training (usually only one person in an entire battalion is meritoriously promoted to E-3 in basic).

                        At E-4 you're a NCO. It's a serious step. They don't give that rank out without some equally serious experience.

                        Funny related story - I went to my MOS school in Ft. Sill Oklahoma (Artillery). They had a guy, Preston, who had had come into boot camp as a PFC (E2) and then went on recruiting duty. You can get promoted to E3 if you do a good job on recruiting duty and this guy did a good job. He picked up Lance Corporal (E3) and then went on recruiting duty again (odd, but happens). His recruiter, for whatever crack-pot reason, put in a request for him to be promoted to E-4 based on his performance at recruiting. He would have been a Corporal with less than a year in.

                        Our CO at Fort Sill called a formation, had Preston step up in front of everyone, and then tore the request in half in front of the entire battalion. His reason: Preston didn't even know his job (still going through school) and as a Corporal would have been expected to be better at that job than people who have spent years doing it. I felt bad for Preston at the time, but the CO had the truth of it. An E4 in Preston's job is entering firing data to send 100 pounds of high explosive downrange, often times over friendly troops and often unsupervised. There is an incredible amount of trust given to the NCO's. They have to deserve it.

                        Whatever standards a Marine NCO is held to, an officer is held even higher. I've met some real &$#clowns who were commissioned, but I've respected all of them for getting where they're at. You'll have senior staff enlisted helping you out and mentoring, but in the end it's your responsibility.

                        The Marine Corps was one of the best things that ever happened to me as a person. It wasn't always fun and really sucked some of the time, but I credit a great deal of my success in life to what I learned there.

                        I wish you luck whichever path you decide to take.

                        -Justin
                        PMP, CISSP, A+, Sec+, MCDST, ITIL
                        Total Credits Earned: 162

                        www.Free-Clep-Prep.com - (with Forum Admin's permission)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you have a 4 year degree and still come in as enlisted, you pretty much deserve to be enlisted, because you're probably pretty dense in all honesty.

                          Although there are a few exceptions to that, like getting the military to pay back your student loans and then applying to OCS while active duty, it still holds true 99% of the time.

                          Officers- better pay, more respect, less BS, you don't get crap duties...

                          Junior officers on a ship share a room (usually) with one other guy and 4 officers total share a bathroom... sort of like a upper scale college dorm. Junior enlisted get jammed in like sardines and everyone shares a few bathrooms.

                          The officers get REAL ice cream and other treats served to them and enlisted get some goop that would make Oliver Twist cringe.


                          Downrange officers get better living arrangements and food too... not sharing a freakin shipping container with 5 other guys.

                          You might say "I want to be prior enlisted so the guys will respect me more when I'm an officer later" but honestly no one really cares. I've worked for officers that were prior E-7s that had their heads up their butts and were horrible leaders and worked with O-1s right out of OCS that were great.

                          The uniform doesn't make the man, the man makes the uniform.

                          MA2
                          US Navy Military Police E-5

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I appreciate the responses guys. Lots of relevant information.
                            If I go I will go in through OCS after college. I'l just have to work out like mad and become the physical bad a$$ they want. I ran 3 miles the other day and intend to keep it up for awhile.

                            These processes are never as simple as they initially seem.

                            BSBA Gen'l Management-TESC

                            [FONT="Book Antiqua"]
                            CLEP's Completed:
                            Western Civ I&II-62,58 respectively
                            US History I&II-both 65
                            Freshman Comp-65
                            Natural Sciences-51
                            Humanities-62
                            Macro&Micro Eco-66,68 respectively
                            Social Sciences and History-54
                            Principles of Marketing-66
                            American Gov't-61
                            Intro to Psych-68
                            Human Growth & Development-63
                            A&IL-70
                            P of Management-63
                            English Comp w/essay-62
                            BizLaw-67

                            DSST's completed: P of Supervision-452, Orgz'l Behavior-73, HRM-60, Intro to Business-449, Intro to comp'ing-429, MIS-446, M&B-59, P of Finance-427, P of Financial Accounting-64, BizLaw2- 68, Biz Ethics-

                            ALEK's courses completed:
                            Pre-calculus
                            Introduction to Statistics

                            TECEP's:
                            Public Relations Thought & Practice
                            Ops Management
                            Biz Policy

                            TESC Courses:
                            Managerial *Comm*-A



                            Hours so far = 123

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MA2
                              If you have a 4 year degree and still come in as enlisted, you pretty much deserve to be enlisted, because you're probably pretty dense in all honesty.

                              Although there are a few exceptions to that, like getting the military to pay back your student loans and then applying to OCS while active duty, it still holds true 99% of the time.

                              Officers- better pay, more respect, less BS, you don't get crap duties...
                              it is more than the truth. coming in with a college degree you'll have more life experience and education than most people coming out of hs.

                              its like graduating hs and treated like you are in middle school. its a waste of your talent and abilities.. student loans are really the only reason if you don't have the required asvab scores.
                              DSST Environment & Race to Save Humanity 51/80
                              Clep CIS 63/80
                              College Math 66/80
                              DSST Business Law II - No Pass
                              Principles of Mgmt 61/80
                              A/I Lit 51/80 studying? who knew?! retest 61/80
                              Social Sciences and History - 66/80 - A
                              Freshman Composition - 60/80
                              Intro to Computers 426 -Current System - p/f = pass
                              Intro to Modern Middle East Studies - 61/80
                              Human Cultural Geography - 61/80
                              US History I - A -61/80
                              US History II - A 68/80
                              Civil War - A 57/80
                              Intro to World Religions - A 68/80
                              Intro to Bus Law - 64/80 A
                              Public Speaking 55/80 A
                              MIS 429/500
                              Statistics 459/500
                              MacroEconomics 57/80
                              MicroEconomics 53/80 (ran out no money in meter)
                              Criminal Justice 418/500
                              English Comp with Essay 58/80
                              Personal Finance 406/500 (Ran thru IC once & test once... 40 minutes/98 questions.. close call)
                              Principle of Supervision - 436/500
                              Clep American Government 67/80
                              FEMA's Completed - 49 (sorry i'm addicted to them).

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