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  1. #1
    15%Luck's Avatar
    15%Luck is offline Knight / Dame
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    Default 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:
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  2. #2
    blu2blu's Avatar
    blu2blu is offline Knight Champion
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    Default

    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
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  3. #3
    15%Luck's Avatar
    15%Luck is offline Knight / Dame
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    Default

    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

  4. #4
    JBjunior is offline Knight Champion
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    Quote 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)

  5. #5
    Katterina is offline Baron / Baroness
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    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

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    California Coast University

  6. #6
    SRT12 is offline Senior Squire
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    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.

  7. #7
    andy3000's Avatar
    andy3000 is offline Senior Squire
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    Default

    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.

  8. #8
    15%Luck's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote 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

  9. #9
    SRT12 is offline Senior Squire
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    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.

  10. #10
    15%Luck's Avatar
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    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

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