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Life in the armed forces..?

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posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:27 AM
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Right, im assuming there are a lot of people on this site who are in the military or ex military so im just wanting to ask a few questions about army life and such really as me and a friend have decided to look into joining the armed forces but i just want a bit of info from some people who have experience in the army before i sign up.

Just a little run down of how i came to this decision.


I have been self employed since i left school at 17 (im 20 now) but i went bust about 6 months ago because i just couldn't get the work to keep the business afloat, which i was devastated about as i loved my job but these things happen so iv just got on with things.

I have basically spent the last 6 months looking for a job with no success as it is just ridiculously hard to find a decent job at the moment( im in the UK by the way )

I messed around at school like an idiot and came out of school with no decent qualifications but the thing is , without sounding big headed i am actually quite intelligent, i was just an idiot at school and thought i new better.
I sit looking at these jobs that are available and i just feel and know that im capable of so much more than stacking shelves or flipping burgers, so me and a friend have decided to look into the armed forces, we are looking at logistics specifically.
I just feel that i could better myself and make something of myself in the army and i want to do things, travel and see the world and i just cant stand the thought of being stuck in a dead end job in my little town in the UK for the rest of my life.

I have a girl friend who's not to happy about the idea of me joining so any info on how it affected relationships with wives/girlfriends and such would be good and just any information in general that you can give me would be great.
Just such things as how you found it when you joined and how its changed your life or maybe made it worse or whatever.

Just trying to get an idea of things really before i go signing up.

Thanks in advance






posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by Predator90
 


Honestly, you are thinking about joining for all the wrong reasons.

First of all, it's your "last option", which means, it's not your favourite. It's just the one you're considering, because you don't fancy the others anyway. That is dangerous, you might be making illusions about a life that you know nothing about (and I do respect and admire your interest in finding out BEFORE joining), and that can cloud your judgment.

If you are considering joining, really consider it, and take it seriously. Most people that give up, are people who are doing it because there is nothing else, or because they saw one or two positive aspects, while shadowing with dreams the amount of bad things.

It's not an easy life, much the opposite. You need to have a specific set of mind for this. Hours of boredom, hours of adrenalin, hours of exhaustion, you'll get the whole pack. And while you might think you are ready to take this individual aspects, you might not stand when all of this happens in the same day, just to realize, that you're going to do the same thing over, and over again the next day, and the following week.

Yes, there are good points to it, but if you have doubts now, it's very provable that it will get worst when you are in there.

I'm not talking you out of it, that would have a bit of hypocrisy on my side. But I just think you should really try to find good reasons to joining. Don't get wrong ideas from propaganda.

There are good things in the military. There are things that nobody else will ever witness, see, experience, if they aren't in the military. Some stuff is really special, and very close to your heart.

But there are also horrible things. You do see things that you want to forget, you do get experiences that you wish you didn't had.

It's just a matter of knowing what's in you, and what you want to accomplish with the military. If you want the life of a military, you will need to embrace it. It's not just a paid job, and usually the people who see it as just that, end up with a colossal suffering.

Girlfriends and wifes, in the military, is almost like a taboo subject. When you have expressions like "Dear John", it makes you think about the whole relationship deal.

It's not every wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/husband that can endure, and tolerate the military life. Depending on what you do, you could be up to 6 months, or more, out of home... with just a phonecall a day, or one or two e-mails.

It's painful, and very stressing. You have to re-shape your whole life around it. And it's not just about you, it's also about the people around you. Although this sounds a bit harsh, for that time that you are unreachable (except by the means I just said), for your family and dear ones, it's almost like you're dead.

They don't see your face for months, except some pictures, they only hear from you once or twice, now and then... If they talk to you in the morning (their morning), they have a whole 24 hour period, or more, before they hear from you "I'm still alive".

This might sound extreme, and harsh...But when the people that love you, can't feel you and touch you, this thoughts go through their mind constantly.

This depends and differs from branch to branch, and unit to unit, and depends on your job. But... if you go for that spot that makes you excited, usually those are the ones that hurt your feelings the most, when it comes to family.

You really need to have someone special in your life, or none at all. Girls and boys, is not something you want to have in your mind when you are under fire, or saving someones life.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 08:14 AM
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Ex-s.o.g 4 tours vietnam.. Bit of blunt advice.. The military is like a whore - she'll take you in .. Fook you .. Then throw you away..
Dont waste the most valuable thing you have - your life serving a corrupt government .. killing for corporate greed.. Theres a whole world out there and many better things you can do with your life.. Dont waste it going into the military..



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 08:27 AM
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If there is no threat of battle, the military will provide training to better yourself once your out. I was going to join the Army when I was 17, my family has a military background and the life seemed interesting. I actually wanted to join, it was my first choice. But, I claimed apathy before my second oath and never joined, thankfully I didn't because I was suppose to go in two months after 9/11. Being from NY I wasn't fighting a war I didn't find just.

As for the girlfriend, really!?! Your young and I was there, I picked staying with my boyfriend, instead of what I wanted to do. I regret not joining, but use 9/11 as a scapegoat to why I didn't. Really it was because of the boyfriend, by the way we split 2 years later. When your young and you are young don't fool yourself, you will regret not joining because of a girl (I only say this if you have your heart into joining the military). Sometimes you have to let the good ones go, so you can find the best one.

After your term in the military you will feel proud when speaking of life in military, bad or good.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 08:28 AM
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I have a girl friend who's not to happy about the idea of me joining so any info on how it affected relationships with wives/girlfriends and such would be good and just any information in general that you can give me would be great.


Unless you get married, once you're in, that relationship is going to be history. While not in the service myself, I've been a military brat since birth, so I've lived on a base for all of my childhood years, up until I was about 15... I've never ONCE seen the long-distance relationship survive without the tie of marriage (and often then, even that isn't enough, unless the spouse relocates along with the one serving).

That said, not saying you should marry... I'm personally of the opinion nobody under the age of 30 should marry. You simply don't even know who you are well enough yet to make such a decision. I'm sure there are statistics that back it up, but I'd wager if you look at folks who married later, you'll find a LOT more of them stayed together. She'll find another while you're gone, and so will you...such is the way of things.

I'll agree that you're joining for the wrong reasons, but then, you're not alone there. Just realize that it's a commitment, so if the wrong decision, you're stuck with it for however long you are signed (not sure on the UK's stints)...



edit on 15-3-2011 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 08:43 AM
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I can only speak for the US military, specifically the Marines. Not sure whats different about military life in the UK. I can't say I had had a totally positive or negative experience. I was in logistics as well, specifically supply. Best job in the military as far as I'm concerned. We always had the best gear. Don't ever have to wait in line to get issued stuff. It's an interesting field. I'm glad I made the choices I did, but at the time it was hard to see the wisdom of my decisions. Sounds like I was in the same position you are now when I enlisted. My girlfriend at the time was not happy at all about it. I signed up anyway, we got married, had a terrible relationship the whole 4 years, now we're divorced. The military is not a place for families, I think. It was difficult being a Marine all day, then having to come home and switch to husband/family mode. Guess I couldn't do it.

I got to travel. To Iraq. Twice. It was horrible both times. Now I have nightmares, anxiety, and I'm kind of afraid of everything. I'm going to therapy, and it helps a little. But war changes everyone I think, and it's a very personal experience for everyone. I didn't think it would be a big deal. Didn't realize the gravity of the Iraq war when I enlisted. Now I struggle every day with the things I did in Iraq, and I have to make amends for that. But now I have a purpose as well. A goal.

But I'm going to college for free now with the Montgomery GI Bill. Going to school is great. I'm almost 30 now, and there's no way I'd be able to afford college without the benefits I get. So I'm very thankful for that. Not sure what your benefits consist of though so do some research there.

You probably already know weather or not you're going to sign up at this point. Keep doing research. Ask questions. Find a field you'd be interested in... I would recommend NOT to pick infantry or special forces or anything like that. It's not all it's cracked up to be. Definitely not like it is in the movies!

You'll never know unless you try it. But there will be consequences.

The military got me out of my dead end job in a tiny town. It was my last resort too. But then I got right back into a new dead end job in a new city when I got out. Took me a few years to get my act together and get into college. But like I said, I'm happy with where I am now.

Good luck dude.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 09:27 AM
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reply to post by Predator90
 



Hi Predator90

Ok so

have you been up to your local careers office and do you know what trade you want to do within the army yet? get up to your local armed forces careers office and grab your self a couple of DVDs on the trades within the Armed Forces weather that be Army, Navy, or RAF there are literally hundreds of different jobs within the Army let alone the others

Army Jobs
www.army.mod.uk...

Royal Air Force
www.raf.mod.uk...

Royal Navy
www.royalnavy.mod.uk...

I'm sure you are aware or have seen the TV program on Channel Five

Watch here
Royal Navy: Caribbean Patrol
www.channel5.com...

I also have a few friends within the Royal Marine Commandos who have told me this is as close as it gets to understanding the life in the Navy so if the Navy is what you was thinking then watch these Episodes it show you there day in day out activitys while on operations, the Royal marine commandos on the other hand get to see alot of exciting places all over the world, i could give you more information on that also but you need to be a very fit & healthy individual an athlete soldier so to speak, from the moment you begging your 32 week long phase 1 training down Lympstone Exmouth, its very tough and only a fraction of recruits actually pass out of there, its on par with the Armys Paratroopers training, expect to be running 12 - 30miles with full combat gear

it sound tough but you will be getting fitter by the day so its not as bad as it seems

Royal Marine Commandos
www.royalnavy.mod.uk...


Some info on the Army and a little insight should you chose that road,

Firstly to get up your local careers office and do a BARB test so regardless of you exam results GCSEs etc you will do an army test so they them self can asses you

Then the 3 job choices you made and you will need to pick 3 in case you don't cut it for 1 or 2 of thos other job choices

Should you pass for your job choice on the BARB test you will then go to your nearest ADSL center this is a 3 day assessment to be further tested to see if you meet the requirements for the job and this again depends on your job choices in what you will be doing there at ADSL, word of advice don't try and stand out, they don't like a smart ass/show off

You will need to complete a 1.5 mile run in under 8 minutes for Parachute Regiment 10 minutes for any other army regiment

If you should do it in 12minutes or 13 the very very latest depending on your other ADSL results, you will be put onto a fitness type course before you join your training division this will be on the garrison not the ADSL, that's an additional 2 weeks added on to you 25 week phase 1 training, anything after that and you will be able to do it again in 1 - 6 months, i forgot to say after your BARB test, you will wait 1 - 4 month to get to do your ADSL tests

Should you still not meet the run times and overall fitness requirements you will do it all again the same goes for when you are in your phase 1 training, if your not up to scratch you will be put back another 6 weeks or back sqauded as we called it, or re-trooped, this is not good as you need to make new friends all over again, so pay attention to your NCOs the training is there to help save your life they will not pass you out under there names if they feel your not battle ready, it looks bad on them should you pass out and get injured.

The first 6 week you are there is know as the weeding out period your NCOs will find out everything about you the type of person you are and weather you are mentally & physically tough enough for the infantry if they don't want you in or passing out they can "UFAS" you (Unfit For Army Service) or if you decide its not for you, you can "DAOR" - (Discharge As Of Right) the only time you can DAOR, is after the first 6 weeks training & on pass out... you will be pushed to your very limites but remember your not alone and you will make some life long friends in training even when you pass out and go to your battalion, you will still be in contact

when you pass 6 week it starts to get a little easier mentally, you are aloud your comforts back and abit more freedom such as being aloud out on the weekends, but the training will get much harder but also you will be much stronger so you will get to the point you can run 12 miles talking & smoking a ciggy at the same time LOL

Its a great experience and one of the best things i did but battalion life is quite boring if im honest and its all about the weekends out, tours come around every 2 years and depending on your Regiment will depend on where in the world you are based, could be anywhere from Germany - Cyprus - UK (English Regts) but the Paras are always be based in Colchester UK, other regts will switch over location every 4 years, it really depends if your Royal Irish, Royal Scots, Royal Welsh, Gurkhas, etc etc but the English Regiments are in tho's locations, again depending on where you are from in the UK and over sea, generally the commonwealth recruits from all over the world can join any regiment within the British army they wish, i could give you more information on what Regiment you will join and where you will be if required.

So this is pretty much from you joining to battalion if there is anything else you would like to know then feel free to U2U or ask on here

Good Luck with what ever choice you make


Oh and apologies if that was a head ache to read LOL



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 09:37 AM
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Originally posted by Gazrok

I have a girl friend who's not to happy about the idea of me joining so any info on how it affected relationships with wives/girlfriends and such would be good and just any information in general that you can give me would be great.


Unless you get married, once you're in, that relationship is going to be history. While not in the service myself, I've been a military brat since birth, so I've lived on a base for all of my childhood years, up until I was about 15... I've never ONCE seen the long-distance relationship survive without the tie of marriage (and often then, even that isn't enough, unless the spouse relocates along with the one serving).



edit on 15-3-2011 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



Hmm

I do remember the majority of relationships surviving but then again i only served 4 years before my injury/discharge so long distance? *shrugs* alot of the guys got married nearly a year after joining battalion just to get there girlfriends on base with them, all of tho's guys are still together...

from my experience anyway

i guess it all come down to how long you was together before joining and weather you have good trust in each other

If not.... plenty of hookers outside the gates wanting your money



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:00 AM
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Thanks alot for all your answers..

Its not my last resort as a few of you have said , i should of mentioned in the OP that i am training as an electrician. So i do have another choice, but id still be stuck in this town and this country and i dont want that, i want to experience things and travel and actually have a life rather than working 9-5 and doing the same thing week in week out.

I have wanted to join the army since i left school but iv always put it off thinking that better things will happen and for a while they did but they see to have stopped and to be honest im sick of doing the same thing all the time and my business failing is like the last straw to be honest.

My Grandad has always told me to join , he was in WWII and he said the military life is what would be best for me. I also have a few friends who are in the army, one has done 8 years and hes got mixed feeling about it ,the other is on his third year and thinks its great and the last one went awol because he couldn't hack it.

I thought id ask you guys aswel as them because i wanted a wider view of the armed forces , rather then just 3-4 peoples opinions.

I think the main reasons why i want to go in are; I want to better myself , i want to travel, i want to train and learn as much as i possibly can while im still young, i just want to experince life in general in all its aspects whether it be good or bad. are they valid enough reasons to join would you say..??

My friends brother, the one who has done 8 years in the infantry is coming out this year. He says hes had some great experiences and he also managed to keep a relationship going for 6 years of the 8, but hes seen the bad side aswel, one of his friends got shot and killed by a Taliban sniper.
As said he is getting out this year and he is walking straight into a £15 an hour job driving HGV's and thats all because he got his licenses in the army.

I just think that life style would suit me.. sign up , stay in for a while , experience life in the army and in general and then if i like it that much stay on, or if i want to, leave and get a decent job with the skills and things that iv gained from the army.

The main thing that worries me is losing my girlfriend, i love her to bits and id want to try and make it work so badly but i dont want to put my life on hold because of a relationship while im young.

We shall see, i shall keep looking things up and finding out what i can and il make a decision.. iv arranged to go to the army careers office on Thursday to get some more info so no doubt that will help a lot with my decision.

thanks again.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 10:06 AM
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Thanks alot BRITWARRIOR , just seen your post, some really helpfull info there



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by Predator90
Thanks alot for all your answers..

Its not my last resort as a few of you have said , i should of mentioned in the OP that i am training as an electrician. So i do have another choice, but id still be stuck in this town and this country and i dont want that, i want to experience things and travel and actually have a life rather than working 9-5 and doing the same thing week in week out.

I have wanted to join the army since i left school but iv always put it off thinking that better things will happen and for a while they did but they see to have stopped and to be honest im sick of doing the same thing all the time and my business failing is like the last straw to be honest.

My Grandad has always told me to join , he was in WWII and he said the military life is what would be best for me. I also have a few friends who are in the army, one has done 8 years and hes got mixed feeling about it ,the other is on his third year and thinks its great and the last one went awol because he couldn't hack it.

I thought id ask you guys aswel as them because i wanted a wider view of the armed forces , rather then just 3-4 peoples opinions.

I think the main reasons why i want to go in are; I want to better myself , i want to travel, i want to train and learn as much as i possibly can while im still young, i just want to experince life in general in all its aspects whether it be good or bad. are they valid enough reasons to join would you say..??

My friends brother, the one who has done 8 years in the infantry is coming out this year. He says hes had some great experiences and he also managed to keep a relationship going for 6 years of the 8, but hes seen the bad side aswel, one of his friends got shot and killed by a Taliban sniper.
As said he is getting out this year and he is walking straight into a £15 an hour job driving HGV's and thats all because he got his licenses in the army.

I just think that life style would suit me.. sign up , stay in for a while , experience life in the army and in general and then if i like it that much stay on, or if i want to, leave and get a decent job with the skills and things that iv gained from the army.

The main thing that worries me is losing my girlfriend, i love her to bits and id want to try and make it work so badly but i dont want to put my life on hold because of a relationship while im young.

thanks again.




you sound like you're in the same boat as i was, i always wanted to join but never got round to it till i was 25 because of other commitments, my grandad didn't tell me to join tho, my grandad was in the same regiment as i joined but in WWII, I buried him 2 days before i left for my training so it was a very proud moment for me when i put on my beret, i was also training to be a electrician at the time, LOL

from what i read in your post i have no doubt you will enjoy it and want to remain in after your phase 1 training, if you would have said its just the job and for the money and to many computer games, then i would of had my doubts, as i said after reading that thos are the type of people who will enjoy there time and experiences in the army and thos are the time of people they are looking for,

The army made me a much more confident stronger and better person than i was when i went in and i got to do some amazing things with amazing people, it was without a shadow of doubt the best thing i ever did hands down, i can understand all the worrys and other sided advice from other members, but it was my decision and i'm glad i made it, i just wish i went in at a younger age, maybe not 16 as i know some of the young guys really struggled or didn't make it out of training its very tough, but 20 is probably the perfect age to go in IMO,

Check out some of the links i provided maybe the Engineers is for you, you can be a sparky within the Army in the Royal Engineers and the money is better, or maybe IT & COMS or even the Royal Signals Corps is for you, just some suggestion given your civvy trade at the minute,


edit on 15-3-2011 by BRITWARRIOR because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 02:28 PM
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reply to post by Predator90
 


I'll have to agree with almost all of the posts from current or former serviemen. I'm currently on my 3rd tour in the Marines, I was actually out for 5 years, too. I never quite adjusted well to the regular world, either.

Overall, though, my experience has been positive. I'm flighty at heart, and I love change and travel. The base structure of the Marine Corps has allowed me to keep things unpredictable, yet still set in stone. As far as being at war and having to kill other people, it happens to some, but doesn't happen to all. I've never fired a shot in anger once, but have known people who have died.

Still, I've been able to use the military for my benefit, I've lived in 4 other countries while I was in the first 8 years and then used my government clearance to land a well paying, travel heavy job and lived in another 4 countries. Life isn't perfect, but I never expected it to be. It's exceptionally hard on all but the strongest of relationships and life in the military will change you as a person. I find that I'm more tolerant of other nations, beliefs, cultures, what-have-you.

And before anyone asks, I rejoined the military from boredom in my regular life. Like I said before, the military will change you, and now I'm to the point where I prefer to live my life as random as possible. I don't have many personal possessions, but I prefer it that way. Some thing will happen some where and with luck, I'll find my way there. There is a lot to do and to see in this world and I find that this life I've chosen has not been in vain.



posted on Mar, 15 2011 @ 03:13 PM
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It can be rewarding if your head is in the right space. It can be hell if it isn't. If you are truly dedicated to making it work the service can give you back an incredible amount. In the Navy's "Seaman to Admiral" program, for example, they'll pay for your college and give you a commission. If you're more vocationally oriented, the Electronics Technician rating is a great education. you can really do anything you want. You get serious responsibility early--a lot more than in civilian life at the same age.

The dark side is attitude. There are a lot of guys in the service who just want out, period. They'll suck you into a life of drugs and booze if you let them. Peer pressure can be bad. There are also many pockets of incompetence at all levels. If you don't get a good school out of boot, you'll be infrantry or some other dismal job that could put you in harm's way. There's also the "ethics" issue. A lot of your peers hate the military on moral grounds. If you seriously consider those feelings, don't join. It would make you miserable.

The GI Bill these days is excellent. They'll even pay for private school and give you an E-5 BHA (Basic Housing Allowance). That's a whole lot better than it's ever been.

Bottom line is it isn't for everybody, but if you can get into the right space it could be a highpoint in yoir life. Good luck.



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