posted on Aug, 31 2012 @ 09:18 AM
When I was 14 I joined the Civil Air Patrol (USAF volunteer Auxillery) cadets. Mainly because I was interested in aviation and space, but it is a
"military cadet" type program. Loved it. Spent alot of time on military bases in summer programs. Got to go to Europe on the USAF's dime on an
exchange. Learned valuable lessons and skills. Got to talk to lots of service members and learned the good and the bad. I was in from age 14 to 21.
By the time I was 16 I wanted to join the military. My dad was a vietnam vet. He told me that if I wanted to join he was fine with that, but we did
have a long talk about combat and service life. So I was not "unprepared" or niaeve so to speak. He also suggest I go to college first and go in as an
officer. So i went to ROTC (Army). Turned out after a couple of semseters that I had some particular eyesight issues that prevented me from enlisted
or gaining a commision. I have tried a few times since but so far no dice. I am even now looking at the Navy Reserve (had my eyes fixed recently), but
am 38 and would still need a waiver for the eye surgery now so that's not looking to hot. Anyways.......
I now have 3 children. Back when I wanted to join it was the 80's/90s. Short of Panama and Desert Storm, the US was not off fighting like we have been
for 10 years. These long occupations with doubious aims do concern me. I have always been a supporter of the armed forces and a proactive foreign
policy to prevent "big" wars. BUT today I would have some trepidation if my kids wanted to join. My first set of advice would be to look at the USAF
and US Navy, look at being an officer and look at going to a service academy. They are the best educations out there. Your education is covered and
you are paid while you are there. Or if you want/need the benefits to go to school, look at the Local National Guard, and look at perhaps a non-combat
MOS, that has civillian applications.
The military is good for some and not others. I think if one has a good solid idea of the risks, positives and negatives and you feel it's for you,
join. But also make the most of it. Be smart about what MOS you pick.
Also, if your child is a teenager (in the US) have them look at the Civil Air Patrol cadets. It IS a CIVILIAN organization (sponsered by the USAF),
and while the cadet program is military based, it gives good leadership training, team building skills, military and areospace career study, community
service, disaster relief, and search and rescue opprotunities. There is no obligation to join the active military. While several cadets do just that
(and depending on their advancement in CAP may get advanced rank or incentives), I know many that specifically did NOT, based on alot of what they
learned, and went into other careers. Great program for teens. There are other military cadet programs (US Navy Sea Cadets, Young Marines, etc) but I
think CAP has the most opprotunities. The only program I have seen near it was the UK Royal Air Training Corp cadets. Good program, a bit more
militarily involved though.
edit on 31-8-2012 by SrWingCommander because: (no reason given)
edit on 31-8-2012 by SrWingCommander because: (no reason