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Military and then education?

  1. Jun 16, 2012 #1
    Hello, forum

    I would like to finish some higher education. Given my present situation I do not think I am able to finish all the courses at my CC with a job and a shared room. I have a somewhat empty resume and honestly don't think I am able to take care of myself. So, I am seriously looking into joining the military as enlisted. Fortunately, I am not an idiot and scored reasonably well on my AFQT (90 range). My recruiter wants me to go into the Navy Nuclear Field. I would love to; however, I won't be able to get a security clearance required for the nuc field due to my dual citizenship, which I am still wondering if I should get rid of. After all, I may not be able to get through nuclear propulsion school; and, nothing is guaranteed in the military.

    So, given what I have said... What would you recommend I do? Does it look like I have the wrong mind-set? Thank you, I love physicsforum!
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 17, 2012 #2
    Hello Power Biggs,
    I joined the military right after high school and will be pursing higher education when I get out next year. There are many opportunities to get an education while in the US military, for example TA which provides you $4,500 a year for college and of course you have the GI Bill. IF I were you I would figure out what's more important, your education or your job. If your education is more important I would join the reserve or active if your job is more important. If you go active your education will depend on your training schedule and how often you deploy. For example if you have a combat MOS and constantly doing back to back deployments then you will never find time for your education (like myself). Since you said your going into the Navy Nuclear Field, I don't think you would deploy to often, if at all, but don't quote me on that. And the military does guarantee a paycheck.

    Semper Fidelis
  4. Jun 17, 2012 #3
    I spent 4 years in the Army, and personally glad I did it. I wasn't mature enough to do well in college and I didn't have the financial means to attend. So I joined the Army and I got a Post-9/11 GI Bill. This is the one you want, its the best deal. Also, mnmman is correct about the TA of 4500 a year. Now, lets say you do deploy ( which nowadays is kinda unlikely) you can still take 1-2 online classes. Now, given the structure of a deployment, you might not have a lot of time. Navy personnel, on average, tend not deploy as much as Marines or Army, but there is always a chance.

    What I would do, since you don't have means of attending school I would join the Navy as active duty. Ask for a 3 year contract, this ensures you get 100 percent GI bill benefits. And MAKE SURE YOU SIGN FOR THE GI BILL. They will take 100 dollars out of your check a month for a year and you will reap awards of excess of 50,000 dollars through tuition payments, living allowances and book/supplies money. Make sure you get an HONORABLE discharge, because it's the only discharge that you can get the GI Bill with.

    Now, after you get the GI bill, you will get a monthly living allowance, I'm going to get 1080 this year, per month. Then you also get ALL tuition and fees paid for, this is anything you charge to your student account before the VA pays the school. Normally, I charge my books and parking pass. Then you also get 1000 dollars a year for books and supplies. This "deal" only lasts 9 semesters, then after that you are on your own.

    I did my 4 years in the Army, and now go to school full time. I am extremely self-sufficient, and require no addition income outside of what I can make during the summer and my GI bill. Another side note, I would save 25 percent or so of what u make in the Navy to maybe buy a car when you get out, or some saved up for living expenses.

    Ultimately, it is up to you. It's a good deal, but you work A LOT for it. My deployment alone I prolly worked 100 hours a week on average. I did manage to finish 1 online class though, but it was to much. When you're not deployed, you can take 2-3 classes a semester if you have the ambition. I didn't because I was more interesting studying the anatomy of German women and the chemistry of German beer, if you know what I mean....

    Any other questions, feel free to PM me.
  5. Jun 17, 2012 #4
    Thank you for the replies, mnmman and Windowmaker!

    Given the NF I won't have much time for completing units at a college. Most of the units I would need to complete are not available online to my knowledge (Calc I/II/III, DE, LA).

    Are there any particular fields in the military that can accredit you with a large amount of college credits? I know those units are applicable at certain colleges.

    Would you recommend the air force or navy? "Engineering" as an "enlisted" is available in the AF; whereas, only as an officer in the Navy.
  6. Jun 18, 2012 #5
    Well, if you need calc 1/2/3 DE and LA, no military training is going to train you in those. Engineering in the military is a bit different. In the Army, its called Combat Engineer, which they build stuff but mostly do route clearance overseas.

    The credits you get can depend on the MOS, if you Infantry, you're not going to get alot as say if you go as a Nuclear specialist in the Navy.

    What is NF?

    If you need classes like history, English, a basic algebra course, statistics, econ, etc, you can probably take these all online if your motivated. I wasn't haha. Maybe you can, I'm telling you its difficult to do in the Military.

    Another option could be is do the National Guard and use the TA for tuition. That way, your tuition is paid for, so all you gotta pay for is books and a place to live.
  7. Jun 18, 2012 #6
    Yeah, I'm being too picky. I just can't wait for a phone call and try and relinquish my other cit. :D
    Waiting is worse than making a better decision or rather indecision.
    Thanks again.
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