Join the Military, See the World! - Pivot into being a Leader and Perks of Serving YOUR Country!

Ebolamonkey's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,635

This is a repost from another thread. I felt it appropriate to break it out into a category of its own because I see a lot of people struggling to find jobs, in and out of finance, without considering all options on the table including Military.

If you are a certified die-hard American and a true Patriot then you should have no problems with the Idea of serving your country.

Enjoy fellow Americans!

The Military (FREE and Serve Your Country) Option:

Uncle SamUS MilitaryService Academy or Scholarship Route
Get a free degree from US Federal Service Academies (Army, Navy, Airforce, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines) OR the ROTC route (possibly NUPOC or BDCP [Navy programs, go see www.Airwarriors.com ]).

  • Do your time and bank six figures for five (5) years guaranteed
  • Do three more to get 100% of your Post-911 GI Bill. Puts you at Eight (8) total post college
  • Get out earlier with a smaller portion of GI Bill and use Yellow Ribbon for M7 MBA

Officer Candidate School Route

  • Get degree from a very cheap University next to free (State school scholarship loopholes or scholarships)
  • Join any branch as an Officer
  • Take the GMAT before getting out, it is free (one time)
  • Get out after minimum four (4) year commitment with 100% Post-911 GI Bill
  • Get into M7 and use GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon for minimum debt load

Compensation

Active Duty DoD: Total Comp for Junior Officers (O-3 with four years or less) is $90-110K stationed in CONUS and $110-130K stationed Overseas (+$10-30K more at least if you are deployed in a War Zone. Whole paycheck is Tax-free and you get additional things like Hazard Duty Pay, Jump Pay, etc). This includes a TON of tax-free benefits and free perks such as:

  • Food Allowance (BAS)
  • Housing Allowance (BAH or OHA)
  • Oversea Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA)
  • Free Dental
  • Free Medical
  • Free Prescriptions and anything else Health related
  • Access to the Commissary (Grocery store) and the Exchange (Wal-mart) which are all Tax-Free
  • A bunch of other subsidized entertainment, education, and resources
  • Secret or Top Secret Security Clearance (worth a lot to employers if they are looking for those with this gem)

All those are taken into consideration when calculating the approximate total compensation. I was clearing about $3400 net every other paycheck living in Japan as a junior O-2. Not a bad life! Every year for the past decades the Military has gotten across the board pay increases of 1-3% (inflation adjustment) in addition to the regular rank and time-in-service pay bumps.

Reserves: You can choose to join the reserves to keep some of the aforementioned Active Duty perks with weekend drills during your MBA program and get paid for drilling. Continuity can lead to a pension program that you can draw on starting at age 60.

Merchant Marines: Starting Salary for US Merchant Marines (Captain Phillips and Crew) is around $12-14k/month as an Engineer or Mate. More on this later if anyone is interested in this career (badass experience and all the perks of the US Navy with none of the bullshit. Personally shook hands with a 32 year old Captain [think Managing Director] of a mega military container ship. Works only half the year [2-3month on, 2-3month off, rinse and repeat] and takes off the rest clearing $250-300K a year. Never seen a happier sailor in my life.). Harbor Pilots, the folks who taxi cargo ships from the Ocean into the Harbor, consider minimum wage to be $250K a year and they average around $450-500K with the more senior Pilots clearing well above $600K at the busier Ports. Drive ships or manage Analysts/Associates/VPs? Desk job vs Adrenaline Job. Up to you. :) Merchants are also eligible for the Reserves in addition to having their own pension from their respective Unions.

Post-Service MBA rebrand Option

M7 MBA is Veteran friendly typically having an existing Veterans Network. Chat up current students and Vet Network for assistance and apply with a GMAT 700+. They value the leadership and perspective from a military Veteran in that classroom setting when everyone else has been doing battle with Excel, Ballpoint Bic Pens, and Clickers for "Next Slide" during PowerPoint presentations. Tales of leadership under duress is a case study in and of itself.

Bottomline: Join the Military, See the World. You'll come out the other side as a Leader with a degree, experience, and money in the bank. This enables you to apply to M7 MBA program and be a favored candidate to get another prestigious degree for nearly FREE. Afterwards, you can go hear others whine about the fact that you now have Veterans preferences, an M7 MBA, and a host of other excuses that makes you more employable vs the Average Joe.

Lastly, we have the Public Health Services; not as sexy but also uniform option: https://www.usphs.gov/
Footnote: Pricetag on freedom can be steep. You are risking your life for a greater good and getting a degree as a secondary effect. By being in this elite club, you have exclusive access to one of the finest networks in America as a Veteran.

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Comments (25)

Jan 6, 2017

uhhh wut

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Jan 6, 2017

Does this count as propaganda

    • 3
Jan 6, 2017

Yes, 110% raw WWII Uncle Sam-ness.

Another perspective for those who've never considered it. It's a volunteer service not a draft and it remains this way when there are volunteers that answer the calling.

Jan 6, 2017

Price tag on freedom. Elite club. Answer the calling.

Lmao.

What exactly does a disbursing supply officer do again? Hand out cash cards, "oversee" the people who stock vending machines and work the laundromat. Please, devote 8 years of your life to menial bullshit and tell me it was worth it. It's only worth it if you're doing 4yrs and walking with the school benefits.

Jan 6, 2017

The latter. Anything longer than the mandatory four (4) or five (5) if you went Service Academy is not the best use of time. O-4 Boards are real slim these days in all branches due to the glut of higher ranks that won't get fired, quit, or retire. Where's another Fat Leonard (Glen Defense) event when you need one?

It gets more administrative, you get less "supervision" of the vending machine crew and more "supervision" walking around town in the middle of the night making sure junior Sailors aren't busting into people's houses butt naked piss drunk passed out on their couch or writing and revising message traffic a hundred times in the middle of the night making sure the spacing was done correctly to properly send out this type of story and others (more interesting ones) via SIPR SITREP.

Playing Gran Turismo 6 while underway is an added benefit. Perks of having a combo key office! That's why Office Hours were so tight and no real work got done. "60% of the time we are closed everytime in foreign ports!" Landing helicopters is fun though and watching people drop stuff during unrep and the occasional big slash when they screwed up. Bonus if you got an MSC tour out of the deal, extra points if you scored either flagships of the regular Navy or Sub tenders. Elite club when you swing on by the Go-kart track on the way back from getting mail from USPS and can't make it back to the ship on the next launch boat. Real good deal if you scored those goof off tours in your four years obligation at least once.

Jan 6, 2017
Ebolamonkey:

The latter. Anything longer than the mandatory four (4) or five (5) if you went Service Academy is not the best use of time. O-4 Boards are real slim these days in all branches due to the glut of higher ranks that won't get fired, quit, or retire. Where's another Fat Leonard (Glen Defense) event when you need one?

It gets more administrative, you get less "supervision" of the vending machine crew and more "supervision" walking around town in the middle of the night making sure junior Sailors aren't busting into people's houses butt naked piss drunk passed out on their couch or writing and revising message traffic a hundred times in the middle of the night making sure the spacing was done correctly to properly send out this type of story and others (more interesting ones) via SIPR SITREP.

Playing Gran Turismo 6 while underway is an added benefit. Perks of having a combo key office! That's why Office Hours were so tight and no real work got done. "60% of the time we are closed everytime in foreign ports!" Landing helicopters is fun though and watching people drop stuff during unrep and the occasional big slash when they screwed up. Bonus if you got an MSC tour out of the deal, extra points if you scored either flagships of the regular Navy or Sub tenders. Elite club when you swing on by the Go-kart track on the way back from getting mail from USPS and can't make it back to the ship on the next launch boat. Real good deal if you scored those goof off tours in your four years obligation at least once.

Big Navy & Big Army sound great

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Jan 6, 2017

So it's great if you don't want to do shit with your day or be productive or do anything that isn't mundane and the only highlight about work is finding ways to skip work?

That's my point. It's a soul sucking experience. I had great times too, times I wouldn't trade for anything so don't get me wrong but let's not mislead anyone considering that path.

Jan 6, 2017

Oh and another very real and practical concern you should have is the work experience. What exactly is an anti-submarine warfare officer going to do post navy? Because aside from the fact they don't do shit, lets just assume they do, you're not an entry level hire anymore and you don't have any experience to manage anywhere that requires skills like engineering, sales, technical roles or finance. Your only play is to play up the leadership and hope to land somewhere in corporate general management. Nothing to sneeze at but is that really what you want to do with your life? Or worse, defense contracting??

Oh ok, you're going to rebrand with an mba, so you need 8yrs of service to do it for free as an officer. Nearly a decade of your prime stuck in mind numbing mediocrity and your only out is getting an M7 MBA (if you even get in) and hopefully land one of the most sought after roles in one of the most exclusive industries around?? That's your brilliant plan? I'm all for anyone doing their 4 to get the school benefits... but a decade of your life devoted to a narrow range of what ifs isn't a good trade.

Also, the network? Let's just define success as an officer going to an M7 or doing something equally "successful".... you're talking about 1 in 2500 servicemembers. On that note, if you see yourself as that person, do you really think you're going to fit into an abrasive, bureaucratic and mediocre environment for nearly 10yrs? And only have the ability to start a family with someone willing to move and uproot everything including their career every two years while you're gone for extended periods... up to and including your b-school. Usually they are dedicated housewives, which isn't a bad thing but is that what you want?

Best Response
Jan 6, 2017

Now we're talking! :) You are in the know.

Dude, def contracting? That's about the only thing that's open if you go beyond the point of no return and that's a pretty solid at year eight (8). There's always GS, right? Knock, knock, it's Booz Allen!

If you don't want full eight (8) you can game the cheaper/free College/University route and go OCS. Saves you four years of time.

The significant others aspect is a topic of discussion for another time and thread. It's tough and this is where some choose career over relationships. Solution: Stay single. Be glad you didn't sign to fly "jets for the Navy!" Kiss 13 years of your life from OCS graduation goodbye and that's mandatory unless you goof up your flight status.

Let's focus on the constructive non-service Academy route which I think we both agree is the best touch and go for those who are currently stuck in the mud, need the runway, and found a place to bump for fuel and take off to their next destination which is presumably WallSt. What would be your ideal cost-effective go-to-OCS plan?

Navy Low-Cost High Yield Plan:

  • churn one year at a low-cost school
  • Baccalaureate Degree Completion Program (BDCP) for the last three (3)
  • Join Navy OCS starting with three (3) years of Active Duty Service
  • Pick, if given the option, San Diego ship over Norfolk
  • Finish that tour in two-years while researching next steps
  • Pick Shore Duty closest to NY (Friend of mine is teaching for the Navy at Colombia and getting her MBA on the Navy's dime getting paid NYC BAH)
  • Network while on Shore Duty
  • Go for JPM/GS/DB/BC/etc Veterans Integration Programs (VIPs)
  • If not, M7 MBA up and try again
Jan 6, 2017

100% agree with this.

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Jan 6, 2017

Nope. Go enlisted, suffer, do your four years to get free schooling almost anywhere and your experience puts you ahead of almost everyone else seeking internships and use that to start your career with a leg up in any city you choose with savings in the bank and no debt. Try for shit like the Harvard 2+2. If a top tier MBA is needed and you get into one you'll find a way to make it work.

Don't pidgeonhole your post undergrad work experience and then be forced to rebrand with more schooling.

At least that's my opinion.

Jan 14, 2017

There are a lot of benefits with joining in terms of education. Also, when you are full active you can get free education as well -without touching your GI Bill benefits. The only issue with this is that you need to make it work between your duties. This makes it very dependent on your chain of command and training/mission schedules.

In this day and age deployments will be a guarantee. Even when we "pulled out of" Iraq I knew people that were still being deployed there. This included support personnel from the National Guard. There were some people that were able to do courses online while deployed (Mechanics, cooks). However, if you are serving in a combat arms capacity this will most likely not be possible.

Other benefits come in terms of experience and discipline. The service helped turn me from somebody that barely graduated high school to receiving Latin honors in college. In terms of job hunting being a veteran does allow you to distinguish yourself before you submit your resume. When you are being interviewed you will have experiences that will differentiate you from other candidates. Firms do like to hire veterans, however, they will always prefer the most qualified candidate.

There are other things that do need to be taken into account before joining. Do you truly love the constitution more than yourself? Do you view others lives as more important than yours? What am I willing to sacrifice? Just because you are a cook, mechanic or admin does not mean that you are guaranteed to not lose life or limb. Over all, I agree serving is a great opportunity for most, but not all.

There are benefits to joining, however, they are not the reason you join.

Jan 14, 2017

Most people join to find a direction in life and to find themselves through their service. Most get out after they figured those items out and move onto the next thing or find that the military is indeed their home. Same goes with folks who are WallSt bound.

Getting out has its perks like 'freedom' to do whatever you want. (Freedom so long as you have the Capital to do it)

I miss the people and some of the things I did. Rest of it can stay in the past. The bond is no where as strong on the outside with folks who grew up glued to the screens and not interacting with other real people. Work ethic outside of WallSt or competitive companies is lackluster at best. Management who worked 40/50 hour weeks going to home sleeping in their own beds are telling you what to do when the norm is 100-120 hour sleeping on a rocking ship or in a desert. That takes some adjusting to or you plug out and get another cooler job or make one for yourself (startup).

Jan 14, 2017

The people are a huge part of it. There is a brotherhood there that cannot be replicated. Definitely get to do some awesome stuff, however, every time you squeeze a trigger means you now have to clean the weapon and put it back in the arms room. If you are getting ready to jump you get to have your equipment checked - and then wait for everyone else's.

Jan 14, 2017

Buddy of mine flies helicopters in the marines, makes well over 100k salary + $2400 a month COL stipend in SoCal. Did OCS during undergrad, will be a shoe in for M7 and has the highest level of security clearance possible - think Booz Allen type opps. This is propaganda but also kind of true. You need to be smart though, and not dead.

Jan 14, 2017

Bingo. There's a lot of downside but also upside.

Another exit route for SpecOps is Private Military Contractor with someone like Academi (BlackWater USA).

Jan 14, 2017

Good option if you want to make 250 a year and only work for 3-6 months, also a great way to get blown up running support detail for an oil tanker.

Jan 14, 2017

I know people who have gone down the contractor path (just out of 11 series). However, at that point you might as well just stay in. If you get fucked up they won't cover you like the military. Plus you can't retire after twenty years and go on to whatever you feel like with a pension. Getting blown up sucks, but at least you get compensated for it from the military. Unless things have changed Black water will just say "look at how well we paid you."

Jan 14, 2017
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