1/22/15

Hi Monkeys,

I am sure there have been multiple similar posts on this subject so links to these posts will be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for all the help. Long story short I am a sophomore studying finance at a non-target university. I have a 3.8 GPA and have been networking like crazy in order to obtain an internship this summer to beef up my resume even more. My question is this... I intended to become an officer after college through a ROTC program in a near by school. I don't want to hear "Don't Join it's a waste" or "Its stupid to join the military" I am doing this since I feel it's my duty to give back to a country that has given me a chance. I am wondering on what should I be doing now in order to start an IB career after I complete my service. Questions like should I take the GMAT during my senior year of college? Should I even pruse a MBA? Or even the likes of the postions would I apply to after the service.... as an analyst or associate? Once again links to similar posts or direct advice is greatly appreciated.

Best,

Mike

Comments (75)

1/22/15

There have been many posts in regards to transitioning from the military to investment banking. Overall consensus is that it is typically an easy transition as there are a lot of former military men in finance.

Investment Banking Interview Course

1/22/15

I agree with Lou. I've seen many vets on Wall Street, and they are super supportive in networking. My best friend was discharged as a sergeant, and during his junior year at the college, he got a SA offer from top tier BB pretty easily with full support of vets.

1/22/15

Thanyou guys for responding so bottom line is the transition I wouldn't say easy but doable. Now if you guys don't mind me asking should I go for a mba? My reservation is I don't want to spend 1-2 years back in school but if it is needed for my placement and career advancement I would not think twice on working my ass to get into a top tier school. Opinions on this matter?

As long as I am doing better then I am feeling and I do it to prove them wrong.

1/22/15

It depends which level you want to start. If you go to MBA, you will be hired as an associate. You break into IBD straight from military - then you will start as an analyst. I heard there is a person at top BB who broke into IBD right after his service. To be honest, I am also a prospective monkey, so I do not know much, but from what I heard, lifestyles of associates and analysts are almost same. Responsibility and compensation are different though. Personally, I think MBA could be a better choice because it provides you skill set for financial modeling and interview preps.

1/22/15

Hmmm if you put it like that MBA would be right thing to do....I would look at the military service as work experience instead of being an analyst...things will get more clearer once I actually start the service but thank you for the advice.

As long as I am doing better then I am feeling and I do it to prove them wrong.

1/22/15

Use the GI Bill to get a top tier MBA FO FREE and then enter as an associate. From a hiring perspective, BBs absolutely LOVE MBA hires with military backgrounds. I have seen a ton of people take this route, and the military background + MBA is an unbelievable competitive advantage. Getting an MBA is a no-brainer, IMO, because your opportunity cost is significantly lower compared to someone who has to pay out of pocket and/or incur debt to get one.

1/22/15

JBB44:

Use the GI Bill to get a top tier MBA FO FREE and then enter as an associate. From a hiring perspective, BBs absolutely LOVE MBA hires with military backgrounds. I have seen a ton of people take this route, and the military background + MBA is an unbelievable competitive advantage. Getting an MBA is a no-brainer, IMO, because your opportunity cost is significantly lower compared to someone who has to pay out of pocket and/or incur debt to get one.

I think JBB44 nailed the point.

7/5/16

edit

1/23/15

Focus on being the best military officer you can. That should be your number one goal. Once successful at that, you can evaluate where you are at and where you should go - you may decide there is something else you want to do. My route took me from the Army to an MBA program and now on to an associate role at a BB.

-----
-Sabot

7/5/16

.

'Before you enter... be willing to pay the price'

7/5/16

Bep,

My plan is to have my MBA completed when I ETS out of the Army in mid 2016. Are there any other higher quality online MBA programs you can recommend? I am interested in hearing from other vets on how they broke into the business.

7/5/16

You should really utilize linkedin to find some vets to connect with. Either message them via linkedin, or figure out their email format for their firm. Being able to chat via phone, or even in person will allow you to get more information and begin establishing connections and maybe even a solid vet mentor.

7/5/16

If you ETS in 2016 youre probably ahead of curve a bit here.

DC both hurts and helps you. Hurts because there are 300 veterans on every block and helps because there are 300 veterans on every block.

Start hitting up guys with a similar background, similar units, etc. Explain that you're planning on doing your MBA before you get out.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

7/5/16

happy to connect you with a few vets on the street

7/5/16

I am a veteran myself that made the transition. feel free to pm me and we can set up a time to talk if you want.

7/5/16

There is (or was at least) a veterans group on WSO that should be able to help out.

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

7/23/17

Hi, I was a junior trader for three years but on the sell side. Now I'm 25 years old, I want to join the military to help with MBA at a good school. Would it best to go reserve and study at the same time, or go active first and then MBA after? I'm really confused and stuck at this dilemma. I'm thinking of the Air Force..

7/5/16

Whiskey and bottera, I tried PM you guys and I don't have enough points. Any other way to contact you guys?

1/23/15
7/5/16
7/5/16

Investment Banking Interview Course

1/23/15

Thank-you guys for all the responses , it has helped immensely and from the advice from this post and a little bit more research looks like b-school will the route . I know it is early but as Benjamin Franklin put it "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail." Once again thanks.
-Mike

As long as I am doing better then I am feeling and I do it to prove them wrong.

7/5/16

If you did any research on this website or elsewhere you'd know that doing an online MBA is useless for IB. Furthermore, it'd be useful to list your Ugrad GPA, extracurriculars and what you're doing in the military.

7/5/16

You're in DC, do a Gtown MBA

7/5/16

My undergrad GPA is a 3.3. I currently work for the White House Communications Agency in the military.

7/5/16

Huge mistake on UMUC. If your high school stats were subpar you should've gone for IU Bloomington or CU Boulder and started applying to transfer after your first semester and definitely after your first year. Or just stuck it out at Kelley and planned on an MBA. I realize it's a moot point though if someone in the future pulls up this post I want the info out there.

Definitely a mistake on the online MBA. Go for a solid MBA but expect that your undergrad is going to be viewed with scrutiny so you'll need to kill the GMAT and write one hell of an essay. In your shoes your best bet financially is to get a commission if you can. The purpose of an MBA isn't to check the box on your resume it's to buy into the network, re-brand your resume and buy into the recruiting seasons.

If you can, get into Emory for your MBA and the yellow ribbon will give you a free ride. And before some prestige whoring B-schooler who doesn't know a damn thing shoots that down, keep in mind they have a 98% placement rate within 3 months of graduation which is better than Stanford (though I'd always go for Stanford) and when you factor in the COL the salaries are about the same.

I'm not going to shoot sunshine up your ass, even a 3.3 at Harvard (undergrad) might not land you an IBD spot. It can be done, but despite the rhetoric on this site you'd need to work your ass off even with that. GPA is critical for wall street recruiting so if you do land yourself into Emory or somewhere like that shoot for a 3.5 or better. I'd also encourage you to aim for consulting as you'll more than likely have better odds of breaking in there out of one of those top programs than into IBD.

I was Navy, so cheers.

6/28/15

What is your long term career goals? I'm in a similar situation and I would like to be on the buy side in the long run. That is why breaking straight into IBD as an analyst after military service may be favorable from my perspective.... as it seems as though buyside firms recruit from the analyst pool.

Going straight into business school and getting an associate role may be a disadvantage for recruiting into buyside down the road but fine for staying in IBD in the long run. Does anyone else have any insight or anecdotes?

7/5/16

General advice: If I were you, I'd try to put your experience as a linguist and intel analyst for the Navy to good use when trying to land that first job in finance. This means either focusing on investment banks with offices in the region that you covered while in the Navy or boutique banks that specialize in defense industry deals.

Good luck and thank you for your service!

7/5/16

I'd assume your ability to work under pressure and in a team, as well as your lingual and analytical skills would help you. You'd probably have to avoid going through the usual online applications which might screen you out on the basis of spending 10 years out of finance and network like hell, but I'm sure you're better set than most people who did something else for 10 years! Just find a way to show how you really want to do IB and how your army life has set you up well.

Complete guesswork (not in the US, not an associate, not in a regional office etc) but something like 30-40% less than an NYC associate? Maybe $80-100k after bonus? Again, complete guestimation on my part.

7/5/16

From everything I've read and heard I think associate positions pay more that 100K all in, even outside of NY.

"Don't quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a Champion" - Muhammad Ali

7/5/16

There's a ton of info on this site that can help you out. Use the search function. Also, some of the top users on the site are former military guys. Snoop around a little and you should find them no problem.

7/5/16

Thanks for all the responses. I figured my best chances were focusing on the linguistic and analyst work experiences. I studied Chinese (Mandarin) and farsi/Dari, but spent most of my career focused on the Middle East. I figured that would be my best bet. I know I need to try and draw the focus from no previous finance work, so I will have to work on that. I spent most of the day searching around other posts and there's been a lot of helpful information. Thanks again for the advice!

7/5/16

If you're not looking to work in NYC but are fluent (business fluent that is) in Mandarin, go for HK! Maybe even Dubai considering your past experience.

7/5/16

Former CTI here, sent you PM.

7/5/16

Yeah, I love Dubai so i thought that route would be perfect, just trying to sell it to the wife and kids will be the hardest part. After 7 years, she is still the only person I can't negotiate with. :) Will larger banks conduct the interviews here or are they looking for someone overseas already? Is there a preference for native speakers, or would a non-native like myself have a good shot as well?

7/5/16

Wtf, that's a lot of random ass monkey shit.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

6/28/15

A few general points.

1) Start grooming future recommenders as soon as you get out of training, and put them in a position to make objectively great comments such as "I rated BigApeMike as #1 out of 30 Lieutenants under my command". Just because you aren't staying in the military doesn't mean you can say "fuck you" to an asshole boss....especially given that it raises question marks when you are unable to provide recommendations from recent supervisors.

1.b.) I found that one out the hard way, although in my defense the guy was bad enough that he caused a half dozen junior officers to drop their separation packets early (and yes, I'm serious).

2) Second the comments about the GI Bill.

3) Take your GMAT early if you're still sharp in math, and if you're not take as much time as you can to prepare otherwise. I've recommend elsewhere that people get into the habit of doing a few math questions every day to keep your "math mind" sharp and I repeat that advice here. GMATclub.com has a huge (and free) question bank.

4) Since you GPA is fine, not much to improve on there. Only thing I can think of to better prepare academically would be to take one of the seminar type courses such as HBS's "CoreX" program or completing.

5) Branch matters. GET PHYSICALLY IN SHAPE, TACTICALLY PROFICIENT, AND OWN YOUR ASSESSMENT CAMP. Your goal is to be rated as an "Excellent"(E) cadet or gain an award there if possible. Do that and maintain your GPA and you should have your pick of the litter when it comes to what branch you want to be in. If you're dead set on an elite MBA your first choice should be a combat arms branch (Infantry, Cavalry, Artillery, Engineers) or the finance branch. Also great is your health is good enough to pass a flight physical you can branch Aviation and try for a pilot's slot. I've witnessed in a lot of peers that the cool factor of being a pilot is a major advantage in both business school recruiting and job hunting.

6) Once you've joined the service get in touch with an organization called the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. They have a significant veterans network at BB and EB firms(and a few lower tier AM companies) as well as excellent relationships with company recruiters. Earlier this year I got to go on a job shadow day, travel expenses paid for,at a large firm courtesy of them. You also can get help with your licensing.

7) And last one: make sure you're damn good with both Excel and Powerpoint before you commission. When you're a combat leader everything you do is reported in PowerPoint or Excel format, and when you're a staff officer everything you do IS PowerPoint or Excel work. Being able to create good presentations is one of the best ways to make a good impression on superiors, partly due to organizational culture(The Army is extremely power-point obsessed) and part of it is because your PowerPoint reports are how your boss's boss is most frequently going to be exposed to your work.

7/5/16

Well I don't have experience, but I don't know what the point is in getting a masters in finance when you have an MBA. I would look at some ways the Air Force or your MBA school can set you up with some investment bank or internship through various alumni. Your experience seem good enough to warrant a second look from a company.

7/5/16

At this point, for you, its all networking. With an MBA and your current age, I would bet starting as an analyst isn't a reality. I'm not in banking but also hope to be a banker and have been researching it for a while now--so take what I say with a grain of salt. I think your best bet is reaching out through alumni (both Georgia and UT). If you have any service academy graduates as friends in the military, see if they have any networks they can help you out with--West Point, Naval Academy, and USAFA all have a significant presence on wall street, especially the first two. You need finance experience to get into PE, so I would manage expectations and shoot for a middle-market bank, possibly starting in the back office and then trying to transition to the front office. I have talked to a lot of bankers and heard a lot of different stories, so the bottom line is have some hutspah and be diligent in your efforts. One thing I would really recommend is having some deep reflection on your life's direction and if banking is where you really want to be, and follow that up with informational meetings with people in the business.

7/5/16

Thank you for the quick feedback, and definitely understand I have to manage my expectation since I am going in with minimal experience. Since my MBA is not from a top tier school, thus the decision to go back for a MFin from a top/second tier school (and its totally free courtesy of the post 9/11 GI Bill).

Anyone has attended BC, BU, or IU MFin program?

6/28/15

Also here's an obligatory word of warnign: don't expect your "veteran" status alone to carry much weight. A mediocre record without a good GPA and/or resume to back it up is worth about $50 grand a year, working 80 hours a week, putting up power lines in the middle of bum-fuck nowhere or $60 grand annually driving a freight train.

Keep your GPA high, network within the organization to get leadership positions, and keep up leadership in community organizations while you are in the military.

7/5/16

It's possible, there are definitely former military guys in finance so your best bet is going to be to try and network with them. I don't know if an MBA is necessary, but if networking fails it will definitely help. Because (in my experience) military guys generally hold each other in high regard you should have a chance at getting through the door at least to a first round interview if you network your ass off. Make sure to check out the Breaking into Wall Street series for how to kill the interviews, though, you want to prepare your ass off for the interviews just like anyone else would.

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

7/5/16

If you want to be an associate, you might have to go for an MBA unless you have some pre-military finance experience. One of the reasons to get an MBA is that it lets someone with significant and impressive -- but not finance-related -- work experience rebrand himself as a financier, and that's basically you. Everyone will respect your time serving, and you could probably go right for an analyst stint if you wanted to with your undergrad degree, but if you want to come in at the associate level at a major firm you probably don't have the experience.

One of those lights, slightly brighter than the rest, will be my wingtip passing over.

7/5/16
glm1510:

Hello,

I am currently a human intelligence officer in the Army with 2yrs left on my contract. I would love to get into investment banking after my contract is up and more specifically im wanting to target an associate position. I have a double major in Finance and Business Management and will have 3yrs of active duty in the army as both a 2nd and 1st luitenient on my resume. Would you think this is enough to get me in the door with a respectable firm or am I going to need to get further education ie my MBA. I would really like to go directly in the industry and not have to take the time off right now for my MBA, which I am not opposed to, just for timeline purposes am adverse to doing right now. So basically I am open to all suggestions and advice on how I can best make myself marketable and my resume competitive enough to get me into the investment banking world.

Thanks

Just make sure you check the spelling and grammer in your resume

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

7/5/16
AG0311:
glm1510:

Hello,

I am currently a human intelligence officer in the Army with 2yrs left on my contract. I would love to get into investment banking after my contract is up and more specifically im wanting to target an associate position. I have a double major in Finance and Business Management and will have 3yrs of active duty in the army as both a 2nd and 1st luitenient on my resume. Would you think this is enough to get me in the door with a respectable firm or am I going to need to get further education ie my MBA. I would really like to go directly in the industry and not have to take the time off right now for my MBA, which I am not opposed to, just for timeline purposes am adverse to doing right now. So basically I am open to all suggestions and advice on how I can best make myself marketable and my resume competitive enough to get me into the investment banking world.

Thanks

Just make sure you check the spelling and grammer in your resume

Just make sure you spell grammar correctly when you're criticizing someone's spelling & grammar.

7/5/16

Is it me or is there a different post from a military officer trying to get into banking or an MBA program every week?

7/5/16

AHAHAHHA nice one WCM. But glm, he does have a point. Perfection is pretty much expected when you're looking for a job on Wall Street. If your emails are riddled with grammatical/spelling mistakes even while you're just trying to network, people will probably just blow them off.

@buyside: I think it's more like once, maybe twice a month, but they should be using the search function anyways

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer
"Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee

7/5/16

very misleading thread title

7/5/16

Same thing with me. I am planning to go to OCS after I graduate, and then onto B-School.

7/5/16

they like officers better than enlisted

Goldman Sachs just offered a Goldman Sachs Veterans internship program. It is 8 weeks and paid. Starting from April to June. They offer the internship for all their divisions. You get to have lunch with senior staff. The program is once a year.

you can check out www.veteransonwallstreet.com VOW

7/5/16

don't worry dude they know that without you guys the system would fall apart. of course they are going to cut you in. one of my bosses is a USNA grad who spent five years in submarines before starting his WS career.

7/5/16

I'm seriously considering this route as well, via IDF.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

7/5/16
Sandhurst:

I'm seriously considering this route as well, via IDF.

Are you from Israel? Well, good luck man. I really respect the IDF, and man for man, I think it is the best military force in the world.

Or are you a American who wants to serve in the IDF because of your religion or ethnicity? That's is fucked up and I absolutely hate people who do that. American Citizens who serve in a foreign military should be forced to renounce American Citizenship and be banned for life from entering the United States.

7/5/16
JamesHetfield:
Sandhurst:

I'm seriously considering this route as well, via IDF.

Are you from Israel? Well, good luck man. I really respect the IDF, and man for man, I think it is the best military force in the world.

Or are you a American who wants to serve in the IDF because of your religion or ethnicity? That's is fucked up and I absolutely hate people who do that. American Citizens who serve in a foreign military should be forced to renounce American Citizenship and be banned for life from entering the United States.

Born to Israeli citizens, in the States. Technically, I'm a dual citizen. To be honest, if I had to pick one, it would be very difficult.

"There are three ways to make a living in this business: be first, be smarter, or cheat."

7/5/16
Sandhurst:
JamesHetfield:
Sandhurst:

I'm seriously considering this route as well, via IDF.

Are you from Israel? Well, good luck man. I really respect the IDF, and man for man, I think it is the best military force in the world.

Or are you a American who wants to serve in the IDF because of your religion or ethnicity? That's is fucked up and I absolutely hate people who do that. American Citizens who serve in a foreign military should be forced to renounce American Citizenship and be banned for life from entering the United States.

Born to Israeli citizens, in the States. Technically, I'm a dual citizen. To be honest, if I had to pick one, it would be very difficult.

Do you think Obama should serve in the Kenyan military? Too many people in America would have foreign allegiances if it were up to your logic. I am not a U.S. Citizen myself, but on my way to becoming one. And right now, I am thinking about joining the U.S. military primarily because I am so thankful for what this country has given me. You were born in the U.S. and if not anything you should be thankful that you can live in relative peace and safety here. It is not the fucking IDF that gave up their lives in Afghanistan because 9-11 happened (which could have happened to anyone living in the U.S.), it is the U.S. Forces composed of every race, religion and even immigrants who are not citizens of this great country.

I am confused about why anyone who was born in America, would not be loyal to the United States. I sympathize with Israel and it lives in a bad neighborhood, but I want America's interests to come first, and I feel like the opposite is true.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/israel-death...

7/5/16
JamesHetfield:
Sandhurst:
JamesHetfield:
Sandhurst:

I'm seriously considering this route as well, via IDF.

Are you from Israel? Well, good luck man. I really respect the IDF, and man for man, I think it is the best military force in the world.

Or are you a American who wants to serve in the IDF because of your religion or ethnicity? That's is fucked up and I absolutely hate people who do that. American Citizens who serve in a foreign military should be forced to renounce American Citizenship and be banned for life from entering the United States.

Born to Israeli citizens, in the States. Technically, I'm a dual citizen. To be honest, if I had to pick one, it would be very difficult.

Do you think Obama should serve in the Kenyan military? Too many people in America would have foreign allegiances if it were up to your logic. I am not a U.S. Citizen myself, but on my way to becoming one. And right now, I am thinking about joining the U.S. military primarily because I am so thankful for what this country has given me. You were born in the U.S. and if not anything you should be thankful that you can live in relative peace and safety here. It is not the fucking IDF that gave up their lives in Afghanistan because 9-11 happened (which could have happened to anyone living in the U.S.), it is the U.S. Forces composed of every race, religion and even immigrants who are not citizens of this great country.

I am confused about why anyone who was born in America, would not be loyal to the United States. I sympathize with Israel and it lives in a bad neighborhood, but I want America's interests to come first, and I feel like the opposite is true.

http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/israel-death...

Don't judge. Guy can do what he wants. That's part of being an American. Besides, it's not like our interests aren't going to be aligned anytime soon. They should just make it the 51st state and get it over with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=izUkZpTft2w&feature...

7/5/16

It won't hurt your chances of breaking in at all. As a matter of fact, having military background as an officer actually helps you quite a bit. A lot of Ivy B-schools really love military guys, especially Air Force/Marines. The numbers from some of them make it look like the Army does really well in placement, but it's actually very low considering the number of total applicants coming from each service. The Air Force has a lot of bright minds in the officer ranks and the Marine Corps is known for getting the job done without necessarily having all of the latest and greatest toys that the other branches enjoy (I can speak to this as I was in the Marines).

7/5/16

Maybe I should join the military after I graduate, how long do you have to be in the marine, airforce or army for, four years right?

7/5/16

It depends. Officers have a different requirement that is less of a fixed term, but it is different for every branch and job within each branch. Pilots are typically 5 or 6 years compared to infantry who can typically do 4 and be done.

7/5/16

Former Army Ranger getting set for undergrad here. From what I've seen in the military, my recommendation would be to go for banking while you have the opportunity. Maybe use OCS as a plan B if you don't get a job offer you like? The military is an interesting experience when you're an 18 year old kid, but I tended to get aggravated with the chain of command. Ranger Battalion was great, but everywhere else I went drove me nuts. Anyone with any fire in their gut leaves the service in a few years, with a few exceptions. An E-7 or above that is worth his weight in shit is rare to come by, and that's primarily who you'll be dealing with as a junior officer. Not to mention being an officer has a while other level of politics and shit that I personally wouldn't want to deal with whatsoever while sacrificing the action. Think long and hard before you decide, and really make sure that what you pick fits in with your idea of serving your country, because it can be hard to justify why you do your job pretty easily. My recommendation if you decide to enlist would be to go infantry. Most tolerable colleagues, and it's an amazing experience. Marine Force Recon, SEALS, and Ranger Battalion/Special Forces is a hell of a period in your life to look back on.

I've never heard of any kind of, for lack of a better word, bias against enlisted guys. I'm going to lean pretty heavily on my experience as a Ranger to show I can handle the hard work and long hours of IB when the time comes. Am I right in thinking that is going to score some points?.

7/5/16
Romneybot:

I've never heard of any kind of, for lack of a better word, bias against enlisted guys. I'm going to lean pretty heavily on my experience as a Ranger to show I can handle the hard work and long hours of IB when the time comes. Am I right in thinking that is going to score some points?.

It'll score you some points, but keep in mind the people interviewing you are mostly associates and VPs who haven't served in the military. In other words, they need to believe they can manage you without feeling inadequate, so use your military experience to your advantage, but don't over do it.

"One should recognize reality even when one doesn't like it, indeed, especially when one doesn't like it." - Charlie Munger

7/5/16
Romneybot:

Former Army Ranger getting set for undergrad here. From what I've seen in the military, my recommendation would be to go for banking while you have the opportunity. Maybe use OCS as a plan B if you don't get a job offer you like? The military is an interesting experience when you're an 18 year old kid, but I tended to get aggravated with the chain of command. Ranger Battalion was great, but everywhere else I went drove me nuts. Anyone with any fire in their gut leaves the service in a few years, with a few exceptions. An E-7 or above that is worth his weight in shit is rare to come by, and that's primarily who you'll be dealing with as a junior officer. Not to mention being an officer has a while other level of politics and shit that I personally wouldn't want to deal with whatsoever while sacrificing the action. Think long and hard before you decide, and really make sure that what you pick fits in with your idea of serving your country, because it can be hard to justify why you do your job pretty easily. My recommendation if you decide to enlist would be to go infantry. Most tolerable colleagues, and it's an amazing experience. Marine Force Recon, SEALS, and Ranger Battalion/Special Forces is a hell of a period in your life to look back on.

I've never heard of any kind of, for lack of a better word, bias against enlisted guys. I'm going to lean pretty heavily on my experience as a Ranger to show I can handle the hard work and long hours of IB when the time comes. Am I right in thinking that is going to score some points?.

No offense meant by what I'm about to say because I respect everyone who serves in the military at least to some small degree, but this statement confirms why the Marine Corps is so much better to serve in than the Army. I know many people from other branches tend to think it's bullshit, but the discipline and dedication that you learn in the Marines is much different than the experiences you'll have in the Army. This begins with the differences in the structure of boot camp and continues in the rules and regulations that Marines follow, but the other branches do not. Any Marine would tell you that joining before going into the work force would be a huge benefit, not the other way around as the above poster mentioned.

7/5/16

Branches really don't matter. They all merge together at SOCOM anyways, and that's where you learn how to be a disciplined professional, rather than an obnoxious, irrationally proud jarhead (not making a claim about the poster above me, but I'm sure he knows the type) or a douchey POG who's life is dedicated to catching soldiers with their uniforms out of regulation. The point is that you have to look at the military as a time where you better yourself. If you start using it to define yourself, you're almost guaranteed to turn into an insufferable prick. If you take everything you're told with a grain of salt and don't drink the koolaid, it can be a really positive experience. There's no positives to being indoctrinated.

7/5/16

I agree with Romneybot. You have to use the experience to your advantage and avoid becoming the types he described.

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