Thinking of quitting my job and pursuing military (18X or AFSOC) - Experiences?

Link_REDev's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 677

Long short about me:
Age-26
Job- Real Estate Development/Acquisitions
Compensation: Base of $110k w/ bonuses (performance & deal related) about $170-180k this year (I made about $140k last year

Problem: I am bored as fuck and the path forward is lucrative but I feel like I need to do something more with my life before I am on the path to monetary success. Growing up I was a 'naval cadet' w/ a SEAL specialization and yes it was a cadet experience, not the actual thing, etc etc shit was fucking cash rolling around an urban setup with the Miles system slamming blanks at each other. I can't stop thinking of it and how I am missing out on the opportunity to do something interesting before I 'retire' myself to a 9-5 job. I had a sit down with one of my VPs and he said the best decision he made in his life was a stint in the Navy before he turned 30, and he believes it defines who he is. I also have two friends who have gone 18X and they are pushing me to do it knowing I (hopefully) should succeed and will enjoy it.

The other problem is my gig is pretty sweet and although I am not materialistic by any means, I enjoy making money.

Has anyone ever been in this position? Input? Advice? I don't want to live with regrets

Comments (86)

Oct 25, 2018

Similar position, also interested.

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Oct 25, 2018

Not in the same position as you by any stretch of the imagination. However, the military has always been an interest of mine but I never went for it (but I'm 22).

18X and AFSOC are legit. Just make sure you know how long the commitment is (I know SEALs are required to be in for 6 years but frequently stay in much longer). SFQS is tough and has a high dropout/fail but I'm sure you already know that. And (last time I checked), you can get through SFQS but still not be accepted into further training, but if you got into RE Dev you're probably a likable person anyway.

We only get one shot at this life. Might as well do what you think is best.

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Oct 25, 2018

Sign up for CCT

It has the best training pipeline in all of SOCOM and is nestled in a very nice division within the SOCOM community and has JSOC presence through the 24 - out of Pope (Tier 1 assets). There is much room to grow with a highly technical skillset for very challenging missions.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 25, 2018

I would think most people here would be interested in OCS, considering the amount of schooling already obtained.

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Oct 25, 2018
Edifice:

I would think most people here would be interested in OCS, considering the amount of schooling already obtained.

Are you talking to me?

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 26, 2018
Isaiah_53_5:

Sign up for CCT

It has the best training pipeline in all of SOCOM and is nestled in a very nice division within the SOCOM community and has JSOC presence through the 24 - out of Pope (Tier 1 assets). There is much room to grow with a highly technical skillset for very challenging missions.

That's the thought, I find aircraft more interesting then medical

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Oct 25, 2018

I'm in a very similar position and often have similar thoughts; have considered options like that as well. At the end of it, I assume it wouldn't be too hard to get back into finance at around 30-32 yrs old?

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Oct 25, 2018

I've seen some people who served and came back into various roles. I mostly look at CRE roles since that's my niche, but I've met/ seen on LinkedIn several guys who went into the military then back into high paying really cool positions.

Worst case, you could probably get an MBA afterwards and do internships/ get recruited afterwards. Not sure if GI Bill covers MBA or at least partially covers.. something to look into.

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Oct 26, 2018
SponsorPromote:

I've seen some people who served and came back into various roles. I mostly look at CRE roles since that's my niche, but I've met/ seen on LinkedIn several guys who went into the military then back into high paying really cool positions.

Worst case, you could probably get an MBA afterwards and do internships/ get recruited afterwards. Not sure if GI Bill covers MBA or at least partially covers.. something to look into.

Also the thought, everyone I work with is 34-35 years old, what's 6-8 years for me? Will put me in my mid-30's with an MBA. Not a big deal in my eyes

Oct 25, 2018

I was in a combat arms specialty as an enlisted guy in the Army. It's nothing like the recruiting commercial (or at least not most of the time) but go for it...if I could do it over I'd still make the same decision. I have a lot more thoughts on this but that's the high level overview.

Side note: never heard a single person say miles gear was fun until now. In reality it doesnt function properly 90% of the time.

Oct 26, 2018
Personofwalmart:

I was in a combat arms specialty as an enlisted guy in the Army. It's nothing like the recruiting commercial (or at least not most of the time) but go for it...if I could do it over I'd still make the same decision. I have a lot more thoughts on this but that's the high level overview.

Side note: never heard a single person say miles gear was fun until now. In reality it doesnt function properly 90% of the time.

I think it's because we were 16 acting 'tactical'

Most Helpful
Oct 25, 2018

In this day in age you're going to be doing jack shit. There are no units deploying anywhere remotely active. Maybe 10 years ago it would have been worth it but we are out of Afghanistan and Iraq. Being in a garrison army during a no conflict period sucks. You'll spend 40% of the time doing training that's probably underfunded and poorly planned cause there's no incentive for people to work hard for the actual fight and the rest of the time doing admin work cause your soldiers/marines/airmen/sailors get in trouble for bar fights, domestic disputes, or worse.

Being in the military during a no conflict period is like being a banker without any dealflow. You spend months training for a particular skill set to only have nothing come your way to actually hone it. You're also not guaranteed to pass 18x so you might get kicked down to lower prestigious infantry units which I'm not sure you'll enjoy cause there's a few bad ones.

Look a lot of people enjoy their experience (the training, unique experiences, neat tricks) but they usually say that looking back in hindsight. Most of my buddies are trying hard to get out right now given the hot market. If you really want to give it a try, shoot for a spot in the national guard or reserves where it's one weekend a month. Don't sacrifice the career you built up for something that might not pan out cause you think the grass is greener. Trust me if shit actually goes down, all of us will get called into service where you'll earn your true stripes.

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Oct 25, 2018

Kid wtf are you talking about?

"no incentive for people to work hard for the atual fight"
"lower prestigious infantry units" "a few bad ones"
"true stripes"

Ignore this guy...

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Funniest
Oct 25, 2018

You know this guy served in Delta Force SEAL unit Black Ops Double Prestige Recon blue tiger stripe, right? He was there in Modern Warfare 1, 2, and 3. And he didn't play wimpy non prestigious death match. He played free for all on HARDCORE mode. He knows what he's talking about.

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Dec 12, 2018

He's mostly right that Iraq/Afghanistan have toned down bit from 10 years ago. If you want combat now, without joining SOF--go in as a combat engineer/EOD and do route clearance, they're the people who use fancy vehicles to find IEDs by driving over them. So your job will be to find the IEDs, doesn't matter if you find them by radar sensors, or eyeballs or you drive over them and blow up under you, you FOUND the IED--mission accomplished. It's a hair brain assignment, and reserve/national guard engineer units are getting consistent rotations to Afghanistan/Iraq for route clearance and you'd be leading the SEALS/infantry and other SOF components because they can never go anywhere that is not cleared. Combat engineers are the craziest yet humble people who don't need fancy titles like SEALS or SF to flash their worth, or walk around with sterile uniforms--like bitch please, we know who you are. Route clearance engineers are a bit on the reckless side with a screw or two lose, but you'll love being part of their community and all SOF people silently respect you, and getting paid to BLOW things up isn't too bad.

Oct 25, 2018
Rashers:

you'd be leading the SEALS/infantry and other SOF components because they can never go anywhere that is not cleared.

CCT missions don't always have cleared zones like this. This is why their motto is "First There." Sometimes a CCT person is sent in before this crew shows up. The CCT guy might drop in on a HAHO to glide in up to 50mi outside of the target country and setup shop to pave the way for the Rangers arrival or SEAL team to come take out the target, unless the CCT dude was just sent in to verify a target to paint GPS coordinates on the location for an air strike.

http://www.sgtmacsbar.com/Articles/Shoot/Shoot.html "Combat Controllers are tasked with guiding aircraft into unimproved or recently liberated airfields. In addition, they may make temporary fields for use by aircraft, cutting trees or in some cases removing mines from the potential landing site. They may also have to remove obstacles placed on airfields.

Combat controllers can use HALO/HAHO techniques, SCUBA, ATVs, or plain old walking in to infiltrate an area before a large drop to set up and mark the drop zone. If an airfield was to be seized by an airborne drop, Combat Controllers would jump with the assaulting force to set up as an on-site friendly ATC to guide in incoming transports that would be used to resupply and strengthen the airfield assault force."

https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Ar... "The mission of a combat controller is to deploy, undetected, into combat and hostile environments to establish assault zones or airfields, while simultaneously conducting air traffic control, fire support, command and control, direct action, counter-terrorism, foreign internal defense, humanitarian assistance and special reconnaissance in the joint arena.

Their motto, "First There," reaffirms the combat controller's commitment to undertaking the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines by leading the way for other forces to follow."

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 12, 2018

Multiple SF, ARSOF, and Rangers have been KIA over the past month or two in the Middle East.

Just because we're not in a large-scale conflict period doesn't mean high speed guys aren't off fighting the bad guys. The less you hear about them, the better they're doing.

Dec 12, 2018

Ofcourse. But getting those missions are super competitive today, mostly going to seasoned commanders or those who've been in for a while. Substantial amount of those KIAs have been IEDs, aviation, and insider. You might as well recommend he/she join the Culinary Institute of America in the Mid East/South Asia division as an ops officer for a 5yr contract if willing to learn the language bc there arent many people who want to go there for a tour, (khost still seems like yesterday for many of them) and it's dumb career wise considering the strategic shift into Great Power competition against Russia/China/N.Korea--that's where all the hot analysts and operaters want to be at now. But but but, if recruiting relatives and friends of terrorists to create targeting packages for drone strikes sounds fun, there's a place for you.

Oct 26, 2018

I'm in a similar position. Currently on track to be an officer through ROTC, but got a BB offer and I'm not sure which one I want to go through with. I did a few years enlisted and really didn't like it, but doing things like riding in Chinooks and shooting machine guns is pretty rad. I'm torn, can't figure out if I want the freedom to live my own life or the excitement of the military.

For someone in your position I don't think it would be worth it to toss your good job for something that you might not actually love once you're committed. The military can be hard, and if you want to to anything with a TS clearance I sure hope your history is clean. I'm sure there are ways you could give your life more meaning. Maybe volunteer for an officer spot in the Guard like @fratlax said, or work for a few more years and then find an opportunity that aligns more with your passions like working for Vail Resorts acquisitions? idk or something if you're into skiing.

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Oct 26, 2018

I can't believe the comments. You'd leave a 110k job with high potential for growth at 26 to join the military as a junior officer making less than half of what you're making now? That's crazy.

Keep your job, trust me. I recently got out and I couldn't wait to get out, only thing that kept me going was the potential to get a high paying job afterwards with my military experience.
I'm positive that this is a quarter-life crisis for you.
Like someone said above, join the reserve or something.

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Oct 25, 2018
Romain-Mar:

I can't believe the comments. You'd leave a 110k job with high potential for growth at 26 to join the military as a junior officer making less than half of what you're making now? That's crazy.

So what did you think of Pat Tillman?

"was a professional American football player in the National Football League (NFL) who left his sports career and enlisted in the United States Army in June 2002 in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks."

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/ec/Corporal_Patrick_Tillman.jpg/220px-Corporal_Patrick_Tillman.jpg

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 12, 2018

.

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Oct 26, 2018

Now, I have never been in SF, but during my conscription service I was what is equivalent to long-range reconnaissance / ranger-lite. Either way, our leadership were from SF. Our Captain (company leader) had served multiple tours in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, working alongside allied SF (particularly American and UK), so we were pushed pretty hard.

Some parts of the duties are extremely boring. Imagine being in a 2-3 man observation post for 2 weeks, where you all piss and shit in bags / bottles, and just keep watch through a scope / binoculars, writing down movement. Nothing more. Does that sound fun? Yeah, the pros can do that for weeks.

From what we were told, a lot of"real life" SF duties are fairly non-dramatic and tedious. First in, last out. Training foreign troops. Long, long periods in observation posts. Hiking miles upon miles with all the equipment you need. more observation posts.

Take a couple of weeks off work, set up camp in the forest (bring 3 days worth of rations and bottles), and start observing some particular point. 3-6 hours on, 3-6 hours sleep. Write down everything you observe. Pack up quietly, and retreat back home by foot.

If that feels unbearable, now imagine doing that for weeks, in much worse weather.

Dec 12, 2018

Unless he/she does SEALS where axes, tomahawks and sharp branches are actually used on combatants, or goes MARSOC where they're still trying to prove their relevance in the SOF community by taking on the craziest fucking tasks from SOCOM.

Oct 26, 2018

What happens if you wash out. Getting a special ops billet is different from making it though.

You can easily end up in some less than ideal role for a locked in time period.

Dec 12, 2018

It depends on which Special Operations Forces he/she tries for.

Army: SF, Ranger, Civil Affairs, Delta, 160th SOAR (can't sign into last two directly).

Army SF has National Guard units if a partial civilian life is desired--you go through SFAS and if you fail you have no commitment, once you pass SFAS and move on to Q course then you may have a commitment.

Ranger: Active only, fail, you move into Airbourne Infantry.

160th SOAR will usually only consider you after a few years of flying, but now they're desparate for people that they're taking pilots fresh from Rucker--1-2 per class, top 1 percent graduates only.

Marines: MARSOC--you can sign up into as a civilian. Active only. Recon also.

Navy: SEALS. Active only.

Airforce: PJs, can sign up as civilian and also have Air Guard units if partial civilian life is desired--they deploy regularly. Recent H-60 crash in Iraq was them and if you're in California, they do alot of fire support missions also.

CCT as someone else here gave a good pitch for.

Laslty if you have good health then try flying in the reserves or national guard. Rewarding work and pretty fun when in a good unit.

For clarification when I say National Guard/Air Guard, these are military units that are based on the State you live in--so you can choose where you serve as a member of the reserve components.

Aviation has a lot of engagement with SO, even if you're not in 160th or an SO aviator Airman. Most conventional units in active and national guard units work with SOF a lot.

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Oct 26, 2018

Plenty of money to be made later in life. Don't listen to these risk-adverse keyboard warriors who probably are either living in their parents basement or wondering why they can't get laid in college.

This will only get harder the longer you wait due to the longer if takes for your body to recovery from workouts + the mental dependency on your healthy salary. If this is really your calling, then take the plunge and don't look back. Just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into and adequately prepare. You da boss.

Dec 13, 2018
td12:

Plenty of money to be made later in life. Don't listen to these risk-adverse keyboard warriors who probably are either living in their parents basement or wondering why they can't get laid in college.

I had an employee who was a former special operations officer (rangers, I think). I really like the guy and we are still good friends, but... let's put it this way - our brain is a muscle and if you stop working out any particular muscle it withers away. So no, if you spend 10 years shooting rifles or digging trenches, you can't come back and "make the big bucks all over".

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Oct 26, 2018

i think if he is savvy enough to get to where he is now at just 26, then he will be savvy enough to carve out his path 4 years from now at 30-31. and he will benefit from the experiences and perspectives. sounds like cash isnt is only motivation in life. that said, there are clearly ancillary challenges that should be considered before making a move...

Dec 12, 2018

Joining the SO community is a huge deal, you'll need Total and Absolute commitment. You must be Crazy about SOF and believe doing the work is the Best and only thing in the world worth doing with your life. Any hesitation and ideas of doing this as a temporary reprieve to your boring desk job will be sniffed out fast, and you'll be tossed out faster than you can say "this was a mistake".

Moreover, you should be aware that you'd be giving up the base pay of a full bird Colonel with 20 years of service, to start as an 0-1 making 45k/year.

Consider a post in Washington, D.C. Join a reserve/national guard unit or serve as an Individual Augmentee for a high level staff. Recommend intel, civil affairs, aviation--prestige, but also high level engagement with other agencies and you actually use your brain to shape the world at a very young age. In addition to being mostly surrounded by smart and dedicated people who aren't sketchy. Yes, there are many with full blown criminal tendencies in the military, so it's good for your moral character and well being to avoid them.

Additionally, you want to be surrounded by people who make things move by being close to the Pentagon, as Kissinger said being close to power is a "powerful aphrodisiac". You'll be in good city where exit options are many and you can network and soiree yourself to exhaustion, the Saudi, French, and Indian embassies throw the best parties in town, and you'll also be next to many other powerful global organizations.

PE: Carlyle; Tech: Amazon and a bunch of other fat and under the radar startups that will recognize your finance know how; Major banks have aerospace and defense based there which is a smooth gig not just because their market cycles are consistent bc they're indexed on the federal government's unsurprisingly predictable funding cycle, but it also fucking cool being surrounded by Everyone with a stake on how the world will look like in the future.

If you post yourself in the middle of nowhere you'll have a miserable time and no reason to be there other than military work. Deployments are fun though.

In conclusion, know that you'd be giving up a lot of personal agency and placing yourself on the hands of a maddening bureaucracy that will add a few years from unnecessary stress because, yes, dumb people will have agency over you--because you'll be in an organization where meritocracy is an alien concept. There's a reason many of the smartest officers from the academies and other top schools flee once their first contracts are up.

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Oct 25, 2018
Rashers:

Joining the SO community is a huge deal, you'll need Total and Absolute commitment. You must be Crazy about SOF and believe doing the work is the Best and only thing in the world worth doing with your life.

Yes - it has to be like this.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Dec 12, 2018

This might be a good read for you: https://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/thoughts-from....
Two of the more salient excerpts:

"If you think all SEALs are PTing 4 hours a day, diving by day, jumping out of planes by night, and shooting until his hands bleed on the weekends, you are wrong. SEAL officers have to deal with personnel issues, budgets, training plans, gear accountablility, pack outs, and deployment matrices. "

...and

"Things aren't much better on deployment for more senior folks. You'll spend countless hours in video teleconferences coordinating operations, reading email traffic (hundreds of messages a day), and yes... building countless power point briefs and pitching operations."

I'm sure there are a lot of awesome experiences to be had in the Special Forces, but just be sure you're weighing the cons as well as the pros.

Dec 12, 2018

.

Dec 13, 2018

Not that Jocko knows everything, but he mentioned that if you feel the way you do that you can always go into the reserves. If you're going through basic training and love it (the brutal training, being yelled at, living conditions, as well as the fun stuff) then maybe enlist full time. Also, is it that you will feel unfulfilled without serving your country or will you feel unfulfilled only having a 9-5? In the latter case, get heavily involved in charity in your free time. Maybe go help inner city kids or other people who live hard lives. There are tons of ways to figure out what is really missing in your life, and getting shot at isn't necessarily it.

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Dec 13, 2018

I don't know how old this thread is (It looks like October of this year), but if the Op is still considering...

For SEALs, officer billets are difficult to get. Going in as enlisted carries a lot of risk. Between injury and failing, the chances are not in your favor. The other risk is that if you end up in Big Navy, there really isn't anything that fits the similar pipeline. For instance, if you go ARMY SF, if you don't make selection, you still might end up as a Ranger. If you fail Ranger school, you can still be Airborne. And so on.

Not discouraging one service for the other, but you're giving up a pretty good salary. Consider that before you make any decision.

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Dec 12, 2018

Exactly. How many egos of colonels immdediatley deflate every time they're reminded they earn less than a first year analyst.

Dec 13, 2018

I don't know if you are considering an MBA or a Masters in Real Estate or something like that but being in the military is a HUGE advantage when you apply. Business schools love people who put in the dedication necessary to be a success in the service. There is also a lot of money for veterans.

I have a client last year with a pretty mediocre GMAT (620) who got a full ride to a top-20 Midwest school. There are scholarship just for veterans and sometimes business schools have more scholarships than students.

Obviously, upping your chances to attend a top b-school is not a reason to go - if your only goal is to get into business school, there are easier ways of doing it rather than devoting 6 years of your life to something (even if it is a great cause).

Good luck.

Harold Simansky
Senior MBA Admissions Counselor
Stratus Admissions Counseling
[email protected]

If you wish to speak to me directly through a free consult click
www.stratusadmissions.com/consult

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Dec 12, 2018

It's a great cause that has been quite misguided in the past 17 years.

Oct 25, 2018
Comment

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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Oct 25, 2018
Comment

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

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