I'm at a serious dilemma here, I'm considering to go for officer in the Belgian army, mainly for the 5 year education at the same level of that of a university. But on the other hand i don't feel the need to go to a f' ing stone-age craphole to get my leg blown off by a 7 year old girl with a suicide bomb for a cause i don't believe in. Otherwise i'd go to the university of Leuven to study history, but i have my doubts about the proportion of military history i'd be seeing as opposed to the education in the military officer school. I really don't know what do do.
What cause? Once you join the military politics go flying out the window. All that you care about is getting you and the people next to you home safely.
If you have any doubts, don't do it.
You will _not_ get a 'same-as-university-level' education. You may get interesting and useful leadership and decision-making skills, but that's different.
As for military history, it is not much of a career kick-starter. Take classes (one of the great things about a university is that you can sit in on anything you want in a ton of different fields, that's a main reason you go there -- at Berkeley, I took a bunch of military history lectures with the ROTC people as part of doing an international relations and economics degree) but unless you really want to do research and write books for a living, I'd strongly recommend keeping it a hobby.
FuzzyBunny;3410573No, but your Lt. Governor is kind of a moron (at least she was when she explained to a conference room full of security professionals why Indiana needed $5 billion worth of DHS funding to fight agroterrorism...collective groan.) I don't think you can generalize. Most of the people I know who've been in the armed forces (US, at least) are pretty quiet decent types, including not few who left because they were just so assed off about the venal bureaucratic b.s. they had to put up with. There are always nutjobs, though.
Pssh, don't get me started on the topic of women in politics or men that act like women when faced with a real problem to solve. What did Aaahnold call them - girly men? Even a Republican... :) And Fuzzy, you are correct about over generalization and I am off base here a tad. Military service is like belong to a corporation - you have all types involved for all different reasons. Each has its pwn culture and character. Most miltary people I have met while working for the USN had left military service and had gone on to continue civil service in another manner. Techs, administrators, etc. Certainly a smaller subset of the larger population. And I think each one, no matter how rotten or good they were previously, had gained something positive from the experience. Bueno?
Gen'l Knight;3412361And I think each one, no matter how rotten or good they were previously, had gained something positive from the experience. Bueno?
Yeah, my friend Ben, world champion girl watcher (in fact, the most talented girl watcher in the world -- "know what it is about women with big noses? They're all sex maniacs"), former merchant sailor, fellow UC Berkeley grad and US Army captain of rocket artillery, who quit in disgust at the venal corrupt incompetence of his chain of command (and after being stationed in Arkansas for 3 years despite the promise of a posting abroad, anywhere abroad) gained a positive contact at the PX in Heidelberg where he got to drive up occasionally and pick up a minivan full of the biggest juiciest fark-off steaks in all of continental Europe...
So I guess, uh, yeah. Positive, as long as it's not me going through it. Although one of those steaks was almost worth having a psychopathic ignoramus who couldn't succeed anywhere else in professional life screaming at you to do more pull ups...
Good luck with your choice Gnar_Kill!=D
Gnar, good luck indeed. You're about to embark on the event that almost certainly you will look back on as having made you the man you will become. It'll be tough, but you are far, far tougher than you know. The human body and spirit can take infinitely more abuse than people think. The DIs will scream, but you'll find that doesn't hurt you at all. You'll run and run and run til you puke, and do pushups until your entire body trembles, but EVERYBODY will feel the same way, and it will NOT kill you by a long shot. In fact, after about the first two weeks you'll start thinking you may make it after all.
The trick is to mentally and emotionally hang tough for two weeks. Then, as you start seeing undeniable signs that your body and mind are toughening, that confidence will begin to grow. And you're on your way.
Because all the pain is temporary. It won't last. But being a US Marine does last - forever. You'll notice that retired soldiers and sailors and airmen all refer to themselves as "ex-" or "former" - but you will NEVER hear an old Marine say he's "former"- he's a Marine until he dies, by God, and so will you be in a little over three months. And no one will ever be able to take it away from you.
And I disagree with Fuzzy about the military not being much of a career-kick-starter, particularly the Marine Corps. I've never met a Marine officer in my entire life who wasn't successful as a civilian. And the discipline you learn in the Corps, plus the ability to laugh at the comparatively paltry stresses of school or business, will put you miles ahead in being ready to deal with just aout anything life has to throw at you.
jumjum;3412442And I disagree with Fuzzy about the military not being much of a career-kick-starter, particularly the Marine Corps. I've never met a Marine officer in my entire life who wasn't successful as a civilian. And the discipline you learn in the Corps, plus the ability to laugh at the comparatively paltry stresses of school or business, will put you miles ahead in being ready to deal with just aout anything life has to throw at you.
Except for battlefield promotions, about which I'm unsure (and I don't think there have been many in the last 50 years), US armed forces officers are required to have a bachelor's degree, no? So you're talking about a reasonably educated segment of the population in the first place.
That said, I stand by my point about it not being a "kick starter". Not as much as a hindrance as service as an enlisted man or NCO (statistically, young veterans suffer twice the national unemployment average.) Add to that a lot of people who've seen combat who have a lot of trouble re-adjusting to civilian life, and I'll take the cozy civvie caree path any old time.
Again, if you're doing it for ideological reasons, power to you, but I _really_ dispute anyone claiming that enlistment in any Western army nowadays will help your career (unless you go into politics.)