T Nation

T-Nationers In The Military


I'm 17 and am thinkin about joinin the service. I have sat down and talked with a NAVY recruiter, sounds like they got alot of careers that I could go into and enjoy. Does anyone have some stories of their experiences and what would be the best way to join? Join enlisted and get experience or go do some NROTC and get my degree then enter as an officer. I got a predicted 75 on the ASVAB and think I could do better so there is not much to keep me from anything. I have a good background and patriotism is my life. Navy seals? Marines? Thanks


Patriotism is your life? You are 17. What are your grades like? There is nothing wrong at all with joining the service. I think it is a great career choice for many. However, the "patriotism is my life" line comes across like someone who hasn't actually had that much experience in life but looks up to a few people who have been in the military. I personally would recommend you get a degree first, however, the final choice is up to you. You learn a lot about yourself, what drives you, your limits and your overall direction in life during those college years. I couldn't imagine giving up all of the experiences I had in college and I realize fully now that I was nowhere near "grown up" at that age. My personal opinion is that you spend this time of your life OPENING even more options, not closing yourself off to them. But that's just me. For the record, I am military. However, my education was complete before I joined.


I get some good grades, have about a 3.5 GPA and a 25 ACT, I didn't mean to put it as "life" but am a high supporter of my country and would want to defend it given the oppurtunity. I haven't taken any rotc but plan to if going to college. Thanks for the info. AMERICA OI OI OI


Thanks for the info, I didn't mean patriotism as "life" but am supportive of my country and am willing to defend if given a chance and am just opening the military as a career choice of one of my priorities. I think it could build great character and "accelerate my life" hahaha AMERICA OI OI OI


Right on, man. I am a Marine. An infantry officer and black belt martial arts instructor (in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program...MCMAP). I highly encourage you to join the military. Just know that it is a gut check and mentally trying. And the cool commercials are for real, but it takes a while to get to do the high speed stuff that they advertise. Stay away from drugs and alcohol, that will only goof up your chances of getting in, not to mention they are bad for your health. College was good to go, one on hand, while the young enlisted Marines I work with are my heroes. Either way, go for it (Marines, oo-rah).


I have read up on the marines sight does everyone do the martial arts? I understand the belts work their ways up in colors like tan green black and black is most superior like in karate, what other type of training does the marines use? Have you been to war? Cool stuff man thanks for the info


Hey man, I'm a former infantry Marine. I'm a freshman in college now and honestly, I miss the military. If you decide to join the Marines, it won't be a bad decision. Good luck.



sounds like the military is well supported here, glad to hear it, thanks d dog


You sound a lot like me a year ago. I decided to wait until I had completed my degree, and contemplate whether or not to pursue a military career. I would recommend talking over both options (college vs. enlistment) with your recruiter. I've found that even though they want people to join, if you make it clear you are serious about joining after you get your degree they are quite supportive. I'm still planning on the Navy after school, but all of my friends are in the Marines. I'm the only one who ended up going to college after high school. Whatever you decide, props to you for considering the military.

 I joined the Navy when i was 16, didn't think about the degree then, justed wanted to meet a variety of women and serve my country. Served for 12 years, best thing i could have done. Thought about the degree but wanted to do it in civvy street, completed my degree and had a top time at uni, still miss the service.


Getting an education prior to is a smart move for most people and I would recommend it for everyone except for those few strange bastsrds that know deep down they want to be Marines. And it will give you time to think what you really want to do. For me personally, I rather become a Marine first. It's something I always wanted to do. If I was to become an officer I wanted to have put my time in the enlisted ranks. Also if I had go to college as a civilian I know I would have barely skated by. I had really high scores on the SATs, ACT and ASVAB and a good grades in H.S. but school didn't motivate me and really started to bore me. On the flip side, taking classess as a Marine, I got straight As easily, and I know I ended up learning more.

A previous post mentioned that these are the years that you form experiences. That being said I know it's been far more valuable for me and the young Marines I worked with, to spend those years in the Corps. The college lifestyle cannot compare to what I've and others have seen and done at 18, 19, 20yrs old. Going to college and takeing classes is good to go, but I personally think the college lifestyle/culture is a bit weak and hate to have it influence me at all, instead I was luckey enough to learn form a number of outstanding senior Marines, both enlisted and officer. But then again I am an elitist bastard. Only thing I felt I missed out on was college girls. But I'm correcting that at the present time :wink:

But then again this really applys for a small number of people. It is a serious commitment and if you have any doubts you likey to end up as one of those people that are going to be hateing life.

Good luck and I second the commit on staying away for drugs and drinking. It can only hurt your chances of getting in or getting a clearance for a particular job you may want.


GO NAVY!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gunners Mate Guns

Loved it, miss it, one of the best experiences of my life.


If you decide to join(regardless of service), no matter what your recruiter promises you, GET IT IN WRITING! If you have it in writing and they tell you to resign, there was a mixup but everything is the same, MAKE SURE IT IS THE SAME! Recruiters will promise you the world to get you in, because once your in and don't get what you were promised, your nowhere you can do anything about it. Also, anything you sign, make sure you keep a copy. My wife did this when she joined the Navy, and it saved her ass(recruiter changed some stuff on her paperwork before submitting it, but since she had the originals she had signed, they couldn't hit her up with falsifying documents). Also, ask as many questions as you can before you get to the paper-signing point. Even if you think it might be a stupid question, go ahead and ask it. That's the only way your going to get the full story. If you know any one in a service you are interested in(besides a recruiter), talk to them about any questions you have, and about military life in general. I would be glad to answer any specific questions you can come up with if you PM me with them. But I can only speak for the Navy, since that is where I have spent my career(11 years).

If you decide to enlist, understand that you will be doing the grunt work, the stuff no one else wants to do. This is what junior guys are for, to do the dirty work. I've seen plenty of junior sailors who got an attitude because they didn't understand why they were the ones working their butt off while their supervisors were doing other stuff.


Skip the taxi service, and go Marines out of the box. SEALs are great guys, but dont hang your hat on being one of the few who actually get to and pass BUDs. If you want to take land and kill people the Corps is looking for men like you.

If you want this to be a inroad into a career, the Army is probably the better bet. There you get the training you ask for, and get to work in that field. Not subject to retraining for something you dont want to do, like what can happen in the Navy and Marines.

Dont waste your time in college, you can do that while your in and get paid for it. There is a war going on, and plenty of terrorists that need killin now.


I was enlisted in the Army for six years. I loved it. I was never in it to make a career, however, so if that is what you want to do I'd go the ROTC route as your opportunities and pay will be better.


cool man sounds good thanks for the info guys, i'm still not quite sure what I want to do, but I know that an officer is something that i'd rather pursue, follow in my families steps


Dude, you had asked about other training that the Marines get besides the martial arts...I was a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival (MCIWS) for a little over 2 years (in addition to the infantry job). Water survival is very important in the Marines because it is technically an amphibious force.

It would be a good idea for you to polish up on your swimming skills prior to joining (especially if you want to go the officer route). If you want more info on that program (since most MARINES don't even know what the quals consist of) let me know.

As far as being an officer, I know that we have a few on this site, and I don't want to step on their toes, but for me, I'd want to be enlisted BEFORE becomming an officer. You would really have a sense of what the junior Marines go through and you may in some cases find it easier to earn the respect of your enlisted Marines (esspecially in this age of 18 year old combat vets...). Just my $.02.


Cezar, we sound like the same person. Except school still isn't motivating me. Oh well.


I hear that from time to time, I have a few officers junior to me that were priors (Mustangs is the popular label for them), and yes, the e-dogs do give them a little more slack in the beginning if they know they are prior. But Dog, know this, every zero is a straight up Lance F'ing Lieutenant for about a year and a half before hitting the Fleet. Look into the Marine Corps Times segment 'Becoming a Marine Officer' over the past few months and it sheds a little light on how the Marine Corps is the last service to treat Officer Candidates like total shit and then continue to treat them like shit for another 9 months to a year while schooling before they hit the Fleet. I'm trackin' though. I love my enlisted Marines, even though I know not all of them love me.


Think about the Submarine Service, you can train at just about anything, what i found was good was that if you had the abillity you were pushed forward and encouraged, age was not a issue compared to general service.
The sub commanders i have served with, their leadership is something not found at uni and not found in civy street.
The role of the submarine service is very diverse, the American Submarine Sevice has a excellent war time record and history. Promotion may be quicker than general service but you will earn it.


Well, they ARE looking for fresh canon fodder.

You DO know the recruiting officer is painting a rosy picture don't you?

You should talk about it with your parents, or a teacher you trust.