After completing service

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Kelly Yvonne, Oct 15, 2015.

  1. Kelly Yvonne

    Kelly Yvonne New Member

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    What happens if I want to leave the military after completing my active duty obligations? If I have a degree in Engineering will I be able to enter entry level job or even higher? Or will employers not want me because I've spent five years doing something else?
     
  2. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    In general, most employers place great value on the discipline, dependability, leadership experience and maturity a junior officer can bring to an organization. There are definitely companies that are pro-military and seek out separating officers. Its up to you to highlight your value and convince them its the right choice.

    I can't speak directly to hiring engineers as I am not one nor do I hire them.
     
  3. RedDragon

    RedDragon Member

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    My guess is you may start at a lower level but you should be able to rise up the ladder pretty quickly given what you will have learned and demonstrated during your military years.

    When I screen resumes, those with military service get moved to the top.
     
  4. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    It is very common for veterans to receive preferential treatment in screening resumes. Many government jobs actual place an emphasis on hiring vets.
    There are also agencies that specialize in placing veterans into private sector jobs: and this is where the company contacts the agency seeking vets.

    Here is one of them:
    http://www.bradley-morris.com/
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Remember one thing about that Engineering Degree, It's basic overall coverage of the subject. Your real training will come from your employer for you specific job description. Don't worry about being away from it for a few tears, as long as you have the degree and passed the tests, you'll be fine. You'll start at a firm at the same level as a new graduate would start, although your experience as an officer will open more opportunities quicker then that new graduate.
     
  6. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    This is not a question for this forum.

    You need to ask the employers. When you do, make sure to ask how many people their new hires were managing after 5 yrs. on the job.

    What is your status? Seeker? Applicant? Cadet?

    If you aren't willing to give your life to the US Military while sweating through 4 years of engineering, xROTC obligations, putting up with cohorts who have much less challenging majors, and who knows what the hell else for five years after, you need to think about something other than ROTC.

    Don't mean to be a p***k.

    DS (dear son) couldn't answer that question as an 18 year old STEM superstar. Today as an Army 2LT, he believes it was the best decision he ever made. He has a female MIT Engineering grad in his BOLC class. She is the class of the class and very happy with her decision as well.
     
  7. Phyzix

    Phyzix Member

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    What?? OP is thinking about post military commitments. Not everyone is going to stay forever. So I would assume she's a cadet just thinking about her career after the military.

    Relax..
     
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  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    cb7893 - do you need a hug? :wiggle:
     
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  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Really?

    This may come as a surprise, but there are plenty current AD military that actually have a life outside the military, some even join with the goal of only staying in for their initial obligation. Thinking about your future in no way diminishes anyone's desire or ability to serve.

    Sure don't see the need to tell the kid that they should find something other then ROTC for asking a simple question, and a good question it is.
     
  10. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Actually it's a great question for this forum, never know who's reading it.

    I employ engineers, so I was able to give advice directly to his question, that's how these things work.
     
  11. AROTC-dad

    AROTC-dad Just a dad

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    This forum should remain a safe place for a young person to ask a reasonable question about SA's and ROTC, anonymously and without fear of repercussions or embarrassment.
     
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  12. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    As the hugee, I can say it would depend on the hugger
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
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  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Booze Allan Hamilton, Rand, Raytheon, Lockheed quickly come to mind of employers that love military experience. One big reason is you will understand not only the lingo, but also understand the military's needs due to the fact that you served.

    Now that being said, you should realize life gets in the way.
    1. As a ROTC grad you may not go AD right off the bat. The clock does not start ticking until your report to your first base.
    ~ AFROTC grads typically can wait between 6-9 months before reporting. That means if you commission May 2020, and go AD in Feb 2021. You walk Feb 2025, not May 2024.
    2. If they send you to Europe or Asia on your 1st assignment for a 3 year tour. It is pretty hard to interview for jobs stateside, even if you are eligible to walk.
    ~ That means you will most likely accept the next tour. Adding on another 3 years.
    ~~ I now have you at 2027 if you commission in 2020.
    3. Take Tuition Assistance(TA) for Grad school. Than it will run concurrent with your original commitment. However, if you take the last TA at your 3 year marker, you now again owe back more time than the original commitment.

    There are people that walk exactly on the mark, but they started that plotting/planning from the beginning. Just saying that if you want to do 4 and the door make sure you stay on top of your career from the get go.
     
  14. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Kelly,

    In addressing you directly, I hope to also respond to those who disagree with the tone, if not the content of my post. I am a battle-hardened (figuratively speaking) veteran of the college wars.

    The short answer is, if you have an Engineering degree and five years under your belt as a US Military officer, you needn't worry about your job prospects when you hit the market as a 26-28 year old. What you lack in post-grad education or specific contribution to a skill set will be offset by managerial experience and the addition of additional skills available only in the military to someone so young. It isn't as simple or easy as it appears for those who simply graduate with a valuable degree and hit the job market. During summers you may miss out on some internships, but you will have other opportunities which only exist for cadets/midis.

    My son applied for and received an Army ROTC scholarship with virtually no input from me. He never read this forum. His only knowledge of the military was from a swashbuckling Uncle who flew in Vietnam and lives comfortably as a retired airline pilot. All I knew was my son and his independent streak and his brains.

    He began with a major in Chemical Engineering. His academic advisor advised him against ROTC because it would consume most of his elective course hours. I advised him to think long and hard because once you set foot in a class your sophomore year, you are on the hook for the everything the DOD puts into your education. I even told him I would backstop the costs, if he decided to drop out before that time. Once he was totally committed, he was on his own.

    It is important to know, and I'm surprised to get the pushback, when your college career is over, you will go where the military tells you to go. It is true that certain majors, like engineering are valuable but they are not a guarantee of anything. There is another thread in which an Ivy League NROTC midshipman asks about changing branches because he doesn't think the Navy has anything he's interested in doing?!?! This is not a question be asking in your third year of college.

    It is also important to know that the difficulty of your major doesn't matter to anyone in ROTC. There are much easier majors than Engineering. That is why the starting salaries are so high and number of Engineering graduates so low. Your commitment to the xROTC unit is the same as everyone else.

    I certainly didn't intend to demean or embarrass you. If anything, I wanted to impress the fact that ROTC is very difficult, especially if you have a difficult academic course load. With Engineering, ROTC will burn up most of your electives. That is why my son switched Chem E for Chem. He had no room for Computer Science courses or foreign language.

    As for my comment about asking employers, I was completely misunderstood. In the five years from age 22 to 27 you would spend in Active Duty, you will get the experience of managing people and hard assets which would not be available in the civilian world.

    I would not have put things to you in so stark a manner, if they weren't questions that I asked of my son or he asked of himself. I do not believe that he would have gone the distance, made the tough choices, or been as excited as he is today about his future, if he hadn't reconciled himself to the following--ROTC will be as important as his academics and that his immediate future after college belongs to the Army, period, end of sentence.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015
  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Not always as easy as it sounds, yes they should be concerned, if they are thinking of getting out at the end of their initial obligation they need to start networking early, not always as easy as it sounds when your either deployed or training all the time. A lot will be determined by where the officer is stationed when they get out, stationed at Polk, the options are limited. Believe it or not, employers are not waiting at the gates to scoop up these officer/soon to be civilians. Officers with a plan, good networking skills, and a bit of good luck will have a better chance, no matter what their major was.
     
  16. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Could not agree more.

    Would only add that the planning needs to begin long before commissioning.
     
  17. Sampia

    Sampia Member

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    I worry as well about how employable my DS will be after he leaves the Marines. He is getting a degree in cyber security. The computer world changes so quickly and his MOS may be miles away from that field. Thankfully the internet is full of self study programs, assuming he has the time. Might be hard to do if he is living in a desert somewhere. I have told him to plan on working on his masters degree ASAP to help get him caught up on the current cyber state of things post military. And to keep aiming to get a relevant job while he is serving. Returning to civilian life may be quite an adjustment and our young veterans shouldn't have to worry about finding a job but the reality is that so many do.
     
  18. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    Sampia: Just a dose of reality... It would be extremely difficult for your DS to work on a Masters degree as a junior Marine Officer. Particularly his first tour.

    However, Marines are often sought out for security jobs which could morph into a cyber security job over time ( I would guess)
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Sampia
    I agree with USMCGrunt.,

    Those 1st few years are about learning their job in the military.
    ~ I know for the AF, the newly minted O1 cyber personnel will go to a school before they go to their 1st op tour. I think it is about 6 months. Than it takes a few more months to get up to speed there.

    Now if he takes Tuition Assistance for his Masters he now comes into the walk out the door at 4, because as I have stated earlier they will probably PCS him before he hits that 365 days or less marker. TA runs concurrent with their commitment, but if he takes the last TA at 3 years, he will owe more than 4 yrs. If they move him at 3 years, he will concur an additional time commitment for accepting the move.

    I would also say that although the cyber world changes rapidly, the military understands the importance of how quickly it changes. They will be working with the advancements in that field regarding technology. The Masters aspect in my mind should be for a corporate aspect, such as getting an MBA for a position level in a civilian job when he does leave.
    ~ My cousin works for Lockheed in the computer/cyber world. She graduated from Gtown. Lockheed paid 80% of her grad degree as long as she maintained a 3.0 cgpa. She got her grad degree (MBOM) within a few years of joining the company. She would be seen by them as his competition, but they would both bring something different to the table for that job.
    ~~ She knows how Lockheed operates. He knows how the military operates.

    Finally, I would say, that over the course of Bullet's career, most started their Master degree as a young O3. Mostly due to the fact that USMC and I are saying. The 1st 2-3 years is more about finding their footing in their branch.
     
  20. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Oh, I'm not sure I agree with all of the responses here, but I also think this is a matter of experience.

    I also think this thread should be moved to LIVE AFTER THE MILITARY…. I think it will get more responses than just in ROTC.


    First, it depends…. it depends on your level of experience, your time in, the contact you've made and the projects you've worked on, and it depends on the time your considering transitioning.

    1. Your level of experience:

    If you're a "five and dive" officer you have SOME experience. And while we constantly like to talk about how great your leadership experience is, the simple fact is, there are many people in the private sector who have leadership qualities too, BUT also have some direct, honed experience in the field you're trying to jump to.

    If you're an O-3 when you get out, you probably have some good experiences. When I got out I had two years of ship experience, leading divisions with 14 people. I had national response experience as a public affairs officer. I attended the Defense Information School to become a more qualified public affairs officer, and I was on my way to a masters degree in public relations.

    I think those experiences made my grad school time much more enjoyable. I was far more qualified than my juniors in communications, but my military public affairs experience wasn't a HUGE bonus. It was good, but it wasn't worth much more than someone who had had consistent public relations experience for five straight years.

    2. Your time in:

    The longer you're in, the more you see. That said, it's not always great. As I was transitioned from the military after five years, I was nervous. But to look at O-5s or O-6s in the same spot, considering what they future would look like? Well, that was some fear.

    See, the military is "comfortable." After five years you get it. After 20 years, it's second nature. But going out into the real world can be scary. And yes, the real world works differently. And not every job will give you that "I'm making a difference" feel.

    In my opinion, the longer you stay in, the more you narrow down what you CAN do (or at least what you're comfortable doing) once you get out.

    I know junior officers who leave and find jobs in some very interesting places. But the more senior officers get, the more I see them finding a job in a "comfortable" setting…. at a defense contractor or, really, any contractor. They can't "get away" which is pretty understandable when it's been most of your life.

    3. Your connections and your projects:

    Your connections will help. So will your projects.

    I had a classmate passed over for O-2. She was going to have to leave the Coast Guard as an officer after five years, but she had done a great job in her latest billet. Impressing her higher-ups, she was hired as a civilian employee as a GS-13/14. Now she's a GS-14 making more money than her classmates who were just selected for O-4. She had the right contacts and right experiences at the right time.

    Your connections in the military will only help so much (actually I don't think they help much at all). If you're considering transitioning, connections on the outside are FAR more helpful. Often these connections will be military folks who transitioned before you.

    Your projects may open some doors. If you work on something fairly specific, and there's a need for that "something" on the outside, that can set you up nicely.

    4. Time you're considering transitioning:

    It's better to transition now than it was in 2010, when government contracts were put on hold, companies were holding or downsizing, and many people were put on the streets looking for jobs. But if you think now is the best time, also consider who you're competing with. In addition to the many people already in the private sector who have much more experience in their fields, you're also competing with a growing number of veterans.

    Many veterans will get five to ten point preference for federal jobs. That doesn't mean federal agencies WANT veterans more, it means they have to look at veterans more. In fact, many federal employers (and employees) hate veterans preference because, at least initially, they have to ignore some pretty good candidates to focus on veterans who, while qualified, may not be the BEST qualified.


    Here's my experience. I was set to leave the Coast Guard in 2011. I started looking for positions at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011. At that point I didn't know how much veterans preference I had. I knew I at least had five points, but until the VA looked at my records, I couldn't be sure if it was hire (eventually it was determined to be 10 points).

    At the time I had about five years of active duty time, I was working on a master's degree. I had advanced public affairs training. I had leadership experience and experiences with responses at a national level. And I had a top secret clearance.

    I was told I would have no problem getting a job….

    Unfortunately, my timing wasn't great. First, there were so many 10 point veterans than five points didn't get you much of a look (when applying for federal jobs). Second, five years of service time wasn't anything to write home about. I had not yet completed my master's so that didn't add anything to my application. Finally, for positions that required a TS clearance, it was often TS/SCI…. which I didn't have.

    I applied to some federal jobs. I applied to some contractors. I kept going to grad school. Federal jobs didn't come through. Contractors did (Booz Allen specifically) but it took them a long time, and frankly, Booz didn't leave a great taste in my mouth.

    But connections help….. a classmate in grad school hooked me up with her boss at a small PR firm in Washington, D.C. He was a Coast Guard Academy grad too. The contract I was going to work on was with the Department of Homeland Security. I already had experience with DHS, and had a connection with the firm now, so it worked out.

    Connections continue to help…… I was later recruited away by one of my old grad school professors to work in a communications position at a financial regulator.

    So now, after almost five years away from the Coast Guard, my resume is pretty strong, and that strength comes from experience, well timed moves with the help of valuable connections.

    I don't think we do members of the military a disservice when we tell them how much people want veterans (it's a mixed bag) or how easy the transition will be (it isn't always) or that the road to riches is on the outside (it isn't always that way).

    Some people will have some natural transitions…. a guy in intel might find some intel-related field on the outside, a military pilot may continue to fly on the outside, an engineer may find an engineering job.

    But it's also important to understand that while you were in the military, doing different cool things, there were people in the private sector gaining experience in the fields you hope to one day join, and they have the same claim to those future positions. In some fields, you may even take a step back just to get a foot in the door.
     
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