Getting out 20 years or not?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by petermcd123, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. petermcd123

    petermcd123 Member

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    I was wondering how often people stay in for the whole twenty years?
    or do more get out and get involved witht the alphabet soup.

    both my parents served all 20 years, my mom is going on 23
    so i dont know alot about getting out early

    thanks :)
     
  2. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I read an article a few years ago that the number of Westpoint officers leaving soon after their 5 year commitment is increasing and that they were trying to get it to stop.

    I plan on serving over 20 years.
     
  3. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    There is nothing wrong with staying 5 and leaving. Just like there's nothing wrong with enlisted personnel only doing 4 years and leaving. The military is too important yet such an unknown to try and get people to commit to 20 years of it before they even walk in the door.

    But for those cadets who only spend 5 years in and leave, that isn't a waste of money. They were trained with tax payer money, and they will go back into the civilian world where the majority of the tax payers are and be a very well trained member of society. Which means there's a very slim chance that this person will be in a government line later getting food stamps, welfare, or some other public assistance.

    Also; what many don't realize; is that there are a lot of active duty officers who do the 5 and dive. Even some doing 10 years and getting out. Many will transfer into the guard/reserve. They get their civilian life back that they want. They get to play weekend warrior. They are willing to deploy if necessary. And they gave time towards a retirement.

    The military should try to make "5 and dives" stop. The one thing I've always had pride in, was that even though the military was part of the federal government, they didn't think like the federal government. They were BETTER than the government. While the majority of government workers were much more liberal and usually democrats (Because of having a government job that is similar to entitlements/public assistance/etc...); Military members were usually a lot more conservative and usually republican. They understand sacrifice. They understand providing, working, and doing for yourself. (Obviously, the pay isn't the highest when considering what you give up). The military understands the constitution and it's bill of rights; along with the declaration of independence. They have a greater appreciation that most civilians. Well, the government screws up when they try and CHANGE the natural order of things. The government is really good and screwing up things. And the present administration hasn't changed anything. And in the military, we get a few individuals that become high enough rank that they get caught up in the politics and go the same way. We have certain generals/admirals that should be ashamed of themselves.

    We collectively as a nation are as good and powerful and rich as we are predominantly because of our military. We need our checks and balance between the military and the civilian sector of the citizenry. But we need the civilians to realize that the military knows how to do their job. The civilians (Mostly congress) needs to learn that they can tell the military WHAT TO DO; but they need to STOP telling the military HOW TO DO IT. The civilian citizenry (Congress) screwed up vietnam and a lot of the middle east campaigns. And if they try and change academy grads where they try and get them to stay; by requiring a LONGER COMMITMENT for those who apply and attend the academy; they will SCREW UP THE ACADEMY and the military system. They dildo's like those who wrote certain articles will get their wish and the academies will probably be closed. All because a bunch of government bureaucrats PRETENDED that they knew better (Including certain O-7 through O-10 who were more concerned with their post military future) than the military does.

    I see some very stressful times ahead. My son; our sons/daughters; will not retire (if they can) from the same military that I, Bullet, and possibly Steve will did/will. But I have faith in the military. I have faith in the men and women who lead it. There will always be those officers that care more about themselves than the mission and the military personnel. That general/admiral probably had people saying certain things when he was an O-4. And people probably noticed this trait when they were a cadet at the academy. Those are the cadets/officers that really need to get out after 5-10 years. But there are definitely some "Career Military" (Not in the good sense of the words) who only care about their own career. Same as politicians. Many of us have worked with some of these people. But our military will survive. Hopefully the civilians will leave the military alone and allow them to do what they do best, and stop trying to pretend they know how to run the military. It's no good to get cadets to commit to a career so early in their lives. Even the C1C at the academy has no idea what the REAL military is like. They think they do, but they don't. Let the cadets commit to 5 to 10 years. That's good. If they get out, so what? They will contribute greatly to society. They might go in the guard/reserve. They have a great education. They won't be a burden on society. They served their country. They will probably be an ally of the military. Don't change what isn't broken. later... mike.....
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As with any good supervisor or manager; you understand that once you've trained a person, you are to tell them WHAT and WHEN. But you shouldn't tell them HOW. Politicians (including certain too high up officers), tend to try and say HOW to do things. And not even so much how the military WILL do something, but rather how they WON'T do it. I worked for a particular 2 star; who eventually became a 4 star and JCS who definitely cared more about his career, including after retirement, than he did for the men/women and the military. It is definitely a shame. But attrition, even 4/5 and dive is natural, normal, and should not be screwed with. It makes for better NCO/CO's in the 10-20 year ranks which are the ones who basically control getting the job done and protecting our sons and daughters.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Concur!
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Many people who plan to stay in for 20 get out after 5 and many who plan to "Five and Dive" stay for 20. Live has a funny way of changing your plans, and many times it's for the best. :thumb:
     
  7. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    So true! That was my husband. He was ROTC, not scholarship because he enlisted in the Army Reserves at age 17 so he could actually learn "on the job." He stayed in the Reserves through college. He planned to do his 4 years and leave. But there was always one more thing he wanted to do. One more position he wanted to try. One more place he wanted to be stationed. (Never did make it to the Far East.) Next thing you know, he's retiring with 26 years of service. Life is definitely a funny thing. :biggrin:
     
  8. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I understand that but I can't imagine life outside the military. I've had plenty of time around the Army (going to my dad's work many times) and seeing what it's like.
     
  9. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    A good number who leave the military after 5 years (or 6, or 10) end up wishing they hadn't left. Others are glad they left but are a bit aimless for a bit in terms of finding a job and finding job satisfaction (not always the same thing). And for others, it's absolutely the right decision.

    As posted above, decisions on staying or going are based on so many different things that it's hard to generalize. Things such as: deployments, war, civilian job market; promotion opportunity in the military, family issues (spouse job, relocation), likely career path, retention bonuses, separation bonuses, job satisfaction, etc.

    As someone who left after 8 1/2 yrs and am fully satisifed today but also am very glad for the time spent in the USN . . .

    (1) Don't leave the military just to get away from it, leave the military to go somewhere and/or do something. Having a real purpose beyond just "getting out" and working for a defense contractor (which is where many end up until they find something better), makes the transition much easier.

    (2) Do the money math in terms of what you're currently earning, what you owe, what you will realistically make in your new job, likelihood of being let go, etc.

    (3) Once you've made the decision to leave, DON'T LOOK BACK. It does no good to think about where you'd be stationed, whether you'd be promoted, whether you'd deply to Iraq, ad nauseum. That doesn't mean you can't have fond memories of your military days and retain your military friends (I do both). But dwelling on what might have been only serves to make you less successful at your future career.

    And finally, consider an adage told to me by my father:

    Wherever you are is the worst;
    Wherever you're going is the best;
    And wherever you came from isn't as bad as you thought it was when you were there.
     

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