If I want to make the military into a career, what branch should I go into?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Chockstock, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Darn it - maybe I should rephrase the question. Whats the BEST branch to go into if I wanted to make the military my profession?

    Thanks in advance :)
     
  2. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Honestly, this question doesn't really make sense to me. If you want to spend 20+ years doing something then the obvious answer would be to pick the branch you will be happy doing for 20 years...

    An answerable question would be something like "what is the best branch to join if I want to be a doctor/engineer/lawyer/etc after I leave the army?"
     
  3. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 Member

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    You can make a career out of any of the services. I plan on doing that with the Air Force.

    Choose the branch based on what you want to do in life. Once you've found what fits you, make that your career.
     
  4. BeatNavy

    BeatNavy USMA Cadet

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    I think he means what branch of the Army (Infantry, Field Artillery, Signal Corps, Armor, etc)
     
  5. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    I guess I meant to ask if there's any particular branch/branches that people generally tend to go career in. I'm going to West Point with no dispositions of any of the branches (well, maybe some of them) so was willing to see how what most military guys do
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    So you mean what most Army guys do, as opposed to "military guys".
     
  7. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

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    Not sure how true this is, but read somewhere (can't remember) that many who branch combat arms are more likely to make the military a career (there was a reason given but can't remember either).
     
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One thing to realize after you pick the service branch that you want to serve in is to understand that certain fields have a lower/higher promotion rate than others.

    I could flat out lie and say that Chaplains have the same promotion rate as Line Officers, but it is not true. I could say that Fliers have the same promotion rate as A&F, but it would be a lie.

    You may want to make the military your career (20 yrs+), but remember if you don't make O-4, the fat lady will not allow you to make it a career because she will be singing after you are passed over 2x for O-4 long before 20 yrs rolls around.


    Do what you love, but be cognizant that just because you want to stay for 20, doesn't mean they have to keep you. Choose a career that you can use when you leave the military.

    For all you know 10 yrs down the line, you might be like our friend who graduated from the AFA. He had 2 small children (8 and 6). When he made O-4 he calculated the amount of time he was gone and said I don't want to wake up and realize that when the eldest is 16 I would have missed 50% of his life. He turned down the promotion and separated from the AF.

    Right now it is rainbows and roses for you. You are not even at WP yet, you have 4 yrs of academics before this becomes a real issue. It is great to think about it, ponder it, but your road ahead of you is going to twist and turn so much that what you think and feel now will probably be 180 degrees different than the day you pin on butter bars.

    The best thing is to keep your mind open and explore every option. Life stinks if you have to work 60+ hrs a week at something you hate regardless of the promotion rate for that branch.
     
  9. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    So I guess the best thing for a career officer is to not to have children :rolleyes:

    I know it all depends on what I will love doing, but what branches are the fastest/slowest promoting ones? Why do they have different promotion rates?

    Thanks for the help :smile:
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Nope. I don't know many career anything who don't have a family.

    It's not all pretty, but you need something to go home to.

    My admiral has five kids I believe, the Commandant has kids...I can't think of many general or flag officers who don't have kids.
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    As stated in another thread, promotion to O3 in the AF has been traditionally for decades 4 yrs, and the rate is @95%+. The 5% that don't get it is due to the fact that they broke a law somewhere or somehow...i.e. DUI.

    You can't truly give an answer to promotion to O4 and above. Those boards are set by congressionally mandated rates. I have seen O4 boards with 9 yrs in and boards with 12 yrs in. I have seen 80% and 60%. It all goes back to the ratio of field to company. None of us are psychic, we can't predict 13 yrs in the future (4 in college and 9 AD). If you are please pm me with the mega-million numbers!

    There can be yrs that the AF will have 60% promotion to O4 at 11 yrs while the Navy has 80% at 9 yrs., and vise a verse. The promotion rate is set by the branch not DOD.

    There is no fast and steady calculation that you can do right now to determine if you will make General faster in one branch over the other. Again, join the branch you love. You will hate life if you join because you think they are the ones that I can make O5 fastest.

    As far as the children, that was our friends opinion, it was never ours. The irony of their story is their son is at the USNA. Military life is like restaurant or retail it is either in your blood or it isn't!:wink:
     
  12. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Absolutely true. Look at the situation with the Army right now...getting promoted to O-3 only takes 3 years because of their need for people :eek:
     

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