Navy v. Army Decision

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by futurecadet, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. futurecadet

    futurecadet Member

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    I have received appointments to both USNA and USMA, and I am trying to make a decision.

    As far as the academies go, I have visited both on CVW's, and I felt more "at home" at USMA, where I had also attended SLS the previous summer. I am undecided on a major, and have not ruled out a humanities degree.

    Career-wise, I want to live over-seas, attend graduate school, travel, and probably work with computers. I have been told the Navy is the best branch for this. One of my teachers, a Navy wife of 20+ years, has especially warned me against the "Army posts in the middle of nowhere," but I think she could be a little biased.

    My question: in the long-run, is it better to go with the "right fit" on the university/degree or the career? Also, what are the opportunities for working with computers (presumably in the signal corp?) and living over-seas in the Army?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    I can't speak that intelligently on this, so take this with a shakerfull of salt, but the Army might be better for living overseas. The only real overseas destination available right out of the gate as a JO on the Navy/USMC side is Japan. No matter where you go in the Navy/USMC, though, you will travel. The Army has bases in Korea, Germany, and some other places I probably am forgetting/don't know about, but I have absolutely no idea what the competition is like to get 2LT billet in one of those destinations.

    The cyber/computer stuff is, also, likely not going to be available right away on the Navy side. USNA is beefing up their cyber options on the academic side pretty heftily, but it remains to be seen how that'll actually play out as far as options for graduates.
    The signals intelligence and communications (which does some computer stuff) MOSs for the USMC might be up your alley, but in the Navy, the designators that do that kind of stuff are restricted line and probably not going to be available at service selection unless you have a medical issue preventing you from going unrestricted line.

    Personally...I'd say go with your gut. If you felt better and more "at home" at USMA, then USMA is probably the place for you.
     
  3. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    When you close your eyes and think about yourself in the future, what uniform are you in and what do you see yourself doing?

    I'm not asking what branch you see yourself in. But if you pop off an answer with what you'll be doing in 6-8 years... what is it?
     
  4. GoArmyBeatNavy

    GoArmyBeatNavy Member

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    Try an Army spouse for a little balance. Navy spouses will probably have good info on Navy bases.
     
  5. Aglahad

    Aglahad Member

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    I can try and answer a couple of your questions. As I am an ROTC graduate I do not know the ins and outs of USMA or USNA, but I can tell you about Army branch/duty station competitiveness.


    First off, being an officers means you aren't necessarily a specialist (i.e C++, Java or IT code developer/troubleshooter). As a Signal officer you will be managing, planning and leading from a generalist standpoint of an entry level manager. Don't expect to get to your first duty station and expect to be the one solving IT issues, that is an enlisted job and not under your duty description.

    Getting Signal Corps from an ROTC standpoint isn't all that difficult especially with branch detail and I don't forsee it being difficult to get at USMA.

    Duty station difficulty to aquire as a 2LT:

    Korea-Not all that hard
    Germany/Italy- Rather hard

    Off the top of my head I can't think of any Army duty stations that are over seas besides A-stan for a new 2LT (not including Hawaii/Alaska). Lots of Army posts are in the middle of nowhere but not all Navy bases are exactly stellar. There are some Army posts that simply blow some Naval bases out of the water in terms of housing and location (no irony intended....).
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    OP - Go with the right fit on the career. If nothing else you'll be doing it for longer than the 4 years of college by a minimum of 1 year. What good is the education if you're miserable?

    Also, while living overseas and travel appear complementary, they can sometimes contradict. ie. You will certainly do a lot of travel with Navy (most likely) but living overseas can perhaps be difficult. Another thing to keep in mind is with Navy you can go sea or ground (Marines), Army doesn't have that option.

    Look at the MOS for each service and determine your choice from there. At least that would be my recommendation. The living overseas and the travel are somewhat out of your control anyway. You'll live where the service tells you and travel where the service tells you. Just because one might have more opportunity for this than the other, doesn't mean you as an individual will get these opportunities.
     
  7. futurecadet

    futurecadet Member

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    Thanks!

    Thank you for the advice and wisdom; I accepted my appointment to USMA this evening. I am 100% thrilled with my choice, although I know I will be considerably less thrilled starting July 1.
     

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