Worried about 5 year obligation

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Chockstock, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Hi. I'm currently a junior in high school, and along with ROTC, have been considering applying to a service academy. I have a question that I'm sure most of you have asked yourselves - is the 5 year obligation dangerous?

    My parents are generally supportive - but I believe they are still skirting around the question of the obligation and have numerous times hinted at the risk of, you know, dying. I have always dreamed of a military career, and if I was to get accepted to WP or AFA, I would be motivated to go, but the idea of serving 5 years still concerns me. Here are the questions I have.

    1. Where do you get deployed? How is it decided?

    2. Where CAN you get deployed?

    3. How have you and your parents talked about the 5 year obligation?

    4. Would serving in the USMC or USAF be "safer"

    I do not want to sound like a wimp or a *****. I have no problem serving my country, but what bothers me is to think of my parents sitting at home, worrying. I don't want them worrying themselves sick. For the last question, I do not want to sound too calculating either. I am interested in going to both (if I get accepted) but my parents are more supportive of me going to USAFA because they believe it will be somewhat "safer" (up in the air as opposed on the ground). How credible is this?



    Thanks!
     
  2. KVD90

    KVD90 New Member

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    Hey Chock most parents worry when their kid talks about ROTC/SAs. I think if you got in and experianced 4 years of military college at either you would get used to the idea of deploying. You could also look at VMI, Norwich, and The Citadel they are military colleges but no obligations. But this is comming from a kid who dosent mind deploying. :)
     
  3. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    1) It depends on the military's needs. Once plans are approved on how many soldiers need to be somewhere they pick who to send (no idea how).

    2) You can get deployed anywhere we are currently at war with. You can also get stationed to one of the many military installations we have on many countries worldwide. (Germany for instance)

    3) Not really because I plan to stay as long as I can. Even if you did ROTC on a scholarship you would owe them time.

    4) I would say USMC is one of the more dangerous ones. USAF being one of the safest.

    I don't understand. You want to be in the military but not really help fight. It defeats the purpose. You want to be there until they really need you then you want to leave? Do you plan on serving less than 5 years and leaving at the first sight of trouble? If that is how you feel maybe you should consider a different way to help the country. If you're just worried about your parents you need to know that YOUR future should be based on what YOU want to do. Your parents need to know you should do what you will enjoy not what will make them feel good.

    The same way people say not to go to a service academy because of your parents, the opposite is also true.
     
  4. BlackKnight2013

    BlackKnight2013 Member

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  5. icelander27

    icelander27 USMA Cadet

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    Actually with the Military academy, its a minimum 5 year active duty service obligation, with an additional 3 years on active or reserve duty.

    The easiest way to say things is that the service obligation is a necessary thing. It's a I'll scratch your back, you scratch mine sort of thing. The military is investing $350,000+ per cadet that stays for the full four years and graduates. They kinda want to make sure they won't get screwed over by having someone attend and then say, "Thanks for the education...I'M OUTTA HERE!!!" If they are going to spend that much money for every cadet, then they want to make sure they will get "paid" back for it.

    Nothing comes free in this world and if you aren't willing to accept that fact, then I suggest you start earning money to pay for your own college education and not waste the ROTC programs' or SA's time.
     
  6. 1191

    1191 Member

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    I do not get how you want a military career, but are don't know if you want to serve 5 years. Usually careers tend to last longer than 5 years.
     
  7. ibman377

    ibman377 Member

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    I suggest you don't go into the military. The Army (and the other branches) needs warriors, not those who worry about a small 5 years of service to support our country and about being deployed. Oh, and blackknight, way to call the AF out. :wink:

    and Chock- if you think being in the Marine Corps is safe, I would bet to say that you haven't done your research about the military yet.

    Not trying to push anyone down, but lets be honest with ourselves here....
     
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  8. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Every one of you misunderstood me. I said that I have no problem with serving 5 years and am not trying to avoid it. I'm passionate about the military. Its for my PARENTS sake that I have asked! They want to know more about the risks when deciding whether to send me to USAFA or USMA.

    Haha, lol seems that you grew up with parents that may not be so protective of you. Look at it from the parents' perspective...who doesn't want their child to be successful and enjoy what they want to do for the rest of their life? But when it comes to a military career, EVERY parent will stop and think, because their kids' life will be on the line as well. Do you really think parents of USMA graduates serving in Iraq or Afghanistan don't worry about them? They worry like hell. I'm not a selfish brat - I know the difference between over-protection, and I like to consider my parents whenever I make a decision. Simply because its "my life" and its "my choice" doesnt mean I should just ignore my parents thoughts - and I definitely dont do things to make them feel good. Of course its my life, but you need to be reasonable to a certain degree.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2009
  9. JOCHANGY

    JOCHANGY Member

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    What do you wanna do in the military?
     
  10. ibman377

    ibman377 Member

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    The answers for your questions

    Alright. I will answer numbers 3 and 4.

    3. I told my parents about wanting to attend a service academy when I was in eighth grade. They were very supportive b/c they knew thats what I wanted to do with my life. When deciding whether to attend a service academy, it shouldn't be about "Well, if johnny goes to WP, then he's gonna get shot or killed so my wife jane and I aren't going to let him go." Its understandable for parents to worry but if thats what you're mainly concerned about then better stick to working as a civil servent or as a teacher or something. i would venture to say that they are safer. Just fyi, my dad, who served as an army officer, told me this to consider. he said, "every day hundreds of army officers retire so if you're worried about being in combat and getting killed consider the thousands retiring each year and those chances". If you want and your 100% determined to serve, you could always branch Finance Corps. or something not in the combat arms. Hope that answers your questions and I hoep that I did not offend you. :smile:

    4. Before I answer this question, consider this. This past year, 203 people were killed b/c of homicide in Philidelphia. (taken from FBI website. check it out if you want) what this means is this: no matter where you live, what prfession you have, or what habits you have there is always a chance that one day you may step in front of that bus or piss off that wrong person. nobody's life is set in stone. it can change in an instant. what branch is safest (at this moment), i would probably have to say AF. (no hard statistics on this one.) just realize that there are no garrentees and the AF is not 100%safe no matter what anyone may say.
     
  11. TacticalNuke

    TacticalNuke Administrator

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    Folks,

    Please keep the posts in this thread civilized.

    Thank you for your time.

    -TN
     
  12. ibman377

    ibman377 Member

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    I apologize for any comment made in this post that may have offended anyone. None of the comments made were used for ill intent. Also, realize that I have the highest respect for ALL US military personel and any comment made that offended anyone was simply misread. I will take care to be more aware of the comments that I post in the future. GO ARMY! BEAT NAVY!
     
  13. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    I know all parents worry but your career choice should be based on yourself. You may think it's selfish but it really isn't. Its as selfish as accepting a paycheck while people in Africa starve. Should we all just live off the bare minimum and give the rest of our money to the homeless? You could also see her concern for her son over the country as selfish. Its meaning is relative.

    I understand your point and am not trying to be offensive. I just have alot of personal experience with parents influencing their children to do what they want. My mom didn't want me to join infantry but respects my decision and I would rather die doing what I want to do than live doing what she wants me to do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2009
  14. vampsoul

    vampsoul Candidate

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    All branches of the military come with risks. Rather than deciding what branch is the "safest", consider what you want to do in the military. What career path would you want to follow from each academy? Which one of those is most appealing?
     
  15. WAMom68

    WAMom68 Founding Member

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    Chockstock,
    It’s very thoughtful of you to not want to worry your parents, but parents will find something to worry about no matter what. :wink:

    When my son told me he wanted to make the Army his career of course I was worried. I know that even if our troops are out of Iraq and Afghanistan by the time he graduates, chances are pretty good something else will occur and he will be deployed to a dangerous place. Will I worry? Yes of course, I am his mother. Do I want him to give up the career he wants just so I won’t worry? No! I would never want him to settle for something he didn’t want just to make me happy. I remind myself that even if my son wanted to be a teacher, or any other civilian career, there is no guarantee that he will out live me. He could be taken at any time. Do I let this worry rule my life? No, because that is no way to live. If my son dies while serving his country at least I will know he was following his dream and doing what he wanted to do when he died, instead of settling for less just to make me happy.

    Maybe you aren’t giving your parents enough credit. If you truly want to go into the military talk to them about the commitment and how they feel about it. I am sure they will worry about you but you may find out they want you to follow your dreams.

    As far as which is safer the USMC or USAF...first, I’m not sure if you mean the Marines (USMC) or if you mean the US Military Academy at West Point (USMA) which is the Army. Second, you need to decide what type of job you would like to have in the military, from there you can decide which would best suit you. Third, nobody in the military is “safe”. Training accidents happen in all the services and men/women from all services are killed in wars. You may be able to cut your risk by choosing a non-combat branch but there are no front lines when fighting insurgents.

    Good luck to you.
     
  16. JoeGerencser

    JoeGerencser New Member

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    I'll take a guess that your parents let you drive a car to school. Would you believe that the odds of you dying on the way to school in a car are greater than the odds of you dying during a career in the armed services. I have 3 sons serving. One spent 18 months in Baghdad, my middle son is going to Afghanistan in July and my youngest is finishing his plebe year at West Point. I never sit at home worrying if my boys will die serving their country. I know they will be well trained and have the best equipment in the world. Besides who am I to think I could sit at home and keep my boys from doing what they want to do. I will only support them 100% of the way just like your parents will support you! There is NO greater honor than serving your country,
     
  17. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    There are worse things than death. I've seen terrible pictures and heard stories of people losing limbs, getting paralyzed from hip or neck down, etc...if such things were to happen to me, everyone I knew would live in perpetual sadness and hardship. Its something I think about everyday and I grapple with whether I should serve. As I mentioned above, I do not believe my passion or determination is lacking. Only my courage, I guess.

    You are certainly right. Death is not predetermined for any one of us. But you can, of course, drastically reduce your chances of dying. Living a civilian life would certainly be many times safer than placing yourself willingly into combat where death is not uncommon.


    Thanks again to everyone who posted. I believe that the apology is actually mine to make. The wording of my first post was obviously a little misleading and even the thread title is a statement untrue (for me).

    The military is only one of three career paths I am interested in taking. I will discuss more with my parents and I guess it all comes down to what I enjoy doing in the end.

    Thanks!
     

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