Need Advice

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by merica37, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    So I have wanted to serve my country since I was young, but as of now, I do not plan on making it a career. Currently, my plan is to do my time in the Navy after attending college and participating in NROTC. Would anyone be able to give me some insight as to how well SWO or NFO would prepare me for a possible career as a border patrol agent after I get out? Hoping that I do not come off as arrogant or hopefully I did not offend anybody because I do not want to make a career out of the Navy at this point, but I have always wanted to serve and get some life experience and travel before I move on.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    https://www.cbp.gov/careers/veterans

    The "ABC" agencies have a long history of hiring vets and former JMOs, junior military officers.

    Just use "(agency name) veteran careers" in google.

    The military system is designed to shed people along the way, otherwise promotion flows would get clogged. You can serve out your obligated time honorably and whatever time extra to get your full Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, and go on to your next career.

    Good to have some ideas about down the road, but stay open to the opportunities along the way. Many who swear they are 30-year career types get out after 5, and many who said 5 and five, 4 and out the door or 3 and flee - surprise themselves by staying for a full career.
     
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  3. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    Thank you very much for the insight, I'm currently trying to plan ahead so I am prepared. Would you say that doing at least one contract as a swo or nfo would prepare me enough when it comes to leadership and experience for something like border patrol or any other job I would possibly choose to pursue? Also, I do plan to be fully committed to the Navy and serving my country while I am in, I just want to have a tentative plan laid out when the time comes.
     
  4. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    As a retired police officer from one of the largest cities in the US who spent 31 years in law enforcement, I can tell you that pretty much ANY military service is a huge benefit to getting hired in the field. Recruiters like applicants with military backgrounds because it is presumed that they can follow orders and operate well in a structured organization. To be honest, I don't think being an officer on it's own would make you any more qualified than if you did a 4 year stint in the infantry based on my experience. It may very well help down the road when you want to promote to a supervisory role as it would surely look favorable.

    Like I told my son, who went the Army ROTC route and also plans to do his required time and enter the LE field....the (3) best things you can do to get hired nowadays in LE are getting a college degree, have a military background and speak Spanish or American Sign Language. Depending on where you live, knowing other languages may help as well.
     
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  5. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    Thanks for the advice, I have not decided on a college major yet but I am currently trying to learn basic Spanish on my own right now. Also, say I were to do my time in the Navy after college and get out when I was maybe age 30 or so, would this be considered old for going into any type of LE jobs, such as border patrol?
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    You might consider criminal justice as a major.
     
  7. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    I have looked into that major, but haven't heard good reviews about it. Many people seem to think it is not a very useful degree. I am hoping to be awarded an LREC scholarship. Do they choose the language/region for you or is it your choice of any language/region on their list?
     
  8. Dadof2

    Dadof2 Member

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    Not sure if you are asking about the rules or an opinion about starting a LE career at that age. If you are asking about age limit rules to be hired as a border patrol agent, a quick google search will get you the answer. Check this out for starters: https://www.cbp.gov/careers/veterans According to this site, veterans are given preference in hiring. Other LE jobs may have different age limits, but you may get credit for military time served. Do some research on different LE careers and I'm sure you'll get the picture.

    If you plan on college with ROTC then serve, say 5 years, you would be under 30 years old with a college degree and military experience, plus be presumably in great physical condition. I think that would make an ideal candidate for a LE career. For college majors you could consider international studies, political science, criminal justice, etc.
     
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  9. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    I will consider those majors as well along with possibly another major or minor in a language. This may be completely irrelevant and I'm probably overthinking and thinking way too far into the future, but obviously I will have to take a polygraph test for most LE jobs right? I have nothing to hide and hopefully won't at that point, but I have read about people who failed the polygraph even though they told the 100% truth on it, while also being very qualified candidates for the job. That worries me a little bit because I do not want to get out and then have something like that happen to me and be unemployed. I always want to have a plan.
     
  10. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    Examples of two USNA sponsor mids/grads:

    Physics major, Marine ground (Communications), 7 years active duty, now with an ABC agency. Grew up in bilingual home (Portuguese), learned Spanish on his own.

    Oceanography major, Surface Warfare (ships), served 8 years AD, now with ABC agency. Did well on language tests for that agency, so was sent to immersion language school and a year in-country, now has an agency-paid tutor to retain currency. Was also sent to EOD training. Currently serves in ATFP role in port security.

    Polygraph - worry about it when you have to. Learning how to compartmentalize things, stick 'em on a shelf in your brain and dealing with them as needed, and being able to focus on the here and now, is a valuable life and officer skill.

    I am a recovering perfectionist. I had to learn to let go and embrace that life can be messy and unstructured, and I had to be able to deal with that to be successful as a military officer in fluid situations.
     
  11. vmi9d3

    vmi9d3 Member

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    Why not join the Coast Guard? Both Customs and Border Protection and CG are in DHS. You can receive a lot of law enforcement experience in the CG as junior officer by being a boarding officer or boarding team member. If you are competitive for NROTC scholarship you will be competitive for the CG Academy too. Good Luck.
     
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  12. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    That actually doesn't seem like a bad idea, but I am a senior in HS getting ready to graduate and I am waiting to hear back from NROTC. I would assume its way too late to apply to the CG academy. I also think I am decently competitive but I'm not sure I'd be able to get a spot in the Academy. When I began thinking about joining the military, getting out and doing LE wasn't always on my mind until I began thinking about what I might want to do if I didn't make the Navy a career, I just wanted to serve in any way I could while also being able to travel and see the world.
     
  13. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    As was previously stated, all the Fed LEO jobs have an age restriction but it's in the upper 30's. After that, every state (and department) is different. My agency had NO age limit. We had a guy go thru the academy at age 56 after a long military career. Once again, my department didn't care what your degree was in and you didn't need one to get hired. However, you do get extra pay if you have one no matter what you majored in. Most of the upper management types get their Master's degrees in Public Administration. I doubt the BP cares what your major is either but Dadof2 was on the right track. The FBI & CIA love folks with accounting & finance degrees because so many of their activities are centered around financial crimes of one sort for the other. Remember Al Capone was taken down on tax evasion rather than all the violence that he was supposedly responsible for.

    I'm guessing you know somebody that works for the Border Patrol and that has stoked your interest. I worked with them a great deal as the agency I worked for shared the border with Mexico. They always had great equipment and endless overtime (sometimes mandatory) but ever since Obama was elected, their morale was in the tank. They weren't being permitted to do their job and many of them were very frustrated. We had quite of few lateral over to our PD so I talked to them quite a bit. I have no idea if that is going to get better with Trump in office.
     
  14. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    I actually don't know anyone in Border Patrol or really any Law Enforcement to be honest. My interest in the military came from my step father who served 10 years in the Navy and always talks about how honorable it is. My biological father also did 20 years in the Army so I guess I was just bound to serve. Call me crazy, but something about patrolling the desert in blazing heat and protecting my country's border from illegal immigration, drug smuggling, etc. just seems very rewarding to me. I also hope to be fluent in Spanish at that point, so I would hopefully be able to utilize that skill as well.
     
  15. k2rider

    k2rider 5-Year Member

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    You'll be better off being fluent for sure but they will teach you in their academy. It's a requirement since the bulk of their recruits go to the Southern border (currently AZ, NM and TX). Watch, you'll be one of the "lucky" ones who gets to go North and be stationed in snowy upper NY state.
     
  16. merica37

    merica37 Member

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    That seems like it would be much less exciting, can they do that? I was thinking you applied for the region you wished to be stationed in. But at this point, I still need to worry about getting into NROTC, getting a degree and becoming a Naval Officer before I start working towards Border Patrol. Long way to go.