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Join Date: May 2012
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OP: What, specifically, do you want to do with the rest of your life? i.e., what do you want to do when you grow up?
All of the services offer technical jobs, all of the services offer ground-pounding jobs, all of the services have their hero squads, all have Aviation . The Coast Guard is somewhat different because they are under the Department of the Treasury and have a different path regarding the path the mission orders take.
All of the services have duty stations that sux delux, all of the services have duty stations in paradise, and everywhere in-between ... and they're not the same for everyone (one guy's hell is another guy's paradise).
I was a Navy Corpsman, I was trained in "Field Med School" (for deployment with Marine Units). I worked in two duty stations, Cp, LeJeune, NC and Portsmouth VA. I had assignments on a hospital ward, physical exam clinic, spent a summer as a beach corpsman @ Onslow Beach in the clinic treating dependents and holding sick call for 26 Marine Lifeguards. Then some TAD (temporary assignments) with EOD, Second Recon, Force Recon, Motor Pool, the Shooting Range, and a couple units filling in for their Corpsman while they took leave. I spent a total of three days on a ship during an annual exercise. The ship was always within view of the shore.
At the medical center in Portsmouth, I worked admissions for a while, then moved to Clinical Investigation and Research Service and learned skills and certification for an Electronmicroscopy Technician.
At the hospital, there were Corpsman-trained people that operated the elevators ("Vertical Transport Operators"); the VTOs (and similar) were the screw-ups ... every type of job in every branch has a place for those that are just along for the ride or screw-ups, or attitude cases.
As mentioned, Marines and Army are riflemen/infantry first, then their job assignment second (all the services call their job numbers by different names).
The Air Force, Navy, and Coast Guard tend to have the better technical training, though some can be pretty obscure (like the Navy's Nuclear Electronic Tech ... not so many Nuke jobs around at the moment, that could change).
Marines, Army, Navy tend to have a lot of practical job skills (construction, mechanical, food service ...).
With the general exception of the Marines and Coast Guard, the Service Branches all have Land, Sea, Air, and Ground assignments in a wide variety of jobs.
The point is, if you have any clue as to what you want to do later in life, you can find something in any of the services that will apply, in addition to giving you some assistance through college, a VA loan guaranty for a home, if you choose to use it, and lately, some hiring preference in the private sector, as well as "time-in-service" applying to federal civil service time-in-service.
All of the services have dangerous jobs, all can have some fluffy jobs ... it's not automatic, you have to work for the better jobs, just like in real life as a civilian.
As an aid for future bar fights: The Marines are a a branch of the Navy, sort of, and the Air Force branched off from the Army. All four make fun of each other. However, in a bar fight any will fight any, unless there's Marines and Navy against any of the others or Army and Air Force against any of the others the two group up to fight the third (or all four if they're in the same place ... pretty unusual). All four tend to "hate" the Coast Guard ("Knee Deep Navy"). In a battle zone, all are buddies because they all depend on each other to survive.
Oh, and one final caution: Nothing your recruiter tells you will be true; it's all a huge lie ala the "Private Benjamin" movie (well, not a lie per se, more like an extreme exaggeration of the truth).
Last edited by scottmac; 11-20-2012 at 05:00 PM.