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Jenna Peterson Offline
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Military Option - Opinions? - October 24th 2010, 03:58 PM

4 years ago when I started my university journey, I started in engineering. Life fell apart that first semester, for reasons having nothing to do with school, and I ended up with a terrible GPA. As a result, I switched schools and majors, and have spent the last 3.5 years slowly making my way part time through a Bachelor of Arts in History. Current plan is to teach.

But I feel so under challenged. I miss being asked to really think. I miss the tight community of peers. I miss the prospect of an exciting career that could go just about anywhere.

Then someone suggested that I enrol in the Canadian Forces. You know, I'm seriously considering it. I'd be enrolling for 2013, as I want to try and finish this History degree either way, and I've got family plans for summer 2012 that I don't want to miss.

If I got in to the paid education program, I would complete a summer of basic training, then a 4-year bachelor of engineering science degree at Kingston in Ontario, followed by specific training to whatever career I choose, and then I would serve my mandatory first tour of duty. If I started in 2013, I would be 34-35ish when I first get the option to leave the ranks.
-There are always options for further education along the way


Upsides:
-The pay for an officer cadet, which is what I would be as a student, before deductions and residence fees, would be equal to working full time in my current job.
-There are lots of interesting clubs to take part in during the student phase, including an equestrian club, which would be awesome! I haven't have the funds or access to a horse to ride consistently in years.
-It's very likely that I would spend most of my mandatory 4-5 years of service in Canada or the US. I'm aiming for Aeronautical Engineering, so I could be an air traffic or air weapons specialist, or I could be working with the damaged aircraft getting them back out in service, or a variety of other options. In short, I wouldn't be signing up for 5 years as a foot soldier.
-I would be a commissioned officer right off the bat, rather than a private or a Sargent.


Downsides:
-I would have to move across the country for this
-There's always danger in military service, even if you aren't a foot solider
-35 is pushing the age envelope to be just starting a family. If I want kids of my own, I would either have to get married and have kids while in service (which would mean leaves of absense which would prolong my mandatory service), actually not start having kids until 35 or later and deal with having young teenagers of my own when I'm 50, or adopt. [This as opposed to having school aged kids by age 35]


I may absolutely love whatever it is I'd end up doing and choose to continue service. I might hate it and jump at the chance to get out. I may want to explore my options in the private sector as an engineer. I may decide I want to teach anyway. No matter what I decided after that first bit of service, I'd have one heck of a resume.


What does everyone think? Canadians, what have you heard about life in our forces?


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Re: Military Option - Opinions? - October 24th 2010, 04:19 PM

My best friend is in the Canadian military right now, she absolutely loves it, I haven't seen her depression since she joined, she always has a smile on her face. The military has been a huge impact on her entire family though as well, so she wants to join in with the trend that her family has set. Its really up to you though, if its something that YOU want to do, then do it



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Re: Military Option - Opinions? - October 29th 2010, 11:23 PM

Thanks

Any other opinions?


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Re: Military Option - Opinions? - October 30th 2010, 05:45 PM

I think its a bad idea, because there are other routes. I've been in the army and times in it were enjoyable and other times were plain awful.

It often depends on the group of people you're lumped with. My basic training was ok. I got a long with quite a few guys at it and have one incredibly good friend, but then there was a group of awful lads who really made an effort to bully people. Most people either just took it or joined in with them, but fairly early on I stood up to them when they were doing it to one guy who was having trouble marching. It was fine, but it wa a little pressure underneath. Anyway, one of the things you very quickly realise is that most of the nice people leave the military relatively quickly and wankers like those stayed in it. The longer I was in and the more I got involved the more people I met like that - stupid, argumentative and just plain not nice.

Thats what it was like in the ranks. For the officers, its a little different, but they tend to be a very pompous clicque with prejudices against the ranks (and vice-versa) as well as having a lot more pressure on them and a lot of competition between them in trying to show who is better. Its generally just better educated wankers in the officers.

Anyway, what you must remember, and what I didn't think about when I was 17, is no matter what way you look at it you are going to be part of a killing machine. The point of an army and the point of all the weapons is to kill people. You, no matter what corps you are in, are being trained and used to kill.

I was in the infantry so it was more pronounced for me, but I remember it really hit me when we were told that our rifles had .55 cal rounds which are big enough and designed to give mortal wounds. They don't kill straight away, because having a man dying beside an enemy soldier is a massive distraction and if they need to give him first aid it takes up at least another 1 enemy in dealing with him.

Secondly, part of our training was in combat we were not supposed to pay any attention to any of our squad (the people we've lived with, eaten with, fought with) if they get shot.

Its not a great system and my moral values certainly don't fall in line with the army's. Its certainly something you have to look at and agree with, because when you're in it theres no thinking another way. You just do what the senior person has told you to do.
   
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