I am at the point where I have to make a choice should I get out or re-up for a 2nd time (3rd enlistment) for 4 more years and maybe not be allowed to finish them due to manpower cuts or push off on my own back into the civi world.
How long did you do, why did you get out and what was it like after you did? This is something that I have to decide for myself but I just want to hear from those that have been through it already.
Anything said here is my PERSONAL opinion nothing more
Get set up with the Guard or Reserves. Get a job and or go to school a little bit. Make your time count. The pot of gold is a little futher down the rainbow on a reserve retirement, but worth it. You will still be able to get to do some of the same stuff you like doing today.
Just a thought.
Times are different now. When I went in USAF, 1952thru 57, you could pretty much get your 20 then retire. I did my tour,got out and went to work. Strange at first but once you get back into harness, the rest is easy.
Sounds like you have a lot invested. Only you know your situation so think
carefully before you ........make a move. Good luck.
It' kinda like raising children... you don't know if you did good, for about 20 years...
I was in for 4, and got out because I didn't deal well with the peacetime military. Hindsight, (20-20) I would have been better off to have stayed in. At age 21, who knew ? In 1969, I knew a lot more about me than other folks knew about themselves, and I used that to my advantage. Knowledge, and experience provides an advantage.... get some.
In today's world, I'd think that job security would be a top priority.
I have lots...no, make that LOTS of family in the military (all branches, but mostly Marines and AirForce).
Every single one of them who got out before retirement wishes they'd have stayed in for it. Don't know if that means anything or not, but that's my piddly contribution from observation.
Take that with a grain of salt... I wasn't in it, I just married it.
Dave, if you decide to get out, please, make sure that you get into a reserve or guard unit, to get your 20 in, at least. Please don't walk away from everything that you have been working for. I left the regulars, but finished up in the reserves with 31 yrs. Got me free health insurance and a pension, but best of all, it got me out of my civilian job at age 60. I jumped services back and forth all the time, so I really screwed myself as far as time in grade goes. No complaints, though, but I wished I had stayed in the regulars, any branch. I always tell everybody I missed the two best ones, the Marine Corps and the Foreign Legion, but I hit all the rest.
Dave, what you are feeling is completely understandable. In the Navy we call it blue shirt syndrome. You are SGT, so a technical expert, but not yet at the point of senior NCO (at least in the Navy its E7 or Chief). You have tasking and are the "make it happen" guy, but still may have crappy duty, and lots of busy work.
Getting out after a few tours can be a scary endeavour, finding a job with the same benefits (especially if you are married with children), and pay may be a challenge. Sure you currently may not get paid as much as your civi counterparts, but they also pay for medical , dental, life, aflac and so forth.
Also think of how many times you asked your SSGT for a day off to do something trivial. You have been a good performer and he says sure take a special liberty day. In the civi world you take a vacation day or pto.
Also you will have to work 10 or so years before you get to the 30 days of leave that you have now.
Now I am not trying to scare you into staying, just that you should have a game plan before getting out. In two tours you should have enough time to get a Bachelors degree or a journeyman's cert in your dicipline. If you decide to get out, the Reserve is a great idea. As a matter of fact that is what I did.
I was E6 at 15 years, Hospital Corpsman and Career Counselor, ready for my sea rotation. Went back and forth with my detailer (the one who writes orders in the Navy) and we could not agree on my next duty st. I wanted a ship and she wanted to send somewhere else.
Either way I decided to get out, to the surprise of everyone in my chain of command, considering I was the frickin career counselor.
Since I had a BS degree in Electronics, I found a job with GE Healthcare and transitioned to the Navy Reserve.
Prior service is a real plus, as most employers with any sense, know that military folk have a great work ethic, and you will also find that some of the managers are prior service as well.
The culture shock comes when you see your paystub, sure your hourly salary sounded great when you signed up, but unlike some of your military benefits, almost everything is taxed. I started with 5 days of vacation a year and now after 11 years I have 2 weeks. Not all jobs are alike, but the comradery you have is nowhere close. Unless you join the Police Force or Fire Dept.
The plus of the story is that with those five years I was able to hone my skills in GE, and serve the Navy on my Reserve time. I still went TDY and also made two deployments, in the end I retired at 24 years of service as a Senior Chief E8, initiated and genuine (Navy terms you may not understand, it a fraternal thing).
Todays Reserve is not like the time of old. Sure there is a stigma tied along with the old "weekend warrior" tag, but these days a majority of the training is side by side with the active component. In the Navy, they went away with the Navy Reserve, its one Navy, active and reserve component.
Now, you could end up in a unit that is stagnant, in that case I would ask to transfer. In the Denver area there are three Navy Units within a two hours drive, the Army has much more. Also you have the opportunity to change MOS, as there are always needs to fill.
I used my time in the Reserve to train the other Reservists. I did my weekends training the young Hospital Corpsman in medical exams, and core Navy leadership. During my AT time, I repaired equipment, received training and also trained the active duty guys on my specific civilian knowledge base. As long as you make your time productive you can have a great end to your military career. I did not make it about me, but my sailors. Leading and Mentoring Junior NCO and later Junior Officers, I helped them move up the ranks, in turn it helped me move up as well.
I have been retired for two years now and I am do still miss the Navy, but I am content that I finished my Navy career proudly, having achieved my goals along side my awesome Navy Wife.
PS: it's been two years and I still cant allow myself to grow my hair out. LOL .
Just got back from second west pac and they already had my orders thinking i was gonna re up. They were gonna put me on the missouri that just came back out and was going on an 18 month world cruise. No thank you.
I served 25 years...called it quits during 1988 when leadership was replaced by management. When SgtsMaj forgot where they came from. When playing politics became more important then taking care of the troops.
I served and served well, enjoyed my time, and I seriously miss my troops and NCO's. I have no regrets for staying in nor any for getting out.
That said, I recommend you think very long and hard before you throw your 8-12 years out the window. If you're married with kids have a serious talk with them. I assure you it is less then easy in the civilian world and with current economics being in a dreadful state your current job security may not be a bad thing. The privleges you currently have will soon become very beneficial. And the truth is most of your military background and training will be acceptable to few manufacturers...the market for employees far exceeds the demand...only a handful will welcome you with open arms.
Once you hit the 10 year mark the decision becomes harder because the rest is 'down-hill'.
You not only have to deal with a loyalty-to-family situation but also a loyalty to the troops you have trained. A man has to do, what a man has to do; but ask yourself is it better to commit to your present career which is half-way completed; or to start over with no security, facing the unknown, and with a family that needs cared for.
20 years exactly, and got to fly for all of that (save during the first war where we were deployed as Ground Facs). Would not have traded the experience for anything and had the chance to work with and train the finest people in the world. Sure, things had their ups and downs but I would look more toward the bigger picture and for me it was always worth it. Why 20 ? Time to move on. Had the chance to serve well and do what I wanted and what people wanted me to do and was still running as close to the top of my game as I ever would be--and it was good to move on on a good note.
EVERY job in the world has its short term BS. Our society is suffering from nanny statism and professional victimism--as well as the PC and political BS. But to me these were mostly annoyances--silly stuff that silly people wrapped themselves around. I simply did not let these folks get to me--and would not play their game. I didn`t get in much trouble for this; I treated others with dignity and respect while still cutting loose and having a racious time from time to time (strippers in the bar is not THAT far in the past ). I viewed it as part of my duty as being part of the leadership that PC crap, litigation, and professional victimization was wholly unacceptable--and it is amazing how well people respond to this and take charge. If you want a nation of little kids, you do what we are doing now in the U.S; I viewed it as part of my duty not to accept this and expect adult decisions and help forge those I trained--and we were all better off for it. Bottom line is I didn`t let the small stuff get in the way of serving as best I could nor detract in my joy in doing so. Good luck and thank you all for your service.
One can only endure politics for so long but when I overheard a 1stLt talking to his buddies and his comment was "If we get into a war, I'm booking to Canada"; I figured it was time for this old war-dog to go lest, if we go to war, I put someone in a box.
There are far more cowards in the civilian world than there are in the military. When I got out of the military, I was not able to make the transition back into civility. Cowards want to live in the illusion, and will do everything they can to avoid reality; even to the point of alienating military employees.
We hit K-bay coming back to CA, on MSSG 11, to do a washdown on our trucks.
I slipped off of my MK48-15 Wrecker at the wash rack and fell 12 feet onto the hood of a 5-ton, rolled off, then fell 8 feet onto my back. When I hit the concrete slab, my body was twisted, which caused my injury.
I had bulged discs in my L5 / S1, causing severe nerve pain and digestion problems. I still get the limp leg symptom when I've been driving for a few hours and we stop to get out and take break. My left leg acts like it's not there when I stand up sometimes.
I had just made Sgt on ship, coming out of Seychelles too.
I went on limited duty for 8 months. I couldn't do full PT, rifle range, or Physical Fitness Test. IT SUCKED. I was stagnant basically and rehab was going to take over a year. This injury took something out of me. My motivation was gone. I thought I was young, tough, and bulletproof. As it turns out, I was not. I completely quit wanting to be one of the gung-ho bad asses and wanted to do something else. Been there, done it.
I waited out my last 8 months in the Corps on limited duty. The Career jammer was up my arse something serious to stay in, since I had 4 MOS's. Yep, they offered me 15k over 4 years to re-up after I finished rehab. I laughed and told him I was tired and wanted to go home so I could go to school.
I'm still a Marine. You can't take it out of me, I earned the Title. I just do something different for a living now.
I finished an associates in Criminal Justice. Whoopty do... I've never once used my degree to gain employment in law enforcement. I found out I don't have the temperament for dealing with idiots and people who need to be babysat all day. Not my thing at all.
Turns out, school wasn't my thing. Especially coming back from what I saw and did over in the sandbox, to come home to a bunch of lame ass kids who've never worked for anything and don't appreciate what folks like us do in the middle of the night, so they may continue to shop at the malls and see who's doing what on Facebook.
Staying in is probably your best bet if you can stay healthy man. But, from what I gather these days, everybody is broke in some sort or another, whether it be mentally or physically.
It's been 9 years now since I've been gone. Do I miss my brothers and sisters in arms? Hell yes. Do I miss someone telling me what I'm going to do 24/7? No.
CBCS - III - RESIST
Last edited by Stackz O Magz; 08-20-2012 at 09:38 AM.
I got out because of a fluke and I was young and dumb. I was all ready to reup and got to Warrent Officer school and then become a helicopter pilot. Unfortunatley 4 days before I was to re-up, I found out I was still flagged for a failed PT test 3 years before and they never removed the flag. That being said I was barred from re-enlistment and they couldn't take care of it before my ETS date. Wish I had kept better tabs on my 201 file.
__________________ Smith & Wesson - The original point and click interface.
Ater 23 1/2 years jumping out of airplanes and traveling the world practicing to win wars stopped being fun so I quit.
I too decided to quit. Tailgating a C-130 in full combat gear with a Kabar between my teeth in the dead of night into a hot DZ had its moments. Always hired, hungry, wet, cold, and miserable only goes so far. Made the choice to use intelligence rather than strength, I left the military for civilian life. Man, I was wrong; my brain was too fried by then. I now enjoy the peacefulness of retirement.
I always wanted to be in the military. I joined the Air Force in 1980. I spent my first two years at a SAC Base out in the middle of nowhere Missouri. I wanted to go overseas. I was home on leave and I met our new neighbor next door. He was married to a Filipina that he met while he was in the Navy. She was really good looking and she treated her husband like he was a King..She told me one day if you want a wife like me, then you have to go to the Philippines to find one. I went back to Missouri and signed up to go to Clark Air Base. You can call it Fate but I recieved orders about a month later. I spent four years at Clark. I am married to a good looking Filipina that is the love of my life. We have been together 30 years. She's like a fine wine. She just keeps getting better with age.. I did get to see part of the world. I have been to the Philippines,Okinawa,Japan and Korea. I did my six years and thought is was time to come home. I spent four years overseas without coming home until my time was up..