My first enlistment was Navy in February 1977. I left the Navy June 1985 for the Army. Retired with 20+ active service in 2002. Was a recruiter for the Navy and a recruiter for the Army. Am familar with the USN/USAF/USMC enlistment contracts designating a career field and reclassifying the recruit at Basic Training. The Army has a career field and a job specialty in the enlistment contract that you have before you put your hand in the air. It is not like the "Striker" program in the Navy. All that aside, I agree that this young man should not enlist unless he receives something in writing he is ready and willing to sign for, regardless of which service it is. The other question is why is he considering the service? Is it for the money? The travel? The Excitement? The skill training? Money for college after you get out? Or service to country? Depending on your motivation, you can take a short tour, come out and go to college on Uncle Sugar's dime. Look at where you want to see yourself four years or so down the road and it should help you make the call. Just my two cents, buddy.
Everyone else that has posted has made damn valid points. I had my recruiter try and play the bait-and-switch on me at the MEPS station in KC to get me to be a radar technician, and I told them I would walk out before swearing the oath if I did not get my 11B slot (sidenote: I often looked back on this moment and wondered how much better my life would have been had I agreed). Matt Stone made damn good points though, recruiters have a job to do. Most of them do that job very well, but if you give them trouble (as often you must) they have no reason to keep the kid gloves on with you. There is another choice, though it may not be one you necessarily want to take.
MOS transfers for job slots for enlisted personnel already in the service and reenlisting take priority over new applicants. That means that someone who is currently a ditch digger, but wants to be a combat medic, can reenlist to be a combat medic and have his application for the medic slot take precedence over EVERYONE ELSE. You may have to suffer a few years in a job you do not necessarily like, but I actually knew a good guy who came into the Army as a supply guy and transferred to 11B by reenlistment and went on to be one of the best fucking fireteam leaders I ever saw. If you REALLY want it, there are ways to get it. The question is if you are willing to pay the price to get them.
Perhaps it's a slight derail, but I think it would would add valuable information to the discussion. What is the difference between Army and Navy contracts? I don't know much about the "striker" navy programs (I don't think they're still in use actually). I went to data system technician "A" school, which was guaranteed in my contract, as well as "C" school for UYA-4 display systems. My contract guaranteed me a "C" school (and consequently an NEC), though it didn't specify which one.
Originally Posted by Cougar Spirit
If this young man wants to be a medic, he can enlist in the Navy and have corpsman "A" school guaranteed to him (of course passing is up to him). How are the Army programs different?
i worked in a recruiting office.
we had a guy enlisting on an academic waiver as a general airman (just like general seaman, but he washes planes instead of mopping decks).
i'm not going to say much, but he thought he was going to be a pilot after 4 years in the navy scrubbing pilot jizz out of cockpits.
Generally speaking, the Army contract specifies your MOS/NEC, plus any incentives. As long as you hold up your end of the deal and successfuly complete the course of training. The Navy usually specifies a basic "A" school out of boot. The additional schools/course are contingent upon successful completion of the first prerequisite. Getting through A school and Beep school pretty much quarantees you get the specific electronic position you want, but not always. Even with the enlistment contracts presented by the USN/USMC, there are still quite a few re-classifications occuring at Basic Training. I enjoyed my time in the Navy and I advanced quicker and got more out of my Army time. It takes all kinds and the military is not for everyone. For those that choose that path I advise them to "try" to be flexible with their goals and take advantage of programs once they are in, to include re-enlistment bonuses and cross-training.
Disclaimer: My recruiter was an absolutely great guy, and 100% kept his word on everything he said he would do. Many recruiters are not like this.
I entered into the delayed Enlistment Program as an 11X, because I wanted an 18X slot and there were none at the time. My recruiter convinced me to do this because it would just be a matter of waiting for a slot to open, then reserving it for me and signing the contract. By the time he was able to obtain an 18X slot for me, I'd done more research and realized I wanted a language first plus a marketable MOS to fall back on in case I didn't make it through SFAS, so I renegotiated my contract from 11X to 98X. And then I ended up really liking my job, so I decided to keep doing it in a more specialized setting instead of going to SFAS.
Point being, my recruiter was great, and renegotiating my contract worked exactly like he said it would. So it can work out. If there's no other job that you really want, I'd HIGHLY suggest waiting a few months instead of signing a contract you're not happy with, or going to a recruiter in a different region (MOS slots are regional, a lot of times).
Something else: You can absolutely walk away from a military enlistment before you ship with no tangible consequences. So if you're okay with doing that, feel free. I'm of the opinion that once you sign your name to something and say you're going to do it, you should do your best to be true to your word, even if it doesn't work out exactly how you wanted it to.
i know 11b is regular infantry, what's 11x? is that a catch all for infantry type jobs?
for the record, my recruiters were pretty stand up as well, but i had a good ASVAB score and i wanted an "elite" mos. namely nuclear technology. the guys that didn't have anything extraordinary to offer, they might have been led to believe things that weren't exactly kosher.
Just to add my .02. When I enlisted (DEP 1997) I wanted an 11X opt. 40 contract and nothing else. When I went to MEPS I was ready to sign my contract and start my service after college (I was in my senior year). While at MEP’s they told me there were no opt. 40 contracts but I could get an Airborne slot and renegotiate later. I firmly but politely stated “no”. They tried everything to talk me into signing up that day. I said “no” and walked out and drove back to my dorm. That was a Thursday. On Friday I was called and told they found an Opt. 40 for me. I drove over on Friday and signed. I looked at that contract every which way I could to make sure it was what I wanted. I signed and never looked back. Someone mentioned the recruiters being nasty and taking the kid gloves off. Ok, so what. Who cares. You’re a civilian and they can’t do anything to you. Walk out, tell them to call you when they have a medic slot for you. You may have to wait. Accept that fact. And then wait. When a slot is available they will call you. You think there going to miss adding you as a recruit because you pissed them off? Like just like a crack-head is going to turn down a free rock. It was also mentioned to look at other career paths and this is also great advice. Really use your time now to investigate everything. Your career is truly in your hands. Best of luck to you. Thanks for your willingness to serve. That speaks volumes.
I remember my recruiter (I didn't serve, was discharged before shipping due to MEPS finding out about my record as a minor, and my recruiter convinced me to not disclose it. Turns out he was BS'ing me on being able to get in so my wife wouldn't change her mind. I'm breaking your arms if I ever see you again Juliano)
He showed up everyday at my deadend fast food job saying stuff like "How's 40k for college sound?" (Like anyone ever really gets that bonus.)
It wasn't until months later that I realized my life was worth far more than that to me. Think on that.
11x is just unassigned infantry. I guess I could have ended up as an 11B or 11C. My ASVAB score was really high as well. I guess that might have had something to do with it, but I don't really know. Point being, I had a great experience with my recruiter. His 1SG was a dickhead, but that's a different story.
Originally Posted by STB'A
Unless you're a scumbag, you should ignore this post.
Originally Posted by ArtOfDefense
40K for college used to be the standard montgomery GI bill award. It's more than doubled since then. I got a bonus as well as the montgomery GI Bill, which then turned into the post 9/11 GI bill. Actually, every single servicemember now gets the expanded GI bill, and you don't even have to pay into it anymore. I guess if you're stupid enough to completely misfile your paperwork, or get yourself dishonorably discharged before serving 3 years, you could end up screwing yourself out of this, but otherwise, it's guaranteed. I definitely don't believe the military is for everyone, but I wouldn't listen to this tool.