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Author Topic: Guys, I really need some advice about joining. Badly.
Cog
Recruit
Member # 340

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posted 04 June 2021 15:57      Profile for Cog   Email Cog      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm in a bad place right now, and I need some serious advice.

I just finished my first year of University. I didn't do so well, but I didn't really want to go in the first place. However, I saw the wisdom of investing in my future. Figured I could hack for that reason, if nothing else. I took engineering, which was the only thing I thought I might be interested in. Unfortunately, Engineering is sort of the academic equivalent of the Navy SEALs. And if you're not committed, you don't get very far. And I'm just not ready to make that commitment. It has to come from the inside, and it's not there.

As I grew up, the only thing I thought about was the army (and girls). While other kids were reading Othello, I had my nose in The Art of War. Death of a Salesman? Oh, that's nice. I just finished Five Rings, wanna talk? I was fascinated with firearms in particular. Not like other kids who were 'Guns are cooool'. I read the histories, the gunsmithing books, the How it Works stuff. I was also into explosives- While other kids were playing with firecrackers, I was learning the difference between RDX and C4, Semtex and ammonium nitrate. While they were stuffing firecrackers in apples, I was learning about coke-bottle charges and blasting caps. My interest in these things has always run deep, even though I could never find a reason. I did martial arts, and continually pushed my limits physically. I'd run through the local parts, pretending I was on a combat maneouver, and I'd try and stalk deer (very, very hard) or unknowing men and women that were out for a walk (too easy). I got very good at it, too. I was always a little appart from all the other kids, a little different. This was how I grew up, and all without my parents not knowing more than they had too...

I come from a wealthy backgroud, and my parents always frowned on my interest in weapons, camoflauge, and soldiering in general. Frowned to say the least. I was 'high society' and all that, and thus expected to act the part. Study stockmarkets and whatnot. I was not to act like some wannabe-grunt. I followed their wishes for the most part, getting good marks, playing sports, and eventually going to University, where I am now. But I've hit a wall. And after my first year I don't think this is what I'm here to do.

I'm in spring school right now, making up for my poor performance. And each day I get a little closer to the recruiter's office. But just thinking about actually doing it makes my stomach turn. The look in my parents eyes when I tell them... I've always been a family favorite, marked for success. And they have always prided themselves on that fact. If they look at me like I have failed them, which is what they will believe, I think it will break me. I don't know what I'm going to do.

The thing that scares me is that I've been brought up in a world where money is success and happiness, and the military is not about money. I've had most things given, and the military is about earning. I've spent most of my time doing whatever I fancied, and the military is about disicipline. In short, the military world is a complete polar opposite to the one I live in right now. And oddly enough, I hunger for it. Yet, I've been closer than most people to my family, and I know that they will not, cannot understand. Nor can I make them understand, as I've tried. They see a little boy who is going to ruin his life. Their little boy. And I don't know what to do.

I don't know where else to turn. I know this is all pretty immature, and that I should just do it because it's my life and all that. But I'm really close to my family, and I know what this will do to them. Especially my Mom, because her brother was in for 32 years as a peacekeeper and was an alcholic, which was pretty hard on her. And my Dad just plain won't understand, and will feel hurt because he will believe he failed me in some way, because I'm in for a hard life with little in the way of material rewards, when I could easily have a life of wealth and comfort.

So I'm asking for guidence here. This is a decision that will affect the rest of my life, even if I don't even finish basic. And I need advice, experiences, and help.

I Sincerely Thankyou,

Greg.


Posts: 14 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
the patriot
Infantry Forum Moderator
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posted 04 June 2021 19:51      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now Greg,

I need to know if you are interested in going Reg Force or Reserve. Either of the two, if you're going Officer will yield extremely similar training for you. The Officer program is broken into 4 phases. The first being your Basic Officer Training. You must pass BOTC in order to get to the other phases. The 2nd being your Combat Leadership Course. The 3rd being dismounted tactics at the platoon level (for infantry/engineer). The 4th and final phase is tactics in a mechanized setting for a section/platoon. The reason I am recommending the officer program is that at the Reserve level, with time you can receive compensation in credit of your degree (at least a portion of; this is new as of this year). As for your education, have you thought of transferring laterally into a related area such as physics or pure mathematics?! A lower course load, and you'll still be saving face with your family instead of outright dropping out of university. From the sounds of it, you have the makings of quite the philosopher (another degree choice for you...).
At any rate, it is understood that your family's opinion of you is quite important for you. Military service is an honourable trade. Many men before you and I have laid their lives down in combat for us to be sitting here typing away on our keyboards. If your family honestly cares about you, they will respect your choice. Regardless what you choose to do. And you are correct, you will have to earn everything when you go on Basic. Nothing in life comes free. A little blood, sweat, and tears never did kill anybody. It just made them a stronger person.....

-the patriot-


Posts: 286 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Disturbance
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posted 04 June 2021 21:45      Profile for Disturbance   Email Disturbance   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I still cant believe how similar our stories are....only difference so far is that I acted on my instinct instead of my parents word.....Picture yourself on your death bed years from now...is there anything that you did not do that your mind, body and whatever had been telling you to do since as far back as you can remember. I bet you can think of one thing. And that one thing wont just appear again when you are about to die it will be on your mind for your whole life. And the only reason you never acted it on it was cause you didnt wanna upset some ppl.

I can actually feel the position you are in cause I was there not too long ago. No one here will tell you what to do. You have to make that choice for yourself. and If you are anything like me and I think you are the choice was made years ago, now you just gotta act on it.


Posts: 41 | From: Vancouver, Canada | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
PTE Fader
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posted 04 June 2021 23:44      Profile for PTE Fader   Email PTE Fader   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Holy ****zor, your story has alot of parrallels to my own.

For one, I'm enrolled in the faculty of Engineering for University next year, but don't fully want to do it and am only in it because of how superficially greedy my parents (father expecially) are. Second off, since I've been a little kid, I've always dreamed of being a soldier. Not nessesarilly a "Rambo commando" type, but a man who serves his country, does his duty, and still does cool stuff (eg: play with firearms, pyrotechnics, various vehicals). However, fear of dissapointing my father (especially), myself, and the unknown future that lay ahead in the military, always kept my from enlisting.

However, my story differs in that I was obese, depressed, lazy, and slothien; noone in my familiy has ever been in the military; and i didn't do as much hardcore stuff as you described; but nevertheless, the similiarites are still there.

Anyway, back to the point, I enlisted for a few reasons, the primary one, is becuase a friend of mine almost literally dragged my sorry, cowardly *** into the recruiting office. The second, was that I thought about what I'd be doing twenty years from now and began to realize that at any time, I could die, and if i hadn't been intrepid enough to do things that made life worth living, i hadn't really lived at all. I was concerned about my future, true, but the way i see it, being in the reserves (especially) guarentee that i'm employed for the next x-number of years with the possibility of advancing onward from a part time job into a full time career. The income that i bring in is enough to impress my father to the point that he won't bug me about it (as allegidly, now even reservists can reek the benifits of a new scholarship program). And I'm actually doing something I like and enjoy.

Additionally, joining the military taught me an esspecially importan lesson. I'm glad I learnt it now in fact, rather than still not learning it in the way my older brother hasn't, in his second year od engineering. Your parent's influence over you, especially at this age, is only a construct of your mind. They can control you only as much as you let them. Now, I'm not saying to be disruspectful or resentful of them, but that creation of your mind, that underlying voice telling you "think about your parents" is something that will make you thier child for as long as it controls you. Sorry to ramble off topic, but my older brother is just like that. He does nothing until he gets my fathers approval. Since I've joined the military, and it's only been a few months since, i've come to realize that my parents' control over my life is extremly minut, and that i'm in control of my own destiny. It is for that reason that i consider myself more of a man than my older brother.

Sorry, I've goon too far, I'd just say, to conclude, that do what you heart tells oyu. Forgive me for sounding like some cheesy disney movie, but do what you think you'll be best suited for. If you're parents have any concern for you're well being, they'll understand, even if they're superficial materialists.

[ 04 June 2001: Message edited by: PTE (R) Fader ]

[ 04 June 2001: Message edited by: PTE (R) Fader ]


Hopefully a future Sig Op...
The Plan:
-Reservist throughout University until I get my Engineering degree;
-Take QL3's, QL5's and perhaps even JLC's in the mean time and at least get up to Corporal
-Upon Completion of University, try to go on a Peace Keeping tour ASAP
-Come home, see what's next...


Posts: 17 | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Grunt031
Recruit
Member # 314

posted 05 June 2021 01:38      Profile for Grunt031        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Boy, that is a real sob story, write a book....

Don't let your parents ideas for you guide your course. If you feel up to it, join the Reg force. Its a three year term for an NCM and you can get out after that and continue with school if you really don't find it is for you.

Just don't end up forty and wishing you would have went. You only live once and it is your life...not your parents.


Posts: 24 | From: Out West... | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
JRMACDONALD
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posted 05 June 2021 04:00      Profile for JRMACDONALD   Email JRMACDONALD   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
COG- you aren't looking for advice! You are looking for someone to tell you what to do! [Rage] Make a decision! or stay at home and get your PHD!



Posts: 142 | From: CALGARY,AB, CANADA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Cog
Recruit
Member # 340

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posted 05 June 2021 11:44      Profile for Cog   Email Cog      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well guys, thanks for the advice. And really, what you said was what I knew all along. I just didn't have the balls to admit it and face up to my parents. I did that last night. It was tough, but we got through it. And JRMACDONALD is absolutely right. I had my head stuck up my *** and I couldn't make a decision.

As to my parents, I learned a lot about them last night. They were mostly concerned that I was going to throw away all the options they've given me. Chances are, if I dropped out of school and joined the army right now, I wouldn't go back to school. And if I decide down the road that the army is not where I want to be, well, I'm 30 years old with only a highschool diploma and not even civilian trade (I'd go in for infantry). They were also a little worried that I'd get sent off to some war and comeback dead or maimed.

So they made me sit down and have a long talk with my uncle this morning. MWO, Ret. Signals. He had 33 years in, and has done it all. We sat down and he told me things about his life he had never told anyone else. Stuff he hadn't thought about since his wife died. He said if I tried to quit school and join the army, he'd beat the livin' **** out of me all the way back to the registar's office. And I believe him.

So in the end, we decided that if I want to join the army, I wait until after I have the degree. That way I can sign on, put my time in, and if I decide I don't want 30 years of it, get out and have a nice cushy civilian job waiting for. In the mean time, I'm going to join the Reserves and see how it is. In the end, I realized that it really is my decision and not my parents. I think it's the right decision. It feels right to me.

Thanks to all those who responded. It really is amazing how similar some of our stories can be. I guess it just goes to show that were all in the same boat.

Thanks again,

Cog.


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the patriot
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posted 05 June 2021 16:48      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Cog,

There are a lot of things that parents DON'T KNOW!!!! That's why there are counsellors at the recruiting centre that can answer questions that your uncle (the MWO) can't!!! For example, your parents concerns are valid. But do take their considerations with a grain of salt!!!!! My advice was NOT to drop out of university. Your uncle probably has preconceived notions about the Reserves (every former member of the regular force seems to have an uninformed opinion for some reason or the other; I've met a lot of them). At any rate, it is good to see that you are staying in school. As for your enlistment in the Reserves, I would strongly suggest that you go the Officer route. The reason for this, is that down the road when you finish your degree you will receive monetary ($$$$$) compensation for your degree on top of your normal wage. Essentially the equivalent of a "performance bonus" on civy street. And with that, the best of luck with your future!!!!

-the patriot-


Posts: 286 | From: The Great White North | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Cog
Recruit
Member # 340

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posted 05 June 2021 19:39      Profile for Cog   Email Cog      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I went and saw the recruiter today. Unfortunately, I've missed the summer training courses. So I have to do my basic in October on weekends, and wait until next summer for my MOC. I missed the BOTC too. The recruiter (an NCO) reccomended I do basic and MOC as a NCM, and then if I wanted to do officer training, talk to my CO and see if there was a position open in the unit. If there was, go and do it.

I was also wondering about this school thing the recruiter told me about- apparently the army will pay for up to half of my tuition (as an NCM) while I'm in the reserves, no obligation. Any one know about this? I certainly havn't heard about it before.

And how does the pay work. I got the full/half day thing down, but apparently you get money for staying overnight and money for going to training camps. What? How?

Probably sounds like I didn't listen to well, but I didn't think of a whole bunch of things after. Ah well.

Greg.


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JRMACDONALD
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posted 05 June 2021 22:26      Profile for JRMACDONALD   Email JRMACDONALD   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Taken your first steps,huh!? There are allowances ($$$, on top of your pay!)you are entitled to while training to "offset" the spartan conditions you may experience. there a whole slew of them. FOA/Field operations allowance( when you are on EX), TD/temporary duty allowance(when on course or tasking) are just two. Keep walking down your own path!!



Posts: 142 | From: CALGARY,AB, CANADA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
RCA
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posted 08 June 2021 00:52      Profile for RCA     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
By joining the reserves you will be combining the best of both worlds- continuing your education (long range goal) and being in the military enviorment.

However two words of caution. as I read it you are not entitled to the tuition benefit until you are trained (I read that as QL2 qual -ie completion of basic trg) and 1 year service [don't quote me, but check it out]. The other is the NCM/Officer jump. My advise is decide which way YOU want to go and follow through. It is next to impossible to go from officier to NCM and not that easy to go the other way.

Next go to the local armoury and visit. Decide on what trade you want. Each has its own advantages and disadvatages.(remember the infantry isn't the only "cool" combat arm, there is also the Artillery and our poor cousins, the Armoured)

Whatever you decide, you can't go wrong joining the reserves and getting a taste of something you thought about for a long time. Thats what I did and that was 26 years ago


Ubique


Posts: 198 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
JRMACDONALD
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posted 08 June 2021 03:55      Profile for JRMACDONALD   Email JRMACDONALD   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
RCA-- HHOO RAH!. Damn I must have been talking chinese!!



Posts: 142 | From: CALGARY,AB, CANADA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Michael Dorosh
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posted 08 June 2021 08:52      Profile for Michael Dorosh   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Dorosh   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why do I get the feeling "Greg" is a newspaper reporter...or SIU officer?



Posts: 169 | From: Calgary, Alberta | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Cog
Recruit
Member # 340

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posted 08 June 2021 09:48      Profile for Cog   Email Cog      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No, not a reporter. And I don't even know what an SIU Officer is. Some kind of watch dog, I would think. I'm a second year engineering student (that is to say, I just finished first year) at the UofC who is disallusioned with the boredom of civillian life and looking for a little change. As a kid, I always wanted to be a soldier, so now that I'm ready to do something...

I realize that I am asking a lot of questions, and some of them poke a little deeper than others. However, as I said in another post, I'm rapidly finding out that joining the military has far more consequences or implications than I had ever imagined. I had always thought I'd sign up, make some freinds, play with some toys and march around in the uniform. As it turns out, there's far more to it than that. Far more.

So, I'm just trying to be completely sure that I am making as much of an informed decision as possible. And I have to say, this group really has been a Godsend for that.

I do like to write, as you all have no doubt noticed from the length of my posts. Unusual for an engineer, to say the least. I've never been a very 'normal' person though, so you'll have to forgive me. I am considering putting up a web page sometime down the road that details my experiences going through the system (assuming that sort of thing is allowed). That way people in my shoes could have a first hand account of what it's all about, and not have to come and continually badger fine people like you for information that any grunt worth his salt knows. The Basic Training FAQ is a start on that, I guess. Anyways, I'm not a reporter. I don't even like reporters. I'm just a guy looking for something to take pride in, something challenging (that doesn't involve text books), and a couple a buddies to drink with now and then.

RCA- thanks for the advice. I'll grill the recruiter to make sure I know how it works.

Thanks again to everyone,

Greg.


Posts: 14 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michael Dorosh
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posted 08 June 2021 18:49      Profile for Michael Dorosh   Author's Homepage   Email Michael Dorosh   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Stop talking, start doing.

Michael Dorosh, CD

BA (Hist) U of C '92, BA (COMS) U of C '94

Seriously....just do it.



Posts: 169 | From: Calgary, Alberta | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged

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