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Old 06-08-2012, 02:25 PM   #66
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 453
Originally Posted by bostonsc4 View Post

I'll graduate with a bachelors in Psych. I'll owe my school roughly 32-38k in loans that will BEGIN to be collected 6 months after I graduate. So, with that, I am looking to begin signing up, talking to recruiters, taking officer qualifying exams as soon as possible because whatever route I end up going, I want to be shipping out by this time next year. (summer shortly after I graduate) This is because I'm not interested in finding a civilian job to try to start paying the loans back. (I can be honest when I say I'm very interested in military loan repayment assistance. It is just an added bonus that what I want to do as a career wants to help me pay for school.

I'm not much closer to making a final decision just yet, and this is because there are many factors going into it. Questions like: Will I be able to leave during the next summer?

Yes. When you get your physical completed and you pick your job as an enlisted man, have 3,5 jobs in mind that you would like to do. I am sure you will get one of them.

When you go to pick your job in the Army, they will give you numerous jobs to pick from. They will also list the number of vacancies for each job, ship dates and any freebies that go with it, like student loan repayment, cash bonus and the minimum length of obligation.

Every branch has a Delayed Entry Program. You can enlist and ship as much as 12 months out. But no longer. If you want to leave next summer you have plenty of time. In other words...if you want to leave next July, you must wait until this July to join. If you want to ship next June 15, you must wait until June 16 to enlist. Understand ? If you decide to go the enlisted route, tell them you want to leave in May after you graduate.

If you want to be in the Infantry or drive a tank. No problem. You can ship any day of the week. Classes start 2, 3 times a week. If you want to be an air traffic controller or an aviation mechanic, you will be limited. There are not as many ATC's as there are Infantrymen. So, there will not be as many classes. They may only have 1 class a month starting for ATC operators. Does this make sense ? I am only trying to throw out a few hypothetical examples to help explain the process.

Ditto for Officer Candidate School.

If you want to fly helicopters, they do not have loan repayment plans for officers. If getting the loans repaid is important, I would suggest going enlisted in the field you might be interested. In other words, if you want to fly helicopters, get a job in aviation such as mechanic, ATC, aviation administration etc.....and put in a packet after 2 years or so. Make sure you like the lifestyle first.

Fair warning....many of the jobs require longer commitments than others. ATC operators and Military Police are 5.5 and 6 year commitments. Infantry is 2,3,4,5,6 years. Make sure you want what you are signing up for. And only sign up for the minimum term. You can always reenlist later. You might not like it. The military is not for everyone.

If you want aviation, you will need a secret clearance where they send investigators to interview the references you list. Make sure you list good reliable ones. Not the ones that are going to brag about how drunk you get or how much weed you smoke. If you are smoking anything that is not sold at 7-11, stop it now. If you have a DUI, domestic violence, weapons charge, excessive number of speeding tickets, all these can prevent you from getting approved.

Will I even be accepted into a program? (Officer programs) Will it be a job that I would want to do for x amount of years? (Taking people's advice here on not to just settle on whatever is out there)

What is more important to you now ? Becoming an officer or getting your loans repaid ? If you owe 35k, then you will owe about 400 a month in loan payments. If you are in the military, then you can get them deferred for up to 3 years. 35k is a lot of money, but you will be making more than 400 a month more as an officer than an enlisted more responsibility and respect.

However, if you are enlisted, then your loans will be repaid in 3 years at no expense to you. And the monkey will be off your back. Something to think about.

I actually just got an email from a Navy recruiter I introduced myself to last week, he wants me to go take a stab at the Navy ASTB test. We'll see about that. Thanks very much guys for the replies, I'm going to reread the thread over again and again.
Does your college have an ROTC ? Drop by and speak with them. Tell them
you want to take the ASVAB test and see if they can set you up without going thru a recruiter. The test is good for two years.

However, the ASTB won't hurt either

Good luck though !
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