M asked in Politics & GovernmentMilitary · 1 decade ago

Am I stupid or patriotic for joining the military?

I have chosen to join the Armed Services at the age of 34. I have a college degree and also maxed out the ASVAB and scored a 99 on the qualification test. I enlisted anyway instead of trying to be an officer. I signed up for a combat position. I choose 11 bravo - Infantry. I am in good physical shape and I can easily max the Army's PT test... but that's not why I signed up for a grunt position. I wanted to serve my country and be proud of what I did. I believe that the infantryman in today's military is a thinking man. So, for lack of a better phrase, I wanted to "be all that I can be".

I have a brother that's 24and a PFC in the Army. He's in Iraq right now and he works Intelligence. I've always wanted to be in the military and I'm self-disciplined, so I love the structure and the discipline. For me, there is no greater job than to be an infantryman. To me, its the most honorable job in the world... and I've worked all kind of lousy jobs. I can't wait to be serving with my brothers out there and my real brother. I love everything about the military... the only reason I didn't go sooner is that I'm the eldest child and always tried to please my parents, and the military was something they've always discouraged me from joining. After learning of my brothers enlistment which he did behind their backs, I decided that now is my chance to be somebody. This is something I've always wanted to do... I stayed in shape my entire life for just this reason. I hope I do well... thanks for listening.

Update:

I own my own company and my other brother who works for me will be taking that over. I'm not doing this for loss of a job or for money. I make 5 times what I will make in the Army. I was told that I can still be an officer if I wanted to... I would just have to take an alternate route than OCS or ROTC. I was told you the age dates for commission don't really mean anything and they've commissioned officers in their 40's, and in some cases commissioned officers without degrees.

Update 2:

Sovereign,

I am not joining to fight for politics. I am joining to help my brothers already there, and my real brother. That is why i join. Politics will go right out the window when bullets are zipping my your head. I join because of the people already there.

14 Answers

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  • Steve
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There are only two jobs in the army; infantry and everything else. When I was recruiting we had a chemical engineering graduate from RPI (one of the best engineering schools in the country) enlist after he graduated. He was 26 out of a class of 260. Only problem he wanted to be infantry and he was already enlisted in the reserves as a chaplains assistant. He required a waiver to change jobs. My command approved that in record time. His reason; he had done what his parents wanted now he was going to do what he wanted. When I left my last assignment as squad leader I was 32, I consistently scored 285 -290 on the PT test in the 18 - 21 year old category. Most brand new privates only scored a 211. Any good platoon sergeant can PT a group of 21 year olds into the ground. It is all mental. Any dumb 18 year old can carry a weapon and rucksack; it takes skill and intelligence to become an expert tactician and to effectly use the equipment of todays army.

    The infantry is challenging and will propably put in the most miserable situations and places you have ever been. At the same time it will provide with experiences and challenges unlike any other that will only help to develop you.

    Hooah

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Its never too late to join the military.. unless you are beyond the age limit of course. In my unit we have a lot of older individuals who are serving right next to the younger soldiers. The older guys tend to whine a lot more I have noticed, and are a lot more picky about stuff but they get the job done.

    34 is not old to me. We have a lot of lower enlisted that are older too. They get a lot of flack for being older but its all in joking and good health. Good job and congratulations. You have an adventure ahead of you

    Just remember just because you have a degree doesnt mean that you should become an officer

    You should become an officer if you can be a good leader, the fact that you need a a degree (which you really dont, you only need 90 credits to commission through ocs) is just part of the pie.

    You should be organized, a great influential and persuasive speaker, be on top of your game, know how to lead from the front and by example and a quick thinker, otherwise your soldiers will pay the price.

    Source(s): Army 1st Lieutenant
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I joined right out of college and was home within 2 months due to prior health issues that I had been told wouldn't be a problem. Be sure that you have NO potential medical disqualifiers in your past. They don't catch everything at MEPS so gather up a nice list of any and all meds you've ever been on and try to think of any medical/psych/etc. visits you've ever made. The Army wants bodies right now so they will overlook things that may become a problem later on. I was in Fort Benning, GA and spent a month and a half in a discharge unit before I was sent home. You do not want to do that. Trust me.

    You are not stupid for joining. The Army is stretched thin right now and is in rough shape, so be prepared to be a little bit shocked by how some of it operates. It's not a perfectly efficient machine. Just be sure that this is what you really, REALLY want. Best of luck to you. Hooah.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Good for you. Joining the military was something I always wanted to do but never did because I wanted to please my parents and I know they weren't to thrilled about the idea. When I was 22 middle of my college career, I decided to join. I am glad I did. I am an officer now and don't regret anything.

    There is nothing wrong with your decision about becoming 11B with your education. You can always go the officer rout later if you want to (before your age becomes an issue) and if not, that's okay too. My brother has a masters and can get a direct commission but prefers the life of an NCO... nothing wrong with that.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I definitely don't think what you did was stupid! While you could have become an Infantry Officer, I understand why you enlisted. I absolutely think what you did was a great act of patriotism. I totally understand your desire to be an infantryman. I also feel that infantry would be one of the most fulfilling jobs for those with the burning desire to serve their country. While every job in the military is important, I would definitely choose to be infantry if I could (I am female, so I cannot). There is an old recruiting poster aimed at females saying, "Be a Marine, Free a Marine to fight!" and I don't mind doing just that! Good luck with everything and thanks for your service!

    Source(s): Marine Officer Candidate
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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Merchant of Death - Shut the **** up. There are many, many ways to become an officer at almost any age. Are you really so pathetic that you have to find faults in other people to make yourself happy?

    Dude, you are a hero! You are my hero! I'm in college now, I'm extremely intelligent, and I'm considering enlisting after college. I'm not sure what I'll do for sure, though: if I think I'll make a good officer, then I'll be an officer. And yes I agree with what you think about today's US infantryman being a thinking man.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I'm wondering why you ask since it's obvious you made you mind up many years ago. Still, I'll give you my two cents.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that there is no more honorable job than to serve in your country's military and defend the homeland. You are a good man and deserve blessing. But you are also sadly mistaken.

    The United States of America and the United States or two different entities. The first is a confederation of 50 sovereign states and their people. This is what you believe you are defending. The second is a corporation (literally a business) and its 50 subsidiary State corporations. You are truly defending their business interests.

    America hasn't been invaded since the War of 1812, yet over the years much blood has been shed by stand-up men and women who traveled across oceans to defend "America's interests." What they really died for is corporate America's drive toward empire building. No different from the British Empire, the Roman Empire, the Greeks, the Persians, etc., etc. All empires eventually implode and so will that of the United States.

    I used to stand with a tear in my eye as the brave young members of the U. S. Armed Forces passed by. I thought of the brave sacrifices they were making for me. I still stand and watch in awe. The tear remains. But now I think of the foolish sacrifices they make to the god of corporate greed and power.

    I wish you well. I know I can't change your mind. I'll pray for your safety and hope your experience is all you hope it will be. But that will not change the truth which has been carved into years of history for all to see... if only we will open our eyes. God bless!

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  • 1 decade ago

    You are an American hero for what you did, especially because you did this voluntarily and were not forced to. Anyone who calls you stupid is a traitor, or worse. I wish you all the best, and your brother too. You are right about the infantryman being a thinking man. Grunts today aren't like they were in WWII. They are very intelligent (not to say that WWII troops weren't) and they need to know how to use and operate complicated multi-million dollar weapons systems. Good job for doing your patriotic duty!

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  • 1 decade ago

    I salute you actually..I don't think you are stupid for wanting to serve, I would re-enter the army myself if I knew I could get past medical. I was an 11-B myself many a year ago. But also just because you join the military, doesn't mean you are a patriot, it means you are serving your country, a patriot in my eyes stands up for what he believes in even if it may not be popular.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Good luck to you. If someone thinks you are stupid for joining, then just let it go. Everyone has an opinion, and we are free to disagree with each other. IMO sounds like you are joining with eyes wide open and don't have unrealistic expectations. Wish you all the best!

    Source(s): Army nurse
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