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Anyone have a 17 year old that signed up for the military?

My son just turned 17 a few weeks ago and he wants to go into the military.
He is wanting to quit school, get his GED and go in. He can sign up at 17 with a parent's consent. I do NOT want him quitting school (he has 1 more year left) but he got behind in the 8th grade then went to a private school for 2 years. It was a Christian based school so when he went back to public school a LOT of the credits didn't transfer because the public school didn't offer those things. He was going to sign up for the GED EXIT Program next year so he can still graduate with his class- if not he wouldn't actually graduate until year after next (almost 2 years). Him going into the military is something he's always talked about so this isn't something new. But he's so frustrated with school and being behind. 17 just sounds too damn young to me! It's his choice but I'm the mom and a nervous wreck about it all !

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Asked by BrendaMomOf3 at 12:25 AM on Apr. 28, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 4 (41 Credits)
Answers (64)
  • I think I would die from the terror of it.
    I do not think it is a good idea to drop out of school to go into the military. It would be one thing to stay in school until his regular class graduates and then he could get his GED. I think that extra year would help him make the best choice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:34 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • i think the military is a wonderful idea. and if he's smart and knows that he can get his GED let him. i wouldn't want to wait 2yrs to graduate. besides if he has to wait then when he turns 18 he could just drop out anyway and do hte GED thing. i would just talk it over with him and let him know this is a big desicion. I;m a marine wife so im all for the military. and i have had a few friends get thier GED and then do the military thing. its not so bad.

    Answer by bare121807 at 12:36 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • This is something we have talked about for a long time. His dad and I have had the heart-to-heart talk with him. Going in the military is something he is sure he wants to do. I just don't want him having any regrets about school. I quit when I was 17 and eventually got my GED. I can honestly say I don't regret it (I hated school). BUT this is my child! I guess I would have a bigger problem about it if he just wanted to quit, get his GED and get a sucky job. But we are talking about the military. He wants to do something his life. Not just lay around on the couch all day.
    Part of me also feels like a failure. I was one of those moms that said "I'll never allow my child to quit school. I'll walk him to class if I have to, etc". He's a smart child and always did well in school. But he's kinda gottin screwed with the system. I'll post another topic in a sec about that.
    I guess I am looking for reassurance? Hell if I know!

    Answer by BrendaMomOf3 at 12:53 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • thats understadnable. i personally dont have kids yet, we are trying though. and im sure id feel the same as you if it was reversed. but he did get screwed over which wasn't right. and i understand why he would want to and you wouldn't be any means be a failure. like you said atleast he wants to do something with his life and not get a sucky job where he could get laid off eventually or whatever.

    Answer by bare121807 at 1:05 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Well, if this is something he has stuck to for quite awhile, it's probably not just a phase... Perhaps it would be good for him?
    My SS went into the USMC at 19, & is getting ready to deploy to Kabul, Afghanistan, in June (*sob*). But he doesn't regret it a bit. Being in the Marines has been a great thing for him. He has become very focused, goal-oriented, & has found a place where he can use his intelligence (he works at the Navy JAG office in VA). My DH was very hesitant to accept Chris' decision to join the Marines (even though he was in the Navy LOL), because he thought Chris only wanted to join because his best friend had joined a few months before. But since he has seen how well Chris is doing, he is now at peace with his decision.
    Perhaps you could tell him you will fully support him & sign the paperwork once he has finished his GED. That might get him to get a move on :)
    Good luck mama!!

    Answer by emslala at 1:55 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • There are ways to serve the country besides the military. What about CityYear

    Answer by rkoloms at 5:54 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • I don't have a 17 year old, but I was a recruiter for the Air Force before I got married and had children. The fact that you are seeking out information so you can help your son make an informed choice definately pulls you right out of the "sucky mom" bracket lol. The military was a great way for me to grow up in a controlled environment, but it does have it's obvious drawbacks (ie deployments, etc). Sounds like you've talked this through with him pretty thoroughly. One thing I will mention is that if he were to have his traditional high school diploma, that may affect the quality of jobs he is offered (at least w the AF) and it would give him a bit of time to really research jobs and branches of services to find the one that best suits his goals. I would also suggest that mom and dad visit the recruiters w him and don't make any snap decisions in the office no matter how much pressure the recruiter puts on ya.

    Answer by frznchzn at 6:40 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • Has he talked to a recruiter yet? Does he know which MOS (job) he would like to do? With a GED the job choices drop dramatically. Before he makes any decisions I to join, I would have him check to make sure he can get his job he wants  with a GED. If not then maybe he can check into a online high school so he can graduate faster. Good Luck!


    Answer by JeremysMom at 6:45 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • It sounds like he knows what he wants at least. It could be worse and he just wants to drop out. I'd suggest you and his dad sit and have a talk with him about getting his GED prior to going into the army though. If he does that he can get education through the military if he chooses (I think don't quote me on this). You definitely need to have him speak to a recruiter and see what options are available to him.

    Answer by katzmeow726 at 6:52 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

  • My hubby signed up at 17 for the USMC, and has now been in for almost 8 years and is getting ready for his 5 overseas tour..He was he had always wanted to and I know he didn't have much of a fight since his dather was in the air force..And as a wife, yeah there are terrifing parts and there is a lot of stress, but my hubby loves job and I dont think he could ever do something else and be happy. Some ppl just are made for the miltiary and your som could be one of them. And it is the military, it could be ten times worse on what he wants to do. Now about dropping out of school, I would let your son know that most branches now want a high school diploma. The GED wont do, if they have a GED they will have to take extra classes before enlisting or going off to boot camp. My BIL just hit this snag laast year when trying to sign up at one wanted to just GED..

    Answer by AProudUSMCWife at 7:22 AM on Apr. 28, 2009

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