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If your son wanted to join the military before he finished high school would you let him?

My son wants to but I told him the most important thing for him to do is graduate. He is struggling (mostly in math) and he has lost his motivation. He has ADHD and he just wants to go. He doesn't have it bad at home and by the grace of God we all get along. He doesn't do drugs or drink. He is not as big on games as he use to be. He does his chores when asked. He cooks and babysits when we ask or is there to pick our younger son up from school if we are running late. Which is once about every two weeks. I'm curious what others think. He is 17.

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Asked by Anonymous at 8:04 PM on Mar. 18, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (15)
  • No, i'd want my son to at least graduate first. After that, go for it!

    Answer by sandypops at 8:06 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • I don't ever want my son to join the military, I've seen it mess too many good men up. My current room mate joined before he finished high school (left for basic training the day after graduation) and he stayed for 8 years. He now has barely any life skills: he doesn't know how to pay bills, has terrible social skills, doesn't clean up after himself, and doesn't understand how the real world is (i.e. people, driving, etc) He's a wonderful man but went straight from living with his mommy to living in the barracks. I think you need to learn how to be self-sufficient before you go to the military, and get the government as your mother.

    (If you aren't adverse to the idea, I'd still say at least until he graduates. As far as I know, the army wn't take you until you have graduated.)

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:14 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • nope- he needs to graduate. that is so important and would be a huge pain to get later. plus, it sounds like he's just using the army to run away from his struggles. as a person with ADD I know how that feels and I know how strong the pull is to do something impulsive- and to even let someone else take control over your decisions (because they are so constant and overwhelming in the mind of someone with add or adhd), but you have to push through. I would try on two fronts. Adjust his meds (and certainly get him on them if he isn't already b/c through the testing, you may find that he has something similar but not quite adhd) and get him extra math help. sometimes the school has some programs or you can meet with the teacher but it can take like a sylvin class to really break through. tell him if he can't finish school, how can he commit to the army?

    Answer by mrs_pulley at 8:14 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • No! my nephew tried to join the military they wouldn't take him because he is on meds are you even sure he can join

    Answer by awelling at 8:19 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Most military branches won't take kids on meds for ADHD.
    "Although ADHD is not specifically identified in the DOD directive, ADHD is subsumed under the category of specific academic skill deficits. This directive characterizes such deficits as involving a "chronic history of academic skills or perceptual deficits." The directive further states that, "Current use of medication to improve or maintain academic skills (example: methylphenidate) is disqualifying."
    Also, the Military requires either a HS Diploma or GED as well as an entrance exam that's specific for each branch (Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, and Coast Guard).
    I'd see if you can talk to his teacher for the math and get him to stick through til June and graduation and THEN say you are more than open about talking about military options.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:30 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • My 19yo is still in high school and he enlisted in Jan. & will leave for basic in July. You NEED to have a high school diploma to join the military, they are no longer accepting students with just GED's. The Marines are so over populated that my cousin's fiance' has had his leave date changed 3 times and currently he is scheduled to leave in June (he should have left LAST June). The Air Force & the Navy are HIGHLY SELCTIVE and the Army requires a high school diploma. They even check your high school transcripts. They are also required to take a test that will decide what jobs they are qualified to do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:29 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • talk to the recruiter.... ask him to sit your son down and tell him the importance of graduating. Im pretty sure they would do that. I dont think they encourage boys to drop out for military service.


    Answer by Anonymous at 9:45 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • Last time I checked, the military required you to HAVE a high school diploma. They don't even want to except people with GED's because they are getting so many people joining right now, because of the financial situation in the country.

    Answer by roundnround at 10:35 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • you have to have a high school diploma to join i belive. my DH graduated HS then he left for basic 5 mths later. Your son can however go to the recuritng office and talk with whatever branch he wants to join to see his options.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:01 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

  • my half brother in law dropped out of high school at barely 16, stopped taking his ADHD meds, joined the army national guard, they got him his GED in a 10 day guaranteed class, he went to bootcamp, but got discharged after less than 6 month (while in job training) over mental health issues.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:46 PM on Mar. 18, 2010

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