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Thinking of joining the military...is it worth it?

Posted by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 6:11 AM
  • 8 Replies
Hi everyone...I am a stay at home mom of a 2 year old son. My boyfriend has a job, but it is not paying enough at all, especially considering he has to commute an hour there and an hour back to work every day. I've tried applying everywhere but living in a small town, there aren't many options. I only have a GED so that limits me too. About the only thing I can do around here is fast food, and after me having to pay someone to watch my son it wouldn't be worth it. I've tried looking for work at home jobs, but I cannot find one that is worth it either. I am not going to do one that you have to pay to start, because you shouldn't have to pay to work...they should pay you! And the survey ones just don't cut it...

Anyway, I have a brother in the national guard, so I know alot of what I would have to do and none of that bothers me (except being away from my family), but he doesn't have a family and he is on active duty in iraq, whereas I only want to join the reserves, so it's a little different and he can only give me so much advice. I guess my questions are...if I just join the reserves, will I get paid enough for it to matter? Will I get good benefits? I'd also like to go back to school...will they pay for it, or do they just say that? My brother didn't get the sign up bonus or living expenses that they promised him until nearly 6 months after he started...I don't have that long! I've looked at their site over and over trying to make up my mind but of course they're not going to tell you all the bad parts of joining...lol. I also don't know what I would do with my son yet...his father works too so he can't watch him during the week and I wouldn't let my family watch him for all the money in the world. Any advice from anyone who has been in this position? Thanks!



by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 6:11 AM
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Replies (1-8):
nmjordan
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 6:37 AM
If you won't let anyone else watch your son, then don't join the reserves. You could be sent overseas. It isn't worth the money, there has to be something else you can do. My husband was promised educational benefits in the military; well, he has been in the Navy for 10 years and has yet to earn a degree. He started taking classes years ago but had to quit because he kept getting sent out to sea. The military isn't what it's cracked up to be. It is one thing if your boyfriend joins, but I would not advise a mother with a small child and no family support system to join. For that reason they may not even take you, or on the contrary they will and then when they want to send you away and you say you can't find anyone to watch your child, they'll say Tough Shit. We have friends who have gone through this. It isn't worth it! The military does not give a damn about a soldier's family.

~Nicole~
Mom to Brandon, 20 months
Proud Navy Wife
 

Happy Easter! 

 

mills502
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 6:51 AM
i say it totally depends on what branch you go.  air force is super picky, wouldn't accept my friend cuz she has 2 kids.  so i wouldn't go there.  my husband is in the army, has been for 4 yrs.  he has the money and everything to go to school, but doesn't have the time.  he's also active duty, full time.  reserves don't pay a lot, maybe $200 a month i think?  i know you get health Insurance, but it's no where near what active duty gets, so i'm not too sure.  you don't get your enlistment bonus until after you've completed all of your training, so if you pick a job that's training is a year long, you won't get that bonus until then.  there are some good recruiters out there, i know :) we had one.  it's totally up to you, and it could give you some job training.  but if you don't have anyone to watch your baby while you're away... and if you go army, you will more than likely deploy.  same with marines.  but it's your choice ultimately, i wouldn't let anyone here make it for you.  go find a recruiter you like, and that will tell you all the pros and cons.  like i said, they are out there...
Kaci_Eden
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 7:16 AM
check your messages, I sent you a PM.  One thing that I did leave out is that you only get those two days a month that you train after you get done with Basic/AIT and they pay for those 2 days ranges from 96-200 after taxes and Life Insurance depending on your rank.  I stared out at 96 bring home, but I ended up an E-3 and was bringing home about 212.  Of course, it gets more when you go up in rank

As far as enlistment bonuses go, you only get half after you complete all your training, then the other half 3 years after your enlistment date.  That's how NG works, anyways.  I know they have up to 20,000 in bonuses, but you only get that if you enlist as 1 of the top10 such as MIlitary Police, Intel, Medical, etc.  THose are prolly the only 3 open to females at this point.

Benefits are not good when you are not in training or deployed on AD.  Basically, NG and Reserves get no benefits except life insurance, which is 30/month for 400,000.  Your son will not get Tri-Care (insurance) excpet when you are in training and if you were to get deployed. 

Just some more things that I know about.

If you wanna know more, PM me back

Good luck.

The Former PFC Eden, TN Army NG Medical Command Headquarters

    Alexis Paige~08/08/2007

Mommy and Daddy's Bugg

jomac
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 7:17 AM
it depends on what branch you join. i am currently active duty navy. my husband is also active duty navy. there are some things that are the same also i have a good friend that is reserve national guard. i dont know exactly how much they get paid. but i do know that school does get paid for. and sign in bonuses and stuff like that doesnt start until after you complete you "A" school. (what you join to do). i have a little girl. but i didnt have her until after i joined the navy. im not going say its easy cuz some days are better than others. i am leaving in 5 days for 7 months on a boat. yeah it sucks but i chose it. you have to be 100% sure or itll drive you mad. from my experience i believe that everything i have done and have gotten from the navy has been worth it. yes i miss my daughter when i leave i would be crazy not to. but just make sure you make the decision for all the right reasons. hope this helps alittle.
Callie-bishop
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 7:20 AM
I know the army gaurd gives you a sign on bonus. I don't know about the pay but you don't get your sign on bonus until after your 9 weeks of basic training. plus you are eliglble for money to go to school.

 

 

 

little_bit206
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 4:59 PM

Quoting BlakesAngel:

Hi everyone...I am a stay at home mom of a 2 year old son. My boyfriend has a job, but it is not paying enough at all, especially considering he has to commute an hour there and an hour back to work every day. I've tried applying everywhere but living in a small town, there aren't many options. I only have a GED so that limits me too. About the only thing I can do around here is fast food, and after me having to pay someone to watch my son it wouldn't be worth it. I've tried looking for work at home jobs, but I cannot find one that is worth it either. I am not going to do one that you have to pay to start, because you shouldn't have to pay to work...they should pay you! And the survey ones just don't cut it...

Anyway, I have a brother in the national guard, so I know alot of what I would have to do and none of that bothers me (except being away from my family), but he doesn't have a family and he is on active duty in iraq, whereas I only want to join the reserves, so it's a little different and he can only give me so much advice. I guess my questions are...if I just join the reserves, will I get paid enough for it to matter? Will I get good benefits? I'd also like to go back to school...will they pay for it, or do they just say that? My brother didn't get the sign up bonus or living expenses that they promised him until nearly 6 months after he started...I don't have that long! I've looked at their site over and over trying to make up my mind but of course they're not going to tell you all the bad parts of joining...lol. I also don't know what I would do with my son yet...his father works too so he can't watch him during the week and I wouldn't let my family watch him for all the money in the world. Any advice from anyone who has been in this position? Thanks!




first, if you have no family care plan....someone to watch your child while you work and while you deploy, which you will, you cannot join, two, single parents with custody or physical guardianship cannot join, they can be in, but you would legally have to hand over all physicall custody during enlistment, and three, you would have to leave where you are unless you get a job thats on a military installation right next door.  reserves do have good benifits, not quite as good as active duty but you get the mgib, which has requirements, they have military tricare, you dont get the best doctors but it pays, as reserve you would probably be on standard, which has a co pay.  if you could get agr (active guard and reserve)  you are reserve in name only, a ful time monday thru friday some weekends type job.  the military in any shape is worth it, education benifits help.  just make sure you have a family care plan and can back it up...you have no chance without it.....i made 2 and helped with a few others, ended up getting out of active duty cuz of it....and air force doesnt take single parents
waistnotime
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 5:03 PM
With just a GED they might not take you. I had to get an educational waiver, but I had to score a certain score on the practice test, and then even after that, I was turned down because I have a thyroid dissorder, and it is suggested that i stay on meds.
paytonleximomma
by on Mar. 11, 2008 at 5:08 PM
This is a big step.  You would have to be away from your child for a long period of time.  Ok, lets say you go into the National Guard or the Reserves.  You have boot camp which is 9 weeks long, in reality that is 3 months.  Then after that you go do your MOS which is what you will be doing if you have to go overseas.  That could be anything for auto mechanic to cook to Military Police.  That in itself is another 3 months almost.  And that is back to back most of the time.  That would mean being gone away from your child for 6 months.  Then you would have the possiblity of being deployed overseas.  I just know from experience that with my husband in the national guard.  He did his basic training the summer before his senior year of high school.  He was gone all summer come back went to school, graduated, then went to do his MOS another whole summer gone.  When he finally got home in that September he was home from then until March then got called up on active duty and went to Iraq.  It was very hard on my daughter who was only 18 months as the time.  It is a tough decision.  No one will be able to make it for you.  It is something you really need to think about.
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