Hello all. I have the option to join the USMC and the USAF. Id like to ask this forum (in specific veterans) which branch would you recommend. If possible, can any veterans from either branch shed some light as to which MOS you,d recommend as well. I would like some insight from some one who has (been there, done that) sort of experience. I have been thinking about the Marines (reconnaissance, and rifleman) but Id like to know what you would recommend. Please let me know your preferences. Martin.
USMC OR USAF
Posted 07 July 2018 - 03:12 PM
Since I'm retired USAF both active and USAF Reserve with 45 yrs of DOD Civil Service both in CONUS & OCONUS w/ the US Army, USAF and US Navy....I'd recommend the service would provide you the best training in civilian life.....for sure not a rifleman. I know that the US Navy has the best schools...then the USAF....but the key is "Quality of Life"....and picking a specialty/field that you can sell once you're out. In addition, if you plan on having a family...think quality of life.
US Navy...on a ship six months or longer...quality of life....yuk...good schools
US Army...out in the field, most likely working in a field that isn't your MOS...quality of life...yuk
USMC.....out in the field....quality of life...yuk
USAF....working in your AFSC...deployed to a fixed facility w/pool, theater, gym, & dining facility...good schools.
If you want to be a career Service Member (SM)...pick a career field you can sell outside once you're out. 20+ yrs goes fast... In addition, go to college/school, school, school...use tuition assistance and the GI Bill
Spec Ops, and SEALS, etc....sounds great and fantastic...and you're around the best of the best....who will have your back. I'd recommend USAF (TAC-P, Aircrew, SPECOPS, etc...)
I'd say USAF.....That's my opinion. As we all know...opinions are just that opinions...we all have them. I'm sure that others out here have advice and opinions. Good luck and may the LORD's FACE always shine upon you.
Posted 07 July 2018 - 03:51 PM
Asking people to recommend an MOS is like asking people to tell you what your interests are...unless someone knows you, all they can do is say their own.
I will say, that USAF and USMC are about as far apart from each other on the spectrum that there is. Polar opposites. If you're seriously debating between those two, I'd say go Air Force. If you do go Marine infantry, then don't ever tell your fellow grunts that you almost went Air Force...we're merciless
Posted 08 July 2018 - 08:57 AM
I'm with Brig. As a USMC career SNCO he speaks from experience. You're the one that's going to commit to a 4 year contract. How do YOU want to spend the next 4 years of your life? Where would YOU like to be at in YOUR life when you finish? I joined the USMC for 3 years at age 18. It was exactly what I needed at that time though I didn't fully realize that at the time. Afterwards I served in the Reserves, got a decent job in the civilian sector, got a commission, had a good family and retired. Most of the choices I made were pretty spontaneous and worked out well for me. When I was 18 I needed structure and the Corps gave it to me. I think our USAF is an outstanding branch of service. If you choose it you'll be fine. In the Corps the mission for a rifleman is down in the dirt pretty much all the time. Congratulations to you for being willing to serve. Good luck! Bobgee
Posted 08 July 2018 - 10:16 AM
When I was growing up I always wanted to be a U.S. Marine like my Grandfather and Father. They were my heroes. My Grandfather didn't tell me too much about his time in the Marine Corps and my Father talked to me about his time. When I was trying to decide which service to go into to, my Father gave me the ins and outs of each service as he saw it. Although I wanted to go into the Marines, after he talked to me I decided to go into the Air Force. One thing that always stuck in my mind was my Father telling me that when you go into the service you do stand a chance of getting killed. He emphasized to me that war is not glorious, in fact, far from it. He was in WWII. He also advised me that although just being in the service and becoming a veteran can assist you in getting a job, you should try and get a job that can help you obtain a better job when you get out. The Air Force, in my mind, had better opportunities for those kinds of jobs. So, I signed up for the Air Force. I wanted to be Security or Military Police but unfortunately my color vision wasn't good enough so I had to pick something else to get into. The quality of life I had in the Air Force was very good. In the end, did the job I went into end up helping me after I got out? No, not really. I do think just being a honorably discharged veteran does help you get a job. But, I am proud of my service to my country and I know my Father was as well. I didn't serve in wartime but that didn't mean I couldn't have. Just remember, no matter what service you decide, you could be putting your life on the line and must be prepared to give your life for your country. That's a really big thing to think about. I don't know what your interests, are but I wish you the best no matter what you decide. I admire ALL servicemen and women that put their lives on the line to protect this great nation. For that matter, that admiration extends to ALL public servants that keep the Government, both national, state, county, and local operating as it does. Many of them also put their lives on the line for us. Semper Fi or Aim High...you're choice. Good Luck!
Edited by aznation, 08 July 2018 - 10:19 AM.
Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:06 AM
Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:41 AM
Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:44 AM
But, if you still want to learn what your career interests actually are, you may want to take the Strong Interest Inventory. This instrument is often available free at your local community college’s counseling department or you can take it online for ~$40.
Here is more info on this assessment instrument: https://en.m.wikiped...erest_Inventory
Posted 10 July 2018 - 06:54 AM
Whatever your choice,,, you are the only one that can decide your career path regardless of what veterans will tell you.. You have heard from some of those veterans as far as your options but you also have to take into consideration the time when these Vets served and when you decide to serve.. Different times, different missions, different military in some cases all together...
As a 22 year Army Infantry Veteran that served from the 80's to 00's... I had the opportunity to serve and train with all the Armed Forces, both regular and Elite forces in all branches and I have no regrets choosing the Army career path. I travelled the world, met great people, and I also received a great education, both in the classroom and through operational experiences that helped shape and develop who I am today...
Regardless of what branch you choose,, It is what You make of it and what You put into it to be happy..
I wish you the best of luck in whichever branch you decide to serve in,, and I also commend you for making the decision to defend our Nation...
Posted 10 July 2018 - 12:22 PM
U.S. Martin, I am sure you have already learned that you usually do not personally pick your MOS. The MOS you are assigned is dependent on the needs of the service at the time you enlist.
But, if you still want to learn what your career interests actually are, you may want to take the Strong Interest Inventory. This instrument is often available free at your local community colleges counseling department or you can take it online for ~$40.
Here is more info on this assessment instrument: https://en.m.wikiped...erest_Inventory
Posted 10 July 2018 - 03:28 PM
Posted 10 July 2018 - 05:56 PM
Marine Corps active duty picks an MOS field, not an MOS, based on what's available due to needs of the Marine Corps and their ASVAB and GT scores. The MOS school picks your actual MOS based off whatever criteria that school uses (infantry uses a combination of test scores for tests in the schools, a wish list, and the professional opinions of the instructors based off the students performance/personality). To be truthful, the wishlist exists to make students feel good...it usually isn't given much consideration because, as stated, needs of the organization far outweigh the individual's personal desires. Welcome to service over self.
Reservists can pick their actual MOS, based off available openings in their local unit, as they are recruited to fill specific BICs since we can't move them around the country willy-nilly like we can active duty guys
Posted 10 July 2018 - 11:01 PM
In 1963, at age 17, I had that same decision to make. All I thought I "knew" was that whatever I did needed to have something to do with aircraft.
The Marine recruiter straight up told me there was no guarantee of that or anything, as Brig pointed out above. He did, however, seem to approve of the fact that I had some farm kid field experience with hunting rifles. I'm not real sure I even knew at the time that Marines actually had any aircraft.
The Air Force guy gave me the skills test (I guess it's called ASVAB these days) I scored very high in "abstract reasoning" - and so, they sent me to recip a/c tech school on a crew chief career track. I got assigned to wrenching and wing wiping the venerable C-123 Provider.
I did not, for example, say, "I want to be a jet engine mechanic." (not that it would have mattered). I just said that I was interested in working on airplanes. I did not get a choice about which kind of aircraft nor which AFSC ( = job or MOS) I'd be doing of the dozens of aircraft-related ones the Air Force had and has. The Air Force mission has to do with airplanes in some way shape or form.
USAF Basic Training (BMT) was surely no approximation of Parris Island, but it was not a snap either.
As for my AFSC translating into something useful in the civilian universe, I suppose it could have, but the airplane jobs I applied for after discharge invariably told me I was "overqualified." I could get jobs working on cars, easily, however. I went to college on the GI Bill and ended up being a museum curator all my adult life.
Had I that choice, USMC or USAF, to make today - in retrospect, I would choose Marines no matter what job they wanted me to do, if they'd have me... for a lot of reasons that are difficult to explain. I've regretted my decision many a time in later life.
Posted 17 July 2018 - 12:47 PM
Thank you all for posting your experiences and opinions on this thread. It has given me a lot to think about. I did speak to the air force recruiter and she stated that since if I enlist early I am guaranteed the job I pick. Anyhow thank you all for replying to this thread. I think the Air Force would be a good branch to enlist in since they have good job skills for later life like dental. I still would like to join the marines however I don't think I'm fit for them. Thank you all, Martin.
Posted 17 July 2018 - 01:39 PM
I wish you the best Martin. No matter what service it is you decide on, it's honorable to serve your country. Just keep your head on straight, do what you're told, avoid peer pressure, learn your job well, always act like your a military professional, and stay out of trouble. That said, do have fun as well. Whenever your enlistment is up, you and your family will be proud that your a veteran of military service, and it's something that carry with you for the rest of your life. Good luck!
Posted 17 July 2018 - 05:31 PM
Have you thought about the Coast Guard? Small force with a bunch of different missions. I recommend to people that they think about the mission the service branch does. I'm USAF and will tell you not to go Security Forces as you could get stuck guarding a Missile Launch Facility when its -40 degrees.
The Air Force mission is to fly and fight, haul trash and Air Refuel. The aircrews do most of the fighting. Stay away from small career fields as promotions are based on a percent and small career fields usually have very smart people in them and promotions are slower it seems. They deploy to established bases and sleep between clean sheets and eat hot chow.
The Army camps out in the rain and snow, blows things up and takes and hold ground.
The Marines keep the sailors from killing their officers and gladly go into harms way.
The Navy go on long sea trips and don't have a lot of windows to look out of.
Now if I could do it all over again I would have joined the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard is a military branch, has the same pay scales and retirement programs but don't work for DOD, they work for the Department of Homeland Security. They are responsible for port security, search and rescue both using aircraft and small boats, responsible for the Aids to Navigation systems on all US waterways, Maritime Immigration Control, Inspection and licensing of ships and officers and drug interdiction.
CG small boat stations are roughly every 50 miles along our shore lines, CG Law Enforcement teams man Navy ships and conduct counter drug operations. White Hull Cutters are as I write this patrolling the waters of the Pacific and the Atlantic hunting drug runners from central and South America.
What ever you choose make sure you can use the skills to get a job. I have a nuclear weapons operations background and its wasn't very marketable when I got out of the AF.
Posted 17 July 2018 - 05:35 PM
The Marines keep the sailors from killing their officers
Wow...your information is dated. What pamphlet did the recruiter give you, a surplus 1909?
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