Veterans Thread

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
User avatar
BlendedUnicorn

Platinum
Posts: 9320
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:40 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby BlendedUnicorn » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:11 pm

MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


That is true. I think it's debatable as to whether the military is worth it for the specific purpose of getting GI BIll bennies but there's absolutely no question that if you do go through with it you have to do 3 years. YRP makes a huge difference.

User avatar
UVA2B

Gold
Posts: 3407
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 10:48 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby UVA2B » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:13 pm

MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


With that ASVAB, you’ll be good for pretty much any MOS.

And you’re reading that right. YRP are for 100% GI Bill eligible people only. If you have 80%, you’ll get 80% of the max amount available for private schools (not sure what it is now, but last I remember was somewhere just south of $20k). But 80% is still pretty valuable for state schools.

User avatar
MT Cicero

Silver
Posts: 693
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:40 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:15 pm

MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:52 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.

Cmoney $$

New
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cmoney $$ » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:27 pm

MrLions wrote:
MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.


You can ship as late as September because there are a few variables that will come into play as you get to the end of your contract. The first is 90 day early release from Active Duty to attend school. Once you receive an acceptance, you can submit paperwork to get released from your contract 90 days early. The next variable is leave days. You can take up to 60 days of leave (assuming you have that many) before exiting active duty. So you will technically still be in until the end of your contract, but you will no longer be serving. You'll be home (or wherever school is at that point) 60 days early. You can also take 10 days permissive TDY on top of your transition leave (free leave) to house hunt. Most commanders will approve this for Soldiers leaving active duty. While in the Army, save up leave days so that you'll be set for the transition. Having 60 full days of leave is great because you're getting full pay and benefits for these days plus a full housing allowance. This is helpful in several obvious ways.

Next, recruiting advice. I am a recruiter, though I do not do enlisted recruiting (medical officers). Please do not get talked into taking any job other than 27D. There can and will be slots available, but you have to make it clear to your recruiter and MEPS that you will not accept anything else. There are slots available or that will be made available to you if you stay hard nosed about it. They have certain jobs (especially when you go to MEPS for your enlistment contract) that have a higher priority for them to fill. They will do their best to talk you into one of those jobs in lieu of the job you want. When you're at MEPS, inform that you'll walk out if you don't get 27D. This sends a shock wave through recruiting command (especially this year with our huge numbers) and they will make a few phone calls to get you 27D. When you get to MEPS, you're going to sit down with a guidance counselor. This person is negotiating your contract with you, but will make it seem like he/she is doing you a favor by enlisting you, and will try and leverage that into getting you to take something you don't want (petroleum specialist, truck driver, cook, ect). Those jobs suck, and you'll have a really long 3 years. I know a few 27Ds, and they actually have a pretty interesting job (assisting with courts martial peaked my interest).

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions specifically related to recruiting.

User avatar
MichiganHoosier

New
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jun 04, 2016 6:01 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MichiganHoosier » Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:48 pm

MrLions wrote:
MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.


MrLions, I'll get to your PM in just a bit (have been pretty busy), but why haven't you looked into the Air Force? If you're going to go enlisted, and you want to be a paralegal, I don't think anyone ITT will disagree with me when saying that the Air Force provides the greatest quality of life among enlisted SMs. I don't even think it is a close comparison. Also, the duty stations are a lot more desirable on the Air Force side than what the Army has to offer. Unless you have some crazy desire to be a US ARMY SOLDIER, HOOAH, for someone who just wants to do their time and get the GI Bill, Air Force all the way, bro. It will not be AS miserable.

Cmoney $$

New
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cmoney $$ » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:21 pm

MichiganHoosier wrote:
MrLions wrote:
MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.


MrLions, I'll get to your PM in just a bit (have been pretty busy), but why haven't you looked into the Air Force? If you're going to go enlisted, and you want to be a paralegal, I don't think anyone ITT will disagree with me when saying that the Air Force provides the greatest quality of life among enlisted SMs. I don't even think it is a close comparison. Also, the duty stations are a lot more desirable on the Air Force side than what the Army has to offer. Unless you have some crazy desire to be a US ARMY SOLDIER, HOOAH, for someone who just wants to do their time and get the GI Bill, Air Force all the way, bro. It will not be AS miserable.


Unless he gets stationed at Mountain Home, Idaho or Minot North Dakota (not sure how I feel about Cheyenne Wyoming). I am Army and live on an Air Force base, the housing is much nicer than anything I ever had in the Army. I would also note that the Airmen who live in my community appear to have a lot of time off. It may indeed be a better choice. The Army has some pretty slick places you can be stationed, but there are also places like Fort Drum New York, Fort Polk Louisiana, ect.

I loved my assignments to Germany, Savannah Georgia, and San Antonio, TX. I also spent a while in Fort Bliss Texas (not desirable).

AJordan

Bronze
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:26 pm

If you get a chance to pick where you want to be I highly recommend Europe somewhere being at the top of your list. It's just far more laid back than many division assignments, especially Korea, and you'll get a chance to travel (though that may not be great for saving leave days). Do 27Ds go on those 9 month pesudo-forward deployments with BCTs? I met a few guys who were doing 9 months in Poland and their lives are sucking right now.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:37 pm

MichiganHoosier wrote:
MrLions wrote:
MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.


MrLions, I'll get to your PM in just a bit (have been pretty busy), but why haven't you looked into the Air Force? If you're going to go enlisted, and you want to be a paralegal, I don't think anyone ITT will disagree with me when saying that the Air Force provides the greatest quality of life among enlisted SMs. I don't even think it is a close comparison. Also, the duty stations are a lot more desirable on the Air Force side than what the Army has to offer. Unless you have some crazy desire to be a US ARMY SOLDIER, HOOAH, for someone who just wants to do their time and get the GI Bill, Air Force all the way, bro. It will not be AS miserable.


I hadn't checked out AF because I thought Arny was the only branch where you locked in your job when you enlisted.

LSNlife

Bronze
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:36 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby LSNlife » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:58 pm

MrLions wrote:
MichiganHoosier wrote:
MrLions wrote:
MT Cicero wrote:
MrLions wrote:Thanks so much for all your help and advice! I met with my recruiter today and took a practice ASVAB (scored 97. Idk if I missed a question or if 3% of people score perfect.)

I have a question about the Yellow Ribbon Program. How are benefits different under 100% GI Bill and 80% GI BIll? Some law school sites have said (i think?) that you need to qualify for 100% GI Bill in order to participate in YRP, meaning that the 80% coverage you get after 2 years is significantly less than 80% of the full benefit of serving 3 years. Is this true? Thanks again.


As I understand it, that is absolutely true. The difference between 100% GI Bill and anything less could be many thousands (or tens of thousands), especially at a private school with full YRP.


Thanks everyone. That makes sense. Im interested in shipping to basic in June or July so that I will only need to take off 3 academic years. If I don't ship until Sept then I won't get out before classes start and I'd be forced to take off 4 years.

My recruiter did a quick search for 27D paralegal and said he didn't see any openings shipping between January and April, but he said once I complete an application then he can adjust the ship dates to extend into the summer. How long do you think I'll have to wait to find an open slot for 27D MOS? I really want to ship before August/Sept, which is why I'm trying to get the ball rolling now.


MrLions, I'll get to your PM in just a bit (have been pretty busy), but why haven't you looked into the Air Force? If you're going to go enlisted, and you want to be a paralegal, I don't think anyone ITT will disagree with me when saying that the Air Force provides the greatest quality of life among enlisted SMs. I don't even think it is a close comparison. Also, the duty stations are a lot more desirable on the Air Force side than what the Army has to offer. Unless you have some crazy desire to be a US ARMY SOLDIER, HOOAH, for someone who just wants to do their time and get the GI Bill, Air Force all the way, bro. It will not be AS miserable.


I hadn't checked out AF because I thought Arny was the only branch where you locked in your job when you enlisted.


The Navy and the AF offer locked jobs if you want them they just also allow people to go in undetermined. At least for the AF they let people volunteer for "quick ship" to get out faster but places them in general aptitude area but they won't find our their job until they're at BMT. You should probably do some more research about the Pros and cons of each branch and their individual opportunities...

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:12 pm

Based on what I've read there doesn't seem to be a huge difference in the daily life of an Air Force paralegal vs. Army paralegal. The biggest thing I've found is that AF doesn't require daily PT (or as much PT?) and that the PFT has easier standards. Are there other difference, besides basic training being easier in the AF, too?

Personally, I wouldn't mind the Army's mandatory PT. I love to exercise/run etc., and actually run for my college track team now. Still, not having PT mandatory everyday would be nice for the days I don't want to workout or when I want to control what type of workout I do.

If that's the only difference, then maybe AF gets a slight edge but if most other things are relatively equal for the daily life of a paralegal, then I'd just take whoever can ship me out soonest.

CMac86

Bronze
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:59 pm

MrLions wrote:
I hadn't checked out AF because I thought Arny was the only branch where you locked in your job when you enlisted.


I mean this in the nicest possible way, but it sounds like you need to research branches a lot more.

I'd recommend talking to recruiters, but DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING. Before I enlisted, I talked to Army and Navy about the music programs. I looked at the Air Force audition, laughed (was not going to happen), and kept talking to the other two. The Navy recruiters wanted me to sign a nuke contract; the Army wanted me to play three instruments instead of two.

Army, Air Force, and Navy all have paralegals/legalmen. However, with Navy-you can't ship with that as your rate/job, rather you have to cross rate later on (once you pickup E4).

If you will already have a college degree, I'd highly consider joining an officer. Research what the different branches have to offer in that realm. Each branch has recruiting websites that are focused on officer recruiting.

Here's a link for the 2017 paycharts. https://militarybenefits.info/2017-military-pay-charts/
O1 with less than 2 years gets $3034.80/month plus allowances, E3 with less than 2 years gets $1885.80/month plus allowances. For a point of reference, I'm an E4 with over 6, and my base pay is $2,535.60/month plus allowances. Once upon a time, I looked into putting in an officer package to become a Public Affairs Officer. O1E (officer with 4 years prior enlisted experience) gets $3818.70/month plus allowances. If I would have done that (and been accepted), I'd be making $1500 more per month before allowances at this point. Officers get larger housing allowances.

As far as the bases go, I've visited Air Force bases, lived on a joint base (Army-Navy), and then lived on two Navy bases. The Air Force bases have been the nicest. The joint base was pretty crappy. The Navy bases are a bit better than the joint base, but nowhere near as nice as the Air Force Base.

I'd be careful about banking on using an early-out program. I learned this week that the Navy has gotten rid of their early-out programs. I need to find out if that includes the Early Out for Education program or not.


Finally, I think it is a good idea to keep in mind the benefits that joining the military can provide. I wanted the GI Bill so that I could finish my undergrad, but then learned about tuition assistance (what I'm now using to finish undergrad). The medical benefits have been good to great, depending on the base. If you've lived paycheck to paycheck working an hourly job before, you can probably imagine how nice it is to have a stable income. I get paid the first and fifteenth, the same amount, every month (unless if a raise or clothing allowance kicks in that month). I can't speak for the commands/jobs that deploy, but as a shore duty job-it is pretty great. If I didn't have some medical issues that make it less than an ideal long-term option, I'd at least strongly consider doing whatever I can to stick it out to 20 years or going officer. I've learned a lot about myself the last six years. I've gained more discipline, more perseverance, and developed a greater sense of self. It took a long time to reconcile my pre-military self and current military self, but I think it is the best version of me so far.

AJordan

Bronze
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:12 pm

If you're looking to just do a single term you should exhaust all options in joining the Air Force with the job you're looking to take. I just finished year 14 in the Army. The bases suck, the quarters for lower enlisted are mostly awful, the work environment is mostly poor and the Air Force, while it has its drawbacks, certainly produces much happier enlisted men and women than the Army. If I had to do it again I would have joined the Air Force doing literally anything before I chose my job to come into the Army.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Cmoney $$

New
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:30 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby Cmoney $$ » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:58 pm

AJordan wrote:If you're looking to just do a single term you should exhaust all options in joining the Air Force with the job you're looking to take. I just finished year 14 in the Army. The bases suck, the quarters for lower enlisted are mostly awful, the work environment is mostly poor and the Air Force, while it has its drawbacks, certainly produces much happier enlisted men and women than the Army. If I had to do it again I would have joined the Air Force doing literally anything before I chose my job to come into the Army.


This!

I will have 11 years in the Army next month. I can certainly agree that the Army has some major down points. Honestly, when I leave in February the only thing I will miss are the people that I worked with (peers, subordinates, and a select few leaders), and the steady pay and benefits. I can attest to how great the tuition assistance benefit was, I obtained my B.S. while on Active Duty and only paid for one course because I wanted to graduate sooner. This left my GI Bill untouched, which I will be using for LS. I am commissioning in the Army Reserve so that I am still eligible for retirement in 9 years, as well as the healthcare benefits available for reserve soldiers.

If you do have a 4 year degree already, commissioning is an option. Many recruiters will tell you that you can enlist as an E-4 and then commission. This is a bald faced lie. Most of the commissioning programs are highly competitive and only take people who have highly specialized degrees. They also require that you be released from your enlisted contract, which can be tricky depending on how short your MOS is. I've also witnessed several occasions where the Army bureaucracy takes over and commander so-and-so will not release the soldier for an unknown reason. Unfortunately, it is solely up to someone's discretion. Bottom line, I have not known a great many E-4s that came in actually commission as an officer, even though their recruiter promised them that they were a "shoe-in." As an officer recruiter, the best way to commission in the Army is through ROTC or a Service Academy. Beyond that, direct commissions (Officer Candidate School, Medical Programs, JAG) are highly selective. Shameless recruiting plug, if you do have a 4 year degree, send me a PM and I can send you some direct commissioning options based on what your degree is in.

To build on what everyone else has already said, DO talk to the other branches before swearing in. Also know that you can always back out no harm no foul until the day your "ship" to basic training. They'll tell you otherwise, but I've seen people drop prior to shipping, and still come back and enlist 6 months later. Your recruiter will hate you (because he's probably going to have to explain to his Sergeant Major why you didn't ship), but who cares? Anecdotally, my best friend joined the Navy the same time I joined the Army. His recruiter talked him into a submarine gig. He quit after 12 months, and I stayed 11 years. For him, there were a lot of downsides to being on submarine duty. I also have some navy buddies who do a lot of shore duty, and they absolutely love it.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Dec 19, 2017 4:24 pm

Cmoney $$ wrote:
AJordan wrote:If you're looking to just do a single term you should exhaust all options in joining the Air Force with the job you're looking to take. I just finished year 14 in the Army. The bases suck, the quarters for lower enlisted are mostly awful, the work environment is mostly poor and the Air Force, while it has its drawbacks, certainly produces much happier enlisted men and women than the Army. If I had to do it again I would have joined the Air Force doing literally anything before I chose my job to come into the Army.


This!

I will have 11 years in the Army next month. I can certainly agree that the Army has some major down points. Honestly, when I leave in February the only thing I will miss are the people that I worked with (peers, subordinates, and a select few leaders), and the steady pay and benefits. I can attest to how great the tuition assistance benefit was, I obtained my B.S. while on Active Duty and only paid for one course because I wanted to graduate sooner. This left my GI Bill untouched, which I will be using for LS. I am commissioning in the Army Reserve so that I am still eligible for retirement in 9 years, as well as the healthcare benefits available for reserve soldiers.

If you do have a 4 year degree already, commissioning is an option. Many recruiters will tell you that you can enlist as an E-4 and then commission. This is a bald faced lie. Most of the commissioning programs are highly competitive and only take people who have highly specialized degrees. They also require that you be released from your enlisted contract, which can be tricky depending on how short your MOS is. I've also witnessed several occasions where the Army bureaucracy takes over and commander so-and-so will not release the soldier for an unknown reason. Unfortunately, it is solely up to someone's discretion. Bottom line, I have not known a great many E-4s that came in actually commission as an officer, even though their recruiter promised them that they were a "shoe-in." As an officer recruiter, the best way to commission in the Army is through ROTC or a Service Academy. Beyond that, direct commissions (Officer Candidate School, Medical Programs, JAG) are highly selective. Shameless recruiting plug, if you do have a 4 year degree, send me a PM and I can send you some direct commissioning options based on what your degree is in.

To build on what everyone else has already said, DO talk to the other branches before swearing in. Also know that you can always back out no harm no foul until the day your "ship" to basic training. They'll tell you otherwise, but I've seen people drop prior to shipping, and still come back and enlist 6 months later. Your recruiter will hate you (because he's probably going to have to explain to his Sergeant Major why you didn't ship), but who cares? Anecdotally, my best friend joined the Navy the same time I joined the Army. His recruiter talked him into a submarine gig. He quit after 12 months, and I stayed 11 years. For him, there were a lot of downsides to being on submarine duty. I also have some navy buddies who do a lot of shore duty, and they absolutely love it.


Since you can only lock your job into your contract in AF and Army, any other branch is a no-go for me. My recruiter told me that going through OCS was a 5 year active duty commitment, so I have ruled that out as well. Are there shorter commitments for commissioned officers? Thanks for all the advice.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:33 pm

I just met with an AF recruiter and he said that you can't be guaranteed Paralegal when you ship--they interview for it at BMT. And they don't offer 3-yr contracts.

AJordan

Bronze
Posts: 404
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 3:48 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby AJordan » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:21 pm

Sounds like you've pretty much made up your mind. Show up at the right place, 5 minutes before the right time, in the right uniform, with the right equipment, in the right state of sobriety. For the rest, keep your head down, your goals in your mind, and NEVER VOLUNTEER FOR ANYTHING.
Last edited by AJordan on Sat Jan 27, 2018 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

LSNlife

Bronze
Posts: 179
Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:36 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby LSNlife » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:23 pm

MrLions wrote:I just met with an AF recruiter and he said that you can't be guaranteed Paralegal when you ship--they interview for it at BMT. And they don't offer 3-yr contracts.


The Air Force does not offer 3 year contracts (its 4 or 6) but as someone who enlisted last year I can tell you that that’s inaccurate. I had 4 different women in my flight who contracted as paralegals.

That recruiter probably didn’t want to put in the extra work because you require an additional approval form the JAG wing superintendent to contract in that AFSC and that requires significantly more work on their part to get that taken care of. But go Army if that’s what will work in your plans.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:12 pm

TLS wrote:
MrLions wrote:I just met with an AF recruiter and he said that you can't be guaranteed Paralegal when you ship--they interview for it at BMT. And they don't offer 3-yr contracts.


The Air Force does not offer 3 year contracts (its 4 or 6) but as someone who enlisted last year I can tell you that that’s inaccurate. I had 4 different women in my flight who contracted as paralegals.

That recruiter probably didn’t want to put in the extra work because you require an additional approval form the JAG wing superintendent to contract in that AFSC and that requires significantly more work on their part to get that taken care of. But go Army if that’s what will work in your plans.


Makes sense. The guy kinda rubbed me the wrong way. After I told him I was considering the Army too he kept saying I had to be "100% Air Force" and that I shouldn't go in wanting a specific job.

MrLions

New
Posts: 41
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MrLions » Tue Dec 19, 2017 7:16 pm

He also kept telling me that I'd have to wait to see what the ASVAB qualifies me for. I was like dude I got 97%ile on a practice test yesterday and could literally go paralegal at Cravath or Skadden. Pretty sure I will meet the baseline for a position whose job description requires 25wpm.

CMac86

Bronze
Posts: 158
Joined: Sun May 08, 2016 8:32 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby CMac86 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:35 pm

MrLions wrote:
Makes sense. The guy kinda rubbed me the wrong way. After I told him I was considering the Army too he kept saying I had to be "100% Air Force" and that I shouldn't go in wanting a specific job.


Sounds like that guy had a quota he's trying to reach. My Navy recruiter said to me, "You can talk to them [the Army], but I know you'll sign with us". He was right.

Is there another recruiting office in your area that you could work with?

jsmedley

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:31 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby jsmedley » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:50 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
jsmedley wrote:Thank you MT. I can't believe how pervasive this test anxiety is! I feel like my impression post-Sunday's LSAT was equitable with my impressions following each practice exam, and those were all higher than 160. We shall see when the results come out! It's approximately three weeks, right? I can't seem to find the projected date online.

That being said--would it behoove me to submit applications to prospective schools now, or wait until my DEC scores are posted? I certainly don't want to undersell myself if my scores improve by submitting beforehand, but I also don't want to apply too late in the game to secure admission and scholarships. My google searches have gone either way on the subject. Any thoughts?


Dave Killoran from Powerscore is predicting 2 Jan. Apparently it's fairly consistently been 31 days after the December test. I would wait to apply if I were you, for a couple reasons:

First, the fact that you feel like you're pretty close to where you were PTing is a good sign. If you've been consistently higher than your previous score and feel this one was on par with that practice, I like your chances (though it comes out both ways, so mentally prepare yourself for anything).

Second, getting your application in this week (for example) vs. 2 Jan isn't likely to make a huge difference, especially when compared with an LSAT bump. Many schools are getting ready to send out some pre-Christmas decisions, then will go semi-dormant until after the new year. I don't know that your application would change at this point, since it's not "early" (generally mid-November or so) and not "late" (generally post-Feb scores). You're in the meaty middle. To the extent you could get a quick decision, it might not be one you like. So no point in submitting and telling the schools, "hey, hold on a sec until my next score comes out."

Use the next 4 weeks to enjoy the holiday, but also to make the rest of your application as tight as you can. Might as well shore up what you can on the margins. Or...

This might make you hate me, but if you feel you still have some room to maneuver upward on the LSAT at all, consider staying in the grind through the February test. Go ahead and submit apps on score release date, but you could buy yourself either money (if required, depending on YRP) or acceptance if you end up right at a school's margin. You're already in that Pavlovian mindset of an LSAT study routine anyway! Do you think you could continue to increase speed/accuracy and move to the 165-168+ world? Even if not, you wouldn't believe how many people do exactly that starting from some pretty low scores. But you have to be "in it" to make it worth the sacrifice, as a half-hearted or even 3/4-hearted effort is likely to just make you miserable with little chance of improving. I would give it strong consideration though.


Thank you for again for your input--now that I'm finally on leave, I'm hoping to grind out the framework of my applications so I am ready come score release date. I'm not adverse to retaking the LSAT (I have exactly one day to decide at the normal price!). Somehow, I've actually enjoyed taking practice tests over and over...I like competing against myself. I'm not sure what that says about me...ha!

Can you help me better understand how a better score post-application submission could help? I thought that law schools generally don't like waiting for a February LSAT score. I could see it maybe helping if a school waitlists a borderline applicant, but I don't know if that is common practice.

Also, separate question entirely--is it considered poor sportsmanship to hold multiple offers while you wait for other schools' decisions? When I was interested in PhDs, I was cautioned to only hold a maximum of two offers at a time, as other students are desperately waiting for slots to open up. I've since moved on from that ambition, clearly, but I am wondering how long you can reasonably "hold out" if I'm waiting, say, for a February score's impact on an application.

User avatar
MT Cicero

Silver
Posts: 693
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:40 pm

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby MT Cicero » Thu Dec 21, 2017 5:13 pm

jsmedley wrote:Thank you for again for your input--now that I'm finally on leave, I'm hoping to grind out the framework of my applications so I am ready come score release date. I'm not adverse to retaking the LSAT (I have exactly one day to decide at the normal price!). Somehow, I've actually enjoyed taking practice tests over and over...I like competing against myself. I'm not sure what that says about me...ha!

Can you help me better understand how a better score post-application submission could help? I thought that law schools generally don't like waiting for a February LSAT score. I could see it maybe helping if a school waitlists a borderline applicant, but I don't know if that is common practice.

Also, separate question entirely--is it considered poor sportsmanship to hold multiple offers while you wait for other schools' decisions? When I was interested in PhDs, I was cautioned to only hold a maximum of two offers at a time, as other students are desperately waiting for slots to open up. I've since moved on from that ambition, clearly, but I am wondering how long you can reasonably "hold out" if I'm waiting, say, for a February score's impact on an application.


First...word is that LSAT results are coming tomorrow. So good luck! Please report back here with that score. For the rest of your post:

If you're still in the Pavlovian "somewhat enjoying the LSAT grind" phase, I'd stick with it starting this moment. Sign up for February. Keep up the grind. I was kind of in the same boat and continued studying just in case, but received a high score and didn't need to take it again. I absolutely would have if I had been below a certain number. I also took December, but for the cycle following due to the next year's deployment schedule, so my retakes would have all been early if needed.

And yes, for admissions purposes this will primarily be for those schools that waitlist you, or those who take a long time to make a decision on your app. Schools may not like waiting for February, but you're not asking them to. You're simply updating your application for those who WL you and those who haven't decided.

Also, can't remember for sure what your status is for Yellow Ribbon. If you're not a full GI Bill + YRP type, then you use February to negotiate what you can in scholarship money for those who have accepted you. Consistent hours of your time over the next 7 weeks and a couple hundred bucks could net you tens of thousands.

It is not poor sportsmanship to hold offers. Plenty of people have many acceptances in hand when the deposit deadline rolls around in April. Now, double-depositing after schools' April deadlines is a different story, but not one that would affect you for a February test. So, if you get into 3 schools and waitlisted at another 4, you would hang onto the 3 admissions until deposit time, fighting like hell for some scholly dollars if you need them. You would deposit and "choose" one school when it came time for that. Then, with your one chosen school, you'd still get to accept the others off the WL as they come.

Oh, and say you come out meh in December, get dinged at 2 or 3 of your top-choice schools between then and the Feb release, then blow the February LSAT out of the water. I think I've heard of people asking the schools who dinged you to take a new look (but rarely). But I've definitely heard of people waiting a cycle and putting in that shiny new application on day 1 of the following year. So, something to consider.

jsmedley

New
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:31 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby jsmedley » Thu Dec 21, 2017 7:54 pm

MT Cicero wrote:
First...word is that LSAT results are coming tomorrow. So good luck! Please report back here with that score. For the rest of your post:

If you're still in the Pavlovian "somewhat enjoying the LSAT grind" phase, I'd stick with it starting this moment. Sign up for February. Keep up the grind. I was kind of in the same boat and continued studying just in case, but received a high score and didn't need to take it again. I absolutely would have if I had been below a certain number. I also took December, but for the cycle following due to the next year's deployment schedule, so my retakes would have all been early if needed.

And yes, for admissions purposes this will primarily be for those schools that waitlist you, or those who take a long time to make a decision on your app. Schools may not like waiting for February, but you're not asking them to. You're simply updating your application for those who WL you and those who haven't decided.

Also, can't remember for sure what your status is for Yellow Ribbon. If you're not a full GI Bill + YRP type, then you use February to negotiate what you can in scholarship money for those who have accepted you. Consistent hours of your time over the next 7 weeks and a couple hundred bucks could net you tens of thousands.

It is not poor sportsmanship to hold offers. Plenty of people have many acceptances in hand when the deposit deadline rolls around in April. Now, double-depositing after schools' April deadlines is a different story, but not one that would affect you for a February test. So, if you get into 3 schools and waitlisted at another 4, you would hang onto the 3 admissions until deposit time, fighting like hell for some scholly dollars if you need them. You would deposit and "choose" one school when it came time for that. Then, with your one chosen school, you'd still get to accept the others off the WL as they come.

Oh, and say you come out meh in December, get dinged at 2 or 3 of your top-choice schools between then and the Feb release, then blow the February LSAT out of the water. I think I've heard of people asking the schools who dinged you to take a new look (but rarely). But I've definitely heard of people waiting a cycle and putting in that shiny new application on day 1 of the following year. So, something to consider.


I can't believe that scores are projected for tomorrow--I just read that a moment ago, so that significantly changes my willingness to enroll for the February LSAT. I also double-checked the registration deadlines for the February LSAT, which appears to be January 4th. So, I'll plan to share my score here tomorrow and assess if I should continuing preparing for a Feb test.

I do have full GI and YRP benefits, so I would only be negotiating for scholarships to cover remaining tuition, if any, as well as overage to use for living expenses.

If anyone was wondering the answer to my initial inquiry re: USD and "unfenced" scholarships...It looks like an applicant secured a nice full scholarship plus a living stipend (read on a different thread), so I guess they do play ball. I'm currently leaning towards UC Irvine (excellent job placement stats after graduation) given the helpful info provided here, but I will apply to San Diego nonetheless. Thank you again to everyone who has helped to educate me!

User avatar
sodomojo

Bronze
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 12:17 am

Re: Veterans Thread

Postby sodomojo » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:07 am

AJordan wrote:I met a few guys who were doing 9 months in Poland and their lives are sucking right now.

2CR?



Return to “Law School Admissions Forum?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: edyw and 7 guests