Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

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Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:06 pm

I'm currently at a T14 school and have an SA in a major market lined up for the summer. This is obviously a good situation to be in and would likely lead to a comfortable life, but my true interest lies in commissioning as a military officer. I've met with a recruiter and this is definitely an option, but would I be crazy to go to OCS after completing my JD? My thinking is I could use PAYE and PSLF to pay off my debt, but I'm more concerned with the idea of never using my law degree.

I'm not looking for anyone to make the decision for me - I've just benefitted from advice on this site before and alternative perspectives/similar circumstances can be helpful.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:09 pm

OP here. I should clarify, my interest lies in combat arms and hopefully special operations. This is not a post about JAG.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Desert Fox » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:10 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I'm currently at a T14 school and have an SA in a major market lined up for the summer. This is obviously a good situation to be in and would likely lead to a comfortable life, but my true interest lies in commissioning as a military officer. I've met with a recruiter and this is definitely an option, but would I be crazy to go to OCS after completing my JD? My thinking is I could use PAYE and PSLF to pay off my debt, but I'm more concerned with the idea of never using my law degree.

I'm not looking for anyone to make the decision for me - I've just benefitted from advice on this site before and alternative perspectives/similar circumstances can be helpful.


Don't let the fear of never using your JD stop you.

Though, I don't know why you'd finish the third year. Go to OCS right after the SA and take a leave of absence that never ends from law school.

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MCFC
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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby MCFC » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:11 pm

I knew what you meant, but you might want to clarify the title. OCS = Office of Career Services at a lot of schools.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:15 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I should clarify, my interest lies in combat arms and hopefully special operations. This is not a post about JAG.


If you know you are passionate about something and have a reason to know this and to be, then why not do it. But my question is, why did you waste 3 years and a bunch of $$$ in the first place? Given that you have done so (and presumably are getting a good degree), why not consider doing something like JAG or the Army equivalent, as an officer? I know these are competitive, particularly if you haven't already demonstrated interest, but to me, yes it does seem foolish to not utilize your law degree.

This isn't because law is better than what you want to do, for you, necessarily, but because if you forgo legal training in a legal position after graduation, your chances of having a legal career down the road, as a fallback or otherwise, evaporate almost entirely. If you did JAG or something, or used it in the service some other way I don't know about, you could get the benefit if the above while doing something involved with what you're talkng about.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Feb 16, 2015 3:21 pm

OP here. I wasn't sure it was the right move after undergrad for a few reasons, but in hindsight, you're right, I should've gone right away. Alas that's not the case so I'm trying to decide whether it's too late to do it now.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby catinthewall » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:00 am

Current lawyer, former naval aviator here. It's only too late when they tell you you're too late (i.e., you can't get an age waiver). Go do it before you regret it for the rest of your life.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:19 am

why not consider doing something like JAG or the Army equivalent, as an officer?


Don't do this.

My interest lies in combat arms and hopefully special operations


Do this. Go true blue (or Armor or Artillery)

As a side note, a JD would increase your chances of getting into organizations that may appeal to a guy like you who apparently wants to get after it. It would also be good to have the JD in your pocket should you decide combat arms isn't your thing..........................like halfway through mountain phase, or four months into being an assistant operations officer.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:25 am

Finish the JD, the army loves advance degrees. I know a few infantry officers with JDs and most of the time this reflects positively on them. That being said, at a recent command staff meeting the colonel was inquiring about this in regards to some new officers. He wanted to know why one guys who had a JD wasn't JAG and the general consensus was that he must be a screw up who couldn't make it. It was pointed out that JAG has a selection rate of like 9% but it was obvious that the colonel had made his mind up about this guy. Generally though, you'll be judged off your skills as an officer and the JD will be a secondary concern.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby TheSpanishMain » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:28 am

I'd consider finishing. By the time you apply and get an OCS class date, you probably could've knocked out 3L anyway.
It'll give you something to fall back on in case you don't want/aren't offered a career. Retention ain't what it used to be

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:32 am

Anonymous User wrote:He wanted to know why they weren't JAG and the general consensus was that they must be screw ups who couldn't make it. It was pointed out that JAG has a selection rate of like 9% but it was obvious that the colonel had made his mind up about these guys. Generally though, you'll be judged off your skills as an officer and the JD will be a secondary concern.


That is insane, your colonel is either retarded or not IN/AR/FA/SF/AV. I don't think any combat arms person would judge you negatively at all.....why be a JAG when you can lead men in combat, travel the world and kill people while living a six-figure income life? The military is literally full of dudes that said "screw normal life, I want to get some."

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 11:42 am

Wipfelder wrote:
Anonymous User wrote:The military is literally full of dudes that said "screw normal life, I want to get some."


I did exactly this. There's time to sit behind a desk later in life (i.e. when you're an O-5 (or O-4 depending..) or a civilian, it happens either way) but why start early.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby bjsesq » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:05 pm

Anonymous User wrote:OP here. I should clarify, my interest lies in combat arms and hopefully special operations. This is not a post about JAG.

What about special operations speaks to you? Are you single? Are you prepared to partake in a deployment schedule that may make your nuts fall off? Are you aware of how hard it is to get into spec ops as an officer? If you are prepared to go as enlisted, are you ready for retarded 20 year old kids barking out orders at you if you start ranger, which is how most spec ops guys start on the pipeline?

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Shaggier1 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:12 pm

You get one life, friend. Knowing what you want out of it is a gift few people get. Go after it and don't look back.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby bjsesq » Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:22 pm

I'm really not sure how many people in here are all that knowledgeable about how hard it is to get into a front line JSOC unit as an officer. Guys, seriously, this isn't just an option bro can walk in on. And if he ends up as an officer at a leg unit, he'll want to fucking kill himself.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:21 pm

bjsesq wrote:I'm really not sure how many people in here are all that knowledgeable about how hard it is to get into a front line JSOC unit as an officer. Guys, seriously, this isn't just an option bro can walk in on. And if he ends up as an officer at a leg unit, he'll want to fucking kill himself.


It's really varied. Being attached or assigned may not be hard as an O5/O4, but you wouldn't be doing anything cool. Getting into Regiment as an officer is difficult and takes a lot of luck. SF/CA/Psy Ops is kind of in the same boat. Whatever route to being cool OP takes, it almost certainly starts with ranger school/line platoon leader time and probably XO/staff time. I know exactly two LTs who went right into JSOC. Both had incredible and extremely rare credentials.

For the record, being an officer in a line unit can be awesome.

I'm going to commission and go spec ops=I'm going TTTT and will just transfer into T14 wjen first year grades come out

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby bjsesq » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:25 pm

Wipfelder wrote:I'm going to commission and go spec ops=I'm going TTTT and will just transfer into T14 wjen first year grades come out


This is a beautifully put and incredibly accurate analogy.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:27 pm

The same thing crossed my mind, and it's crazy given how much I wanted and want big law. I think what happens is there's a touch of guilt about never having joined the military, confidence you'd be a helluva soldier, an emotional reaction to ISIS' crap and the acute awareness lawyers don't really do anything. I think it's normal to have an urge to enlist, but big picture I know I'd be less happy 10 years from now so I ignore it. Do what's best for you.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby TheJanitor6203 » Tue Feb 17, 2015 3:39 pm

OP, why not do both? Have you considered guard or reserve? You could try that route and verify that's what you want and then go active. I don't know where you're located but there are a few SF guard units around the country.. I have no idea how hard it is to get into one though.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby UnfrozenCaveman » Wed Feb 18, 2015 12:58 am

TheJanitor6203 wrote:OP, why not do both? Have you considered guard or reserve? You could try that route and verify that's what you want and then go active. I don't know where you're located but there are a few SF guard units around the country.. I have no idea how hard it is to get into one though.


This is what I was going to say as I read this thread. Think guard or reserve first. Also think hard about how cool being in the military really is. From what I know of Officer Candidate School, they consider your interests, but you are needs of the military as far as you job goes. You could get anything, e.g., transportation, logistics, etc. The posters above discussing the chances of joining as an officer in an SF unit is rare.

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:03 am

This is the same thing as going JAG (for your particular situation):

TheJanitor6203 wrote:OP, why not do both? Have you considered guard or reserve? You could try that route and verify that's what you want and then go active. I don't know where you're located but there are a few SF guard units around the country.. I have no idea how hard it is to get into one though.


Your timeline if you commissioned in the National Guard and went to an SF unit (there are no Army Reserve SF units):

1. Some training (you would not be combat arms, there are no infantry or armor slots available in a SFG at the LT-junior CPT level) for like, logistics or chemical corps or something. The National Guard Special Forces usually have openings for their staff positions; it will be fairly easy to get into the unit.
2. 3-5 years in the NG, being a staff bitch for an SF company/battalion (this timeline is based on the political situation today, who knows where we will be doing crazy shit a year from now)
3. Apply to go to Special Forces assessment and selection (you are competing with active duty guys, prior service SF dudes and the like, its by no means a guaranteed thing)
4. Spend at least two cumulative (not consecutive) years on active duty going through the training, you would probably spend six months a year or so activated, and then spend the rest of the time at your real job.
5. Hope you get to deploy and do cool shit
6. Don't forget to find a job that supports this lifestyle

Here is a cooler timeline:

1. Go to OCS and be active duty. Try really hard, be in good shape, you'll probably get Armor, Artillery, Infantry, Aviation or Engineer (remember not to suck)
2. Be a great platoon leader, try to be airborne.
3. Apply to go to the Ranger Regiment, hope your timeline matches theirs.
4. Apply for SF (same pipeline as above, but quicker, and obviously always on active duty)
-If you don't want to do special operations, you can stay regular army (some people like it) or apply to be a JAG officer, or just get the fuck out after your three-year committment (assuming you don't do a debt forgiveness contract or something like that) and move on with life.

Here is the coolest timeline:

1. Enlist with an Airborne Ranger contract.
2A. Probably pass airborne but fail the Ranger part, spend the next three years or so in Italy, Germany, Alaska or North Carolina, spend about eight months a year in training in the field or in Africa/Eastern Europe/Asia or whatever, you can then go "special" or get out or whatever.
2B. Become a real ranger, do all kinds of cool shit, the world is your oyster (if you don't suck)
3. Leave the army, go do your lawyer thing, or then apply for OCS if you like it, or even reenlist (then you can do SF and all that cool shit)

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:20 am

Wipfelder wrote:2A. Probably pass airborne but fail the Ranger part

My RIP class started with 293 and graduated 21. DAT PT TEST

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:03 am

Over half my company from this last deployment were RIP/X-Ray dudes that couldn't finish for various reasons. The Ranger/SF contract may be the best recruiting tool ever. Thank you Blackhawk Down (the movie).

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby bjsesq » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:05 am

The SF pipeline was brand new as I was getting out. The number of successful SF babies was incredibly small, wasn't it?

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Re: Am I Crazy for Considering OCS?

Postby Wipfelder » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:21 am

I'm not sure on the raw data numbers, but it was discussed ad naseum in human resource circles. The passage rate was very low and they considered scrapping the program. As the SOF mission expanded they had to plus-up numbers, so they added a very thorough preparation course for "SF Babies". It helped with numbers, but quality of teams overall suffered, some of those dudes didn't make it very long on the A-Teams. Some of those dudes got a bit squirrely when shit hit the fan, hence the maxim:

"Special-operations forces cannot be mass-produced."

Ancedotally, it was amusing to see the looks on my E-4's faces when the A Team on our COP had a CIB award ceremony.




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