Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

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wannabeofficer
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Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby wannabeofficer » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:48 am

<3
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paul554
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby paul554 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:09 am

Everything you listed is wrong. First, you have 0 gurantee of promotion, especially since education is not a large requirement for enlisted until senior NCO ranks. Promotion is slower for officers in the long run but it dosent sound like your planning on being in that long. Also no one will tell you one rank is more prestigious then another. That is like comparing Patton to Audie Murphy, each soldier is judged on their own worth not their rank.

OCS is VERY competitive right now and you were issued a citation, that alone is probably enough for both officer and enlisted side to turn you down right now. Remember the army is in downsizing mode.

Ask yourself why your going this route. If its for the WE, soft and college money, well there are other options that would probably suit you better.

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TripTrip
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby TripTrip » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:03 am

You need a minimum of three years time in service to make sergeant, and even then it will be very competitive. Don't expect the "exceptional performer" bullshit to help you; there is a HUGE over-saturation of E-4s in the Army with excellent qualifications.

For military intelligence, you will have to go through a single-scope background check to get a TS//SCI clearance, and they will find your disorderly. Disclose it and explain it.

There are only two MOSs that actually give you language training; don't think that going MI automatically puts you in the running.

Source: I'm a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst in the Army.

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Br3v
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby Br3v » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:49 am

Strictly in terms of law school I think milt experience is milt experience. So I wouldn't base your decision off of what adcoms might think.

jarofsoup
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby jarofsoup » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:58 am

Intelligence..maybe you can learn another language, and not get yourself killed? I really really do not think law school or legal employers care about your rank, but for gov/ work being in the military would give you a higher G level for positions.

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kingsfield69
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby kingsfield69 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:27 am

Make your decision independent of how you believe law schools might perceive your experience. As was mentioned above, they're less concerned with the nuts-and-bolts of what you did in the military and more concerned with the character of how you did it, what you learned from it, and how those lessons can be related to the study/practice of law. In my opinion, there's a lot of natural overlap between leadership and effective legal practice ... so you should be looking for chances to stretch and grow yourself as a leader if you buy into that idea.

That may lead you to believe becoming an officer is the better option. But you need to do some serious soul-searching before making that decision. Leadership in the Army is a completely selfless prospect, and you're a leader from Day One as a Lieutenant. There is only one reason to become an officer in the military -- especially in today's context -- and that is because you want to be an officer in the military. If you're in it for the wrong reasons, you will be utterly miserable, probably won't be an effective leader for your troops, and if you get lukewarm performance reviews, it could nullify any advantage in the law school application process down the road.

If you're ambivalent, considering pursuing the enlisted path. You'll pick up some great experience and have a few years before the NCO grades to determine whether leadership is your thing.

As for the whole summons piece, that's not a legitimate bar to commissioning. If you're otherwise eligible and want to go to OCS, make your recruiter do the waiver work to surmount that issue.

wannabeofficer
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby wannabeofficer » Thu Dec 27, 2012 4:12 pm

kingsfield69 wrote:If you're ambivalent, considering pursuing the enlisted path. You'll pick up some great experience and have a few years before the NCO grades to determine whether leadership is your thing.


Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

Although I relish the opportunity to lead and be accountable for any failures of my team, I think it might be a prudent route to go enlisted since it will more likely provide me a broader experience and opportunity for growth. Plus, I've been told that officers without enlisted experience are not respected by their enlisted soldiers. I'll probably get an opportunity to lead if I were to be an NCO anyway.

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wert3813
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby wert3813 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 7:25 pm

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:25 pm

TripTrip wrote:You need a minimum of three years time in service to make sergeant, and even then it will be very competitive. Don't expect the "exceptional performer" bullshit to help you; there is a HUGE over-saturation of E-4s in the Army with excellent qualifications.

For military intelligence, you will have to go through a single-scope background check to get a TS//SCI clearance, and they will find your disorderly. Disclose it and explain it.

There are only two MOSs that actually give you language training; don't think that going MI automatically puts you in the running.

Source: I'm a Geospatial Intelligence Analyst in the Army.


Triptrip- 12Y?

As for the E4 over-saturation, it is the darn truth. I don't think you need to worry about your rank when you apply to law school. The fact that you were in the military is the boost, not what rank you were while you were there.

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TripTrip
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby TripTrip » Fri Dec 28, 2012 2:14 am

BlueJeanBaby wrote:Triptrip- 12Y?
35G. Similar to 12Y, but more looking for disguised tanks in east asia and less flood predicting cartography.

OP I think enlisted MI is a great route for you. Good luck. Go 35M if they have a slot.

GertrudePerkins
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby GertrudePerkins » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:45 am

3L and former 19K here. I definitely think my military experience has been a significant boost to my resume, both for getting into law school and for getting jobs, but I want to stress the point others have made that it's wacky to select your MOS/officer v. enlisted based primarily on what you think will get you into law school. First, law school is so much about UGPA and LSAT that your MOS/Ov.E has a good chance of not making any difference. But second and more importantly, you'll have to spend 3+ effing years doing whatever you're doing in the Army, so you really should base that on which choice is intrinsically right for you, not which is instrumentally the best means to some other end. You should also bear in mind the possibility that your service will take you down some totally unexpected path that doesn't lead to law school. I doubt that many 22 year olds (just assuming you're roughly that age) can accurately predict where they'll be at 26. God knows I couldn't.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:47 am

TripTrip wrote:
BlueJeanBaby wrote:Triptrip- 12Y?
35G. Similar to 12Y, but more looking for disguised tanks in east asia and less flood predicting cartography.


My husband is a 12Y :)

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scottyc66
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby scottyc66 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:44 am

wannabeofficer wrote:
kingsfield69 wrote:If you're ambivalent, considering pursuing the enlisted path. You'll pick up some great experience and have a few years before the NCO grades to determine whether leadership is your thing.


Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

Although I relish the opportunity to lead and be accountable for any failures of my team, I think it might be a prudent route to go enlisted since it will more likely provide me a broader experience and opportunity for growth. Plus, I've been told that officers without enlisted experience are not respected by their enlisted soldiers. I'll probably get an opportunity to lead if I were to be an NCO anyway.

You're just full of incorrect information

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:46 am

scottyc66 wrote:
wannabeofficer wrote:
kingsfield69 wrote:If you're ambivalent, considering pursuing the enlisted path. You'll pick up some great experience and have a few years before the NCO grades to determine whether leadership is your thing.


Thanks for the thoughtful feedback.

Although I relish the opportunity to lead and be accountable for any failures of my team, I think it might be a prudent route to go enlisted since it will more likely provide me a broader experience and opportunity for growth. Plus, I've been told that officers without enlisted experience are not respected by their enlisted soldiers. I'll probably get an opportunity to lead if I were to be an NCO anyway.

You're just full of incorrect information


The part about officers with enlisted experience getting more respect is seeeeriously true from what I've seen. I don't think that would be enough to motivate me to take the pay cut for a few years, though.

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scottyc66
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby scottyc66 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:54 am

BlueJeanBaby wrote:
The part about officers with enlisted experience getting more respect is seeeeriously true from what I've seen. I don't think that would be enough to motivate me to take the pay cut for a few years, though.

Maybe it's more true in other services than Air Force then. As long as you don't carry yourself like a know-it-all douchelord and understand that a 20 year enlisted guy knows more than you despite being under you in the chain of command you're fine.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:57 am

scottyc66 wrote:
BlueJeanBaby wrote:
The part about officers with enlisted experience getting more respect is seeeeriously true from what I've seen. I don't think that would be enough to motivate me to take the pay cut for a few years, though.

Maybe it's more true in other services than Air Force then. As long as you don't carry yourself like a know-it-all douchelord and understand that a 20 year enlisted guy knows more than you despite being under you in the chain of command you're fine.


Yeah, maybe. My husband is in the Army and is enlisted. Him and most of the other enlisted guys he works with hold masters degrees, etc. and despise the young officers that come straight in with their online BA or BS degree and treat them like they don't know anything about anything.

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airbud
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby airbud » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:11 pm

OP: as a Marine officer myself, your decision-making process makes me cringe. Some of the advice you've received (scottyc66, kingsfield69) is accurate and reliable. Others, not so much.

First, I work with a ton of enlisted Marines who are former recruiters. They often joke about how regularly they used to dupe unsuspecting/uninformed would-be officers to enlist instead of commissioning in order to increase their own recruiting numbers. "You'll be more respected by your troops once you become an officer, etc, etc." Same lines every time.

Speaking of respect from your troops, it is not the case that prior-enlisted officers are universally respected by their men. In fact, I've actually found the opposite to be true for a lot of reasons that are beyond the scope of this forum. Enlisted personnel respect their officers on the face of it: they want good, hard-working leaders/commanders who are humble enough to know their proper role in the world.

Becoming an officer is absolutely a calling. If you want to lead and lead now, commission. As was said, if you are ambivalent about the whole thing, do not sell your troops or service short by placing yourself in a position to lead them. If you're lukewarm, stay away from the officer ranks.

A couple other notes:

Enlisting will not give you a "broader experience". In fact, it will give you a more narrow experience. Officers are generalists.

Military intelligence is not at all what you or most of the world thinks it is. The TV show 24 is to military intel what Law and Order is to lawyering. Both have totally skewed peoples' perspective of the profession. I guarantee that you will do the most dreadful, unsexy work imaginable in MI. Unless, of course, you end up going top-secret, special ops-type route.

I'm not sure what you mean by "being embarrassed by the OCS board". If you are barred from commissioning from whatever reasons, they have no idea who you are and, quite frankly, don't care who you are. You are one of thousands. If denied, your package will be thrown out and you'll be forgotten. Then you can go enlist if it doesn't work out.

Finally, here's my final recommendation: you should not become an officer. The fact that you are looking at the military in general or the officer ranks in particular simply as a vehicle for enhancing your law school prospects shows you have neither the maturity nor the sense of duty to swear the oath of an officer. I do not feel like I'm being melodramatic. I'm simply trying to protect the integrity of what it means to be an officer in the US military. That being said: don't become one.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:21 pm

airbud offers sound advice. I will say that I remember years ago when my husband and I went to all the recruitment offices, the Marine officer recruiters were by far the most passionate and helpful of all the ones we visited.

OP, have you spoken with recruiters? My husband considered the officer path and enlisted path before deciding on enlisted. There are a lot of differences (this may be Army only) even in little things, like an officer must stay in the military for a certain period of time after their last day using tuition assistance, for example, while enlisted don't have this stipulation. airbud is also extremely accurate in that officers work a more generalized job, while enlisted soldiers are given a very specific job. This is the primary reason my husband chose to go enlisted, and I feel that everyone ends up having reasons to go one or the other. After researching and talking with recruiters I am sure you will have a better understanding of which path is right for you! :)

wannabeofficer
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby wannabeofficer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 7:06 pm

airbud wrote:Military intelligence is not at all what you or most of the world thinks it is. The TV show 24 is to military intel what Law and Order is to lawyering. Both have totally skewed peoples' perspective of the profession. I guarantee that you will do the most dreadful, unsexy work imaginable in MI. Unless, of course, you end up going top-secret, special ops-type route.


i'm aware. checkpoints, writing reports, etc.


airbud wrote:Finally, here's my final recommendation: you should not become an officer. The fact that you are looking at the military in general or the officer ranks in particular simply as a vehicle for enhancing your law school prospects shows you have neither the maturity nor the sense of duty to swear the oath of an officer.


good advice. noted. i'll surely do enlisted and if i really want to be an officer then i'll apply to be one after my contract. if i really want to be an officer, i will have to sacrifice by delaying law school.


BlueJeanBaby wrote:OP, have you spoken with recruiters? My husband considered the officer path and enlisted path before deciding on enlisted.


recruiters and friends. everybody has been discouraging me to go straight to officer. perhaps i was being cynical but the more i look into it, the more it looks like it is for my best interest. they all share the same sentiment that ROTC, college grads, etc. shouldn't be allowed to be an officer directly. they even think west point grads should be enlisted for two years before becoming officers.

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Cobretti
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby Cobretti » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:35 pm

wannabeofficer wrote:
airbud wrote:Military intelligence is not at all what you or most of the world thinks it is. The TV show 24 is to military intel what Law and Order is to lawyering. Both have totally skewed peoples' perspective of the profession. I guarantee that you will do the most dreadful, unsexy work imaginable in MI. Unless, of course, you end up going top-secret, special ops-type route.


i'm aware. checkpoints, writing reports, etc.


airbud wrote:Finally, here's my final recommendation: you should not become an officer. The fact that you are looking at the military in general or the officer ranks in particular simply as a vehicle for enhancing your law school prospects shows you have neither the maturity nor the sense of duty to swear the oath of an officer.


good advice. noted. i'll surely do enlisted and if i really want to be an officer then i'll apply to be one after my contract. if i really want to be an officer, i will have to sacrifice by delaying law school.


BlueJeanBaby wrote:OP, have you spoken with recruiters? My husband considered the officer path and enlisted path before deciding on enlisted.


recruiters and friends. everybody has been discouraging me to go straight to officer. perhaps i was being cynical but the more i look into it, the more it looks like it is for my best interest. they all share the same sentiment that ROTC, college grads, etc. shouldn't be allowed to be an officer directly. they even think west point grads should be enlisted for two years before becoming officers.


Former air force linguist (so... Enlisted) here. If you're planning on doing one enlistment and getting out to do law school there just simply isn't a single legitimate argument to go enlisted. If you aren't staying in, go officer and build a much stronger resume for the rest of your life. Plus you're entering into a caste system, trust me you don't want to be on the bottom, I resented the structure my entire time I was in and its the single biggest reason I didn't reup.

Also tbf, if you're a smart guy that's lookingat top law schools you'll probably drive yourself crazy working with the morons that normally enlist, even if you go intel.

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BlueJeanBaby
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby BlueJeanBaby » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:47 pm

mrizza wrote:
Former air force linguist (so... Enlisted) here. If you're planning on doing one enlistment and getting out to do law school there just simply isn't a single legitimate argument to go enlisted. If you aren't staying in, go officer and build a much stronger resume for the rest of your life. Plus you're entering into a caste system, trust me you don't want to be on the bottom, I resented the structure my entire time I was in and its the single biggest reason I didn't reup.

Also tbf, if you're a smart guy that's lookingat top law schools you'll probably drive yourself crazy working with the morons that normally enlist, even if you go intel.


Going in as an E4, he wouldn't start at the bottom really. My husband has pretty much been in charge of where he works since he joined and he entered as an E4. There isn't anyone even with a rank above his working in the exact office he works in, so I guess it depends. If you aren't going to gain anything from the enlisted work experience, and aren't going to use tuition assistance, I would take the officer pay raise as well! It will help you save that $$ for whatever your GI bill doesn't cover :).

eta: I do know a lot of morons in Intel. I wonder why that is? Everyone who works with my husband (12Y) is great! I think he just lucked out.

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Ramius
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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby Ramius » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:54 pm

BlueJeanBaby wrote:OP, have you spoken with recruiters? My husband considered the officer path and enlisted path before deciding on enlisted.


[/quote]recruiters and friends. everybody has been discouraging me to go straight to officer. perhaps i was being cynical but the more i look into it, the more it looks like it is for my best interest. they all share the same sentiment that ROTC, college grads, etc. shouldn't be allowed to be an officer directly. they even think west point grads should be enlisted for two years before becoming officers.[/quote]

Without bringing too much sarcasm into this debate, I'll just reiterate this one more time: being prior enlisted or not has little to nothing to do with how much an enlisted person will respect you. Not surprisingly, many enlisted believe that the best officers were prior enlisted because they've seen both sides of the job, but the reality can be far from the truth as well. Some prior enlisted were particularly successful as an enlisted person (hence why they were picked up for a commissioning program), but their skill set does not translate to an officer leader role at all. The debate can rage on as to whether or not, on the whole, prior enlisted officers are better than Academy graduates or ROTC or OCS, et al. The only way to determine whether you're a successful enlisted, officer, civilian contractor, lawyer, or whatever profession you're entering is how you approach the job and your ability to fit the necessary skill sets into a demanding profession.

My two cents, but this thread is riddled with mistaken beliefs based on entirely anecdotal evidence.

As a response to the original poster's question, enter the military (any field really) if your passion is serving in the military. Forget immediately what imagined effect it might have on law school admissions.

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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby maybemercer » Sun Dec 30, 2012 10:49 pm

As a former intelligence enlisted soldier and current infantry officer I feel enlisting prior to becoming an officer is overrated. IMO the initial years as an enlisted service member (E-1 to E-4) is comparable to being a freshman/sophomore in college with a pay check ie low responsibility, you do your job mon-fri, and chase tale/party on the weekends.

As an Army Officer (more specifically combat arms) there is minimal margin for error resulting in rapid growth and development as a leader and as a man. Failure to perform results in being labeled at a turd which tends to remain until you get out or leave assignments. Because most junior officers coming straight from ROTC/college are young and unable to produce as expected, the reputation of the non-enlisted officer suffers.

OP- DO NOT go into the military for a soft factor. The +2 boost on your LSAT isn't worth the effort and frankly, the soldiers you would be leading as an officer DESERVE competent leaders who want to be there. Now if you want to jump out of planes, don't care about sleep deprivation, and generally enjoy embracing stark situations, take the late great JFK's advice and enlist into the Army as an 11B (Infantryman) to do something for your country.

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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby wannabeofficer » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:54 am

thank you to the productive responses. i consider the initial question resolved.

1. perhaps it is my fault for not initially mentioning but i am joining the army because i want to serve. i'd be lying to say the scholly and softs do not matter but those are just secondary to me.

2. i am aware of the wage discrepancy between officer and enlisted. i recognize that i may have to work with childish enlistees. but i'll go the enlisted path because if i am not sure if i want to be an officer, then why be one? plus, upward trend is better than the reverse. with enlisted, i see nowhere to go but up. while the enlistees get drunk and the officers work around politics, i'll keenly prepare for the lsat and craft my personal statements and applications.

3. my friends and recruiters are quite unanimous in saying that non-enlisted officers are less effective leaders compared to officers with enlisted experience. so i'm quite surprised with the amount of dissent in this thread. perhaps because my friends are in the army and you guys are/were in a different branch? perhaps you are offended because you are/were non-enlisted officers? with all due respect, i will hold the opinion of my friends irl higher. i may be wrong but i will experience it later anyway so we'll see.

4. i have considered infantry, special forces and eod but my recruiters have been reiterating that military intelligence is the most undermanned mos these days so if i can be of best use by being one, then so be it. and besides, might as well put the dlab score to good use.

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Re: Better for Law School - officer or military intelligence?

Postby dwink » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:47 pm

wannabeofficer wrote:thank you to the productive responses. i consider the initial question resolved.

1. perhaps it is my fault for not initially mentioning but i am joining the army because i want to serve. i'd be lying to say the scholly and softs do not matter but those are just secondary to me.

2. i am aware of the wage discrepancy between officer and enlisted. i recognize that i may have to work with childish enlistees. but i'll go the enlisted path because if i am not sure if i want to be an officer, then why be one? plus, upward trend is better than the reverse. with enlisted, i see nowhere to go but up. while the enlistees get drunk and the officers work around politics, i'll keenly prepare for the lsat and craft my personal statements and applications.

3. my friends and recruiters are quite unanimous in saying that non-enlisted officers are less effective leaders compared to officers with enlisted experience. so i'm quite surprised with the amount of dissent in this thread. perhaps because my friends are in the army and you guys are/were in a different branch? perhaps you are offended because you are/were non-enlisted officers? with all due respect, i will hold the opinion of my friends irl higher. i may be wrong but i will experience it later anyway so we'll see.

4. i have considered infantry, special forces and eod but my recruiters have been reiterating that military intelligence is the most undermanned mos these days so if i can be of best use by being one, then so be it. and besides, might as well put the dlab score to good use.



i'm sorry. this thread is making me so angry that i have to reply to this. i'll reply point by point.

1. do not join the army. you're already doing it for the wrong reasons.

2. that just sounds cheesy as fuck. whoever told you that you'll be surrounded by "childish enlistees" is probably a moron. i know an equal amount of immature officers as i do enlisted soldiers. conversely, some of my soldiers have been the most professional, smartest, and driven men i have met in my entire life. the army is what you make of it no matter what rank you are.

whatever you're talking about "upwards trends" is wrong too, man. as an officer, you'll get promoted faster to 1LT than you will going from specialist to sergeant if you come in with a degree. that's a fact.

you'll find time to "keenly prepare" (if you do talk like this in real life, prepare to get eaten alive in the army) whatever you want when you find the self discipline to do it. does not matter what rank you are.

3. this is flat out wrong. i know many amazing officers who came from every commissioning source (ROTC, USMA, OCS) and some have been enlisted, some have not. I know plenty of shitty officers who came from every commissioning source and (surprise, surprise) some have been enlisted, some have not. (in fact, the only officers i've known to get Relief for Cause OERs were prior service.... just a coincidence i'm guessing)

here is the truth: recruiters do not get any credit towards their monthly quota for sending people to OCS. that's a fact. recruiters lie. that's a fact.

they have zero incentive to waste their time preparing your security clearance paperwork, etc if you become an officer. you have to go in there knowing what you want and have them work for you.

4. thanks for considering combat arms, hero. go try to get an 18x contract. i have zero doubt that a guy with an attitude like yours will get peered out in selection, well before you make it to the Q.

the only (civilian) benefit for becoming an MI soldier is that you will leave active duty with a TS security clearance. this may help you get a job when you get out. i'm sure your recruiter told you. he probably didn't tell you that these jobs are going away and becoming more and more competitive. with OEF winding down, there is less need for contractors and with over 10 years of war the federal government positions are highly competitive and hard to come by.


do us all a favor and join the coast guard or something. you certainly do not belong in the infantry. i guess the one thing you are right about is that YOU will not be a good officer if you were not enlisted first. you wouldn't be one either way. you may be surprised that you'll get plenty of shit for enlisting with a college degree too. there will be plenty of "fucking college boy" remarks when you screw up and, trust me, there will be plenty of Specialists that have "paid their dues" that will resent you too.

IF you do join the army PLEASE just keep your mouth shut, your head down, and focus on doing the best job possible.


i know you'll want to whine about what "my friends told me" some more, so here's a little about me:

I'm currently an active duty Ranger Qualified Infantry Officer serving in an Airborne Unit and i take my job very seriously. I have deployed to afghanistan and have been a direct, on the ground leader in combat. I have friends (enlisted and officer) all across the Army. I have friends and former soldiers who were or are currently recruiters.

oh, sorry for wasting my DLAB score by being an infantryman. i got a 135, what'd you get?




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