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Direckshun
12-14-2007, 04:09 PM
I have a whole lot of debt from graduate school and due to a bunch of career reversals on my part, I'm still two years away from a masters degree. I know what I want it in (let's hope it stays that way), and I'm holding down a job at the moment that, while very rewarding, doesn't pay well and barely covers for school.

So I hear about a coworker's son re-upping to the Marines for a signing bonus of $41K.

If I were to sign on, it might not be that much (I assume it's higher for guys re-upping than it is for newcomers such as I would be), but it'd be a significant amount that would forever relieve me of the tens of thousands I've built up through school loans over the years and can barely manage to pay off.

Here are my questions, please only answer if you're 90% sure:

1. How much is initial signing bonus for a newcomer, if there is one?

2. Do they allow for people to pursue masters degrees while serving, and would it be insanely difficult to try?

3. What requirements would I have to meet for them to cover much/all of my grad school?

4. Should I temporarily abandon my current job to become a Marine, totally pay off my student loans while pursuing a master's degree?

This is more of a trial balloon than anything, so thanks to anybody who may help.

MichaelH
12-14-2007, 04:25 PM
No offense to the Marines but a Master's degree and the Jarheads don't mix. Why not try the Navy or Air Force?

Count Zarth
12-14-2007, 04:26 PM
I had no idea you were such a smarty pants.

Deberg_1990
12-14-2007, 04:27 PM
If your going into the military with that much education already, you should become an Officer, not enlisted.

Talk to a recruiter, and definately go Navy or Air Force, unless you like being a desert rat?

2bikemike
12-14-2007, 04:40 PM
If your going into the military with that much education already, you should become an Officer, not enlisted.

Talk to a recruiter, and definately go Navy or Air Force, unless you like being a desert rat?

This is the Best advice so far. IMHO it would be foolish to go in as an enlisted with your education. Seek out other branches and talk to them all. Don't take their word at heart get guarantees in writing.

I don't know what your degrees are in but see if there is something you can do similar to your current education.

My Sister went through nursing school and then joined the USAF as an officer and they then paid for her to get her masters. (They paid the tuition at Georgetown and she earned her pay while she went to school.)

Iowanian
12-14-2007, 04:41 PM
The Marines don't accept applications, Only Committments.


I have a buddy who is quite a bit younger and fairly eductated who joined the marines. He was put in Okinawa and quickly got snatched up by a higher up. That guy will never let him go, because he makes the officer look good.

Good luck with your decision, but my very good friend who is the recon instructor, told me a few years ago, when I was considering trying again, after college.....he told me to join the airforce because they sleep in beds, get new equipment, get more money and do half the work.

Explore your options carefully and make the best decision for you.

Good luck.

pikesome
12-14-2007, 05:17 PM
I did my time in the Navy and I'd recommend it over the Marines or Army any day. The Air Force isn't a bad idea either, my biggest problem with them is the idea that there are pilots and everyone else. I don't know just how true that is at the officer level though. DO NOT enlist, if you have a degree and want more becoming an officer is the only way to go.

Phobia
12-14-2007, 05:22 PM
If you want the luxury to finish college, join a different branch. You can finish in the Marines but a young lieutenant will likely be sent on plenty of deployments unless you land in the right field. I could have gotten a fat signing bonus if I had re-enlisted - in that neighborhood but I more than made up for it in 2 years in the private sector.

Based on your criteria, I'd say your an Air Force candidate rather than USMC.

If you do decide to sign up, move to Texas for a month, establish residency and make that your home of record. Not only will you be state income tax free but there are educational benefits available to vets there.

Brock
12-14-2007, 05:23 PM
That's 10k a year. Seems to me a part time job would pay that.

Count Zarth
12-14-2007, 05:23 PM
If you do decide to sign up, move to Texas for a month, establish residency and make that your home of record.

And you can hang out with GoChiefs.

ChiefsCountry
12-14-2007, 06:52 PM
I dont know if the military pays much for master's degrees. My buddy is in the Guard and he said its way different than his undergrad.

Misplaced_Chiefs_Fan
12-14-2007, 07:01 PM
Personally, I went into the Army with my degree and I was very happy I went enlisted. Yeah, I didn't make as much money as an officer, but I also didn't have to put up with the crap that officers did (and believe me, the politics of being an officer outweighs the benefits from what I could see).

By having my degree, I got promoted faster (maxed education points the second I joined) and got my pick of what I went into. Also, the Army paid off my college loan (had to ask for that when I went in) AND I got the GI Bill (for further education) AND when I went for my Masters, I got 75% of my tuition paid by the Army (if I was still working on my Bachelors, I would have gotten 90% paid).

So, you have to weigh exactly what you want out of the military - BUT - (you knew this was coming) - you better be joining with your eyes wide open. If you're only going in to get out of debt, you're going to be very miserable for the length of your enlistment (or commitment if you go officer). Being in the military isn't for the faint of heart or those who can't follow orders.

Still, if you're interested, there are worse ways to make a living.

cookster50
12-14-2007, 07:19 PM
Still, if you're interested, there are worse ways to make a living.

Yeah, you could be married to Gochiefs.

CoMoChief
12-14-2007, 07:20 PM
Just don't bitch out and move to Canada when they ship you off to Iraq.

Phobia
12-14-2007, 07:24 PM
Honestly, your signing bonus would totally depend on your ASVAB scores and the field you choose/qualify for. The only person that knows those answers is a recruiter.

I would play every branch against every other one and I would make sure you know EXACTLY what you qualify for. I showed up at my computer school and many of my peers were a rank higher than me and were walking around with anywhere from $5-20k in their pockets.

Skip Towne
12-14-2007, 07:38 PM
Honestly, your signing bonus would totally depend on your ASVAB scores and the field you choose/qualify for. The only person that knows those answers is a recruiter.

I would play every branch against every other one and I would make sure you know EXACTLY what you qualify for. I showed up at my computer school and many of my peers were a rank higher than me and were walking around with anywhere from $5-20k in their pockets.
How much did you get?

Phobia
12-14-2007, 07:41 PM
How much did you get?

I got $811 a month.

MIAdragon
12-14-2007, 07:41 PM
Do yourself a favor and look no further than the Air Force, hands down the best service in the quality of life arena. I loved the Navy but the AF is where its at

Simplex3
12-14-2007, 09:41 PM
I worked with a Marine that lived in some ex-Air Force barracks after the Air Force condemned them. He said it was the nicest place he lived during his four years in the corp.

On the other side my uncle was a life-long Air Force guy. When leaving HS I was considering the military and he told me the Air Force has two types: Pilots and people scraping bird crap off of runways.

If you ever do go to war I'm thinking I'd rather be in the Marines. At least you know everyone on base has qualified with their rifle.

tmax63
12-15-2007, 07:41 AM
I am prior Army (12 years) and have worked for the Army at the Air Force Academy for the last 3.5 years in the medical field. When I was active the Army had better guarantees but the AF (from personal observation) has better schooling opportunities because they don't move as much. The Army paid off all my student loans but it was a challenge. I got stationed in Germany 1st time and after being in 2 yrs (half my enlistment) I got a letter saying I had to have all my student loan stuff submitted for payment by the school within less than a month. I spent a ton on overnight international postage but did get it done in time. As many others have stated - read the fine print and know exactly what your getting and when. If it isn't in the actual enlistment contract it don't exist. And take your time, they will try to rush you and not give you time to digest it fully before you make your decision. What's available can change from month to month (at least when I was a recruiter) but bonus amounts and incentives are not set by the recruiter and they only offer what's there so you have to switch branches or wait to the new month to see what's being offered if you don't like it.

Fairplay
12-15-2007, 08:21 AM
I am 90% sure i would not join the marines.

dtebbe
12-15-2007, 09:39 AM
I showed up at my computer school and many of my peers were a rank higher than me and were walking around with anywhere from $5-20k in their pockets.

This happened to me too, but I laughed my ass off when they all got sent to Fort Irwin and I got a nice assignment to an AFB in Greece, me and about 4 other Army guys on the entire base.

Between my tech shcool (51 semester hours) and classes I took while in the service I came out with 3 years exp in broadcast engineering and about 80 semester hours of college - zero debt. The funny thing was everywhere I was hired it was the experience, not the college that got me hired.

I also would not join the marines. You are not going to get any kind of enlistment bonus with the Air Force, but I think you have a good chance with the Army to get a bonus and a half way decent job. If you have a bachelor's you can often enter as an E-3 and get your E-4 no more than you have enough time in grade as an E-3. A bunch of guys that were in school with me had that in thier enlistment contract. It took me about 2.5 years to make E-4 (although I worked much harder on school than I did playing soldier).

DT

Skip Towne
12-15-2007, 09:43 AM
I am 90% sure i would not join the marines.
I'm 100% sure.

RP_McMurphy
12-15-2007, 10:07 AM
Well I don't fault people for joining the Marines as they have excellent esprit de corps. However if you joined the Navy you could get the GI Bill at the rate of 1,100 a month for 36 months after 24 months or so. The Navy also pays tution assitance to help with degrees. Here's the kicker with that TA is the Navy will only pay TA to a job field that is commiserate with your active duty job. IE if you were a Aerographers Mate you would only get TA help to get a Meterology degree but not if you wanted to get a Engineering degree. So there is a catch there. As far as sign on bonus's in the Navy certain rates are still getting them but they going down as the Navy is in a drawdown mode right now. Navy is losing 25K over the next few years.

patteeu
12-15-2007, 10:39 AM
Being a Marine JAG would be an interesting mix of brain and brawn.

I don't know the answers to any of your questions Direckshun, but if you decide to spend some time in the military, I have no doubt that it will be a big plus for you for the rest of your life (unless you get killed, maimed, or mentally crippled as a result of course).

Phobia
12-15-2007, 11:19 AM
or mentally crippled as a result of course).
thanks a lot, jerk

patteeu
12-15-2007, 12:21 PM
thanks a lot, jerk

LMAO You're the only ex-marine I have much exposure to that I know of.

AndChiefs
12-15-2007, 02:06 PM
I got a 99 on the ASVAB...what should that get me?