This may have been posted a lot on this website, but i am considering going into the national guard as i would to service my state and country. But there is something holding me back. Fear and anxiousness. I am close to being physically fit for B CT. One thing holding me back is my parents. I am 19 and they can't do anything if i sign up. Tey at least want me to talk to them about it. I want to but i am nervous about discussing such a subject. Secondly is BCT its self, I am told it is a challenge where others say its easy. Army BCT is 10 weeks long, i am nervous about the fact of leaving home. I know someday i will have to the nest, but i have spent my whole life in my area, and the fact that i would be leaving my friends and family behind for so long a time makes me uneasy. Also i did not grow up in a military family so I have no previous military influence to shift the decision. Any advice on anything mentioned will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Talk to your parents. Take them to your recruiter's office and have him talk with them. Then go do it.
First of all, i applaud you for your desire to serve. The profession of arms has always been a noble one and, speaking as an active duty officer, it is a fulfilling and worthwhile career choice.
It is understandable that you are nervous. You are about to embark on the first steps of your adult life and change is always uncomfortable. However, if this is something you truly want to do and think it is the right choice for you, then talking to your parents is a necessity. If they are the kind of parents that want what is best for you then take whatever advise they give and use it in your decision but don't let the fear of them being against the decision preclude the conversation completely.
Secondly, BCT is a challenge no matter what anyone says. You will find that it is both disappointing and fulfilling. Not all BCT units are created equal so your experience will depend greatly where you go. There will be personality conflicts, constant physcial challenges, and emotional difficulty as you submit to leadership on every level. You will also make friends with people who you will never forget. i encourage you to get into the best shape of your life before you go because, whatever your fitness level when you go, you will be challenged.
Thirdly, it may seem like 10 weeks of BCT training is a long time but know that one day soon you will be looking into your parents eyes as you are about to leave for a year of deployment or even moving away for good. Though it isn't easy, it is part of becoming a man, as is the decision you are facing now. Good luck
This is an American perspective just to note.
Here is what I have told my son. If he wants to go military, he must first get his undergrad degree and go in as an officer. The college experience will let him grow and mature so that he is not clueless when posted overseas and has experienced some of life already.
Being an officer means that, if he loves it and does well, there is nothing stopping him from reaching the top. Enlisted have a clear ceiling. The benefits are better long run also.
If he goes military and hates it, after he does it required service he has his degree to fall back on.
I also tell my Son he can be any kind of engineer or scientist he wishes to be.
My goal for my Son is to give him the maximum options in life that will allow him to live well and enjoy it.
As your parents what is the fear and concern they have. For my son, besides death, my concern is him hitting a ceiling later in his career if he goes career military.
Curious, did you serve, David?
I did not have that option. However my father did and was an officer.
Did my answer spark irritation or show some lack of understanding? I would like to know because I may face my son wishing to go into the military one day.
Irritation? Yes. Your post was offensive. Your lack of understanding of the value of enlisted members and NCOs was self-evident. Perhaps your father's attitude caused you to believe that only officers were worthy.
How you choose to raise your son is your business. I'm thankful that my own father didn't try to put similar restrictions on what I was allowed to do. Of course I enlisted at 17 (after a year of college), and had he objected I would have simply waited a year.
My father and I never discussed enlisted members or NCOs ever. He never lead me to believe anyone was unworthy. During my father's retirement it was mentioned he got an award for employing disabled people. When I asked him about it. He said it was nothing, he could get his own coffee. When I asked my mom what that meant, she said his secretary had Polio and used crunches. My father is a quiet hard working man who treats everyone with respect.
I hold no disrespect for military personnel but as a career option I would suggest my son choose the paths that have the maximum options for career growth. That is ALL. To misconstrue this into an ANTI-Enlisted ANTI-NCO is sad. Please don't try to paint me with that brush.
I have to agree with Mr. Danger. I honestly don't think that you meant any disrespect, or hold enlisted men in low regard, but it did come across that way. Retiring as an E-8 or E-9 is much more difficult, demanding and rewarding than some people realize. Your Father sounds like a true gentleman and officer. Men such as that are blessing to any family.
*Reposted to reply to the correct post. Bad on me for posting from mobile phone earlier.
I'm not painting you. I responded to what you wrote. Perhaps you didn't intend it to be condescending. That's the way it came across to me.
How old is your son?
*Edited to add: I also did not intend to denigrate your father or his service. As a former USAF NCO I have had the honor of serving with many fine officers. Currently I have two former officers working for me. Fortunately for my organization they decided to not make a career of the military. One is an AFA grad, the other was ROTC Army. Fine men.
Why don't you let your son make the decision? Working for a living (enlisted) teaches you a lot and if somewhere down the line he wanted to become an officer he can still do that.
The best officers I served with had begun their career as enlisted. One made MG in a total of 18 yrs in service.
If the situation were economically ideal then I could understand wanting the degree first then going to officer school. My roommate got his degree and had no clue what to do with it so he started talking to recruiters and is now a first lieutenant.
Universities can be really expensive and you can leave with a debt equal to a house loan. Enlisting first would give guidance and the necessary funds and skills to make your way to a degree or a good job if a military career isn't what you're looking for.