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Thread: Joining the Air Force at 17

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    If he can make college work now, that is the better move by a long shot.
    I agree.

    It's true college is not for everyone, but for those who it is for, going out of high school is probably the best investment they can make, and a great experience. Sure, some degrees are better than others.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    I was just trying to get the kid to think about what he is doing; he will be 23 by the time he gets out.

    In my opinion, a person has a better chance of making more money in their late 20s and 30s if they get their bachelors degree knocked out right after high school.

    Putting off going to college isn't a wise move, so many doors are closed to you when you don't have that degree.

    I realize that not everyone can go to college straight out of high school.

    I went straight into the Air Force after high school, and I don't have any doubts that I would have made a hell of a lot more money, and worked better jobs throughout my 20s and 30s if I had went to college instead.

    Going to college part-time while on active duty takes a long time, and might not even be possible if he is working rotating shifts. Plus, he won't be able to enroll in classes until he completes 5 level, depending on the job he gets that could be 2 years after he joins.

    If he can make college work now, that is the better move by a long shot.
    comparing the value of college 20-30 years ago is to now is apples and oranges. It's been devalued so much, that most college degrees are not the panacea to equality they're being painted as.

    As for the Necessity of college. it depends on your skill set. If you have something technical. than No one much cares about whether you have a degree.

    I'll Give you my oldest son for an example. He just turned 26 (Great kid). He Went to College right out of High school for 5 years on a baseball scholarship. He was B-C student. He had a full ride for first 2 years (at a community College), Then transferred and red-shirted and (he received about 80% those last 3 years). He still had to take a loan out for the last 3 years (because he's white and his parents made over $45k).

    So, he Graduated with a 3.4 BA in Intl Business $22K in debt and started with no experience with a fortune 100 making about $55K. 3 years later he's working his ass off 50-60 hour weeks and making $65K, and talking about changing careers. he lives in FL and the salaries are low here. but, I'd say 8 years in to the military service he'd be in about the same boat as he is now.

    Agree that ROTC would be the best of both worlds. It's really hard to get in right now.

    My youngest son, went that route and should commission next year. but, it's getting pretty difficult to get in, they paid to put a lot of kids through school and didn't even let them commission because of the sequester cuts.
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 12-30-2014 at 07:42 PM.

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    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Measure Man View Post
    I agree.

    It's true college is not for everyone, but for those who it is for, going out of high school is probably the best investment they can make, and a great experience. Sure, some degrees are better than others.
    My best investment was military right out of high school. Retirement age of 38. That's a monthly paycheck of around 1500 (and that's retiring as an E6). That's 18k a year for 24 years (assuming 0 raises), then it really jumps up. So 18 x 24 = $432,000 (again, assuming no raises until age 62)additional dollars in my pocket while still being young enough to get another good paying job.

    I see several students come through the school here that talk about how they'd already be retired but they went to college first and are now joining because they can't find a job and need to pay off their loans.

    Of course, it's different for everyone. To each his own. Though if he's planning on being enlisted and making a career out of it then it doesn't make much sense, IMO, to knock out the college first.

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    Senior Member TJMAC77SP's Avatar
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    I tell anyone who will listen (and even those that won't...like my younger son) that of all the things in my life I regret, not finishing college as soon as possible is one of them. I closed off paths that I wish now I hadn't. It all worked out but having as many choices as possible early in your life will help you later down the road.

    Go to college and if you do decide to enlist.......take college classes immediately anyway and as many as possible. You will have to sacrifice some of you paycheck and off-duty time but don't give in to the temptation many of your peers will and blow it off.

    RJ is right about CLEP and DANTES. I got a lot of credit hours that way. Helped tremendously.

    Rainmaker, not sure I agree completely with you. Even in the technical fields college degrees get you more money coming in and even in the door to begin with. Why try to succeed in spite of statistics when having the degree makes you competitive?

    I cannot foresee a day when having a degree is not valuable. None of us can tell the future of the job market but if history continues as it has, a degree will maintain value.
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    Senior Member Capt Alfredo's Avatar
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    Would never recommend enlisting in the military straight out of high school, at least not for a kid who had his shit together. I enlisted at 19 and ended up finishing college at 23 while still in, then went to OTS. As a first generation college graduate, I wish someone had told me about ROTC. I don't regret enlisted service, but it's not the optimal way to go. If either kid shows a desire for military service, I will recommend ROTC or (god forbid) the Academy.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Rainmaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJMAC77SP View Post
    I tell anyone who will listen (and even those that won't...like my younger son) that of all the things in my life I regret, not finishing college as soon as possible is one of them. I closed off paths that I wish now I hadn't. It all worked out but having as many choices as possible early in your life will help you later down the road.

    Go to college and if you do decide to enlist.......take college classes immediately anyway and as many as possible. You will have to sacrifice some of you paycheck and off-duty time but don't give in to the temptation many of your peers will and blow it off.

    RJ is right about CLEP and DANTES. I got a lot of credit hours that way. Helped tremendously.

    Rainmaker, not sure I agree completely with you. Even in the technical fields college degrees get you more money coming in and even in the door to begin with. Why try to succeed in spite of statistics when having the degree makes you competitive?

    I cannot foresee a day when having a degree is not valuable. None of us can tell the future of the job market but if history continues as it has, a degree will maintain value.
    There's some value in it. Just not as much as there once was. I don't think a young kid would be disadvantaging himself whatsoever, by getting a 4 year enlistment under his belt first and then completing school and starting work at 25 or 26 (debt free instead of $50K in debt with no experience).

    In my own case I hired on right off active duty as a GS-13 (Program Manager) with nothing but a HS. diploma and military experience. I did finish a BA after I retired and after 2 years into it, I got so fed up working for the feds and started brokering CRE deals.

    Now, Most of the guys here do have some type of finance or Real estate degrees. But, NO ONE CARES about a degree. No one ever asked, me what my degree is in. All that's required to make money is that you have big brass balls.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kZg_ALxEz0
    Last edited by Rainmaker; 12-30-2014 at 08:10 PM.

  7. #17
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Capt Alfredo View Post
    I don't regret enlisted service but, in my opinion, it's not the optimal way to go.
    There...fixed that for ya. You're welcome.

  8. #18
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    Of course the "value" of college depends on what you want to do and what you study.

    Going to a real college full-time is the best way to get a valuable degree
    - Engineering
    - Medicine
    - Law
    - Real business degree

    These fields require college degrees.

    Yes, a lot of us got degrees part time while in the military....they aint these kind of quality degrees, for the most part. We get "Engineering technology" (not a real engineering degree)...Occupational Education, Industrial Technology...or other sorts of "yeah, I got a degree" degrees...

    When I say, go to college out of high school, I mean get a real quality degree...and you'll get way ahead in the long run. Yes, my AF enlisted career has been good to me...and led to a nice post-military career as well...but, guys I graduated HS with are surgeons, lawyers, CEOs, etc. I'd say their college paid off for them. I might still go in the military if I had to do it all over again, but I'd get my degree first and go commissioned...

  9. #19
    Senior Member Absinthe Anecdote's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandsjames View Post
    My best investment was military right out of high school. Retirement age of 38. That's a monthly paycheck of around 1500 (and that's retiring as an E6). That's 18k a year for 24 years (assuming 0 raises), then it really jumps up. So 18 x 24 = $432,000 (again, assuming no raises until age 62)additional dollars in my pocket while still being young enough to get another good paying job.

    I see several students come through the school here that talk about how they'd already be retired but they went to college first and are now joining because they can't find a job and need to pay off their loans.

    Of course, it's different for everyone. To each his own. Though if he's planning on being enlisted and making a career out of it then it doesn't make much sense, IMO, to knock out the college first.
    I really hope this guy ignores what you are saying. Why don't you tell him about how you whined and complained your entire time in?

    I haven't forgot those thousands of posts you made complaining about how bad leadership in the Air Force is. How you constantly complained about PT, wearing a uniform, and going to commander's call. Plus, how you screamed and moaned to anyone who would listen about how unfairly you were treated because you were a fat body.

    I even remember how you pitched a fit and cried like a baby because they made you take one last PT test before you went on terminal leave. I distinctly remember how miserable your posts were while you were in, you did nothing but complain about how you couldn't make rank and how leadership didn't care about the troops.

    Now you are in here trying to talk like a big shot because you retired as an E-6?

    That isn't much to brag about, but I guess that's all you have since you didn't go to college.
    All behold that fancy strutting peacock, the bake sale diva...

  10. #20
    Banned sandsjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Absinthe Anecdote View Post
    That isn't much to brag about, but I guess that's all you have since you didn't go to college.
    Yep...sucks making 68k a year, and having no stress, between retirement and a government job, with nothing more than a high school degree and a CCAF in my job. Not going to college killed me.

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