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  • #16
    Originally posted by wildstar82 View Post
    Many folks have been in your shoes. When I graduated HS, I could not focus on college and bombed classes. I was not a great student and did not have the drive for it. I signed up and did 5yrs in the Army. Best decision I ever made. I took free college classes while I was on active duty and CLEPed out of a bunch more. By the time my 5yrs was up, I was half done with a BS degree in CJ. I used my GI Bill to cover the rest of it. For me, after the Army I was laser-focused on college. I did not have that focus before, but the Army has a way of maturing you. It allowed me to see the big picture that nothing was impossible. Now I have great Veterans benefits for the rest of my life and Veterans Preference to apply for federal jobs. Even for jobs that require no Veterans Preference, many agencies are actively trying to hire Vets to meet those quotas. You will not go wrong with military service.

    I finished my BS degree and it has been immensely helpful for securing federal job offers, but it's really just a piece of paper with your name on it. It allows you one more thing on your resume to make you stand out over the next candidate. The best and only thing I took from college is the ability to write well. As a Fed, you will do a TON of writing and I cannot tell you how many Feds I have seen who are so bad at it. You may be the best investigator in the world, but if you cannot intelligently articulate it in a report you are worthless.

    You are also very specific that you want USSS and/or USMC. Do not box yourself in. Do yourself a favor and explore what is out there. If I had it to do over again, I would probably consider the Air Force over Army as an example, but I had no one to help guide me. I have worked for three Fed LE agencies. Feel free to PM me if you hve any questions
    I took a somewhat similar path. I enlisted in the Army at 18 (as an MP) and after training was stationed in Panama for three years. During those years in Panama I was able to learn Spanish (passed the DLPT with a 2+/2+ and awarded the linguist identifier) and completed an associates degree. My final year and a half in the Army were spent at White Sands Missile Range where I completed my bachelors degree. I was then picked up by BP and was able get a 90 drop on my enlistment plus take almost 60 days of terminal leave to make the academy date. I was a few months passed my 23rd birthday when I EOD with BP. I have bounced around to a couple more agencies since then and am very content with where I have ended up. If you sacrifice for the first 5 or 6 years after high school by getting an education and some experience it will literally pay dividends for the rest of your life.

    Regardless of whether you join the military, try to get picked up by BP or a local department you should definitely work on getting a bachelors degree. Your goal is to make yourself as marketable as possible.
    “Right now I'm having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.” - Steven Wright

    US Army MP (95B) 1992-1997
    DOJ Agent/ DHS Officer 1997 to Present

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    • #17
      I will give you my .02 as well. I have two USSS agents in my Army reserve unit, both have degrees in finance / accounting, NOT criminal justice. I have a CJ degree and wish I would have gotten some other degree. If i could go back in time to where you are in life, I would have joined the National Guard / Reserve's instead of going on Active Duty. If you join the Guard, you can go to college and get some financial help with school from the National Guard. I would look at maybe trying to find a intel type of unit. As a enlisted MP, you will be standing gate duty or doing convoy escort duties, not investigations. Not to bust on my MP brethren, but the felony investigations come to us at CID, not the MP's. The chances of you going to MPI (Military Police Investigations) in your first enlistment, like another forum member stated, are slim to none. Even worst if you join the guard as a MP. Now on a positive note to joining the Guard/Reserve's is networking for jobs.

      I normally agree with what battlewagon writes for advice, but I will disagree with him his college comment. I will tell you that a 4yr college degree is a must. You will be competing against people with both military and college degrees. Without one of the other, or both, your not going to stand out on paper. Both my friends with the USSS work a lot and are gone often. I am also currently helping a USSS UD Officer come over to my current agency and he told me as of Sept he has worked 500hrs of MANADTORY OT. If USSS is your goal, go for it but I would make sure you have a plan B,C & D.

      Back to the college idea. If you join the military, ie active duty or Guard/Reserves, you could get a few college classes waived. There are schools on line such as American Military University that will give you credit for military training and they can help you with the GI Bill and or tuition assistance from the state if your a National Guard member.

      Just one idea for you. Lets say you join the Guard. You serve 1 weekend a month, go to a community college or a 4yr college during the day, and maybe during the summer months or when your class load is light, you become a volunteer sheriff's deputy or reserve police officer. Now your gaining LE experience, your getting your college knocked out, and serving in the military. Maybe even the reserve police or sheriffs gig turns into a full time job.

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      • battlewagon
        battlewagon commented
        Editing a comment
        Deleted to make a more in-depth post below.
        Last edited by battlewagon; 09-30-2019, 08:05 AM.

    • #18
      Originally posted by DiverB72 View Post
      I will give you my .02 as well. I have two USSS agents in my Army reserve unit, both have degrees in finance / accounting, NOT criminal justice. I have a CJ degree and wish I would have gotten some other degree. If i could go back in time to where you are in life, I would have joined the National Guard / Reserve's instead of going on Active Duty. If you join the Guard, you can go to college and get some financial help with school from the National Guard. I would look at maybe trying to find a intel type of unit. As a enlisted MP, you will be standing gate duty or doing convoy escort duties, not investigations. Not to bust on my MP brethren, but the felony investigations come to us at CID, not the MP's. The chances of you going to MPI (Military Police Investigations) in your first enlistment, like another forum member stated, are slim to none. Even worst if you join the guard as a MP. Now on a positive note to joining the Guard/Reserve's is networking for jobs.

      I normally agree with what battlewagon writes for advice, but I will disagree with him his college comment. I will tell you that a 4yr college degree is a must. You will be competing against people with both military and college degrees. Without one of the other, or both, your not going to stand out on paper. Both my friends with the USSS work a lot and are gone often. I am also currently helping a USSS UD Officer come over to my current agency and he told me as of Sept he has worked 500hrs of MANADTORY OT. If USSS is your goal, go for it but I would make sure you have a plan B,C & D.

      Back to the college idea. If you join the military, ie active duty or Guard/Reserves, you could get a few college classes waived. There are schools on line such as American Military University that will give you credit for military training and they can help you with the GI Bill and or tuition assistance from the state if your a National Guard member.

      Just one idea for you. Lets say you join the Guard. You serve 1 weekend a month, go to a community college or a 4yr college during the day, and maybe during the summer months or when your class load is light, you become a volunteer sheriff's deputy or reserve police officer. Now your gaining LE experience, your getting your college knocked out, and serving in the military. Maybe even the reserve police or sheriffs gig turns into a full time job.
      Great post.

      I have family at usss UD, definitely brutal over there.
      I should probably edit my post to reflect this, since i think it sounds like I was saying don't get a degree, they're pointless, but I try not to edit posts if I can.

      Definitely not what I meant but that's on me for not being clear. Here I am now in school full time online staying up past midnight every night including weekends to get it done. I went to University for two years after HS before dropping out. Of course now in hindsight I wish I had just finished it when school was my only job. My post was worded the way it was since OP said he doesn't like school and barely likes High School. And let's be honest, HS is the easiest **** in the world with no distractions, you go home to mom and dad every night

      If OP says "The reason I didn't mention college is because I haven't particularly been the best at school and haven't enjoyed it much. The only part of high school that I enjoyed was my law enforcement class because it was something I was very interested in - everything else was a bummer, for lack of better words" I'd bet there's a 2% chance he'll graduate college if he goes full time if he didn't like/had trouble in HS and then has distraction around him associated with college. Not an insult to him, just reality.

      So while I think jumping into something like BP right away isn't a bad idea, regardless of what you do OP get your degree. Do it online while being in a FLEO job or while enlisted in the military. Don't be like me trying to do it when you're working 50-60 hours a week, with a family and toddlers running around. Knock it out early.
      UNITED STATES BORDER PATROL
      "90 years of tradition unhindered by progress!"


      honor first

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