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Civilian to Military!?!?!

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  • Civilian to Military!?!?!

    Im 24 years old, about to finish the four year degree in a year or so. Ive been a patrol officer for about 2 year now.

    I keep hearing the "call". I dont know if i just want to see the world, or go through the experience of being in the military, maybe im going through my mid life crisis already at age 24 , but ive been wanting to join the Air Force for a while now. Its like a itch im not sure i want to scratch or not.

    I dont know if im just going through a cynical phase of my career or im just disheartened but im not really happy right now.

    I would like some straight opinions, stories, or any insight on a transition from civilian LE to joining the military. I tried to search but was unable to find anything on this topic. Usually the common way is to join the military and then look for a good police department somewhere out there, but the military lifestyle/career has been appealing to me lately. I just do not know if this is a common move or maybe even a good idea. Thats why I have been bothering anyone lately about the topic, so opinions posted here will be greatly appreciated.

    If I go ahead and join, i would most likely wait till i get my bachelors and go in as a Security Forces Officer, not enlisted, and maybe one day end up going for OSI (Sounds like a career path thats to good to be true from what ive read in military forums). Intelligence, and the JAG career fields also interest me.

    Note: I fully understand what the duties and responsibilities that are expected from a Security Forces "infantryman" and that these days they are no way compared to traditional LE.

    Opinions from guys and gals that have done their 20 in the military will also be appreciated. Info such as your stress, lifestyle, career progression, money, and benefits that you faced and received through your career will be nice, and hopefully if you did your 20 in the Air Force, even better .

  • #2
    Go reserve first see if you like it, if you do, quit your police job and go active.

    Morale was ok, stress was high, money was good due to all the tax breaks I got. As an officer in the AF you will make more money than you do now...I'm pretty sure. The best benefit I received in the service was the pride of serving, the second would be the education benefits.

    Good luck
    Go back to where ever you came from, smoke a fatty, and sing Kum-Ba-Yah with Osama Bin Laden. Hopefully you will find the Communist Utopia you so desire.

    Comment


    • #3
      Career wise, I was dead in the military. I spent too much time doing one thing I was told would advance me, and not enough time doing the other that would really would advance me. Even though I got out after 10 years, I wouldn't give those years up. I don't feel I wasted my time, in fact I wanted to go into the reserves when I got out, but due to a B.S. VA disability I am unable to reenlist and I'm not giving up the money I receive for pain and suffering I feel every couple days. I do miss the camaraderie and the military environment, but can't go back.

      I your situation, your still young. I'd scratch the itch. If you don't like it, you can always leave after your initial commitment. You can go back to local po-po or due to your service you will qualify for a vets preference, giving you bonus points to be a feral officer. You might find you like it better than you do LE and stay for the 20. The stages I've heard for LE are years 1-5 you love it, years 5-10 you hate it, years 10-15 you've accepted the reality that this is all you can do, and years 15-retirement nobody on this green earth is going to take my retirement after everything I've been through. Obviously those years are estimates.
      But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

      For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'll make just 2 short statements....I wish I had enlisted earlier. I'm still in, and love every minute of it.
        sigpic
        Originally posted by Smurfette
        Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
        Originally posted by DAL
        You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would NOT go from being a civilian police officer to the military. If you really have the bug to serve, go reserve coast guard port security or something like that.
          There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
          Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

          0311/8152/0316


          3rd Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team ( FAST )
          2006-2009
          Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team Europe ( FASTEUR )
          2008
          2nd Battalion 7th Marines ( 2/7 ) Fox Raiders
          2009-2010
          Military Police
          2010-Present

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          • #6
            Don't do it!! not active duty. Go reserve if you just have to go. I did almost 13yrs and while I'm glad I did, even though I was on the downhill towards retirement I'm even happier I got out and got into civilian LE. The micromanagement compared to what you are use to will drive you out of your mind. The military goes over the top with "safety", liability and risk management that they compromise common sense, trust of personnel, and practicality. I love civilian LE because I'm actually treated like I'm a grown up in his 30's and not a high school kid. The direction of the wars if they can still be called that is a joke. suits and ties from washington are running the "war" with stupid liberal left wing policies that are getting us killed unecessarily. It's a big $hi* sandwich that you don't want to get involved with. I'm glad I was there in the beginning stages of both wars before they became a mickey mouse operation. I feel so bad for the guys who are out there risking their life and not being allowed to do their job which will in turn save their own hide out there. I mean they now can't do this can't do that, the list of can do is much much smaller than it should be and certainly when I was there. I mean our ROE allowed us in Iraq to shoot people standing on the corner talking on a cell phone, because we were at war and the cell phone became the tactic for setting off IED's and communicating with other terrorist members up the road. Did innocent people get killed yes, but it was war, and it was necessary to make sure we lived. We could not stop and ask hey are you going to blow us up with that phone, "no", oh sorry to bother you and hope he hasn't blown you up by then. Granted Iraq is in the rebuilding stages, but Astan is still a war and now DoD personnel can't even return fire when fired upon if there is any possiblity that there are civilians around. Hell 90% of all my firefights took place in a village where there undoubtely were women and children who are "presumed" to be innocent civilians. Soliders can't even get air to drop ordinance anymore unless the pilot ID's the target as NOT civilian, how the hell can they do that from up there. When I was there if we needed ordinance we marked it and they dropped blindly we were the eyes, now a pilot flying at 400mph thousands of feet up has to ID himself those RPK machinegunners in the dark hut windows, give me a break. That was an order straight from the oval office. You don't want to get caught up in this $h** pile our Govt calls a "war". The ACLU might as well take over as commander of the battlefield. Stay home and fight the good fight.

            I would go reserves if you just have to. Your at that 2yr period that everyone gets into. I haven't met a cop yet that didn't go through that at the 2-4yr period. If it's not your 2yr question then maybe you just need to look at other depts. I did and I am the happiest cat eatin cheese. I love work and only wish I had found my dept around when you did. I wish I had started working here at 22. Now I will be working well into my 50's due to my late start. You got in at a good age, I wouldn't set myself back by getting out of LE now.

            BTW, I have a childhood friend who went from military to civie cop and back to military, and he got out of the military regretting he went back in after being a civilian cop. Says he should have stayed out in his cop job.
            Last edited by creolecop; 11-05-2009, 11:30 AM.
            Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08

            Comment


            • #7
              Go reserves and stay civilian LEO. Once the time comes to retire reep the benefits of TWO pensions rather than one.

              I have 4 Years in the Military as an Officer in the Reserves and 2 Years Law Enforcement. The two best decision I have ever made.
              "Some people are like slinkies - not really good for anything but they bring a smile to your face when pushed down the stairs."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by uSa4 View Post
                Go reserves and stay civilian LEO. Once the time comes to retire reep the benefits of TWO pensions rather than one.

                I have 4 Years in the Military as an Officer in the Reserves and 2 Years Law Enforcement. The two best decision I have ever made.
                The best advice right there. Although I'm happy being enlisted (I may go for WO later on though)
                sigpic
                Originally posted by Smurfette
                Lord have mercy. You're about as slick as the business side of duct tape.
                Originally posted by DAL
                You are without doubt a void surrounded by a sphincter muscle.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you have a question about AFOSI shoot it to me.

                  M-11
                  “All men dream...... But not equally..
                  Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it is vanity;
                  but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men,
                  for they act their dreams with open eyes to make it possible.....”

                  TE Lawrence

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not being either police officer or soldier, I say go find your dream of being a soldier and open up a spot for someone who's dream is being a police officer.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I wouldn't join active duty military or the reserves now for the same reason creolecop mentioned. Stay civilian LEO it's much more rewarding IMO. I've been in the military and the rules and restrictions keep getting worse.
                      Last edited by westside popo; 11-06-2009, 12:36 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Do what you want, it's your life afterall. Two guys in my EOD class are former cops. One with Houston the other with Gainesville.
                        Only the dead have seen the end of the war.-Plato

                        God Bless America! • Remember all have given some, but some have given all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just a quick question for those answering, how many are enlisted and how many are officers? Also how many are Air Force or Air Guard? The officers definitely have it better than the enlisted with RHIP and all that. The OP stated if they went in they'd go the Air Force officer route. An Air Force officer is not going to get as dirty as a Marine or Army officer. They will get dirty, but not to the extent of those other two branches. As far as treatment goes the Air Forces treats their people the best and has some of the best quality of life of any of the services.
                          But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

                          For the intelectually challenged: If the government screws the people enough, it is the right and responsibility of the people to revolt and form a new government.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by kc12 View Post
                            Just a quick question for those answering, how many are enlisted and how many are officers? Also how many are Air Force or Air Guard? The officers definitely have it better than the enlisted with RHIP and all that. The OP stated if they went in they'd go the Air Force officer route. An Air Force officer is not going to get as dirty as a Marine or Army officer. They will get dirty, but not to the extent of those other two branches. As far as treatment goes the Air Forces treats their people the best and has some of the best quality of life of any of the services.
                            That is why we called it the "Chair Force."
                            Go back to where ever you came from, smoke a fatty, and sing Kum-Ba-Yah with Osama Bin Laden. Hopefully you will find the Communist Utopia you so desire.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I didn't read all of the posts, but from the few I did the re-occuring theme seems to be don't go AD, which I totally agree. I did 9 1/2 years AD AF as a cop and now have 4 1/2 civlian law enforcement under my belt and love it. I've been getting the bug lately and hating myself for pretty much throwing away 10 years so I'm seriously thinking of going into the Coast Guard reserve under their new law enforcement career field they are opening in the coming months.

                              It sounds like you've done your homework and know going in that the at the very least, AF Security Forces, and believe all other branches MP units, are going away from the law enforcement duties and focusing more on security and deployments. Unless you just don't like being a civlian cop anymore, I don't think you'll enjoy being active duty. Being an officer will certainly make your life much more enjoyable in the military but still doesn't compare to be a civlian cop. Regardless of branch, you can probably expect to spend a lot of time in the Middle East which may sound exciting and"doing your part". But take it from someone who spent about 4 years over there, it gets old after a few deployments. I'm glad and proud of my service, I got to see and experience a lot of things I never would have. But I don't think I would have done it in reverse roles had I started a civilian law enforcement career first.

                              I would highly suggest taking people's advise and looking into the reserves to start off with. Do that for a few years and if you then really think it's something you want to do full time, go for it.
                              sigpic

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