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Military vs. College

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  • Military vs. College

    I recently enlisted in the Army as a Cavalry Scout and am very excited to begin serving. I probably won't have much time to ask this so I decided now would be best.
    I am completely focused on my upcoming 3 years of service, however when I get out I plan to pursue a career in law enforcement and I can't help but wonder what route would be best for me.

    Most departments I've looked at waive college for military service, still I'm curious if me not having a degree would hurt me. So do you as police officers think that I should attend college afterward or apply directly to a department? Is there really anything you learn in college during a Criminal Justice or Criminology course that you don't learn anywhere else?

    Thanks in advance for your answers.

  • #2
    Your question is to broad.

    Do your research on the departments you are interested in and see what their minimum qualifications are.

    Usually if you want to be a federal agent, you will need a bachelors for most of the gigs.

    So again, do your research and good luck.

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    • #3
      You shouldn't have any trouble finding a good department that accepts military service in lieu of college, but I would recommend you get as many college credits during your enlistment as possible. Any non-combat post will have an education center that offers college courses. There may not be a lot of selection in some areas, but general requirement classes aren't too hard to find. I'm sure you're looking at a lot of field time even when not actually deployed, but get as much as you can.

      Finishing your degree with the Army College Fund after you ETS is a breeze financially.

      The number of veterans in the applicant pool is certain to increase in the future. Any thing else you can do to set yourself apart will help.

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      • #4
        +1. It is also pretty common for depts to require at least two years of college regardless of past service. I know a career AF NCO who is working on his Master's Degree and the AF is paying for it.

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        • #5
          As stated get as much as you can (college) during your enlistment, Uncle Sugar is big on that, there are distant learning programs available for those that are deployed, it is not easy but it is there for you. The army is paying damn near all the expenses for you to attend during your time in, use it. You might not get a degree during your service, but you are that much closer, you can get promotion points out of it, and you are showing your chain of command you have initiative..Translation early promotion,
          It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

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          • #6
            Our better departments down here require 4 years of military service OR 60 college credits OR 2 years POST certified police experience. College and police experience can be combined but military time can't be combined for some strange reason.

            My advice: Get as much college as you can while in the Army. Get your basic stuff out of the way if you can. After you ETS, go to college and get a bachelor's at a MINIMUM. I usually suggest that potential applicants get a degree in their second career choice. Most LE departments don't care too much what your degree is in, you'll qualify just by having either 60 hours or a B.A.

            Anywho, with a degree in Business Management, Education, Engineering, or whatever, you'll have a fall-back option if a LE career doesn't work out for you.

            Dat's my 2¢.

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