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Enlisted or Officer? And best military job for law enforcement

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  • tanksoldier
    replied
    You know what retired 1st sergeants do? Drive taxis, run trailer parks, and manage used car lots outside of base.
    False.

    Most senior NCOs have advanced degrees. A bachelor's is almost required now, and many have master's.

    I've known more than one former 1SG or SGM who had former CPTs, MAJs and LTCs working for them in both the private sector and federal.
    Last edited by tanksoldier; 06-04-2014, 04:57 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoFlo Boy
    replied
    Thank you GreenLine, that was a very insightful response. I still got a decent amount of time to think about everything which I intend to do. I've never had any sort of leadership experience or responsibility like an officer would have (I'm only 19) but I feel like that would be all the more reason to pursue something like a commission. That experience is invaluable, even if it doesn't particularly help me with my future federal LEO goals.

    And I know the feds tend to push a lot of paper, but that's also why my top choice would be the USMS. But I know that position is tough to come by nowadays which is why I'm trying to figure out what I want to do immediately after college since there is a 99% chance I won't land a position there as a fresh college grad at age 21.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bearcat357
    replied
    Originally posted by GreenLine View Post

    By the way, officer or enlisted makes no difference for federal law enforcement that I have seen.
    I've seen E-4s to O-6's work in local, county, state, and federal LEO gigs......

    Leave a comment:


  • Bearcat357
    replied
    Originally posted by CruiserClass View Post
    You know what retired 1st sergeants do? Drive taxis, run trailer parks, and manage used car lots outside of base.

    You know what retired colonels do? Enjoy their pension or work in corporate management.
    I'd argue that....especially now days when lots of Senior NCOs have not only BA's but Master's degrees....

    Leave a comment:


  • CruiserClass
    replied
    Do you want more pay, better living conditions, and more responsibility? Officer
    Do you enjoy painting shovels, mopping floors, and picking up cigarette butts? Enlisted

    You know what retired 1st sergeants do? Drive taxis, run trailer parks, and manage used car lots outside of base.

    You know what retired colonels do? Enjoy their pension or work in corporate management.

    Leave a comment:


  • GreenLine
    replied
    I have been both enlisted (Marine Corps.) and officer (Navy).

    Officers have a "better quality of life"... IF they buy into a tradition begun long ago, by those with a sense of entitlement. This tradition is held on to by many officers who don't realize that the everyday welfare of those they lead is their responsibility and that they should be putting it before their own.

    As a GOOD officer, you should be awake before your troops, planning their day, making sure they get whatever they need to do their job, that they get fed, that guys who are hurt or ill get to sickbay, etc. You're also still working when they've called it quits for the day, dealing with any issues which may have come up, and looking forward to the next day...and beyond.

    Yes, you're financially better-off. You may get some other bennies, like a private (or a two-man) berthing on board ship. But in the end, if you're not the kind of person who sees it as their duty to care for those in their charge, being an officer is not for you.

    Yes, you can (and should) delegate some of that to the platoon sergeant or section chief, but the ultimate responsibility to make sure it all happens is yours and yours, alone.

    So if a would-be officer doesn't have that in them - that desire to put others first - then the knee-jerk "I-want-to-join-X-as-an-offficer" that is almost always seen from people contemplating military service might not work out to everyone's advantage. I'm not saying this is you, obviously. It's just that this seems to be a big motivator among some younger folks these days. My opinion only, of course.

    That and, yes, you'll push a s&^%-load of paper as an officer. But if your ultimate goal is to be a fed, that's what 99% of your job will be, anyway (no, seriously...)

    By the way, officer or enlisted makes no difference for federal law enforcement that I have seen. Not unless you were in a specific, desirable job for so long (i.e. more than one hitch/enlistment) that you became a freakin' expert at some skill that's vital to the agency to which you're applying.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArmyVet
    replied
    Originally posted by HI629 View Post
    From the day I got promoted to E-5, and ever since, it has been my mission to ensure that every one of the officers appointed above me was of the highest quality. If they put myself or the personnel under me in jeopardy, I would speak up and ensure that the situation was rectified ASAP and it happen again. There were several occasions where we sent substandard officers packing.

    Now, with that said, I've served under many highly respectable officers. True leaders that have taught me volumes. In every case though, it has been the officer's responsibility to earn my respect. Otherwise, all they got from me was a salute to the rank on their collar.
    Agreed 100%. Hence my signature line. This really became apparent in how certain situations played out over the past year.

    Leave a comment:


  • HI629
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
    Who says???

    Okay, admittedly, officers probably have an easier life in some aspects, but you will definitely have long hours, calls at all times of the night, and more responsibility right away.
    From the day I got promoted to E-5, and ever since, it has been my mission to ensure that every one of the officers appointed above me was of the highest quality. If they put myself or the personnel under me in jeopardy, I would speak up and ensure that the situation was rectified ASAP and it happen again. There were several occasions where we sent substandard officers packing.

    Now, with that said, I've served under many highly respectable officers. True leaders that have taught me volumes. In every case though, it has been the officer's responsibility to earn my respect. Otherwise, all they got from me was a salute to the rank on their collar.

    Leave a comment:


  • NoFlo Boy
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
    Why did you say Army officer only?
    Because I know a guy who went enlisted and claims that the quality of life is pretty poor, but I guess that's just an individual experience and it can be hit or miss on either being the best or worst days of your life.


    Does anyone know how competitive entry into OCS is now for the individual branches?

    Leave a comment:


  • slamdunc
    replied
    Originally posted by ArmyVet View Post
    Who says?
    I probably should have qualified my statement LOL.

    Leave a comment:


  • tanksoldier
    replied
    . I've heard if you have a degree go officer, more money, but I also heard you push more papers (which is not something I really want to do at 21 years old)
    Officers get paid more, and have more perks, and do push more paper.

    However, that's not the difference between enlisted and officer.

    This is the enlistment oath:

    "I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
    This is the commissioning oath:

    "I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God."
    Do you see the difference?

    A commissioned officer does not swear to obey the orders of those above him. He is legally bound to do so, and can go to prison or face other punishment, but not morally bound.

    This is because enlisted are expected to obey ALL orders except obviously illegal orders. They obey bad orders, immoral orders, stupid orders... everything except illegal ones.

    Commissioned officers are expected to question or disobey really BAD orders... at the risk of being prosecuted and going to prison. A commissioned officer's existence begins and ends with responsibility. Ultimately THEY are responsible for everything, even things they didn't know about or people they've hardly met. That's why they write the letter home to the parents of dead Soldiers. That's why they get paid more. They have far more responsibility.

    If you WANT that responsibility, then apply for OCS. If you want a bigger paycheck, look elsewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • PhilipCal
    replied
    What I recommend is that you read the four previous replies. They make all kinds of sense. I was enlisted. If I had that part of my life to do over, I'd have continued my education (you have) been in ROTC/PLC and gone commissioned. That's me.

    Once more, read the replies, and use them to formulate a sound decision. Best of luck to you.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArmyVet
    replied
    Originally posted by slamdunc View Post
    Officers have an easier life
    Who says???

    Okay, admittedly, officers probably have an easier life in some aspects, but you will definitely have long hours, calls at all times of the night, and more responsibility right away.

    Leave a comment:


  • ArmyVet
    replied
    Originally posted by NoFlo Boy View Post
    Serving for what ever reason all of a sudden became appealing to me. Just a few questions especially for any vets turned LEO out there.
    The decision to join the military has to be well thought out and for the right reasons, not spur of the moment. You have to want to serve and fully understand the life you are committing yourself to, otherwise you will be miserable.

    As far as going into LE afterwards, it doesn't matter if you're an officer or enlisted, nor does it matter what job you had. Just do your job well and stay out of trouble. Choose something that interests you. Regardless if you go officer or enlisted, the higher up you go, the more paper you will be pushing. Why did you say Army officer only?
    Last edited by ArmyVet; 06-02-2014, 08:13 AM.

    Leave a comment:


  • slamdunc
    replied
    Officers have an easier life, but they are still accountable. I went in as enlisted due to the commitment to active duty (3 vs 6 years) being less. There are many arguments for either; it comes down to your personal goals.

    Leave a comment:

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