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Seeking Guidance on my Plan

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  • Seeking Guidance on my Plan

    Hello all,
    My name is Patrick, I am 17 years old, and almost done with my Junior year in High School. Ever since I was about 6 years old, I've always dreamed about being a police officer, or a Sheriff Deputy to be more exact. I've been in my local fire departments explorer program for almost a year now, and 5 months ago I joined my local Sheriffs department explorer program, and I love it. Every meeting I go to it reassures my goal of being a Sheriffs Deputy. Next month I am starting a Fire Fighter 1 cert. at a Technical College nearby and becoming a volunteer firefighter at the department that I am on the FF explorer post.
    Here's where I have the major questions, and assistance. For about 5 years now, I have had the goal of joining the Marine Corps, I just got back from meeting with the recruiter and have talked about MOS'. The MOS I plan on signing with is 0311, Rifleman.
    My parents absolutely hate it. They want me to go to a university college and major in something that is "Safer" and pays more, such as a doctor (lol). College isn't for me though, I plan on doing the 4 years active duty in the Marine, getting out at 22, going to a technical college and the police academy, then job hunting. Is having a background in the military a good thing to have?
    To summarize all of this;
    1.)Volunteer Fire fighter (While in highschool)
    2.)Enlist in the Marine Corps upon High School graduation
    3.)Discharge from the Marine Corps after 4 years
    4.)Study at the local technical college for the required 60 credits
    5.)Enter the Police Academy
    6.)Become a sworn in Sheriff Deputy
    I guess what I'm looking for is some input, does this look like a good plan to you? Do you have any tips or is there anything I should do in addition to all of this? How did your path look to becoming a Police Officer?

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and thanks for any responses I get,
    Patrick

  • #2
    OK Patrick, let's do the basic stuff first. Obviously, your first task is to graduate from High School. You should do that with the highest GPA possible. I'm in total agreement with your participation in the Police/Fire Explorer programs.

    I'm a former Marine, and was 0311. If I were a Recruiter, I'd want to grab you. I can tell you though that there are far easier ways to make a living. If I could do it over, I'd do it a little more wisely. Here's what I mean. I'd have gotten a four year degree, and entered the Corps as an Officer. Arguably, that's an even more difficult way to make a living, but it really is the better path in many ways.

    Whether or not you enter the Marine Corps as an Officer, college and a degree are increasingly becoming very desirable in LE applicants, and some college, usually 60 semester hours is a requirement with many LE agencies.

    I can understand your parents anxieties concerning your ambitions regarding both the Marine Corps and a subsequent career in Law Enforcement. It's very natural for them to want the best for you. That said, and with all due respect to your family, your adult life will be your own.

    It's entirely possible that down the road your parents/family will support your choices if only reluctantly. Those situations and feelings can usually be worked out. They were with my parents. It would be a shining moment for you, your Mom and Dad for them to pin second lieutenant's bars on a newly commissioned Marine Officer, or a badge on a newly appointed Deputy Sheriff.

    In the meantime, work hard in school. Compile a record of good grades. Watch who you associate with, and keep your personal standards high. Best of luck to you.

    Comment


    • #3
      You sound like a very squared away kid. I can completely relate to your story, because I was in the EXACT same boat as you. I wanted to join the military, but my parents said NO WAY and would not allow it. They "forced" me to go to college instead. They didn't understand the desire to go into the military and it was forbidden for me to do so.

      So I went to college....for about 10 days. It was eating me up inside that I didn't go into the military so one day I got up in class and just walked out. I went straight to the recruiter and signed up and left for basic training a few months later. I didn't ask for my parents permission and they did not approve.

      You don't need your parents permission to do anything once you graduate high school. Its your life, you got to do what you need to do. Its not your parents decision if you go to college or the military, its yours. If you are sure the path you want to take is law enforcement, than the military is the correct choice. Your parents will not understand your choice initially, but they will get it later.

      The military offers way more benefits than college.
      #1, college is a ripoff. You can go into major debt buying your degree
      #2, college offers no life experience, only a piece of paper saying you are educated in something
      #3, the military will pay for your college while you are in and out, plus give you life experience and practical training/experience
      #4, you will get a respect amongst coworkers when you are new to a department with a veteran background that you will not get as a college graduate.

      After I got out of the military, I got a Bachelor's degree and then a Master's, all paid for by the military. In addition to paying for my degrees, I got additional money to help with expenses from the GI bill. ADDITIONALLY, I got a GI bill payment during the police academy because it qualified for the benefit. ADDITIONALLY, I was able to use a VA loan to purchase my home and get the benefit of no paying anything down on my house and not having to pay mortgage insurance. ADDITIONALLY, I got a veteran's preference bump during the hiring process and was able to use the experience in my interviews and is possibly a strong reason I got hired in the first place. I also got four years of experience that helped me get through the academy and helped me on the job as a police officer. I earned a respect that I never would have gotten if I was just some college graduate.

      Had I just went to college, like your other option, I would have had to incur thousands in student loans, had more trouble selling myself to a department against qualified veterans, not had veterans preference in the hiring process, certainly would not have gone on to get my master's, would not have gotten a VA loan, meaning I would have had to come up with 20% (around 80 grand) to purchase my home, or paid a lesser amount and have been burdened with mortgage insurance payments, etc etc.

      And by the way, you should easily be able to come out with 60 credits during your time it the military if that is your goal. Tuition will be free, you will have time to do online classes or better yet, take CLEP exams and get credit. All you have to do is pass a test and you get 3 to 6 college credits and the tests are free to military personnel, I did a ton while I was in. Also, if you consider the Air Force you get college credit for your technical school, making it even easier to get the credits in before you get out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Pick up college classes while you are in the military; that will give you a jump start on things when you get out. I also suggest that you visit a recruiter from all of the branches of the service and see what they have to offer you. If you end up being a marine rifleman, fine, but start this information gathering phase with an open mind. You will also need to support yourself while in college/waiting to get into LE, and there is not much of a demand for infantrymen in the civilian world, so keep that in the back of your mind while visiting recruiters.

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a fantastic plan... but remember to be flexible when the plan changes. I'm only 22, When I graduated High School I wanted to be a Marine, then a Police Officer. I wanted nothing to do with college. I never made into the Marines and never took any college courses. In 3 weeks I graduate the police academy. I recommend though, like the other guys here have, get at least, a 4 year degree. Education goes a long way in any profession. While I wouldn't know first hand, it seems a degree that is applicable outside of the military/law enforcement circle, from where I'm sitting, would be a great back up plan/second skill set. I don't know about infantry, but like those have suggested it seems wise to me to go for an MOS that gives you something you can use once you get out. I wanted to do something with engineering, I figured I could build/repair something after I got out, waiting to get into Law Enforcement. I'll tell you that my path was nothing like my plan. BUT, stick to a plan, if it changes, adapt the plan. Just remember to be open to all the options before you. You seem like a smart kid, and you should absolutely go after everything you want. Stay safe, stay clean. GOOD LUCK.
          "What we do in life, echoes in eternity"

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know if I'm allowed to respond back, due to the fact only LEO's are allowed to post in these forums.
            However, thank you guys very much for your responses, I thought about each one, and read each response several times.
            I just got sponsored/hired by my local fire department and I'm hoping my plan is coming together like I hope it does.

            Again, thank you guys. Stay safe
            Patrick

            Comment

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