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  • NYS Trooper/AD Military/Military Officers

    I have a question to anyone who might have some insight. I am currently a 1Lt in the military. I am undecided as to whether or not I want to make the military a career. So, in my indecisiveness I took the NYS Trooper exam (I am originally from NY). Well, the scores came back the other day and let's just say I was ranked high... high enough that I would easily be in the first academy class if I accepted the offer.

    Now, I have at least a 2-year long commitment in the military and possibly longer, since they are paying for my Masters degree. I would love to finish my Masters degree and have Uncle Sam pay for both my B.S. and M.A. but from the date I complete my M.A. I owe 2 years. I only have 5 more classes to finish but a trip to Iraq is going to put a damper on that. I head out shortly for at least 6 months. After all of that info my main question is... just how long can I defer my academy date because of an active duty commitment? I am looking at possibly a 3-year deferment right now because of my scores. I have spoken with the recruiter and looked on the webpage and my understanding is I can defer up to the next test date. I guess I am looking for piece of mind and someone who may have done this themselves.

    Also, are there any former military officers who are now civilian LE officers on the board? I try to weight the good/bad but truth of the matter is, as a Captain in the military I won't touch civilian LE pay... not to mention I worked 4 hard years for my commission and in the military I have a lot of responsibility. My wife is also a military officer so this decision would be affecting both of us. I was a shift commander and am now in the training section for our unit. I run our SWAT team on base and am heading to Iraq to be a convoy commander. My whole reason for considering the civilian side is I love tactics, training, and being out there on the road. Realistically, if I stay in, once I put on Major my days of glory are done and it is paper pushing. How was the transition from huge responsibility to bottom of the barrel? Not that I have an ego problem or an issue with authority but it just seems like it would be tough to go from giving orders to taking orders almost overnight.

    Thank you for any insights...
    Mike

  • #2
    Mike,

    I was in a boat close to yours a couple years ago, and frankly think I made the wrong choice for my career but the right choice for my marriage. I got out right after promotion to captain (I was FA) and got a job through one of those placement firms. Ironically, 9/11 was my first day of civilian employment and I've been rueing getting out of uniform ever since. After two years of trying to find a satisfying civilian career, I'm now trying to get into LE, and I've been gathering as much information about it as I can. Info below is what I've gathered from serving officers and my instructors in school in criminal justice. Again, I am not yet a LEO.

    First off, you will have to rewire attitudes quite a bit. While the assertiveness and "take charge" attitudes that Army officers are encouraged to have is great for dealing with the public, in the academy and in the first few years on the job you will be expected to keep your head down and your mouth shut. Your responsibility will be reduced to strictly keeping your own stuff in line. The attitudes I've seen from the boards I've gone to is that they are not impressed with college-educated vocabularies and assertive personalities. Rather, they seem to be looking for calm, grounded order takers who won't get bored with the job. Mind you, this isn't what makes up all agencies, but the departments at which I've applied (three out here in CA) definitely seem to be looking for that kind of candidate. Remember, the test just gets you qualified, it's the board that will get you hired.

    On the other hand, I've been told that former officers (particularly MP officers) are highly sought after for federal agencies such as FBI, DEA, ATF, and Secret Service. One of my professors told me I've practically got "Fed" written on my forehead. Your military time will probably also count towards your pay scale, so you're possibly looking at GS-11 going in. One of my buddies from my last unit is now working for the FAA up in Oklahoma City and pulled in over $75K to start.

    For me personally, I'd probably stick around in the Army until the choad captain assignments start rolling in, like the Guard advisor positions or whatever else they've mandated branch-qualified captains do, and then start looking at your options. Good luck, and take care over in Iraq.

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    • #3
      Re: NYS Trooper/AD Military/Military Officers

      Originally posted by Suspect2
      I have a question to anyone who might have some insight.I am looking at possibly a 3-year deferment right now because of my scores.
      How was the transition from huge responsibility to bottom of the barrel? Not that I have an ego problem or an issue with authority but it just seems like it would be tough to go from giving orders to taking orders almost overnight.

      Thank you for any insights...
      Mike
      Mike,

      First off, thanks for your service to our country.


      I too took the NYSP and placed high on the list (5 points sure helps a lot--enlisted). I can't offer any more insight about deferment than you already know. They tested in 1997, 2001, 2004, and may not test again until '07-'08. You test scoress will still be good as long as you stay healthy.

      If you were to get into the academy in 3 yrs it would be a huge difference to go from O-3 to regular joe in the academy. Everyone will be the same while you are there and when you graduate and are assigned to your duty station. You will still be the rookie when you graduate and your FTO and other supervisors may be younger than you, but you will have to suck it up and show them the respect they deserve.

      You should look into the FBI and other fed agencies also. Military Experience is a critical need of the FBI. This is especially the case if you are in Intel, know foreign languages, or computers.

      BTW, I got out in '97 and regret it at least every other day...
      Can you say DYNASTY? Go Patriots!

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      • #4
        The whole NYS thing and not a fed would be so I didn't have to move around so much (like the military). I don't know... right now I love my job and the military... that may change when I have kids.

        BTW - What was your rank on the test? I was 100... my buddy called me who I graduated with. He went on to grad school and I commissioned. He took the test with me and told me he was ranked 9000+. When he asked me what I was I didn't have the heart to tell him (since he has been looking for a job for a while now). I just said, "I did okay".

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        • #5
          If I had your potential in the military, I'd stay there. I got out of the army as a 1st Lt. years ago, but I was a product of Vietnam and they needed platoon leaders as cannon fodder. I had no chance to make it a career. If they're paying for your masters, I suspect you have a pretty good opportunity in front of you. Even if you rise in rank in LE, you'll never have the the ability to make your own command decisions as you do now. Second guessing in much more rampart in LE. Or at least comparing it to what is was when I was in the army, but I was also infantry.

          We have a number of retired military people on our dept now. None retired as officers that I know of, but we do have a couple of CSM's. My dept doesn't have an upper age limit, btw.

          But if you do get out, I'd go fed. Obviously you'd do much better moneywise and it would probably be closer to what you're used to now.
          Last edited by retdetsgt; 06-04-2004, 06:33 PM.
          "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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          • #6
            redetsgt, I think you hit the nail right on the head as to how I was feeling... although, I do have to admit I am nervous heading to a war zone knowing I am going to be running convoy's as the leader. Nothing like Vietnam though.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Suspect2
              redetsgt, I think you hit the nail right on the head as to how I was feeling... although, I do have to admit I am nervous heading to a war zone knowing I am going to be running convoy's as the leader. Nothing like Vietnam though.
              But you can't get out of that, can you? No sense in saying, "Be careful!". I just pray you're lucky!
              "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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              • #8
                Believe it or not... I want to go. I have been itching to go ever since this thing kicked off. I consider myself a patriot through and through. I am a huge go-getter... that is why I am the OIC of our SRT and every other special event that comes up. If it involves tactics, guns, sweat, dirt, ect... I am usually involved.

                Now, ask me when I get back and I may change my whole outlook on life.

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                • #9
                  Good for you! Based on that, I'd recommend you stay in the army. Local LE would be frustrating to you. The military trusts their officers much more than LE does.

                  It also sounds like you've had all the training so you're as about as well equipped to go as anyone could be. I still hope you're lucky on top of being good. That's what got me through! Well, that and I had some pretty good guys working for me back then. I did my butter bar tour before fragging was popular.

                  Talk about it when you get back. That helps a lot!
                  "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Suspect2
                    The whole NYS thing and not a fed would be so I didn't have to move around so much (like the military). I don't know... right now I love my job and the military... that may change when I have kids.

                    BTW - What was your rank on the test? I was 100... my buddy called me who I graduated with. He went on to grad school and I commissioned. He took the test with me and told me he was ranked 9000+. When he asked me what I was I didn't have the heart to tell him (since he has been looking for a job for a while now). I just said, "I did okay".
                    With the NYSP you may also not get the station you desire for a number of years. When you are up for promotion you may have to move to take that position also!

                    I ranked in the top 350. I have buddies who are ranked between 400 and 13,000+. Most of them are really upset. A lot of people were banking on doing well on this test. People don't understand that were are only at the begining stage of a long road.

                    Whatever happens, good luck!
                    Can you say DYNASTY? Go Patriots!

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                    • #11
                      I agree with everything that retdetsgt wrote. If you're thinking about surrendering your commission so you can be a patrolman at the local LE level, then I highly recommend that you go back through this thread and re-read what retdetsgt wrote. I can't say it any better then that.
                      Visit TheologyWeb.com now!!!

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                      • #12
                        This is obviously a little biased because I wear the Gray bag... I can not say I don't miss the military (AF SP for 5 years) but at the same time I wouldn't change anything about my life. I am a NY State Trooper and I have to commend you on being #100 on that list. You can defer till the last class that they process of the list... that may be 2 years from now or it may be 4 years from now... depends on how many people took the test that are suitable to be given the chance to wear this uniform.

                        Comparing the NYSP to any local PD is comparing apples and oranges. We are a real para-military organization... we are not a bunch of unprofessional kids like I have met at some othe local PD's and SO's I have worked with in my short time on the road. Every agency has great cops and guys who shouldn't be wearing the uniform, NYSP included. The fact that there are plenty of current LEO's that apply and don't make it into our academy has to say something for itself. Your military leadership will do nothing but make you respected by your fellow recruits and the cadre if you show that you are a leader and want to lead. If you make it out on the road... your entire chain of command will recognise that you have leadership abilities and real world decision making abilities and probably not watch you like they will the 21 yo that just got into the academy after his 2 years in college.

                        If you want to be management like you are in the Army... The rank structure is like the military but Captains and Majors command whole zones and troops... zones are usually around 50-75 Troopers and there are 3 or 4 zones in each troop depending on what troop you work in. One of the Sgt's at my first barracks made Lt. with 6 years on... He's obviously not a 'cop' anymore but then again he stopped being a 'cop' when me sewed on those Sgt. stripes.

                        Money wise... I know NJSP are paid better than us but not by much. If you have a problem making $49K for doing some push-ups and making your bed you have some issues. After you get out of the academy you are making $52K. Right now 5 year Troopers are making $66K plus OT. With my OT last year (1st year on the road) I made more than Sgt's base... A LOT more. I worked with guys that had 4 years on and made 6 figures last year.


                        I'm done with trying to sell you on the NYSP. PM me if you want more info.
                        Last edited by Trooper4985; 06-05-2004, 11:54 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Trooper4985,

                          Do you duties include taking police calls, criminal investigations etc. or is your primary duty enforcing traffic laws?
                          "Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid." John Wayne

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Suspect2
                            Believe it or not... I want to go. I have been itching to go ever since this thing kicked off. I consider myself a patriot through and through. I am a huge go-getter... that is why I am the OIC of our SRT and every other special event that comes up. If it involves tactics, guns, sweat, dirt, ect... I am usually involved.

                            Now, ask me when I get back and I may change my whole outlook on life.
                            You will definitely get that here...convoys are getting hit everyday. We just lost another 4 guys cruising to the airport. I have 17 years of military service, 12 active the rest reserve/guard. I'm contracting now for Personal Security Details, and let me tell you something...STAY ALERT, STAY ALIVE.

                            THE ENEMY chooses when and where you get hit, not you. If you've learned anything in the service it should be situational awareness. As soon as you let your guard down or get lazy, bang, you're dead. It happens every day. Put your SRT/Johnny SWAT ego in your foot locker when you get here, listen to your Privates and Sergeants who've been here awhile and you should be OK.

                            I also tested with NYSP back in 2001, and got number 8000 something because I was out of state. Well, I thought that number was too high and tested elsewhere, but about 8 months ago I got a letter to continue with the hiring process. I mean, how many people did they go through to get to my dumb-***?

                            Stay safe.
                            Whitechapel - Hate Creation

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by retdetsgt
                              Trooper4985,

                              Do you duties include taking police calls, criminal investigations etc. or is your primary duty enforcing traffic laws?
                              We are a full service agency... we do it all. There are many areas of NY that do not have full time SO's let alone fulltime PD's so we do 'real police work' everywhere... well except NYC where we just do counter-drug and other secret squirrel things. Depends on the barracks you work out of what how you spend a majority of your time. The barracks I used to work at was fast paced with complaints (the occasional murder, rape, bank robbery, burgs, assaults, fraud, plus all the things that every agency handles like unattendeds, harassment etc.) but also in one of the busiest counties in the state for DWI's, all agencies combined arrested around 100-130 DWI's a month. The barracks I work in now is slower complaint wise but we still have the same range of calls, just slightly fewer of them because it's a diffrent population base.
                              Last edited by Trooper4985; 06-06-2004, 03:53 PM.
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