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Healthcare Degree? And Military

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  • Healthcare Degree? And Military

    Alright so I'm 20 years old and currently I work security at a local hospital. I was originally planning to stay here until I got a degree in Criminal Justice but after talking with a lot of Police Officers/Deputies about it and reading the countless threads and posts about it here on O.com I decided to get a degree in a field I'd be happy in if for whatever reason LE doesn't work out. In this case the degree is Respiratory Care. It's an associate degree and I can balance my work schedule around my school schedule. When I graduate since I'm already employed by the hospital it would just be considered a tranfser going from Security Officer to Respiratory Therapist.

    This way I have a stable job (RT's start at about $24-$26 an hour) and can support myself while I start applying to pretty much every agency I can. My question is will a Police Department/Sherrifs Office find this odd and give me a hard time as to why I'm going from the medical field to law enforcement and taking a slight hit in pay by doing so. Or would they just care more that I have a degree, good work history and life experience?

    Also never been arrested, no drug history, got a speeding ticket when I was 16 but went to traffic school and got it taken care of. But what worries me is I was in the Army and I was ELS'd in OSUT due to major respiratory problems which the Army diagnosed as asthma but later I found out I had valley fever from living in AZ which started a chain reaction and ended with one of my lungs collapsing after being filled with fluid. No diciplanary actions and no fraudulent enlistment accusations since I told them at MEPs that I was dianosed with asthma when I was younger but since I had no record of it after the age of 12 I was cleared and it was a deemed a condition that existed prior to service (hence the ELS instead of medical discharge). Basically got a pat on the back and was told I can try again in 2 years with a waiver which is not going to happen with the drawdowns right now. But what worries me is that my discharge was an ELS (Entry Level Seperation) which is uncategorized meaning it's not Honorable, General, or Dishonorable it's just nothing. And I'm worried that can hold me back in the hiring process. I have all my paperwork from the Army squared away I just don't want to get passed over because the DD214 says Entry Level Seperation instead of Honorable.

    Also I'm in good health now, lungs are healthy aside from some scar tissue and I can run and workout just fine.
    Last edited by Miller11x; 05-17-2014, 10:21 PM.

  • #2
    People come into LE from all walks of life, so no one cares. If you become an RT and an LEO, I would still try and pick up a couple of shifts a month at the hospital to keep your skills up.

    Expect your separation to be scrutinized but, if is as you said and the doc doing your medical eval doesn't see a problem, it's not a problem.

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    • #3
      One of my Troops had been an RN before coming into LE. He had spent several years working in the ER. After getting into LE he later became a crash reconstructionist. His time in ER working trauma cases and serious injuries was extremely helpful working complex crashes where there were questions such as who was driving, impact areas, etc. He became pretty well known nationwide as a crash reconstructionist. He traveled to several states teaching reconstruction, reviewing serious crashes, and testifying as an expert witness.
      A variety of experiences is a good thing for any agency to have.
      183 FBINA

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      • #4
        The former CHIEF (retired in 2008) of the Iowa State Patrol has a degree (BSN) in nursing.


        One of the best cops I have ever known had a degree in Mortuary Sciences.
        Since some people need to be told by notes in crayon .......Don't PM me with without prior permission. If you can't discuss the situation in the open forum ----it must not be that important

        My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS

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        • #5
          I have a BS in Medical Laboratory (ASCP), I worked in the field for about 9 years (mililtary and civilian) and the was hired by a large Dept. I believe the key is just having a degree.
          Judge me by the enemies I have made----Unknown

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          • #6
            There was a candidate in my dept's last academy who was an ELS from the Army. It is very, VERY important that you understand what an ELS means and what it doesn't. As a graduate of the Ft. Benning Academy for Trouble Youth and Misguided Men, I'm sensitive about who claims being a vet. This kid thought that because he went to basic (never graduated) he had earned the right to claim being an Army Vet.

            I was a DI for their academy and during the drill and ceremony bit we usually ask if there are any vets/prior service and among the usual smattering of vets I start asking for last unit of assignment. This kid gives a well known basic training company/battalion, so I spun around so fast my round blue almost spun off my head. I knew he was too young to be a drill sergeant, and his claim of "infantry!!!!" I found suspect. We had a brief discussion on the difference between ELS and a true discharge, as well as what being infantry really meant.

            Be honest, be up front and don't add/detract/expand or glorify what you did.

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            • #7
              OK, do this. Please read and re-read the replies my colleagues have offered you. You won't get better advice. Good luck in your plans and ambitions.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by careerchange#2 View Post
                There was a candidate in my dept's last academy who was an ELS from the Army. It is very, VERY important that you understand what an ELS means and what it doesn't. As a graduate of the Ft. Benning Academy for Trouble Youth and Misguided Men, I'm sensitive about who claims being a vet. This kid thought that because he went to basic (never graduated) he had earned the right to claim being an Army Vet.

                I was a DI for their academy and during the drill and ceremony bit we usually ask if there are any vets/prior service and among the usual smattering of vets I start asking for last unit of assignment. This kid gives a well known basic training company/battalion, so I spun around so fast my round blue almost spun off my head. I knew he was too young to be a drill sergeant, and his claim of "infantry!!!!" I found suspect. We had a brief discussion on the difference between ELS and a true discharge, as well as what being infantry really meant.

                Be honest, be up front and don't add/detract/expand or glorify what you did.
                Oh I know, I've never claimed to be a veteran or make up some BS story about how I got deployed 3 times in 2 years or anything like that.

                Thank you all for the advice.

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                • #9
                  Then out of curiosity, what is the "11x" in your name for? In the Army world it usually is an enlistment MOS designation for guys headed Ranger....

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                  • #10
                    No it is for someone headed on an Infantry contact, but has not been told which one yet. B=light, C=mortars, H=heavy weapons. M did mean Bradley but it may have been rolled in B.
                    They give you your MOS designator towards the end of the basic part of OSUT.

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                    • #11
                      ^^What ox11b said.

                      I made this account when I was a senior in high school. I enlisted right at the start of senior year and put in DEP. My MOS was 11x (Infantry Recruit).

                      And they don't use H or M anymore it's either B for infantry or C for mortars now. When I was in the DS actually told us right at the start my entire company was going B but the entire company before us was going C.
                      Last edited by Miller11x; 05-19-2014, 05:27 PM.

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