Is it really that hard out there? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Is it really that hard out there?

So, I know a lot of guys here are military, a lot are vets and a lot have moved on from their service. I'm at my 6 year mark and this enlistment ends in 2016. I'm torn between staying in and getting out. I'll almost be at 10 years...so here's my Rant.

With the government cutting back and saving where they can, they've proven that taking shit from military isn't something theyre affraid to do. So, when is enough enough? When we promotions are frozen? when we stop recruiting and do longer deployments with shittier gear?

Is the civilian sector THAT bad? I mean, I'm not a retard, I have a technical job, I have a degree (associates, but none the less I did it on active duty) Of course I would never get out with out a half assed decent job to feed my family. But is it really that bad in the civilian world?

I'm just sick of every hickup in the senate they threaten our benefits and they cut the same shit they recruited us with.
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post #2 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 05:15 AM
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Once you hit 10 years I recommend you stay in the military, your half way to retirement. We have an election coming up in 2016 so things may change. This is not the first time the government has drawn the military, it happens after every major war.

My wife has been out of work for over two years. Partly my fault because we have moved three times in two years and she works in a specialized field, for her its bad.

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post #3 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 05:21 AM Thread Starter
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That's my concern. The whole job thing. Luckily the wife is a nurse so we're good there, but everyone says the ten year mark is the point of no return, which is true. But damn if that's not another ten years of this shit! My job is a little quarky because of the deployment schedules I'm forced to accept. I'm torn between missing my kid grow up and providing for him at the same time. I mean, I see the numbers, the job market blows. But it's also a new age where you really can't rely on a highschool educaton for a decent job now-a-days. You need a trade, a skill, a degree and sometimes that's just not enough. It def pays to know people these days. I also see a lot of people that get out and "can't find work" but they also went back to their home town, it's not that they can't find work, it's that they don't want to work in Texas, or Florida and they insist on 85k a year or some shit like that. Yea, I make that now, but I also accept a pay cut would be acceptable if I was working a normal job and didn't spend half my kids life deployed.

The next election scares me too, it'll take a miracle to recover from the shit pit this genius got us in.
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post #4 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 05:28 AM
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Look at it this way. Yeah you gotta do 10 more years, but after that 10 years you get a check every month for the rest of your life. But it sounds like you just want us to try to convince you of something. It also sounds like you have had enough. So maybe you need to get out this time around. What happens 4 years after that and you are really fed up with whatever it is you do? Then you are really stuck.

Really this is a question that you have to ask yourself. By the time I had 10 years in I didn't even realize it. I loved what I used to do. By the time I had 16 in, I just said what the hell. Not until my 19th year did it suck but by that time I was approved for retirement and just had to wait it out.

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post #5 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 06:09 AM Thread Starter
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I love what I do, but being on subs, I'm gone a shit ton. I'm just weighing the "is it worth it". The only hold back is the civilian sector job market, the only ones that know that are the ones in it, and I'm far from the experiance needed to make a safe call on it.
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post #6 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 06:56 AM
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If you have a high demand job like Nuclear reactor engineer then I see no problem finding a job. However if you are a pushing a mop around then there may be a problem finding a job.

Like I said that is something that you and your wife have to make a decision on. But you need to be prepared for the worst. It took me six months to land a job after I got out. We were prepared though. Had enough money in the bank to ride the tide out. Also since your wife is a nurse maybe you should start concentrating on getting her a good job somewhere 1st.

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post #7 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 10:03 AM
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The only hold back is the civilian sector job market, the only ones that know that are the ones in it, and I'm far from the experiance needed to make a safe call on it.
Nothing is a safe bet in civilian sector, you can get fired tomorrow with no warning, happens all the time no matter how many years you've been working.

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post #8 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 10:28 AM
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Nothing is a safe bet in civilian sector, you can get fired tomorrow with no warning, happens all the time no matter how many years you've been working.
This. ^^^

The trick is to learn a trade or skill that few people have. That allows you to dictate slightly more than the average joe doing retail or sales.

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post #9 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 10:45 AM
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This. ^^^

The trick is to learn a trade or skill that few people have. That allows you to dictate slightly more than the average joe doing retail or sales.
My wife an I were lucky to have both been professionals in the IT field for years (decades). But here's what we try to do and thus far it's worked. We try to keep our major bills (house/car/food) at about half our current combined income. It's allowed me for example to change career paths (taking a serious haircut) and maintain more or less our lifestyle (which is by no means extravagant).

We were not always this smart, at one point we made over 250K between us and blew money like it was nothing on stupid crap. After a hard lesson about 10 years ago we learned how to control our spending and be happy at the same time.

Nothing's safe though, all kinds of shit happens in life that's out of your control. Just gotta roll with whatever you get dealt, have a bit of a long term plan and go with it

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post #10 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 10:55 AM
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I can not give you any military help as I was never in...but I did grow up with a father that was not home much because of work..now I have 2 of my own and I understand the fear of turning around one day and they are driving off to college...It really sux trying to balance the "right" amout of money with enough time to spend it with the fam.
My dad made good money not great but good and I had some nice stuff but would have traded it for a few cheap seats and a hot dog at the ball game..

ok thats enough sappy talk ....Good luck with what you decide.

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post #11 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 04:28 PM
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I was in a similar position to you in 1998.

I was just over 11 years service and the Clinton administration was royally fucking things up for us.

My wife had a very strong career going, so I opted to bail when they closed the Master Jet Base I was at (Cecil Field) and we were going to get less than desirable orders.

To this day, I still regret doing that, even though everything turned out ok and I make good money.

Just my $.02


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post #12 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 05:37 PM
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I'm at my 6 year mark in the Coast Guard I'm getting out at the end of next month but staying reserve. It's scary to think about going into the real world and finding a job. My rate sucks and it has no real good experience for the outside world (Boatswain Mate). I recently put in an application for the fire department so hopefully ill get that.
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post #13 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 05:52 PM
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Good luck with your decision, and thank you for your service.

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post #14 of 36 Old 08-01-2013, 11:48 PM
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I got out of the AF at 9 years and 7 months, there have been times that I wish that I would have stayed in to finish out 20, but it would have meant putting up with stuff that I was already tired of. I agree with Uncle Sams...if you are sitting at 6 years and are fed up...it may be time to try something different.

You have to be smart about any career change, civilian side is not easy at all. There are employers that want prior military, but I wouldn't count on that. You may have to relocate to find work. Your wife is in a career that can be used anywhere and I agree that maybe you should focus on her getting set up where you think you want to be. It is easier to support a family when only one of the breadwinners is out of work at one time.

Can you get a job? Probably. There is no definite answer, if you and your wife are smart about your military separation then you can be just fine. It is nice to move and live where you want.

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post #15 of 36 Old 08-02-2013, 04:16 AM
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I can't speak for the Navy (discussed above), but I can speak on my experiences in the Army (23 years still serving). #1 as you move up it does not get easier, it gets different. #2 If you do not like the way things are going in your job field, move to the top and fix it. #3 I promise number two is obtainable, if you really want it.. #4 If you really (hate, dislike, etc..) your job in the military get out. #5 There are times you will not enjoy your job, weigh the good with the bad and make your decision.

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post #16 of 36 Old 08-02-2013, 08:32 PM
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I'm just sick of every hickup in the senate they threaten our benefits and they cut the same shit they recruited us with.
They will keep doing this no matter what. It's like passing laws by saying think of the children. No matter what happens people are always going to put up the one thing they think no one will defund when someone asks to cut spending. It's a bluff so they can look like they are cooperative.

Military's got plenty of wasteful spending, the amount they give the the people wearing the uniforms isn't where it's at though.
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post #17 of 36 Old 08-03-2013, 09:31 AM
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Once you hit 10 years I recommend you stay in the military, your half way to retirement. We have an election coming up in 2016 so things may change. This is not the first time the government has drawn the military, it happens after every major war.

My wife has been out of work for over two years. Partly my fault because we have moved three times in two years and she works in a specialized field, for her its bad.
I would have agreed with warcop on this 10 years ago. Hell, I gave that same advice to a few SSgt/TSgt who were on the fence. A paycheck for life come hell or high water is pretty awesome. Commissary, Class 6, auto hobby shop, and medical is also pretty cool. That does not look to be sustainable. With the current fiscal reality hitting DoD I would expect enlisted perks and bennies to be eroded badly over the next 10 years. Not sure how it will affect officers but I bet the enlisted take the brunt. Take that for what it is worth and do you own research. Look at the fact that they just cut civil servant pay by 20% across the board (sequester) for a year. If they end up in a continuing resolution for funding then it will, most likely, happen again next year.

The other side of the coin is serving your country. You cannot put a dollar figure on that. I really don't know what advice I would give someone at the 10 year mark in this current environment. It would be a hard decision. Much harder than it was 10 years ago.

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post #18 of 36 Old 08-03-2013, 09:45 AM
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I might have missed it, but what do you do.... I came out of working a fucked up situation for the DOE/DOD/army as a disabled vet and started my own stereo shop, when everything tanked after Obama took over I went back to my career of welding then in to a consultant position for the oil companies witch is allowing me to do both now. I loved the army and wish I could go back, but I have had good friends that get cut right before retirement and cant get shit out of the time served.

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During 2011, the U.S. Air Force fired 157 officers on the eve of their retirement. The Air Force said they did this because of “budget constraints”, according to an op-ed in the 12/28/11 Wall Street Journal.

One of the fired officers is Major Kale Mosley. He is an Air Force Academy graduate who flew more than 250 combat missions. He was handed his pink slip as he was boarding the aircraft to take him to Iraq on his most recent deployment. As a result of the pink slip, he will get no pension at all and no long-term health care for himself and his dependents. Note, although service academy students are on active duty starting around July 1st of their freshman year, those four years do not count for retirement vesting.

There was briefly a law that allowed people who left the military short of twenty years to get prorated pension and health care benefits, but it expired in 2001.
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post #19 of 36 Old 08-05-2013, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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I might have missed it, but what do you do.... I came out of working a fucked up situation for the DOE/DOD/army as a disabled vet and started my own stereo shop, when everything tanked after Obama took over I went back to my career of welding then in to a consultant position for the oil companies witch is allowing me to do both now. I loved the army and wish I could go back, but I have had good friends that get cut right before retirement and cant get shit out of the time served.



http://www.johntreed.com/separation.html
I'm a Submarine Comms guy. So, I'm gone more than I'm home. I still have almost 3 years left on my current contract, so I have time. I really appreciate all the input from everyone. It's a huge decision of which prepartations should have started a while back, but I can do now. My wife's a DoD Nurse...and she was affected by that whole furlough. Like stated above, our plan is to have our cost of living at half of my income. We're on track, but we're young and I was stupid earlier on. Thanks for all the advice guys!
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post #20 of 36 Old 08-19-2013, 06:48 PM
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After my first (and only) enlistment came to an end I was really on the fence about staying in or getting out. I knew that if I re-enlisted once I was going to be in for the long haul. I was still single, no kids that I knew of, and free to do as I pleased. I loved what I did and the people I served with, I was also very fortunate to work under some great people.

With that said I knew that I would one day start a family and I wanted to be there for them. Figured my folks were getting older and my old man would need some help with the farm as time wore on so I got out. That was in 2002. I landed a pretty good job, got married, got divorced, moved, changed jobs, got married again and now my wife and I are expecting our first child. Not a week goes by that I don't think about what my life would be like if I had stayed in. Hell, 5 more years and I would be retired! Some close friends stayed in, one of them became a Mustang and he is now living his dream as a Helicopter pilot wasting bad guys wholesale. Am I envious? You bet your ass. Did I make the right choice? I think so...

With that said, I always told people that if you re-enlisted once you might as well stay in. However, if it is wearing on you that bad then get out now. Don't be hitting your third enlistment and then be in the same spot you are now. Spend some time with your family, live your life. You have earned it. If you do decide to stay in go all the way and never look back. My .02
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post #21 of 36 Old 08-22-2013, 06:42 AM
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Liljohn850,

I myself am a skimmer/target/whatever you bubble heads call us these days. I enlisted in 2004 and just left sea duty 31 Jul 2013. Of those 9 years I spent just over 8 years consecutive at sea. I am in the same position as you are. Here's my back story:

Enlisted May 27th 2004, went through tech core, A school, C school then off to the fleet. Did 1 deployment (CARAT cruise), got back, got married (not to the chick i met on deployment, i'd consider it a lot worse what I did). Had a kid. I wound up doing 4 deployments in 5 years, missing the birth of my son - and still got divorced in Apr 2011. Since then, I met my now girlfriend who works as a gov't contracted company (who she has no military ties other than programs for ships) and everyday this is a struggle with her of what I should do. I fear the unknown, always have always will. My biggest fear is if I get out, will I get a job, will I be able to provide - I still have to pay child support for another minimum of 15 years no matter what. You being on a sub, you have more experience than thousands of other people in the civilian field. Hell, you probably went to Nuc school - which isn't cheap. You have the OJT that companies are looking for. Ultimately, when you enlistment is coming up, start networking with companies and people and see what is available for you. If you can't land something or have it in writing, re-enlist for 2-3 years just to give it more time. I passed up a full SRB of $50,000+ for 6 years and did a 3 year enlistment just to get me through shore duty to give me that option. Maybe I get a job as a civilian after my shore duty there, maybe I don't...Maybe I re-enlist again. I don't know yet, but thanks to my GF, I have options now (granted less money from the SRB but I have options) Give yourself the opportunity and same options. That's my $0.02.

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post #22 of 36 Old 08-22-2013, 08:41 AM
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You can hunt for jobs why youre still in. For me it was a no brainer. I was a 5 year E-6 making under 50k a year. Now I sit on my butt, drink beer, watch movies, and sleep while im at work. I get paid 6 figures and have never looked back. I had this job lined up a month before I got out. I got out of the navy Dec 9 2011 took 10 days off and showed up to my new job.
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post #23 of 36 Old 08-23-2013, 09:26 PM
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You can hunt for jobs why youre still in. For me it was a no brainer. I was a 5 year E-6 making under 50k a year. Now I sit on my butt, drink beer, watch movies, and sleep while im at work. I get paid 6 figures and have never looked back. I had this job lined up a month before I got out. I got out of the navy Dec 9 2011 took 10 days off and showed up to my new job.
I've always wanted to work for Cal-Trans. Lucky bastard.
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post #24 of 36 Old 08-23-2013, 11:00 PM
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I've always wanted to work for Cal-Trans. Lucky bastard.
I work at a power plant
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post #25 of 36 Old 08-24-2013, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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I work at a power plant
I'm assuming you're a nuke? given the whole power plant thing. You guys are in a different world, and why nukes stay in baffles me.
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