Would someone please remind me why the military isn’t a good option for me? Because I seem to have forgotten. Le sigh. Today was the Internship and Co-op Fair, and I talked to several companies, all of which have facinating opportunities that aren’t out of my depth, and would really help further my “career”, such as it is. And then there’s the military. Insert another sigh. Particularly the Navy. They’ve got a sweet deal for undergrads with technical/engineering majors… Bridget is no help in identifying potential problems, because she thinks there aren’t any. The physical requirements can be worked on (I’ve got three years, after all), and aren’t even that high; minimum requirements are a 15 minute 1.5 mile walk/run (a 10-min/mi pace, or 6.0 mi/h), seventeen push-ups in two minutes (that would be the hard one, but solvable with some weight training), and fifty curls in two minutes (easy). Of course, those are the minimums, so doing better is definitely desired, but that’s a starting point.

And then there’s discipline/respectfulness. Am I so disrespectful that I could not be a member of the military? That’s kind of a loaded question. Can one learn discipline? I’m aware of my own un-disciplined-ness: I enjoy my personal freedom, usually don’t make up my bed, procrastinate, and have skipped a class or two (actually, just about two…). But I also like schedules, and rules, and knowing the limits of my confinement, so to speak, whether in projects/assignments or living space. And I’m not sure how disrespectful I am. I tend to get along with people’s parents and my professors fairly well, even those that keep strict “I’m your superior, call me Dr. Doodad” attitudes. Not a problem for me. But one of the things I like about Rose-Hulman is the fact that few of the profs are really like that. I mean, I would certainly never call Dr. McKnuckleberry “Rich” in conversation (nor do I refer to him as that in my mind), but things are not strictly yessir/no sir, either. But could I adapt to living in a situation that was different in that way from my current surroundings? I may be overly optimistic, but I kinda think so.

When I peeked at the Air Force and Navy post-graduation, Michael raised the question of my tendency to be, ah, critical of the president/administration. How much dissent is the military confortable with? I mean, it’s not like I’m plotting anything against the government, of course, or anything so… active. But how would that affect me doing my job, whatever that may be? That’s still kind of the open question, although I’m not sure how much of a moral dilemma it would be for me. I probably wouldn’t be directly causing anyone’s death or dismemberment, but any software/systems/whatever I work on or develop would be used for the purpose of killing people, or helping the people that will be killing people. But, then again, I don’t necessarily have an aversion to death/killing. Nor do I see any problem in supporting the troops in our current conflict/war. Our country’s citizens should be protected from harm. But that’s where I go into philosophical debates with myself over the extent of the protection needed, etc. And I’m not terribly inclined to just say, “Well, I’ll just leave that to Mr. President because he’s more qualified.” I don’t know.

I feel like I’m forgetting problems that are deterrents to me doing military stuff. Insert another sigh.

Benefits: a cool job, in pretty much any technical area I want to be in, guaranteed following graduation and passing the Officer Candidate School; $54,000 over three years while in college, just like a normal paycheck; a decently good pay with basics taken care of once I’m out of school; nice life insurance, should I kick the bucket; an interesting life style that mixes the mental and the physical.

Round in round in circles I go. I’m off to visit my friendly neighborhood treadmill.


  • Lissa

    Of course you did…

    I knew you would comment, Dulin.

    Why would marching be a challenge? Left, left, left, right, left… Don’t look around, don’t run into the guy in front of you, and turn around smartly. [:)]

    I may try to take Air Force ROTC next year… That’ll give me a term to see what it’s like. The Lt. Col. here (I e-mailed him) sent me a bit of information about when it becomes binding, etc.

    Hear, hear, on the subject of recruiters. That guy was laying it on kinda thick (well, stoic, militaristic manner aside–he wasn’t smarmy or anything), and I could tell the Air Force guys were, too, just from their mannerisms. It was kinda funny. You know me, just trying to filter the bullshit.

    Hmm. You aren’t helping! I’m supposed to be thinking of *cons*, not pros. Grr. (But thank you.) I don’t care so much about the money, particularly given that the money in a military paycheck is for “extras”. Remember, I’m still considering grad school (more debt) and doing dorky, low-pay work, so money, as long as I’m not living in a complete dive and hand-to-mouth, isn’t so important. Well, I’d like to have money for broadband, but, you know… [|D]

  • Dulin

    Well of course i had to say somthing…

    Well you know that I am pretty much pro-military… Basicaly the tradeoff with military service is a job at a private company where you will make maybe 1.5 to 2 times as much monney. The military (navy) pays less but they give you a check for house payments, clothes, ect. They offer full heath coverage (i dont know the navy system exactly)… When you become an officer you owe them so many years, i think its somthing like 4 – 8 since they pay for college. Plus you would be in charge of some 18 year olds on your first day. As to the philisophical views, most military folk have a similar voting pattern to regular america, so there are folk in iraq that think it was a bad idea. Anyway, you could still vote folkk out. I thnk you could handlle the discipline. Marching may be a challange, but they would teach you. If you are seriously thinking about it (in any of the branches, the ari force pays the best…) you should take a semester of ROTC, it doesnt obligate you and you get to see the military from the inside. Plus once you get out to the real military its not as strict and besides the uniform and the saluting its probably very similar to regular jobs. And if you decide you hate it, when you’re done with the 4-8 year, you dont sign up again, go to a civilian company ask them for a job, and they give you one ( cause you have the smart thing, the military thing [folk know that militry people work extra hard and stuff], and experience.)Alright I’ve made my speech. Oh one more thing, dont talk to a recruiter cause the mess with you mind, there trained to make you want to join like cutco folk are trained to sell knives.