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Thread: US Army 2LT with many questions
04-25-2011, 09:02 #1Cadet
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
US Army 2LT with many questions
Good evening everyone,
First I'd like to say that I wish I found this forum a long long time ago. My name is James P and I'm a 2LT in the United States Army. I recently graduated from USMA and will forever be grateful for the experience and knowledge I gained from West Point.
I am currently stationed in South Korea as a Brigade Medical Operations Officer. I wanted to post this thread because...honestly, I just had so many questions that were answered in previous posts but then again many posts went on to different topics that did not really help me find my answers.
As an officer in the Medical Service Corps, you all might be wondering what I'm doing here. To be honest, I thought MS would be an awesome field to join but always had MP or IN in the back of my mind. Now that I'm in the Army as an MSC officer, I feel like I've made a huge mistake. Don't get me wrong-I love being in the Army, but now I do feel that going the officer route was a bit over-hyped. More importantly, I've started to question my role and even desire to stay an MSC officer for the next 7 years (until I'm eligible to ETS). I've been doing some research as far as CID / CI / PSYOPS / CA , and was wondering if anyone had experience or actually resigned their commission in order to join CID or CI. I am not looking into ADSOing for a job, but recent events occurred in my life that got me thinking. I have to stop thinking about what "looks good" or "what others may want" (parents, friends, superior officers, mentors). I have made the decision to pursue what I want to do and that is LE/CI.
If there is anyone on this forum with any type of information or experience in actually resigning their commission to get the job they wanted, please post or PM me.
Also, many of you may be saying to yourself that I should "suck it up" and just do my job. However, I'm not saying I want out of the Army or out of serving my country in any way shape or form. I simply want to do something I feel I could contribute to and if that means losing pay or being looked down upon then so be it.
Family members who are not in the LE/CI community believe I'm crazy to think this way, but those who have left the law or doctor job and joined FLE or Local LE have been extremely positive.
Thanks for any feedback and thanks for having this forum up.
04-25-2011, 09:39 #2
Can't help with your query, but I thought the service commitment after USMA was 5 yrs, not 7, unless one was designated an aviator.
What exactly does an MSC officer do? I assume this is different from the Medica Corps, made up of MDs, DDSs, and nurses?
04-25-2011, 09:53 #3
Right now, I wouldn't PRESUME to know where to start!
I suggest you digest the series of events that have recently occurred in your life. Graduation, commissioning, posting to a new country with new languages, NEW JOB, levels of expectations, etc. Once you've got both feet FIRMLY planted on the ground after these life changes, then I'd suggest talking with some folks in CID and bouncing some ideas off someone over a couple of beers.
I have no clue at this time what branch transfers are like these days and then there's the current 'seconded' policy to the combat arms, so you don't know how many MP officers are in cue for Basic Officers training.
Hopefully, someone is on the board with some relevant branch transfer information. But remember, you've just done some MAJOR life changes and to jump through all those hoops and think that it wasn't worth it can lead to a whole lot of stress. Make sure you're hitting the gym and planning next steps. Don't jump on the first train out of Korea...take your time.
Keep us in the loop! DM“In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.” — Miguel de Cervantes
04-25-2011, 14:13 #4
First of all, Congradulations on your graduation from West Point. I have to echo DM's post, don't rush into another MAJOR life change. Get settled in and let your life get smoothed out. Although I was not on the officer side of the bill, I spent almost 21 years in the military. I can't tell you how many soldiers (myself included) I have talked to and watched make those changes and regret it later. Myself I was not happy in the military the first 3 years I was there, I got out and the after 3 years was able to get back in on active duty, and ended up staying, but was 3 years behind my peers in promotions and experience, I was eventually able to pull myself back to being level, but it took alot of hard work to get there. I do not regret the hard work and the experiences I had I never regret.
I would take the firet 2-3 years and see if you can be successful where you are at. Resigning your commission is a BIG step, had an LT do that, and found out later he had worried about it for over a year before making that decision. As far as the pay, going form a 2LT to a SGT, or less, will be a big adjustment. Some people have done it and just florished, others have done it and regretted it.
I know it doesn't seem like it, but you are young and have plenty of time to make this decision, see how you like the Medical Corp, may not be for you, but do an outstanding job and start putting feelers out to changing your branch, see what the CURRENT trend is and use those classmates from West Point to get you contacts and help in finding the answers you seek as far as changing branches.
Good luck with your decision and keep us updated,Take care,
04-25-2011, 15:42 #5
Is CID made up of all enlisted and warrant officer? Are they alll still technically members of the active duty Army?
If so, aside from the pay, wouldn't it be an adjustment on another level to go from officer to enlisted/warrant officer?
Then again, I had a friende who was in the Army who told me that being an warrant officer was the best deal going in the Army. The competition for promotion is no where near as fierce as it is for officers and there not the added responsibility of leading/managing soldier. One simply attends to one's job.
On another note, do people salute warrant officer, or do you simply address them as "Mr." or "Mrs" and leave it at that?
04-25-2011, 16:04 #6
Sounds like you're going you're going through a little withdrawal from the high-speed, world of a West Point cadet, to the not so high-speed world of combat service support. If you were looking at IN or MP and got MS then there will be a let down. You should have a serious chat with with your Branch Manager to see what, if any options you have. Perhaps you could apply for a Branch Detail down the road? I really don't know, since I have never seen an officer leave a branch because they were unhappy with it. The enlisted route may not be a viable option since you could owe a lot of money for your very expensive education.
One thing I do know is the Army is NOT, nor has ever been very flexible with these types of situations. I had a good buddy who graduated from Princeton with a 3.86 and was branched Medical Service. He was sure that the Army would grant him an educational delay to go to Med school and become an Army doctor. Long story short, the Army denied the educational delay (to all of our shock) and he was forced to serve out his entire contract as a MS officer. He subsequently left the Army after his obligation, went to med school and is now a successful doctor. Point being, be prepared if the Army isn't flexible when it comes to your desires. Worst case, you will have several years of officer experience when your initial obligation expires and one of the best degrees out there behind your name.
Good luck and we all wish you the best.
B2BBetter than honor and glory and history's iron pen-
Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow men - Richard Watson Gilder
04-26-2011, 03:42 #7
04-26-2011, 14:46 #8
04-27-2011, 12:22 #9Cadet
- Join Date
- Apr 2011
Thanks for the responses. I haven't been able to get much information here on my end either, but as a soon to be 1LT, I'm actually looking into the Civil Affairs pipeline. I think I'll be incurring an ADSO which is also cutting it close to the 37 year mark if I'm ever going to consider FLE. I appreciate everyone's feedback and hope to hear from more on these forums.
I'll keep everyone posted on any further information regarding warrant officer school for resigned officers. I'm still trying to get more than 5 minutes with my branch manager regarding branch transfers, but like i said...I want to be a do'er not an administrative manager.
07-06-2011, 22:01 #10Rookie
I'm still trying to get more than 5 minutes with my branch manager regarding branch transfers, but like i said...I want to be a do'er not an administrative manager.
- Join Date
- Jul 2011
Be very careful what you ask for. I've known officers who resigned their commissions to become enlisted, and a few who reverted to warrant. For the most part they were retirement-saving moves so the officer in question could finish their 20 years, having had the "come to Jesus you aren't getting promoted any further as an officer" talk with their senior rater. The individuals were almost always extremely unhappy in their new role. A LTC really doesn't know what to do as a SSG.
I knew a very hard charging ROTC cadet (football player, Ranger Challenge, etc) who ended up branching AG. Not the career he intended at all, but there is a reason the Army does that. AG troops, Finance troops, even Medical troops need good officers, too. They need leaders, they need the guys who hold themselves and their troops to high standards, take care of their troops properly and realize that admin/medical/REMF Soldiers need to maintain standards as much as any high-speed combat arms type... especially in the current combat environment. The guy sitting behind a desk in CONUS today may be pinned down in a convoy ambush next week. They need to maintain the common task training, their marksmanship and their fitness just as much as any infantryman. The Army spent a lot of money training you to do that.
I'd very strongly advise you to think VERY hard about this. I can't imagine advising any 2LT I've ever known that this was a good idea. If you were a CPT or MAJ who had stepped on his dick, maybe... if you were in a branch were you could revert to warrant and had made CPT, maybe...
07-07-2011, 13:11 #11
You made some good points so I left them up but you are replying to a thread that is 2.5 months old. Please review the forum rules. Thanks.
Thread closed"There is no second place winner"-- Bill Jordan