Enlist after high school or go to college then enlist?


I'm 17 years old and I'm graduating from high school next year. I want to have a career in the Marine Corps in the Infantry. My parents want me to go to college and then decide if I want to go to OCS and become an officer. My parents will pay for most or all of my college tuition so money isn't an issue. I don't want to be an officer though, because I want to do the fighting and I don't want to have to deal with all of the administrative work. So my question for all of you is: Should I go enlisted out of high school or enlist after going to college for four years (would the college just be a waste of time and money)? Thanks.
Go to college first.
college is never a waste of time - I can certainly understand why you wouldn't want to be an officer - if you're sure you want to enlist i would recommend going to college and then enlisting - it'll help you get promoted faster
This is coming from a 28 year old guy,

Go to college and then don't enlist.

Get a job!

Why do you want to sleep in a sleeping bag and then be sent off to war.
i would enlist out of high school and use the marine money for college and if they suggest ocs u should take it. the reason i say this is if the corps wants u to be an officer they will let u know at the time that is most desirous for them now if u go to college first and do rotc and then go on to ocs u will get your commision but u might not have your choice of career.
You can enlist after some college, have a hire rate/rank and not start at the complete bottom. If you complete college you will be an officer, no ifs, ands or buts. I grew up in the military life so I am speaking from expereince. You can also take classes as an enlisted person as my grandfather and some of my friends did.
Think long and hard about this decision before you make it. And think about WHY you want to do it. If you want to join the infantry for the glory, don't bother. It's rare that you'll get the opportunity to do something spectacular and get recognition. If you want to do it because you genuinely want to help, go for it. Once that decision is made, it'll be easier to decide on a course of action for after graduation. You're right, though. If you have no interest in being an officer, and you don't WANT to go to college, don't. When I was in college I saw tons of people end up dropping out because they didn't want to be there and were forced to go by their parents. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you go as an enlisted person, you'll have all kinds of college benefits. So after four years you would have the option of getting college paid for and then using the money your parents would have given you for a car or a down payment on a house.
In short, if you have thought it through completely, do what YOU want to do, not what your parents want you to do. If you speak to a recruiter, he may be able to help you talk to your parents about your decision. Good luck!
I say go to college now that your mind is fresh. Many of my friends went to military after high school, and are now to tired and overwhelmed with all their experiences to go to college. Plus they are older and havent taken classes in a while. Its better to go to college right after high school so that you still remember the things you learned in high schoo. Good luck!
Its a personal choice. They can both be good options if your willing to work hard. They have their +'s and -'s. For me I chose to enlist in the Army first. Wanted more excitement and be able to pay for my own education and not give my parents the bill.
Walt, may i call you walt? Well anyways please promise me that you will go to college first. Please DONT enlist. This war we are fighting it isnt for the people it is for money and oil. The soldiers right now are dying because of money. Please go to college. There are other ways to support our troops without picking up a gun and killing defensless people that dont deserve to die. Send some money gift baskets letters, but just send yourself i would hate to see another 18 year old boy die in iraq or wherever because of this AnswersRoom.com program. Please dont enlist.
If your certain you want to do both - then you should consider you parents advice first! I say that because even if you don't want to be an officer, the education will help you start at a higher pay grade and/or be promoted quicker! Then you'll have an education to fall back on to! Either way, I think college is important move!

Only you can make the final decision!
I would graduate college, then enlist. You don't have to be an officer. It will only help you. I did 10 years and I fully recommend the education first. You could join the reserves, do your college, the go active duty upon graduation.

Your College education will give you many more options.
Here's how it is. If you enlist, the military will pay for your college. The drawback to that is, if they want to send you somewhere, they'll do it - whether you were finished with classes or not. You're young, so chances are, they'll send you whenever and where ever you can. If you go to college first and earn a degree, they may or may not send you off that often. They may find better use for you in the US or Europe depending on your degree. You're college tuition will not be paid this way, however.

Good luck and congrats!
Hi Walt, hey, I'm a former Marine! Man, I went through the same dilemma before I enlisted, except I tried college first and decided that I wasn't ready for that, maybe you're not ready either. Back then my attitude wasn't the best attitude because I just told the recruiter that all I wanted to do was blow up things and kill people. He' didn't have a problem with assisting me with that and then I became a combat engineer, specializing with demolitions, and during my hitch, there were times that I wished I would've went to OCS. Whether you go enlisted or officer, just be careful when looking for the proper type of job (MOS) and find something that will be the most comfortable and rewarding to you with a better attitude than what I had, and make the recruiter break it all down for you so that you know exactly what you're getting yourself into. Sometimes I wish I would've of stayed in for the twenty years, but maybe it was best that I didn't, because right after I was discharged, all that I wanted to do was to go back to college, and that's what I did because I put in funds that the government tripled to that amount for my education there after. In other words, once I got out of the Marines, I was finally ready for college and that was what I did for free. Regardless of whether you get the degree or not before hand, you're still going to need a degree one day or another unless you'd rather be a garbage man for the rest of your life. Good luck with the decision. One more thing, pretty soon a lot of troops will be coming home from Iraq, but you need to believe that we'll still need to keep a few fresh troops there just for the hell of it. You'll be going to Iraq, and then maybe tour around the world too. World tours are cool tool!
Go to college, get your degree and then decide whether the Marines are for you. I'm 24 and wish I would have done that while I had free time, now I have to try to fit school into my work schedule. You're too young to be making these types of decisions, you need to see what the rest of the world has to offer. If you sign up now as infantry, 99% you'll be sent to Iraq. If being in all the action is what you want then that's your decision and good luck, but trust me it's not fun.
Go to college sign up for ROTC. after 4 years of college and ROTC. upon graduating you can become and officer. you would be a PLT/LDR.if you want it.you will thank your parents that you did go to college.so do it"
Well the Marine Corps does have a Reserve Unit that you may enlist in. That way you can get all your initial training out of the way first.

I am not sure how the Marine Reserves work but the Army and Air Force have units in your local area where you train 1 weekend a month 2 weeks in the summer.

If the Marines are like that, you may be able to stay home, go to college, and test drive the Corps.

Once again I don't know much about their Reserve unit, but I am pretty sure you still get educational benefits, VA benefits, and bonuses. If you decide that you don't really like the military life once you join, minus the moments when you go on deployment or training, you are not there 24/7.

You can go to college while a Reservist, you'll receive GI benefits, plus if the pay your whole tuition that would be great as well. I know you said your parents could pay for it but it is great to have extra. GI bill will give you a monthly income while you are in school, the amount is determined by your credits taken and the type of bill you have.

My point to my Rambling is...If you want to try both they why not? You may find out you like school alot and hate the military. You may find out you like the military and hate school. Either way both choices will open plenty of doors for in the future.

Good Luck
OMG don't be stupid... go ROTC, get the military to pay for your entire college tab while earning money in a "reserve" status, do your active duty gig for 6 years, get out and make pretty darn good money!

If you really have an aversion to being an officer, go active duty first, contribute the max to your GI Bill via taking the financial burden (and wasting their money) off your parents, get out and go to college CHEAP! Just because your parents have the money, doesn't mean you should spend it needlessly!
Tell your parents to save their money for retirement instead (even though they are willing to pay for your college education) Enlist after High School, when you finish your contract, The Military will pay for your College Tuition. If this is something you want to do with your life, GO FOR IT! It's your decision, not your parents.
college is good even if you go for a Little bet the credit class it well help you later..
Hi, my husband enlisted in the Air Force out of HS. He waited a yr. to start using his GI Bill and tuition assistance. Going to night school was good for him. He's glad he didn't go right to a 4yr school. He grew up enlisting right away and he took a little time to decide what he wanted to get his degree in. He appreciated and took school more serious because he was paying for it. A down side to doing it that way was it took him 6 yrs to get his degree because of deployments, tdy's and a yr remote to Korea. Not to mention we were married a yr after he joined and our first child early. He always said that he was getting out after he got his bachalors but soon after he decided to go to OTS. Yes, there is some paperwork now and more politics( I say it's like a frat) but money wise as a Staff Sgt. living on base in California he was making about $1600 a month. When he finished OTS we were making that every 2 weeks. Now he is a Capt. and his take home is close to $6000 a month. No one goes into the military to get rich and we aren't by any means but with 2 kids ( and you will have a family someday I assume) and we have just pcsed and bought our second home we are comfortable.
I enlisted at 17. I got out after 4 (honorably).

Got great educational benefits. Got a great thing to put on my resume...Honorble Discharge.

Good luck.
If you are going to make a career of it -- you will STILL need the college credit(s) in order to be competitive for promotion, even in the enlisted ranks.

That si the way things are, nowadays. At the officer level, you are not competitive unless you have a minimum of a
Bachelor's degree, and by Captain (O-3), a Master's.

At the enlisted levels, you either have at least an Associates by E-5, a B.S. by E-7, or, you are not competitive. (That's over and above the various levels of military schools which you will attend.)

Optionally, you can go to college on your own, and join later. If you do -- stay in TOP shape -- neither of the ground forces (Army or Marines) tolerate those who cannot keep up.

Good luck with your decision. I hope you do decide to serve -- it's very worthwhile -- and usually, pretty good fun!

wsulliva
Go to College First,forget about the Military,Join the Peace Corps instead.You don't see the Bush Daughters or Chelsea Clinton in the Military do you?
Your parents should be very proud of your desire to serve and protect those who are unable to do so for themselves. Now to your question: The best officers are those who have served a tour as an enlisted man. I would join the Corps upon graduation and serve my four years in an infantry unit as a Rifleman. At the end of my four years I would go to college using only the money from my parents that I need to supplement my GI Bill payments. While at college, I would join a Reserve Unit and keep active with the ongoing changes in the Corps. Upon graduation from college, I would apply for a Reserve Officers Commission and return to active duty.
This route will serve to mature you, thus allowing you to pass on that maturity to the younger men and women you will someday command.
There is no better place for a boy on the verge of manhood to make that move to becoming a man than the Corps.
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