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Joining the Armed Forces (Canadian)

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So, due to some unforeseen circumstances, and some stuff that happened this weekend... I've sunk to a very low point in my life.

I basically lost my apartment, girlfriend, and best friend over the course of the past 72 hours.

Having trouble finding employment (despite me bragging about finally getting a job, which i had to blow off because of what had happened) is not making anything any easier.

I've been seriously debating joining the Canadian Armed Forces.

Basically, I'm just asking for opinions of people who have joined up, for what reasons, and your experiences (regardless if you're from Canada or some other country).

Basically, I'm not looking at it from the "patriotic" point of view. This is how I see it...

Me:
- unemployed (have been since July 2009)
- single
- no home
- in a lot of debt

Reasons that are beneficial to me:
- $32000/year salary to start (during basic training, and as a Private upon graduating)
- full health/dental/eye benefits
- paid vacation every year
- pension
- paid education (if i choose to turn this into a career), where you also get paid while attending school
- a chance to re-build/discover myself (team work, dedication, ambition, etc)
- if i don't like it, I'm out in 3 years

I mean yeah, doing the patriotic thing is great and all, but I'm not concerned about it.

I'm at a very desperate point in my life, and I'm feeling that this would be the answer. Not to mention I loved drill when I was in air cadets, and I love how military hierarchy works and whatnot. Tactics and strategies and all that too.. Not to mention it'd fill that gap for my obsession over firearms (cleaning, assembling/disassembling, shooting).

And to put the kabosh on things, the physical aspect will force me to get into shape and become healthier.

These are the main reasons I'm considering it, but I'm still unsure.

It's just the more I'm reading/researching about it, the more I find myself wanting to join. I have absolutely nothing to lose at this point in my life.

But yeah, I just wanna hear some opinions of people who have enlisted.
 

dtravis7


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So sorry to hear all the bad news. I know nothing about the Canadian Army so someone else can hopefully give you info on that.

Just wanted to say though, hang in there and I hope everything turns around for you. Keep us posted if you would. You have some friends here at Mac Forums who do care.
 
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I'm praying here... whatever happens, good luck!
 
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Aa a former United States Marine , I say do yourself and your country some good and join up.

But good luck no matter what you decide
Clay
 

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I'm sorry to hear about all the bad that has come of late. Hope it turns around for you.

Have you considered RMC? I only ask because I know you want to go back to school as well. From what I've heard the programs are good albeit tailored to the military. I think you get military training and education at the same time which would kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Also worth noting from their page is the following: "If you are a current High School Graduate, Current High School Student, College Graduate, Current College student or University Student and are interested in pursuing a rewarding career as an officer in the Canadian Forces you may be able to complete your undergraduate degree at no or little cost to you through the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) or the Reserve Entry Training Plan (RETP)."

One question to ask to is this: would you be willing to go to Afghanistan if you were told to? There's a possibility you could be shipped out if you join.
 

pigoo3

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So, due to some unforeseen circumstances, and some stuff that happened this weekend... I've sunk to a very low point in my life.

I basically lost my apartment, girlfriend, and best friend over the course of the past 72 hours.

Having trouble finding employment (despite me bragging about finally getting a job, which i had to blow off because of what had happened) is not making anything any easier.

I've been seriously debating joining the Canadian Armed Forces.

Sorry to hear about all of the bad news you have experienced. As far as joining the military...it is not uncommon for many many folks to do this...especially during unfavorable economic times (include me in this)...or when personal hardships occur.

If the Canadian military is similar to the US military...only three of the items you listed are TRUE positives:

1. The educational benefits.
2. The pension (if you put in 20+ years)
3. Gives you time to think about where you want to go with your life.

On the negative side:

1. If the Canadian military is like the US military...3 years can be a very long time if you don't like it or can't deal with it! It's just like a prison sentence (that's why sometimes some convicted criminals used to be given the option of going to prison or serving in the military)...in the sense that once you sign up...you can't just quit the military like you can a job at McDonald's!:(
2. You could come home in a pine box!!!

Give joining the military a very long hard thought! Joining the military in some ways can be like trading one disagreeable situation for another one.

Looking back on it...I have never regretted the 6 years I spend in the military. But let me tell you...many times while I was serving those 6 years...I didn't want to be there!!!;)

Good luck with your decision,

- Nick
 
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So sorry to hear all the bad news. I know nothing about the Canadian Army so someone else can hopefully give you info on that.

Just wanted to say though, hang in there and I hope everything turns around for you. Keep us posted if you would. You have some friends here at Mac Forums who do care.

I really appreciate this. It's nice to know I have people I can talk to, regardless of distance, or the fact I've never met you guys in real life.

I'm praying here... whatever happens, good luck!

Thanks Jamie! <3

I'm sorry to hear about all the bad that has come of late. Hope it turns around for you.

Have you considered RMC? I only ask because I know you want to go back to school as well. From what I've heard the programs are good albeit tailored to the military. I think you get military training and education at the same time which would kill two birds with one stone so to speak. Also worth noting from their page is the following: "If you are a current High School Graduate, Current High School Student, College Graduate, Current College student or University Student and are interested in pursuing a rewarding career as an officer in the Canadian Forces you may be able to complete your undergraduate degree at no or little cost to you through the Regular Officer Training Plan (ROTP) or the Reserve Entry Training Plan (RETP)."

One question to ask to is this: would you be willing to go to Afghanistan if you were told to? There's a possibility you could be shipped out if you join.

In short, I've only heard about RMC, never really checked into it.

If I had to be deployed, yes, I would go. I would actually prefer this.

Sorry to hear about all of the bad news you have experienced. As far as joining the military...it is not uncommon for many many folks to do this...especially during unfavorable economic times (include me in this)...or when personal hardships occur.

If the Canadian military is similar to the US military...only three of the items you listed are TRUE positives:

1. The educational benefits.
2. The pension (if you put in 20+ years)
3. Gives you time to think about where you want to go with your life.

On the negative side:

1. If the Canadian military is like the US military...3 years can be a very long time if you don't like it or can't deal with it! It's just like a prison sentence (that's why sometimes some convicted criminals used to be given the option of going to prison or serving in the military)...in the sense that once you sign up...you can't just quit the military like you can a job at McDonald's!:(
2. You could come home in a pine box!!!

Give joining the military a very long hard thought! Joining the military in some ways can be like trading one disagreeable situation for another one.

Looking back on it...I have never regretted the 6 years I spend in the military. But let me tell you...many times while I was serving those 6 years...I didn't want to be there!!!;)

Good luck with your decision,

- Nick

I can understand how if I hate it, it's going to be a long 3 years, but at least I have a solid job and an income. Not to mention the medical benefits would really help right now. I need new glasses and my wisdom teeth yanked out of my face badly.

I mean, my dad put 33 years in, so I spent half my life (thus far) on a military base. I'm used to moving around a lot too, so that doesn't bug me. I'm pretty familiar with military life as well..

This is just a huge decision, and like I said, I'm so desperate right now. I mean, I was finally taking ownership for my "mess ups" that I've made, and was getting things sorted out so I could get my life back on track and take care of my debt problems.

Then, I basically lost everything this weekend. I have to sell what I have left of my hard-earned musical gear, my PS3, EVERYTHING, except the clothes on my back, and my laptop (which I need for communication purposes).

My cell phone and internet service had been cut off too.

I'm just so frustrated. I finally get one step ahead/back on track, and then BAM! I take 7000 steps back.

I appreciate your guys' comments and concern, I know it's more genuine than most people I know right now.. I've just never felt so helpless and desperate in my life. To be honest, I'm not afraid to die. I've accepted death. We all die at some point. If it's overseas from an AK round, so be it. And I'm not just saying that because of the situation I'm in either...

/sigh lol
 

vansmith

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Give joining the military a very long hard thought! Joining the military in some ways can be like trading one disagreeable situation for another one.
I'm going to have to agree. I know things are desperate and there is absolutely no way I can understand what you're going through but the military is a huge commitment especially if you're doing it the way you are (last resort and an escape from your current conditions). I'm not saying joining is bad but personally, the military is something you join because you want to, not because you feel you have to. There is a big difference there and it's important to consider it given the commitment you have to make.

Also, am I the only one who hasn't thought of or actually been in the military? lol.
 
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See, that's the thing.. I've been thinking about it on and off for months now.. But recently, I've actually been WANTING to enlist. And like I said, the more I'm researching it, the more it's making me want to.
 
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Military service is an earned privilege and a huge commitment. I think you are wise in thinking it through and asking for input. Service is something you will carry with you to your grave. To many, it is a calling much like Priesthood. And remember, living is much harder than dying. Best wishes and keep your head up.

"I've been up and I've been down, and I'll be both places again..."
Lou Holtz
 
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XJ-Linux +1 on The Gadsden Flag !
 
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See, that's the thing.. I've been thinking about it on and off for months now.. But recently, I've actually been WANTING to enlist. And like I said, the more I'm researching it, the more it's making me want to.

It sounds like you have already made up your mind. I did 10 years in the USN and have never regretted it a day since I joined. I've been out longer than I was in but that 10 years set me up on the road of my life and forced me to confront things about myself that many people spend their whole life avoiding. I'm a better person for it. Just like anything else, the military is all what you make of it so go with an open mind and a good attitude towards whatever comes your way.

No mater what though, GOOD LUCK!
 
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I am in the US Army and think it is great. One thing people always go on about is how you could die in war. True that you can, but at the same time, you could die driving or walking down the street this week or some other accident.
Right now in the US Army, we are filled with new recruits due to the economy.
The Air Force and Marines had stopped taking people for a while there. Most join for the benefits. I you do join and like it, make it a career and become an officer.

The military are paying for my computer science degree and my minor in physics. We get are housing all paid for us ( whether on or off base ), money for food and many other benefits. Plus I got other great benefits that i wont go into here. I am active service. My Grandfather was a LT.COL in the Army, so i had alot of inside info and tips about how it all really works and what to expect. I thought long and hard for many months on the issue of joining. I think if your going through a tough time, you may see no way out now, but it will come someday. The military is a huge choice. Just make sure you really want it deep down. Many people end up in misery and stuck.

You mention debt. I do not know about the Canadian military, but in the US military, you can be declined for major debt. They dont want collection agencies chasing people through the military. Most jobs require a security clearance and they do a credit check. If you lie about your debt, your declined and if you have enough debt your declined. The Army look at it like this, if you cant handle your bills now ( in view of all people, not judging you ) then how will you cope with paying bills through boot camp and AIT. You wont have access to anything in BCT. We get to write letters and that is it in our BCT. While I am away on all my things, my wife takes care of all bills. So keep that in mind. Plus if you have any criminal records or poor medical history so forth, you need waivers. It is actually tougher to join the Army than most people think.

There are many benefits but at the same time, do you think you could cope sitting for hours in Afghan just keeping watch. Running in 130 degrees in full combats for hours on end. The fact that you may die in war. I am sure you have thought about all that. Some people sadly do not. It is physically tough and more mentally tough than anything.

Here is the best question I was ever asked.

It is not if the Army is right for you , are you right for the Army?.

Though if you do, go for a job you can actually see yourself doing for your time in it. Do not settle for something you dont want.
 
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After a lifetime in the Australian Armed Forces and Police Force what you are considering is a great move. New friends, new skills, new environment is just what you need by the sound of things. Give which branch of the services very careful consideration and go for it!

Remember services life is based on discipline and promotion through merit. Basic training can be pretty tough with instructors seemingly out to break you and thin out some of the weeds.

If you decide to join, get 100% fit prior to entry with road running and weights and do not be one of those heaving up on the side of the parade ground!
 
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I double the get super fit part.

Going into Basic training, you want to be able to run a 7 minute mile upwards and be able to run 5 miles straight. Aim for 60 push ups in 2 minutes and at least 85 sit ups. Some people do go into BCT in terrible shape and fail to make the minimum standards.

Go special forces :)
 
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hey if you read my post that I posted on neonmac's thread you'll understand my situation. To be honest I went into the Army thinking about all the wrong in my life that I wanted to make right. I didn't have anything back then, I was real depressed about it so I walked into a recruiters office in San Francisco and joined. I signed up for Recon, I didn't make anything near 32K my first 2 years. I may have made it in Iraq. I was married then, my wife was pregnant when I went to Iraq back in March '03. I came back to the US the next March and I was divorced. She took my son with her. I became an alcoholic. In no way is any of this a lie.

Oh yeah forgot to mention I received a Army Commendation for almost dying in July '03. I was ambushed in Balad Ruz, Iraq by the growing insurgency. To make a long story short, that event led me to attempt suicide when I got back to Ft. Hood, Tx. The Army claims the attempted suicide never happened. But the event is in my medical records. They claim the event didn't happen either but they are stupid because they awarded a medal to me for it. I hope you make the decision from your heart because you alone are going to have to live with everything you do in the military. Even when no one will ever understand anything you say.

** oh yeah it's not only 3 years. you'll be forced to do more if the government chooses. you sign your life away to be a piece of walking property.
 
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chas_m

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I've not served in the military myself apart from a little time on a Canadian Naval ship (long story), and I'm not sure your reasons are the best ones to give the military a go, but you DO sound like you like the structure of military life, and could probably use some about now, plus the inevitable change of scene ...

It certainly will change your life, that much I can guarantee you. It will affect the things you do for many years after your service, perhaps the rest of your life. So its a good idea to sit back and think about it.

Canada needs good, dependable people to serve in its military, they're not just a nursery for bored losers (not saying that's what you are). I've been really impressed with the quality of the Canadian military people I've met, so if you're ready for both a commitment and a change, if you think you can really serve with distinction and give it your best, if you think you can pull your weight and help your colleagues serve with honour, then yes you should seriously look into it.
 
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One thing life in the military will bring you is ' structure ' and stability.
Right now this is what you might need .... get the basics in order and then start thinking on where you want to go to.
Nobody is going to do it for you, you need to do this yourself, but there are friends out there who will help.... no doubt about that.
All the best man.

Cheers ... McBie
 
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Well ill put a downer on things here.
I went into the Aust Military 100% fit. Came out with a 95% disability and im still trying to get compo (through the right streams) 15yrs later.
It isnt for everyone.
Yes you get great training
Yes you meet a lot of new friends
Yes you get all the benifits
AND YES its a crock IMO

I learnt to become a Man from the day i joined at 17 yrs young.
I learnt respect and how to do a job to the best of your ability.
But from the day i put in my discharge i was treated with contempt for the Military and my so called friends. I would think carefully before you sign that dotted line. After my experience im not even going to mention the Armed forces to my 7yr old son. If he brings it up and wants to join, when he is old enough, i wont stop him. But honestly mate they in no uncertain terms @#$ed me up big time. I hate what they have done to me and still what im trying to get out of them. HATE is a strong word and there isnt many places i would use the word. but i will and always will when it comes to them.
Yea HOUNOR, CORPS, GOD, COUNTRY is the biggest lot of brainwash i have ever seen. They do and will use you as a pawn for the greater good, but then toss you in the trash when the time comes and it suits them.
Sorry to all those that love all with there Military and country, but thats your opinion and this is mine so dont go dissing me because of what i believe in.
Be careful and choose wisely my friend as this is your life you are dealing with and when you sign that line..

YOUR LIFE ISNT YOURS ANYMORE....

You have been warned

Cheers
 

bobtomay

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I have removed all the off-topic posts and the responses. This is not a political thread and will not be turned into one.
 

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