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Why did you decide to leave the military before retirement?


RV_

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I use a great info source focused on individual opinions, some positive some negative but all get into the topics with honesty, and well thought out answers. I read all they way down the first page and realized this is a very good thread and resource to share with my fellow vets, career or not.

http://www.quora.com/Why-did-you-decide-to-leave-the-military-before-retirement

 

 

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The views of the posters appeared frank and honest. Some admitting they could not adjust to military life, some felt unchallenged, some just bored.

I saw some of all that during my 6 years as first sergeant. My company XO was having marital problems, he asked me what I would do. I just told him he had to decide which was more important to him, his career or his wife. He resigned the next week. BN Cdr really chewed me out for that one. FWIW, I did tell the LT I was faced with the same decision and I chose career.

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Interesting.

 

I got out because I had infant twins and both dh and I were active duty officers... and it just. wasn't. working. I was essentially the weekend babysitter to my own children.

 

We were told by the personnel office that because we were both officers, our chances of being assigned to the same duty station after the rank of O-4 was next to none. We decided that in order to save our marriage and raise our kids with both parents, one of us would have to jump ship. Since dh already had time invested as an enlisted member, I chose to get out. We now have been married for 20 years and have had six kids together. I think it was a wise choice for us. However, I often do wonder what my military career would have been like if I hadn't sacrificed it for the good of the family. Not to toot my own horn, but I was on the fast track to having a stellar career. But I'll never know how it could have been.

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I left after one term to go to college. But my military time and training wasn't wasted, I returned to work for the DoD in the same field. For those who know the difference ;) I was a civilian employee, not a contractor.Retired with 30 years combined service.

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I left after one term to go to college. But my military time and training wasn't wasted, I returned to work for the DoD in the same field. For those who know the difference ;) I was a civilian employee, not a contractor.Retired with 30 years combined service.

 

AprilWhine

 

I mean no disrespect but I have to ask. . . what is wrong with serving as a military contractor??

 

I was active duty Air Force for 10 years and the reason I left was to finish college and pursue a different direction in life. Spent 13 more years in an Air Guard unit and retired. Then spent 5 years as a military contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Jim

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  • 2 months later...

 

AprilWhine

 

I mean no disrespect but I have to ask. . . what is wrong with serving as a military contractor??

 

I was active duty Air Force for 10 years and the reason I left was to finish college and pursue a different direction in life. Spent 13 more years in an Air Guard unit and retired. Then spent 5 years as a military contractor in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Jim

 

I was checking another thread and noticed I had not answered your question.

 

Nothing wrong with being a contractor, it's just different. I like both purple and blue but I wouldn't say the sky is purple.

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When I was young I used to race motorcycles. I thought I was invincible. Though I had witnessed several bad crashed (and went to the hospital a couple times myself) I never really thought much about the risk to my life. Until one day a friend of mine fell in front of me, and the whole pack, including myself, used him for traction. Suddenly a light bulb went off in my head and I saw myself laying on the ground covered head to toe in blood in his place and had the realization that I had tempted fate long enough.

 

After 9 years in the Army that light bulb went off in my head again, and I came to the same realization, so I quit. I lost my nerve. I have no idea why it happens to some and not others, but I just had an unshakable feeling that If I stayed in much longer my time would be up, and I wouldn't be typing this here today. I know military service is different for all people, but for me it was never a "career choice" (though I did make it to O-3 before I got out - I had my command and I was done) It was all about personal sacrifice, duty and service to my men. I had absolutely no aspirations about what I could get out of it (other than survival) which I accomplished. B)

 

I don't want recognition, nor anything else for my service. I just want to put it behind me and be left alone with the guilt that I cheated death while so many others didn't.

 

Chip

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My service time stretched between the end of Viet Nam and just before the first Gulf War. I got out after 12 years of active duty / active reserve service. Everyone told me I was crazy to not stay for 20, but I just could not take it anymore. The two largest problems for me was that the Army treated everybody at the lowest common denominator, ie., as an idiot. I was once told that training was geared for someone with a 3rd grade education. Secondly, even though I had a 95B MOS (Military Police), and I had joined an MP reserve unit, ALL the training was pure 11B (Infantry). I simply had enough of running through the woods and digging foxholes in the Florida heat. I hope my experience was the exception to the norm and that things are better now.

 

Safe Travels...

 

Edit: After posting my comments, I went back and read the article the RV linked to. I think my experiences were not so unique after all. :(

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I chose to go into the service because growing up on a farm that hardly provided enough income to keep our family, I didn't see much future staying there and after reading National Geographic Magazine for years I figured that there must be a better way to live and a way to see some thing more than the small community that I grew up in. I figured that the Army and Air Force both had bases near to where I grew up so that let them out and so chose the Navy, and their recruiter did a good job of selling me on nuclear power training.(over sold actually) I joined with the idea that I might well make the Navy a career, just as an uncle was doing.

 

I liked my job and considered it to be one that was important to our society and way of life, particularly with my service time falling in the height of the cold war and early Viet Nam era. The career was going pretty well and we had enough activity to prevent serious boredom but then family issues became problematic for me. International tensions were high and submarines were part of the strategy of the time so we spent a lot of time at sea, so my son's were growing up with too little involvement on my part, in my view but the submarine culture is something that is unique and that becomes a part of you such that I really didn't think that I'd ever be happy if I moved to some other part of the military, so somewhat reluctantly I left after 8 years of service to begin a new career that would allow me to be deeply involved in my son's lives and to be home nearly every night. While I did miss the submarine crew culture, my only regret is that I didn't locate the submarine reserve group that was pretty near where we settled and so put in my last 12 years or so to complete a career. As I look back on the 55 years it has been since I went in, the reserve component is the only part that I would change if I were able. Thanks to the internet and groups like Sub Vets, I have managed to keep a bit of the brotherhood feelings from those days.

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Interesting honest sharing. Heads-up - the military is in the beginning of one of their biggest cut backs. Young men and women that had decided to make the military a career are being released with NO RETIREMENT. No choice of staying longer. Ranking officers are being put out of the service. Perhaps within a few years that will be a major regret for our country as we try to rebuilt a very depleted military. Thanks to all for your service!

 

Safe Travels!

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I joined the Navy for the purpose of getting the GI bill to go to college. Besides getting the GI bill the service gave me the chance to mature a little after high school, something I needed. Yes I did menial tasks, sometime meaningless tasks, but worked my up to PO3 before leaving. I was qualified to test for PO4 but whose not to. . Besides, as a low level PO3 signalman on a destroyer I had a pretty easy time of it.

My biggest complaint about military service is not my time I spent but rather that today's vets do not get as good as benefits, especially educational benefits, as I did many years ago. I consider my relatively short time in service as a blessing and I so admire those that make a career of it.

My hats off to those who spend more than there initial contract in the service to our country.

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Joined the AF in 1962, got out after 8yrs. because after being in 'Nam from '64 to '66 I was sent to Andrews AFB in '66. I had just re-enlisted and then found out that because of my career field I was stuck there for 4yrs. I never wanted to stay anywhere for 4yrs. I even volunteered to go back to 'Nam, but they wouldn't let me go. The bad thing was I was one of the few that WANTED to be transferred every couple years. And after your 4yrs. was up at Andrews, they'd send you somewhere for a 1yr. tour, then pull you back for another 4yrs. So that's why I got out in '70. I even talked with the reenlistment office about it. They said even though they wanted me to re-up, they're hands were tied as far as me being stationed somewhere else. I was a stone cold lifer up til that time. But as it happens it all worked out for the best in the long run.

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