I have made the decision now I need a plan to execute.
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  1. #1

    I have made the decision now I need a plan to execute.

    Good Evening everyone!

    My name is John and over the last couple of months my wife and I have talked about me joining the military. Back when we first met I was wanting to join the army and had lost 35lbs in just under 3 months and was almost at my target weight. However, my wife has never cared for the idea so I decided to continue with college. I'm sorry for the amount of back story I'm about to give you all.

    As I started to come towards the end of my associate degree I started to realize that I might have picked the wrong school. I talked to my parents about it but they were unable to take over my car payment and my rent if I quit school. I was a work/study at the school so if I was no longer a student I was no longer employed there. After graduating and moving into my bachelors degree I knew I was in trouble. No one was getting hired from my graduating class, including the valedictorian, so I knew I had to get out. As soon as my wife and I were married I quit and moved in with her parents. I've been laid off 3 times in the past year and my daughter was born on September 11th of this year.

    So about two or three months ago my wife brought up me enlisting again. This time around it has proven to be more difficult. I am $68,000 in debt from student loans, My car was repossessed a few weeks ago and my credit is in the tank. It's all my fault for being young and dumb and not knowing what to research when it came to higher education. I have zero chance of going back to school. I've tried and my debt is just too high. I spoke with an army recruiter and he said my debt would be an issue when it came to a security clearance but I should still be able to get in.

    The Marine Corps really didn't come into my head until someone mentioned it to me. Of course my father has always spoken highly of the Marine Corps because he is a Marine (graduated MCRD San Diego '69.) So I started thinking about it and I kept telling myself no I should just stick with the army and not make this any harder than it needs to be. Low and behold the more I told myself that the more I considered it. I caught myself calling Marine Corps cadence in my head when I ran. I told myself for weeks I don't want to do that but I ended up speaking with a recruiter anyway because something deep inside wants to put myself through the abuse. Can't really say why but I want to be a Marine.

    So I speak with a Marine recruiter the other day and he says my DEP in weight is 209lbs. I'm currently 223lbs. I've gained a lot of the weight I lost back but 15lbs is a cake walk. The Marine recruiter gave me a diet plan called 18lbs in 4 days. Said he tried it and it worked. Has anyone else heard of this diet plan or tried it? I've always been told that it's never a good Idea to lose more than 5 or so pounds a week. I mean I'm up for doing it but I don't want to do more harm than good to my body.

    I did not get a chance to talk to him about my debt as he seemed like he was kind of letting me know I need to get my weight down before they can do anything with me anyway, which I can understand. He did invite me to come PT with the poolees on Tuesday. I told him I'd be there.

    So that's my story. I don't know that I will be posting too much around here. Mainly just reading and soaking up information.

  2. #2
    First off, your debt is not a problem for a security clearance. The only thing that matters for a security clearance is how honest you are so don't bull sh#t and make up stories. Second, don't enlist for the money. Enlist because you want to be a Marine. If weight is a problem for you then I wouldn't suggest the Marine Corps. If you are motivated and can keep your weight down, then go for it and good luck.

  3. #3
    Thanks for clearing that up Majeco! I was worried about that security clearance. I wonder why the army told me it was an issue. I would assume the requirements for a security clearance would be the same for everyone.

    I'm not just enlisting for the money. Yes the job stability would be nice but I can get that from any branch of the military. I want to be a Marine for a lot of my own reasons.

    Weight is easily kept off with proper motivation. If I DEP in I will make it.

  4. #4
    debt is only an issue for your security clearance if 1) it's bad debt - as in you don't pay it off on schedule, 2) if it's ridiculously big (as in many times what you stand to make in a year), and/or 3) is demonstratably irresponsible.

  5. #5
    Well see I haven't been able to pay anything on my student loans because I haven't been working long enough to be able to pay them anything. I didn't know it but most of my loans are private loans so I cannot put them into deference and for some reason every time I request deference on my federal loans the paper work never shows up. I'm trying to work out something with them though. I'm hoping it wont affect anything. I want to do something in aviation which I would assume could require a high security clearance depending on the job. I am going to talk to the recruiter more about it in detail when I go for PT Tuesday.

  6. #6
    Are you going to a community college?

    Student loans shouldn't be a problem, unless you are spending $80,000 on an associates degree.

  7. #7
    Nearly all the jobs in the air wing don't require anything higher than a secret clearance and those are ridiculously easy to get. There are millions of people in the country with a secret, hundreds of thousands with a top secret. The reason debt might be an issue with a top secret clearance is partly the appearance of irresponsibility but also the possibility that you'd be susceptible to bribery. They will check your credit for a secret clearance but it's not going to matter nearly as much as the criminal record.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by 03Mike View Post
    Are you going to a community college?

    Student loans shouldn't be a problem, unless you are spending $80,000 on an associates degree.
    Actually I got suckered into one of those for profit schools that charge a stupid amount of money for an associates degree. There where a lot of false promises that I was given but in the end I was in a hurray to do something with my life and didn't do the proper research.

  9. #9
    Yeah, that sucks...

    How much do you owe on student loans? Which school?

  10. #10
    As of the last time I talked to them I was $68,000 in the whole and already $2000 behind on payments since july.

    I went to ITT Tech. Didn't learn anything that could get me employed from the degree itself but I learned a good bit from work/study as a computer technician. The economy just isn't providing for a computer tech. Computers are almost cheaper to replace than to repair these days.

    Kinda off topic but the recruiter also told me that I only have to pick one job these days and I'll most likely get it. Have things changed recently from picking 3?

  11. #11
    Wow... $68k for ITT - that's highway robbery.

    Best you can do is make the best of it now. Start by seeing if you can consolidate your loans - and start paying them down, even if it's only a hundred a month. Don't let yourself get any further behind. Call your lender and work out a payment plan that'll work. You have to show good faith on the loan.

    Shouldn't be an issue for enlisting, and the "good faith" bit will go a long way to helping when the security clearance comes up.

    Good luck

  12. #12
    holy frak a doodle, you dropped 68 grand on a "degree" from a fake school like ITT?

    you got ripped off, ninja. you didn't learn anything because ITT is a diploma mill. there are plenty of jobs for computer techs out there, but you'll do better keeping ITT off your resume and claiming relevant experience in the field. learn some perl, java and python, lisp if you want to look old school and start hacking around linux and bsd, make sure you have a decent understanding of windows admin crap because it'll always play in, buy yourself a cheap cisco or addtran and start teaching yourself the nitty gritty of networking

    Oh and get some basic comptia certs. Net+ and Security+, the latter of which is now required for government IT contracting. There's jobs out there, the IT industry is always growing. If you're still enlisting, take what 03Mike said into consideration. Don't just let those debts stagnate on your credit report, make some kind of effort toward paying them off.

  13. #13
    Yeah I got ripped off hard at ITT but not much I can do but press on. I've talked to the lender and I've told them my situation. I only make about $200 a month right now and I have to get a lot of help from family.

    Problemwith my IT expierience is I. Don't know enough about any particular area. I know windows but not enough about server and the advaced networking. As far as just repairing and troubleshooting a computer I'm really good. I could probably pass the A+ test but its expensive. I plan on getting them while I'm in the Marines. I know the Marines aren't going to be my answer to life but I think I'll be a better person in the end.

    My wife is still a little nervous about me going in but she loves me and wants to support me. Its just a lot for her to take in I think. Might send her over to the spouses forum to do some reading.

  14. #14
    Sorry double post

  15. #15
    to be successful and useful in the IT industry you have to have a general knowledge of most aspects but you can choose one in particular to focus on. hardware, software, networking, programming, database management, security, etc. whatever you're interested in, focus on that.

    the comptia tests can be expensive but there are ways to get discounted vouchers, the only limitation is that they're only good for a couple weeks after purchase instead of a year like the full price vouchers

    if you're good with the troubleshooting and repair, start putting local ads out on craigslist or other sources offering your services. just make sure to remember that if you support someone's machine, they'll expect you to support it in the future even if they specifically ignore your recommendations and break the damn thing on their own

    If the Marine Corps can help you, then go for it.

    also, losing 18 pounds in four days is dangerous. don't do it

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