Guide to Rational Living, Albert Ellis (Sp?) Its an oldie. It, and similar can help you a great deal.
Originally Posted by Bobwayne17
There are variations on this title from the same authors; New Guide to Rational Living. Probably can find them in a used book store for a couple of bucks.
While this book is aimed at folks who suffer from anxiety disorders, the principles he discusses are applicable to everyone.
AND--- seriously: Try to take a course on Shakespeare if you have room for such an elective. It can be a tough slog but few authors know the human condition the way he did; or portray it as well. There are plays that will help you as an officer if you learn the lessons. There are plays that will help you with other aspects of your life if you learn the lessons. There are plays about horrific violence and violation and horrific retribution; his poem "Rape of the Lock" has some interesting lessons.
Make yourself into a scholar. An officer, a gentleman, and a scholar. Everything else will follow.
Use that intellect G-d gave you well. (Actually, I think you already are doing just that. That's why you are here. And I think you pretty much knew what everyone was going to tell you before you got here--- you just wanted it all validated.)
To take a slightly different approach, does your ROTC unit have a mentoring program in place? Since you are 19 I will guess you are in your first or second year of college. I know some ROTC programs have mentoring programs where the upperclassmen are paired up with underclassmen. If so, have you talked to your mentor about this?
Have you informed your chain of command about this, or talked to your OIC/NCOIC informally?
It sounds like the people you are worried about are blow-hards. Generally someone that poses a real threat acts it out, and doesn't go about puffing themselves up on facebook and with a lot of talk. There are exceptions to that, but, that is my general impression in life (Including working as a bouncer in college, and 4 years in the Marine Infantry). If someone talks instead of acts, generally all they ever do is talk. For further insight on that, refer to my signature below.
As a side note, back when I was 18, I went to college, with the intention of doing Marine NROTC, and just chose a major because I thought it was interesting, I chose history, with a minor in criminology. Short version of the story is I couldn't do NROTC all the way until commissioning, graduated with a BA in history, and then enlisted (don't ask why instead of going to OCS), in the Marines, as an infantryman. Now through a lot of hard work and a share of luck, I have an entry level job with a major financial company, that I got shortly after getting out. However, I could be making a lot more money if I had majored in something that both interests me and is marketable. Criminal justice or criminology degrees don't do much, except limit your possible career choices after college. Go take a PD exam, and you will meet 100 guys with a CJ degree, who have been working as mall cops for three years, trying to get a job with a department.
You will have the security based experience from your military service, if you want to go into some sort of law enforcement after the military. If you want to change your major, do it, and choose something that shows your depth as a learned person. Personally, I wish I had studied accounting, or finance, or marketing during college, as there is a good chance my Masters will be in one of those. But don't cubby-hole yourself into a one-dimensional picture. Be more than just a "brute" (no offense meant to any of my fellow brutes, nor CJ majors, because I'm sure you guys may agree).
Every plan needs a backup plan. He is aiming for a military career and more power to him if he achieves it. Beyond that,
since he is smart (we've talked off board) I think a broad liberal arts program would actually help him in a military career-- if he truly intends and is able to stick with one. After that, a minor in a technical field such as accounting, finance, an area of engineering. The thing is, you can't study everything, most college education is not job training, and even when it is-- computer science for example-- markets shift and change. We had a boom here at one time that caused tons of kids to study petroleum engineering. In a few years the wells went dry. So too the jobs for petroleum engineers. I know a young man who is a mechanical engineer. He is basically a salesman for a large oil field service equipment company.
No one knows the future, but it will frequently be different from what is planned-- as noted by buckeye above.
I know my life would have been very different and my circumstances considerably dire had I not by accident been in a certain place when someone called the individual I was visiting looking for an employee. Sheer luck.
With that said, I like that our OP has a plan for himself. He'll never know if he doesn't give it a try.
More suggested reading: Free on Kindle "The Flinch" And it is on the topic of "going for it."
I remember being really stupid when I was a teenager. Glad I straightened that out. At 22 I am still an idiot, but not like before.
I engaged in many of the shenanigans listed. Just being a punk. Not fights or anything in high school, but plenty of bad decisions. My time in a holding cell had charges with it.
Thankfully I decided it was time for a change. It is certainly weird trying to grow up a little more at 17. Had to do plenty of stuff I didn't like. New friends, new activities, new places. Worst was new attitudes, and ideals. I wanted the change though. A few years later all is well.
If you want to change things you can, but it takes some time.
Heh, I actually agree with you, that may be a first for this board. But I still think CJ is too limited a degree for most people, and something broad is better. Like I said above, I was a history major, who was a grunt, and is now in the financial sector. Something like history shows that you have the ability to intake a large amount of information, and then intelligently cut it down to the important parts, so that someone else can understand without reading a 500 page book. And it generally shows a high level of memorization skills. Although college level history was a lot more about recognizing trends and generating theories about why, as opposed to memorization of dates and places.
Originally Posted by Hopyard
English lends itself to writing, reading comprehension, and things of that nature. The key is learning what skills you gain in life, and how to market them to make your own success (I darn sure didn't get my current job because of how awesome a pointman I was in country, or how well I could pull a trigger).
But, having a plan and a good head puts him above most of his peers. OP, just remember to stay "Semper Gumby" as we said in the Corps (always flexible).
Thanks a lot for everything guys!
Originally Posted by buckeye .45
Sorry I've been so busy, Finals week is not very much fun :(. I haven't gotten a mentor yet because you actually get a mentor when you're a junior, because I'll do LTC/Basic this summer and then contract if that's the road for me. I may end up doing what you did though, enlisting after I graduate with a degree. The marines has always been something I wanted to do because that's a step up with discipline and what not, but there is no version of ROTC for the marines around here :(.
Thanks again, I have a lot of reading to catch up on Hopyard :)
My Bachelors degree was Crim Justice...and did AFROTC...I concur with Buckeye--CJ is a limiting degree. For me, it was a means to an end--a commission. Frankly, unless you are a Dr, lawyer, or engineer, the military really doesn't care what area of study for your BA/BS. The bean counters at Human Resources Command have their thoughts, but when it comes down to it, it's what your MOS/AFSC is, and what additional training beyond your basic school you can get, and how well you perform.
My Masters was in Organizational Leadership (an MBA without the math)...and I use the advanced lessons learned from the military and civilian industry every day.
At this point, I'd tell the OP to keep his nose clean and don't self-eliminate through bad decisions--yours or someone else's. You don't get extra points for winning the fight--the best fight you can win is the one you don't get into.
OP--PM me if you want to discuss off-line.
you sound incredibly just like I did when I was 19. (I am 28 now) I could write a ten page paper full of advice but things dont sink in as well on paper compaed to experiencing them on your own. That being said, I can offer some points to ponder:
"If you don't want a haircut, stay the heck out of the barbersop" That motto has saved my bacon more times than i'd care to admit. dont go into places you know are likely to temp you, or put you in a position to do something you dont want to. If something doesnt feel right about where you are, leave immediatley. dont frequent plces where your enemies ae likely to hang out. While you may think you are strong enough to withstand any temptation, its just better to stay away entirely. If you could get into serious trouble carrying weapons, just dont. If you sense a dangerous situation or that a fight could develop, LEAVE. There is no cowardice in this. Its the nature of survival. Fighting is only to be used when you have no other option. Any good self defense class will preach this.
Youve had some bad experiences and have accepted the fact that your attitude and your choices have brought you those consequences. Now you have the right attitude and a direction to follow. Dont get into the mindset that your issues are fixed. It can bring you a false sense of confidence and let some old habits slip back in. Its been a very long 9 years since I got into trouble and I stll have to keep some things about my nature in check. I had a choice to go to prison, or participate in a 6 month intensive confinement program designed to be similar to a boot camp environment. While that program gave me the tools i needed to succeed, I didnt walk out those gates completely rehabilitated. I had to face some very ugly truths about myself and tackle he issues one by one. It takes time to completely change.
My advice for weapons of self defense would be a good folding knife (makes a useful tool as well), a good pair of running shoes, a flashlight, pepper spray. The most valuable tool you can bring with you is a sharp mind. Keeping aware of your suroundings and staying away from potentially dangerous situations will save your life and avoid a career damaging altercation.
Depends on your extent of your past... I dont think age should be a factor... Im 18 and I have my CCW permit. All depends on your level of maturity(think thats how you spell it xD). When I applied for mine they didnt deny me one because of my age, I got mine three days later, thats just how MT works I dont know about your state. Look at your state laws, if you meet the critera and you understand the responsibility of carrying a concealed gun, I dont see a problem. Also look into knives, spray etc...
Montana is extremely unusual on the age issue, if not unique. That issue aside, he can't have a gun till he is 21 where he presently resides. Besides, a gun is a lousy SD tool except when everything else has failed and your life is really in danger.
Originally Posted by guardmt
A folder is a deadly weapon. It means if he gets in a fight and uses it he faces much greater legal risk and longer jail time than if he put on his running shoes, used a fist, or used pepper, or better yet used the good brain G-d gave him to stay out of the situation in the first place. He needs to learn to live his life in a way that will keep him from needing those tools. And I think he understands that part very well.
I want everyone who participates here to know that I've been exchanging some private messages with our OP and I am impressed by him. I truly believe that he knows and understands what he needs to do and not do, and what his path is.
Generally speaking, I wouldn't recommend the get a degree an enlist route. Quality of life as an officer is far superior. But, if you have any questions you want to ask offline, go ahead and PM me.
Originally Posted by Bobwayne17
For now get a LARGE SIZE OC Spray and a bright high lumen flashlight with a disorienting and blinding strobe feature.
That should help you out greatly when you are walking at night.
The strobe is a really important feature for disorienting, and the flashlight can if needed be used as a kubaton.
Originally Posted by QKShooter
Welcome to the forum.
Originally Posted by Bobwayne17
There is a guy on another forum that a couple of years ago was almost exactly where you are today. He joined the miltary, spent almost a year in Afghanistan, returned home a few months ago and now seems to be doing great.
I suggest you visit "TheFirearmsForum.com" and lookup Coreyacp. I'm sure he would be of great help to you and offer you some good insite & encouragement. Just like here, you'll also find a very great group of people there that can offer you some wonderful wisdom as well.
The best gear is your brain. Use it, or you will be sorry.
You do not have problems which requir the use of a weapon...
Use your head.