Military Pay Scale + Questions?

Military Pay Scale + Questions?

This is a discussion on Military Pay Scale + Questions? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; My 12 year old came home today and decided he want's to go into the military, I am fine with that assuming that is what ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    Military Pay Scale + Questions?

    My 12 year old came home today and decided he want's to go into the military, I am fine with that assuming that is what he want's to do.

    My only stipulation is he give me 4 years of college "first" and then go in as an officer. Education is important to me and he is super smart, way smarter than I was in school. He brings home all A's for the most part sometimes a B+ once in a while.

    My questions are, how do I explain the pay scale to him to show the difference of going in as an officer verses enlisted and at what rank or level he will go in.

    I need to know what the difference is between a Warrant Officer and a Commisioned Officer. Is a Warrent Officer 2 years college and Commisioned Officer 4 years? Will you always start at an E-1 W-1 or an O-1 and go up from there or is there things you can do to go in at a higher grade?

    Warrant Officer Pay Grade
    http://www.army.com/money/payrates_warrant_a06.html

    Commisioned Officer Pay Grade
    http://www.army.com/money/payrates_officer_a06.html

    We are using the Army for the example but I would like to hear from other branches too.

    I know he has another 13-14 years before going in but at least I can give him an example of what to expect. This is the very first "career" type talk he has ever talked about before. Any other time I asked him "What do you think you want to be when you grow up" his answer is always I don't know, I'm not sure yet! So I am pretty excited that he has an interest in something so i would like to expand on it the best I can with him.

    Any other advice that you have would also be appreciated!

    I was never in the military myself. I fell into a career right away and was making to much money to think about going in at the time so I don't know the answers to some of the questions he is asking.

    Thanks for any help!


    Ti.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

    I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!


  2. #2
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    Commissioned officers hold a "commission" from the President of the United States. Warrant officers hold a "warrant" from the Secretary of the Army/Navy/Air Force. Enlisted soldiers have enlisted for a term of service and are promoted over time into the non-commissioned officer ranks (E-4 Corporal and above).

    Commissioned officers in most cases hold a four-year college degree, and are expected to pursue further educational opportunities as they advance in rank. Routes to a commission include, but are not limited to, the military academies, College ROTC, Officer Candidate School (OCS) for enlisted soldiers, and the National Guard and Reserves. Some direct commissions are offered for Chaplains, Physicians, and Nurses.

    Warrant officers are technical specialists in the Army (aviation, maintenance, medicine, etc.) who often started as enlisted soldiers and then pursued Warrant Officer candidacy. Many end up earning college and graduate degrees as well.

    Noncommissioned Officers (the corporal and many sergeant ranks) operate along what are called Lines of Authority (at least that is what the Army once called them), and today most (I expect) are also expected to earn college degrees as they are promoted. Noncoms are primarily tasked with troop welfare issues. Commissioned officers operate in the Chain of Command are tasked primarily with tactical command and mission accomplishment ("Mission first--people always!). Warrant officers deal primarily with the tasks in which they possess technical expertise.

    Although a Second Lieutenant (O-1) "outranks" every warrant officer and noncommissioned officer, the young officers with any sense at all learn very quickly to respect and depend upon the noncom's experience in the Army (in some cases longer than the young officer has been alive). As the Sergeant Major of my ROTC unit at college told us off to the side a few days before commissioning, "Gentlemen, soon you will be commissioned as officers in the Army, and you will outrank me. But you would be foolish to ignore the advice of your NCOs who have been in the Army for fifteen or twenty years. Listen to them, then decide what you must do...be in command, but learn from them!" I appreciated and followed his advice, and was very fortunate to work with excellent NCOs the four years I was on active duty. With regard to Warrant Officers, they are essentially regarded as the gurus within their fields of expertise, and very seldom does anyone try to gainsay them within their field. The highest ranking among them are seen as revered figures by most, if not all.

    Good luck to your son, in whichever branch he decides to serve. I did not make a career of it, but I wouldn't trade my four years in the Army for anything else!
    Last edited by falcon1; September 29th, 2006 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Additional information

  3. #3
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    There are no warrant officers in the USAF....perhaps many moons ago, but not in the 17+ years I've been in.

    ...regarding senior NCO's and WO's...even us field grade types listen and depend on them for they are truly the backbone of the military.
    USAF: Loving Our Obscene Amenities Since 1947

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    I decided to go into the military around age 8, on my own, after watching Top Gun – guess everyone wanted to be an F-14 pilot back then. My dad, never serving in the military, gave me the “become an officer, they get paid better and live better than enlisted” chat. I’m glad I didn’t follow his advice and went enlisted (did almost 9 years active in the Marines).

    Don’t bother trying to make him see a better paying job in the military as an officer over an enlisted, it doesn’t work that way. Most who serve in the military didn’t have a clue what they were getting into, or just plain knew what they were getting into and didn’t join for the money – more on that on a little while.

    Also, a note on college education; a good friend of mine served 4 years in the Marines, and with just a High School Diploma, joined the Los Angeles Sheriff Department - never made it into college and he is an excellent LEO. College isn’t the most important thing you need to have a job you love.

    Just to expand on what Falcon and SRFL said:

    As an officer he could end up in command of a small patrol craft – loving what he does - or a supply officer in a warehouse – hating every day of his career. How an officer gets his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is a mystery in most cases, few branches offer a specific job upon taking the oath of office – JAG/Aviation/Medical are the only ones that come to my mind.

    As an enlisted he could be an embassy guard, a rescue swimmer, a scout/sniper, a drill instructor, a computer geek, a musician, a boat driver or one of hundreds of other jobs that officers can’t do. Enlisted personnel get to choose their job for the most part. Also, enlisted have better chances of becoming officers, than an officer becoming an enlisted – and I’ve seen that only once, very rare. Your son could go enlisted to try out the real deal, then go officer if he thinks is better. If he goes in being an officer, 9 out of 10 times he’ll have one chance to switch MOSs within the officer community, and then he is stuck on that job and will not be able to go enlisted ever.

    Officers get promoted a different way than enlisted do - competition is tough, merciless and not always fair. Officers who don’t get promoted get booted out and its good bye for good. Enlisted have a better chance in getting promoted / staying in for 20years (retirement goal for lifers).

    Army Aviation is the only one who I am aware of who lets you be a Warrant Officer straight from the civilian world if you qualify to fly helicopters.

    I truly suggest you let your son experience military life first hand before committing to an enlistment / taking of the oath. Some options are:

    Young Marines – never served with them, but saw them on base while stationed in Camp Lejeune, NC (1995-2001). Always marching and doing PT with some Marines who volunteered their time for the kids. They have a good rifle team that shoots on some postal competitions from what I’ve heard. Their link:

    http://www.youngmarines.com/

    Civil Air Patrol (the official U.S. Air Force Auxiliary) – served with them for about 2 years when I was 12years old ( all the way up to C/Flight Officer). Good program if you are interested in aerospace / being a pilot. Their link:

    http://www.cap.gov/

    U. S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps – served with them from age 14 until I was 17 years old and enlisted in the Marines (rather than becoming an officer) due to the experiences I gained while training with them. Out of all the programs available for kids age 12-18, IMHO it is the best one.

    Cadets are required to go to boot camp – the real Navy one – for two weeks, doing modified training. I did mine in RTC Orlando, Fl in 1993. From there you branch into whatever specialty you like, within the ones offered in the unit you decide to attend (it could be aviation, engineering, SEAL, submarine, weapons, etc.). Every summer you get to go to advance training on real Navy and Coast Guard ships / air stations and do on-the-job training side by side with Navy / Coast Guard personnel. List of some schools / formal training available:

    o AIRMAN TRAINING (BASIC & ADVANCED)
    o AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TRAINING
    o FAA GROUND SCHOOL
    o CULINARY ARTS TRAINING
    o MEDICAL TRAINING (GENERAL, FIELD, SURGICAL & DENTAL TECH)
    o FIREFIGHTING TRAINING
    o PHOTO JOURNALISM TRAINING
    o CEREMONIAL GUARD
    o SUBMARINE SEMINAR
    o MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING
    o CONSTRUCTION BATTALION (SEABEE) TRAINING (BASIC & ADVANCED)
    o MINE WAREFARE OPERATIONS TRAINING
    o MUSIC SCHOOL
    o SEAL TEAM TRAINING
    o EXPLOSIVE ORDNANCE DISPOSAL TRAINING
    o AMPHIBIOUS TRAINING
    o PETTY OFFICER LEADERSHIP ACADEMY
    o MASTER-AT-ARMS TRAINING (MILITARY POLICE/LAW)
    o JUDGE ADVOCATED GENERAL (JAG) TRAINING
    o SAILING SCHOOL
    o SCUBA SCHOOL
    o SEAMANSHIP TRAINING
    o SHIPBOARD TRAINING

    Back in the early 90s when I got to go to a few schools, all I had to pay was $50 for the food I ate during the two weeks of training, the Navy paid the rest (uniforms, equipment, etc.) – ended up becoming a Boatswains Mate (BM3) - no SEAL training back then. Their link:

    http://www.seacadets.org/public/index.htm

    So, if he is serious about the military, have him start in one of those programs, he won’t regret it and have all the tools he’ll need to make an informed decision about enlisting / taking the oath of office when the time comes – if he decides the military is for him at all.

    My 10 cents – sorry for the long post, got carried away with tons of good memories.
    Last edited by cagueits; September 29th, 2006 at 11:30 PM. Reason: Fix typo

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    WOW, thanks for taking the time to post! This is what I need to guide him a bit. The links are great info cagueits! Thanks a lot..........

    Please feel free to put your spin or advice on this too, EX how bout you?


    Ti.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

    I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!

  6. #6
    Member Array Pickpocket's Avatar
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    Why are you placing a stipulation on his desire to join the military?

    Different pay scales aside, we're not there for the money; and the benefits are not simply about base pay.

    Additionally, there are a lot of people who end up going through college after spending a few years in the military who take their lessons-learned and apply them in academia and do exceedingly well. Some even come back to be officers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array tanksoldier's Avatar
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    Don't use the money, benefits or training as reasons to enter the military, take a particular MOS or anything else. No service member of any rank gets paid enough to put up with what they put up with, especially these days, and we have more than enough "soldiers" who only joined up for the college money or whatever. There's a reason it's called "the service"... his wants and desires will NOT come first, or even third.

    Officers have certain preogatives it's true, but the responsibilities of rank far outweigh them.

    Tell your son that IF he joins any branch of the military, he will someday be in a land far a way. He will be cold, wet and tired. There will be somebody shooting at him. He will not have eaten a hot meal in weeks, and anything at all in a day or two. He will be sitting in a hole in the ground, with frozen mud all over himself, trying to keep his hands warm enough to operate his weapon. If he's an officer he will be more hungry than his men, because he will have allowed them to eat first and then missed chow because of a planning meeting. He will be more tired than his men because he woke up early to go to a planning meeting, after staying up late because of a leaders' recon. Even Navy and Airforce types have their bad days.

    He won't like most of the people he works for and with. He very likely will watch some of those people die, or it could be him. Not all leaders in the military are competent, not all servicemembers are honorable warriors. Some are outright thieves and cowards. Tell him that the military isn't like the movies, it isn't John Wayne, it's a deadly serious business.

    The fun stuff, the pay the benefits, the college money are all there. He will make good friends and see and do things few people have. He can consider himself better than 99% of the population who sit at home under his protection.

    BUT above all he MUST realize that the military is the death trade, pure and simple. We kill people and break things... anything else is a distant second.

    IF your son realizes all this and is willing to put it on the line, then we could use him. If not...
    "I am a Soldier. I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight." GEN George S. Patton, Jr.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    +1 to TankSoldier...Most of the sailors, soldiers, airmen and the few Marines who I know who joined for "educational benefits" ended up being dirtbags who expected "Uncle" to change his schedule because "I've got class on <insert day>...so I can't work that shift"....in other words, this whole "military thing" was part time to pay for school.

    While I do encourage my people to get their education, it's after your job is done for the day.

    I serve because I saw military service (for me) as a calling...not a job....I certainly didn't do it for the money. However, since 11 Sep 01, I've found more job satisfaction in seeing the world, meeting interesting people, and killing those who have threatened our freedom and way of life.

    In the last 13 years, I've been deployed for half of that time, much to the chagrin of my wife...either with 1CAV, 10th Mtn, or I MEF

    I applaud you for encouraging your son to go to college first (my oldest is 10, and I'm doing the same)...in doing so, it opens options for him. He may enlist and do all of those great things Cagueits listed in his section--in fact, if I were to do it all over again, I would have done at least one of the above...after his enlistment/before his enlistment is up, he may apply to one of the commissioning programs (OTS/OCS for those with a BA/BS) and then become an officer.

    Don't measure success in the military with $$/paygrades...measure success by the folks he will lead, mentor or train...as an officer or NCO...they will be the ones who will carry the mantle and protect our nation.

    Major, USAF

  9. #9
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    There Are Some Sharp...

    people here...I get a few lessons quite often.
    That's what I like about this forum. There are experts in so many areas in life...
    You guys...and gals (like Betty) really amaze me!

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    A couple of anologies. Officers travel first class and enlisted travel tourist. Officers plan the action, the non-coms get it done. Sort of like I, like officers, make all the big decisions - who will be President, what our National Foreign policy will be etc., My wife, like enlisted, makes all the little decisions - we need a new washer and dryer, THIS is the house we will buy etc. Unfortunately, being single, the load falls solely on my shoulders for all the decisions. A good officer will always consult with and seriously consider the opinions/suggestions of his/her senior Chiefs and Sergeants.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array SammyIamToday's Avatar
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    Just make sure he knows it's not all glory. A good portion of the time in the military will absolutely suck (some branches more than others). You'll be doing stupid jobs that seem to serve no real purpose. Then the rest of the time will be exciting and fun. You'll meet some of the craziest and coolest people in the world that will also take a bullet for you. I have friends from the Marines that I'll never stop talking to or visiting once a year or so. I also met some scumbags that were slithering their way through life. You get all walks of life.

    Overall, if I had to do it again, I would, but it's not all glorious. There's a lot of sweating with no real rewards.

  12. #12
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    Outstanding posts Pickpocket and tanksoldier!

    The military is about serving our country, by ensuring its safety and security. It's about destroying that what needs to be destroyed (whether its people, places or things) to bring about our country's safety and security.

    ....and yes, we USAF types have our days as well.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    I went in as a Boatswains Mate, unhappy because I didn't get the job that I wanted (Electronics). I chipped paint, hung off the side of a ship in just about every kind of weather there is either painting or priming or chipping. That is after waking up and swabbing down the weather decks, cleaning the berthing and head, and standing in quarters (formation). That was a normal morning from about 0600 to 0730.

    That says nothing about the normal watches and daily ships routine.

    I have spent as many days manning a broom or a mop as I have a grinder or paint brush.

    I have been in many ship operations where one minute I was in a hot dry well deck launching AAV's, HUMMV's, and LCU's, the next I was cold and wet swinging boats over the side. I have gone days without shaving or showering. Once in a great while I would get to brush my teeth.

    The only thing I never went without was my coffee. I drank enough coffee in the two years I was in that to this day my sweat still has a little bit of the smell.

    I was in more fights in those two years than I had been in prior and since. We worked hard and played as hard.

    I am a deck ape. Though I haven't been in in nearly 12 years, I still feel as though it were yesterday. I wasn't an NCO, nor was I a WO.

    I wouldn't trade a day of my time in for any ammount of money or trinkets. In fact, if I could convince my wife, I would be right back in doing what I never knew I loved.

  14. #14
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    +1 to Tanksoldier. I most definitely do not do it for the pay (It would take a lot more than what I make to make me be away from my family for up to a year at a time). I grew up in the military, and it's all I have ever wanted to do. I am honored that I am able to serve the country I love, and it will be a sad day when I am not able to do it any longer. I am blessed with a family that loves the military life and the struggles that go along with it (as it can be very difficult at times). Not to mention that I work daily with some of the finest, hardest working men and women you have ever seen.My oldest son has decided he wants to go into the Navy or Air Force, but he doesn't know if he wants to go ROTC or go in as enlisted (He's got a few years to decide).
    If your son does decide to join the military I can guarantee you a few things. On the negative side he will never get rich off of his pay (Officer or Enlisted) and he probably will go in harms way. On the positive side, he will see, do, go, and be responsible for things most people never could imagine. I wish him the best of luck in whatever decision he makes.
    "No man's life, liberty, or property is safe while the Congress is in session."
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the insightful and helpful post's!

    I think I should be clear in that I am not hung up on the money, I know it's not there in military life unless you are high ranked and have been in for many year's and then you can live comfortable.

    I just want him to understand what he is in for and what to expect or not expect. The deal has always been he goes to college. I have heard from many enlisted that if they had to do it again that they would go in as an officer. So it's good to hear others view's on the subject. I have also heard of one's that were enlisted and wanted to go to school that never did and wished they had. Real life these day's and by the time he is a working adult for sure he will HAVE to have an education in order to find a job or the field he want's to pursue.

    The standards are being raised in this country everyday, so preparing him now for what will be a head of him is the smartest thing to do. Also, if he decides the military isn't for him he will have his education (degree) to fall back on. Not many civilian job's for tank drivers, or deck hand's on a carrier, etc. So I want him to be prepared for both civilian and military life and in that whichever he chooses he has the tool's to excel in either field.

    My sister wanted to be a teacher like my dad was, she became one and couldn't survive on the money so she actually had to find (what I would call) a much less important job to support herself. That is pretty sad when you have 2 masters degrees and can't make a living teaching and doing what you love. She didn't do it for the money either, but when it's either survive or don't, one must survive.

    Like I said I just want him to take everything into consideration so he can make an honest educated choice.


    Ti.
    Train and train hard, you might not get a second chance to make a first impression!

    I vote for Monica Lewinsky's Ex-Boyfriend's Wife for President.....Not!

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