Re-enlist or LEO? Decisions, decisions...

Re-enlist or LEO? Decisions, decisions...

This is a discussion on Re-enlist or LEO? Decisions, decisions... within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; It's about that time...I'm about to hit my 4 year mark, and I'll have a year to decide if I want to re-enlist or pursue ...

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Thread: Re-enlist or LEO? Decisions, decisions...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Re-enlist or LEO? Decisions, decisions...

    It's about that time...I'm about to hit my 4 year mark, and I'll have a year to decide if I want to re-enlist or pursue a career in law enforcement. I'm torn, and seek input.

    Currently, I'm CH-53E aircrew. I like my job. I've been to Iraq twice and will be going again. And again, and again...if I re-up. I'll be getting married soon, and while she is fine with me deploying, I'd rather not be deploying over and over again AND trying to start a family. I've never been in trouble, I could easily turn this into a career and retire, and it's plausible for me to re-up.

    I don't like deploying constantly...3 doesn't bother me, but after that I think I'd like to spend some time at home. I don't like not being able to choose where I work. California is the only place I would ever choose to be stationed, but I can't carry, and this bothers me. I also can't have my AR-15 here without spending more cash on registering it, and then the gov't knows I own it too.

    So, not everything is a plus for re-enlisting. Ever since I was a little kid, I've wanted to be a Marine, a LEO, a firefighter, or FBI. I've done one...and I still want to be all the rest :p

    I really, really want to pursue a career in law enforcement. Everything about the job appeals to me (that I know of). I would get to contribute to society, it's not a typical "desk job", and there is plenty of comradarie. Unfortunately, I don't know the first thing about what I would need to do to get this job, when to apply (do I do it while I'm still in?), what to expect, etc. Does it pay retirement like the military does? What benefits does it provide?

    The only thing people say to me when I say I want to join LE is "You'll have to start at the bottom all over again. You'll be a boot!" That doesn't bother me too much.

    Anyway, if some LEO's could PM me or just post here about their experiences, or answers to some of my questions, that would be awesome. It's a big decision for me to make, and I don't want to make the choice either way without being informed on both choices.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.


  2. #2
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    I moved your thread to this area of DC since you'll get better and more serious answers here than in Humor & O.T.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

  3. #3
    Member Array Final Option's Avatar
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    I was in the same situation. Only I was in 10 years. Cost me my first marriage (never being home). I got out and went into LE 29 years ago. I haven't regretted a minute of it. For that matter I don't regret my service time either. Yes you will have to start over but trust me its not that bad. PM me and I'll tell you how to get started and things to consider before deciding.

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    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Starting over after 4, 5, or 6 years isn't a thing to worry about at all. I'm 16 years AD and looking at what to do afterwards, and LE is right up there. the benifits are not the same, but if that is what you really want then DO IT!

    There are questions in my career.....should I have gotten out and done______?
    ....but there are NO regrets. I did what was right for me. You know what to you gotta do, now go get started doing it!
    "Just getting a concealed carry permit means you haven't commited a crime yet. CCP holders commit crimes." Daniel Vice, senior attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quoted on Fox & Friends, 8 Jul, 2008

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    To me, you answered it when you said, "I don't like deploying constantly." I've heard it said (and it's true) that if you do two tours, you start thinking "I'm almost halfway there and one enlistment turns into another."

    Definitely look into what you need to do while you're still in. Talk to your education office. I think they will pay for you to get a certification. I don't know if CLEET would apply. (Talk to an LEO about this. There may be a better cert available.) You're doing the right thing by talking to folks--the earlier the better.

    You didn't say if you're a flight engineer or a gunner. If you're an FE you might look at getting your A&P ticket. (Although, I'm not sure how much wrenching you do.) I know that's not your first choice, but if you're qualified, get the documentation. That way you have something to fall back on if you need it.

    Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

    Cheers,
    Herk
    I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen

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    First, have a plan B. LEO jobs are not like getting a job at McD's... it takes months or even years to get a good LEO job. You need to be able to earn a living while you are going through this stage.
    Contrary to popular belief, people coming out of the military dont always have a leg up, and they are not a shoe in. Military will help, but its not a golden ticket.
    I would decide where you want to live, and look real hard at the pay in that area vs. cost of living. Some areas of the country they pay LEO's peanuts, and other areas are paid very well. Dont fall into the trap of settling for the largest departments or who offers you a badge first. You need to choose where you need to go.
    I'm on our departments hiring panel, I see lots of people mess a lot of things up that cost them a career before they even begin.
    Once you do that, I'll PM you a "map" how to get you foot in the door.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  7. #7
    88m
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    If you got the GI bill first thing I would do is use it. Go back to school and get a degree. Might not look like it now but down the road that little peace of paper can come in very handy.

    that's just my .2 cents worth of advice and something I found out the hard way.
    “The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail... the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation.” Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Education first is also my reccommendation. Both L.E. and military have high divorce rates.
    Les Baer 45
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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88m View Post
    If you got the GI bill first thing I would do is use it. Go back to school and get a degree. Might not look like it now but down the road that little peace of paper can come in very handy.

    that's just my .2 cents worth of advice and something I found out the hard way.

    1) Great advice...can be very competitive for LEO jobs and higher education is a plus. And the harder it is getting with a family in tow.

    2) I think you answered your own questions with your desires...bottomline...hope you do not think "coulda, woulda, shoulda" later in life.

    Rick

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    Quote Originally Posted by 88m View Post
    If you got the GI bill first thing I would do is use it. Go back to school and get a degree. Might not look like it now but down the road that little peace of paper can come in very handy.

    that's just my .2 cents worth of advice and something I found out the hard way.
    Just a little add on, find out which school has the best reputation for the subject you want to major in, and go there if you can.

    I got my first civilian job plus more than I thought I could get in salary just on the reputation of the university and it's academic program.
    Rick

    EOD - Initial success or total failure

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Except for the family situation, I'd suggest doing your 20, stay in shape, THEN go the LEO route. Double retirement before you're 60 years old, plus benefits. Wish I would have done it! Ended up divorced anyway...
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  12. #12
    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    Look at it this way: The Corps will take you back virtually any time you get ready. And there is more to life than the Corps [Did I really just say that?]. Do what you feel like you want to do.
    The preceding post may contain sarcasm; it's just better that way. However, it is still intended with construction and with the Love of my L-rd Y'shua.

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  13. #13
    Member Array top_gizmo's Avatar
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    Lat move to MPs? I would stay in and get your degree. The GIBILL is great and all but you cant beat going to school while in the Marines and when you leave the Corps being finished. Take it from me, I'm 44, in school using the GIBILL. The family benefits in the Corps is outstanding.
    Semper Fi!

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    Senior Member Array CEW58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Once you do that, I'll PM you a "map" how to get you foot in the door.
    I have a son in the same situation. He's currently serving in the military but will be getting out this April. He's also interested in going to school then becoming a LEO. Could you also PM that "map" to me as well?
    The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. ~ Albert Einstein

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array Sergeant Mac's Avatar
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    I ETS'd from the Army after 8 years for similar reasons, and with the same goal in mind.

    It took me over a year and a half to get hired on with my current agency.

    ....and I had 4 years as an MP, 3 years of college (but no degree), and had been working private security during that 1.5 year gap.

    Then again, there were a LOT more applicants for every LE job then than there are now.

    I guess what I'm saying is, don't expect it to be easy. ESPECIALLY don't expect to waltz your way in to the DREAM job in the DREAM department in your DREAM location.

    My advice for military folks transitioning to the civilian job market is this:

    Either pick the place you want to live, and be willing to take whatever satisfactory job you can find there...

    ...or pick the job you want to do, and be willing to live in whatever satisfactory place it can be found in.

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