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Discussion Starter #1
Hopefully, in the next couple of years, I'll win a green card in the diversity lottery and be able to move to the U.S.

Ever since I was young, I dreamed of moving to the U.S. and joining a police force, because where I'm from (Australia) is a limp wristed, left wing, bleeding heart country that is continuing to erode its citizen's rights.

When I do eventually get to the U.S., I'd like to repay my adopted country by serving in the armed forces.

Who can tell me the pros and cons with each service, and what sort of job would be best for an aspiring LEO to apply for?
 

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Disko: Very admirable! There will be no shortage of opinions, or nice friendly debate to learn from here. I really have no opinion, having had no personal experience, but there are plenty of folks here that have honorably served.
 

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Disko,

As an Army officer, I am a little biased on my branch recommendation.:smile: If I had to do it all over again, I would also look at the US Coast Guard - seems like it would be a pretty great job. I love boats, and pretty much any CG assignment would be on or near the water. This would be a great chance to do law enforcement, and probably be an easy transition to another service in the Dept of Homeland Security if you were so inclined.

One of my soldiers gained his citizenship after his family fled Vietnam in the late stages of the war. He was older than the average recruit, in his 30s, and fairly well-off financially. He took an enormous pay cut to join the Army for a 4 year hitch to "pay back" his new country. Really an amazing guy whom I enjoyed serving with immensely.

I think that it is admirable that you are considering this route. Feel free to PM me and I can put you in touch with a good recruiter.
 

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Well, I won't tell you not to join any of them. I feel that any service to country is as honorable as honorable can be. I did 8 years in the Marine Corps. As a whole, I believe that the Marine Corps has more pride in itself. The change is forever, is not only a recruiting slogan, it's gospel. I may be 105 years old and rolling around in a wheelchair. , but I will always be a Marine Sergeant.

Now, my opinions on the other branches. The Navy basically offers what they call travel. That equates to being in remote parts of the planet for months at a time. If you have or plan to have a family while you serve, this may not be a wise choice. With our current obligations in the Middle East, any branch may provide this same form of 'travel'.

The Army provides more options for duty stations in other countries as does the Air Force. This is one drawback of the Marine Corps. There are three basic choices of duty for the MC: East Coast, West Coast, Japan.

The Air Force seems to provide the best "quality of life" for their troops. Nicer billeting, faster promotions(lower ranks), etc.

There are more factors to consider and each branch has benifits the others may not. If I were you, I'd take my time and do alot of research. Pick as many brains as possible. One hint, don't get your information face to face from a recruiter if you're not strong willed. They are very crafty salesman and they will hook you in before you may be ready.

I applaud your future decision and wish you the best.
 

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Disko, like Duckhunter I am a former Army officer and a little biased. Also like him I think if I had it to do over I might join a different service. Although I was Armor and love tanks I think maybe I would give serious consideration to the Navy. I really don't have a particular reason for that. I have met quite a number of Navy personnel and Navy veterans and for some reason in talking to them feel like I missed something.

That said I loved the Army and tanks. When I was in tanks burned a high grade diesel fuel that has a distinct smell. It is sweet smelling. Big buses burn the same grade fuel and often tour buses come to our college campus. If I am anywhere near one I just sort of start walking toward it and 15 minutes later you will find me still standing behind it smelling that sweet high grade diesel fumes. It gets in the blood and never gets out.

Anyway when you get here talk to active duty personnel, not just recruiters. Recruiters are good people, but their job is to recruit. Investigate the various services and decide on the one that offers you the greatest amount of what you want in a military service. The US armed forces are the greatest in the world, and each has unique opportunities to offer you.
 

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The more I look at it, the more I'd be drawn to applying to become a Security Forces Apprentice in the Air Force. My family has a tradition with the RAAF, so I could continue that with the USAF. That or the Marines.

I like to think I'm an intelligent sort of person (went to a selective entry government secondary school, got my state certificate of education, now in second year of a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice), and I'd be restricted to enlisted jobs only, as I won't be a U.S. citizen when I apply. Any ideas what roles I should go for?
 

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Which Service?

A soldier, a sailor, a marine, a coasty, and an airman were having a debate over which was the best service, and to settle the issue, they decided to ask God. God sent the following:

"All services are honorable and I hold them all in my hands. My children serve in all of them.
Signed: God USAF (Ret)" :biggrin2:

I'm retired Air Force and obviously biased, but that being said, I agree with Jarhead ... the Marines have an esprit de corps that's unmatched by anyone else. Well, except for maybe a few flying outfits. I've known a lot of Marines it's in every last one of them.

Your decision should be the one that is right for you and I think you've made it. Congratulations and good luck with the lottery. As good as this country is, we could use a lot more like you over here.
 

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Having served with both the Army and the Air Force in special operations, I agree with what has been said so far.

The Air Force does offer better housing, chow and over all living conditions than any other branch of service.

As for the USMC's esprit de corps, they do have plenty of it, however, so does any special operations branch you go into.

What ever you decide, welcome to the USA. We will be proud to call you a citizen.
 

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I served in the Navy and Air Force.

The Navy was great for the traveling and being single, the Air Force was great for the family life being married ect.

I made rank quick in the Navy, but real slow in Air Force.

In the Navy I went all over the world in four years, in the Air Force got stuck in one place for 11 years.

Always wanted to go Coast Guard to get the best of both worlds.
 

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If you are looking for LE experience I think these days I'd recommend the Air Force or Coast Guard first, with the Army for backup.

(Me, retired Army)
 

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Uscg

the Coast Guard traces its military roots to the August 4, 1790, establishment of the Revenue Cutter Service by Alexander Hamilton under the Treasury Department. It is this date that is celebrated as the Coast Guard's birthday.
 

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Ex Air Force officer here. I agree with everybody else, any branch of service is outstanding.
Don't give up on the commission. There are ways to move from the enlisted to the officer ranks. It just takes a bit more work.
 

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disko,

I am presently a career Police Officer and veteran of the Coast Guard. If you are interested in a Law Enforcement career the Coast Guard will give you more experience in the field then any other service. My primary duty was search & rescue. My secondary duty was Law Enforcement dealing with everything thing from drug smugglers to international fisheries laws. The Coast Guard has deployed to major US conflicts around the world and still takes a major role in securing our coasts. We where always a tiny service (about 36,000 during my hitch) and had a special place as we not only trained, but actually used that training each day.

http://www.uscg.mil/USCG.shtm
 

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I am a retired USN Senior Chief so I too have a bias toward the Naval Service, NAVY or MARINE CORPS. Howver I concurr with just about all the advice and comments I have read here. I would also recommend doing a web search on each of the 5 services. They will all pump you with propaganda to entice recruits, but you will get a good feel for the branches. If I am not mistaken, service in our Armed Forces will give you an advantage should you decide to become a citizen, I know it used to.
 

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1+ on the Air Force. Served 21 years and the retirement check keeps paying for my house payments plus..Also trained me in a skill that has continued to keep food on my table.
 

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HOOAH! Go ARMY.

That said, you will do well to join any of the branches of our armed forces. It was a decision I made and have never regreted. Each of the branches has good and some better benefits. I salute you in your willingness to make a personal sacrfice and join any of the armed forces. Good Luck!
 

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I enjoyed my 15 years in the US Army, however if I had it to do over I'd be a Coastie.... Air Force as second choice.
 

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I agree with all.....Jarhead says it good. I did 22 yrs USN, primarily Naval Aviation....surveillance, patrol, and such, but spent plenty time haze gray and underway too. Absolutely loved every day of it. You need to figure out what you want to do and downselect the Service that offers that best opportunity and just go do it. Although I agree, and I think every other Service vet has stated so, the Air Force has traditionally been more "creature comfort" oriented than the others, I would not consider that a "factor" though. After all, its gotta be the job that you will enjoy doing. My hat's off to all who Serve or Want to Serve!:smile:
 

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If you're looking to be trained in a high tech field (computers, aviation, etc.) then I'd say USAF or USN. These two branches have more options for those type of jobs. They also have many more duty stations worldwide.

If instead you want boots on the ground experience where the training could lend itself to further that type of career (think local, state or federal LE). If you want to carry weapons, jump out of perfectly good airplanes, I'd say USMC, US ARMY.

Having a college degree expands your possibilities for all branches. Getting into the intelligence field in any branch would provide you plenty of jobs on the outside from now to kingdom come, since the world has changed dramatically since 9/11.

My son in Iraq is currently doing counter intel work on the ground .. and although it's a bit intense NOW.. the rewards will come later.

As said by many before me... pick one. You really can't go wrong. But I would say this: Choose wisely, as being able to cross train into a different job field later might be difficult.
 
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