Author Topic: Is US military a good job for supporting family?  (Read 466 times)

Offline Daniel

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Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« on: December 31, 2019, 06:12:00 AM »
Does anyone have much experience when it comes to American military?

I am pretty clueless, (I don't even really understand the distinction between Army, Air Force, Navy, etc.,) but I looked into it and see that I'm not too old to join some of them, and I'm wondering how this could play out with regard to me having a family.

First off, does it pay well? Anyone know what the salary is like?

Second, how long does employment last?
If it's only short-term, then how would I support my family after my term is finished? I take it I would need to find a different career once I'm done? (If so, I guess this isn't what I'm looking for...)
If it's long-term, then how do I go about having a family? Don't soldiers need to live with the other soldiers, and go overseas and stuff? Seems there's no time or opportunity to be married until you're terminated. (That's the impression I get, anyway.)

I'm also wondering... if my eyesight isn't perfect, and if I physically can't lift a whole lot of weight, and if I have some stuff on my medical record and criminal record, what are the chances that they'll even let me join? Are they highly selective?
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 06:14:52 AM by Daniel »
 
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Offline Gardener

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 09:36:50 AM »
Daniel, I’ll be happy to answer more later. I spent 6 years in the Army and did a stint on recruiting duty (not my choice).

I will answer in the thread, but for your particular situation might have some questions you’d feel more comfortable answering in a PM.

As for base salary, if you go enlisted and have a 4 year degree, you would go in as an e4 in the Army. Base salaries (same across all branches) here:

https://www.militaryrates.com/military-pay-charts-e1_e5_2019

Since you assuredly would have a 4 year degree when enlisted you would start out at 2194/mo.

If married, that doesn’t include housing and food allowance, nor any special duty pay (airborne, etc.).

Will answer more later.
 
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Offline christulsa

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 11:47:33 AM »
Yes, many men do while serving their country!  If you think you'd make a good soldier or officer, I would suggest talking to a recruiter.  I did Civil Air Patrol in high school, and learned a lot from the recruiters.   If you make base pay of say 25k/yr + housing/food, you're already middle class.  Then when you get out, get a civil servant job like the post office.  My dad supported our family, mom at home, as a postman for 40 years, with a very comfortable lifestyle (1800 sqf house, Catholic schools, health insurance, ate out, $ for sports/scouts/hobbies/my sister's art and dance classes/etc)   Adjusting for inflation per 2020, he made 45-50k/yr.    They married late so didn't have a "large family" but could have tightened their belt for more kids if married earlier.  i.e. less luxuries. 

(but if you love teaching, and want more $, consider getting a Masters and teaching at a community college or university.  you don't need to make high 5 figures to support a family.  follow your passion + what is also pragmatic at the same time)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 11:51:33 AM by christulsa »
 

Offline Gardener

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 12:02:06 PM »
Gratuitous financial assertions without numbers backing them up are worth as much as tits on a bull. Anyone with debt in the middle class is poor.

There are other factors than simply “living frugally”, and everyone’s situation is vastly different.
 
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Offline christulsa

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2019, 12:20:41 PM »
First off, does it pay well? Anyone know what the salary is like?

Consider your housing and food pay for a family.  Outside the military, a family-size domicile can run 1000+/mo.   Food 750+/mo.   1750/mo x 12 = 21,000/yr.   Therefore, your base pay + family allowance places you above poverty in at least "lower middle class."  Not to mention the family allowance for standard medical insurance, easily 5-10k/yr value.  With income-driven repayment, your student loan payment would be minimal.  Plenty of military family men in those same circumstances.  But an actual recruiter can break down the #s of whichever branch you are interested in joining.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2019, 12:24:02 PM by christulsa »
 

Offline christulsa

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2019, 06:38:19 PM »
Gratuitous financial assertions without numbers backing them up are worth as much as tits on a bull. Anyone with debt in the middle class is poor.

There are other factors than simply “living frugally”, and everyone’s situation is vastly different.

The whole question depends on your definition of “poverty,”  Curley.   ;)  :cheeseheadbeer:
 
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Online Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2019, 09:36:54 PM »
You can also look into local and state government office work.  There should be many soul-crushing options for work there.  But at the end of the day you need to provide for your family, no matter how dull the labor.

My good friend spent years attempting to get into the marines as a pilot (excellent physical strength, 4 year degree, great character) but there, at least for that part of the armed services, were simply too many applicants.  He eventually ended up doing legal work for the state government after getting a J.D.  Once into the government system there are often ways to move up.

You can also consider border patrol, there is presumably lots of demand there.

Totally unrelated but if you want to drive trucks for mining work I've heard that is high salary (presumably indicating few want to do it). Open pit miners in remote parts of Australia get paid very well.  Maybe same for remote parts of Cali / Nevada.  Also drilling work for exploration companies (taking mineral samples).  I think a lot of capital will move into non-energy natural resources companies as they've been in the downturn of the commodities cycle for a decade.
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2020, 05:12:14 PM »
With regard to the military, I personally don't think I'd be good at it. I'm not seriously considering it at the moment, but I asked about it since it is in the back of my mind and it's something that I'm drawn towards.

Though, if I do attempt to join the military then I'm going to be facing all sorts of backlash from my parents who are liberals (I live in my father's apartment, so anything job-related can't be kept secret for long). I wouldn't mind the backlash, except for the fact that joining the military is far from my first job choice anyway.

But my biggest concern would be the practicality of joining the military when it comes to having a family. Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how exactly can you be married if you're in the military? How does that even work? Is my wife just waiting around until my contract expires and I'm released, or whatever?

A similar concern is whether me joining the military is going to lead anywhere. Even if it pays a decent amount, I don't want to work in the military for a few years only to be back at square one once my employment ends. I simply don't have time to waste on short-term jobs. I want an actual career that will last me my lifetime or at least several decades. Does working in the military open doors to other, long-term government-related employment, or is it basically just something that's going to occupy my time for a time but not really lead anywhere?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2020, 05:45:57 PM by Daniel »
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2020, 05:32:23 PM »
With regard to other jobs, I tried applying to the USPS a while back, to work as a mailman, but they didn't hire me. Though that was before I had considered getting married. In hindsight, I don't think it would work anyway; the pay is probably much too low. (Though I haven't really looked into the numbers.)

Ideally I'd like to work for the NSA, but I don't have the right education for that, and I can't afford any more degrees. (I'm in a huge amount of debt from my two Bachelor's degrees, and I'm no longer eligible for financial aid, so I couldn't go further into debt even if I wanted to. Plus, I'm getting old and don't have another 4+ years of my life to waste.)


(but if you love teaching, and want more $, consider getting a Masters and teaching at a community college or university.  you don't need to make high 5 figures to support a family.  follow your passion + what is also pragmatic at the same time)

Well as I mentioned in another thread, teaching would be my dream job (ideally I'd be teaching children at a traditional Catholic school, though I'd probably also enjoy teaching at the college level). But I still don't think it's practical, financially. I'll need to look into the numbers more I guess. Such jobs are hard to find anyway, though.
(I can't afford a Master's degree, though I might have a shot at finding a job at one of the colleges I graduated from. I believe the trick there is to try and bypass the school's hiring process by speaking to the department head directly. So I did that, and he told me that there might be an adjunct position opening up soon. Though whenever I e-mail him, he keeps blowing me off. Not sure whether he's just not reading his e-mail, or if he's hoping I'll forget. But I guess I'll contact him once again as the semester nears. [ edit - What a coincidence, I just now received an e-mail from him!])


I might just have to settle for a job in the private sector. Supposedly software developers get paid a lot, and supposedly there are lots of jobs for software developers, so maybe I'll just go through one of those trendy 'coding bootcamps' and become a software developer. I have next to no interest in software development, but I am a team player who is good with object-oriented programming, and I do have a degree in game development which is (distantly) related to software development. Seems like it could work.


Yet I keep the military in the back of my mind, so feel free to continue the discussion, if anyone has anything else to say.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 11:29:58 AM by Daniel »
 

Online Davis Blank - EG

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Re: Is US military a good job for supporting family?
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2020, 10:33:47 PM »
Daniel, you are the king of analysis paralysis.  I am of similar personality as you so I know what that is like.  You just need to get out there and do something and as you start doing it you will find pathways and opportunities open up.  When on the outside everything looks impossible, but once you start doing something, anything, you will start to see the world open up.  No one wants to hire the unemployed man - every boss wants to snipe off a currently employed person.  Point is to get any sort of job (other than grocery bagger) and then magically you'll see that you've become more attractive to employers whom you actually want to work for.

There are no careers in the modern economy that are for life unless you are a professional (lawyer, doctor, accountant, professor) - and you aren't, so don't dream about that.  You gotta hustle and take opportunities as they come, and no you cannot plan it out as the future is unknown and you never know when something random and great will come by.

Because of your extreme penchant for over analysis any such intellectual job for you would be a nightmare (for you and your boss).  I was that way until the last ~8 years of life beat that out of me with a big stick and I've adjusted my ways.  I also found that I am far better suited to following orders than making the big business decisions - I bet you are too.  But assuming you don't have that time to learn that hard and long lesson anymore then perhaps not consider working with your hands.  Again I note that haul truck drivers in open pit mines get paid well (60k in Nevada) and you'd be living in a low cost locale.  The upwards opportunities are obvious for anyone who is a reliable worker - haul driver, lower management, upper management.

https://www.indeed.com/q-Mine-Truck-l-Nevada-jobs.html?vjk=8f1d27071159bba4

First one on the list is Barrick (one of the best and biggest mining companies in the world) looking to pay good money to drive haul trucks.  Basically no requirements other than that you need to be a reliable worker.  No one wants to do that work because the modern economy thinks mining is beneath them, as if all of this stuff magically appears from no where.  You can be out of your parents' house and building a life if you start calling those companies and get yourself a good manly job.  What's not awesome about driving a 300 ton truck that is bigger than a mansion?
 
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