10/14/17

I'm pretty new to the forum and have been using it as a very useful informational supplement to my post-USMC career. I have been Pm'ed by several guys about flying/military in the short time I've been on the forum. I was also surprised to see how many of the young guys/girls were considering the military as a path to a top MBA or how many would do a stint in the military if they could do it again.

My story is that I am a relatively low GPA (3.2) from a top 20 state school (business major concentration in finance, history minor). I did a summer audit internship after my junior year and was bored out of my mind. I got a little scared at the prospects of waking up as a bored regretful 45 year old accountant so I secured a flight contract in the Marine Corps.

After OCS I went to TBS and then infantry officer training. I then went to flight school in Pensacola, selected EA6B Prowlers, trained in Whidbey Island Washington, and was stationed at Cherry Point, NC. I've done deployments to Afghanistan, Qatar, Korea, and Japan. I've also flown pretty much everywhere in the U.S., worked with lots of allied nation air forces as well as pretty much every tactical aircraft in the U.S. inventory. I also briefly worked as an officer recruiter so I have a pretty decent perspective on guys trying to get selected to an officer program. I've had collateral jobs as a logistics officer and operations officer. In total I spent 9 years and 2 months in the Marine Corps.

I used those experiences to overcome a very average GMAT and a weak effort in undergrad. I'm starting at a target school this fall for my MBA 95% paid for by GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon plus a monthly housing stipend. While my future career path is far from decided, I do have a solid perspective on a path to an MBA that a lot of the 19-25 year old demographic have considered. So, with all of that said, ask me anything.

[*Update*] I have now finished school and I work in Asset Management.

Comments (84)

5/13/15

That's a very interesting backstory, thanks for sharing. As a current Army officer, let me say I think it's pretty sick that you went through infantry training before flight school.

I am applying to MBA programs this fall, so I'm most interested in that part of your story. Mind sharing what that average GMAT was, and your post-MBA goal that you stated in your applications?

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

5/13/15
CF1988:

That's a very interesting backstory, thanks for sharing. As a current Army officer, let me say I think it's pretty sick that you went through infantry training before flight school.

I am applying to MBA programs this fall, so I'm most interested in that part of your story. Mind sharing what that average GMAT was, and your post-MBA goal that you stated in your applications?

IOC is hands down the best school in the Marine Corps. I was offered the opportunity to attend at the end of TBS. I initially did not want to do it, but several of my friends challenged my manhood and shamed me into going. I am extremely thankful for their urging, because it was a great experience.

I was a 670 GMAT, but I also know of veterans with lower GMAT's still get into target schools. My experience is that schools are more flexible with test scores for veterans. There needs to be other aspects of your application to offset a lower score, but for vets I know it can be done. (Think undergrad major, additional math courses after college, technical job in the military, or even letters of recommendation directly speaking to your high level of intelligence).

To be clear, it is no secret that your application post-MBA goal does not actually have to be what you do post MBA. However, you need to fully commit to that goal prior to your interview and have a knowledge level of that goal comparable to someone who does actually plan to do that post-MBA. This is so that you don't sound ridiculous during your interview and it also allows you to address why you specifically need an MBA from this school for your short and long term career goals. My goal was entrepreneurship, to work in operations at an aerospace startup, grow that business, and then use that experience to move into COO type positions of larger and larger companies. Things have changed since making that goal and now it does not seem as valid of a goal as it did a year ago. For this reason I am looking at other careers post-MBA.

In your case, I can't stress enough the importance of reaching out to the veterans clubs of the schools you are applying to. Most of those clubs have the stated goal of assisting veterans trying to get into their school. I would recommend working with a student vet, most likely from your same MOS/unit/service/undergrad at your target school to proofread your essays, conduct mock admissions interviews, help with your resume, and give you an insiders view of the culture of the school. Also, try to attend some veterans weekends. I had an extremely positive experience at my school's vets weekend.

5/13/15
flewbye:

<

blockquote class="quote-msg quote-nest-1 odd">

"CF1988" wrote:

I was a 670 GMAT, but I also know of veterans with lower GMAT's still get into target schools. My experience is that schools are more flexible with test scores for veterans. There needs to be other aspects of your application to offset a lower score, but for vets I know it can be done. (Think undergrad major, additional math courses after college, technical job in the military, or even letters of recommendation directly speaking to your high level of intelligence)

I agree. I got into a PhD program for economics with a low GRE score. I believe being a veteran, air traffic controller, now working in a technical field ('data scientist') along with an academic publication in a reasonably tiered finance journal helped helped overcome the low GRE score. The professor who offered me a spot this fall stated that maturity along with experience can helped overcome low test scores.


"I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."
-- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

5/13/15

thanks for doing this! ps my mom lives in Anacortes (~20 min from Whidbey Island), nice area

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

5/13/15
AndyLouis:

thanks for doing this! ps my mom lives in Anacortes (~20 min from Whidbey Island), nice area

I lived in Anacortes too. That whole area is God's country, and if I could pick my favorite spot in the entire US it would be the Skagit Valley/Puget Sound/North Cascades area of Washington.

5/13/15

spending a few weeks there this summer :-)

ill pass your message on to her, she'll enjoy reading that

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

5/13/15
AndyLouis:

spending a few weeks there this summer :-)

ill pass your message on to her, she'll enjoy reading that

Go to the Brown Lantern in Anacortes, it is a great bar. Drink the Schweaty Amber, my favorite drink. The mussels at Adrift are also amazing. We used to plan our flights so we would have to overnight at Whidbey and go visit those two places.

5/14/15

been to the brown lantern a few times (my mom has lived there for ~5 years so I try to go back each summer :-)

will remember those food/drink recs!

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

5/13/15

Thanks for sharing. I've been considering joining the Air Force for quite some time now, and as I just graduated college (with mediocre stats) it is something that I really might do. It seems infinitely more interesting/rewarding than whatever I will be doing for next 4+ years.

5/13/15
tengleha:

Thanks for sharing. I've been considering joining the Air Force for quite some time now, and as I just graduated college (with mediocre stats) it is something that I really might do. It seems infinitely more interesting/rewarding than whatever I will be doing for next 4+ years.

There are a lot of positives and a lot of negatives to the military, which I can speak to specifically if you want. I think it is an awesome opportunity to mitigate some shortcomings you may have had as an undergrad. When I joined, I wanted to do my minimum commitment (which for aviators is substantial 9-11 years, depending on the job, ground guys 3-4 years). After a few years, I wanted to make it a career, and after a few more years I wanted to move on to something else. So things can change.

5/13/15

I heard from some buddies that BAH in Qatar is insane and can basically live like a king if you play your cards right, but back to the topic.

What's the application process for OCS like? When did you start? How long did it take?

I heard getting in Marine OCS with lower grades is tough, less than a 3.5 gpa. How'd you make your profile stand out?

5/13/15
Manks:

I heard from some buddies that BAH in Qatar is insane and can basically live like a king if you play your cards right, but back to the topic.

What's the application process for OCS like? When did you start? How long did it take?

I heard getting in Marine OCS with lower grades is tough, less than a 3.5 gpa. How'd you make your profile stand out?

When I applied in 2005, it was a different environment in the military than currently. We were heavily engaged in 2 wars, the services budgets were growing, and the manning requirements were growing, and there was a patriotic swell in the US. The patriotic swell still remains, but we are for all purposes out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Budgets are stingier and manning is shrinking. For example, the US Marine Corps peaked at 202,000 personnel, and will now contract to 181,000 by 2017. So, it was easier to get in back in 2005 than it is now. That's not to say you can't get in, but it is more competitive.

Marine recruiting is much different than getting into a school. In general the best things you can affect to increase your chances of being selected is a good PFT score (285+), don't do drugs or have an arrest record (both of which will require some kind of waiver), do well on the ASTB if you want to fly, and apply to PLC if you are an upcoming junior or younger, do your best in school (this wasn't much of a factor in 2005 as long as you met the minimums which I think were 2.85ish. Additionally, there are lots of different quotas that the officer recruiters are trying to fill. A white male trying to be a ground officer will have the hardest time getting selected because they make up the majority of people trying to become Marine officers. The more quotas you fill, the more your recruiter will love you (for example: a black, female, aviator, PLC is the unicorn).

In general the quotas are these:
Ground
Air (easier to get into because you have to pass eye tests, flight physical, written test. All of these are things that make the slot more selective, which makes it easier for you if you qualify)
Diversity (black / Hispanic / American Indian a plus)
Sex (Female a plus)
Law
OCC (go to OCS after college, harder to get into)
PLC (go to OCS during a summer while still in college, easier to get into)
Active
Reserve

My information I slightly dated but should generally be accurate. The best source of current information is your local Officer Selection Officer, but beware the running joke in the Marine Corps is "My recruiter lied to me". Whether they actually give you the most accurate information depends on the recruiter and what quota they need to fill at the time, but they do KNOW the most accurate information.

5/13/15
Manks:

I heard from some buddies that BAH in Qatar is insane and can basically live like a king if you play your cards right, but back to the topic.

What's the application process for OCS like? When did you start? How long did it take?

I heard getting in Marine OCS with lower grades is tough, less than a 3.5 gpa. How'd you make your profile stand out?

Forgot to answer the application process.

There is a standard form contract that the OSO will prepare for you to sign. You have to run a PFT that is monitored by the OSO. You have to submit transcripts. If you are a flight contract you have to sit and pass the ASTB. You also have to get a flight physical at the nearest Navy hospital that does flight medicine. I believe you have to get some letters of recommendation. You have to submit your medical records to see if you need any waivers. The OSO wants you to be selected, so they will help you with this process. I think the whole process took me about 3 months. There are certain times that the selection boards are held by HQMC and your OSO will know these dates. Your "package" has to be submitted prior to these dates for consideration. I think I started in September and was selected on a board at the beginning of November. After being selected you have to go to MEPS for another physical. If you are still in school you go to 10 week OCS from early June to early August. If you have already graduated then OCS is held 3 or 4 times throughout the year. You will know your OCS dates prior to submitting your application. After OCS, you either finish your undergrad prior to being commissioned a 2nd Lt or get your commission and go straight to 6 months of The Basic School. For those that went back to finish their undergrad your TBS "class up" date depends on the backlog in the "pipeline" of fellow newly minted Marines which was about a 3 months wait for me. After TBS aviators go to flight training for 2-3 years, ground officers go to MOS school for 1-6 months depending on the specialty. At this point you are a steely eyed killer trained to lead Marines in battle (sarcasm). Lawyers do something different.

5/13/15

Do you wish you flew something a little more adventurous than an electronic warfare aircraft, like a Hornet or a Harrier? Were you ever in a situation (not training) where you had to deploy ordnance?

I would've loved to be a fighter pilot, or at least have a shot at becoming one (I made a thread in the Monkeying Around section about it a while ago), but I needed glasses by the time I was a 3rd-grader, so I had to put that dream to bed...

5/13/15
design:

Do you wish you flew something a little more adventurous than an electronic warfare aircraft, like a Hornet or a Harrier? Were you ever in a situation (not training) where you had to deploy ordnance?

I would've loved to be a fighter pilot, or at least have a shot at becoming one (I made a thread in the Monkeying Around section about it a while ago), but I needed glasses by the time I was a 3rd-grader, so I had to put that dream to bed...

The answer to your question is really complicated and related to probably the best lesson I learned in the Marine Corps. Perspective. I joined the Marine Corps to do the most exciting job I could in arguably the toughest service of the four. I quickly (9 months in) learned as I was in the boxing ring getting my face beat in by someone who earned a Navy Cross by killing 35 Iraqi's in video game fashion and had his own Maxim article that no matter how badass I became there would always be someone much much more badass. That lesson for me translates to the air side as well as the corporate world and I no longer pursue whatever #1 status symbol I see out there.

So, yes and no. Like you I did not have pilot vision. I joined the Marine Corps as a Naval Flight Officer where I was guaranteed to fly as a back seater in either an F-18 or EA-6B. I selected Prowlers because the most basic mission of the Prowler is to put me, the NFO, in close proximity to a surface to air radar/missile system so that I can prevent it from shooting down an aircraft in the strike package that is coming fast and angry to destroy some target. So, the Prowler is all about the NFO and the Hornet has a reputation for viewing their NFO's as baggage taking up space where valuable gas could be. The Prowler was still awesome. It could fly super fast close to the ground and was very maneuverable down low. At high altitude it was a pig. However, as a high value asset it was very involved with the other services and the most important strike missions of the past 30 years always had a Prowler or now Growler included in the strike package. As an NFO the only aircraft I would rather have flown was the A-6 Intruder or the F-14 Tomcat, both of which were NFO centric aircraft that are no longer in service. I would rather have been a pilot, but like you if you don't have the eyes then there's nothing you can do about it.

For those with bad eyes the Navy still employs them in the F18F/G Super Hornet/Growler, E2C Hawkeye, P8 Poseidon. The Air Force uses them in the B1B, F15E Strike Eagle, B-52, and some of their tankers I think. Once you're in, its easy to get free LASIK and then there are some transition opportunities to pilot.

The Prowler carries a $250k long range anti-radar missile that only gets used in day 1 wave 1 type strikes, think day 1 Gulf War 1, day 1 Gulf War 2, and Bosnia. I was not in the Marine Corps during those time periods so the only HARMs I shot was at a barge floating off the coast of Santa Catalina. I did shower an Afghani orchard with from 200 feet by a bunch of flares during a show of force fly by, but that's probably not what you're looking for. My aircraft's fury usually comes in the form of "trons", jamming energy. In the end I could make pretty solid arguments both for and against careers in every other platform in the US inventory so its good to be proud of what you are a part of

5/13/15

Flewbye, you mention there are a lot of positives and negatives to the military. I would love to hear some of the negatives. On the surface you flew planes for 9 years, traveled all over the world, experienced some incredible profound things and now 95% of your MBA is being paid for at a target and you will have a great shot at slotting into a high paying career with good prospects....seems a f**king no brainer to me...cannot believe more people do not do this! I could not for medical reasons/country of residence but seems the way to go for me.

So given all that, please shatter my rose tinted view of things and let me hear the negatives and any regrets you might have with going down the path you did.

Best Response
5/13/15
Zatopek:

Flewbye, you mention there are a lot of positives and negatives to the military. I would love to hear some of the negatives. On the surface you flew planes for 9 years, traveled all over the world, experienced some incredible profound things and now 95% of your MBA is being paid for at a target and you will have a great shot at slotting into a high paying career with good prospects....seems a f**king no brainer to me...cannot believe more people do not do this! I could not for medical reasons/country of residence but seems the way to go for me.

So given all that, please shatter my rose tinted view of things and let me hear the negatives and any regrets you might have with going down the path you did.

This country is really awesome in that every day people have such a positive opinion of the military. Unfortunately it also sets unrealistic expectations about how good are military actually is and I think it is good to be honest with yourself and others about what it is actually like. Like you said there are tons of positives. One I forgot to mention is pay. A 10 year captain aviator will make the equivalent of about $115,000 civilian dollars. Now, I'm not trying to be negative, I'm just listing negatives.

-Family: the military is not designed for families no matter how much they try to change that image. I wish they would be honest and say that the military is bad for families (not that you care about family as a 22 year old, I didn't). Even when you are home, you are not home. You are at exercises all over the country or flying cross countries on the weekend To terrible places such as Key West, Pensacola, San Diego, Las Vegas, etc. When I came back from my second deployment my 2 year old daughter didn't know me and was scared of me which sucked.

-Government bureaucracy: the workings of the federal government are so ineffective that it is hard to put into words without anger.

-Waste: War is waste, peace time military is still almost as wasteful. I can tell you tons of stories of millions of dollars of waste.

-The promotion system is terrible: It is a zero sum game, up or out promotion system. Your promotions up to major are pretty much guaranteed based on time in service which is a real downer if you actually work hard. You will promote just as fast as your dirt bag buddy. In the higher ranks, for you to promote your buddy must fail. There are a limited number of slots and if you don't promote to one of those then you are forced out.

-Leadership: There are some really bad leaders in the Marine Corps. There are some awesome ones too, but it seems to me personally that a lot of the best ones get out well prior to senior leadership because they are able to be successful on the outside.

-I fundamentally did not believe in the mission of my aircraft. I think we overstated our effectiveness and risks of not having us because it was good for our careers and community. I like the term self-licking ice cream cone.

-I don't always think that what we do actually protects our country from anything. That's a hard one to come to terms with but I think veterans from Vietnam through Afghanistan have had to wrestle with that nagging doubt in the back of their minds as they saw Iraq being overrun by ISIS, heard the full story about Iraq WMD, or see that we're still in Afghanistan 4 years after OBL was killed...(In Pakistan)

-The Marine Corps specifically has some of the most inane archaic regulations in existence mostly related to stupid stuff like uniforms and personal appearance. The worst part is that everyone regardless of rank is empowered to call each other out for these minor rule infractions. The result is an elementary school type setting where everyone is pointing their fingers at other people saying "you're breaking a rule" (in your best 6 year old voice). This breeds a culture of sociopathy where people actually believe they are better than someone else because they have a fresher haircut or because the other guy is wearing "inappropriate civilian attire."

-You get treated like 13 year old trouble maker and you are sometimes forced to treat your Marines like 13 year olds when you are in a position of leadership. Whether it be "safety briefs" prior to the weekend telling your Marines not to get DUI's, annual training telling you not to sexually assault/human traffic other people, or kill yourself. It is maddening to see how these training requirements are actually put into place. One day on CNN a congressman is passing a bill claiming to prevent vet suicide, the next day you are taking a computer class that is a result of this bill, telling you not to kill yourself.

-The environment is becoming very political and a zero defect / checklist mentality pervades all services. Everyone has checklists because leadership doesn't trust their people to exercise good judgement in the completion of their duties.

-In lots of cases a military career negatively effects your civilian career prospects when you get out. You miss out on those 3 year post undergrad jobs that give you the experience and open up a good spot to land post MBA.

For regrets: The best deal in aviation going is the Army warrant officer program. I wish I could have been a pilot. I think for aviation, the Air Force or Navy is better for quality of life, equipment, promotion, locations (debatable for the Air Force). I wish I could have gotten out after 4 years as opposed to 9 so that I would go to b-school as a 26 year old instead of a 31 year old. Of course I wouldn't have flown.

I'm not trying to come across as negative, because I can definitely list more positives than negatives. I'm just answering your question honestly.

10/15/17

Your points about insane archaic regulations and the "13 year old trouble maker" are painfully accurate. I was on the enlisted side of both of these and it is not fun.

11/1/17

Wow this is an amazing post. Your candid honesty is completely overwhelming because I have never seen Officers, especially not Marines speak to the truth of their experience. Its always Semper Fi this Semper Fi that non-stop. You speak truth to power and I'm happy that you did an MBA.

Perhaps one day you will be in a position of power in the corporate world and make a real difference in the world versus some of the other monkeys here who are just in it for themselves. Thoughtfulness is sorely missing in the civilian world too.

Here is an article you would appreciate:

https://theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leader...

5/13/15

First, thanks for your service. I grew up a military brat and joining the military has always been on the back of my mind. I'll be starting my FT job in the next few months and am going give the corporate life a whirl. My question is: what is the process like in getting into OCS after a few years (~2) of work experience? Is there more competition? If I were to join today I'd either want to be a pilot or maybe infantry. Furthermore, if you by chance know anything about the other branches that would be great also. Thanks in advance!

Top public university, great international experience (in developing countries), near fluent in Portuguese, business major, 3.3 gpa

5/13/15
da chief:

First, thanks for your service. I grew up a military brat and joining the military has always been on the back of my mind. I'll be starting my FT job in the next few months and am going give the corporate life a whirl. My question is: what is the process like in getting into OCS after a few years (~2) of work experience? Is there more competition? If I were to join today I'd either want to be a pilot or maybe infantry. Furthermore, if you by chance know anything about the other branches that would be great also. Thanks in advance!

Top public university, great international experience (in developing countries), near fluent in Portuguese, business major, 3.3 gpa

I think it is a little more difficult to get in after you graduate because you are competing against a larger population (22-30 year olds as opposed to 19-21 year olds). But it also gives you more time to prepare and gives you some awesome civilian experience as you transition out and complete your MBA. If you run a 300 PFT with no legal or drug issues and a decent GPA you will more than likely be selected. With enough time and discipline anyone can run a 300. For pilot, the Marines offer guaranteed pilot contracts, you just have to pass the training. For infantry, it is competitive and you will be assigned based on your preference and performance at TBS. There is a chance you put infantry #1 and get stuck as a supply officer. It is rare, especially if your list is #2 tanks, #3 artillery, #4 combat engineer, #5 light armored renaissance, #6 ground intelligence, #7 human intelligence....#30 supply officer. With that list you'll probably get a job where you train to kill things.

I do not know a lot about recruiting to other branches. I can answer a question, but I don't know what you are looking for specifically. I went through flight school with Air Force and Navy and I trained on Navy bases for 3 years so I can speak to aviation in those services and anything Marine Corps. It is probably easier to get infantry in the Army. Also, reserves is always an option and there are plenty of sexy reserve jobs.

5/13/15
da chief:

First, thanks for your service. I grew up a military brat and joining the military has always been on the back of my mind. I'll be starting my FT job in the next few months and am going give the corporate life a whirl. My question is: what is the process like in getting into OCS after a few years (~2) of work experience? Is there more competition? If I were to join today I'd either want to be a pilot or maybe infantry. Furthermore, if you by chance know anything about the other branches that would be great also. Thanks in advance!

Top public university, great international experience (in developing countries), near fluent in Portuguese, business major, 3.3 gpa

Also, you can time it to where you apply after 2017, when the military will be done shrinking and will be hungry for new bodies.

5/14/15

Thanks for your service.

I have a really similar story to da chief, military brat, going into the corporate world but still thinking about OCS down the road, even went to a public school in the Big Ten like him...haha

But anyways, I know above you mentioned the military was contracting until 2017, then you imply in 2017 they would swell up again (probably slower growth though)? What makes you think they won't hum along at the status quo of lower troop numbers? (you obviously have more inside knowledge than I do).

Kind of fits my timeline anyway, I had a fun senior year and ignored the gym, so I am nowhere near a 300 PFT score!

Thanks

5/14/15
ALF.:

Thanks for your service.

I have a really similar story to da chief, military brat, going into the corporate world but still thinking about OCS down the road, even went to a public school in the Big Ten like him...haha

But anyways, I know above you mentioned the military was contracting until 2017, then you imply in 2017 they would swell up again (probably slower growth though)? What makes you think they won't hum along at the status quo of lower troop numbers? (you obviously have more inside knowledge than I do).

Kind of fits my timeline anyway, I had a fun senior year and ignored the gym, so I am nowhere near a 300 PFT score!

Thanks

I'm not saying the numbers will grow, but the rate of "hiring" will increase. Of course this is just speculation because I don't think Headquarters Marine Corps really even knows what they'll do 2 years from now. The military is such a high turnover environment. Every 3 years everyone moves locations or units. Every 1.5 years almost everyone changes jobs within their units. So most of the leadership that will be making personnel decisions after 2017 probably don't even live in Quantico, VA yet. And who knows what Congress will say when it comes to the defense budget. I don't think the USMC will contract below 181k. If anything, I personally think leadership will have such an intriguing tale of overstated destruction to preach if numbers go to 180,999 Marines that 181k will be as low as we go.

I do know that military recruitment and personnel trends look like a sine wave. One over reaction cut followed by one over reaction correction forever. Right now the opportunities to leave are so compelling that I can't help but think that we are in the midst of an over reaction. A captain (selected for major) or a major in the Marne Corps with 10-15 years of service can get between $150k-220k to walk away. A staff sergeant and above on the enlisted side can accept a retirement at 15 years. These are all "force shaping measures" that are quickly enticing Marines to leave. On the recruiting side, I know they are accepting much fewer recruits and officer candidates. This is to shrink the overall size of the Marine Corps. Once the shrinking is complete by 2017, they will have to change from shrinking to maintaining the 181k. So, the force shaping measures will go away and recruiting will have to increase again (though not to the levels of 2007) or else the numbers will still continue to fall below 181k. Most new officers will leave at the 4 year mark, so simply removing the force shaping measures would not be enough, they have to do something to address recruiting.

I'm sure the other services are similar. I know the Navy and Air Force are both notorious or throwing ridiculous sums of money at people for them to leave one year, and then throwing ridiculous sums of money at people for them to join or stay the next year. This is all pure speculation though, I don't want to pretend like I actually know what I'm talking about with such a high level topic.

Free Consultation

We know you have questions as you prepare to apply to your target business schools. What are your chances of being admitted? How can you differentiate yourself from so many other applicants? What is the best way to showcase your accomplishments or mitigate your weaknesses? Start getting answers to all your questions by taking advantage of a free 30-minute consultation with an expert from mbaMission’s Senior Consultant team. Learn more.

5/13/15

From a fellow IOC grad, Semper Fi. Flight school to boot, thats a double panty dropper.

Your negatives are right on the money. Love the Marines, the Corps not so much.

5/13/15

Those negatives are spot on. Christ, it sounds just like the Army.

5/13/15

The negatives are spot on, could not have said it better myself. ~ former enlisted Air Force.


"I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."
-- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

5/13/15
jntheriot504:

The negatives are spot on, could not have said it better myself. ~ former enlisted Air Force.

Yeah, I think these problems are well known. But like I said, the positives for me have outweighed those negatives. I know 30 years from now when I am bragging to my grand kids about gallivanting across the world in my old school aircraft most of those negative issues will be long forgotten.

5/13/15
flewbye:

"jntheriot504" wrote:The negatives are spot on, could not have said it better myself. ~ former enlisted Air Force.

Yeah, I think these problems are well known. But like I said, the positives for me have outweighed those negatives. I know 30 years from now when I am bragging to my grand kids about gallivanting across the world in my old school aircraft most of those negative issues will be long forgotten.

I will have to admit, that for me the negatives for outweighed the positives. While I did not have to deal with jet lag/time zone changes, I had a terrible schedule (covered all 24 hour periods over 7 days) while sitting in a dark room. Plus being enlisted where you constantly working on 'keep busy tasks' is mind numbing and takes its own toll. I would probably a few more negatives due to being enlisted, but if I were to make an assumption I can see enlisted Air Force (air traffic control at least) being similar to officer Marine Corps based on your statements; I could be wrong here.


"I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though."
-- J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye

5/14/15
jntheriot504:

<

p>

"flewbye" wrote:"jntheriot504" wrote:The negatives are spot on, could not have said it better myself. ~ former enlisted Air Force.
Yeah, I think these problems are well known. But like I said, the positives for me have outweighed those negatives. I know 30 years from now when I am bragging to my grand kids about gallivanting across the world in my old school aircraft most of those negative issues will be long forgotten.

I will have to admit, that for me the negatives for outweighed the positives. While I did not have to deal with jet lag/time zone changes, I had a terrible schedule (covered all 24 hour periods over 7 days) while sitting in a dark room. Plus being enlisted where you constantly working on 'keep busy tasks' is mind numbing and takes its own toll. I would probably a few more negatives due to being enlisted, but if I were to make an assumption I can see enlisted Air Force (air traffic control at least) being similar to officer Marine Corps based on your statements; I could be wrong here.

I could see that, especially with the schedule. Just having that monthly 24 hour duty hanging over my head prevents me from ever making any real concrete plans without taking leave. I know UAV pilots with 12 on 12 off schedules, 7 days a week have similar problems.

5/14/15

Yut, kill, semper gumby sir! I knew about the early retirement but not about the bonuses for officers just to get out. How about the reserves, I mean one major I deployed with I'm pretty sure made 150+ out there, married and NYC BAH. Is that bonus exclusively just to get out and never return (no option to drop to the reserves?) Another option probably is to drop the second best Marines to the reserves where they can take advantage of things like that. Also, the demand for marines in the cybersecurity field. The incentives are not that bad in terms of bonuses for an E-5 to lat move into the IA field which is a relatively knew field in the corps. Also some MOS' being closed for good and merging them into a bigger field and weeding out the stragglers. That has to do somethign overall to keep the numbers hovering around the 182 mark...

5/14/15

The comp doesn't seem like much but base salary only accounts for 40% of your total compensation if you stay for the long haul.

5/14/15

Monthly pay looks like this after 9 years in as an aviator
$5800 Base pay (taxable)
$250 Subsistence allowance (non-taxable)
$1800 Housing allowance (non-taxable, location dependent ranges from 1800/month NC to 3000/month NYC)
$650 Aviation bonus (taxable)

Completely free healthcare for your entire family ($1000 value?)
2.5 days leave accrual
Virtually free $400000 life insurance policy
When deployed to a combat zone you are completely tax free, receive separation allowance ($250), and hazardous duty pay ($175)

This stuff is all public record so you can look up what you would make in your specific situation. As a 2nd Lt, the pay isn't that great. As a captain it is dang good especially when you add per diem rates and all the military benefits.

5/14/15

The lion share of your comp comes from your pension and tax breaks, how much money would you have to make post taxes to sit in CDs to have the same pension? You're talking about 2-2.5 million depending on your yield assumptions in post tax savings, not to mention the COLA to keep up with or at the very least mitigate the effects of inflation, not to mention free healthcare for life... The 20yr pension isn't the greatest but at 24 years is when it gets really good especially if you make rank. Take 2.5x your base and that's pretty much what you'd have to make before paying taxes in the private sector to equal the same, so in your situation about 175k/yr not counting special pay.

5/14/15
ArcherVice:

The lion share of your comp comes from your pension and tax breaks, how much money would you have to make post taxes to sit in CDs to have the same pension? You're talking about 2-2.5 million depending on your yield assumptions in post tax savings, not to mention the COLA to keep up with or at the very least mitigate the effects of inflation, not to mention free healthcare for life... The 20yr pension isn't the greatest but at 24 years is when it gets really good especially if you make rank. Take 2.5x your base and that's pretty much what you'd have to make before paying taxes in the private sector to equal the same, so in your situation about 175k/yr not counting special pay.

Nice explanation.

5/15/15

Do you see air contracts being more or less available within the next 2 years? Is what you get selected to fly chosen by what's needed at the time or do you get some say in what you get selected for?

Also how long did training take from OCS until you became an active duty pilot?

5/15/15
Dunbar:

Do you see air contracts being more or less available within the next 2 years? Is what you get selected to fly chosen by what's needed at the time or do you get some say in what you get selected for?

Also how long did training take from OCS until you became an active duty pilot?

I see pilot contracts being around. Marine air does a really good job of avoiding budget cuts and making long term flight hour projections. Also because jets are planned for by the generation, the whole wing is more stable in regards to personnel and equipment.

That contrasts with ground combat units that are quickly scalable and take months instead of years to train. Look at 9th Marines for example. They were activated in 2007, deployed several times and deactivated by 2015. So I think most of the cuts are going to ground units. This is me talking completely out of my butt though.

Aircraft selected is based on performance in flight school, needs of the Marine Corps (which changes month to month, so graduation timing is a factor) and preference. Don't worry. Whatever you end up flying will be your favorite aircraft.

After primary you select helos, jets, or props and each platform completes advanced at different locations. After advanced you select again based on the three factors above within your group (I.e jet guys select between f18, harrier, and f35). Ospreys have a different process but I don't know what it is. After all this you go to the FRS/RAG to learn how to fly your gray jet.

OCS 10 weeks
TBS 6 months
API 6 weeks I think
Primary about 6 months
Advanced about a year
RAG about 18 months

In total you're looking at about 4 years from stepping off the bus to when you make it to the "fleet". It's long but you're having fun the whole time. training is more fun than the fleet at least.

It's a great time to be in Marine air. All of the aircraft are upgraded or in the process of being upgraded and you have the chance to fly the F35 which is sexy.

5/15/15

flewbye, great post. Your descriptions really took me back. You are providing a great service to the servicemen and women that come here.

I was an 0207 stationed in Cherry Point at Q-1, there is a good chanced we overlapped. i left, got my MBA a few years ago and spent some time in an investment bank in NYC as an associate. I'm now on the buyside (HF). Reach out to me with any questions about transition, recruiting, etc. Not too many Marine prowler types around.

5/15/15
redrock:

flewbye, great post. Your descriptions really took me back. You are providing a great service to the servicemen and women that come here.

I was an 0207 stationed in Cherry Point at Q-1, there is a good chanced we overlapped. i left, got my MBA a few years ago and spent some time in an investment bank in NYC as an associate. I'm now on the buyside (HF). Reach out to me with any questions about transition, recruiting, etc. Not too many Marine prowler types around.

PM sent

5/16/15

any interest in doing a similar AMA type post? send me a message! thanks redrock

WSO's COO (Chief Operating Orangutan) | My story | My Linkedin

5/17/15

Bro thanks a lot for doing this. Not a Marine but a 20+ Army Veteran coming to the street so I can understand your thoughts.

Your negatives were dead on since they assimilate to the Army in fact across all of the services that I worked with.

If there is only one regret that I have it is that I should have exited early on but it would have caused incredible havoc to my family life. Not to say that there many positives as well. The military does provide some securities that cannot be beat but still.

I wish you the best of luck and feel free to reach out to discuss programs on the street that are available.

Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum

5/18/15
AY01:

Bro thanks a lot for doing this. Not a Marine but a 20+ Army Veteran coming to the street so I can understand your thoughts.

Your negatives were dead on since they assimilate to the Army in fact across all of the services that I worked with.

If there is only one regret that I have it is that I should have exited early on but it would have caused incredible havoc to my family life. Not to say that there many positives as well. The military does provide some securities that cannot be beat but still.

I wish you the best of luck and feel free to reach out to discuss programs on the street that are available.

Thanks dude. Just curious what area of finance you work in?

7/7/15

Thanks for your service!
I would've loved to fly for the military but instead, I'm a lowly 250 hr TT Cessna 172 weekend warrior.

If you have any questions about banking / private equity, feel free to PM.

7/7/15
Whiskey5:

Thanks for your service!
I would've loved to fly for the military but instead, I'm a lowly 250 hr TT Cessna 172 weekend warrior.

If you have any questions about banking / private equity, feel free to PM.

Still very cool, not many people have the legal ability to take themselves and 3 other souls airborne and return safely! BTW all of my civilian flight time, about 40 hours is in a 172.

Thanks for the offer, I think I have eliminated investment banking and as a result, PE. I'm narrowing things down to Commercial/Corporate Banking, and CorpFin/CorpDev.

7/7/15

Can you provide some insight on the leadership/social skills you gained when you were active?

7/8/15
HunteR23:

Can you provide some insight on the leadership/social skills you gained when you were active?

Leadership is the quality that folks generally expect above all others when they hire vets or admit them to a school. Officers get more of the text book business leadership training. Enlisted still get tons of leadership experience if they pursue it.

Personally, I grew a ton from a self serving college punk to someone who was confident in leading others and had a leadership "personality" that I felt was effective and inspiring based on what I witnessed first hand in my good and bad leaders. The style of leadership I developed was one where I genuinely cared about those I led. I tried to distinguish between the stuff that mattered and the stuff that didn't matter so that I could focus my folks on the important things and overlook extraneous things. I took pride in biting my tongue to overlook small errors by my folks that would not in any way harm the effectiveness of our task. I was always open to anyone that needed to chat although I expected them to use the chain of command for most things. I did my best to officially recognize people for their hard work through the awards system or public praise. I tried to never take credit for anything but always recognize my people in front of my bosses. I always tried to push responsibility down to the lowest level so that all I had to do was supervise, if this was possible. I liked to take the advice of the technical experts that knew more than me. Sometimes the strategy worked. I liked to foster an environment of collaboration where new ideas and new people were both eagerly welcomed. I recognized that I was a poor disciplinarian. I gave folks a lot of freedom, and a few bad apples tried to take advantage of me being a nice guy. I would have to punish them severely. If I would have been more on top of them they wouldn't have gotten themselves into so much trouble, however I thought it was a great way to identify those that had legitimate character flaws while not alienating the other 90% of folks that were great people. If at all possible, I would always give my folks a chance to leave work before me and I would not assign anyone a task that I wasn't also willing to do myself. I also believe strongly in the leadership traits that the Marine Corps teaches, the pneumonic JJDIDTIEBUCKLE. Judgement, justice, dependability, integrity, decisiveness, tact, initiative, enthusiasm, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty, and endurance.

As for social skills, you learn to relate to all types of people. In my job I had to give briefs to large groups all the time. The "ready room" was a tight knit group of type A personalities. I was always well liked, so I think my social skills were solid. If you are socially awkward you will get destroyed, but everyone will still love you because of your weird ways. You may earn an absolutely awful callsign though. If you are socially awkward in a leadership position, in general you will not be a good leader and your people will not follow you.

For leadership, the Marines take pride in teaching leadership to its officers from the start. At OCS you will do the traditional leadership type training of being in charge of groups of other candidates trying to focus your team on completing a particular mission or solving a problem. The type of training that was very popular among corporations, 5 or 10 years ago. You are placed in positions of leadership where you are in charge of the well being of your peers in both an administrative and tactical environment and you are continuously evaluated on this. In general I think the training is pretty effective, but I don't think leadership can be wholly learned. In lots of cases you either have it or you don't. I actually had someone in my OCS class go so that he would have the leadership training on his resume for when he applied to law school. He did not accept a commission and did eventually get into Harvard Law. He was an alright guy, but that was a dbag strategy.

After training, the leadership opportunities are phenomenal and it is sink or swim. You get placed in charge of large groups of diverse people, most of whom have much more experience than you do. Aviators typically do not have quite the leadership experience as ground guys, but they still have much more than their civilian counterparts. An example of the leadership responsibility and diversity of assignments was my last job. I had 7 direct report Marines, 4 direct report civilians, and approximately 15 civilian contractors that I was responsible for. The average experience of my Marines was 8 years, and the average age of my civilians was 45. Additionally, in aviation, after gaining experience you will be given tactical leadership slowly advancing your way into instructor positions teaching or leading junior aircrew as well as leadership positions over large air packages.

The infantry (or ground side) leadership opportunities are much more straight forward. For the first 2 years as a 2ndlieutenant you are in charge of a platoon of 40 Marines aged 18-40. For years 2-4 as a 1st lieutenant you most likely will become an executive officer where you are #2 in command over a company of 200 Marines. From years 4-10 as a captain, you will be a company commander which means you will be responsible for about 200 Marines. In the higher ranks you can just get more responsibility as the units grow larger to battalions, regiments, or divisions.

7/15/15
flewbye:

On leadership.

This is a fantastic post.

Thank you deeply for your service. Send me a note if you'd like, happy to help as much as I can as you think through your career goals.

Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

Browse my blog as a WSO contributing author

7/20/15

Just sent you a message, thanks!

7/10/15

"The Marine Corps specifically has some of the most inane archaic regulations in existence mostly related to stupid stuff like uniforms and personal appearance. The worst part is that everyone regardless of rank is empowered to call each other out for these minor rule infractions. The result is an elementary school type setting where everyone is pointing their fingers at other people saying "you're breaking a rule" (in your best 6 year old voice). This breeds a culture of sociopathy where people actually believe they are better than someone else because they have a fresher haircut or because the other guy is wearing "inappropriate civilian attire."

This could not be more true. I am a Naval Officer, and I remember thinking how absurd this entire culture is when I first entered OCS. It was, quite frankly, just sad to see grown men correcting each other based upon how well ironed their uniforms are or how their medals were more than 1/2" above the shirt pocket.

You get used to it after a few years, but it really does make you think: what if the military cared about things that ACTUALLY mattered? I understand the "good order and discipline" aspect of everything, but let's not pretend that just because someone's ribbons are 1/4" off that they are going to perform poorly when the mission actually matters.

I'm very excited to get out of the military, but I do recommend it for anyone who is not a natural born leader. Just like the OP said, I went from a shy introverted 22 year old, to someone who is managing people twice my age and getting good stuff done on a daily basis. That being said, I cannot even fathom doing 6 years, let alone 15-20 in the military. It would be absolutely horrible.

7/10/15
southernstunna:

That being said, I cannot even fathom doing 6 years, let alone 15-20 in the military. It would be absolutely horrible.

Were you a SWO?

7/13/15

nope, I am a Supply Corps officer. I think that the whole "SWOs eat their young" thing is a bit overplayed. I was on a small ship and the wardroom was entirely SWOs (other than myself); I never saw any of that. That being said, SWO life is hard....real hard, and it certainly isn't anything I would want to put myself through.

12/2/15

Just saw this post. Flewbye... you captured it perfectly. I'm an AH driver, same general timeframe as you (OCS 04, TBS 05). I'm pushing out for a lot of the reasons you addressed. It's nice to hear fellow officers who transitioned out and their reasoning behind it (which seem to be much more candid once they are separated).

12/24/15

Perhaps this is not a path you would recommend, but have you seen anybody join up after a banking stint? I've always wanted to be some sort of pilot and I really am lost as to what I want my exit to be right now. Currently a first year analyst, would love to fly though.

Almost went to the Coast Guard Academy with the goal of becoming a pilot for them, but ended up going to a non-military school instead.

12/25/15

Nuclear Penguins, I have. I can't speak for the other services, but Marines give a guaranteed air contract if you pass the test (ASTB). You still have to go through the ground stuff first and be younger than 27, but a ton of people left various careers. We had a few investment bankers in my OCS class. And I've seen jet and helo pilots from every background you can imagine. One bud is a jet pilot with a music degree. Just apply and prove yourself.

12/28/15

Thanks for the insight. It's definitely something I'll have to think about.

10/9/17

Do you like volleyball and Kenny loggins? Do you ever wish you stayed infantry?

Only two sources I trust, Glenn Beck and singing woodland creatures.

10/9/17
Ehmerica:

Do you like volleyball and Kenny loggins? Do you ever wish you stayed infantry?

No, no and sometimes.

10/9/17
  1. What is your personal take on the F35 boondoggle?
  2. Will advanced platforms like F35/F22s make standalone EW aircraft obsolete?
  3. What are the differences between Navy/Marine EW missions and the USAF EW missions (Prowler/Growler vs. F16 Wild Weasel).

Thank you for serving and thank you for doing this AMA.

10/9/17
snakeoil:
    - What is your personal take on the F35 boondoggle?
    - Will advanced platforms like F35/F22s make standalone EW aircraft obsolete?
    - What are the differences between Navy/Marine EW missions and the USAF EW missions (Prowler/Growler vs. F16 Wild Weasel).

Thank you for serving and thank you for doing this AMA.

  1. I am far from well informed on the F35 thing and I only have strong opinions on the F35 within Marine aviation. I think we had too many "fighter" guys in leadership positions promoting their next sexy ride. I think if you look at the history of Marine aviation it is filled with cheap, rugged aircraft that excelled at close air support and troop transport. I think the Air Force and Navy have the deep strike mission covered and with the Marine's perennially cheap budget they would have been much better served by focusing on cheap reliable close air support options such as the AT-6 Wolverine. I think you could buy something like 10 AT-6 Wolverines for the price of 1 F35. Probably not the argument most make when talking about the F35, but that's the problem I see. So as far as fighter guys in leadership, who wants to be known as the Hornet general that decided to end fighters in the Marine Corps in favor of the un-sexy Wolverine?
  2. Maybe a little, but I think mainly it was the capabilities of modern surface to air missile systems that made airborne escort EW obsolete. I also think that self contained jamming pods that you can mount on aircraft and pre-program can essentially do the job as good or better than a traditional airborne EW platform with 4 souls on board. I do think that there will always be an EW mission for communications jamming as well as aircraft with on-board interpreters conducting surveillance. Also, if you look at the history of airborne EW, it has been a tit-for-tat technology war ever since we dropped chaff in WW2. Develop countermeasure, enemy response, obsolescence of old countermeasure, update, develop....The cycle goes on forever. What you see now is just a continuation of that cycle.
  3. Traditionally the Navy/Marine EW assets were built to attack an integrated air defense system. I'm not sure how effective we would have been because while I was in our mission set was dominated by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As you can imagine, there aren't a lot of enemy radars and surface to air missile systems to jam in countries that are our allies. Therefore, we are left with missions designed to degrade an enemy's ability to communicate. The Navy/Marine EW assets were poorly suited for this mission, but if you have all of this expensive hardware then you have to use it. I always thought we could have been a lot more effective with a cheap King Air with some jammers, an on-board interpreter and 8 hours of on-station time (compared with 1 hour on-station in the Prowler).

The Wild Weasel is a really cool mission theoretically, but they haven't really had a role to play in quite some time. They train to be SAM killers. I always felt they were limited by the fact that their main weapon, the AGM-88 HARM is expensive and leaves a lot to be desired in terms of effectiveness. However, they could have improved the HARM in the few years since I last flew since I don't really stay up to date on weapons tech. But once again, there weren't a lot of missions for SAM killers in the countries where all of our recent wars have been. I trained with a reservist Wild Weasel squadron and thought all of their air crew were really cool guys for what its worth.

10/9/17

I wish I had gone ROTC in my undergrad. After graduation, I toyed around with the application to go to OCS. After starting the process, I ended up deciding not to pursue the military - I thought it wouldn't provide the basic skills I'd need for a career in finance. I kick myself weekly for that decision. I'm 3 years into my finance career and have looked into the Reserves but I can't take the time from my current employer to go to TBS or the like.

Do you have any thoughts?

10/9/17
andonianalex:

I wish I had gone ROTC in my undergrad. After graduation, I toyed around with the application to go to OCS. After starting the process, I ended up deciding not to pursue the military - I thought it wouldn't provide the basic skills I'd need for a career in finance. I kick myself weekly for that decision. I'm 3 years into my finance career and have looked into the Reserves but I can't take the time from my current employer to go to TBS or the like.

Do you have any thoughts?

Sure. The number one thing I got out of my time in the Marine Corps to take forward with me in life is perspective. I joined the Marine Corps in the pursuit of an exciting job, because I drew my identity from my work and the ability to do something exciting, difficult and well respected by society. I learned over time that in the end, the Marine Corps was just a job. I got tired of the missions, hubris, inertia, bureaucracy, etc. Your job (even in the Marine Corps) shouldn't define you and you don't want to be the type of person that is defined by the fact that you are a Marine, Soldier, pilot, investment banker, consultant, etc. (I'm sure we can all envision our one angry veteran friend that got out 4 years, never moved on, and spends his days pounding away pro-military anti-government comments from his keyboard on Facebook). No matter how sexy your job is, there will always be someone bigger and badder than you . Whatever you do, have some perspective, find as much joy as you can in something that is still called work, but understand that your worth isn't based on that work, and work towards something important outside of work. Right now for me that is my family, church, minor hobbies with my limited free time and finding joy in the fact that I can help end investors have better outcomes with their hard earned cash through my role at an asset manager.

If that answer just isn't enough for you then you might want to figure out how to pursue this desire you have in a way that doesn't throw away everything you have worked towards in finance. You actually CAN take the time away from your current employer. Your employer has to keep your job available for you if you are a mobilized reservist. Its the law. Of course it will be inconvenient to be away from work for a few months, but if they can't get by without you for two or three months, then you are really important and they should probably be paying you more.

But seriously, think about the Army reserves, National Guard, or enlisted Marine reserves. I would think all of these would have shorter training requirements than Marine officer. I think something like that may be enough to scratch your itch. In the end, I made the decision to join, because I was scared of the thought of having to regret not joining for the rest of my life. And in the end I learned that flying in the Marine Corps was just a job.

10/15/17

No questions here, just want to thank you for your service and let you know that you are a badass!

10/16/17
RobberBaron123:

No questions here, just want to thank you for your service and let you know that you are a badass!

Thanks dude. Not necessary and definitely not an accurate description of me but I appreciate the support!

10/17/17

You know what, I've come across several vets that said they did nothing deserving or that their commitment wasnt a big deal...well, shit, 8 years minimum commitment is a big deal.

Thanks for your service.

10/17/17

Hey dude,

I'm also a Marine aviator, applying to MBA programs this year. I have a couple questions for you if you don't mind:
- Do you have any advice on transitioning out, MBA specific?
- Did you do an internship before starting school?
- Are you doing the reserves? If so, IRR or did you affiliate? Do you plan to stay until retirement, or just to earn medical for 2 years?

10/19/17
pourts:

Hey dude,

I'm also a Marine aviator, applying to MBA programs this year. I have a couple questions for you if you don't mind:
- Do you have any advice on transitioning out, MBA specific?
- Did you do an internship before starting school?
- Are you doing the reserves? If so, IRR or did you affiliate? Do you plan to stay until retirement, or just to earn medical for 2 years?

What's up dude? I did a webinar on transitioning out through an MBA. You can look for it on here or PM me your email and I can send you the notes. It was a fair amount of stuff.

I think one of the biggest tips for getting out is networking. I would start trying to build out your network now. As I look back, using my military network was probably the single most powerful thing that I had in my favor. Systematically identify a bunch of companies and careers you may be interested in. Use LinkedIn to find prior military at those companies. Send them a message or email saying that you are transitioning out and you are trying to learn more about the different careers/companies/etc. out there post-MBA. Use this to build your network and identify what jobs you are going to want to recruit for once you start your MBA. You will have a head start on recruiting once school starts. Looking back, this process was ridiculously effective. I would estimate for every 10 messages I sent out, I got 7 to 8 responses back. I would estimate that I did 50 informational interviews in the 9 months prior to starting school. The military network is strong.

Something else that is an awesome opportunity is American Corporate Partnership. I Highly recommend applying and getting a mentor at a target company/city/industry. It's just a fantastic program for us.

http://acp-usa.org/
I didn't do an internship prior to starting. It just depends on what career path you are looking at. I know IB does a good job of getting military guys into pre-MBA internships, but I wasn't sure what career path I wanted to take at the time. There really aren't a lot of pre-MBA internship opportunities outside of IB.

I didn't do the reserves. I got all the way out. I felt I might be a little more motivated to work if I didn't have that safety net to fall back on. That may be bad advice especially if you would still like to fly or have the Marine Corps in your life. In the end I just didn't want to give up 25% of my weekends or get distracted by a secondary job. I viewed my post-MBA civilian career as my main effort if you want to use Marine Corps jargon.

One other thing to note is that if you are an OEF or OIF veteran then you get 5 years of FREE VA healthcare after you get out. If health care is why you are doing reserves, then just use the VA. In fact, I had such a positive experience with the VA healthcare system that I am now using them as my PCM and my company's health insurance reimburses the VA. The student plan through the school cost $2500/year which I didn't have to pay because of the VA. If you have a family let me know and there are some things you can do there too in order to save a lot of money.

10/20/17

How many innocents did you kill in Afghanistan? Do you think a million dead innocent Iraqis and close to half a million dead innocent Afghans justify the 9/11 3000 death toll?

10/20/17

It blows my mind how many people in the world actually believe this BS. This person is (possibly) trolling, but they may actually be serious. I'm a naval officer and this same type of nonsense was brought up by a group of expats I met during a recent vacation to Tanzania. I had no clue.

10/20/17
Isabella-Ray:

How many innocents did you kill in Afghanistan? Do you think a million dead innocent Iraqis and close to half a million dead innocent Afghans justify the 9/11 3000 death toll?

I never killed any enemy in Afghanistan and by the grace of God I never killed any innocents either. I am thankful for this because I would have had to deal with that guilt for the rest of my life. Contrary to military stereotypes, the vast majority of military members truly value life.

As to your second question, I have already explained in this thread that many people who fought in Iraq or Afghanistan probably wonder if anything was actually accomplished. However, I am slightly encouraged to see Iraq currently displaying some level of self determination as they recently pushed ISIS out of their country.

In the end something had to happen after 9/11. I'm not confident that what did happen was the best use of life and treasure. But something had to happen.

10/20/17

But by being a part of the military, don't you think you were actually perpetuating this vicious cycle of killing who your government told you was an enemy when in fact they were innocent people like you and me? That's how you make terrorists in the first place. You kill someone's relatives, wipe out their entire families, and tada, you have turned an innocent man a terrorist. If you don't believe me, just read about the drone strikes in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. I know you weren't the part of the USAF but you did contribute to this vicious cycle of making terrorists, no?

10/20/17
Isabella-Ray:

But by being a part of the military, don't you think you were actually perpetuating this vicious cycle of killing who your government told you was an enemy when in fact they were innocent people like you and me? That's how you make terrorists in the first place. You kill someone's relatives, wipe out their entire families, and tada, you have turned an innocent man a terrorist. If you don't believe me, just read about the drone strikes in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. I know you weren't the part of the USAF but you did contribute to this vicious cycle of making terrorists, no?

Maybe from your perspective that is how things appear and I understand how you could come to those conclusions. However, I think that perspective is over simplified and doesn't start with a basic recognition that if there wasn't structure to our societies and powerful groups to enforce that structure through force then our world would be a much more violent and chaotic place than it already is. So me being a part of the military did not perpetuate anything, because if our military was not a deterrence to other countries, then we would not have a country.

As for the vicious cycle, I completely understand the basic tenets of insurgency/counter-insurgency in that you kill one innocent person and you create 10 enemies. That is nothing new. Most in the military have understood that reality since Vietnam. This reality makes an insurgency or guerrilla virtually impossible to defeat, which is why you see organizations that can't compete with the US military in a conventional war resort to this bloody, neverending tactic.

I'm not trying to be mean in any way, but your perspective honestly just comes across as naive. This is the point in this type of conversation where I have to ask, what should we have done? You have a government that harbors and supports an organization that launches an attack on our country killing 3000 civilians. What would you have done in response as an American leader?

10/21/17

I'm not a supporter of Osama Bin Laden bin but he was created by the US CIA, right? Back in the 80s, you guys supported him, both financially and provided weapons. You guys gave money to the families of the jihadists he recruited in return for their loved ones, you brainwashed and indoctrinated them... All to overthrow the Soviets in Afghanistan. When it was all over and Soviets were gone, you guys blew the network of secret tunnels in Pakistan (which were used by CIA to provide unlimited number of weapons to Al Qaeda) and which also killed hundreds of innocent Pakistanis. You guys also turned against Osama because you didn't need him anymore. Was Osama really a devout Muslim and also radicalized? No, that was your propaganda also ironically funded by your government to demonize him. After doing that to him, he had no way but to keep recruiting brainwashed jihadists and resort to terror and violence. You used your corporate media to indoctrinate American nation. All that reminds me of the movie "Black Mass" with Johnny Depp" where FBI supports a drug cartel A in Boston to gather enough evidence to incriminate drug cartel B. When it's all over and the Bs are in prison, the FBI demonizes the FBI agent who worked with As and also arrest all of the As. And it's not even a fictional story, it's 100% true. I mean you guys have a history of supporting criminals and the same is true for ISIS and Al Qaeda too. You use them, you support them, and then you blame it on others when they are strong enough.

Then you say that my country harbors terrorism. Really? We have been the biggest victims of terrorism, why would we harbor it? Around 80,000 Pakistanis have been killed by these so called terrorists that we allegedly support.

And what would I have done? I would've done exactly what Ron Paul wanted and I wish he would run for the office again in 2020 and give Trump some tough competition. But sadly, he won't because he's too old and weak and you guys were so stupid to not elect this gem in 2012.

Here's what I would have done. I would have limited the government significantly and by that I mean minding our own business. I would have audited the Fed and if material misstatements were found, I would have abolished the laws that gave the Fed power to be autonomous and control the money supply and interest rates of the country (because it's a private autonomous bank that controls the country financially so it needs to be audited). Then I would have established a new government central bank (without ever privatizing it or outsourcing financial matters) and would have brought back the gold standard this time.

I would also reduce size of the military, abolish the bases and stations in other countries and nationalized and limited the scope of military industrial complex because they benefit the most from these perpetual wars. I would focus more on the economy of the country and the tightening the border security. Deport millions of illegals in the country and would welcome legal immigration and diversity because you cannot ban free movement through proper channels.

I would also abolished the common core and anything that plays a role in indoctrinating and conditioning.

10/21/17

I wasn't talking about Pakistan harboring terrorists. I was talking about Afghanistan, the country we invaded.

I'm not about to try and start defending everything the US has done. We've done some really stupid stuff over the years. The world is a cruel and messy place where the best of intentions may have diabolical consequences. So given all of the competing interests of 7 billion humans and their demonstrated ability to commit atrocity then it seems that the world is in a pretty good place compared to where it could be. For that reason I would argue against abandoning the institutions that have helped to get us there in favor of some theory because as we see in your CIA example governments are great at taking good intentions and turning them into unintended consequences.

10/28/17
flewbye:

I'm pretty new to the forum and have been using it as a very useful informational supplement to my post-USMC career. I have been Pm'ed by several guys about flying/military in the short time I've been on the forum. I was also surprised to see how many of the young guys/girls were considering the military as a path to a top MBA or how many would do a stint in the military if they could do it again.

My story is that I am a relatively low GPA (3.2) from a top 20 state school (business major concentration in finance, history minor). I did a summer audit internship after my junior year and was bored out of my mind. I got a little scared at the prospects of waking up as a bored regretful 45 year old accountant so I secured a flight contract in the Marine Corps.

After OCS I went to TBS and then infantry officer training. I then went to flight school in Pensacola, selected EA6B Prowlers, trained in Whidbey Island Washington, and was stationed at Cherry Point, NC. I've done deployments to Afghanistan, Qatar, Korea, and Japan. I've also flown pretty much everywhere in the U.S., worked with lots of allied nation air forces as well as pretty much every tactical aircraft in the U.S. inventory. I also briefly worked as an officer recruiter so I have a pretty decent perspective on guys trying to get selected to an officer program. I've had collateral jobs as a logistics officer and operations officer. In total I spent 9 years and 2 months in the Marine Corps.

I used those experiences to overcome a very average GMAT and a weak effort in undergrad. I'm starting at a target school this fall for my MBA 95% paid for by GI Bill/Yellow Ribbon plus a monthly housing stipend. While my future career path is far from decided, I do have a solid perspective on a path to an MBA that a lot of the 19-25 year old demographic have considered. So, with all of that said, ask me anything.

10/28/17

So I'm very new to this but I'm a junior in college applying for PLC (air) combined. I was wondering what my chances are of being selected right now. My GPA is admittedly rather poor 2.98, I have good LOR's, perfect vision, and a lot of community service stuff (I'm a volunteer firefighter for one). I did fairly well on the ASTB too. I have yet to take the PFT but I'll be doing that shortly as well as signing my paperwork. I can easily knock out the pull ups and crunches. The running will be more of a challenge. What are your thoughts?

10/29/17
JM96:

So I'm very new to this but I'm a junior in college applying for PLC (air) combined. I was wondering what my chances are of being selected right now. My GPA is admittedly rather poor 2.98, I have good LOR's, perfect vision, and a lot of community service stuff (I'm a volunteer firefighter for one). I did fairly well on the ASTB too. I have yet to take the PFT but I'll be doing that shortly as well as signing my paperwork. I can easily knock out the pull ups and crunches. The running will be more of a challenge. What are your thoughts?

I'm not positive what your chances are. The selection competitiveness changes very frequently based on large swings such as Marine Corps force-wide demands down to little things such as whether or not you are late or early in the recruiting cycle. For example, in 2005 when I applied the Marine Corps was expanding and we were in 2 major wars therefore lots of people were getting selected.

Also, the recruiters have diversity quotas for things like race and sex which could improve your chances if you are in one of those categories. I always felt that physical fitness was the most important criteria. If you have a 300 PFT then they have to look at you. Anything under 285 has generally been less than competitive. So you know your goals: 100 sit ups, 20 pull ups, and an 18:00 3 mile...

When I was applying PLC was easier to get in to than, OCS. Also, I thought we had a 3.0 minimum GPA, but I could be remembering that incorrectly. What is your OSO telling you?

10/29/17

Minimum gpa right now is 2.0. My OSO has said that right now is a good time to be applying because 1) they are trying to increase the Corps size and 2) there are a good number of flight contracts open. He also stressed the importance of the pft.

10/28/17

First off, thanks for your service, my mother was a navy reservist and my step father was a navy civil engineer in the Seabees so I grew up around the military bases. I would really appreciate some advice, I'm in a junior college with a 3.9 gpa and am looking to transfer next year to a couple of Ivy League schools or a local big public university for either business or computer science. If I don't get into any of my top schools I was looking at the Air Force or any branch for officer school and am wondering when would be the earliest I could apply. My fallback school is just a last resort if I can't crack any of my targets, and if I go there I definitely intend on going into the military, but do I need to go to college for 4 years to enter as an officer? I go to the gym and am very active so the physical req. would not be a problem. Also would joining the military set me up for a good MBA or MSF program(my stepfathers friend got to attend standford for engineering so my perception is that ther is some advantage in applying as a military member)? Any response greatly appreciated!

10/29/17
FamousJake:

First off, thanks for your service, my mother was a navy reservist and my step father was a navy civil engineer in the Seabees so I grew up around the military bases. I would really appreciate some advice, I'm in a junior college with a 3.9 gpa and am looking to transfer next year to a couple of Ivy League schools or a local big public university for either business or computer science. If I don't get into any of my top schools I was looking at the Air Force or any branch for officer school and am wondering when would be the earliest I could apply. My fallback school is just a last resort if I can't crack any of my targets, and if I go there I definitely intend on going into the military, but do I need to go to college for 4 years to enter as an officer? I go to the gym and am very active so the physical req. would not be a problem. Also would joining the military set me up for a good MBA or MSF program(my stepfathers friend got to attend standford for engineering so my perception is that ther is some advantage in applying as a military member)? Any response greatly appreciated!

You will have to graduate from a 4 year school to be an officer. Most services offer the opportunity to go to training the summer after your junior year. After you finish your training and go back to school and finish your senior year you graduate and become a second lieutenant/ensign. In the Marines this is called the PLC program. I would recommend you talk to the officer recruiters from each service to get a good feel for what is out there.

As for setting you up for grad school, I think that the military absolutely does that. First you get a lot of money from the post-911 GI Bill. But the real beauty is that a lot of great schools specifically target military folks through diversity programs. Whether that means a quote or just an emphasis, I'm not sure. But I think it will help you get into a great school. You will also have a bunch of cool stories and a strong network that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

11/2/17

1-Click to Unlock All Comments - 100% FREE

or
Why do I need to be signed in?
WSO is a knowledge-sharing community that depends on everyone being able to pitch in when they know something.
+ Bonus: 6 Free Financial Modeling Lessons with 1-Click Signup ($199 value)
11/2/17
11/3/17
11/5/17
12/27/17