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  #21  
Old 1 October 2016, 16:55
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OfficeSloth OfficeSloth is offline
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This is some of the best advice you can get. Getting your degree will open many future opportunities that would be otherwise closed to you. If you knock out only one class at a time, it is progress. As SB stated, get your pre-reqs taken care of so you are positioned for whatever major you may decide upon later.

As for how far out you should start contacting companies, I recommend doing so now. Contact recruiters for the companies/programs you are interested in. Ask their recommendations for the processing timelines involved with their specific programs. Some programs have short processing timelines, while others may be upwards of a year.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
Willy regardless of what you decide on reinlisting, I suggest you immediately start taking steps towards a degree. Depending on your optempo, you should at least be able to knock out all the lower level prereqs needed for an undergrad degree.
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  #22  
Old 1 October 2016, 17:04
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Before an Admin hits you up, try posting an intro into the appropriate forum at the very top of the thread list. Your words are worthless here without following the rules.

Cheers,
Ok, I didn't realize. I'll check the rules again. I guess this would be more of an open forum discussion. Thanks.
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  #23  
Old 1 October 2016, 17:09
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Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the advice. Obviously there's a load of experience here. I may be a fool for getting out, but I feel it's time to change course. Anyway, good luck to you all in your own endeavors.
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  #24  
Old 1 October 2016, 17:10
Stretch Stretch is offline
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Originally Posted by Old_Starlight View Post
Before an Admin hits you up, try posting an intro into the appropriate forum at the very top of the thread list. Your words are worthless here without following the rules.

Cheers,
Pretty sure Willy did that in '05.

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  #25  
Old 1 October 2016, 18:54
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Old_Starlight Old_Starlight is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Ok, I didn't realize. I'll check the rules again. I guess this would be more of an open forum discussion. Thanks.
Willy, that was aimed at MedicFL, not you.

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Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
Yep, my bad for not addressing the poster I was talking to in a direct manner. I'll push some out now.

Cheers,
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  #26  
Old 2 October 2016, 10:18
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Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the advice. Obviously there's a load of experience here. I may be a fool for getting out, but I feel it's time to change course. Anyway, good luck to you all in your own endeavors.
Willy,

The only thing I would like to add is that if you decide to EAS and pursue that particular contract position, spend as much time as you can training with your pistol.
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  #27  
Old 2 October 2016, 14:37
Willy Willy is offline
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Silverbullet,

Thanks for the offer, sent you a pm.
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  #28  
Old 3 October 2016, 01:39
Newt648 Newt648 is offline
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Stay put and get your 20 and have that retirement check. There is no retirement in contracting. I have been doing this stuff since 1998 and dont have squat for retirement. Well I did have some put away till I got hurt and ended up with over $500k worth of medical bills.

I know it looks cool being a contractor from where your sitting put in reality it isnt. I bet there quit a few on here that wish they would have gotten their 20 in first. While your getting your 20 get a 4 yr degree and do your best to get into a intel slot. When you get out u can get a better contract position other then security.

What ever you decide Good Luck.........
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  #29  
Old 3 October 2016, 02:10
20boatguy22 20boatguy22 is offline
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Second what others were saying about staying in. I'm contracting, but having that pension check (even as small as it is) definitely helps when I'm home. Also, do like they tell you and get evaluated for VA disability. I retired in 14 and just started getting my shit together.

If you are set on getting out (a lot can happen in a year), check SOC and XPG (they have a different name now but I can't remember). They are both currently holding what have been some long-term contracts for the gov. Contract changes hands, but it's been around a long time and isn't going anywhere. If you have 4-6 years Recon (minimum) then you should be able to get your foot in the door with no issue.

As to college, check out instantcert.com - $20 per month gets you study guides for just about all the CLEP and Dantes tests. Study till you can pass the flashcards and practice tests 100%, then go to your base college office and test out - mil will cover the test while you are in, so it's (almost) free college credit. Most colleges will accept CLEP credit, at least for your gen ed requirements. You can also use TA while you're in, and have your entire GI Bill waiting when you get out. I got my BA for free while I was in, between TA and Montgomery GI top-up (still have full eligibility after transitioning to Post-9/11).

Whatever you decide, good luck to you and HAVE A PLAN. Used to drive me nuts watching guys get out on the 'I'll go home and figure it out' plan.
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  #30  
Old 3 October 2016, 07:37
Willy Willy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20boatguy22 View Post
Second what others were saying about staying in. I'm contracting, but having that pension check (even as small as it is) definitely helps when I'm home. Also, do like they tell you and get evaluated for VA disability. I retired in 14 and just started getting my shit together.

If you are set on getting out (a lot can happen in a year), check SOC and XPG (they have a different name now but I can't remember). They are both currently holding what have been some long-term contracts for the gov. Contract changes hands, but it's been around a long time and isn't going anywhere. If you have 4-6 years Recon (minimum) then you should be able to get your foot in the door with no issue.

As to college, check out instantcert.com - $20 per month gets you study guides for just about all the CLEP and Dantes tests. Study till you can pass the flashcards and practice tests 100%, then go to your base college office and test out - mil will cover the test while you are in, so it's (almost) free college credit. Most colleges will accept CLEP credit, at least for your gen ed requirements. You can also use TA while you're in, and have your entire GI Bill waiting when you get out. I got my BA for free while I was in, between TA and Montgomery GI top-up (still have full eligibility after transitioning to Post-9/11).

Whatever you decide, good luck to you and HAVE A PLAN. Used to drive me nuts watching guys get out on the 'I'll go home and figure it out' plan.
Thanks

I have heard of those companies and I know SOC has a great reputation. I've taken advantage of TA since I've been in, but not as early as I should have. I'll look into the GI Bill since I just recently realized that I could use both.
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  #31  
Old 3 October 2016, 08:34
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Silverbullet Silverbullet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Silverbullet,

Thanks for the offer, sent you a pm.
Got it.
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  #32  
Old 6 October 2016, 15:42
RegularGuy101 RegularGuy101 is offline
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Having been a recruiter or involved in the onboarding process of several contracts with a handful of companies, I can tell you that nobody can really move forward with your process until you have your DD-214. You can apply, possibly speak with a recruiter, but they wont be able to submit a BIO for a DOS role or schedule you for training on a DOD gig until they see that honorable discharge.

That being said, keep watching the company's career sites and watching here at SOCNET for the roles that are out there and the requirements so you can get yourself right. I would start applying in earnest about 60 days out from when you start terminal leave. I deployed on my first contract with about 40 days of term leave left so I was able to overlap income during transition.

Also, and it was mentioned, contracting is not what it used to be. There are 15 years of modern combat vets now that you are competing with, plus companies have figured out creative ways of meeting contract obligations with lower costs, namely salary reductions. With the instability in the fed gov and industry, I would personally stay in if you enjoy it enough. I got out after 12 years of service and while I'm doing well now, I had some seasons that we're rough. Best of luck to you!
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  #33  
Old 7 October 2016, 02:39
DmHmr DmHmr is offline
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Marines often do NOT do paperwork like the rest of the branches.

The DOS and any recruiter will want to see a distinction between active duty time and actual deployed time, something they weren't doing consistently while I was in. The "Foreign Service" Block (12F?) will not cut it as that could be Germany or Okinawa.

Granted, mine was colossally fucked because I volunteered for deployments from reserve duty to active, then deployed and then back to reserve, so my chronology record is hard to wade through.

I've spent the last 5-6 months getting it corrected, hounding out all the offices in Quantico I could get a hold of, and doing a fair bit of research on my own to prove where I was and when. Make sure your actual deployment times and locations are noted BEFORE you leave. Feel free to PM me for more specifics.
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  #34  
Old 7 October 2016, 09:33
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mdwest mdwest is online now
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Wont make a recommendation about "get out" or "stay in".. that's really your personal choice and decision to make...

but will echo what several others have said.. start pushing as hard as you can toward a degree and/or any other relevant certificates/training that would apply to whatever job you want to have when you get out.. whether that's in 2017.. or 2027..

Its not 2004 anymore.. the days of demand being significantly higher than supply on the government "contractor" side of the house (whether we're talking security, construction, or just about any other industry) have passed..

These days there are a lot more people wanting "contractor" jobs than there are jobs available.. which means competition is fierce and wages and benefits are lower..

Something mentioned earlier is absolutely paramount if you want to try to break into the business these days.... you need to find a way to set yourself apart from the rest of the herd... there are literally thousands of former Reconnaissance Marines, and SOF vets. that all want the exact same job you do... pile on thousands of additional conventional infantry types, cops, etc.. that all have anywhere from a 1 to 15 year head start on you in contracting and already have contacts and relationships at the major employers.. and its a tough market to break into in 2016..

If you don't know someone personally that's currently employed by SOC, TC, Dyn, etc.. that's willing to help you get on board.. or don't have something on your resume that makes you stand out or shows that you bring something to the table that most other people don't... I'd plan on spending anywhere from 90 days to 12 months looking for work at a minimum.. without a connection or a stand out resume.. youre going to have to get lucky and hit a company at a time when they are trying to mobilize a new, large contract and are in need of a lot of bodies in a short period of time..

Once you are "inside" things get a lot easier..

but.. breaking into the business these days.. is a bitch....
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Last edited by mdwest; 7 October 2016 at 09:39.
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  #35  
Old 8 October 2016, 15:16
swiftscout4 swiftscout4 is offline
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Willy - There are many great replies to your post from a lot of "old guys" who, if in your shoes again with 10 years T.I.S., with the knowledge they have now, may have done something differently. In other words, we have lived the life, made some mistakes, made some great decisions, and now have a pretty good vantage point on the high ground to make decent tactical decisions.

What does this former Marine and current SF guy have to say? Here it is...
1. Do not stay in or get out based on a woman!
2. Do not be allured to the contracting world by money or the false pretense that you'll be doing some Jason Bourne crud - neither exist. The money can be decent, but recent and current trends indicate that pay rates, even for "cool guys", are being reduced significantly (LPTA - look it up and it...).
3. Do not be deterred from contracting either; however, spend some time talking to gentlemen like Silverbullet or others who have a LOT of experience in the field.
4. If you want to be a gunslinger stay in the military and consider attempting to go to a SMU.
5. College - the older you get the more difficult it becomes to finish your degree. While a piece of paper doesn't really mean a lot to people like us, it means a LOT to corporate America and many federal agencies.
6. Think long term and what you may want to do when you hang up the kit and the rifle. Yeah, you're a young man and saying, "Bro, I'll NEVER do that!" Trust me brother, there will be a day when all you'll want to do is stay near home, have a low-stress, relaxing job, no commute, and most importantly, watch your kids grow up. So start thinking NOW what you can do to put yourself in that place.
7. Don't be afraid to take a chance, just ensure when the green light goes on you make a strong exit from the aircraft!

If you stay in:
- USMC CI
- MARSOC (become a Level III)
- Transition to the Army and go SF (more opportunities than the Marine Corps)
- SMU

If you get out:
- College, use your GI Bill, relax and enjoy your life a little
- College, use your GI Bill, contract on the side (possible on some contracts)
- Contract, save your money, then college, use your GI Bill and enjoy your life a little
- Join the Army SF Guard, attend and pass the Q, then college, GI Bill, enjoy life, be a part time Green Beret (sort of best of everything). I don't know you from Adam, but to hear a young man thinking about his life and career 12 months out, that is the type of person that our ODA's need!

Good luck Marine! God Bless you and Semper Fi!
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  #36  
Old 8 October 2016, 17:14
Jong Jong is online now
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There is some awesone advice in this thread. I chased the dream of trying to find some green grass until I finally figured out the grass is only green if you water it yourself. There is no perfect place.

The one thing you will have a hard time finding again is serving with the best this country has to offer.
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  #37  
Old 8 October 2016, 18:02
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leopardprey leopardprey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swiftscout4 View Post
Willy - There are many great replies to your post from a lot of "old guys" who, if in your shoes again with 10 years T.I.S., with the knowledge they have now, may have done something differently. In other words, we have lived the life, made some mistakes, made some great decisions, and now have a pretty good vantage point on the high ground to make decent tactical decisions.

What does this former Marine and current SF guy have to say? Here it is...
1. Do not stay in or get out based on a woman!
2. Do not be allured to the contracting world by money or the false pretense that you'll be doing some Jason Bourne crud - neither exist. The money can be decent, but recent and current trends indicate that pay rates, even for "cool guys", are being reduced significantly (LPTA - look it up and it...).
3. Do not be deterred from contracting either; however, spend some time talking to gentlemen like Silverbullet or others who have a LOT of experience in the field.
4. If you want to be a gunslinger stay in the military and consider attempting to go to a SMU.
5. College - the older you get the more difficult it becomes to finish your degree. While a piece of paper doesn't really mean a lot to people like us, it means a LOT to corporate America and many federal agencies.
6. Think long term and what you may want to do when you hang up the kit and the rifle. Yeah, you're a young man and saying, "Bro, I'll NEVER do that!" Trust me brother, there will be a day when all you'll want to do is stay near home, have a low-stress, relaxing job, no commute, and most importantly, watch your kids grow up. So start thinking NOW what you can do to put yourself in that place.
7. Don't be afraid to take a chance, just ensure when the green light goes on you make a strong exit from the aircraft!

If you stay in:
- USMC CI
- MARSOC (become a Level III)
- Transition to the Army and go SF (more opportunities than the Marine Corps)
- SMU

If you get out:
- College, use your GI Bill, relax and enjoy your life a little
- College, use your GI Bill, contract on the side (possible on some contracts)
- Contract, save your money, then college, use your GI Bill and enjoy your life a little
- Join the Army SF Guard, attend and pass the Q, then college, GI Bill, enjoy life, be a part time Green Beret (sort of best of everything). I don't know you from Adam, but to hear a young man thinking about his life and career 12 months out, that is the type of person that our ODA's need!

Good luck Marine! God Bless you and Semper Fi!
Good advice.
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  #38  
Old 10 October 2016, 20:19
Willy Willy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegularGuy101 View Post
Having been a recruiter or involved in the onboarding process of several contracts with a handful of companies, I can tell you that nobody can really move forward with your process until you have your DD-214. You can apply, possibly speak with a recruiter, but they wont be able to submit a BIO for a DOS role or schedule you for training on a DOD gig until they see that honorable discharge.

That being said, keep watching the company's career sites and watching here at SOCNET for the roles that are out there and the requirements so you can get yourself right. I would start applying in earnest about 60 days out from when you start terminal leave. I deployed on my first contract with about 40 days of term leave left so I was able to overlap income during transition.

Also, and it was mentioned, contracting is not what it used to be. There are 15 years of modern combat vets now that you are competing with, plus companies have figured out creative ways of meeting contract obligations with lower costs, namely salary reductions. With the instability in the fed gov and industry, I would personally stay in if you enjoy it enough. I got out after 12 years of service and while I'm doing well now, I had some seasons that we're rough. Best of luck to you!
You're 100% on that. I was recently put in touch with a recruiter and he told me the same, however, I'm optimistic about our exchange. Thanks for the advice.
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  #39  
Old 10 October 2016, 21:23
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MacDuff MacDuff is offline
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Originally Posted by Dark Helmet View Post
If you have less than ten years to retirement, make sure that as you look at whether to get out that you analyze your retirement.

I am not talking about looking at your monthly nut. I am talking about a full-blown net-present-value analysis of what that retirement means to you in today's dollars, assuming your rank at retirement, interim increases in military pay, and your own projected mortality.

The number will stun you. If it doesn't, it isn't properly calculated.
If this interests you, shoot me a PM.

I can figure it up for you in a couple of hours. DH is right, the value of a pension is amazing.
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  #40  
Old 11 October 2016, 05:40
Doctor Doctor is offline
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Willy, you have plenty of experience to get into the PSD contracting world. Start applying ASAP and the recruiters will work with you. A DoS SECRET is taking anywhere from 6-12 months right now so keep that in mind. There is still plenty of money to be made especially if you are a medic but along with EMT-I or EMT-P certifications you will need 3 years of experience to be approved for that spot.

You never know what could happen but I don't see these jobs going anywhere and now there will be even more in Africa in the near future.

First and foremost have a plan. Don't take this job and blow all your money each paycheck or you will be here forever like the majority of dudes out here. Plan on taking online classes as there is plenty of downtime.

Good luck!
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