Why I signed on Army
Saturday, October 05, 2013
For whatever reasons, my contract didn't go through. So the entire post below is moot. It's interesting to know my thought process though so I won't delete it.
I have just signed on Army under Military Intelligence for 5 years.
Well, I really couldn't imagine myself doing such a thing just a year ago, but yet I have done it. Many, if not all of my friends are baffled by my decision. Even I myself am surprised that I did such a thing. However, I would like to assure everyone (including myself) that this isn't just some impulsive crazed up bullshit that I cooked up, there has been a lot of deliberate thought put into it.
I think the main reason why people are puzzled by my decision is because they aren't really sure about my job scope.
I am under the MDES scheme, which means that I am an engineer in MI. It is a non-combat vocation that deals with technology mainly. My job falls under one of three categories that is assigned to me.
- Troubleshooting and maintenance
One of my major reasons for signing on is because I don't want to waste these 2 years serving the nation, doing things that is meaningless to me. Yes, it might seem contradicting that I am "not wasting" 2 years by signing on for 5. However, that is based on the premise that being in the Army is a waste of time.
This is not necessarily true.
Instead of doing my mandatory time, I am doing a job that I like. Think of it as my way of getting out of doing something I really don't like, and getting on with my life; albeit with a very different type of organization. Of course, this is also assuming that I like my job; I think that I will, at least compared to what I might have to go through otherwise.
However, the biggest reason is sponsorship.
I want to try my utmost to get sponsored for studies in college. Yes, it is possible for the scheme that I am under. It may be 2-3 years down the road before I get the chance to apply for studies but at least the possibility is there. It is pretty hard to get that sponsorship but heck, I'm going to try anyway. There are many levels of sponsorship, at the basic level, school fees are settled and you get $1,000 allowance per month. At the higher level, you still receive your pay even during studies. (of course that comes with extra bonds)
It's a given that I will have to study a degree of relevance to my job, but that is of no matter as I am pretty much determined to live the life of a geek for the rest of my life.
Apart from all these "ethical" reasons, there is also money. Which does an excellent job of seducing people into this line of work. Earning a regular's pay during my service "saves time" and helps me get a head start on the rest of my friends who has been on my same path of education.
Here's a chart comparing all the possibilities.
|Click for full res | Correction: Without Studies, Below 1st year should be 18,160 instead of 27,240; bringing total to 283k|
It's a 10 year projection plan. Obviously, many things are just speculations and assumptions, but rest assured, they are not just blind guesses. It's just relatively safe guesses about my growth without considerations of bonuses and fast promotions.
As you can tell, after the contract ends, should I choose not to continue in this line of job, the drop in pay is rather significant. I am afraid that I wouldn't have the balls to leave and venture out.
Without studies: Simply working for 5 years and leaving
Sponsored studies: Break from work, study full time and go back to serve remaining bond. At least 8 years in total.
Concurrent studies: In the case of not being to get sponsorship, I should have the financial capabilities to send myself for studies. Whether I can endure it mentally/physically is another thing though. Yes, it's technically possible for me to do this.
Work immediately: Simply work after my 2 years with a diploma
Studies: Go back to studies after my 2 years and get my degree
Simply by looking at the chart, it is apparent that signing on will give me a better financial status. With 2 paths that lands me with a degree at the end of it.
I've simply writing about all the positives about signing on. What exactly are the negatives? Well for one, I am still in the Army. There is a lack of freedom somewhat, a little inconvenience. Some of the things I do might be secretive, it could be a pain in the ass to shut the fuck up about it when I'm excited about the technology.
The chain of command is absolute. I can't possibly just skip work and get fired or something. It's the Army, martial law is just beyond the fence. Also, I can be put into places I may not want to be in. In the sense that it's a pain in the ass to get to that location to work.
There are no females.
So yes, there are many things to fear getting into this line of job, but as long as I don't fuck things up, life would be pretty comfortable.
There, this whole post sums up why I made such a decision. Sure, there will definitely be better job offers out of army, but honestly, I don't have much of a choice when I'm still serving my 2 years. This will help ward off some boredom and bring more meaning into this supposedly mundane life.
That said, this is definitely not for everyone. It just so happens that what I like to do can be found in the Army. If you do not like any of the jobs in Army, this path is definitely not for you. Heck, I'm not even planning on staying for the rest of my life, still, things change, who knows how I would think after working there for 5 years. For now, I'm just waiting for the contract to process through. I will know the results 2 weeks from now. (it's pretty much a given) I'm just looking forward to how life would change once I start working.
I'm taking a leap of faith. Let's see how this goes shall we?