1. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    US Military infromation/advice

    Discussion in 'Research' started by agentkirb, Aug 29, 2012.

    So I'm writing a story where one of the side characters had a history in the military. And I was basically wanting to know what kind of time commitment they needed in order to complete their required time for the Military. It can be any branch, the one with the shortest commitment would probably be the best.

    The point of all of this is I wanted to make a character that is the head of security for some firm, and he has a history of being in the Military. But I wanted to make him like 25-30 years old. But if all branches of military keep you for like more than 10 years, that probably isn't that reasonable.
     
  2. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    I'm not military, but am a military brat. It used to be (depending on service) that you re-upped about every four years (Air force). In the Navy, if your a Nuc, I think they extend it to every six years.

    If you want them to be head of security, I'd suggest doing a little research on special forces or light infantry. Check out web sites and do a few google searches, you can probably have all the info you need within a few hours. Depending on what you decide, pick up a couple biographies as well. It'll give you a good feel for how they really think, since you haven't been a part of it.
     
  3. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    So realistically, I could have this side character be someone that was in the army or marines lets say and served his 6 years and got out of his contract and then as a civilian he got a job (or perhaps even started) at a security firm.

    I don't need a completely detailed back story, but I wanted to make him a former marine or army guy but I wanted to make sure that this would make sense if I made the guy 25-30 years old.
     
  4. Langadune
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    Langadune Member

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    In the US military you are committed to eight years regardless of the amount of time you spend on active duty. You can serve as little as two years in active duty (the army wants to get its money spent on training and feeding out of you) but are still committed to six more years in what's call IRR- Inactive Ready Reserve. That means anytime in those six remaining years, the military and require you to return to active duty. That's nut such a crazy notion in the last decade due to the amount of time and people committed to the Middle Ea
     
  5. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    I was in the Navy. At the time I enlisted, two years of active duty was still an option. Most people did four.

    The Army was doing a three year hitch at one point (I don't mow the current status of that). But as Langadune says, you still have to serve out some IRR time.

    Also worth noting there are a number of circumstances under which a person receives an honorable discharge but leaves the service early.

    The character of your discharge is based on your conduct during service. No disciplinary action and you get an honorable. If your record is a little spotty, you might get saddled with a General (Under Honorable Conditions) and if you've been naughty, you gift get an OTH(other thn honorable). OTH is the lowest grade of discharge you can get without having it handed down at a court martial.

    If you go to a court martial you can also get a BCD (bad conduct discharge) or the lowest of the low, a dishonorable discharge.

    So that's character of discharge, reason for discharge is just that, the reason you left. Most common is fulfilling your active duty service obligation. You can also be discharged early for:

    1. To pursue higher education
    2. For medical or psychiatric conditions not amounting to a disability
    3. Disability (medical or psych)
    4. Hardship (take care of a sick relative, take care of family following death of family member, if you have kids and no one to take care of them while you are deployed and various other situations)
    5. Disciplinary reasons
    6. Chaplains are discharged early if they lose ecclesiastical endorsement (if they leave or are recalled by their denomination)
    7. Doctors, nurses and lawyers are discharged if they lose their civilian professional license (need to be licensed in at least one state)
    8. Conscientious objectors can apply for discharge (good luck with that)

    So a "medical discharge" may be honorable or general, depending on your conduct during service.

    I know all of this goes beyond what you are asking, but I want to give you a broader picture because sometimes these other situations can play into your story. i.e. got out of the military on a hardship discharge to take care of a dying relative.
     
  6. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    So, you can just do the 2-4 years and get out just like that? Sounds like I don't really have anything to worry about then.
     
  7. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    Yes, but then you are on inactive reserve status for another 4-6 years. While on IRR, you can go out and live the civilian life. But they can call you back to active duty any time.
     
  8. Michelle Stone
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    Michelle Stone Member

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    An officer coming out of an ROTC program in college or one of the armed forces universities is committed to 6 years. But you might want the kid to be noncom. If he snuck in at 17 and served 8 years, he'd be 25 or 26. You know what I'd do? I'd call the Nave local recruitment center. Tell them what you are working on and ask them what it would take for the kid to become a Navy Seal. I'm sure they'd love to help you out. They know that free publicity is good for their enrollment programs.
     
  9. E. C. Scrubb
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    E. C. Scrubb Active Member

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    Don't forget, if you're setting it in the last decade, there'd be a VERY good chance that the guy would be called back on IRR, unless there was a specific reason for him not to be. Maybe an injury, maybe he served all eight years. Who knows. Nail down your timetable first, then check to see what happened to vets being called back during that time. Heck, if you want to build a little drama for this character, having him nervous about going to his mailbox every day and finding a letter from Uncle Sam.
     
  10. agentkirb
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    agentkirb Contributing Member

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    Well, certainly not ALL vets got called back, so I could just write that he was one of the ones that didn't. Although, one of his characteristics is that he's bilingual... so perhaps there were better odds that he would get called back if you had a skill like that that made you more appealing.

    Although... wait a second. Potential plot device: maybe he's not bilingual through joining the army, if he learned it before then maybe they wouldn't know about this skill of his and wouldn't have a reason to call him back. And then the MC could make this deduction and that might lead to some discovery about knowing what he did before he was in the army.

    That's actually another question I need to ask: I'm assuming that there is some kind of bilingual training option in the army that would allow you to get work in that "field". And I'm also assuming they keep records about who has done what training so they know where to assign people.
     
  11. JamesOliv
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    JamesOliv Senior Member

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    The SEAL training program starts with BUDS and runs through a series of programs including dive school, EOD school etc. all of this in addition to boot camp (nine weeks including the processing week) and "A" School for your rating (Navy for MOS). All of this info is available in detail on the Internet. There is no need to bother a recruiter who is trying to work.

    With regard to IRR, I was discharged in 2005. I was called up to report for a physical, but never recalled to active duty. None of the people I served with we're recalled to active duty either. I also know soldiers and marines who separated at the same time as me and were not recalled to active duty. So, it isn't as simply as "every vet in the last ten years was recalled from the IRR."

    If they really want you, they most likely stop losses you and prevented you from leaving in the first place. Those that were recalled (Navy) were either voluntary callups or had specialized skills.

    When you get called up in the IRR, first thing they do is a physical to make sure you are still fit. If your character is a SEAL, any number of minor injuries would make him ineligible for recall but still fit enough to serve as a cop or private security (especially head of security).

    That's if you wanted to get super detailed. I just left the IRR last year. Ask anyone and they would tell you I left the Navy behind in 2005. The possibility of recall was there, but you just go about your daily life and deal with it IF it comes up.
     

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