20
Feb
08

In the Army Now…

So I went through my MEPS processing yesterday, and let me say that it was a long, irritating and downright bad experience. At 6 am I arrived in Jacksonville after getting only three hours sleep. It was a three hour trip there. I went through the physical exams and such, which took hours. Finally, near the end of the day, I went to see the army liaison, whose job it is to seal the deal on my contract. Basically, I had to hold my ground on the job I wanted. They tried every trick in the book, from trying to make me look dumb and like I didn’t know what I wanted, to sweetening me with car salesman talk on jobs I didn’t want. Through the ordeal, I made it clear to them that I was not changing my mind on job preferences, and that the jobs I told them I was interested in were the same ones that I had spoken to my recruiter about when I first walked into the recruiting station two months ago.

The liaison, couldn’t get my job title correct, nor its series number. He repeatedly told me that the jobs I wanted were not available. I told him I’d have to walk out without a contract if that were the case. He got huffy-puffy, slammed some papers down on his desk, and told me to call my recruiter. When I had her on the phone, I explained the situation. Now, I give her credit; she went out of her way many times to tell me the truth and she drove me to Jacksonville on the same amount of sleep I had. Needless to say, she wasn’t impressed with what the liaison was trying to pull, which was sell me a mediocre job and save the good ones for later. What irritated me, is that my ASVAB score was a 94. Who the hell was he saving the job for? James Bond?

When my recruiter finally arrived at the MEPS station, I was told to go to another area of processing so that my finger prints could be taken. As I sat giving my info to a civilian employee so that she could log the info, the liaison walked up to me, looking disgusted, and held his finger under a line on my contract. The line said: “Intelligence Analyst”, the job I had been pushing for and that supposedly was not available only ten minutes prior. I had wanted to go 18 x-ray, (Special Forces) but since they wouldn’t give me a contract that day guaranteeing the spot as I need to see a specialist for my knee, I decided to go with my original choice of Intel. When I’m in, I can always try out for Special Forces if I choose. Adding fuel to the liaison’s fire, the woman processing me stated, “Oh, you got a good job!” I smiled. She told me that prior to the civilian position she now held, she had worked for Naval Intelligence and said that she enjoyed it immensely, but since her husband was a career Navy man, she decided to get out because their children needed someone to be at home with them.

Also on my contract is a two-week Airborne school at Fort Benning. The Intelligence school is a 19 week program in Sierra Vista, Arizona. My signing bonus is $16,000.

All in all, I’m happy with this. It’s not set in stone yet, as I still need to have my knee cleared with the specialist, and to have my Top Secret clearance accepted. The training I’ll get here will prepare me for a possible career in the CIA or NSA, or maybe if I like things enough, I’ll do twenty years in the army.

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