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peaceloveandPA

Looking to join the Military as a PA.. Where do I start?

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I am a new PA (with 3 months family practice experience) and am seriously considering joining the military. I already serve a large (90%) of the marine population as a civilian PA.

I am going to contact the recruiters, but was wondering if anyone in the military had any advice on which branch to pick... or how to start? Any inside advice?

and Will they take me with so little experience, or should I ride out the contract that I have now with my employer, which ends in December?

 

My girlfriend tells me not to join the marines or navy because of "sexual harassment" issues she's heard about from her female military friends. She's an army wife, so definitely biased.

 

Also, from what I'm reading I'd give in as O-2? I dont know much about the military lingo.

 

Thank you.

 

:smile:

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Well, you can't go into the marines. They receive all they health care support from the Navy.

 

I'm say Navy because I'm biased, but I think it's the "just right" one between AF and army.

 

Yes, you would go in as an O2. I would talk to a recruiter, but it may not work out anytime soon with sequestration and all the political BS going on. I think they normally take about 5 direct accessions per year.

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Well, you can't go into the marines. They receive all they health care support from the Navy.

 

I'm say Navy because I'm biased, but I think it's the "just right" one between AF and army.

 

Yes, you would go in as an O2. I would talk to a recruiter, but it may not work out anytime soon with sequestration and all the political BS going on. I think they normally take about 5 direct accessions per year.

 

 

 

I just realized that about the marines by doing some more research tonight. What do you mean by "just right?" :) and "direct accessions?" I put in requests with navy, army and air force... so I'm just waiting to hear back from recruiters.

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The Army Reserve and National Guard are short PAs right now. Contact an AMEDD recruiter and they should be able to get you started.

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Remember though, when something isn't the way the recruiter told you it was going to be, point this out by saying, "but my liar told me..yada ..yada".

Do the research. Know what the facts are. Don't TRUST anything they tell you and only half of what is in your contract. It can be great, but you need to know what your getting into first. Talk to those that have been there first hand.

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Remember to include in your decision making process, that you should prepare yourself for a deployment to Afghanistan. The recruiter will probably tell you that you'll be sippin' mai-tai's in sand diego. As a Navy PA, you can obviously go anywhere the Navy has a base, ship, training, etc. You also go wherever the Marines have a base, training, deployed, etc. You can ALSO go with Army units (which is more common than you'd think). Here's a great article from a female Navy PA that went with an Army SF unit to Afghanaland. http://navymedicine.navylive.dodlive.mil/archives/2943

 

I'm biased towards going with the Marines as I was an infantry FMF Corpsman with them from 2004-2010. But my point is to just understand that the Navy will provide you with quite an experience and has the potential to give you a very diverse place/culture of employment. Be it Navy, Marines, or Army units that you get assigned to. Talking with a recruiter can't hurt, just research everything and don't trust them at all.

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That's a very good article Chris. And to add to what he mentioned above, make sure anything you're told by a recruiter is in writing in your contract before putting a signature anywhere.

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Navy is a between place. Better housing than army, not as good as AF. Deployments are shorter than army, but longer than AF. More diversity in what to do in navy and where you can go, and you can do all kinds of specialties. Wanna be spec ops, do it. Wanna just be FP, cool. Wanna be with the marines, go for it. Wanna be on the hospital ship, mercy or comfort, you can do that too. Or just work your way into a hospital based specialty.

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I am a new PA (with 3 months family practice experience) and am seriously considering joining the military. I already serve a large (90%) of the marine population as a civilian PA.

I am going to contact the recruiters, but was wondering if anyone in the military had any advice on which branch to pick... or how to start? Any inside advice?

and Will they take me with so little experience, or should I ride out the contract that I have now with my employer, which ends in December?

 

My girlfriend tells me not to join the marines or navy because of "sexual harassment" issues she's heard about from her female military friends. She's an army wife, so definitely biased.

 

Also, from what I'm reading I'd give in as O-2? I dont know much about the military lingo.

 

Thank you.

 

:smile:

 

I'm currently an AF PA. One of my friends is a former Army PA. PM me if you want details on either of these branches.

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I use to love when the other branches of the armed forces would come to our air force base. They were blown away by how nice we lived, and it was true. I choose the AF 1st 2nd and 3rd. You will love it.

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I use to love when the other branches of the armed forces would come to our air force base. They were blown away by how nice we lived, and it was true. I choose the AF 1st 2nd and 3rd. You will love it.

 

They don't call it the chAIR Force for nothin' right? Jk :)

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They don't call it the chAIR Force for nothin' right? Jk :)

 

No, I'm not kidding! I drill at Luke AFB and the gallery actually had hired staff that went around and picked up out trays and plates. The lady was seriously mad when we all said it was ok and that we could clean up our own mess... she exclaimed,"It's my job, now leave it."

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I think the best question is, what do you want out of the military? Many think you are looking for the best base to live on. If that is the case, then take their advice. If it is not the case, tell us what you want.

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I agree with 3GeronimoPA, who I know is a combat vet. I was an Army PA almost my entire professional career and during some pretty crappy deployments. When i was in PA school with the air force and navy students, they would stare at me and my army buddies when we would tell them stories about Army life because it sucked. But that being said, I have a very good friend, who is in fact a smoking hot woman, who is an Army trained PA as well. she's one of the smartest women I have ever known. Anybody that has even looked at her the wrong way as far as inappropriate behavior goes, got torn to shreds. Sexual harrassment in the military isn't something you should base a career choice on because although it happens, it's not as widespread as the fear mongers want you to believe. That woman, she got out of the Army the same time I did, she worked civilian practice and decided she wanted to finish some active federal service for retirement. She finished a doctoral degree and talked to an air force recruiter who snapped her up immediately. She's got a clinic job, great hours, everybody is professional. In her words, night and day compared to how we were treated in the Army. If I had to do it all over again, I would go air force.

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I was a female assigned to an all male Army unit (artillery) including 2 deployments to Iraq. I never, ever felt harassed. My soldiers- patients and medics- loved me. I was told again and again that I was the best provider/boss they had ever had. I know harrassment happens, but like dd10 said, it is not everywhere and it's no reason to make a career decision. I was professional and that's how people treated me.

 

I do think you need to consider carefully why you want to join the military. Especially with no prior experience at all, you should expect to be shocked, disappointed, disillusioned, overworked and underpaid.

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I want to join the military mostly because of the article you posted!! I love that kind of experience, and I think I can get that from the military. I want to serve the country... it's why I became a PA. Also a big factor would be to make a small dent in my student loan bills. Thank you for all your advice. Housing is not super high on my important list...

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Depend's on where you want to be i.e: what branch and what kind of work (flight surgeon GP etc). I'm kinda of jaded on military healthcare at the moment, its a lot of bureaucracy a lot of squadron politics a lot of long hours and i know alot of burned out flight Suergeons/Doctors/PA's. Just be real careful in what you get into and do all your homework before hand. If your looking for a more stable environment I would recommend the guard of reserve, actually I would recommend the guard and reserve in general, more laid back. Good luck! Didnt mean to dissuade you but defiantly do your homework and if you have any questions feel free to PM Im pretty in the know in terms of AF medicine.

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Depend's on where you want to be i.e: what branch and what kind of work (flight surgeon GP etc). I'm kinda of jaded on military healthcare at the moment, its a lot of bureaucracy a lot of squadron politics a lot of long hours and i know alot of burned out flight Suergeons/Doctors/PA's. Just be real careful in what you get into and do all your homework before hand. If your looking for a more stable environment I would recommend the guard of reserve, actually I would recommend the guard and reserve in general, more laid back. Good luck! Didnt mean to dissuade you but defiantly do your homework and if you have any questions feel free to PM Im pretty in the know in terms of AF medicine.

 

Truth. When folks that don't know the military think about it, they invision deployments; war. The reality is much different. Like many large organizations, there is a ton of red tape to bogged down in. There are folks (PA/Doc's) who get frustrated because they didn't really have an idea of what they were getting into. You have to be a clinician and an officer.

 

In the AF you will learn all about 422's, 469's, and the the MEB process. Fun to be had.:;-D:

 

That said, once folks learn to navigate the red-tape, it becomes a good career....for most.

 

Good luck....military, all branches, is a good way to go, but it isn't all paved with gold.

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Hi,

I am in the National Guard. (28 years now, 12 of which have been full time NG). I recently used my benefits to go to PA school. Just graduated from school. I will be commissioning as an O1E which means with prior enlisted service and shortens the time to promotion. I will be getting 25K a year for 3 years in student loan repayment and then 20K bonus per year for 3 years after that. It will require you to go to officer basic which is about a month long after you complete an on-line phase one of the course to learn about military history etc. Good luck to you. I have nothing but good things to say about the Army national guard. They have treated me well all these years.

Karen

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I think the best question is, what do you want out of the military? Many think you are looking for the best base to live on. If that is the case, then take their advice. If it is not the case, tell us what you want.

 

My thoughts exactly! Are you ready to serve=service before self? Are you just along for the ride?

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Hey Kasey,

 

I found your post interesting and would like to pick your brain some more if possible. I am prior service, Army(Active) and National Guard (CA)and hoping to begin my PA Program this Fall. Can you email me your contact info.? Thanks

 

Armando

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