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Should I stay Navy?

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  • Should I stay Navy?

    I'm planning on what to do with my career as far as staying in the navy or getting out. Here's the facts:
    -By Dec 08 or early 09, I should be getting my master's in plumbing and HVAC. This will allow me to get my contractor's license. I will by that time have an associate's in HVAC also. I will have 10 years in the Navy by this point.

    Advantages of the Navy:
    -solid, steady paycheck for the rest of my life if I retire (11 years more).
    -free medical and dental for family, life insurance, college, quite a bit of my income is tax free. I figured that I roughly make 63 to 70 grand a year INCLUDING benefits. What I bring home is far, far less.
    -get to see different places.
    -as a seabee, I can probably stay in gulfport, ms for the next 9 years(when I rotate back around) so my plan was to stay in and have a business part time, then when I retire, everything would be set up for business which I could work at for the next 20 years until I'm 60. This way, even if business is slow, the mortage is paid for and I won't ever have to worry about medical for me or my wife.
    -position changes constantly so what may be a bad situation now can change in a year. Or vise versa.

    Disadvantages of the Navy:
    -I'm a hands on kind of guy and I'm at a position where I sit behind a desk and tell people what to do. Not my cup of tea. This will only get worse as time goes by. I'm currently ducking things to make rank so it doesn't happen. This is a huge one for me. My job satisfaction is nil. I'm at the rank where I can retire and I don't want to go any higher in rank.
    -have to leave family behind sometimes(still sucks but I'm used to it).

    There's more to both sides that I'm sure some veterans will point out that I'm sure I'm missing. To sum it up; stay at a job for 11 years for some good benefits and retirement OR get out and start my business up and I would have a 9 year head start of where I would've been if I stay in and set my retirement up through my business.

    No matter what is said, no one comment will cause me to make such a life altering choice (I'm sure the wif will have some say in it) so please speak freely. I try to plan at least a couple of years out what to do with my life and that's all this is, a plan, not a definite. I'm looking to hear other opinions and maybe the grass isn't so green on the other side or maybe it's a golf course.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.

  • #2
    Re: Should I stay Navy?

    well all your Advantages of the Navy: sound better then you will get on your own so i cant say stay because i was never in the service
    Charlie

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    • #3
      Re: Should I stay Navy?

      Whenever I need to make life altering decisions, I just ask the wife. I follow her volition. Should we get married, where do we buy a house, who our friends should be. I don't have to sweat the big ones.

      I'm all for you getting your license weather you use it or not. You should however get some working knowledge and expierience in the private sector before going out on your own. Where would you set up your business anyway? Va Beach? Hawaii? Mississippi? Different regions have different economys. It is good that you have skill in both plumbing and HVAC when one is slow you can fall back on the other. As for starting you own business; the other guys here can fill you in on the pitfalls and rewards.

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      • #4
        Re: Should I stay Navy?

        I can't answer for you, but my experiences may shed some light on your decision. I'm 40 yr old, been doing this for about 6-7 yr. Went to college, was a mechanical engineer for a few years, designed test equipment and hydraulic systems to test aircraft engine components. Took a leave to come ski for a season. Never went back. Pushed snow, was an equipment mechanic for various outfits. Last place I did that for found an excuse to fire me when their business got slow.

        A friend had this business, and wanted some help as he was getting too much work. It was ok... I enjoyed it and while he couldn't pay me what I was used to making it was fine as I hung out at my house and fixed cars on the side until the phone rang. Flash forward a few years and he wants out altogether so I buy a portion of the business and take over all the field work. This changed everything for me.

        Owning even a piece of the business has changed my whole attitude about work. I'm not just punching in and drinking coffee and complaining, which I did a lot of in previous jobs. I have always hated being told to do things that make little if any sense, and I got a lot of that in the corporate world. I simply love my work, and this has translated greatly into a better love of life in general.

        Of course people are different, and you might not find the same. Your own business, especially if it is just you and no partners to kick things around with, is scary. NO-ONE but you will make anything happen. There are no excuses. The workload is difficult to manage; if I am not available for the emergencies I don't get the bread and butter. For me, here, response is everything. I can't tell a property manager at 100% occupancy to call someone else for his plugged kitchen sink tonight because I'm tired, its dark and cold and I don't want to do it or I lose the whole property. I have prayed for the phone to ring and I have prayed for it to stop ringing. I work more, am constantly on call, and make less money. But I am happier every day.

        For me life is too short to spend my days in a place I don't like doing things I think are silly for managers who don't respect my opinion. That situation sapped the life out of me, and put me in a spiral where I did crappy work because I couldn't care, then felt bad about myself because of my crappy work and did even less, and felt guilty about taking my pay to boot. Then the more I milked it and no-one called me to account, the less respect I felt for my job and myself. Now it is all different. I wake up ready to go, happy, proud of my work and my output, proud of my van and all its little tricks and tools in the right spots cleaned up and ready to go, proud of the way my customers can rely on me, proud of the way I've built up the business, and proud of what I earn and the fact that no-one can dispute that I have truly earned what I make. No-one else made that clog go away, and I was the third guy on it.

        The security of a steady paycheck is a scary thing to leave behind, and benefits are not to be scoffed at. I have no health insurance, no 401k, no retirement benefits, no vacation pay, no sick pay, and get time off only when I have a good employee to cover (I've been through 3; the current one is working out nicely as an employee but he wants a 9-5 so I still cover every night and weekend and work most days taking the odd/difficult jobs and the volume when it gets too high for one person). But I have no family to look after either so it is less difficult for me. It's not for everyone, but I will never go back. Emotionally, for me, I have to expand myself or collapse. I either grow or die, and you grow only by pushing yourself. I couldn't find an avenue for growth that suited me in the corporate world. Good luck with whatever you decide.

        -Alex
        This is my reminder to myself that no good will ever come from discussing politics or religion with anyone, ever.

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        • #5
          Re: Should I stay Navy?

          Ben,

          Only you know what is good for you and your family. I have two sons who started out to be career military.

          Jared put 6-years in as a crash unit firefighter and as he promoted up got further away from the hands on aspect. Because of this he left the Air Force and became a Police Officer on the outside.

          Jaysen has 12-years into the Army as he promotes up he is getting further away from his job as a pilot. Jaysen will stay in and get at least 20-years in then become a pilot on the outside.

          Both directions have their advantage and benefits. Jared was able to bring his service years towards his retirement on the outside but Jaysen will likely have a better retirement. While in the military you will have limited opportunities to make your own choices but you will have a lot more security.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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          • #6
            Re: Should I stay Navy?

            This is probably not going to go over well with some here, including yourself. But, you asked for an opinion so I'm giving it.

            Keep in mind that we are involved in a ridicules pointless war. We are running short of personnel because candidates are aware of this. If you remain you may find yourself in the middle of this mess. In my opinion, get out for the sake of your family.
            the dog

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            • #7
              Re: Should I stay Navy?

              Originally posted by plumbdog10 View Post
              This is probably not going to go over well with some here, including yourself. But, you asked for an opinion so I'm giving it.

              Keep in mind that we are involved in a ridicules pointless war. We are running short of personnel because candidates are aware of this. If you remain you may find yourself in the middle of this mess. In my opinion, get out for the sake of your family.
              Could you go further in detail? If you're talking about going to the desert(Iraq), I've already been. Actually, if I can't extend in VA to finish my degree, the only 2 places I could go as of right now is Iraq or Diego Garcia. Being over there is no club med but it's not nearly as bad as the media portrays it to be.
              Buy cheap, buy twice.

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              • #8
                Re: Should I stay Navy?

                Ben, after chatting with you earlier..I gotta say you're much more on top of your decision making than I think you realize.
                Dog has a very valid point, if staying with the Navy means diego or Iraq, then get out.
                If you can stay in the military and work on a local client base part time, then stay.
                I stand corrected on one important point...you need to know that you're going to be stationed in one place in order to start a business with a client following.
                There's a lot of time and trial/effort involved in running a business.
                You could just work for a civvey plumbing shop instead of re-upping, then build from there.
                Bottom line, you have options, ambition and a good head on your shoulders.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Should I stay Navy?

                  Originally posted by plumbdog10 View Post
                  This is probably not going to go over well with some here, including yourself. But, you asked for an opinion so I'm giving it.

                  Keep in mind that we are involved in a ridicules pointless war. We are running short of personnel because candidates are aware of this. If you remain you may find yourself in the middle of this mess. In my opinion, get out for the sake of your family.

                  i could not agree with dog more on this one. i did my time when i was 18 during the frist gulf war, but i never left the ship(boiler tech) and to be honest, i can't say i miss it, but that is me, but if you know you will not be happy where you are going to be stationed, and you can not go else where then it may be time for you to take charge of your life and do what is right by you.

                  i wish you well with what ever you deside to do.
                  9/11/01, never forget.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Should I stay Navy?

                    One of the things I regret is not retiring with benefits in the Army, however a military life is not a cake walk as you know. The retirement money and health insurance is a very nice thing to have.

                    I will assume you enlisted when you were 18. If you did your 20 years that would put you out at 38ish. In my opinion that is a great age to be in the trades. Then if you start your business you will have medical insurance and not have to worry about that.

                    If if were me, I would do as you are doing now, getting licenses, tools and such. Develop a business plan, have a vehicle and everything you want bought and paid for when you retire. The transition would be smooth and less stressful.

                    My hats off to you guys that run your own buisness.

                    Thank you for your service Gear Junkie!
                    Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Should I stay Navy?

                      Originally posted by plumbdog10 View Post
                      This is probably not going to go over well with some here, including yourself. But, you asked for an opinion so I'm giving it.

                      Keep in mind that we are involved in a ridicules pointless war. We are running short of personnel because candidates are aware of this. If you remain you may find yourself in the middle of this mess. In my opinion, get out for the sake of your family.

                      Agree with the Puppy

                      You wanna see your son grow up and be there for your family right?

                      That should give you a pretty good answer

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Should I stay Navy?

                        You must do what is "right" for you and your family. With 9 years in, you have a substantial investment in already!

                        Think it out,

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                        • #13
                          Re: Should I stay Navy?

                          I stayed 20 in the Army and just love the pension check coming in every month.
                          SSG, U.S. Army
                          Retired
                          K.I.S.S., R.T.F.M.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Should I stay Navy?

                            Originally posted by TOD View Post
                            I stayed 20 in the Army and just love the pension check coming in every month.

                            The fellow that I'm leaving to go fix a broken water line in a minute, is a special opps _________, retired and makes a generous living, now works a job to compliment his boredom even though his pension is quite a compliment to money for a child's future education.

                            You know my sentiment when I talked on the phone with ya; don't ignore the cafeteria when they're serving free lunch everyday. *Benefits/SS/Insurance*


                            I believe he was 18 when he went in, got out at 38. That, must feel pretty good to have under the belt.....a continous cash flow regardless if he wants to wake up and go to work.
                            Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 01-02-2008, 11:07 AM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Should I stay Navy?

                              STAY NAVY, you have a family to take care of,you have a full retirement in 10 more years. Benifits medical for you and family,paycheck, still pretty young, plus you can have your business started and going. Get the licence and higher a solid plumber to keep it going when you are over seas or deployment.
                              Ten years you can do standing on your head.
                              I did 4 years and I am presently a plumbing Engineer for a small engineering firm. I have my Masters Licence and Gas Fitters.
                              I wish a would of stayed in. I have friends that just retired and both of them are doing well.
                              Good Luck ,also what does your wife think?

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