Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ellicott City, MD
Re: Need advice: should I become a Naval/Air force Officer in med corps?
And even with 'base jobs' you're still probably going to get deployed occasionally. I have a friend in intelligence and he serves a tour about once every 18 months for 6 months right now. His other option is a year deployment every 18 months to a rear area (IE Qatar, Germany, etc), but that gets in the way of his and his wife's "having a family/making a family".
When you join the military your spouse is, for better or worse, married to the military as well. It sucks for job prospects for the spouse most of the time and, all though it has its perks, doesn't pay well if you are in a highly skilled profession. Arguably some of the people I know got their later high paying jobs because of skills they learned in the military, but most of them are making in the area of 2-5x as much in civilian life either as a DOD contractor or just working in a similar field as they did when they were in.
They lose the perks such as housing allowance, PX, etc, but the pay more then makes up for it for everyone I know.
Unless physical therapy is a much lower paying field then I thought it was, an O-3, which I imagine you wouldn't be starting out as, pays a heck of a lot less then you would working in public or private health. Heck look at getting a VA job if you want to serve service members, it doubtlessly pays more and no worries about deployments.
Anyway, back the family thing, keep in mind it might intrude on your family plans in a big way. If service is paramount to you then great, but EVERYTHING takes a back seat to being in the military, every single thing and you have pretty much no say about it.
The friend has a 2yr old daughter. He has spent about 9 months of her life deployed or on short term training deployments and they want another child, well he is spending (as of a couple of days ago) the next 6 months in Afghanastan so that is on hold. His choices were try to get his wife pregnant before he left and miss most of the pregnancy (including being helpful to a wife with a toddler and morning sickness, etc, etc) or come back and possibly have to leave again when his next child is maybe only a few months old. Oh, or he could have taken that 1yr deployment to a non-combat zone and had to put off having another kid for a year.
He loves what he does, but I hear constant complaining from him and his wife about how their family has to take a back seat to the military. It stresses their marriage as well. If you talk to most people in the military before a deployment most spouses 4-6 weeks in advance pretty much get sick and tired of their spouse who is getting deployed. Psychologically it is because they want them to go and start the clock on getting back. Whether you know why or not it stresses the marriage, you get agravated at your spouse easily, don't want to spend time with them, etc, etc. Tons of stress while gone as well. When back honeymoon period for awhile and then a lot of times start it all over again as they get lined up for another deployment.