- Feb 27, 2007
10,000 YEARS WASN'T ENOUGH LURKING
Greetings, this thread will serve as a resource for people who are either interested in joining the military or are currently serving.
It is the consolidation of these old resource threads:
- Ask Us About Joining The US Military!
We've been doing this for eight? years now
We've recently had an influx of people who have degrees wanting to enlist. Follow the chart below, and see question #5.
First thread (archived) http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1696489
Second thread (archived) http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2420550
Third thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3180090
Fourth thread: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3343448
What does this thread mean to you?
If you're thinking about enlisting, ROTC programs, attending a service academy, pursuing a commission, about to sign a contract, have already joined the service and still have questions or if you want to talk with other goon service members.
1) What are some websites I can go to for basic information about the military?
2) Whatís the difference between Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves?
3) What is basic training like?
4) I am in college or starting college and want to join the military. What are my options?
5) Tell me about OCS!
6) Tell me about going from enlisted to officer.
7) I have done drugs in the past, will this disqualify me?
8) I have a physical condition/past surgery that limits my abilities, will this disqualify me?
9) I have used or AM USING prescription medication for a mental health issue, will this disqualify me?
10) Iím overweight and out of shape! Help!
11) How soon would I go to Iraq or Afghanistan if I joined?
12) What are my chances of getting [insert school here]?
13) How do I become Airborne?
14) How do I become a Ranger?
15) How do I become a Sniper?
16) Which is right for me? Enlisted vs officer?
17) How do I fly for the Navy/Air Force/Army Helos?
18) How do I become a linguist?
19) How do I become a lawyer (JAG)?
20) Whatís the militaryís policy on homosexuality aka Donít Ask Donít Tell?
21) How do I become a DoD civilian? I want to play with all the cool toys, but don't like taking orders or the moving every 2 years or forced overtime.
22) How do I become a defense contractor? I want to build weapons and get in on some of this pork and waste!
23) Iím a liberal and afraid of politics in the military. Advice?
24) What do all your TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) mean?!
25) Tell me about Navy Nuclear Propulsion jobs!
26) Tell me about being in the Army National Guard!
27) I'm worried I did _________________ and won't get a security clearance. Help!
1. What are some websites I can go to for basic information about the military?
The best site is http://usmilitary.about.com/ it's current and maintained by retired military. However, you can also explore each branch specifically:
Air Force: https://www.airforce.com
Coast Guard: http://www.gocoastguard.com/
2. Whatís the difference between Active Duty, National Guard and Reserves?
Taken from http://www.goarmy.com:
Active Duty is similar to working at a full-time civilian job. There are hours when Soldiers must be training or performing their jobs and then there are off-hours when Soldiers can do what they like. For an Active Duty Soldier, length of service can range from two to six years.
The Army Reserve is more like a part-time job that enables Soldiers to keep their civilian careers while they continue to train near home and serve their country. Many professionals as well as college students are Soldiers in the Army Reserve. Soldiers in the Army Reserve typically spend one weekend a month in training, and attend a two-week Field Training Exercise (FTX) once a year. Service options for the Army Reserve range from three to six years, depending on the individualís Army job and where their Army Reserve Center is located. In addition, Soldiers in the Army Reserve may be called up to Active Duty (called ďactivationĒ).
The National Guard is much like the Reserves, except that they are under the control of the State government. At any time, they can be federalized and called to active duty, much like the Reserves.
3. What is basic training like?
First off, realize millions of people have done it before you, and millions of people will do it after you. Don't be first, don't be last, don't do anything to stand out. The first phase will suck, but after your body will adapt and it will start to get easier. If you want a heads up, start running and learning how to fold shirts into perfect 4" squares. Outlines can be seen here:
Air Force: http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/airforcejoin/a/afbmt1.htm
Marines: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marinejoin/a/marinebasic.htm & http://www.mcrdsd.usmc.mil/RTR/Copy%20of%20RTR_Matrix%201.htm
4. I am in college or starting college and want to join the military. What are my options?
The websites for the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) have lots of good information on what schools have programs, what your options are at various stages in your career and how to turn that into a Commission.
Most questions involving ROTC can be answered with the following websites.
Air Force: https://www.afrotc.com
Marines commission through Navy ROTC, and the Coast Guard does not have a ROTC program.
Once you call up the detachment, ask to speak to the UAO (Unit Admissions Officer.) They are the liaison to the public and can answer all of your questions, or, of course, you can post them here.
5. Tell me about OCS!
OCS/OTS is the military's way of filling slots that ROTC/Academies did not fill. Think of it as a faucet to military personnel, it is opened and closed as needed via selection boards and people taken. To attend OCS/OTS, one must have a BA/BS from an accredited university. Unlike enlisting, and medical issues aside, it is hard(er) to become an officer.
1) Contact an OFFICER recruiter, do not talk to an enlisted recruiter. They will tell you things like "your GPA is not high enough," "enlisted will respect you more," or "enlist now and get a commission later." ALL OF THESE ARE FALSE.
2) Start working out. OCS/OTS expect you to be in some form of anarobic/aerobic shape when you show up.
3) Start collecting letters of recommendation emphasizing leadership, supervision, and responsibility. Community/church leaders, members of the government, and bosses from jobs are recommended.
4) Browse the associated websites for more info then we could ever hope to type out:
Air Force: https://www.airforceots.com
Coast Guard: https://www.coastguardocs.com
6. Tell me about going from enlisted to officer.
It can be done, but is harder then going officer outright. Each service has it's own method. The most common are getting your degree on AD and then applying to OCS/OTS or being released from your AD contract to attend ROTC (immediately contracting there) or going to the service academy - age restrictions apply on the ladder.
Otherwise, there are other methods, read up here:
Navy: Seaman to Admiral, STA-21: https://www.sta-21.navy.mil/
Army: Green to Gold: http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/enlisted_soldiers.jsp
7. I have done drugs in the past, will this disqualify me?
Under certain circumstances, prior drug usage is waiverable. If you quit using, oh, 30 seconds before you walked into the door, youíre probably going to get busted on a mandatory drug test. Its best to be open with your recruiter if your youthful forays are in the distant past.
8. I have a physical condition/past surgery that limits my abilities, will this disqualify me?
Yes, depending on the condition, it can be waiverable. Consult your physician about your condition vs. what you want to do. A letter from your doctor will go a long way towards getting a medical waiver.
9. I have used or AM USING prescription medication for a mental health issue, will this disqualify me?
Much more difficult to waiver, but still possible. If you are still using it and are dependant on it to keep you from murdering children for your dark lord, probably not. If its in the distant past, you may be able to. Once again, best to be up front with your recruiter before you get busted on a drug test.
10. Iím overweight and out of shape! Help!
The Couch to 5k program has had stellar feedback: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml
For muscle gain, see this thread in W&W: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2522955
Also, do pushups. A lot of them. When you wake up, during the day, and when you go to sleep.
Minimum PT requirements:
In the Army you need to score 50/50/50 in each of the three events (push-ups, sit-ups, 2-mile run) to graduate Basic, 60/60/60 from AIT and onwards. If you score 60 in each event you're a dirtbag though. Here are the standards: http://www.army-fitness.com/
Here is the Air Force standards: http://www.airforce-pt.com/ They use some crazy math to figure out a score out of 100. If your waist is over 39 inches you might be in trouble. They do push-ups, sit-ups, and a 1.5 miles run. If someone could clue me in to whether or not they have different standards for initial entry soldiers that would be great.
Here are the Navy standards: http://www.navy-prt.com/ They call their sit-ups curl-ups, do the pushup, and have a 1.5 mile run. If you join the Navy you can join a huge group of people who cry about PT tests constantly. If anyone has any info on their initial entry standards please let me know.
Saved the best for last. The Marines are insane and do a 3 (!!) mile run, crunches (lol), and pull-ups. Here is a look at their standards: http://usmilitary.about.com/od/marines/l/blfitmale.htm If anyone has a better website or knows of any different initial entry standards please let me know.
11. How soon would I go to Iraq or Afghanistan if I joined?
Completely depends on your branch, unit, and job. Iraq is over with so the manpower requirements are lower, and as we get closer to 2014 there will be less and less servicemembers in Afghanistan. If you start the process now you might not ever deploy to Afghanistan regardless of branch. Don't assume that you're not going to go though.
12. What are my chances of getting [insert school here]?
Most high speed schools in the military are linked to a specific job or location. For example, you have to be an 11 series MOS, in an Infantry Battalion, with Sniper ASI slots to even be considered for Sniper school.
Other schools are more of a free for all. You can get something like Airborne in your contract. Be forewarned, that means youíre probably going to an Airborne unit for a follow on.
Any AF/Navy/Marine schools advice would be appreciated
13. How do I become Airborne?
Put it in your contract, and then, most likely, you will be sent to an airborne unit. If you're already in a unit, talk to _______?
14. How do I become a Ranger?
If you have yet to enlist in the Army, have your recruiter check to see which MOSes have openings within the 75th Ranger Regiment. The 75th Ranger Regiment added a STB (special troops battalion) in 2006, so a variety of MOSes should be available. Lock in one of those MOSes and make sure your contract has Option 40 included. Do not sign or proceed with your recruiter, until it does. Option 40 guarantees that you will make the following progression:
Basic Training -> MOS Training -> Airborne School -> Ranger Indoctrination Program(RIP)
Passing RIP means you will be assigned to one of the Ranger Battalions within the 75th and you will be authorized to wear the tan beret. Failing means you will be reassigned to a unit that needs your MOS.
Choose an MOS that appeals to you and that you would like regardless of how you do at RIP.
If you are already in the Army, check here to see a list of MOSes needed and recruitment information.
Wise words have been spoken to enlist as another job, get all your bonuses/incentives and attend once on active duty. That way, you keep everything and if you wash out (which you probably will) you can return to your old MOS.
15. How do I become a Sniper?
There are two kinds of ďsnipersĒ out there:
First, there are the Additional Skill Identifier B4 Soldiers who have completed the US Army Sniper School at Ft. Benning, GA. This applies for Marine and Army snipers and is ONLY OPEN TO THE 11B MOSs AND ALL 18 SERIES (source: DA Pam 611-21). This means only Infantry and only males. Put your hand down if you are not either.
Second, there are people who have received training on sniper techniques and marksmanship to fill an operation need. They do NOT receive the B4 ASI and are not qualified to wear the tab. This is becoming very common with OIF/OEF.
16. Which is right for me? Enlisted vs officer?
Never enlist with the intention of becoming an officer later. You may enlist and become one, but if you meet the requirements, ignore the BS that the recruiter spews to you.
17. How do I fly for the Navy/Air Force/Army Helos?
All pilots are officers, except for the Army, which has Warrant Officers. To fly fixed wing, you will need to commission, and have a pilot slot. Each method of commissioning gives different chances, with the service academies being the highest. Following that, ROTC, and then finally OTS/OCS/WOCS.
http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/genjoin/a/pilotvision.htm has a comprehensive guide for all service's vision requirements. Also, AF wise, have a standing height of 64 to 77 inches and sitting height of 34 to 40 inches.
Rekinom did a sarcastically accurate write up of how to get a pilot slot via ROTC:
For Helo specifically:
Thanks Vasudus and kathmandu!
18. How do I become a linguist?
Thanks ElHuevoGrande! Still looking for more summaries and different branches views as well as summary of training!
19. How do I become a lawyer (JAG)?
JAGs do everything. Why be a military JAG? Aside from the cancelled TV show, you will be doing everything right off the bat. While your civilian friends are starting at the bottom of the barrel, you will one day be court martialing a kid for meth, and the next day advising the commander on community relations. You may do some real estate law, and tort law. Meanwhile, your civilian friends will still be doing bottom of the barrel bitch work.
Air Force: http://www.jagusaf.hq.af.mil
20. Whatís the militaryís policy on homosexuality aka Donít Ask Donít Tell?
It's all been repealed, and no one cares about your orientation as long as you do your job.
(Both posts below are written by Grover, he PM'd them to me)
21. How do I become a DoD civilian? I want to play with all the cool toys, but don't like taking orders or the moving every 2 years or forced overtime.
(Side note, now a giant megathread located here! http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3324421 - Thanks SWATJester!)
To get a civilian government job, all roads point to the official employment website for the United States of America: http://www.usajobs.gov/ where you submit your resume online and search for open positions. It's just like applying for any other job, only when hired, you'll work for Uncle Sam! In your account, you can create an "agent" which will automatically search for new job openings for you and send you an email each week.
Not all the rumors about government workers are true. The benefits are very good, but the pay is generally a little lower than a comparable contractor position, so it evens out. All government workers get 13 days of paid sick leave and 10 days paid holiday leave per year. A new employee will also get 13 days of paid annual leave, increasing ultimately to 26 days paid leave. All time worked over 40 hours per week is compensated, either with paid overtime or comp time. Retirement (FERS) gives you 1% of your salary per year of experience- work 30 years, you get 30% of your base pay as your retirement. Unlike military, government civilians get up to 5% matching contributions to TSP, which is like a 401k; you put in 5% of your pay, government matches that 5%. You also receive social security. Government jobs are generally very stable, but layoffs do still occur; when layoffs occur, you will generally know about it months if not years in advance, and the government will try extremely hard to find you another job. (Very few laid off government workers find themselves actually unemployed.)
One big advantage of being a civilian over military: if your boss says "I need you to go to Afghanistan for a couple months." you can tell him/her to go gently caress themself. May not look too good on your performance evaluation, especially if your job description included frequent travel, but you're still a civilian- you can't be forced to do anything.
22. How do I become a defense contractor? I want to build weapons and get in on some of this pork and waste!
Contractors do a lot of the cool work, like researching/designing/building F-22s, lasers and tanks. Every contractor has its own hiring system, so you'll have to find your job the long and tedious way. Every contractor has its own rules and benefits, too. Don't expect to see much of that pork, though; the executives and stockholders get most of it.
23. Iím a liberal and afraid of joining because of politics in the military. Advice?
24) What do all your TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) mean?!
Check http://www.militaryfactory.com/glossary.asp for an in depth explanation.
Tell me about Navy Nuclear Propulsion jobs!
KetTarma made a question megathread here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3283345
Can you tell me about some personal experiences with joining the Army National Guard?
27) I'm worried I did _________________ and won't get a security clearance. Help!
While hard drugs or patterns of addiction will disqualify you, the biggest issues are lying (DO NEVER LIE) and having a lot of debt, or some debt with no record of mitigation. Check http://www.dod.mil/dodgc/doha/industrial/ for actual cases to see why clearances were granted or denied.
Feel free to post any questions, or interrupt conversations we regularly have about junk. Any suggestions or corrections, let me know by posting or AIM. For the most immediate response, check out our IRC room:
And finally, a last bit for those of you thinking about joining - Rek noted this at roll call after being a wing exec and winning CGO of the Year:
And for all of the people that aren't gonna read the thread anyways I've made two images just for you:
Literally all of that OP credit goes to Xaar.
- LT Kaffee Answers Your Legal FAQs (VA, MilJus, etc.)
This is a thread for legal questions/advice on anything from VA claims, PEB procedural questions, Military Justice, Why that stripper you married is entitled to 1/3 of your gross pay etc. etc. I'll start off with some of the FAQs I've seen here, and invite any other legal types to help chime in to answer additional questions as they pop up. As with any internet legal advice, advice offered here does not form an attorney client relationship, and the best legal advice you will get on any legal question is "talk to a lawyer." Also, advice given here will have an admittedly Navy/Marine slant. I will try to stay aware of different procedures in different branches, but old habits die hard.
Q: There's a guy outside my base who says that the LT Kaffee character from A Few Good Men is based on him. I should hire him, right?
A: No. There are right now at least 5 former JAG attorneys in various states claiming to be the inspiration for the Tom Cruise character...they are all full of crap.
Q: I got Med Boarded and they are saying I am broken. What happens next?
Next you will go to what's called a Physical Evaluation Board. My information on this is a little dated, as I have not done PEB representation since 2006. I understand the process is largely similar but circa 2008, there was a move to make things more "joint" because numbers showed that air force personnel were getting disproportionately high ratings and marines were getting disproportionately low ratings. HOWEVER, the informal PEB will determine whether or not you are fir for duty and what your appropriate rating should be. This is a panel comprised of a medical officer and line officers. When their decision comes back, you have the right to appeal it, at which time you will have a lawyer assigned and will be scheduled for a hearing.
Edit: apologies, as stated above my info on this is a little dated. Apparently now the process is more streamlined between va and peb and the ratings are assigned by the va. This is a good change. However the gist of the appellate/hearing process seems fairly consistent. However, it seems now having 2 different decision makers would complicate this. I'd be curious to hear thoughts of anyone currently involved in the new process
Q: So that's good, right? I'll get a lawyer and they will take care of it?
A: No. Your lawyer will likely be a first tour JAG. You have poo poo stains in your underwear that have been around longer than this kid's law degree. Some are good. Some are terrible. You roll the dice. Also, they will not get your file until less than a month before your hearing, and they will not actually meet you face to face until likely the day before your hearing. At this point, it's probably too late to do anything, because one thing the formal board will want to see is "new evidence" of medical issues. Good luck getting to a doc within a month. Yay military medicine. Occasionally I was able to get continuances if an appointment was already scheduled, but not always. You will need to have your "new evidence" prepared ahead of time. See a private doc the moment you decide to challenge the PEB findings. Also, try to retain private counsel. Many state bars have military and veteran sections, and many of those sections offer pro bono services if you can't afford a lawyer. If you can afford one, get one. And get one early. Look at it this way...the long term benefits of being on the medically retired list vice getting a severance check and a wave goodbye will more than pay for the lawyer. Additionally, your Commander's Non-Medical assessment will be crucial, especially if you are fighting to stay in. This is a document from your CO explaining whether or not, in their opinion, you are able to continue performing your job. Be careful wit this, and make sure it actually helps your case. Example: I had a marine client who was a great adjutant. But she had a severe condition that was putting her in the hospital 2 days a week. The 3 days she went to work, she was a rockstar. The CO did not want to say anything bad about her, so he wrote a letter claiming she could still do her job, thinking he was helping her. She was found fit for duty by the informal PEB. On appeal we had him rewrite the letter explaining that while her work product was stellar, she was missing a significant amount of work. On appeal she was released from active duty and put on medical retirement where she belonged. So, again, make sure that a well-meaning CO is not hurting your case. Also, there is something called permanent limited duty. This is a gamble, because you need to concede you are not fit for full duty. If you have over 18 years in, and your unit is willing to find a place for you to ride out the last two, this is an option worth pursuing, but you will need your command's support and, again, you have to concede the finding that you are not fit. Fianlly...don't get greedy. If you got over 30% think very carefully about whether or not you want to challenge it. That's the money number and gets you onto the TDRL (temporary disabled retirement list) and then, if things don't improve, onto the permanent list. This is a good thing. You can also be downgraded on appeal. So think carefully. If it looks like you're being greedy, you won't be successful. Especially because...
Q: The PEB says I am only 20% but my VA rep told me I will probably get close to 70%. WTF?
The PEB is only allowed to look at conditions that affect your ability to remain on active duty. VA can look at everything. Your VA number will almost always be higher, and will never be lower than your PEB number. Don't worry. Although they use the same rating schedule for the various issues, a low PEB number will not have any impact on your VA number. The VA is looking at more conditions. The PEB number only matters for purposes of whether or not you will be medically retired.
Q: My back hurts
A: That's not a question...but yes, back injuries are a common cause for Med Boards. They (along with migraines) are also highly suspect because they are easy to fake, impossible to objectively diagnose, unless actually broken, and malingerers love them. Your rating will depend on your range of motion, not your amount of pain. (There are also considerations for radiating pain, but that's a different matter) Go to a private doc. Do not take pain meds the day of your appointment. Do not do yoga that morning. Make sure the test is an accurate reflection of your baseline, unmedicated, range of motion ability. Do not bullshit. Doctors will administer what are called "Waddels Tests". They will basically do things throughout the exam (more than one) that cannot possibly have any impact on your back and ask "is it worse when I do this?" It's not nice to put "this person is faking" in your medical notes...so it will say "Waddels Failure 4 out of 5" or something like that. If that appears in your record, you have been busted. Thanks for playing. Just be honest.
Q: While we're talking about honesty...my grandfather had his dick shot off by the Nazis and never asked for anything. I feel guilty taking money at all.
A: Don't. Faking things, making poo poo up, claiming you have PTSD because you were almost raped that time someone touched your butt at the E-Club, or that time you heard an explosion 3 miles away while you were sorting toilet paper at Victory Base, is lovely. But your VA disability check is part of your contract. It was promised to you in exchange for low pay, unpaid overtime, lovely PCS moves, etc. etc. It's a contract benefit like any other. Look at it this way: in my new job, in addition to vacation time that rolls over, I get 3 personal days a year that do not carry over to the next year with which to conduct "personal business"...just because someone needed them "more" than I did and was dealing with actual important poo poo while I spent 3 days at home in December binge watching the Walking Dead doesn't mean it wasn't part of my contract and doesn't make me a bad person for taking them. Same here. As long as you aren't trying to game the system and be a malingering douchebag (and then telling the world you are a "disabled veteran") take what was promised and don't feel guilty about it. Additionally, even if you just go for a 0% rating...as long as the condition is documented, you can get medical care if it gets worse later. So don't feel guilty.
Q: OK...now that I don't feel like a shitbag, how should I make sure my VA claim is done right? I should quickfile, right?
A: Your experiences may vary, but when I was getting out, they were pushing Quick filing during TAPS like roofie-laced jungle juice at a frat party. They actually told people to just bring their medical records to TAPS and "you can just do the claim right there." Think about it. This is a huge freaking deal. Do you want to squeeze something that important in between your power-point lesson on what to wear to your first job interview and the mandatory bathroom break? Quick filing, in my experience, doesn't get your money to you that all that much quicker, and doesn't get you any more money in the long run because you will be entitled to backpay anyway. But once you submit a claim...it's really hard to go back and change it if you hosed it up. Take your time. Do it right the first time. I found the best approach is to ignore the on-base poo poo, hang on to your records, and set up an appointment with your state VA rep. Personal experience with Virginia and CT, both were awesome. They have a lower caseload, more time, and are generally very helpful. Make an appointment, sit down with them, go through your record, and let them help you figure out what to claim. Then go to your appointments and DON'T TRY TO BULLSHIT. Also, keep your medical record. For the love of God...keep your record and make copies. At least 4.
Hope some of this is helpful. I'll try to do additional installments for other issues as I have time, and please feel free to post legal and legalish questions here. If you are also a legalish type, please feel free to respond, but please keep the sea-lawyering to a minimum. It was always a pain in the rear end starting every new client meeting explaining why any sentence that starts with "This guy I went to boot camp with says..." is probably incorrect.
Edit: goddamnit...all that TLDR and there's a typo in the subject.
And one more before going back to pretending I'm employed. This one is quite common.
Q: I'm getting divorced. Why is my ex getting my pension? We've only been married five minutes and I'm not even retired yet?
A: The Uniform Former Spouse's Protection Act (UFSPA) treats pensions as "marital property." This was done to protect the 20 year spouse who gave up her career to go from duty station to duty station, and then got traded in for a 19 year old Pilipino hooker on the day of retirement. However, well-intended as the law may have been, it's now the number one way your spouse will try to screw you in your divorce. Luckily most family court judges are becoming savvy to that and rather than just giving out half of the pension, are doing some pro-rated advanced calculus. The most favorable calculation you can argue for is this:
50% of (the years of marriage divided by the years of military service) whatever a pension would be worth for the rank of the service member at the time of divorce. So, for example, lets say you are an E-2 who marries a stripper in Guam, wises up, divorces after 2 years, picks up a commissioning program and retires as an O-4 after 20 years. Rather than getting 50% (the marital property share) of an O-4 pension the ex spouse would get 5% of an E-2 pension. (50% * (2 years of marriage/20 years of service)).
If your pension is a matter of principle (And for a lot of people it is)and you are able to get an uncontested divorce, you can also negotiate a waiver of the ex spouse's UFSPA rights in exchange for something else. For example, I was able to get a lot of separation agreement/divorce decrees to include a waiver of UFSPA in exchange for the service member funding 100% of the kid's college fund (in trust of course) or other provisions. The service member had no problem giving money to his kid...but the pension was a matter of principle, so negotiations were made. (the college one is a good start b/c refusing that offer, especially if the kids are old enough to understand that one parent was willing to stick them with student loan debt just to win a pissing contest with their ex) However, the spouse has to agree to waive it, as it is, unfortunately, a federally recognized law.
Also, this applies to retirement pension only...NOT disability pay. So if you wanted to be really cheeky...you could get out at 18 years and just collect your VA check. Though I don't recommend that.
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