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I am a 24 year old woman with a master’s degree. I have accumulated a large amount of student loan debt due to my 6 years in school earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees. I saw on the army website that they will pay off up to $ 65,000 of my student loans and I will go in as an officer since I have graduated from college.

What can I expect from basic training and OCS as a woman? What is the best time of year to enlist/go off to basic training in terms of weather severity?

I am interested in administrative focused positions once I finish training. Does anyone have personal experience and advice for being either a Financial Manager or a Personnel Systems Management Officer?

Finally, being a woman with a high level of education, what is the likelihood of being deployed somewhere dangerous?

If there is any other information that you are willing to share I would appreciate it including questions to ask my recruiter. I want to make sure I am not taken advantage of- I just want to make sure I ask the right questions so that I know what I am getting.

Thanks for any answers!
I graduated with my master’s degree and a 4.0 GPA

7 Thoughts on What can a woman expect going into the Army?
  1. Reply
    Yak Rider
    July 23, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Assuming you’re got a respectable GPA you can expect to be offered a slot as an Officer.

    You’re deploying, even if you have a PhD.

  2. Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 12:52 am

    They offer to pay your loans if you accept into a field that they are desperate to have work for them.
    Edit: officers
    I just confirmed what I suspected with that link–Officers do not qualify for loan repayments, only enlisted.

    You’ll have to talk to a recruiter to get the straight beef on what is offered now or maybe in the future.

    As a woman at OSC you’ll be treated exactly the same as everyone else at OCS.
    The weather part is a personal thing. I prefer working out in colder weather instead of being a human hot dog.

    If, when, and where you’ll be deployed has nothing to do with your “higher education.” You’ll go where your skills are needed(accept to the front lines.)

    Don’t be mistaken. A lot of enlisted personnel have degrees too. A lot of enlisted personnel joined the Army to have a way to potentially earn a degree in the future. Your degree doesn’t equal a golden ticket.

  3. Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 1:21 am

    well im an 18 year old female in the army with only a GED and you’re just as deployable as I am. doesn’t matter your education level, you still have the chance to deploy, just some jobs have a higher chance than others, but all are deployable.

    unlike what some women feminist extremeists will have you believe, women are treated the same as men. you’ll be treated just like everyone else and expected to do your job just like everybody else. take it from another female, dont play the gender card. ever. its highly annoying and it just goes to give us females who work our a*sses off a bad name. not that you will, just saying.

    best time of year to go? hmm well do you like the cold? heat? both? it depends on you. i went to basic during the summer and it sucked, but going to basic during the winter here would be even worse.

    dont be afraid to ask your recruiter anything.

    good luck

  4. Reply
    the dude
    July 23, 2011 at 1:43 am

    If you go to OCS it wont be hard. Enlisted have it worse, and yes they will pay off your loans, a buddy of mine is doing the same thing. Likley that you will get sent somewhere dangerous…well its likely becasue we are at war on two fronts. Doesnt mean it will happen but you might want to come to terms with it before leaving. Join in a summer class, because if you sleep outside in a foxhole at least it will be warm. It will all be a little tough but its good stuff.

  5. Reply
    Kool Person
    July 23, 2011 at 2:28 am

    Do not use the gender card and expect to be treated as a “favorite” or princess. When I go to drills and BCT, I will go in as a Soldier, NOT a woman!! Besides, men are becoming much more assustomed to working with women in the military. it is way beyound the “stay in the kitchen!” era of our history. Best of luck and God Bless.

  6. Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 3:16 am

    I am a former officer who did BCT/AIT while in ROTC. Basic training has no doubt changed a lot since I went but basically expect a complete departure from what you are used to. You will be in close quarters with people from all walks of life, for billeting and hygiene purposes, you will probably be physically challenged, and be subject to a completely different authority than you are probably used to. Yes, some of your peers will have degrees but they will not be the majority, as some will be barely able to write their own names. Likewise, some will be natural leaders and you’d be hard pressed to entrust your life to others.

    The time of year to go is dependent on where you go (there are several Army posts that conduct basic), although most are located in the South.

    If you make it through OCS you will be eligible for nearly all the branches the Army officers. Although not familiar with OCS specifically, realize that as an officer candidate you may not get what you want. As a cadet, I only wanted a combat arms branch (infantry, armor, artillery, etc) but I got branch detailed (I started out combat arms and had to transfer after 4 years) to Adjutant General, what the civilian workforce calls human resources now. It would have been my absolute last choice.

    Still I did it for another 11 years, in two different components (Regular Army and Active Guard/Reserve), the last doing the latter of your job titles you inquired about, more or less. The assignments you could get are as varied as any other branch in the Army. As an AG (or the equivalent of a FI officer) lieutenant, you may end up as a postal platoon leader or you may be assigned to a major headquarters.

    Once commissioned, your education will not matter for deployment purposes, only the needs of the army and your qualifications (for example, I was a volunteer to deploy to Iraq as a major and never go the call, and many of my peers at the headquarters I worked at did not deploy, or only did so after several years). The likelihood is high you will deployed to a wartime theater but there’s no guarantee either way.

    Don’t completely believe some of the other comments on here about being a woman in the Army. The fact is you are definitely not treated like everyone else (everyone else being men). Will will probably be the minority in most groups (although AG is about 50/50 men and women). You cannot branch or enlist certain combat arms career fields.

    Also, you are held to different (arguably, lower) standards including physical fitness, height/weight requirements, dress/appearance, and even promotion consideration. And that is by law and regulation. Unwritten rules suggest women tend to enjoy mostly a beneficial double standard when it comes to discipline and job performance. Although the military isn’t keen on having this pointed out, your female peers are well aware that they can use the sex/gender card to their benefit and do so from time to time. On a side note, to those who deny the presence of a “protected class” should not the hesitancy of the supervisors of the Fort Hood shooter to remove him given that he was a Muslim.

    You’ve shown initiative just by asking before you enlist so keep that attitude. Good luck to you and I’d be happy to answer any questions regarding my former branch.

  7. Reply
    July 23, 2011 at 3:23 am

    The drill sergeants are mean.

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