If I became an Eagle Scout, and then joined the service, will I come in as an officer or will I still have to go to "boot camp"? I don't feel I need to go to "boot camp" because I know how to march, how to sleep outdoors and how to take care of myself...Scouting taught me all of that. Is there a way that Scouts can bypass the "boot camp" and come straight in as an officer? Or do you have to earn something else to get to do that, like Silver or Ranger? I heard that if I/my son became an Eagle Scout that I/he gets to be paid more money than those that just came in. Is that true or is the recruiter lying to get me in? I had a (military) recruiter to tell me that if I provide him/her a copy of my Eagle Scout card/OA Card/other items, that he/she can get me in the (branch of service) and guarantee that I get a college education. Is that talk or is he/she serious? I can't find that anywhere in a BSA book, and the recruiter won't show me in writing!
Each service is different yet consistent on the policy about "advancing pay grades." The Army's policy is written as part of the enlistment policies in the AR 200- series of regulations (200-216 is the one that directly applies here). I can't tell you what the Air Force, Navy nor Marine regulations numbers are... I can barely keep up with the Army's!
First, there are several things that will give you a "boost upwards" if you choose to enlist in ANY branch of the armed services. If you were a member of your high school Junior ROTC for three years; if you were a member of a sports or academic team for three years; if you become an Eagle Scout or Gold Girl Scout; if you are a National Merit Scholar or an National Negro Merit Scholar; if you received a medal for heroism; if you recruited four or more individuals into the services; there's a couple others that I've left out I'm sure...when you complete basic training, you will be advanced to the pay grade of E-3 automatically. The key is that you MUST provide the documentation at the time of enlistment and your recruiter MUST include it ON THE ENLISTMENT CONTRACT you sign. If it's not there, or you didn't provide proof, sorry, there's very little that the military can do without a Congressional inquiry!! The other thing is that YOU MUST COMPLETE BASIC TRAINING. Becoming an Eagle Scout is great, and it's a super honor. But it does NOT get you out of basic combat training (BCT, "boot camp") in ANY service.
Why not? Because "boot camp" isn't just about teaching you how to march, stand up straight and set up a pup tent. Basic Training is designed to integrate you into the armed services, to teach the military skills which you will need to survive on a battlefield and to teach you about the basics of your service. You'll NEVER learn any of that stuff in a Scout Troop, I'm afraid. Wilderness survival, yeah. The uses of a bayonet, nope. Orienteering with a map and compass, yeah. Directing fires and shifting fires, nope.
If you got through Scouting, you will get through basic training, no matter what branch of the service you belong to.
An E-3 gets paid about $600 more a month than a basic soldier, sailor, airman or Marine will get paid. Plus, because E-3s are considered "leadership" positions in at least two of the branches (the Army and Marine Corps), you become on your way to accelerated promotions sooner if you stay out of trouble and keep your "eye on the prize". In those aspects, your recruiter is correct. There is a pay scale, which is available online through several Army and Army Reserve commands...take a look and make your own calculations.
If a recruiter promises you ANYTHING, ask them to promise you IN WRITING BEFORE YOU SIGN. They have to explain in English what it is they are promising and provide you with a copy of it BEFORE you sign. There is NOTHING out there that explains or states "if you show proof of your membership in the Order of the Arrow, you will get a military scholarship or money to pay off loans with". Nothing. There ARE several offers which has NOTHING TO DO WITH SCOUTING which, depending on service, and depending on the skills in that service, you can receive anything from a few hundred to several thousand dollars in educational funds or outright cash for your commitment to serve for several years. Check it out. And whatever it is, get it in writing.
There is NO WAY that an Eagle Scout, Silver Venturer, or Ranger can enter the services and become an officer right from the start. There are some ways you CAN enter the service and become an officer...I did through ROTC in college; there are direct commissions that can be offered by various services; you can attend the Military academies; or you can attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) offered through various states or the Army. But your attainment of Eagle or those other awards have LITTLE TO NO BEARING on whether or not you graduate from those courses...you are on your own and you need to do the things you need to become a successful officer. Scouting helped me during my years of ROTC, but it didn't "pave the roadway" for me.
I am NOT an Army Recruiter and have never been one. But I do know many folks in my hometown, Fort Knox, the home to the Headquarters of the Army's Recruiting Command. So, if you don't get a good answer from your recruiter, post me and let's talk.
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