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Comment: US Army (Score 2, Insightful) 783

by MindTree (#29894055) Attached to: Moving Away From the IT Field?

I joined the US Army as an Infantryman. Can't get much farther away from IT than that. I wasn't trying to move away from IT, it was response to my country at war and the subsequent loss of a friend to insurgent action in Iraq that made my decision for me.

I obviously work with people in an entirely different way than I did in IT. For the record, I was a software engineer with IBM in Pittsburgh on the Websphere Competency Center team. I loved my job and still can't imagine a better group of co-workers and business partners to work with. Maybe I'll get back to tech after my time in the Army, maybe I won't.

In the Army I'm currently a 240B medium machine gun team leader. My age (29 when I joined the Army) and experience (good civilian job, college) earned me a little more flexibility in promotions, but no more respect with my peers. The average age in my company is approximately 21. It's been an uphill battle to compete physically, but it's a challenge I've found fascinating.

As for the money, better make sure you're in a good position before making a move like this. Thanks to my 7 years at IBM, I was, but it would be a nightmare to try to live off lower enlisted salary when you're used to much more.

My previous experience did land me one unfortunate headache, the CO/1SG found out that I was "good with computers" and stuck me in company operations for 10 months. Try to avoid talking about your previous IT experience if you go this route.

Never worry about theory as long as the machinery does what it's supposed to do. -- R. A. Heinlein