Poll: Should I take on the program or not?
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Need some advice
#1
So I am currently finishing up year 12 in Australia, and am coming to the time where I need to make some big decisions about my future. Around June, I applied for what is an Australian Defence Force Gap Year program; a program which gives you a snapshot of life in the ADF. The program is over 12 months, and is split into 5 months of training, a month of which basically cuts you off from all contact to the outside world. The remaining 7 months you are posted around Australia, and work on base in your specific field. For the year, you get paid around $60,000, you live for free on base, get free healthcare, and get access to free facilities, such as a swimming pool and fully equipped gyms. The gap year is said to be an amazing experience, and looks great on a resume, plus if you decide to stay on, they pay you $10,000 more just for doing so.

Currently, I have passed an aptitude test with flying colours, passed medical in the top tier, passed the psychological examination, as well as the one-on-one interview. I have been deemed fit for service, though I was told that I only just passed, and would go on with guidance.

Though I have really been thinking about my decision to go through with the program. Looking back at it, I put in my application a day before they closed, and really think that my only motivation at the time was that $60,000 paycheck, which is a lot for a year 12 graduate with no qualifications. I've also had time to think about myself, with questions like 'is it the right time?' To this, I think I need time to reset and figure myself out. The past few years have been quite off for me, being on an emotional roller coaster, now into my third relationship, having had to recover from surgery for a year and a half, and going through my parents separation. And I think that this gap year program is not going to give me time to do so. It might even get into a worse position, as I would be away from my loved ones, including my girlfriend, and would have to try to establish a new friendship group for the year. I also am unsure if I even want to do the job, as I think I am chasing a childhood dream which I do not like. I have never done cadets and have no understanding of what a military lifestyle is like, and what it would be like to follow orders. 

I'm really concerned about this. I think that my parents both back any decision I make in my life, obviously to an extent, but both also think that this is a great opportunity, and I would be stupid to give it up. I talked about it with my girlfriend, who thinks that the financial gain of the program would be great, but backs me in any decision I make, and just wants to see me be happy. I have been told that the gap year would be a great opportunity, and looks great on a resume, but I think that I am going into it with the wrong motivation, and at the wrong time. Granted, I might not get in because there are no positions left, or might not be offered a position because the level that I passed at. I just really need some help and guidance as to what to do.

Thankyou so much!
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#2
I'm not going to take the poll as I don't think a yes/no count from others is the way to decide it. It sounds rather like "one year National Service", although "Gap Year Adventure" sounds more attractive! The following doesn't equate exactly with what you're considering, but hopefully it's a worthwhile insight.

My nephew joined the Royal Navy around 18 months ago on an officer training scheme. He did A-Levels and left school at 18 then went straight into an Engineer Officer training scheme. The first few weeks of basic training were extremely tough, lots of drill, kit inspection, more drill, field exercises, sleeping out in the rain, more drill, early starts, late finishes, being shouted at like an animal. That was around three months of basic, and they make it tough because it shows whether you'll be able to stand everything else.

On the plus side, he has loads of friends, he has more leave than he thought he might, he was deployed at sea on a major warship and absolutely loved the life. Add to that he has begun his professional training (an equivalent of an engineering degree) which brings with it far less pack drill, kit inspection etc etc. It has settled into something more civilised, helped by the fact that he is based on-shore in the same place for a set period while he studies. He has a relationship, a bunch of good mates, he enjoys the life and he is stood in good stead with his qualifications for the time when he leaves the Service. And no student debt.

You seem like a bright kind of guy and able to attain a decent position, what I would suggest is that you fully explore what opportunities are open to you and how they would set you up for later civilian/military life. Does your gap year time amount to a civil equivalent qualification? Where does it leave you in terms of choice of onward service/civil career? Can you choose your service (RAN/RAAF/Army) if you decide to stay in the military or is it a selection process?

Yes this sounds like an opportunity, but what further opportunities does it give you? The two bottom lines are A) Are you committed and willing to put up with all kinds of crap, especially at first and B) Does it still leave you with plenty of cards in your hand for future choices?

Sorry if I'm misunderstanding anything, the Aus system does seem a bit different to the UK one and I should point out that I've not been in the military myself apart from the Air Cadets when I was a teenager.
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#3
(09-29-2019, 09:36 PM)Yeti1980 Wrote: You seem like a bright kind of guy and able to attain a decent position, what I would suggest is that you fully explore what opportunities are open to you and how they would set you up for later civilian/military life. Does your gap year time amount to a civil equivalent qualification? Where does it leave you in terms of choice of onward service/civil career? Can you choose your service (RAN/RAAF/Army) if you decide to stay in the military or is it a selection process?
So basically, the gap year in the ADF gives you no qualifications, it is just an experience. If you choose to stay on, you would be able to transfer to a role in which you could gain a trade, or could transfer to ADFA, which is where you are paid to become an officer and gain a university degree (all granted that you meet the prerequisites for the course). In Australia, we have a training provider called TAFE, which allows you to gain a trade (carpentry, bricklaying, mechanic, hairdresser, chef etc.), or you can gain a diploma (precursor to a degree), or participate in a short course to gain extra knowledge in your field. As or right now, the Victorian Government has made a majority of these courses free to the public, and the remaining aren't too expensive. 

In terms of where it leaves my after the program. It basically provides you with some skill, training in a specific field (but no qualification), and looks good on a resume. If you choose to stay on, granted a position is available, you are given (but don't quote me on this) and extra payment of which the sum I do not know, and if you choose to do so, you can transfer to a different position, and undergo the training for it. Though, if you stay on, you are committing to the minimum period of service.

As for the branch of the ADF you serve in, that is completely up to you, granted that you only apply for one branch. If you applied for the same job across the three branches, it is determined on the availability of positions. But if you stay on, you can apply for other jobs in different branches.
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#4
Thanks for the further info Mate.

It sounds as though you've already looked into the options pretty thoroughly and that you have your eyes open. From a career/experience/money standpoint it looks like a solid idea, you just have to decide for yourself whether you can withstand some of the militaristic crap and damn hard work that's likely to go with the role, along with the distances and time away from home and partner.

It has to be your decision, whether you end up liking it or not, the crucial thing is that you took the decision in the first place and you don't feel as though somebody else landed you there.

All the best with whatever you decide mate, let us know how it goes.
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#5
(09-30-2019, 01:23 AM)Yeti1980 Wrote: you just have to decide for yourself whether you can withstand some of the militaristic crap and damn hard work that's likely to go with the role, along with the distances and time away from home and partner.

It has to be your decision, whether you end up liking it or not, the crucial thing is that you took the decision in the first place and you don't feel as though somebody else landed you there.

As for deciding whether or not I can withstand the military, I am having a really hard time with that. I have never been part of the cadets, and do not know many who are actually in the military, or have been in the cadets. Also, I never saw the distance and time away from family as an issue, but I have gotten into a relationship during the application process, and being away from my girlfriend would be rather difficult. 

I completely understand that this decision is mine to make, and no one should push me towards my decision. I don't want people to think that my love for my girlfriend is clouding my judgement, and making me want. I would say that getting feelings for someone has actually allowed me the opportunity to open my eyes, and question myself as to whether or not I actually want to go, and whether or not I am actually doing this for the right reasons.
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#6
NEW UPDATE

For a number of years I have been looking to work in the hotel industry, with the interest of becoming a hotel manager. Over the last few days, I have reached out to a number of hotels to try and talk to them as a backup for next year. Though, each person I have contacted, I have had to be uncertain with them surrounding my application. So today, I tried contacting the recruitment centre, who were no help in being able to provide me a timeline or when I may or may not receive an offer, and directed me to contact the enlistment coordinator. I have sent him an email, inquiring about this timeline, and asking about the probability of getting an offer (due to the level I passed at). I made sure that I told him that I need to organise something for next year, and to be able to do so, I need to be able to assert confidence of what is going on. The working day is over, so I'm now stuck waiting for a response.
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