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YAwriter72
11-17-2010, 11:46 PM
My LI is in the Army. I know the between junior and senior year, teens can complete basic training, then right after graduation they can go off to the next step of training.

Can anyone tell me the earliest he would see combat? He didn't enlist in the infantry, he's a small vehicle repair person.

I'm basically trying out figure out the youngest he would be coming back from a 6 month stint in Afghanistan.

Or what he could have enlisted as to be coming back home around age 19 (If that's even possible)

Thanks!

Drachen Jager
11-17-2010, 11:55 PM
18 or 19 is about right. A mechanic doesn't need a whole ton of training, 4-6 months I'd guess, though it might be shorter in the States due to the lack of generalists in the technical trades.

GeorgeK
11-18-2010, 12:25 AM
There is no nice way to say this, but military is military. Small arms repairman...small vehicle repairman...it doesn't matter, they will be in combat and anyone telling you otherwise is lying.

Drachen Jager
11-18-2010, 01:16 AM
There's being in combat and being in combat George. They don't give mechanics rifles for nothing but most mechanics will never fire on an enemy, unless their base comes under attack.

Linda Adams
11-18-2010, 03:44 PM
There's no way to predict when he will see combat--or for that matter, when he is deployed. He may graduated from mechanics training and land in a transportation company that's already been deployed. That would mean he might stay back until they return. Or he could end up being sent over right away.

His job is going to limit it--mechanics generally stay at the compound to fix the equipment. You probably will have a couple mechanics in a fuel vehicle following a convoy, but that will likely go to the more experienced people (though he will learn mechanic skills in school, the unit is likely to treat him as if he doesn't know anything when he first arrives).

Rowan
11-18-2010, 04:22 PM
My LI is in the Army. I know the between junior and senior year, teens can complete basic training, then right after graduation they can go off to the next step of training.

Can anyone tell me the earliest he would see combat? He didn't enlist in the infantry, he's a small vehicle repair person.

I'm basically trying out figure out the youngest he would be coming back from a 6 month stint in Afghanistan.

Or what he could have enlisted as to be coming back home around age 19 (If that's even possible)

Thanks!

I signed on w/the USMC under the early enlistment program (late in my junior year of HS). I didn't attend boot camp until after I graduted HS. You attend monthly meetings, etc. in preparation though. What branch allows kids to attend boot camp before graduating HS?

After boot, you go to MOS training (MOS = military occupational specialty). The length of that school depends on the job series. Following that, most attend advanced warfare training (different names depending on branch of service). Some MOSs will never see actual combat. Due to the job responsibilities, they might get stuck in the rear, etc.

There's no guarantee a small vehicle repair mech will even get deployed. At the very least, make sure he's assigned to a base that's actively deploying. That's about all I've got.

Good luck!

RJK
11-18-2010, 04:43 PM
He could also be attached to a supply company and ride with convoys through Pakistan and through Afghanistan to the bases. Those convoys are favorite targets of the Taliban on both sides of the border.

As far as what age he'd be on returning home. He can't enlist until he's 17, so give him a year for boot camp and MOS training and another year of deployment and he'd be 19 going on 20.

YAwriter72
11-18-2010, 05:16 PM
I signed on w/the USMC under the early enlistment program (late in my junior year of HS). I didn't attend boot camp until after I graduted HS. You attend monthly meetings, etc. in preparation though. What branch allows kids to attend boot camp before graduating HS?

Good luck!

Yes, so sorry! I meant to say basic training between junior/senior year! Then they can go right to boot camp as soon as they graduate.

I don't really need him to have been in/seen combat, I just needed him overseas for a time so there would be an email exchange between him and his g/f.

Rowan, how long does MOS/AIT take? Maybe I could have him be there instead? Is there a training specialty that would have him have limited contact with outsiders I wonder. Never mind, I found a link that goes over it in detail! Thanks!!

Thank RJK! I thought maybe he'd have to be older. Might need to rethink the what and where now.

Hallen
11-18-2010, 11:35 PM
Basic training in the Army (Basic = Boot camp in the Marines) takes 8 weeks. AIT for vehicle mechanic will probably take two more months, give or take. There are some programs where they can go to Basic between their Jr. and Sr. years in high school as long as they have parent or guardian approval. You must be 18 to join on your own. In some cases, parents can sign off on a younger person to go in. The rules change frequently, so for the purposes of a book, you can create your own early entry program to get him in the Army at 17 without causing any raised eyebrows.

Everybody in the Army has the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) of Infantry. You may also have another technical specialty. Originally, I was a 67N Utility Helicopter Repairer (Huey Mechanic/Crew Chief). But, all of Basic training is all about being a soldier and learning very basic infantry skills. Even the helicopter units stay relatively close to the front line, living out of tents and moving every few days. We had guard duty, defensive perimeters, fox holes, the whole deal. When all else fails, you become infantry and un-sling your weapon and start shooting. You always have your weapon with you, even if you are a truck mechanic.
So, it is very possible, especially in the Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan situation to be attacked even if you are not on the front lines because there really aren't any front lines. If you are in a combat zone, you are in combat. However, you could also easily go the entire time without ever firing a shot. You may see mortar attacks but then you're just running for the bunker.

Anyway, more than you wanted, I'm sure. If you have more specific questions, feel free to PM me.

YAwriter72
11-18-2010, 11:48 PM
Basic training in the Army (Basic = Boot camp in the Marines) takes 8 weeks. AIT for vehicle mechanic will probably take two more months, give or take. There are some programs where they can go to Basic between their Jr. and Sr. years in high school as long as they have parent or guardian approval. You must be 18 to join on your own. In some cases, parents can sign off on a younger person to go in. The rules change frequently, so for the purposes of a book, you can create your own early entry program to get him in the Army at 17 without causing any raised eyebrows.

Everybody in the Army has the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) of Infantry. You may also have another technical specialty. Originally, I was a 67N Utility Helicopter Repairer (Huey Mechanic/Crew Chief). But, all of Basic training is all about being a soldier and learning very basic infantry skills. Even the helicopter units stay relatively close to the front line, living out of tents and moving every few days. We had guard duty, defensive perimeters, fox holes, the whole deal. When all else fails, you become infantry and un-sling your weapon and start shooting. You always have your weapon with you, even if you are a truck mechanic.
So, it is very possible, especially in the Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan situation to be attacked even if you are not on the front lines because there really aren't any front lines. If you are in a combat zone, you are in combat. However, you could also easily go the entire time without ever firing a shot. You may see mortar attacks but then you're just running for the bunker.

Anyway, more than you wanted, I'm sure. If you have more specific questions, feel free to PM me.

Thank you!!! THIS is exactly what I needed to know and I may shoot you a PM with a few more specific questions too.