First let me thank you gentleman for much of the information that I gleaned from this board lurking as I have been doing for quite sometime. I have never really felt that I was interested or had anything of real value to contribute to the topics being discussed however I have a life choice that I would like your input as sometime it is a strangers opinion that is the most honest and the truest catalyst of change. My choice is this at 30 years old and 7 years into a law enforcement career should I toss it all and join the armed forces? Many of the officers on my department are veterans of the armed forces and I must admit that while I am regarded as a dam good cop that gets the job done and you can count on which I take as the ultimate compliment in my world there is a brotherhood within a brotherhood that I feel left out of. Perhaps this stems from my family as well as I am the only male child to never have served the family career path has always been The Service then a career in police work or a firefighter. My older brother who I never met 18 year age difference died in a training mission and it broke my mother heart and she made my father promise that she would never have to give another child to the military. Dont get me wrong both my mother any father are fiercely proud of my families service and of the service of all who serve but it was made clear as a small child that our family had paid our dept for freedom and I was meant for different thing not better just different. After high school it was off to collage for me probably one of the worst placed I have ever been I got tired of not being allowed to have a opinion based on the reality of the situation rather the merely regurgitating the bold print back to a thumb sucking bookworms that ignorance was only overshadowed by their complete lack of experience in the real world. However some classes I took in psychology changed my opinion I had a professor that encouraged my thinking outside the box and showed my that it is ok to come up with a different solution then everybody else. He always told me that you know son there are places in this world that would appreciate the way you think your mind will take you wherever you want to go dont be afraid to pack your bags and let it. I learned after the fact that my professor was a SF medic. I love me job and I know that I performing a service to my community and it is a important job that not everyone can or should do. However since 9/11 I find myself confronted more and more with the fact that I am member of a purely reactionary force I clean up messes after the fact very rarely do I get a to prevent the very events I am paid to clean up after. This fact coupled with the typical angst the average police officer views the revolving door that has become our criminal justice system the armed forces becomes more and more attractive. I have talked at length to veterans and they tell me that the service is filled with plenty of bull**** and paperwork and working for jackasses just like police work and that your hands are tied just as much. However I have met some exception to this rule and they tend to be from the special operations arena. My question is could anyone explain the traditional route Infantry ,Airborne, Ranger school, SF school Q course etc. vs. the new 18X pipeline? Do you think that I am crazy for even considering it? Part of me feels that this is just a lingering feeling of utter hopelessness that I think the whole country especially Police/EMS and the military after 9/11. I feel that is the conflict that we face it is going to take a unconventional proactive force that is going to have to take the fight to the enemy. A force that is willing to commit to the fact the enemy of today is highly motivated by a hatred that is bred into them from birth to death. A death that is all the more perfect if it can be accomplished in the commission of a despicable act against the innocents they consider a infidel (Imagine if America pushed counter insurgency as hard and they to Football, Baseball and Basketball on our youth and society in general.) Not to many people going to blow themselves up at NFL game just to take out some fans of the visiting team. Of coarse I have always harbored the thought that the mad clerics and jihad loving scumbags exploit the face that life in general for the average terrorist scumbag sucks a bag of donkey pole. Think about it blow yourself up and get 70 virgins and a big house in the good neborhood of the afterlife vs. A slow painful death of ignorance and boredom that can only can only be known be those living in the rectum of the planet known as the middle east. Kind of like being trapped at a dinner party with Michael Moore. Well I rambled long enough let me have it what do you think of my plan?