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Is calculus necessary or helpful for military service.

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  • #31
    First off, I'm an officer in the CF and I didn't require calculus at all, nor do I from day to day. Never took it in high school. Then again, everyone here has made good points about it - and of course, what you need is dependant on your occupation within the military, as well. An Artillery Officer or any of the Engineering trades probably needs it more than I do, for example.

    I'm ASSUMING you're trying to go infantry. It's certainly not a requirement, but any knowledge is good knowledge. You never know what might come in handy in the future, and the point made about the military wanting people who challenge themselves, rather than doing the bare minimum, is an extremely good one.

    I also have a feeling that once you're in the CF and start making Corporal pay, you will have a change of heart about wanting to start over again in the USMC... It will be more trouble than it's worth and you will be taking a HUGE paycut.


    • #32
      Originally posted by roffelskates View Post
      I'm not looking for credentials, I'm looking to train myself physically and mentally for the challenge ahead. I can't believe you are an actual soldier and you yourself do not get that. I'm not looking to show up and ask the drill instructor if I can skip everything because of my history. I want to take the training course and pass it because I've been here before. It might suck doing it all over again, but I've done it before, I want to do the 3 mile run and pass it because I've done it before, I want to get Sharpshooter on my test because I've shot before. Don't you get it?

      If CF training does not somehow prepare me to run 3 miles and shoot something off at 300 meters, then I don't know how we've done this well without training our boys how to do that.
      Listen to Officer of Engineers, he knows MUCH more than you're giving him credit for.

      No one would tell you NOT to prepare yourself physically and mentally, but joining the CF for the sole purpose to train up to join the USMC is not a good use of the time you have. By all means, run your butt off and hit the weights, but if you're going to do boot camp and all your trade quals - plus maybe a tour - only to do real well when you do boot camp and all that AGAIN, what's the point? If you start in the USMC in the first place, you'd be just as good a soldier after three years, plus you'll have the time in to make rank. Sure, you'll be great during boot camp if you've got three years in the CF... but being the glory hog in boot camp isn't worth it, imo. Better to do alright in boot and be a corporal or sergeant after three years, then do alright in boot camp so you can be GREAT in boot camp AGAIN after three years.

      You get what we're saying now?


      • #33
        Calculus per se............

        in my opinion isn't the point. It's learning to think in a structured and disciplined fashion, think of hypotheses and alternatives and make decisions when dog tired and with little sleep. I wasn't bad at math, but calculus on top of chem, physics, and geology kept me going till the wee hours, and it provided some good discipline.

        You're not going to receive any desirable recognition in boot camp due to your calculus skills. But being able to think under adverse conditions is valuable throughout the military. Your aptitude tests and IQ will play a role in which MOS options you have. Your ranking in your post-boot camp schools, and in some instances your IQ, will play a role in determining which unit assignments you will be given or in some instances choose.

        I was a high school miler 45 years ago, back when it was a distance race. That and weight lifting did make boot more tolerable, and clear thinking easier. If you are in great physical condition and are a strong student, then just maintain a good attitude and you'll be fine.

        I wish you well in boot camp. The hotter the fire...............

        And yes, DPrime, he is going infantry. All Marines are basic riflemen first and foremost. You don't get off being a clerk typist and avoid the rifle range. You may get jerked away from that typewriter and thrust into a fighting hole at any time. Good advice of yours! For sure, anyone who is a glory hog in boot camp is likely to be thrashed by the DI.
        Last edited by ANGLICOone; 22 Sep 09,, 22:35.
        Nightcover 1-4 Bravo


        • #34
          Good Memory

          Aaah, Calculus
          Always reminds me of this story.
          FEB 1984. Basement of an Officers’ Club in Germany. It was Friday afternoon OPD for our group of Infantry officers and our S2 is giving a brief on Group Soviet Forces Germany Order of Battle and how it related to our GDP. He was explaining the BTR-70/BMP-2 mix of our likely opponent when the battalion commander took over the brief. He got up and started his regular rant about how superior the Soviet soldier was. He was a bit of a gas bag. Anyway, he was going on and on and on.
          He then said, “Do you know every Soviet soldier has to take calculus!?! CALCULUS!!!!”
          Then “And How many of you have taken calculus?”
          About 2/3s of the officer were West Point graduates so a lot of guys raised their hands. Before anything else was said a non-West Point voice amongst the lieutenants said “How many of you passed?”
          Half of the hands dropped.
          It was awhile before we were allowed to drink beer during our OPDs!
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain