Finding a job with a Army ELS RE-3?

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Dhk808

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I got an ELS RE-3 discharge from the Army, 3 days before Graduating. What had happened is I woke a Private up for Fireguard duty, and I was shining my light at him. He threatened me, then I made a smart*ss response, he ran over and grabbed me and grabbed my flashlight. My immediate response to strike him back, I hit him 3 times causing him to have a swollen black eye. I had witnesses who supported me when I went to speak to the Commander, but I still received an ELS and it destroyed me, but I still accepted the fact I was getting one. Anyway, fast-forward a few months. I'm getting ready to take an EMT-B course at a local community college. I was thinking my chances of working for the State as EMS/Firefighter is nearly impossible because of the ELS, so I looked into working for AMR. But as I get nearer taking the course, I'm kind of freaking out, will I be eligible for the job? Do they do a background check, and if so would an ELS show up on my background check? Being a paramedic is pretty much all I've wanted to be in my life, a lot of my family are Firefighters and EMS seems to work hand in hand with Fire Services.
 

Jim37F

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You punched someone not once or twice, but three times in the face because they grabbed your flashlight? Yeah....I'm not sure Fire/EMS is necessarily the best career option for you, considering most fire departments are very paramilitary run, and quite frankly something tells me that there was more than this one incident during your <10 week stretch in the Army, because they booted you out instead of merely an Article 15. Perhaps an anger management course instead?

As far as background checks it depends. For a small mom and pop dialysis derby BLS company you might just get fingerprinted and compared to the criminal database. For a big city fire department that employs background investigators, you better believe that'll come up easy peasy.

And if it is discovered via any means, and you omitted or lied about it, yeah you'll get disqualified fast enough to make your head spin. Besides, most applications ask you for your employment and education history's and account for any periods of unemployment, how exactly are you going to account for that 2-3 month gap that isn't either?

Your best bet now is time and distance. Go to school, get a degree. Get and hold a job awhile in school. Stay out of trouble. Remember you already have an uphill climb compared to other applicants, every single speeding or parking ticket just adds weight to your rucksack, and anything worse than that......and take an honest introspective look at your life. I don't care what you say to your family/friends or anonymous strangers on an Internet forum, just be honest with yourself, why did you snap like that in Basic? Everyone else managed the stresses fine, why not you? What happens when it's 3am, its been a long day of drills and being corrected by your captain on what feels like every detail of all your tasks that day and your pissed and tired and now you're the rookie in the back of the ambulance alone with a patient who for whatever reason isn't cooperative, maybe feeling a little froggy, maybe they've said something to you already and now when you go to put the blood pressure cuff on, they grab it from you instead, just like that flashlight....what are you going to do? If there's any possibility in your mind that you may hit them, then a) go get anger management and/or impulse control counseling now before you find yourself being ordered to do so, and b) this really isn't the best career field for you at all.
 

joshrunkle35

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I kind of agree. EMS is often suddenly very stressful. We deal with the public and are supposed to remain cool under stress. Obviously we can defend ourselves, but not disproportionately to the stimulus. I would look into a different field.
 

Carlos Danger

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Talk to an attorney. My understanding is that an ELS essentially means that for all legal purposes, you were never in the military.
 

MS Medic

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I've been through the AMR hiring process twice (left and had to return for financial reasons). While I can't speak for getting hired for a fire department, as far as getting hired by an EMS agency goes, you are less likely to be hired by AMR if you have a sketchy background than you are a smaller service. AMR takes background checks seriously. I have a friend with a couple of misdemeanors on his record and AMR is the only service he's ever applied for that wouldn't hire him.
 

onrope

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I like how you state "I woke a private up for fireguard duty" like you were some sort of NCO. Maybe you were one of those who came in with a sham shield due to college and think that you are better than everyone even though you discharged before completing training. You will have a lot of explaining to do in backgrounds for any government agency. You will have to explain what happened and why you were unable to even complete Basic. Do not attempt to hide this or downplay it, your credibility and suitability for stressful jobs is already in question.
 
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Dhk808

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You punched someone not once or twice, but three times in the face because they grabbed your flashlight? Yeah....I'm not sure Fire/EMS is necessarily the best career option for you, considering most fire departments are very paramilitary run, and quite frankly something tells me that there was more than this one incident during your <10 week stretch in the Army, because they booted you out instead of merely an Article 15. Perhaps an anger management course instead?

As far as background checks it depends. For a small mom and pop dialysis derby BLS company you might just get fingerprinted and compared to the criminal database. For a big city fire department that employs background investigators, you better believe that'll come up easy peasy.

And if it is discovered via any means, and you omitted or lied about it, yeah you'll get disqualified fast enough to make your head spin. Besides, most applications ask you for your employment and education history's and account for any periods of unemployment, how exactly are you going to account for that 2-3 month gap that isn't either?

Your best bet now is time and distance. Go to school, get a degree. Get and hold a job awhile in school. Stay out of trouble. Remember you already have an uphill climb compared to other applicants, every single speeding or parking ticket just adds weight to your rucksack, and anything worse than that......and take an honest introspective look at your life. I don't care what you say to your family/friends or anonymous strangers on an Internet forum, just be honest with yourself, why did you snap like that in Basic? Everyone else managed the stresses fine, why not you? What happens when it's 3am, its been a long day of drills and being corrected by your captain on what feels like every detail of all your tasks that day and your pissed and tired and now you're the rookie in the back of the ambulance alone with a patient who for whatever reason isn't cooperative, maybe feeling a little froggy, maybe they've said something to you already and now when you go to put the blood pressure cuff on, they grab it from you instead, just like that flashlight....what are you going to do? If there's any possibility in your mind that you may hit them, then a) go get anger management and/or impulse control counseling now before you find yourself being ordered to do so, and b) this really isn't the best career field for you at all.

I "snapped" at basic because someone was grabbing my collar, tossing me around, and trying to rip the flashlight out of my hands. I wouldn't necessarily say what I did was wrong, hell my Drill Sgts even said "he got what was coming to him", the SMAJ disagreed though. I'm serious, I got a field grade article 15 and the SMAJ told me "It's unacceptable to ever strike a fellow Soldier regardless of the circumstances". The guy I hit was quitter too and quit because he didn't want to be in the Army anymore, I also have done boxing for the past 9 years of my life. Maybe one of those increased my chance of getting an ELS, I'm not sure...
 
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Dhk808

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I kind of agree. EMS is often suddenly very stressful. We deal with the public and are supposed to remain cool under stress. Obviously we can defend ourselves, but not disproportionately to the stimulus. I would look into a different field.

I wouldn't say I defended myself "disproportionately", I mean if someone grabs you by your collar and tries ripping something out of your hand, it's all happening very quickly and your instant response is going to hit back
 

MS Medic

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And that would be felony assault on a pt and put you in jail as an EMT. I'm not big into telling people they shouldn't go into EMS but if your defending those types of actions, you probably shouldn't go into this field.
 

CALEMT

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If you punched someone out because they grabbed your flashlight, I'm just imagining what you're going to do when someone freezes your badge, name tag, uniform. Or when someone dumps a bucket of water on you or when you get hit with flower bombs. The point I'm getting at is this is a job where you need VERY thick skin. Both fire and EMS play pranks and you deal with it, maybe laugh at yourself for a bit.

Like Jim already pointed out a major dept such as LAFD, LACoFD, Ventura CoFD, even Denver Fire will do a extensive background check. They'll assign you a background investigator that'll check under every stone. If they find any discrepancy whatsoever in your app or your background packet you're done, then word gets around the surrounding area to other depts. and you just burned ever app you ever put in.

Not trying to scare the life outta you, but be honest. Any respectable private EMS company i.e. AMR will do a decent background check and will include a military record no matter how long or short. Im with Jim, keep out of trouble and go get a degree. Also maybe seek some anger management, you blew up because someone touched a flashlight. What are you going to do when a pt slings a string of derogatory words at you or a captain or engineer chews you out and scrutinizes every little thing you do.
 

Jim37F

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Mmhmm. So you got an Article 15 for the fight. It happens. If that's all there was to the story it'd be a paragraph on ASMDSS on Facebook. The Army is not in the habit of discharging Soldiers after investing a ton of resources into them. So to me, the discharge implies some serious issues conforming to the military environment, not exactly something a paramilitary outfit is looking for....

That being said, my original advise of time and positive work history does not change. When asked by an interview panel or background investigator, telling them "the other guy got what was coming to him" is a good way to guarantee you DON'T get the job. Instead you need to be humble and be able to show them either solid school and/or work experience that shows you can handle this job. Any degree will showcase your ability to buckle down and study and learn the material, to properly manage your time with studying and everything like that. If you can put yourself through a private fire academy you can show that you can indeed survive and thrive in that environment and that the military discharge was more a fluke than representative of your character. Get your EMT and start working on a local ambulance, even if it's just an IFT service. Besides learning patient assessment skills and learning how to interact with higher level medical folks, being able to pull shifts for 10, 12, 16, 24 hours in close proximity with a partner all shift long (especially if you're posting), you'll be in even closer contact than with your "Battle Buddy" in Basic, so if you can prove your ability to get along and not get into any more boxing matches will go a long way in your benefit. Even a minimum wage retail or fast food job that has nothing to do with emergency services will show your ability to get along with others, customer service, take orders, get the job done, etc.

So you've dealt yourself a serious setback. Yes, You have, not the Army or anyone else. Accept it, be HUMBLE about it, and move out, drink water, change your socks and Charlie Mike.
 
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Dhk808

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If you punched someone out because they grabbed your flashlight, I'm just imagining what you're going to do when someone freezes your badge, name tag, uniform. Or when someone dumps a bucket of water on you or when you get hit with flower bombs. The point I'm getting at is this is a job where you need VERY thick skin. Both fire and EMS play pranks and you deal with it, maybe laugh at yourself for a bit.

Like Jim already pointed out a major dept such as LAFD, LACoFD, Ventura CoFD, even Denver Fire will do a extensive background check. They'll assign you a background investigator that'll check under every stone. If they find any discrepancy whatsoever in your app or your background packet you're done, then word gets around the surrounding area to other depts. and you just burned ever app you ever put in.

Not trying to scare the life outta you, but be honest. Any respectable private EMS company i.e. AMR will do a decent background check and will include a military record no matter how long or short. Im with Jim, keep out of trouble and go get a degree. Also maybe seek some anger management, you blew up because someone touched a flashlight. What are you going to do when a pt slings a string of derogatory words at you or a captain or engineer chews you out and scrutinizes every little thing you do.
And that would be felony assault on a pt and put you in jail as an EMT. I'm not big into telling people they shouldn't go into EMS but if your defending those types of actions, you probably shouldn't go into this field.

No disrespect to you guys what so ever, but I don't think you necessarily read the parts where I say he grabbed me and was tossing me around. The guy received a Field Grade Article 15 as well and was disciplined for it. When things are going very fast, and you don't know what's going on except for the fact someone is assaulting you. I'd honestly expect the same response from plenty of guys around here.
 
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Dhk808

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Mmhmm. So you got an Article 15 for the fight. It happens. If that's all there was to the story it'd be a paragraph on ASMDSS on Facebook. The Army is not in the habit of discharging Soldiers after investing a ton of resources into them. So to me, the discharge implies some serious issues conforming to the military environment, not exactly something a paramilitary outfit is looking for....

That being said, my original advise of time and positive work history does not change. When asked by an interview panel or background investigator, telling them "the other guy got what was coming to him" is a good way to guarantee you DON'T get the job. Instead you need to be humble and be able to show them either solid school and/or work experience that shows you can handle this job. Any degree will showcase your ability to buckle down and study and learn the material, to properly manage your time with studying and everything like that. If you can put yourself through a private fire academy you can show that you can indeed survive and thrive in that environment and that the military discharge was more a fluke than representative of your character. Get your EMT and start working on a local ambulance, even if it's just an IFT service. Besides learning patient assessment skills and learning how to interact with higher level medical folks, being able to pull shifts for 10, 12, 16, 24 hours in close proximity with a partner all shift long (especially if you're posting), you'll be in even closer contact than with your "Battle Buddy" in Basic, so if you can prove your ability to get along and not get into any more boxing matches will go a long way in your benefit. Even a minimum wage retail or fast food job that has nothing to do with emergency services will show your ability to get along with others, customer service, take orders, get the job done, etc.

So you've dealt yourself a serious setback. Yes, You have, not the Army or anyone else. Accept it, be HUMBLE about it, and move out, drink water, change your socks and Charlie Mike.

Thanks I really appreciate your time assisting me with this, but I'd have to disagree about the conforming part. I mean let's be honest, Infantry fight all the time, I can think of several guys who I went to basic with who have no place in the Army. I don't mean to sound conceited or anything, but when my Senior DS was telling me that I was being ELS'd he told me that it was his Personal opinion that I "Would've made a great infantryman", My PT was 291(not the highest, I will admit but it's okay), and my shooting was 38/40.
 
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Dhk808

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Mmhmm. So you got an Article 15 for the fight. It happens. If that's all there was to the story it'd be a paragraph on ASMDSS on Facebook. The Army is not in the habit of discharging Soldiers after investing a ton of resources into them. So to me, the discharge implies some serious issues conforming to the military environment, not exactly something a paramilitary outfit is looking for....

That being said, my original advise of time and positive work history does not change. When asked by an interview panel or background investigator, telling them "the other guy got what was coming to him" is a good way to guarantee you DON'T get the job. Instead you need to be humble and be able to show them either solid school and/or work experience that shows you can handle this job. Any degree will showcase your ability to buckle down and study and learn the material, to properly manage your time with studying and everything like that. If you can put yourself through a private fire academy you can show that you can indeed survive and thrive in that environment and that the military discharge was more a fluke than representative of your character. Get your EMT and start working on a local ambulance, even if it's just an IFT service. Besides learning patient assessment skills and learning how to interact with higher level medical folks, being able to pull shifts for 10, 12, 16, 24 hours in close proximity with a partner all shift long (especially if you're posting), you'll be in even closer contact than with your "Battle Buddy" in Basic, so if you can prove your ability to get along and not get into any more boxing matches will go a long way in your benefit. Even a minimum wage retail or fast food job that has nothing to do with emergency services will show your ability to get along with others, customer service, take orders, get the job done, etc.

So you've dealt yourself a serious setback. Yes, You have, not the Army or anyone else. Accept it, be HUMBLE about it, and move out, drink water, change your socks and Charlie Mike.

I am taking your advice though, I'm currently going to college with a Liberal Arts Major. Getting certified as a CNA and gonna be working at a carehome for maybe a year or two, while I then get certified as a EMT and get certified as an LPN.
 

Underoath87

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If you punched someone out because they grabbed your flashlight, I'm just imagining what you're going to do when someone freezes your badge, name tag, uniform. Or when someone dumps a bucket of water on you or when you get hit with flower bombs. The point I'm getting at is this is a job where you need VERY thick skin. Both fire and EMS play pranks and you deal with it, maybe laugh at yourself for a bit.

I've never seen anything of the sort. Maybe you're just fun to pick on...
 

CALEMT

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I've never seen anything of the sort. Maybe you're just fun to pick on...

You've never seen anyone's uniform frozen? That's the classic granddaddy of them all. They've never been done to me but I've witnessed them, just some workplace humor. All in good fun.

I am taking your advice though, I'm currently going to college with a Liberal Arts Major. Getting certified as a CNA and gonna be working at a carehome for maybe a year or two, while I then get certified as a EMT and get certified as an LPN.

Why not skip EMT and go straight to nursing school? As a CNA you'll most likely be working under a RN and you could "pick" up a couple things. Just some food for thought.
 

triemal04

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So...a guy is in Army Basic Training, likely heading to the infantry...is being taught to be aggresive and to have quick, forceful and often violent reactions/actions...gets surprised and/or attacked...reacts violently...and suddenly it's a major character flaw and the guy's a bad person?

Wow...just wow. Ain't this a great country?

Taken at face value, and if there really is nothing being left out of the story, while not good, it's an easily explainable situation. If you get the chance to explain it; I know how most employers will react when they see you got kicked out of the Army, though I don't know what they'd make of an els.
 
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Dhk808

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You've never seen anyone's uniform frozen? That's the classic granddaddy of them all. They've never been done to me but I've witnessed them, just some workplace humor. All in good fun.



Why not skip EMT and go straight to nursing school? As a CNA you'll most likely be working under a RN and you could "pick" up a couple things. Just some food for thought.

Well the college I'm headed to actually requires me to be a CNA before I go straight to LPN, and LPN is required to go to RN. So It's gonna be at least 4 years before I can be an RN, 2 years before RN, and 1 year before CNA. haha
 

DesertMedic66

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