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Old 08-07-2010, 05:41 PM
 
31 posts, read 282,656 times
Reputation: 16

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Hey everyone I wanted to get some opinions on what I should do about my situation.

I joined in April 2007 for 6 years as a Tactical Aircraft Maintenance Apprentice. I was stationed at Luke afb on f-16s. Around my three year mark I started getting burnt out on the politics and crappy leadership of my job and being in the heat 24/7. Along with that, being married, I did not want to get orders to korea and i was becoming due very shortly.

With the post 9/11 GI bill being out I decided I wanted to join the Reserves and go to school. I used the palace chase program and decided on my hometown of california mainly because of the amount BAH pays through the Bill. Going to school and collecting unemployment until I found a decent job pays more than active duty was paying. The benefit of BAH by school zipcode allows me to live in Ontario / Rancho Cucamonga while going to school in pasadena and paying alot less for rent.

I was initially interested in march arb, being 30 mins from my house but also noticed that Nellis afb was offering a 15k bonus for my same career field. Having to double your remaining time when going palace chase, I had around 5yrs on my reserve contract. The reserve recruiter told me that to get the bonus I would have to enlist for 6 years in the reserves, only adding a year to my obligation.

I ended up choosing Nellis over march because of the 15k bonus, other co-workers also going there, and the drive being decent. (3 hrs).

So my current situation is as follows:

Transferred to Nellis Reserves
Applied to Pasadena City College for a Computer Science Major.
Currently living in Ontario / Rancho Cucamonga
Ready to apply for unemployment after my terminal ends.

Here are where the problems arise.

I call up the unemployment office and they tell me I cant apply until I get my DD214, I have the emails saying its been sent but have not recieved it yet. I cant get UI benefits until I can apply.

When I go to see the career guide for a class layout, she says that all classes I can take are full. I ask why and she says that current student are able to enroll a few months before new students can. First semester for new students is always hell for getting classes. If I cant get atleast 2 classes I dont get paid the monthly BAH for Fall. Post 9/11 bill wont allow you to take misc classes outside of your career plan and entended major.

When I go for my first UTA at nellis, I find out that they come in on fri / sat instead of sat / sun because of their unique position on an active duty base. The reservists work for and have Active duty supervisors. Also my palace chase obligation prevents me from getting the 15k bonus being offered, making my 1yr extension useless. Also because of the unit support to active duty, some dates or the 2 weeks a year are set in stone revolving around redflag and other activities. The unique requirments of Nellis are interferring with school and the longer distance making it even harder to work around.

Eventually my DD214 will come but I need some advice on the school issue so i am not out $6100 in BAH until winter starts. I need to pay rent and bills. Also, I can make Nellis work, but it will affect school and everytime I go there I will have that lack of motivation from being put into something I wasnt expecting, feeling taken advantage of.

I am leaning towards cross training into another job available at march arb but dont know what to cross train into. If I can get into a tech school during fall semester, the full time pay will cover the loss of bah pay until I can get into classes the following semester. March ARB will also be saturday / sunday and 30 min away so I can easily drop in to meet my yearly requirments and focus on school.

any recommendations on reserve jobs or my situation in general would help me make a better decision. Maybe something like finance or something that would help my civilian goals as a product development manager in technology.

Any options of volentary seperation from the air force without afftecting my gi bill or UI benefits? wishful thinking!
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Old 08-08-2010, 12:27 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Texas, Finally!
5,321 posts, read 10,583,466 times
Reputation: 2395
As someone who was active duty, is now Air Guard and who has gone to college on my GI bill etc. all I can say is that you should have done alot more research before you got into this little mess. Why didn't you call around to the reserve bases to talk to someone there regarding their mission etc ---that way you would have known about Nellis' unique requirements before you joined? When I went into my career field, I had to commute, b/c my career field was not at every reserve base and not only that, my career field was different depending on the mission. I made alot of phone calls and visits before I made a decison.

Sorry but you were not taken advantage of. You made some hasty decisions. Don't have an answer for you. Plus, when I was discharged from the military, I don't recall being able to collect unemployment. Also, be prepared when you and if you do collect and when you file for the week after your drill, to be screwed out of some real money. It's almost easier not to work at all: part time/guard/reserve antyhing while unemployed. Been there done that.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:04 AM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,773,223 times
Reputation: 1281
UI rules are directed by the state. Some states see UTA and/or GI BILL benefits as income and deduct benefits accordingly if not all together.

Careers

Above is a good starting point...

Hopefully you did learn to properly research things in the future.
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:43 AM
 
30,740 posts, read 16,975,632 times
Reputation: 6786
Sorry, hasty decisions....you should have learned to do research before you pull the trigger....

What gets me the most is....everyone thinks that they can make better money on the outside...with no college, little experience and other things like that...

****a decent job pays more than active duty was paying****

For this to happen, you would need to double what you are being paid in the military...


Military people do not understand how much/many benefits they recieve through the military...
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:07 AM
 
2,190 posts, read 6,773,223 times
Reputation: 1281
Quote:
Originally Posted by chucksnee View Post
Sorry, hasty decisions....you should have learned to do research before you pull the trigger....

What gets me the most is....everyone thinks that they can make better money on the outside...with no college, little experience and other things like that...

****a decent job pays more than active duty was paying****

For this to happen, you would need to double what you are being paid in the military...


Military people do not understand how much/many benefits they recieve through the military...
It's certainly possible, but it's the exception not the rule. I know of an Air Force maintainer (aircraft mechanic) who did his four year enlistment and became a civilian mechanic on base making double what he made in A.D. Pretty much the exact same job. Also the AFSC of contracting has a lot of potential, although college greatly increases your odds. Again, this is the exception, not the rule.
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:38 AM
 
30,740 posts, read 16,975,632 times
Reputation: 6786
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJagMan View Post
It's certainly possible, but it's the exception not the rule. I know of an Air Force maintainer (aircraft mechanic) who did his four year enlistment and became a civilian mechanic on base making double what he made in A.D. Pretty much the exact same job. Also the AFSC of contracting has a lot of potential, although college greatly increases your odds. Again, this is the exception, not the rule.
I agree, take me...I just received my AA at the age of 39. I was hired making close to $27.50 an hour....but I have 21 years Aviation behind me...

I have also seen people do exactly what you are saying, as you it has been an exception and not the rule.....

To be honest, I've seen more people get out and come back in, just becasue they could not keep the same lifestyle on the outside as in the military. It's ruff to have to pay for medical insurance for a family...and lets not talk about dental insurance....I about had a cow....If anything that is what the government should be going after..not the medical insurance....
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Old 08-08-2010, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,226,830 times
Reputation: 1049
You made the decision; now man-up and serve honorably with the reserves.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
3,184 posts, read 9,224,316 times
Reputation: 4721
Sounds like you wanted to be served by the military instead of serving in the military. You have it backwards.
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