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Old 11-01-2017, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,100 posts, read 3,690,994 times
Reputation: 4828

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I served in the army on active duty for 8 years and got out because I didn't want to move my family every three years. I joined the national guard after a two year break in service and completed an additional 30 years with them to bring my service total to 38 years. I started off as a radio teletype operator and ended my career in the maintenance field becoming a mechanic. I retired as an E8 attaining the lofty rank of 1SG or First Sergeant.

I suggested to my nephew those other two services but secretly I wished he would follow in my footsteps. I love the army. I would have stayed on active duty but the service requires families to be independent while their service member are away which is often. Even in the guard I was gone for a month and a half every year and in 2003 to 2004 was gone the entire year in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Now that I am retired I will say I would not give up my time for anything. I didn't think I would make it a career but once I reached that 15 year mark I knew I was hooked. I could only make the best of it. Looking back I made good choices though I might have been better off going directly into mechanic, though had I done that too many things might have been different including not having met my wife of 37 years. Oh by the way not having serve in uniform she is a trooper none the less. Life as a spouse of a service member means you serve in your own way as well.

Good luck.

Oh one more thing. My nephew's job specialty is flying, operating and maintaining satellites. School for that is Ft Gordon GA the same place I went for my training. I think he made the right choice.

Last thing. Chicks dig a guy in uniform. They all look good to them. Good luck.
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:05 AM
 
2,089 posts, read 846,303 times
Reputation: 5552
You sound like a great young man. I bet you'll be fine no matter what your final decision is...
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:59 AM
 
5,537 posts, read 11,994,377 times
Reputation: 8467
We are a military family, going back quite a few generations. My FIL served 20+ years in the Navy, retired Lt. Col. My spouse served 20+ years in the Navy, beginning with ROTC in college. He received his Masters in the Navy. Had a 2nd career when he left the Navy and received two pensions.

My son served in the Army, now in the Reserves, a Major. He would have stayed active duty, but the deployments were too difficult for his wife. We wanted him to join the military after graduating HS as he had no idea what he wanted to do as a career. He went to college, got a degree in Biology & Psychology, a Masters and THEN joined the military (after 9-11). It is very common regarding your situation of not knowing a direction.

I would suggest either the AF or Navy. Talk to the recruiters. You can change career paths within the military, get a college education and, if you stay in, a nice retirement pension and healthcare.

My son mentored a young enlisted soldier, who didn't go to college, but with my son's encouragement has since gone on and now is a medical doctor.

If you find the military is not for you, you only sign on for a few years, better than wasting them in college with no direction.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:18 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,869 posts, read 8,287,687 times
Reputation: 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by TW195026 View Post

Mechanical work doesn't sound too bad..how come no one is doing it then? Hours?
I don't actually know the real reason we have a shortage, but I can guess.

1. VERY Employable. All the Airlines want to hire them, and they are often offered jobs with Northrup and Boeing as well. They leave the Air Force once they have experience so they can go make a ton of money in private industries.

2. We pay our civilian "contractor" mechanics more than young enlisted, so they often leave to get those civilian jobs. If you stay in long enough, you make more as enlisted, but you have to have the patience and not everyone does.
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:25 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
2,869 posts, read 8,287,687 times
Reputation: 3917
Quote:
Originally Posted by TW195026 View Post
I've also read about "bs" in the Air Force, what's that about? Do Airmen tend to get screwed over or something?

I'm aware of cross training and glad that's an option. Does one need permission and acceptance for that? I'm not too worried of joining and getting a job I don't love. I've learned I'm a hard worker and really aim to get things done.

Regarding enlisted pay, is it true that I'd join as an E-3 due to having over 45 college credits?

Thanks for your service!
Air Force BS- The Air Force will not promote you if you only do your job. They make you do things like get higher education and volunteer in the community. Two people with similar job performance compete for a promotion, the person who volunteers and is a good citizen, and has college, will get promoted over the other person. Since many people do NOT want to volunteer or go to school, they get mad and call it BS. They want to just show up to work, do nothing else, and get rewarded. This does cause bitterness.
The Air Force also makes you attend leadership training at certain intervals. It's WEEKS of training in leadership and supervision skills, and many people get mad that they are forced to attend (there is homework, speeches, etc) as they feel like "Why do I need this?" and so they fight it and call it BS.
There are perceptions that some Air Force leaders exhibit favoritism due to these things (showing favoritism to those who volunteer and take classes) but the expectations are actually well publicized.
We make people do lots of extraneous training (computer based, and everyone hates it). For example, we have to do Religious Accommodation and Sensitivity training, Homosexuality sensitiveness training, sexual assault prevention training, human trafficking prevention training, suicide prevention training, and many others. It takes hours every year, it's boring, and everyone gets mad about it and calls it BS.
They make us get a flu shot every year, and people get mad an call it BS.
In my opinion, these things don't negate how awesome the Air Force is!

For crosstraining, it's guaranteed that you can apply, but it's not guaranteed you'll be accepted into the field you want most. You have to find something that has openings.

You do need 45 credits to join as an E3, but a 6 year contract gets you to E3 really fast (20 weeks).
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Old 11-01-2017, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
6,556 posts, read 4,684,356 times
Reputation: 3703
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
Air Force BS- The Air Force will not promote you if you only do your job. They make you do things like get higher education and volunteer in the community. Two people with similar job performance compete for a promotion, the person who volunteers and is a good citizen, and has college, will get promoted over the other person. Since many people do NOT want to volunteer or go to school, they get mad and call it BS. They want to just show up to work, do nothing else, and get rewarded. This does cause bitterness.
The Air Force also makes you attend leadership training at certain intervals. It's WEEKS of training in leadership and supervision skills, and many people get mad that they are forced to attend (there is homework, speeches, etc) as they feel like "Why do I need this?" and so they fight it and call it BS.
There are perceptions that some Air Force leaders exhibit favoritism due to these things (showing favoritism to those who volunteer and take classes) but the expectations are actually well publicized.
We make people do lots of extraneous training (computer based, and everyone hates it). For example, we have to do Religious Accommodation and Sensitivity training, Homosexuality sensitiveness training, sexual assault prevention training, human trafficking prevention training, suicide prevention training, and many others. It takes hours every year, it's boring, and everyone gets mad about it and calls it BS.
They make us get a flu shot every year, and people get mad an call it BS.
In my opinion, these things don't negate how awesome the Air Force is!
This is also applicable in civilian life - if you want a promotion and want to get ahead, you have to do above and beyond your job tasks, to prove that you are more valuable to the organization at a higher level. Well said.
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:05 PM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crashj007 View Post
You are getting good responses to your query. I went an alternative plan, serving as a USAFReserve Loadmaster while in college. Basic training then one weekend a month with two weeks in the summer. It is probably not a deal you could get anymore, this was 1966.
The discipline from the USAF training was essential in completing my engineering degree and for the rest of my life. Go for it!
I've thought about the reserve as well but I think I'm better off just taking a break from college entirely, due to not putting effort, and getting exposed to the entire experience and different lifestyle. I have a question, sorry if it's dumb, but let's assume I enlist and return home for college after I serve. Could I then join the reserve if I miss the military life?
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:14 PM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
I served in the army on active duty for 8 years and got out because I didn't want to move my family every three years. I joined the national guard after a two year break in service and completed an additional 30 years with them to bring my service total to 38 years. I started off as a radio teletype operator and ended my career in the maintenance field becoming a mechanic. I retired as an E8 attaining the lofty rank of 1SG or First Sergeant.

I suggested to my nephew those other two services but secretly I wished he would follow in my footsteps. I love the army. I would have stayed on active duty but the service requires families to be independent while their service member are away which is often. Even in the guard I was gone for a month and a half every year and in 2003 to 2004 was gone the entire year in Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Now that I am retired I will say I would not give up my time for anything. I didn't think I would make it a career but once I reached that 15 year mark I knew I was hooked. I could only make the best of it. Looking back I made good choices though I might have been better off going directly into mechanic, though had I done that too many things might have been different including not having met my wife of 37 years. Oh by the way not having serve in uniform she is a trooper none the less. Life as a spouse of a service member means you serve in your own way as well.

Good luck.

Oh one more thing. My nephew's job specialty is flying, operating and maintaining satellites. School for that is Ft Gordon GA the same place I went for my training. I think he made the right choice.

Last thing. Chicks dig a guy in uniform. They all look good to them. Good luck.
Wow sounds like an amazing experience, glad you've enjoyed your time. Props to your wife as well. Hahah will have to add "chicks dig uniforms" to the pro side
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:17 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
22,997 posts, read 35,211,728 times
Reputation: 26681
Quote:
Originally Posted by TW195026 View Post
I've thought about the reserve as well but I think I'm better off just taking a break from college entirely, due to not putting effort, and getting exposed to the entire experience and different lifestyle. I have a question, sorry if it's dumb, but let's assume I enlist and return home for college after I serve. Could I then join the reserve if I miss the military life?
The only dumb question is the question not asked. Sorry, I heard that a lot in the military...

That is possible, but no guarantees... It depends on a lot of factors. And the military changes.

Technically if you are honorably discharged at less than six years active service, you are in the inactive reserve...
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Old 11-01-2017, 01:18 PM
 
24 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LLCNYC View Post
You sound like a great young man. I bet you'll be fine no matter what your final decision is...
Thank you for that, I hope so! During my research I stumbled into a thread where someone mentioned how many people turn out to feel lost at some point in their lives and that the OP should be glad it was at an early age whereas most feel it later in life. Just hoping these things only come around once...
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