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Old 11-03-2017, 01:44 AM
 
1,221 posts, read 380,820 times
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One thing to consider about the AF is it is a more "Corporate" environment in a lot of the technical fields, and you may end up working with (and for) many civilians. A lot of people have an issue with that but it just comes with the territory.

And also with the AF, you can actually get an AAS Degree with The Community College of The Air Force (CCAF) all the technical training you will receive with the inclusion of general education subjects you receive off-duty and possibly the college credit you already received. No other branch has their own Accredited College.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:38 AM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
4,685 posts, read 1,217,674 times
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If possible, finish up your associate's degree before leaving school. That could lead to an interesting assignment in the Air Force and to a civilian job later. It would also make it easier to get admitted to a better university later, where you could use the G.I. Bill money you would accumulate in the Military.

And if you enter a service, definitely have it be the Air Force. You get much better treatment and living conditions there and have more chances for promotion. If you're on an Air Force base, you've got a big advantage in catching free hops home during leaves, on Air Force or Air National Guard planes. As an Army guy, who caught many of those hops, the people at stopover Air Force bases gave us such good meals and lodging and were so nice to us, that we realized we were in the wrong military branch.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:35 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
602 posts, read 308,553 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
If possible, finish up your associate's degree before leaving school. That could lead to an interesting assignment in the Air Force and to a civilian job later. It would also make it easier to get admitted to a better university later, where you could use the G.I. Bill money you would accumulate in the Military.

And if you enter a service, definitely have it be the Air Force. You get much better treatment and living conditions there and have more chances for promotion. If you're on an Air Force base, you've got a big advantage in catching free hops home during leaves, on Air Force or Air National Guard planes. As an Army guy, who caught many of those hops, the people at stopover Air Force bases gave us such good meals and lodging and were so nice to us, that we realized we were in the wrong military branch.

Some jobs in the Air Force are extremely hard to advance in. Your using a very generalized description. My coworker, who spent 6 years active duty in the Air Force, can tell you that not all duty stations have the creature comforts your describing. He was sent to Malmstrom AFB in Montana. He was bored out of his mind, and spent the last 2 years completing radio frequency reports. He thought that being a telecommunications tech, he would be working on satellites.


Some AF bases are very nice, but there are older bases out there, and many are in the middle of nowhere. I talked to a bunch of AF aviation mechanics during airshows who were shocked to see an E-5 with less than 2 years of service. Most of their E-5s had 5 years of service.


The meals have improved for all branches, as now civilian contractors provide all meals on base.
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Old 11-03-2017, 01:55 PM
 
1,221 posts, read 380,820 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsvibe View Post
Some jobs in the Air Force are extremely hard to advance in. Your using a very generalized description. My coworker, who spent 6 years active duty in the Air Force, can tell you that not all duty stations have the creature comforts your describing. He was sent to Malmstrom AFB in Montana. He was bored out of his mind, and spent the last 2 years completing radio frequency reports. He thought that being a telecommunications tech, he would be working on satellites.


Some AF bases are very nice, but there are older bases out there, and many are in the middle of nowhere. I talked to a bunch of AF aviation mechanics during airshows who were shocked to see an E-5 with less than 2 years of service. Most of their E-5s had 5 years of service.


The meals have improved for all branches, as now civilian contractors provide all meals on base.
Being at a “boring base”....smh. What better reason than to use that to your advantage and work on completing your college degree. Yep, promotions in the Air Force don’t come easy. Kinda sets the caliber a little higher than the other branches (IMO).
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:34 PM
 
525 posts, read 203,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington Steel View Post
Being at a “boring base”....smh. What better reason than to use that to your advantage and work on completing your college degree. Yep, promotions in the Air Force don’t come easy. Kinda sets the caliber a little higher than the other branches (IMO).
Its no different from life. Whether you are at hurlburt, hickam, minot, lakenheath etc it doesn't matter. Its all what you make of it and anywhere you get sent to could end up being unexpectedly cool or disappointing. Take it as an adventure that you are doing as your job.
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Old 11-03-2017, 08:40 PM
 
29 posts, read 4,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
I served 8 years in the Navy. On a ship everyone must learn basic and advance fire fighting. Navy ships have a wide variety of jobs. One job field includes being the barber, ship’s laundry, running the ship’s store, and maintaining vending machines. That’s just an example. More technical fields include nuclear engineering, electronics, electricians, engine room (titles depend on type of engines), and various aircraft maintenance (mechanical, electrical, & electronics). A Navy hospital corpsman serves on a shore hospital, a ship, or serves alongside the Marines in the field of combat. I suggest you talk to recruiters of different branches. The ASVAB test is merely a guide to help you select a field but you should look at all the jobs available and select those you feel best suits your personality, interest, and talents. If you have degrees then point this out to recruiters as this may qualify you for an officer program.
I'm not going to lie, I don't know much about the Navy but I plan on learning. Definitely will be talking to all branches. Not sure what the standard is, but I've been thinking about taking the ASVAB first before meeting with the recruiters. This way I can just aim to score as well as I can and see who can offer what. Unfortunately no degrees..in the middle of one but don't really have any motivation for it. On the bright side, I'd rather get the enlisted experience first

Quote:
Originally Posted by victimofGM View Post
We asked questions all the time. Stupid questions will get stupid answers. On a carrier the two departments that have the highest fire fighting training are engineering and aviation. One day we were to be cross trained. Us engineers were sent to the flight deck for flight deck fire fighting training. One idiot had to ask the question, “they have their own fire fighting team so why do we have to learn this?” We all knew the answer but didn’t really want to think about it. This guy needed the answer to hit him in the head. The answer was, “if the explosives and fires kill them then you’re next to take their place!” He turned pale as a ghost. After our training, the aviation guys came down to the engine rooms to learn how to fight fires where we worked.
That's good to know! Really, glad to hear that stupid questions like those are asked. Now I'll be sure I'll never have the stupidest question

Quote:
Originally Posted by don1945 View Post
I was in the Marines, but I feel the Air Force is a notch above all the other services in terms of opportunities and the way their people are treated.

Some years ago, my then GF had a son who was not doing much with his life. He had some college, and worked menial jobs here and there. He was going nowhere. Then he joined the AF. His first post was in Montana, where he joined their military police, guarding the missile installation out there. He was there a few years and then took a transfer to Atlanta, where he became a recruiter. Last I knew , he was still in the AF, and making a career of it.

It turned his life around. He and his wife have two homes now, nice cars, and a good living. His wife joined the AF after him, and went into IT work. Now, it is just like a 9-5 job, and they have security and a very good life.

So, based on that experience, I would say the AF would be a good choice for any young person who is not sure what they want to do in life.
I really like the Marines (well, all branches in reality) but I don't think I'm a good fit. How was it for you?

Nice to hear about the Air Force changing his life for the better. Really regret not doing it straight out of high school but the jobs offered for permanent residents are limited and it turned me off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlaskaErik View Post
I was a C-130 loadmaster for the last 17 years of my military career. Absolute best career field on the enlisted side.
I've heard and seen some clips about it..would be a real nice experience but I'm going to assume that now there is a low chance of actually getting loadmaster. May change after I do research but as of now I'd like it on my list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
Joined the Army as after two years of college because I felt I had no direction, didn't like my major. Felt I was wasting tuition money. I was 20 yrs old. Sure could have used a lot of guidance on careers back then. Didn't have exposure to what was out there.....

Went to visit the Army recruiter. Picked a medical MOS (job). Saw that I enjoyed it and found it challenging. Saved money during this brief stint in the Army and returned to college after a 3 yr enlistment, got a worthwhile degree and returned to the Army as an officer (university ROTC program).

19 yrs later, retired with a 55% pension (19 yrs officer + 3 yrs enlisted time) and full healthcare. You don't see pensions like this around much anymore. Also earned a Masters Degree in the process (sent by US Army to be full time student while earning full Field Grade Officer Pay!)....I did travel, move around a lot - spent a lot of time in Germany (loved that), and some time in Bosnia, Central America, Afghanistan....but I played the game, experienced a lot.

Not all who enter the Army have a great outcome - you never know when, where the U.S.A. will get involved in wars. You pick the wrong job, you could be miserable. But if you get through a career, it's well worth it.

When I'm out and about and see 20-yrs olds doing some menial jobs, I just shake my heads. I feel like they're wasting their lives. I almost think a 2-yr mandatory enlistment should be required in this country. Just to give these directionless "kids" a start. I've seen so many young Americans make something out of their lives though the military.
That pension does sound nice. Did you expect yourself to make a career out of the military?

Yeah not too worried as far as involvement in wars because I know that risk comes once I sign.

I couldn't agree more with your thinking. The problem that I personally saw was that in high school we're just at a point where we're pushed for college. I recall that 2 or 3 guys from my high school class were joining the military but because their families had served. However, for those of us who are lost, you're kind of blindly going into college since that's just what the common student does. I had a crap retail job when I first joined college and I got by. Within half a year I was actually wanted by another retail location fora manager position but I ended up quitting for my current job. Today I feel it was overall a waste of time mainly from being someone with no direction coming out of high school. And it really sucks how long it took me to realize.
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:21 PM
 
29 posts, read 4,779 times
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Originally Posted by otowi View Post
I would just be careful of running to the AF as if it will be the solution to your problems and then not liking it either - just like one of your switching majors decisions - because the AF decision is one that you get locked into for awhile. It could be just the thing for you or it might not. Have you asked yourself why you think a military option will be better for you? Or is it just a way to get an answer when you can't make up your mind? Would it really solve your motivation issues? Have you considered some more hands-on careers besides military such as a trade? Have you ever taken an aptitude or career-interest test?

Secondly, I would give you the advice to understand that the way today's world works you are not really deciding the rest of your life at 22. If you are willing, you can re-invent yourself as many times as you like and have multiple careers. And that sometimes there are moves from one career to another that don't seem obvious from your current viewpoint but when the time comes in your life for it to happen you may feel things coming together for it to make sense. The only caveat I'd offer to that is that a lack of stability in career direction can impact your ability to save for your retirement, so try to start saving for that now and do it consistently every month and continue to avoid debt as you have. I wish someone had given me that advice when I was your age.
Well, military has always been in the back of my head. I was always curious about it but never made anything of it. Once I realized I'm not making anything of college now, I really see how now the military stands out for me, if that makes sense. I understand that when you join you are signing a contract and there is no out. That is why I'm being very diligent over this but I would not have started this thread if it wasn't something serious. In reality, it's more of a double check before I pull the trigger and begin preparing. I believe it would solve my motivation issues as it also has for others. I tend to have high expectations and I feel that the fact that you HAVE to get things done in the military will also help my motivation. However, I have not considered different hands-on careers.

I am aware I am young and a lot could change. And that's also a benefit I see from the military. If it somehow turns out to be something I don't like I just have to get by and then I have the opportunity to come out and get an education. Maybe the military teaches me what I'm good at and will help me decide a career outside of the military. At the same time, I could love the military - which is a possibility that part of me is hoping for.

Thanks for your advice. I've been fortunate enough to be able to save up some decent money for my age and, partially relevant, have built a good credit score.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarie123 View Post
It's not guaranteed. But, I've never really seen it denied, in my experience. The Air Force knows happy people are productive and committed. They might not get everything right, but this is one thing we do a really good job on because we want people to stay for "life."

There are also 90+ "Special Duties" you can apply for (recruiter, Thunderbirds/AirShows) that aren't regular jobs and aren't part of crosstraining. It's just an extra way to you get a new job. Here's detailed information on that. http://www.afpc.af.mil/Portals/70/do...-28-142615-090
Keeping Airmen happy definitely makes sense.

Will check out that pdf in more depth, but what makes them different than the regular jobs? They seem to be like leadership roles

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan west View Post
I have spent my lifetime attached in some way to the military. I would recommend it as a career. My advice would be to join as an officer. The Air Force is a cut above as mentioned earlier in this thread.
Out of curiosity, why do you recommend as an officer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkthekoolaid View Post
Don't be embarrassed or ashamed. You are trying to find where you fit in life, growing up, taking on more responsibilities etc... You are trying to improve yourself.

This is commendable.

In fact you sound very similar to myself when I was your age.

I took a semester off of college and joined the air national guard. I used the semester off and had boot camp and tech school and initial on station training all lined up to be completed before the next fall semester started.

For me it worked out great. I was an aircraft mechanic and loved it. I went from being about a 2.6 student pre air force to like a 3.6 student after I returned. I only wish I was so academically focused my entire college career. Now I'm in a white collar civilian career that has nothing to do with aircraft maintenance but I very fondly look back at my 6 years and think it's the best and most rewarding job I've ever had. I learned many life lessons and I think it helped me to grow as a person and gave me successful habits and attitudes.

Looking back, I wonder how things would have turned out if I had gone active duty instead of the air guard and if I would still be in or not. I didn't know much at the time I enlisted but I think now knowing more, I would have loved a job as aircrew. I would have really liked a job like loadmaster.

Your mileage may vary but your on the right track. Keep asking questions and we will offer advice
Great to hear the military improved your GPA and, more importantly, your life all around. The benefits really outweigh the cons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkthekoolaid View Post
You're welcome.


I know this goes without saying to many who have posted in here.... But here goes anyway.

With all the happy advice out of the way..,,,
If you are interested in joining the military, regardless of what branch, what component and what job, make sure it's something you believe in, and are willing to commit to.


You are signing a contract to give up a significant portion of your personal decision making and will be at the mercy of others. You give up freedoms in one way or another, you are part of something bigger than yourself, you are entrusted with responsibility and others will depend upon you.

If you can handle that, then great go for it. But you have to understand what it's about. There will be good days and bad days just like every job but you have to understand that and commit to it knowing what your getting into and signing up for. On the flip side, if you sign up for the right reasons and love America and believe in what you are doing it will probably be the most rewarding thing you will ever do.
I do believe I can handle it. Worst case scenario I pull through it. But I really do not see that happening. I'm aware of how it is more than a civilian job in its numerous ways. While I was not born here, this country still gave me an opportunity that many do not get. I grew up here and I absolutely would give back if that's what my decision comes to.
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:36 PM
 
29 posts, read 4,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
I'm going to agree on the AF (career Army here).....but the other services may provide options as well......don't limit your vision.
Definitely will be speaking to all branches, thank you for your service

Quote:
Originally Posted by BucFan View Post
LOL. I remember the call to my parents telling them I enlisted and it's too late, can't change my mind or they'll send me to prison......they were happy for me and still to this day tell me what a great decision it ended up being for my situation. But unfortunately for thousands of our Brothers in Arms, the lost their lives after enlisting. Also, there are so many who weren't made for the military - too autonomous and unable to follow instructions, directions of others and couldn't "play the game".....and were weeded out or left. At least they gave it a go and served.
Glad to hear they were supportive. Couldn't imagine parents not being supportive. And yeah, the cost of warfare is unfortunate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
In the army as you progress say in the mechanic field. You might start off being a wheeled vehicle repairer but as you get more rank they will add in track vehicle repair and even supply courses that you will need to take. This is all in progression. Your job specialty might start of as say using the army codes. 91B as a wheeled vehicle then you would make E6 and become 91H. Then becoming an E7 your MOS would be 91X going further up to E8 you become 91Z and if you put on First Sergeant rank you would add an identifier of 91Z4M. All the while still remaining a mechanic you get additional skills that round out your career.
Thanks for that, I did not know that. That sounds really rewarding and as if careers can't be too boring as you'll be learning something new over time and expand your knowledge

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsvibe View Post
Hey OP, I was just like you. I completed a year of technical school, and wanted to do something "cool", I was tired of school, and didn't want "just some job".


Here is my advice, talk to all 5 branches (don't forget the Coast Guard), AFTER you take the ASVAB. Until you take it, they won't have any idea what job you qualify for, trust me once you have that ASVAB score, they will be really motivated.


Each branch has their own strengths and weaknesses, but all are better than not serving.


In my case, the Navy offered me Aviation Mechanic, the other branches offered me jobs that were desk type jobs, and I hate just sitting around.


DO NOT FALL FOR THE UNDESIGNATED TRAP!!!!!!!!!!!! If they can't offer you a job, walk. Yes, the jobs they offer will be based on needs, but each branch has their own needs.


I will give you my honest opinion of each branch.


Navy, you are guaranteed to travel, and see the world. No matter ship or submarine, or aviation like I was, at some point in your career you will be deployed, and get to travel the world while being paid. I have been to Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Israel, UAE, Virgin Islands, Turkey, and Puerto Rico. Advancement is based on your knowledge of your field, not volunteering. Navy want brains, not bronze, so your physical condition doesn't really play into it, unless your weight is over standards. Navy has a VERY relaxed command structure, on a ship, you are a family of shipmates, you don't salute in doors or on the deck of a ship underway.


Coast Guard, you get to stay in the US, and you have very good duty stations, like Miami. It is easier to move up. You NEVER have to worry about being deployed to a combat zone.


Air Force. You have very good living conditions, but is some jobs, it is very hard to move up. Some bases are in the middle of no where, and serving overseas for some jobs is very difficult to get.


Army, lots of advancement opportunities. Some bases are huge, which is a pain in the butt(traffic is horrible). Some jobs are very boring. There have been issues with horrible management(officers who think they are God and treat their troops like garbage).


Marines, lots of cool jobs, and lots of cool training opportunities. For example, in the Army, only Rangers and Special Forces train in the water, like storming a beach, in the Marines, all Infantry can be assigned to amphibious assault. The biggest negative, is advancement is linked to how well you shoot, and your physical condition. Being a "great Marine" can make up for a lack in technical knowledge.


In both the Army, and Marines, at any time, you can be assigned to Infantry if needed. One of my friends was an Electronics Repair Technician in the Marines, until he got to Iraq. They gave him a rifle, and assigned him to an Infantry Combat Team. He didn't touch a single radio for a year.
Wow, thanks a ton for that post. Will definitely avoid going in as open, that's been drilled in my head from many threads I've read lol. Sweet break down of the branches by the way, will keep all in mind for the future
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Old 11-03-2017, 09:50 PM
 
29 posts, read 4,779 times
Reputation: 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remington Steel View Post
One thing to consider about the AF is it is a more "Corporate" environment in a lot of the technical fields, and you may end up working with (and for) many civilians. A lot of people have an issue with that but it just comes with the territory.

And also with the AF, you can actually get an AAS Degree with The Community College of The Air Force (CCAF) all the technical training you will receive with the inclusion of general education subjects you receive off-duty and possibly the college credit you already received. No other branch has their own Accredited College.
Yeah I'm aware about the different environment and I'm hoping I score well enough on the ASVAB and am able to get good choices, within all the branches in general.

Did not know the Air Force has its own college! That really sounds like a nice perk, do many take advantage of it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
If possible, finish up your associate's degree before leaving school. That could lead to an interesting assignment in the Air Force and to a civilian job later. It would also make it easier to get admitted to a better university later, where you could use the G.I. Bill money you would accumulate in the Military.

And if you enter a service, definitely have it be the Air Force. You get much better treatment and living conditions there and have more chances for promotion. If you're on an Air Force base, you've got a big advantage in catching free hops home during leaves, on Air Force or Air National Guard planes. As an Army guy, who caught many of those hops, the people at stopover Air Force bases gave us such good meals and lodging and were so nice to us, that we realized we were in the wrong military branch.
Possible, yes. But I'd be looking at another few years as I'm not many credits in on my current major. What is the benefit of having an associate's? I've only read about 1) credits regarding what rank you enter in as and 2) bachelor's for officer. So I assumed it wouldn't mean much when enlisting

And I am aiming for Air Force but it will depend on how things fall through
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:15 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,854 posts, read 1,862,474 times
Reputation: 6962
Quote:
Originally Posted by TW195026 View Post
I've heard and seen some clips about it..would be a real nice experience but I'm going to assume that now there is a low chance of actually getting loadmaster. May change after I do research but as of now I'd like it on my list.

It might be easier than you think. I remember a time when the Air Force was forcing personnel in overage fields to cross train into fields that were undermanned. Loadmaster was one of those undermanned fields. dmarie123 would know more about the current C-130 Loadmaster manning level.
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