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Old 03-07-2007, 07:46 AM
 
4,794 posts, read 9,752,943 times
Reputation: 2659
Default Air Force or Army

My son has had his mind set on a military career for about 5 years now. He's been talking to recruiters and been researching possibilities intensely. He knows the drill about "recruiters" glossing over the rough stuff and he's prepared for what he's getting into. He just turned 20 and wants to join later this spring.

My question is where is the best place to get straight answers regarding the opportunities in either the Army or Air Force. I grew up as an Air Force brat so I'm partial.....but I want him to be happy. He is leaning toward the Army because he knows it's a larger branch and he might have better opportunities to get into a field he wants. He also knows his chances of going to the ME are greater too. He's not afraid of that possibility.

Please don't post comments that say "don't join at all".....his mind is made up and I've already discussed that with him. I just want to be sure he's covered all the groundwork before he signs. He plans on college either before or after (has been taking some courses now)....and his hopes are for OTC. I'm wanting to know what it takes to be an officer these days....and current stats and info. Please don't relive someone's bad experiences from 15-20 years ago. If it's recent, then we want to hear it all. Remember...I've been there too....

OK....I'm ready....thanks everyone!
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Texas
3,494 posts, read 9,366,558 times
Reputation: 1264
Army-more MOS's, quicker advancement, more deployments and longer deployments, crappy housing (though family housing has REALLY picked up on posts-wow!)

Air Force-relatively kinder and gentler boot camp, nicer housing and bases, i would guess the overall IQ is higher in the USAF, less deployments and MUCH shorter deployments, and no direct combat/battlefield jobs that i can think of (i may be wrong..unless you consider air assault direct combat)
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:44 AM
 
Location: San Antonio
1,215 posts, read 3,003,476 times
Reputation: 509
Air Force definately, my son has been in just over 3 years and will have his BSc in June has taken all the classes for free. Make sure he chooses his career field carefully, there are a lot of cutbacks going on right now so he might have to wait a while to join up. But don't let him be persuaded by a recruiter into doing something he isnt sure about.
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Old 03-07-2007, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Missouri
2,813 posts, read 9,123,847 times
Reputation: 2000001112
If he joins the Army, you and he should be prepared for him to be shipped off to either Iraq or Afghanistan relatively quickly. And with army personnel shortages, he'll probably be rotated between both or sent repeatedly to Iraq. Once they have their hands on him, he can forget supposed time limits of overseas service or combat duty. They'll keep shipping back into the war zones regardless of exhaustion and promises. I don't think it's a wise move on his part at this point in time to join the Army. I'd go with the Air Force if either of the two are his only considerations. I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy and I'd recommend the Navy as well, but the Air Force would also be a good place where he could find stability and training and actually build a future for himself. It seems the Air Force treats it's members much better than the Army. I'd push him to the Air Force of the two.
He needs to take into consideration current realities before joining the Army.
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Old 03-07-2007, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
17,384 posts, read 21,409,465 times
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When my daughter went to speak to recruiters, she asked a lot of good questions. Or so she thought. I asked her to schedule another round of interviews with recruiters, however, this time she was taking somebody with her. I had her put together a tough line of questions. How often do you deploy. What are living conditions like on the other end. How long are deployments. What is my availability to higher education. etc...

Then, when she went to the Navy recruiter, I went with her. I'm ex Navy. I was there to basically cry foul every time the recruiter tried to get vague. When she went to the Marine recruiter, my buddy, who retired as a Marine, went with her. Same thing.

What we found, and most importantly, what my daughter found, was a whole different set of answers.

I know the recruiters job is to get fodder for the cannon. However, he/she, shouldn't have to lie to do it.

Go after those tough questions and get reliable answers. But take backup so you get straight answers.
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:03 AM
 
3,021 posts, read 16,019,219 times
Reputation: 2399
Default Depends on what he really wants deep down

Lot depends on the person.

Is he really a person who wants action, combat type personality? Or does he really want technical type training?

All the branches have jobs that are grunt type jobs. The training sort of doesn't apply to a civilian career later on. But the experience is a way to mold their character for the rest of their life.

The air force would be my choice if you are after the more technical training and want to be sure of surviving the process in one piece. But if you really want to be GI Joe, never will be satisfied in a support technical type position.

The Navy should not be off limits. Something like the submarine service is a first rate experience. About some of the best training around.

Standard Army or Air force service is a bit to much of a very narrow focused type job. The MOS's focus in very particular areas. In all services, you want to be in the elite units. Get less bull, more money and fun.

You don't say what job or area is his prime interest. Combat arms, pilot, electronics, computers, etc, etc? We probably can give better answers with a better idea of what he would like to try for starters. Plus does he see it as a career at this point or only one hitch and out?
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Old 03-07-2007, 10:14 AM
 
464 posts, read 515,214 times
Reputation: 142
So glad you started this post WCat. My son has wanted to go to the air force academy since he was 8 he is only 13 now but as we start to register for H.S. that is on his mind. He has now started talking about Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University very expensive school. He is planning what classes to take in order to be a good candidate for either school.

As his mother I have been researching, researching, researching what is best, I'm looking forward to reading all the replies.

Good Luck to your son and you.

T
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Old 03-07-2007, 11:03 AM
 
1,075 posts, read 2,414,048 times
Reputation: 1087
I would go with air force, lot of guys lately are navy gun ho but stuck on a ship out in the middle of a big pond wouldn't be my cup o tea.

something you never hear much about with a little twist would be coast guard, might be worth checking into.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Where the real happy cows reside!
4,282 posts, read 6,516,503 times
Reputation: 10320
Exclamation Fyi

USAF Downsizing
January 1, 2006: The U.S. Air Force is reducing itís personnel strength (active duty and reserves), by 40,000 troops over the next six years. Automation, fewer (but much more expensive) warplanes and easier-to-maintain equipment make this possible, and neccessary. The cuts come to about 6,800 fewer people a year. The air force normally has to recruit 20,000 new troops a year, to make up for those who retire or leave (donít sign on for more duty). It hopes to avoid layoffs by cutting back on recruiting (mainly by raising standards), and getting existing personnel (in areas needing fewer people) to switch to new jobs. Some of the disappointed applicants are referred to the army, as the navy is also shedding personnel, and the marines donít usually attract the same kind of person who wants to be in the air force (even though the marines have their own little air force.)
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Old 03-07-2007, 07:33 PM
 
Location: San Antonio
60 posts, read 146,707 times
Reputation: 19
Thumbs up Son in Navy!

I was in the Army for 6x2, due to the conflicts in the ME I suggested the AF to my son. My Son's baby boy was 2 yr at the time, that's why I tried to steer him away from the Army. It turns out he joined the NAVY, best decision he has ever made. He was accepted to their Medical program. He has just completed his Soph. yr in college and will be attenting UTHSC in Jan 08 Nurse (practitioner) school fulltime for two year earning E5 pay. then commission as an officer, for a four year commitment.
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