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Old 11-24-2009, 07:25 AM
 
Location: North Las Vegas
1,081 posts, read 1,331,967 times
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I also would suggest the Air Force. With the Navy you might very well travel all over the world, but you would spend most of you daily life looking at steel walls painted gray.

Most Air Force bases are located in areas that have many opportunities to explore. I was stationed in Honolulu which gave me surf and sun, Anchorage which gave nature and snow, Dayton which gave me most of the east coast to explore, Colorado Springs which is just amazing on its own, and finally Travis AFB which is between San Francisco and Sacramento which gave me the entire west coast.

The difference between the sights you see in the navy and in the Air Force is when in the navy they navy picks what you see and when in the Air Force you pick what you see.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:25 AM
 
5 posts, read 100,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tymberwulf View Post
I also would suggest the Air Force. With the Navy you might very well travel all over the world, but you would spend most of you daily life looking at steel walls painted gray.

Most Air Force bases are located in areas that have many opportunities to explore. I was stationed in Honolulu which gave me surf and sun, Anchorage which gave nature and snow, Dayton which gave me most of the east coast to explore, Colorado Springs which is just amazing on its own, and finally Travis AFB which is between San Francisco and Sacramento which gave me the entire west coast.

The difference between the sights you see in the navy and in the Air Force is when in the navy they navy picks what you see and when in the Air Force you pick what you see.
I have a question - when you say you pick what you see with the Air Force, do you get to chose if you travel a lot or none at all. Obviously, nothing is final, as you go wherever you are most needed, but in general, if you request for a lot of travel, they tend to give it to you? And vice versa, if you request to stay in one area indefinitely, they try to do it for you? What are the likelihood of getting the area that you want to stay in? I have one friend in the Air Force who was stationed at Japan for 3 years and did not move anywhere. I do not really want to stay in one area for a long time, but I also do not want to judge the branch by my one friend's experience. Also, one pro for the Navy is that my parents live in Bethesda, MD where the Naval Medical Center is. I know the chances of being placed there are pretty slim, but I'd love for even the chance to be there for some time (most likely when I'm thinking of settling down).

Quote:
My vote would be Air Force. I am an AF reservist. I work with active duty daily. Navy is OK if you can stand being on a ship with up to 5000 others. I knew for me, I could not be on a ship for more than a day. have you ever seen the sleeping quarters on a ship? very tiny!
I have no problems with tiny areas - I'm a small person! Hehe, I am 5'2, and frequently used to curling up in small areas and sleeping, so it should not be a big problem. I have to say, I'm indifferent about the idea of staying on a boat for a long period of time with the same people at the moment, but who knows until I experience it!

Thanks for your input!
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:32 AM
 
3,422 posts, read 9,419,431 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by busyizzy View Post
I have a question - when you say you pick what you see with the Air Force, do you get to chose if you travel a lot or none at all. Obviously, nothing is final, as you go wherever you are most needed, but in general, if you request for a lot of travel, they tend to give it to you? And vice versa, if you request to stay in one area indefinitely, they try to do it for you? What are the likelihood of getting the area that you want to stay in? I have one friend in the Air Force who was stationed at Japan for 3 years and did not move anywhere. I do not really want to stay in one area for a long time, but I also do not want to judge the branch by my one friend's experience. Also, one pro for the Navy is that my parents live in Bethesda, MD where the Naval Medical Center is. I know the chances of being placed there are pretty slim, but I'd love for even the chance to be there for some time (most likely when I'm thinking of settling down).


The officers my husband (AF) works with (not pharmacy so your mileage may vary) move every 18 mos or so.

If you are assigned overseas and single, you'd probably be there 2 yrs. The longer tours are for people with dependents.

If you fill your dream sheet with overseas assignments you are more likely to go places. Make it varied. Put places from all over the world on there, and you should get to go overseas. Once overseas, work the angle of volunteering for a back-to back overseas assignment. Many people don't want to do this and there is often an incentive (like extra leave days) to do so.

All that being said, pharmacy might be different from what I have experienced with my husbands career field.

I vote for the AF too. I do have a friend in the Navy who is married with kids and loves her job though.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,217,495 times
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I would recommend talking to the various ROTC recruiters (NOW) at the school you will be attending and see who offers you the best deal. I'm not sure about your chosen field but many times they will pay for your education as a doctor or nurse plus other benefits. You need to tackle this as a single continuous event and not two different events.

The AF is getting plenty of deployments so don't let that bother you.

I would probably op for the AF even though I spent 30 years in the Army. But I wouldn’t rule any service out if they made it worth my while.

No, on easily switching service, especially as an officer.

PS: If it matters the AF, Army and MC are pulling the lion's share of the duty in south west asia.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Illinois
3,168 posts, read 4,144,715 times
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I say AF, too.

Navy officers (and even enlisted), especially in health-related fields, deploy often. They also provide medical support to the Marines who deploy often, too.

Personally, I wouldn't want to spend too much time in the Middle East.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,676 posts, read 47,382,203 times
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I did 20 years in the Navy.

Navy bases tend to be a row of piers and a hundred warehouses, a few of the warehouses are converted to office space, and there will be four bars.

Navy housing is usually horrible, and there is never enough housing. The idea is to only provide housing for folks who are not motivated to rent or buy their own homes.

On the other hand the Navy prefers to give everyone extra pays and allowances to provide their own housing and to feed themselves when they are not at sea.

This attitude carries over to many areas of life. You are expected to take care of your personal life and family on your own time, and to never bring your family issues in to work with you, in exchange for this the Navy pays more.



Air Force bases are nice. They are family oriented. They have gyms, rec halls, golf courses, go-cart tracks, theaters, schools, hospitals, ... Often you can live on a AF base and never have any need to leave the base. Everything is provided for you.

Since the AF provides everything for you, they also have an attitude where they want to help each other.



I bought an apartment building at each of four of my duty stations [with my extra pays and allowances]. I have had renters who have been Navy as well as AF personnel. I have seen AF personnel, if they are determined to live off-base, really struggle as they were on base-pay only, and just did not have the money to pay for things. Whereas Navy personnel obviously did have more cash, and like in my case were commonly able to buy homes for themselves.

At my last duty station, I worked alongside of Army, AF, Marine and Navy personnel. I did get to observe some of the differences between each service.

In my 20-year career 18 years were tax-free, my take-home pay as an enlisted member [E6 over 10] hovered around $60k/year, and every 4 years I was eligible for SRB bonuses [which in my case were capped at $65k every 4 years].

I saw men in other services who likewise were E6 over 10, who were not tax-free and who were surviving primarily on base-pay alone. The other branches do not seem to really push for tax-free status unless they are being shot at on a battlefield. Whereas the Navy takes a different view of 'combat'.

During my 20-year career, I did 14 years of 'sea-duty'. During my sea-duty I served mostly onboard subs. Sub-duty required that I was on the sub 7 months of each year, primarily living underwater making deployments. During that 14 years I visited 3 liberty ports [which is not a lot]. However I was homeported in Scotland for a number of years and owned a building there where my family lived. So if I had been expecting to 'see the world' I would have been disappointed.

I was able to do a lot of investing, and when I retired I bought a farm. Now my pension is enough to support us.

I see many fellow military-retirees, very few of them are financially secure enough to be able to support their families on their pensions.

In most cases, my fellow military-retirees and not able to retire. They must seek further employment to make ends meet.

If you wish for lots of quality time with your family during your career; do not go Navy.



I completed 17 deployments on subs which were each between 90 and 105 days underwater.

I did a 3-year tour on a tender [a floating factory ship] moored in foreign waters.

I did two 3-year tours doing Law Enforcement duties, one of which included 3 years in the Kosovo theater.

You can do your own math to see how much time I spent 'away' from my family [or in hazarding circumstances] during my 20-year career.


Last edited by Submariner; 11-24-2009 at 11:09 AM.. Reason: added detail
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Hawaii
1,707 posts, read 6,217,495 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
I did 20 years in the Navy.

Navy bases tend to be a row of piers and a hundred warehouses, a few of the warehouses are converted to office space, and there will be four bars.

Navy housing is usually horrible, and there is never enough housing. The idea is to only provide housing for folks who are not motivated to rent or buy their own homes.

On the other hand the Navy prefers to give everyone extra pays and allowances to provide their own housing and to feed themselves when they are not at sea.

This attitude carries over to many areas of life. You are expected to take care of your personal life and family on your own time, and to never bring your family issues in to work with you, in exchange for this the Navy pays more.



Air Force bases are nice. They are family oriented. They have gyms, rec halls, golf courses, go-cart tracks, theaters, schools, hospitals, ... Often you can live on a AF base and never have any need to leave the base. Everything is provided for you.

Since the AF provides everything for you, they also have an attitude where they want to help each other.



I bought an apartment building at each of four of my duty stations [with my extra pays and allowances]. I have had renters who have been Navy as well as AF personnel. I have seen AF personnel, if they are determined to live off-base, really struggle as they were on base-pay only, and just did not have the money to pay for things. Whereas Navy personnel obviously did have more cash, and like in my case were commonly able to buy homes for themselves.

At my last duty station, I worked alongside of Army, AF, Marine and Navy personnel. I did get to observe some of the differences between each service.

In my 20-year career 18 years were tax-free, my take-home pay as an enlisted member [E6 over 10] hovered around $60k/year, and every 4 years I was eligible for SRB bonuses [which in my case were capped at $65k every 4 years].

I saw men in other services who likewise were E6 over 10, who were not tax-free and who were surviving primarily on base-pay alone. The other branches do not seem to really push for tax-free status unless they are being shot at on a battlefield. Whereas the Navy takes a different view of 'combat'.

During my 20-year career, I did 14 years of 'sea-duty'. During my sea-duty I served mostly onboard subs. Sub-duty required that I was on the sub 7 months of each year, primarily living underwater making deployments. During that 14 years I visited 3 liberty ports [which is not a lot]. However I was homeported in Scotland for a number of years and owned a building there where my family lived. So if I had been expecting to 'see the world' I would have been disappointed.

I was able to do a lot of investing, and when I retired I bought a farm. Now my pension is enough to support us.

I see many fellow military-retirees, very few of them are financially secure enough to be able to support their families on their pensions.

In most cases, my fellow military-retirees and not able to retire. They must seek further employment to make ends meet.

If you wish for lots of quality time with your family during your career; do not go Navy.



I completed 17 deployments on subs which were each between 90 and 105 days underwater.

I did a 3-year tour on a tender [a floating factory ship] moored in foreign waters.

I did two 3-year tours doing Law Enforcement duties, one of which included 3 years in the Kosovo theater.

You can do your own math to see how much time I spent 'away' from my family [or in hazarding circumstances] during my 20-year career.


Good advice, the only thing I would disagree with is that the housing allowance for all servies is the same dependant upon rank and location.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,676 posts, read 47,382,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balad1 View Post
Good advice, the only thing I would disagree with is that the housing allowance for all servies is the same dependant upon rank and location.
My apology.

I did not mean to imply that any one service paid a different level of BAQ [BAH].

All base-pay is the same between services, it goes by rank and years in service.

All BAQ [BAH] is the same according to location.

BAS, combat/hazardous pay, ... all branches pay the same for those.

My observation has been that each branch has a different outlook. And with those different outlooks, they define which of the extra pays and allowances a servicemember is going to get.

A base that has one cafeteria with seating for 100, physically can not feed all 10,000 men staitoned there. So they will readily give everyone BAS. Whereas another service will always have lots of mess halls, so you might never get BAS.

I routinely recieved BAQ year around regardless of where I was or what I was doing. [along with COLA, VHA].

I usually got BAS anytime I was in-port, as few Navy bases have the ability to feed everyone.

I got Sub-pay and Career-sub-pay most of my career.

I got Sea-pay, Career-sea-pay and Sea-pay-kicker, as long as I was going to sea.

I got 'Female-separation-pay' all of the time that I was under.

And of course the SRB. $65k every 4 years. Half in one check, when you sign your re-enlistment contract. The rest is given to you in annual installments for the next 3 years. [After I retired they bumped the SRB cap to $90k every 4 years].
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:53 AM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,854,689 times
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Sorry, Forest Beekeeper, The Navy doesn't pay more than the other services. (especially to civilians that don't understand concepts like BAQ, BAS, Special Duty pays, Overseas pay, Submarine pay and yada, yada. ALL of the services pay the same (per federal law) Your individual pay amount will vary depending on your rank, duty station, number of dependents (if any) and eligibility for special pays, reenlistment bonuses and other benefits you may personally be eligible for based on your individual situation. Yes, you earn more swimming around the North Sea in a Navy submarine than an USAF Airman does waving his or her arms in front of an F-15 fighter jet at a stateside base. But that's due to federal law; not because any one service pays more than the others.
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Old 11-24-2009, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,676 posts, read 47,382,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
Sorry, Forest Beekeeper, The Navy doesn't pay more than the other services. (especially to civilians that don't understand concepts like BAQ, BAS, Special Duty pays, Overseas pay, Submarine pay and yada, yada. ALL of the services pay the same (per federal law)
I think that I stated these were my observations.

I have known servicemembers of other services who were not getting the same allowances and pays that I was getting.

Base-pay is the same.

However it is simply not true that every branch equally hands out BAQ as readily as every other branch does.

Base-pay is the same.

Base-pay routinely was a quarter to a third of my take home paychecks.

Whereas I have known servicemembers whose entire paycheck was base-pay.

I agree that all base-pay is taken from the same pay chart, but there the sameness ends.



Quote:
... Your individual pay amount will vary depending on your rank, duty station, number of dependents (if any) and eligibility for special pays, reenlistment bonuses and other benefits you may personally be eligible for based on your individual situation.
Yes, which can double or triple a servicemembers pay.



Quote:
... Yes, you earn more swimming around the North Sea in a Navy submarine than an USAF Airman does waving his or her arms in front of an F-15 fighter jet at a stateside base. But that's due to federal law; not because any one service pays more than the others.
Sigh.

An E5 waving his arms on an AF base, lives on base and as such he is paid base-pay.

An E5 waving his arms on a ship, is paid an entire selection of other pays, an addition to base-pay.



Thank you for proving my point
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