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Thread: Opinion on the Military, especially Air Force

  1. #1

    Default Opinion on the Military, especially Air Force

    Ever known anyone in the military? Or air force in particular?
    I'm thinking of enlisting in two years once I'm finished with high school as a maintenance or radio comms operator apprentice, but anyone have opinions or experiences to share?

  2. #2

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    From what I know, the Air Force is the least "military" of the branches. It's much more technical and much less about killing things. If your smart, you should be pretty good.

  3. #3

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    I wouldn't want to join the military myself, but I'd love a military contract. Mega-bucks!

  4. #4

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    From what I understand or the Air Force, you don't get to pick your MOS. I could be wrong, but recruiter friends of mine say that a significant number of AF recruits atrite due to not getting the job they want.

    That having been said, I work comms maintenance, and it's not a bad gig. The money is good (after you've been in a while) and if you end up with a good command, it can be down right pleasant.

    feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.

  5. #5

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    Meh, I would never join any branch of the military myself, too much of a free thinker, and really don't respond well to having to do things that some guy I barely know tells me...

    Also, Sparkmaster, the Coast Guard is pretty much the least hostile of the forces(Unless a state of emergency is declared, then they are directly tied in with the Navy)

    I'd say if that's what you think is a good idea though, go for it, at the very least, you could get a scholarship out of it, and leave when your contract is up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcviper View Post
    From what I understand or the Air Force, you don't get to pick your MOS.
    I am pretty positive that you don't get to pick anything about anything when you sign up for any branch of the military. You are signing a contract to serve your country and receive whatever amount of payment for doing it. However you WILL be ordered around and you might not like your tasks at all, this is why its a service more then a job. Also you can't quit and I highly doubt they will let you change jobs/areas if you don't like whatever it is your doing.

    That all said if you do join a branch of the military whatever one it maybe be good luck and god bless. However think about it long and hard. (Also right now your 16, enjoy being a kid while it last, it ends in less then like 700 days which is not a long time.)


    I also think MOS means "Mode Of Service" right? I could be mistaken, either way I wanted to get my say in. :P

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkmaster View Post
    From what I know, the Air Force is the least "military" of the branches. It's much more technical and much less about killing things. If your smart, you should be pretty good.
    This is plainly visible by how the recruits fresh out of boot camp act at a joint training base post office. I could tell which service they were in by their manners toward an E-5. The Marines stood at attention, held the door, and greeted the NCO with "Good afternoon, sir." Army recruits are more at-ease but still hold the door and provide a less formal greeting. Navy recruits simply ensured the door did not close on the Sergeant. Air Force recruits did not bother to pause their activities to acknowledge the NCO at the post office. You can use this information to decide how much military discipline you want.

    All of the branches are adamant about breaking things and killing during combat in their own special way. A Marine is a rifleman first, and their specific job is second. The Army focuses on a well rounded combat asset. They focus equally on combat and MOS skills. Their combat is less focused on close-quarters combat and appreciates artillery and air support more than the Marine Corps. The Navy is a bit more stand-offish during combat. They prefer to park a million tons of steel and explosives just off shore and shell-shock the enemy into submission. Their fighter aircraft provide explosives on target, but also are tasked with carrier group defense. The Air Force enlisted has historically always saluted the Offficers as the Officers fly off to combat. In the current battles, they have filled in some roles normally reserved for the other branches, but lack the combat skills of the other services. For maximum destruction, few conventional weapon systems compare to a fully loaded B-1 or B-52, strictly Air Force assets. Twenty plus 2000 pound bombs on one plane will pose a serious threat to any oposing force.

    Boot camp comes in 3 lengths: 13, 8, and 6. The Marine Corps has the 13 week one; The Army and Navy have 8 weeks; and the Air Force only does 6 weeks.

    The Air Force memtality is closest to a civilian job. Most work Monday through Friday during the day with 40 hour work weeks. Personnel, finance, office workers, and medical technicians usually follow this rule the best. Flight-line aircraft maintaners usually dream of 40 hour weeks, especially for those shops maintaning 24 hour operations during the week while stateside. When deployed, the Aircraft are flying 24/7 and require personnel on hand to repair, launch, and park aircraft. This ops tempo may require the maintaners to work extra long hours.

    The Air Force AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) resembles the other branches MOS, but is broken down much further. The Navy has about 90 jobs compared to the Air Forces 200+. Air Force maintaners and technicians learn their more fucussed role much further than the other services. A person can have a garanteed AFSC before enlisting, it is just a bit more difficult. The recruiters and MEPS perfer for an Air Force recruit to enlist as either open general (any job chosen by the Air Force), open Electrical, open Mechanical, and one other. My first trip to MEPS included me chosing to sign a promisary note indicating that I would only enlist in one of 2 AFSC's. About a month later, my recruiter called to say that the Air Force had an opening in one of them with a report date for Basic Training in September which I gladly accepted. Before I left for Lackland AFB, I had a signed contract promising me 2A031B. Those who cannot wait for an opening before leaving for Basic may choose open-[something] instead of a specific job. This is entirely up to the individual, but does give the Air Force the option to pick your specific job. An Air Force recruiter will normally not discuss specific jobs and will leave that task for MEPS. This is because MEPS must verify that the recruite meets ASVAB score, strength, and other requirements first. The Air Force has some of the highest required ASVAB scores in the DOD. One job requres over 80 in both mechanical and electrical. Not everyone attains those scores. There is no need to discuss fire fighting if you are 46 inches tall, only weight 90 pounds, and cannot lift the required weight. A few jobs have other requirements such as a driver liscense, or age 21+. As per the standard operating procedure (SOP), the Air Force recruiter leaves these discussions to those who have that assigned job.

    I hope I answered your question well. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask me here or in a PM.

  8. #8

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    I remember my time in the Air Force as being quite boring. My primary job was to test and repair satellite communications equipment, and by "repair" I mean we threw them away and ordered new ones. If I close my eyes I can still smell the heaps of asinine paperwork.
    To pass the time, we drank homemade grain alcohol...I think.
    As for basic training, get ready to hate Gatorade even more!
    Your experience may be entirely different or course, so don't let me discourage you.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by datosprivados View Post
    Ever known anyone in the military? Or air force in particular?
    I'm thinking of enlisting in two years once I'm finished with high school as a maintenance or radio comms operator apprentice, but anyone have opinions or experiences to share?


    My father was in the Airforce. He joined 4 days before being drafted to the Army during Vietnam. He can tell you right off the bat that unless you become an officer(by way of the Academy or OCS), the military for that matter see's you as an expendable and exploitable asset and will rape your finances and personal life for the foreseeable future. On second thought he says that the military will do the above regardless if you are enlisted or not. Remember, when you join... you are given a serial number, which means you are SOLE PROPERTY of the government.

    he also says the Navy, Army and Marines suck.

    .....one other thing. He always used to say that it sucks going through basic training, but when you get done..you realize that it is just like a regular job



    GO AIRFORCE

    oh ... one LAST THING.



    Your recruiter is there to trick you.... period. That's his job. If they tell you, "Oh of course we can give you [insert requested job]" its pretty likely you are NOT going to get that.



    those were words JUST spoken to me by my dad.
    Last edited by Charlie; 10-Feb-2009 at 19:14. Reason: merge

  10. #10

    Default The military has changed since Vietnam.



    Quote Originally Posted by h200420012 View Post
    My father was in the Airforce. He joined 4 days before being drafted to the Army during Vietnam... the military for that matter see's you as an expendable and exploitable asset and will rape your finances and personal life for the foreseeable future. On second thought he says that the military will do the above regardless if you are enlisted or not. Remember, when you join... you are given a serial number, which means you are SOLE PROPERTY of the government.

    .....one other thing. He always used to say that it sucks going through basic training, but when you get done..you realize that it is just like a regular job

    ... one LAST THING.

    Your recruiter is there to trick you.... period. That's his job. If they tell you, "Oh of course we can give you [insert requested job]" its pretty likely you are NOT going to get that.

    those were words JUST spoken to me by my dad.
    There are a few things that I would like to point out. First, your father's experience was during Vietnam and the draft. The quality of the low ranking enlisted force was rather low. Many were not there by choice, and some felt like giving Uncle Sam hell for sending them there. Since the draft ended, our military has become an all-volunteer force. Everyone raised their right hand and said "I will." While some may regret this decision later, most are happy to serve their country. To meet recruitment goals, Congress had to fix military benefits, pay, and quality of life issues. The military of today is not the same as Vietnam.

    The military has a good understanding that the backbone of their force is volunteers. With that in mind, they appreciate the low ranking enlisted much more. Retention of valuable experience is critical to the Air Force. The Air Force enlisted structure is 45% E1-E4, 52% E5-E7, 2% E8, and 1% E9. They depend upon a fairly high percentage of Airmen re-enlisting for at least a second term. You cannot do this by mistreating them excessively.

    Finances and personal life are not likely to be raped at this time. You can search online for the 2009 military pay chart to see what you will receive each month (basic pay). As an E-1, the pay is fairly low, but food and housing is given free of charge (also tax free). The pay is never as good as the civilian sector, but is not too bad, IMHO. Personal life is largely left alone as long as it follows certain rules. Adultery, homosexual behavior, and a few other items are strongly discouraged. However, the military does have a very high divorce rate because of the strain of military life on a marriage. Some wifes get rather upset when their husband is on the other side of the world during their entire pregnancy.

    Basic training is a trial by fire to ensure that a recruit can handle military life. It is intentionally rough, but everything afterwards is much better with the exception of combat. If one can listen, follow simple directions under stress, and obey the rules, basic training is not too bad. Sure, a military training instructor (MTI, TI, or "Drill instructor") will be loud, obnoxious, and in your face. They yell so that everyone can hear them in hopes of not having to repeat themselves too many times. I found them to be more pleasant to work with than family and basic was one of the least stressful times during my teen years. Your experience will vary.

    Recruiters are a salesman! Do not let anyone convince you otherwise. Do not lie, allow the recruiter to convince you to be dishonest, and take what he says with a grain of salt. When he says "most bases have single occupancy dorm rooms", this means that some are not there yet. It is his job to word everything in the most positive light. False statements are very illegal for recruiters and will be punished harshly (hard labor possible at Leavenworth). Ask detailed and specific questions for anything you would like to know. Also, if it is not in writing, it is not guaranteed. My enlistment contract listed "2A031B" as my job before I entered basic. If they denied me that job, it would be a breach of contract. If I failed to pass the school, it would be me that broke the contract and they could pick a different one (cook anyone?).

    A few things have changed, but some things still remain true. Military members are serial numbered property of the US government. Paperwork is excessive. Also, expandability is still applicable to some degree. Some tasks are too dangerous to be allowed in the private sector. Hand loading an armed bomb or missile is not the safest job in the world. Convoy duty is dangerous. Some risk cannot be mitigated.

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