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Old 06-26-2009, 01:25 AM   #1
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Default Anyone in the Air Force?

Just curious if anyone is currently or used to be in the Air Force. If so, how was it or how did you like it? I always wanted to join, but never got around to it, and thought I could get a good career going as a civilian. Seeing as I have been to college twice, and no degree from either, and I am stuck in a dead end job, and the economy is ****... I thought maybe it would be a good idea to look into it. Plus my grandfather was Air Force and I always looked up to him and wanted to maybe experience some of the stuff he did.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:29 AM   #2
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I'm not in the Air Force myself, but I think it's a good life (compared to the Army), the posts, barracks, chow halls, etc. are nicer, the PT is less severe, etc. The drawback is that promotion is slower and they're usually not hurting for people.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:30 AM   #3
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I'm going to be soon. I leave for basic training in a month. I was in AFROTC for a couple semesters before deciding college wasn't my thing right now. My dad was in for 20 years, my grandfather for 4. Both had some pretty awesome experiences and wouldn't trade their time in for anything. There are a lot of awesome benefits, nevermind the things and places you will get to see while you're in. There are a decent number of AF folks on the board.

If you're planning on going in, make sure to avoid any traffic tickets, offenses, etc...I had some issues (aka 3 month wait) getting waivers for mine.
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Old 06-26-2009, 02:17 AM   #4
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The only thing that worries me is the fact that they aren't hurting for people like you said, and I only have a GED. Though I think I have 15 semester hours of college credit and can easily pass their ASVAB. So even if there is a spot open, I would probably end up waiting a year or more possibly. I guess I can always go talk to a recruiter. I have a clean record, so no issues there. Leaving high school at 16 was a mistake. I went straight to college with intent of getting a head start, and ended up screwing off and leaving college 6 months to a year before I would have gotten my degree. It was mostly an issue with not liking the school or people who ran it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #5
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Yup, talk to a recruiter, take the ASVAB, that's what you're going to have to do to get the ball rolling so you might as well go ahead and do it.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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Is the ASVAB a test they can give me there, or will I have to set up a test date and go to a test site. That would suck *****.

I took a practice ASVAB exam online and scored 83%, only need 65% to pass. No problem there I hope.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:56 AM   #7
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Every recruiting station I've ever been to had a little testing room.

Passing the thing is one thing, but the higher you score the better pick of MOSs you get.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:01 AM   #8
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Well I would say mid 80's is decent, if I can replicate. Plus I did all of the math in my head and rushed. Surely they give you scratch paper to write on with some of those larger number math problems. So I bet I can score much higher, at least upper 80's if its anything like the practice exam.

I also wonder if they can give you an ETA on your wait. I don't want to be expecting say 8 months, and plan my life around that time, then it really end up being 12-16 months.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:14 AM   #9
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I was in the Air Force in the late 80's Early 90's. At the time for me it was the right decision
The only advise I can give you is before you sign on the dotted line Be Sure TO GET YOUR TRAINING OF CHOICE ON YOUR CONTRACT. I didnt ( conned by recruiter that they would give it to me in basic). I ended up doing corrosion control ( painting planes ) & sheet metal ( repairing bird strikes). not bad work but not as lucrative on the outside like a Jet engine mechanic.
Also while you are in go back to school, I got my AA & they paid for it 100%.
Good Luck
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:18 AM   #10
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I was in until 1988. Last stationed at 31'st Tactical Fighter Wing at Homestead AFB in FL. Went in right after highschool. It was great and the military experience landed my job that I'm at now. I prefer veterans for new hires.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Recruiters lie.

All Air Force bases have golf courses.

You will make more of a bonus going in if you score high on the ASVAB in a useful category. You will also be eligible for the good MOSs if you score high on the ASVAB.

You will make more money and faster rank in the Army if you qualify for a good specialty.

My brother got $38,000 worth of student loans covered and got a $12k signing bonus a year and a half ago when he joined the Army. He is a computer wiz and worked for IBM for a little while. Now he diagnoses and repairs satellite communications equipment. He's got new marketable skills now. He's already up for promotion.

If you are afraid of guns, join the Air Force. They don't use them in "rear areas" where the Air Force guys are.
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:48 AM   #12
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Most bonus's military-wide went away about 4 months ago... economy and all. You can imagine with the number of people out of work, there is no shortage of applicants... and no shortage of overqualified never-would-have-considered-the-military-before-but-can't-get-a-job-anywhere-else type of applicants.

And when somebody says "I want to join the military"... that's kinda like saying "I want to work at Sea World", and all they can imagine is swimming with Shamu, but end up sweeping bathrooms.

Do you have any skillsets or any idea what you might want to do in the Air Force.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
Well I would say mid 80's is decent, if I can replicate. Plus I did all of the math in my head and rushed. Surely they give you scratch paper to write on with some of those larger number math problems. So I bet I can score much higher, at least upper 80's if its anything like the practice exam.

I also wonder if they can give you an ETA on your wait. I don't want to be expecting say 8 months, and plan my life around that time, then it really end up being 12-16 months.
85% or above pretty much qualifies you for any job you want. I was told if you get a 95% or above your test goes into a "special pile" and if you want a hard to qualify for job (generally very technical -- think avionics) you have a much better chance of getting that job. I got a 96% and wanted a PMEL job, so I got my slot pretty quickly after MEPS. Actually, my good score and job choice was probably what got me in considering I'm a ROTC dropout and have a few recent traffic tickets.

Have any idea what you want to do yet? That site I linked above has all the ASFCs listed with their descriptions (cryptic as they may be).
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samnavy View Post
Most bonus's military-wide went away about 4 months ago... economy and all. You can imagine with the number of people out of work, there is no shortage of applicants... and no shortage of overqualified never-would-have-considered-the-military-before-but-can't-get-a-job-anywhere-else type of applicants.

And when somebody says "I want to join the military"... that's kinda like saying "I want to work at Sea World", and all they can imagine is swimming with Shamu, but end up sweeping bathrooms.

Do you have any skillsets or any idea what you might want to do in the Air Force.
I have an idea what to expect. I would like to do something mechanical, either aerospace propulsion or maintenance, and of course aerial gunner would be a lot of fun, but don't know of any civilian job that would benefit from that.

Went to the damn recruiting center, 20 minutes away and sat in the parking lot for over an hour an no one was there. Sign said back at 9, and it was 10-11. Waited as long as my Miata would let me before the a/c started falling behind and the HLA started chattering, then I left. Typical. I guess you have to schedule.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:44 PM   #15
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Recruiters suck, but it's a crappy job. It's worth finding a good one. I was ready to join Marines summer of '01, and found a nice devoted guy. Scored 95+ on ASVAB and had my pick of jobs, which in the marines means if you don't want to carry a rifle or cook, you're pretty much IT or intelligence.

I passed physical and all, but when I went to Amarillo to do MEPS they saw the X-rays from knee surgery and said I should try the AF. If I could go back I would have, but instead my friends came back in town (Lubbock) for school, and I started partying again. 9/11 happened the next month, and I've never regretted not joining more.
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
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You will make more of a bonus going in if you score high on the ASVAB in a useful category.
The Army *was* giving bonuses dependant upon MOS. The Air Force does not give Enlistment or Technical Training bonuses. - They do however pay Reenlistment bonuses for certain high demand AFSCs


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You will also be eligible for the good MOSs if you score high on the ASVAB.
As alluded above, the Air Force categorizes specialties (jobs) as AFSCs, not MOSs. (Air Force Specialty Code vs Military Occupational Specialty)


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Originally Posted by sixshooter View Post
If you are afraid of guns, join the Air Force. They don't use them in "rear areas" where the Air Force guys are.
Current military operations are more Joint-Service ("purple") than they have ever been. As such, the AF folks are on the line more than you might imagine. - So much so that hand-to-hand combat, field and additional weapons training has become part of USAF Basic Training.

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Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
I took a practice ASVAB exam online and scored 83%, only need 65% to pass. No problem there I hope.
The ASVAB consists of not just one overall score, but a score for ten educational/knowledge categories. Your score in each helps determine your eligibility for various AFSCs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
I only have a GED.
There is a strong chance you will be disqualified for service in both the Air Force and the Navy because of this. Your college hours *may* requalify you, but you will have to ask the recruiter. - This is because both the USN and USAF traditionally have been the most technologically dependant of the Services and therefore tend to have higher training requirements than the Army or Marines.

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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
Recruiters suck, but it's a crappy job.
Yes, Recruiter duty can be a pain in the A**. However, it is a completely volunteer-based special duty.

And Yes, Recruiters have quotas and recruiting goals the have to meet.

However, Recruiters are under orders not to lie. Though this does not prevent them from offering (or leaving out) pieces of information, allowing you to make an incorrect assumption. - If a Recruiter offers you information or a course of action, ask to see it in writing.

And don't forget to read the contract before signing. If it is not on the contract, it does not exist.

- L

(As a retired Service-member I strongly believe that serving the Nation is a worthwhile endeavor, whether it be for a single hitch or a life-long career. Regardless, the decision should not be taken lightly and therefore demands research and an informed decision. - If you choose to follow the path of Military Service, you will be challenged, you will be trained, you will form enduring friendships and you will experience aspects of life and this world few will ever see.)
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:37 PM   #17
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I've been in for about 3 years now, not a bad job (although that just depends on your job and location)

All I can say is, if you decide for sure to get in, talk to someone about it first and decide what job you want. Then make sure you're guarenteed that job in writing before you go in.

Some jobs sound great until you get in and it ends up being some shitty job that the idiots get.
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:31 PM   #18
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Some jobs sound great until you get in and it ends up being some shitty job that the idiots get.
Haha! The fellow who lives across the street from me did a hitch in the Army. He was specifically looking to get technical training of some sort but the recruiter showed him a video of soldiers driving "badass dune buggies" and motorcycles. The guy was convinced on the spot to sign up to be a "scout" because it was the coolest job in the Army. He said, "After I got in, it wasn't nothin' like that."

"No ****," I thought.

I would believe the recruiter's sales pitches just like the one for Kinoki Foot Pads (they remove harmful toxins, don't you know).
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Old 06-26-2009, 07:55 PM   #19
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I'm pretty discouraged about all of this. I already had very low hopes of being approved because of my GED, but now that I think about how there are so many unemployed people right now who surely look better on paper than me, I'm not even sure its worth my time and the hassle to even talk to a recruiter. Thats the story of my life anyway. Something stupid I decided years ago comes back to bite me in the ***. This is like the 3rd important thing that my GED has fucked me up on. So I'm going to do the ***** thing and not even set myself up for disapointment and just forget the whole thing before I give myself a chance to think about it any more. Thanks for all of the input anyway guys. I guess I will stick with the civilian life and keep on slowly getting my computer certifications out of the way and go that route. I have a lot of sick people in my family anyway that will probably kick the bucket over the next 2 or 3 years that I would like to spend time with while they are still here.
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Old 06-26-2009, 09:34 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NA6C-Guy View Post
I'm pretty discouraged about all of this. I already had very low hopes of being approved because of my GED, but now that I think about how there are so many unemployed people right now who surely look better on paper than me, I'm not even sure its worth my time and the hassle to even talk to a recruiter. Thats the story of my life anyway. Something stupid I decided years ago comes back to bite me in the ***. This is like the 3rd important thing that my GED has fucked me up on. So I'm going to do the ***** thing and not even set myself up for disapointment and just forget the whole thing before I give myself a chance to think about it any more. Thanks for all of the input anyway guys. I guess I will stick with the civilian life and keep on slowly getting my computer certifications out of the way and go that route. I have a lot of sick people in my family anyway that will probably kick the bucket over the next 2 or 3 years that I would like to spend time with while they are still here.
I wouldn't give up that easy, study up a little bit (if you think it will help) then go talk to a recruiter and take the asvab. If you have a clean background (clean-ish) and score well, the odds are not as bad as you might think.

But like I said, if you DO decide to go through with it, dont get suckered into some horrible job just because your recruiter said so, or you will end up hating life.
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