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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/4/2005 6:42:38 AM EDT
I'm 26, and married with 1 child. I've always wanted to join the military. Here are my 2 main reasons for wanting to join the AF. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

1. I don't want to see combat. I'm not single anymore. I have a family to think about it. I love my country, and would die for it, I just really don't want to. I was thinking of taking a job as an air traffic controller, or some other job in aviation (what my background is in anyway), or electronics.

2. The pay is better. Right? I think I would have a better chance of getting a higher paying job in the AF and after leaving the AF. It all depends on what career I choose I guess.

Am I partially right on these? Any advice?
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 6:48:23 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
I'm 26, and married with 1 child. I've always wanted to join the military. Here are my 2 main reasons for wanting to join the AF. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

1. I don't want to see combat. I'm not single anymore. I have a family to think about it. I love my country, and would die for it, I just really don't want to. I was thinking of taking a job as an air traffic controller, or some other job in aviation (what my background is in anyway), or electronics.



Not everybody is cut out for a direct combat role, but in one way or another everyone is supporting, even indirectly, the warfighting mission. Keep in mind though, that everyone from an aircraft maintenance technician to an admin type is subject to deployment.


2. The pay is better. Right? I think I would have a better chance of getting a higher paying job in the AF and after leaving the AF. It all depends on what career I choose I guess.


The base pay scales are standard across the board for all branches (an E-3 in the USAF makes the same as an E-3 in the Navy). There are certain proficiency pays, hazardous duty pays, enlistment/reenlistment bonuses for selected career fields. The reasons for these extras range from danger to critically short manning.

There are good opportunities, and if you plan properly you can be set up for a follow-on career in the civilian world.

Feel free to IM me with specific questions.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 6:56:01 AM EDT
Yeah, the USAF is great! You just hang around all day in Hawaiian shirts, playing golf, and sipping margaritas.

Seriously though, you may still be deployed to the front. Or the enemy may come to you since USAF facilities are juicy targets.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 7:01:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:
Yeah, the USAF is great! You just hang around all day in Hawaiian shirts, playing golf, and sipping margaritas. hough,


Hawaiin
J/K. I know I could be deployed, what I mean is, I don't want to sign up for something like infantry where I KNOW I'm going to see combat.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 7:40:57 AM EDT
There's no infantry in the AF, just SF, PJ's and .... I forgot that MOS. Everyone here in the Navy that was former AF said they messed up by crossing to the real blue .

AF is like a regular job. I have worked with them and they are really pampered.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 7:45:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-: Hawaiin shirts and golf sounds nice!
www-p.afsv.af.mil/Golf/directory.htm Directory of Air Force Golf Courses. There's even one near Tinker AFB in Oklahoma City. Get fitted for a golf shirt and work on your tan!
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:22:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
I'm 26, and married with 1 child. I've always wanted to join the military. Here are my 2 main reasons for wanting to join the AF. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

1. I don't want to see combat. I'm not single anymore. I have a family to think about it. I love my country, and would die for it, I just really don't want to. I was thinking of taking a job as an air traffic controller, or some other job in aviation (what my background is in anyway), or electronics.

As has been said, you will be deploying, in nearly any career field in the AF today. In my job (avionics) and my unit the norm is 200+ days a year of deployment, and that doesn't really decrease much in "peacetime". Aircraft maintenance is the largest job area in the AF, with over 70,000 people, and thats where the majority of jobs will be. There are a lot of good jobs outside maintenance, but if you aren't maintenance or operations you're just supporting them.

2. The pay is better. Right? I think I would have a better chance of getting a higher paying job in the AF and after leaving the AF. It all depends on what career I choose I guess.

As has been mentioned, the pay scale is the same. You will make less in the AF vs the Navy or Army due to lack of jump pay and sea pay and slower promotions. Those two branches have no choice but to promote rapidly since their miserable quality of life drives people out the door much faster. The best education benefits are in the Army, if you ever find time to use them that is. If you care about education then the AF is the right place to be. Here are some stats on who actually uses the benefits:
www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_web/library/docs/voledfacts/FY04.pdf I should know, I earned my AS and BS degrees, and am working on my MS degree, all while on active duty, and with 3.5 years of remotes and over 4 years of deployment time. The AF isn't for everybody, but if you are intelligent and willing to put up with the normal military hardships of deployments, relocation every few years, long hours, etc, its a good way to go.


Am I partially right on these? Any advice?



Despite the heavy jarhead/grunt presence here, there are several of us current and former AF members that can fill you in on any details you need. I know people in almost every job in the AF, if you need any specific questions answered I can put you in touch with someone who has the answers for you.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:36:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chairborne:

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
I'm 26, and married with 1 child. I've always wanted to join the military. Here are my 2 main reasons for wanting to join the AF. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

1. I don't want to see combat. I'm not single anymore. I have a family to think about it. I love my country, and would die for it, I just really don't want to. I was thinking of taking a job as an air traffic controller, or some other job in aviation (what my background is in anyway), or electronics.

As has been said, you will be deploying, in nearly any career field in the AF today. In my job (avionics) and my unit the norm is 200+ days a year of deployment, and that doesn't really decrease much in "peacetime". Aircraft maintenance is the largest job area in the AF, with over 70,000 people, and thats where the majority of jobs will be. There are a lot of good jobs outside maintenance, but if you aren't maintenance or operations you're just supporting them.

2. The pay is better. Right? I think I would have a better chance of getting a higher paying job in the AF and after leaving the AF. It all depends on what career I choose I guess.

As has been mentioned, the pay scale is the same. You will make less in the AF vs the Navy or Army due to lack of jump pay and sea pay and slower promotions. Those two branches have no choice but to promote rapidly since their miserable quality of life drives people out the door much faster. The best education benefits are in the Army, if you ever find time to use them that is. If you care about education then the AF is the right place to be. Here are some stats on who actually uses the benefits:
www.dantes.doded.mil/dantes_web/library/docs/voledfacts/FY04.pdf I should know, I earned my AS and BS degrees, and am working on my MS degree, all while on active duty, and with 3.5 years of remotes and over 4 years of deployment time. The AF isn't for everybody, but if you are intelligent and willing to put up with the normal military hardships of deployments, relocation every few years, long hours, etc, its a good way to go.


Am I partially right on these? Any advice?



Despite the heavy jarhead/grunt presence here, there are several of us current and former AF members that can fill you in on any details you need. I know people in almost every job in the AF, if you need any specific questions answered I can put you in touch with someone who has the answers for you.



Quick question...when you guys say deployed, the first thing I think of is the sandbox. Is that what you mean? Or could I get deployed to say.....Rammstein?
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:46:38 AM EDT
If you don't want to see combat, I suggest you not join the military. I don't say this to be mean in any way. Don't think that you can avoid combat. If you are needed you will be sent. Yes, you may get good training that will serve you later in a civilian career, but you may also be called on to put your butt on the line. Beware joining for the wrong reasons.

Former Marine
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:50:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
Quick question...when you guys say deployed, the first thing I think of is the sandbox. Is that what you mean? Or could I get deployed to say.....Rammstein?



Depends on the type of unit you are assigned to. Fighters tend to get assigned to more forward locations. Bombers go to Diego Garcia. Airlifters go alot of places (including Rammstein), but the strategic airlift side stays a little further back from the front.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:51:18 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Quien:
...

Former Marine



I thought you guys were always Marines?
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:53:59 AM EDT
Many years ago I was 24 with a (pregnant) wife and in a dead end job. I enlisted in the USAF and it was the best decision I ever made. Yeah, it was tough financially, the first 3 years anyway, but we did OK.

The worst decision I ever made was getting out 4 years later. I regret not staying in until retirement.

I was trained in avionics (F-15) and that training got me a decent job with Boeing. I'm still working for Boeing 17 years later.

Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:55:35 AM EDT
It doesnt matter what you do these days, you are gonna get deployed. What you do and what MAJCOM you work for is a deciding factor in where you are gonna go and what mission you support.

Not wanting to go into direct combat really has nothing to do with the AF, lots of careers in other services do not see "direct combat" whereas some jobs in the AF work side by side with other services in combat roles ie: security forces, PJs, CCT, aircrew members and Im sure alot more.

If you are joining the AF becuase you dont want to deploy, then I would recommend not joining any service or reevaluating why you dont want to deploy.

No the AF doesnt get paid more than other services as far as base pay goes, but depending on your job you might get flight pay or haz duty pay. You can get that in other services though along with other incentive pays. All that was mentioned above.

Alot of people talk shit about the Air Force and say we have it better, becuase in most cases its true. I had a choice and I chose what I thought was the best service for me. Just because we have it better doesnt mean we are any less important or WEAKER. My job isnt to patrol the streets and kick in doors, its to airlift supplies to those guys. I chose the AF becuase i didnt want to sleep in a hole in the ground and I like air conditioning. Some guys like sharing a hot tent with 19 other smelly guys. Thats cool too. (not saying Ive never had to do that in the AF though either)
PM if you have any other questions.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:57:01 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2005 8:57:33 AM EDT by DienBienPhu54]
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:59:06 AM EDT
If you want to stay here in the US and have the same benefits you may want to look into the Coast Guard. They have plenty of aviation type opportunities. After a few years the pay is fairly decent, I was taking home almost $3000 a month NET as an E-5 with BAH and BAS.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 8:59:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



Not entirely true. The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:04:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



This is the type of advice you should disregard. Completely uninformed.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:04:31 AM EDT
I hear ya-

I started AF ROTC almost 2 years ago and realized it wasn't for me. Just so you know, the pay scale is the same throughout the military, but in the AF you are likely to get marginally better living conditions and you probably won't be out in the field. Whether that's a plus or a minus, you can decide.

One semester in AF ROTC did it for me, I switched over to the army and I'm 100% satisfied that I switched. I have more choices as far as my career is concerned, and I'll probably get to fly (something that wouldn't have happened for me in the Air Force) unless I decide I can't stay away from the tanks and go armor/cav. Everybody on the battlefield and at the rear echelon serves a necessary purpose, but I think I would go crazy during 3-4 years in the AF. Remember, job satisfaction should play some role in your decision making process as well.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:04:35 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
I'm 26, and married with 1 child. I've always wanted to join the military. Here are my 2 main reasons for wanting to join the AF. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

1. I don't want to see combat. I'm not single anymore. I have a family to think about it. I love my country, and would die for it, I just really don't want to. I was thinking of taking a job as an air traffic controller, or some other job in aviation (what my background is in anyway), or electronics.

This is not for you.
On the other hand, apply directly to the FAA if you think you want to try ATC; if you are accepted, you will go to the FAA Academy to learn the job, then take an assignment somewhere in the US or its territories. These are high paying, reliable jobs topped off with a retirement package that is hard to duplicate in the private sector.


2. The pay is better. Right? I think I would have a better chance of getting a higher paying job in the AF and after leaving the AF. It all depends on what career I choose I guess.

You would start out at the same grades as any other service, but promotions in the AF are much slower. The jobs that can truly cross to civilian life are few and far between - cops, telephone installer, truck driver, jobs like that. Since you aren't looking for adventure and travel, again, I say the USAF is not for you.

Am I partially right on these? Any advice?



Don't forget the Coast Guard.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:06:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



Not entirely true. The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops.



Dude, everyone knows that every service has some people in harms way, but I don't think anybody should be going around talking about the "rock hard" air force.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:10:27 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tabro-:
Quick question...when you guys say deployed, the first thing I think of is the sandbox. Is that what you mean? Or could I get deployed to say.....Rammstein?



Well I have been deployed to the desert several times but also have been deployed to the Balkans several times, and TDY (temporary duty, usually for a shorter time than a 90-365 day deployment) all over the place. I've spent a lot of time in Europe and some in the Pacific as well. Depending on your unit, aircraft, mission, and job, you can find yourself on every continent on earth (my guys just left home station for Antarctica). With the exception of Balad AB, Iraq, there are few places that most AF guys are right now where they get mortared/shot at. Our transportation guys and cops have been pulling a heck of a lot of Convoy and convoy escort duty though, so you may want to avoid those jobs if you want to stay out of the line of fire.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:17:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Carabinero1979:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



Not entirely true. The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops.



Dude, everyone knows that every service has some people in harms way, but I don't think anybody should be going around talking about the "rock hard" air force.



I dont see where he is incorrect in saying the "The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops." Nor do I see where he is implying that the AF is "rock hard." I do know that we are the best Air Force in the world, and we aren't the best by being soft. Its just a different life, you said it yourself you are happier with the Army and that you would go crazy being in the AF. No disrespect intended and I hope I didnt misunderstand your quote.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 9:57:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By retrainthechimp:

Originally Posted By Carabinero1979:

Originally Posted By SmilingBandit:

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



Not entirely true. The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops.



Dude, everyone knows that every service has some people in harms way, but I don't think anybody should be going around talking about the "rock hard" air force.



I dont see where he is incorrect in saying the "The AF has been flying out of bases in Iraq since we first siezed them. Also AF folks have been tasked to convoy duties. And I shouldn't even need to mention EOD troops." Nor do I see where he is implying that the AF is "rock hard." I do know that we are the best Air Force in the world, and we aren't the best by being soft. Its just a different life, you said it yourself you are happier with the Army and that you would go crazy being in the AF. No disrespect intended and I hope I didnt misunderstand your quote.



I'm merely saying that when the air force talks about getting put into harms way, it's unexpected. We do have the best AF in the world, and that's not a job that requires you to be "hard", it requires a LOT of money for big ticket high tech items, like F-22's and GBU's, and a lot of money to train the pilots who use them. The logistical support chain that follows these guys around does a great job, but they serve 90 day rotations and act like they've been given the shaft when they are expect to pull convoy duty with 88 mikes in the Army - a visiting AF general spoke of the heroic AF drivers who, "didn't sign up to be shot at".

I know the AF has been flying out of Iraqi airbases as soon as they were captured, but they were heavily guarded by Army and Marine Corps units on the ground.

All I'm saying is don't try to paint a picture that the AF is full of guys in direct danger from the enemy because they aren't.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 10:03:19 AM EDT
What about the Air National Guard? That seems like the logical choice, if you want to do avionics/electronics and not be deployed.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 10:11:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By DienBienPhu54:
unless your a SF, Combat Control, PJ, you will probably work in a very safe area away from danger, I think the AF would be the best choice for you.



The "probably" saved the post.
I was in the 728th Tactical Control Squadron ('87-'91), we were not "special forces".
We were 36 hr world wide deployable unit, trained on many, many weapons, provided our own security, dug our own holes to lay around in, BDU's all the time (not like it matters, but people think nice clean AF blue), worked out of a hanger on an air strip up in the woods north of Eglin.
I was not satisfied with my assignment out of school (which was the typical AF type job), so I traded for this type of unit. I'm glad I did.
Not many people are familiar with the USAF so do your research.
It was a very positive experience, and the fringe benifits were better than people think.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 10:17:32 AM EDT


You can always sign up to be an A-10 nose gunner.
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 10:52:49 AM EDT

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
What about the Air National Guard? That seems like the logical choice, if you want to do avionics/electronics and not be deployed.



Guard units have been getting a lot of in-theater time in the WOT.

Tabro-

The purpose of the military is to go to war, fight, and win. It's not a jobs program. There is a personal price tag attached.

From my observation, the USAF is the best branch when it comes to family life.

The bottom line is that it is still the military. All branches contribute to the effort. All career fields support the effort. This means sometimes going to places where people don't like you and shoot at you. It's part of the territory.
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