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Posted: 10/17/2008 5:59:22 AM EST
Long time lurker, Usually most of my questions are awnsered without posting.

Anyway, I'm a 30 year old, male, single, power generation technician. My job is drying up here in Florida so I'll be leaving soon. My best friend who also worked with me joined the Marines and is having a great time. I've allways felt like I passed something good up. Is it too late to start?

I've spent allmost ten years fixing back-up diesel generators, switchgear, trucks, towmotors, heavy eqwuipment . Not much I can't learn to do. I have a 2yr Associate of Applied Science degree for the field I'm working in. I've worked with techs that were power pros for the airforce and I'm able to exceed them with diagnosis regularly.

Not sure I want to talk to a recruiter about power pro openings though as I allready know how to do that. Possibly looking for something a little more challenging. Maybe branch out into aircraft. I'm not certain what's in demand these days but I'm not ruleing out any non tech positions just yet.

Fiqured I'd try to get the straight scoop from arfcom before listening to a recruiters sales pitch. I know there are some practice entrance tests floating around the net. I should probally find those.

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 6:34:24 AM EST
I was a computer programmer for 4 years in the Air Force. Got a Top- Secret and now work for DLA. I didn't know anything about PCs until I joined. You don't get to deploy or anything like that but you will probably get to work on some cool stuff. SACCS network, simulation programs, Missile defense, Weather, and a bunch more. The places you go aren't the greatest (first enlistement). I was at Offutt but some other places are Minot, Goodfellow, and Tinker. There are other places but these are the major ones. Tech school is in Biloxi, MS I think its 10 weeks.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:02:35 AM EST
Cool, thanks man. I don't have any problems with being deployed. I might actually prefer it.

I should be able to make the physical requirements.
50 push ups and sit ups are no problem. I'll have to work on the pull ups though.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:06:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By violentj:
Cool, thanks man. I don't have any problems with being deployed. I might actually prefer it.

I should be able to make the physical requirements.
50 push ups and sit ups are no problem. I'll have to work on the pull ups though.


We don't do pull ups for the PT test in the Air Force.

Just work on your running to make basic easier.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:09:01 AM EST
One of the best networking guys I know is a Marine. He's quite resourceful on a tight budget which is something I suspect came from their corporate culture. The only down side to him is he always reserves the option to completely destroy something if it doesn't comply with his demands.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:11:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By jeepnstein:
One of the best networking guys I know is a Marine. He's quite resourceful on a tight budget which is something I suspect came from their corporate culture. The only down side to him is he always reserves the option to completely destroy something if it doesn't comply with his demands.


Good one!
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:13:24 AM EST

Originally Posted By violentj:


Fiqured I'd try to get the straight scoop from arfcom






Seriously--what type of tech jobs are you looking for. All services have mechanical type jobs, but there are a couple of services that do better in some fields.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:13:29 AM EST
When I was in we didn't do pull ups. For the max points it was something like 1 min 62 pushups, short break, 1 min 58 situps, short break, 1 1/2 mile run in 9 min. 20 sec. They kept changing as I was getting out. I wouldn't have minded getting deployed but it wasn't easy for my career field being a computer geek field and all. I can think of 3-4 guys out of my flight that deployed for a short time. They just watched the local hires do their jobs around base.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:16:20 AM EST
Yup, I've got to start running. I'm 6'2", 210lbs. My knees get sore if I beat them up to much but that can be fixed. I just finished a mountain bike race (NORBA), so I can't be too far out of shape I hope.

When you guys were in the the Military were there any tech duties that were obviously better than another or is it pretty even across the board.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:17:14 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 7:17:27 AM EST by thedave1164]
Techs in the Navy, esp on subs are the best that the service has to offer.

When you are thousands of miles out to sea, you have to fix it yourself, you have limited access to spare cards and the like.

At least that is how it was back in the day.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:21:47 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:25:36 AM EST
Ok, I haven't looked into the Navy yet.

The stuff I might be interested in , at least tech wise, would be power pro, avionics, aircraft pm, etc. Not so much stuff like an electrician in the Navy. I think I can help the most in fields where I'm diagnosing engines, electronics, wireing harnesses, switchgear.

I liked the the Air Forces description of the Tactical aircraft maintenance apprentice. Sounds like a Pm inspection, then if anything is wrong with the aircraft you stick around and help the tech that specializes in that system.

I liked it cause it might encompass the entire plane not just hydraulics or avionics. I'm looking to branch out , not so much to specialize in one spot.

Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:26:26 AM EST
If you want technical, you could try Aircraft Avionics, Comm, or any of the other "electronic" AFSCs.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:30:18 AM EST
Awesome, thanks. I'll look into the Army 919a. Especially if I'm allready doing the 52d. I allready have a leg up on generators.

Not sure If I'm looking into going carrer or just 4 years. I'm not going to rule out either.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:36:11 AM EST
And the aircraft avionics sounds like something I can do well. Only thing I'm not into is it specializes me to only one syastem of the aircraft. I think?

The only downside to the army is that ten years from now I don't expect to be able to spin wrenches on heavy equipment. Being a gentech in Florida has allready shown me how tough large engine repair can be on the older techs.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:37:24 AM EST
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:42:41 AM EST
You can work on military aircraft without an A&P liscense but you would have to test, pass, and obtain an A&P to work on civilian aircraft when you get out.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:49:57 AM EST
Thanks Garand Shooter. If I go the army route then I'd most certainly go for power production so that I'll have the extra energy to study like you mentioned. Trying something new might be great but I don't want to bite of more than I can chew.

How hard is it to make that cut? I'm a pretty decent tech allready.


Pangea, Is an A&P license for civillian aircraft hard to get?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 7:57:54 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 7:58:19 AM EST by Garand_Shooter]
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 8:14:51 AM EST
Thanks. Guess we'll find out soon enough.

Anyone recommend anything to prep before I see a recruiter? I figure they have all kinds of tests. Must be some sort of way to prep for that. Or should I just go in and see where I am "as-is"?
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 8:15:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2008 8:23:51 AM EST by GI-45]
I think it's worth mentioning some of the age limitations for enlistment in each of the services:

  • Active duty Army - 42

  • Army Reserves - 42

  • Army National Guard - 42

  • Active duty Air Force - 27

  • Air Force Reserve - 34

  • Air National Guard - 34

  • Active duty Navy - 34

  • Navy Reserves - 39

  • Active duty Marines - 28

  • Marine Corps Reserves - 29

  • Active duty Coast Guard - 27

  • Coast Guard Reserves - 27


from usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/f/faqenlage.htm
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 8:19:18 AM EST
ok thats news, Looks like my age disqualifies me for some branches.
Link Posted: 10/17/2008 8:29:05 AM EST
More detailed info here: usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/enlstandards.htm

It's by the same author who wrote the previous list, and it's worth noting that some of his info appears to be contradictory regarding the Coast Guard. He writes:


Active Duty Coast Guard - Age 27. Note: up to age 32 for those selected to attend A-school directly upon enlistment (this is mostly for prior service).

Coast Guard Reserves - Age 39.
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