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Posted: 12/25/2005 8:10:50 PM EDT
Brother of a good friend of mine is an E-5 in the Airforce, stationed in AK. He's basically filling an E-6 slot at the moment and is considering reenlisting again in 2006 after a 6 year stint. Gulf experience. Some combat badges. Got bumped up early twice. etc. etc.

Questions:

So is this a good idea?
What might he expect to extract if he plays a little hard-to-get?
He wants to be stationed in Germany (again).

Thought I'd poll the hive mind for ideas about how best to push his career in AF (or if that's even a good idea).

Any hints appreciated. Thanks!
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:15:27 PM EDT
make or break. IF he's an E-5, and he's thinking abotu reupping, might as well couny on putting in 20 years.

I'm an E-5, and have a few years left before reenlistment time. It's gonna be a make or break for me.

How many years is he in?
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:17:05 PM EDT
He's working on 6.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:26:34 PM EDT
Ultimately it depends on how much he likes or tolerates his career field.

I have little shy of 8 years in now, so when I hit the 9.5 year mark that will be when the real decision is made. If you reenlist at that point, chances are you will so a full 20.

At this point, he can reenlist and totally change his mind at 10 years and be able to pursue another career entirely and still not be an old fart afterwards.

In my experience, the Air Force doesn't really play ball when it comes to giving incentives other than monetary bonuses (like choice of duty assignments, etc), so as far as I know all he could do was make sure his dream sheet says Germany, and perhaps talk to his career field's functional manager (detailer who deals with assignments, etc) and try to talk his way into Germany orders.

Of course if he likes his job but perhaps not the being in uniform part of it, depending on what he does he could always pursue a .gov civilian job or that of a contractor as well.


Link Posted: 12/25/2005 8:52:46 PM EDT
I had almost ten years in when I went Palace Front to the ANG. If I stayed in I would be retired by now. I would also be on anti-depressants or an alki with bleeding ulcers, things really sucked when I got out and it was the make or break point, either stay twenty or go. I have a great job and life is good.

Does he have a re-up bonus? If so , maybe a trip to the sandbox as a TCN guard or something to get the tax-free. Ask about a PCS to Germany or europe and see what the odds are of getting back over there.

Six years is not too long, after ten you better plan on doing the whole twenty. Good luck and explore your options.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 10:19:23 PM EDT
I put in 20 years & then retired. Wuld I do it again, sure would without a doubt.

In todays world it's almost stupid to get out & start all over again after putting in 6 years & being a E-5.

Heck, with Tricare Prime our family of 4 pays less than $500 a year for health insurance. Show me a company on the outside where you only pay $500 a year for a family of 4 & get everything you do with Tricare.

Sure it's not the best, but it's better than 95% of the available insurance plans on the open market.
Link Posted: 12/26/2005 4:42:19 AM EDT
Austrian- I tell you, deciding to re-enlist or not is one hell of a decision to make. So many variables will run through your head when the time comes. I know it did for me. My first hitch was 4 years and did it ever blow by. It seemed like one day I was getting off the bus at BMT and then before I knew it my orderly room was emailing me to see what my intent was. I sat and thought about it long and hard and came to the conclusion that I hadn't done anything to prepare to get out, and being an SP wasn't too bad. I decided to re-up at almost the last minute and then the AF promoted me to E5 and then my world completely changed. I had troops that depended on me, flight chiefs that shit on me and a whole myriad of bullshit that fell on me like a ton of bricks. If your friend does decide to re-up he needs to see whats available and don't re-up on a whim. Beleive me life will suck for him when he realizes that he could have gotten out. Also he shouldn't re-up just for a steady job and benefits. They arent that great. I'd rather see people stay in because they like being in the service or for some I feel its a calling. Im tired of seeing losers hang on because they couldnt find a job on the outside. If your friend wants to get out, he better have a plan. Without that he'll be like alot of my friends who got out without finding a good job first. Many of them have shitty jobs and are even more miserable now that they are out. Ive only seen a few people who have done really well since they got out. To sum it up, your friends decision ultimately be his.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:43:10 AM EDT
I'd say if he likes what he's doing he should stay in.

Looking back (I did 21 years active duty), 20 years is not a long time. It seems like it when you're looking forward at it, but after it's behind you, you think, "Man, that went by fast!"

In the end, it's an individual choice. For some people, one term in enough. I can't fault them for that. I stayed and it was the best path for me to take.

Also, he'll have to spend the next 14 years working for somebody. He should compare what he''l have at the end of that period. If he stay in for a career, he'll be drawing that pension.
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 3:07:08 PM EDT
Tell him to stay in. I went through the "should I get out" time and stayed. Since I retired I am working for a mean spirited women hell bent on keeping men down for less money. On top of that my wife has become ill and my medical bills would be over $10,000 a year if I did not have TriCare Prime. I pay $460 a year for the family and so far have only had to pay $12 by using civilian doctors in the network.

You can do allot worse in the real world and no-one has your back. MV out!
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 4:38:13 AM EDT
What is his SRB for his AFSC?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 9:12:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Darkstar117:
What is his SRB for his AFSC?



Not only ask what his SRB (if any) is for his current AFSC, but ask what his ASVAB scores were and if he wants to retrain into another career field. At your first reenlistment, you are offered retraining that wouldn't normally be available to non-1st termers. There are a few career fields still out there with nice big SRBs, but in Mar 2005 the list of AFSCs with SRBs was cut drastically. One nice job without an SRB is the contracting (6C0X1) career field. It is a retraining-in only career field and the job opportunities upon separation/retirement are excellent.

Nothing can be extracted from the USAF for a promise to reenlist. If he plays hard to get you will soon be calling him Mr. instead of SSgt. The USAF wants most of the enlisted force to reenlist, but if you don’t, it’s no skin off their nose. You will separate on your DOS and go your merry way & the USAF will replace you. The only guarantee he might be considered for is a BOP (Base of Preference) in conjunction with reenlistment, but those are only valid for CONUS assignments. If he has a hard-on to be assigned to Germany, the only thing he can do is volunteer for it. As an E-5 his functional at MAJCOM or AFPC won’t even take his call, so tell him not to even waste his time going that route.

I agree with Brohawk – I’ve been in a little over 21 yrs at this point and the time has flown by. I’m not sure exactly when I’ll be ready to retire – but I won’t have regretted a minute I served when the time comes.
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 12:38:49 AM EDT
bump
Link Posted: 1/6/2006 3:12:24 PM EDT
If he wants to make the military a career try this out. Get out go reserves for his last 2 years on the MSO and try to get a degree(use the GI bill and the federal TA concurently, which you can do in the reserves/guard). Most people I know in the airforce after 6 years have a good part of their 4 year degree completed. Then he can go and be an officer. Put twenty in that way.
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