: Airforce, need advice



OffThaHorseCEO
11-04-05, 10:11 AM
yesterday i had this unusual out of nowhere idea occur to me, why not join the military to get out of the routine im in now, and possibly help pay for school, i jokingly suggested it to a friend, and she laughed it off, but later called back to say it had been on her mind and it seemed like a good idea. the thing is, it had been on my mind too, and the more i thought about it, the more it made sense, i went to the USAF recruiting website and all the stuff looks good, but its biased cause its the usaf RECRUITER website....

heres the deal. im 22 yrs old, i live in an apartment with my older bro and younger bro. i work in insurance fulltime, and tommy hilfiger retail part time. i dont see myself workin in insurance for the rest of my life, the crappy hing is im writing this while at work, i go to turn in an assignment to the boss and she says "do you like the insurance business?" she had company, i had to lie and say "i like it, not love it but i like it"...anyways, the point is, i obviously make more workin here than i do @ tommy hilfiger. but its a fulltimejob and leaves me no time for school. i want to get a degree in graphic design, but all the classes taught for that are during the day, when i have to be @ work, without work i have no money, without money i have no place to stay, no caddy to drive and a bunch of contracts i got into get messed up (phone contract, car, personal loan etc.)
i currently get harrased alot by local law enforcement,town police (both towns),state troopers(not so much) sheriffs department, DEA etc. i get pulled almost everytime im spotted, im being held responsible by association...
my friend suggests that this could give me some time away and get the heat off of me, its not that im doin anything, but its a big drain on my monetary, i get a BS charge, i forget about the court date (i admit thats my fault, but its hard to keep up when you keep gettin BS charges) then they issue a warrant for my arrest and then pull me for another bs reason, run my info and find the warrant, and i go to jail....a couple of weeks ago i spent 4 days in jail before i spent 1300 gettin out. its a bad cycle and itll end up with my license revoked or me in jail

if i were to join the airforce, the only bills that would come with me would be car, insurance and phone, housing and sustenance would be taken care of as well as an allowance for clothing and theres tax free discounted shopping centers on base...

this point isnt for persuasion or disuasion, its more for education. for anyone with experience in the matter, whats the average pay, what are the benefits, what are the downside, what are the prerequisites or qualifications, how are the jobs, etc etc etc... and one of the more important questions, what are the signing bonuses and is education paid for?

EcSTSatic
11-04-05, 10:49 AM
Friends can have a big influence on you. When I told mine that a Marine recruiter called, they laughed and said I could never make it. Well, I took it as a challenge or dare if you will and enlisted.

I was in and out of the Marines before you were born so I can't help much as far as current pay goes. And my GI Bill covered a full 4 year degree. Today you have to invest some of your own money for college after the service. When I was in, the world it was a violent place (not much has changed I guess) and we were never in one place long enough to finish a semester. I had to wait until I was out.

There are opportunities to got to school while in the service. Some MOS's require subtantial training. Computing wasn't even in our vocabulary back then. If you take the officer path, they can send you to college provided you commit to X number of years of service when you graduate.

22 is old for a "boot" as we called them. It's much easier to cope with the military atmosphere when you begin as an impressionable teenager. I think of the movie "Stripes". It was a farce, funny but not reality.

If you want to travel and see the world, there's no cheaper way than in the military.

I keep some of my memories on a personal website. It's not very attractive but it helps to share some of my experiences. If you like, go here Tour of duty (http://pages.prodigy.net/fremin/Garage/marines.htm) and check it out. There are some lower pages with pics and text like my part in the evacuation of Vietnam.

PAW 47
11-04-05, 12:50 PM
There is nothing wrong with wanting to serve your country. I was going in with a buddy of mine.. I got gig'd on being color blind (the colors needed to do most things, I really didn't want to be a paper pusher) After a long talk with the recruiter he convenced me not to go. Because I would not be happy, with the type of job I would get assigned. 9 years later my buddy is still in the AF, he's up for Master Sergeant this year.

With that said if I was not color blind.. I would have been there too. And I wish you good luck if you do go.

OffThaHorseCEO
11-04-05, 01:23 PM
i went and spoke to a recruiter during my lunch hour today, the only thing was it was an army recruiter, and im kinda set on airforce, he of course prettied things up for me, and tried to get me to change my mind and enlist in the army, he fed me all kinds of numbers, all of them sounded good, he got me to take a simulation ASVAB test and it told him my projected AFQT score would be a 73,

he didnt go into detail about bonuses, but showed me one guys contract where he signed for 4 yrs, shipped asap and received a bonus of 17000 dollars.

he also said that education would be paid for up to 1600 a semester or somethin like that and that that wouldnt come out of my monthly compensation or pay.

im very family oriented, family means alot to me, and so do friends, if my mom absolutelyt hated the idea, then i wouldnt do it, but i told her jut now and she said it would be a good idea as well.....

EcSTSatic
11-04-05, 01:34 PM
My best advice to you if you decide to do it is get everything in writing! It's the recruiter's job to get you to sign up. Don't depend on promises!

BTW, it's an honor to serve in any branch.

Semper Fi !

lawfive
11-04-05, 01:54 PM
I was directionless at age 19. I'd abandoned two college scholarships and was working as a roustabout in the oilfields, and was living in a studio apartment on the beach in California. I enlisted in the Air Force at age 20 and spent four years learning a trade and a sense of responsibility/accountability/"adulthood". (Although many years later, I'm still working on elements of that last one...)

I used some of the full ticket GI bill while I was in, but wasn't very focused on school when I was that young. After I left the service I leveraged what I had learned (computers) into progressively better jobs. I eventually finished my BS in computer science (paid by Rockwell) and my MBA (paid by Amgen).

I remember my military service years with fondness and pride. It was an interesting combination of camaraderie and ritualized hierarchical hazing, and it will leave you well prepared to put up with the most serious shit that any future boss/company can throw at you. The wierd combination of being dirt poor but never having to worry about where your next meal is coming from, and being able to fly free to Hawaii for a long weekend and stay at an insanely inexpensive luxury hotel on the best stretch of Waikiki beach (the Hale Koa NCO-sponsored hotel), will give you an interesting sense of freedom.

I'm convinced that if I hadn't enlisted, I'd now be a 48 year old surfer bum.

In a similar vein: I married while in the Air Force and I'm convinced that if I hadn't partnered up with her I'd now be driving a Ferrari and bankrupt.

-- Jerry

For authoritative info on pay (if you want to call it that!), check out http://www.defenselink.mil/militarypay/. Note that some of the allowances you'll receive are tax-free. Also, some of the other available cost-cutting goodies aren't covered on this Web site, e.g. low cost on-base stores for groceries and liquor, and the BX (sort of a lower cost WalMart/Costco).

lawfive
11-04-05, 01:55 PM
My best advice to you if you decide to do it is get everything in writing! It's the recruiter's job to get you to sign up. Don't depend on promises!

BTW, it's an honor to serve in any branch.

Semper Fi !

Oorah, and happy birthday Marines!

EcSTSatic
11-04-05, 02:08 PM
Oorah, and happy birthday Marines!

Thank you sir. 230 years old next week and still kicking butt around the world!

lawfive
11-04-05, 02:30 PM
Thank you sir. 230 years old next week and still kicking butt around the world!


Ten quotations about U.S. Marines:
(from USMCpress.com)


The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight! [MGen. Frank E. Lowe, US Army; Korea, 26 January 1952]



Marines know how to use their bayonets. Army bayonets may as well be paper-weights. [Navy Times; November 1994]



Why in hell can't the Army do it if the Marines can. They are the same kind of men; why can't they be like Marines. [Gen. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, US Army; 12 February 1918]



The United States Marine Corps, with it fiercely proud tradition of excellence in combat, its hallowed rituals, and its unbending code of honor, is part of the fabric of American myth. [Thomas E. Ricks; Making the Corps, 1997]



The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next five hundred years. [James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy; 23 February 1945 (the flag-raising on Iwo Jima had been immortalized in a photograph by Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal)]



I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world! [Gen. Douglas MacArthur, US Army; Korea, 21 September 1950]



We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on? [Gen. John W. Vessey Jr., US Army, Chairman of the the Joint Chiefs of Staff; during the assault on Grenada, 1983]



Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem. [Ronald Reagan, U.S. President; 1985]



Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat. [RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995]



They told (us) to open up the Embassy, or "we'll blow you away." And then they looked up and saw the Marines on the roof with these really big guns, and they said in Somali, "Igaralli ahow," which means "Excuse me, I didn't mean it, my mistake." [Karen Aquilar, in the U.S. Embassy; Mogadishu, Somalia, 1991]

urbanski
11-04-05, 02:54 PM
you have an arrest(s) with a conviction? good luck getting in, IMO

OffThaHorseCEO
11-04-05, 03:15 PM
the only convictions i have are minor traffic violations.

SpeedyArizona
11-04-05, 03:21 PM
I came from a military family, my father was a Marine and my grandfather was in the army (WWII Veteran). I talked to a marine and army recruiter in my Senior year of high school, but I ultimately decided against it.

It would've been nice to get a free ride to college, but I didn't need it. I didn't like the idea of having someone yell at me for 18 hours a day, and the pay wasn't as good as I would've expected.

These recruiters have a job to make it sound better than it is, they don't lie, but they do stretch the truth. They can be compared to a credit card, it sounds better than it really is.

22 is a tad old to join the Air Force, but the more power to you if you take that path!

powerglide
11-04-05, 05:12 PM
get it all clearly in writing like EcSt mentioned.....they have quotas to fill and will say almost anything

DeVillish
11-04-05, 05:20 PM
If your joining the military to go to school do NOT join anything but the airforce. As a marine on Okinawa japan i see how great the Airmen have it over us, their quality of living is alot higher then marines, and if you do get stuck on a Marine or even navy base you get paid extra, no joke! As an E-3 i make about 1700 a month, BUT i get extra for being in japan and iam on comrat(i have to pay for food, even at the chow hall so i get an extra 200 a month) Honestly iam glad i joined, but i know i wont do another 4 years. I joined for school(and becuase almost everyone said i couldnt make it through boot camp) and with the job iam doing now...i dont really have that much time to go to school. But i still get that GI bill. Also your 22, that means if you do 4 years you'll be 26 when you get out and you have to start over again basicly. Its like moving out of your parents house again lol. Do your research before you sign anything. Like EcSTSatic said, get it in writting! recruiters will lie to you(mine did). They are salesmen...they are trained to sell you a contract.

urbanski
11-04-05, 05:27 PM
i don't know about the get it in writing thing. i mean "the needs of teh AF" come first, no? Uncle Sam wants you to do X job, but you "signed up" for Y....tough ta-tas.

DeVillish
11-04-05, 05:32 PM
well, my point was, if you get it in writting that your getting X amount of money for signing up, when you dont get X money you can fight for it....i've seen that happen.

ben72227
11-04-05, 05:43 PM
Hmmm, If I were you I'd go to either the Air Force or the Navy. The marines...heh. As the Navy says, the My Ass Rides In Navy Equipment, or the one I like - Muscles Are Required; Intelligence Not Essential:histeric:

j/k to all you marines out there:thumbsup:

Anyway, if you want to go to college, the navy (and maybe the other branches???) has a program where they will pay for you to go to college (up to $150,000 and the college has to have an ROTC program...this is different from the GI bill, its a newer scholarship) and the only thing is, however long you go to college (i.e. 4 years) is the same time you have to spend as an officer in the Navy...

So you could go to Vanderbilt or MIT, stay in the navy for 4 years, get paid and get all of the benefits (month long paid vacation, free flights to anywhere in the world on military planes, free housing, food, etc.)
. I think that officers make like...$2400 a month starting pay for O1 (i think, last time i check it was something like that...). and remember, most of everything you need (housing, food, etc.) is paid for, so your money just gets used to pay for extras - like cable, cell phone, car, etc...

I'd definately go for the Air Force or Navy - stay away from the Marines, unless you're a hardcore soldier type, stay away from the Army, unless your're a moron who can't get into the better branches, stay away from the Coast Guard, unless you can swim REALLY well and LIKE saving people in Hurricanes. Yep, thats about it. What exactly do you want to do in the Military anyway???

SpeedyArizona
11-04-05, 05:50 PM
There is always a chance you MAY be killed in action, remember that! This isn't just preparing for college, this is your life that might be cut short.

I don't want to freak you out, but this should be remembered in making your descicion.

DeVillish
11-04-05, 06:11 PM
good point. also dont think you'll be staying close to home either. I put in to stay on the east coast and i got sent to japan. Basicly be prepared to give up EVERYTHING you have right now. I had to sell my cadillac and put everything in my moms garage. Although thanks to being in japan i can get that new Charger R/T i have on order so it makes it worth it lol. Just think about it and be 110% sure thats what you want to do for the next 4+ years of your life.

powerglide
11-04-05, 06:36 PM
Maybe worth taking a look at some war movies.....like this new "jar head" coming out.....just to throw in the hollywood perspective...couldnt hurt

Stoneage_Caddy
11-04-05, 06:54 PM
i just got out of the Airforce not long ago ...ill be back in a few and ill awnser your questions HONESTLY ...there are things that if you join i want you to keep a eye out for ...

ben72227
11-04-05, 06:57 PM
I saw Jarhead today. It was different...I expected a bit more action, but it wasn't really that type of war movie...;)

urbanski
11-04-05, 07:16 PM
well, my point was, if you get it in writting that your getting X amount of money for signing up, when you dont get X money you can fight for it....i've seen that happen.
yeah that's true for the $$, assignments is another thing :)

Stoneage_Caddy
11-04-05, 08:09 PM
This might sound like a horror story in a way , but i do approve of folks joining up so dont get me wrong.

With me if it could be screwed up it was....

I joined the Delayed Enlistment program Nov 26 1998 , under a contract for "Aircraft Structure Mechanic". I wanted to work with carbon fiber , thought thatd be the way to go. I forget the signing bonus for going in under that field , seems like at least 16 grand , and 36k for college under MGIB. What i didnt know is someone got the numbers wrong (intentionlly or not) and i was under contract for "Open General Mechanic". Coarse i didnt find out till it was too late. I did my best but my signature was on that contract and that was that. I ended up as a firetruck mechanic (a really cool gig) , and i got around 3k as a signing bonus(after fighting for it). Problem was is they sent me 6k and said that was the bonus. I check and asked around and it looked legit. After buying a computer and putting the rest as a down payment on a Infiniti , they came looking for the money. Turns out they goofed and then goofed again telling me it was ok to spend it. I was punsihed for this , becuse my supervisor told me not to spend it for six months (wish i lisnted to him). After it was siad and done i had to live the next year and a half on 200 bucks a month. Luckily chowhall food is free.

Unforetuneatly that error followed me the rest of my career , i was labeled as a person who didnt follow orders and was a problem child. Did my best to out work it but when you work in a shop away from supervisors no one has a chance to get to know you. My aititude didnt help much , i was young and stupid , we all are. So i had a chimp on my shoulder and thought i knew everything there was to know. I still feel everything i went thru over the years is what made me a touch paranoid , no one includeing me neevr really figured everything out till i was almost killed in a car crash. And even then , rumors got me there for what i did at night (illegal street racing). Punshied again and a bad back from a accident at work i decided to go ahead and get out.....

It sounds bad , but life was pretty good while i was in , i had a good time , did alot of neat things and in certain circles i am STILL a legend. I have folks to this day checkin up on "The ol Captain" or "Slippery Chunks" , or Simply "Or". Off and on i found myself running the firetruck shop , makeing calls and ensureing everything went off without a hitch. I loved what i did , and i loved my trucks as if they were my children , i still ask one guy how "Engine 8" is doing , she was my baby ....

I look back on it and i can say to myself "I kicked MAXIMUM ass" (Ted Nugent)....I sit here now , going to school on the money i busted my ass for , 36 grand for college that you get when you are discharged honorably after 4 years. Also on 10% disability thru the VA for my back , and they had to hound me to do it as i still have pride issues , i refuse to admit that i cant do stuff , and being labeld "disabled" when i can still earn a living bugs me....but deep down i know i cant turn wrenches for a living anymore ...I enjoy free healthcare and i get to talk to a nice lady once a month thats helping me adjust to civilian life , i went 2 years without knowin i needed it ....But as she says "your living like your in afganistan"....

Just keep an eye on paperwork , and listen to what people tell you to do ....esp those that you work for ....if the guy that wrote you the check says "its ok" but the guy that runs the squadron says "dont do it" listen to your guy .....

There is a thread here labeled "Story Time with Stoney" ive done more than a couple storys about my life when i was in ......gives you a good falvor of what goes on ...

lawfive
11-04-05, 08:47 PM
I had a better experience than Stoney, but it was a long time ago. I got the job that I signed up for. I went delayed enlistment for an AFSC that was in demand, but there was no sign-on bonus back then (1977). There was a 'sign-on stripe' for people who were willing to become APs, but I went in as an 'airman no-stripe' (E1).

BTW: AP = 'Air Police' (similar to MP in the Army). AP guys always had the best drugs; crew chiefs and loadmasters always had the MOST drugs.

I qualified for senior airman 'below the zone' (early promotion) and eventually made E4 sergeant. So as with any job, there's some element of chance and 'soft skills' involved in doing well. I doubt that I was any smarter than Stoney, or any less wild.

Anyways, here's why I'm back on this thread: during tech training you fill out a 'dream sheet' with your first, second, etc. choices for where you want to be stationed. My #1 choice was back in California (Norton AFB), and I got it. Some of my buddies were not so lucky, and wound up in places like Minot, North Dakota (aka "Why not Minot?") working for Strategic Air Command (slogans: "SAC sucks but it's a blow for peace," "Peace is our profession; war is just a hobby") or Thule, Greenland. The odds are good that you'll be relocated after your first tour. I didn't re-up because I was married and didn't want to be posted to some god awful place where I couldn't bring my wife.

So before you sign up, be sure that you don't mind giving up most of your control over where in the world you live.

Stoneage_Caddy
11-04-05, 08:58 PM
My numer one was Macdill AFB in Tampa ....i ended up on Eielson AFB ALASKA ....

DeVillish
11-04-05, 09:23 PM
wow you guys could pick states?? My three chooses where east coast, west coast or over seas....like i said i picked east coast and got sent to the FAR east...japan...for 2 years...

c5 rv
11-04-05, 09:42 PM
I have two sons in the Corps. One is in his 4th year and is planning to rejoin civilian life next summer and attend college - after a second deployment to Iraq this winter. The second is in MOS school and just got his orders for Okinawa - two years supporting the air wing. He's excited and may make a career in the Corps.

It sounds like you feel that trouble has a way of finding you. It can find you in the military, too, or you can use the military to change your cirmcumstances and yourself.

DeVillish
11-04-05, 09:48 PM
dont be shocked if he doesnt end up with the wing...i was told i was going to FSSG but now iam in the MEF. Hmm i wonder how many people reading this have any idea what iam talking about....Also, oki is said to have 3 types of people in it, drinkers, loners(barracks rats) and tourists. Iam sure you can guess who gets in trubble....

lawfive
11-04-05, 10:17 PM
wow you guys could pick states?? My three chooses where east coast, west coast or over seas....like i said i picked east coast and got sent to the FAR east...japan...for 2 years...

Yes, but are you on the east coast of Okinawa? :histeric:

Oo-rah!

DeVillish
11-04-05, 10:22 PM
yes.....damn you....ok who let the V guys out of their cage anyway???? :welcome:

FSU_Noles
11-07-05, 12:39 AM
I am from a military family (father and brother both retired from AF) and I currently have many friends that are in or recently separated from the military.

Here is a brief synopsis of my AF career:

I joined in 91 at age 21. I was working meaningless jobs and wasn't particularly going anywhere. I talked to the Army and the AF. The only thing remotely interesting about the Army was the Warrant Officer Flight program for Helo's. After the Army recruiter told me the best way into that program was through the infantry I said "See Ya".

Based on my aptitude scores the AF guy asked me if I wanted to go test for a computer programming job - so I did - and I qualified. This was a truly guaranteed job; if you want a guaranteed job make sure it is really guaranteed. Many people get promised jobs but that is not the same as guaranteed. Avoid OPEN GENERAL at all costs, unless you like to gamble.

I did computer programming for 3 years when I moved to a new job as a computer operator. Operators at the time were working the networking side of the house.

I served for 9 years and immediately had a job when I got out. I am now doing quite well with a technology career and my own company. The only reason I got out was the fact they offered me orders to Osan AB Korea and I wasnít going.

I got to see many parts of this world and enjoyed my time in the service.

As told by Devillish, the AF is the only WAY to go if you want any kind if quality of life. Most of the Air Force is support jobs and therefore you arenít going to have anyone shooting at you, unless you want that Ė if you want that I suggest you join a different service. There are plenty of high tech jobs in the AF and I suggest that if you seriously consider joining that you think about what you are going to do when you get out. Many people plan on going to school when they get out but life is funny and things don't always work out the way we want. Get a skill that translated into a civilian job.

Good luck on whatever decision you make.

DeVillish
11-07-05, 12:52 AM
yeah keep us up to date on what you end up doing.