Hey everybody Im heavily considering joining the air force and was wondering if any of you air force guys on here would mind sharing some knowledge about it so I can solidify my decision. I'm trying to talk to as many airmen as possible that aren't getting paid to recruit me.
mattm44: Sir, the AF, basic will always be what basics are. My encouragement, decide, what interest you. Study the discipline well. Then study again. You are up against some talented individuals. None more talented than you; if you prepare.
Don't go to Lackland AFB during any summer months
You will be successful
Who refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
I wouldn't try do discourage anyone from joining any branch of the military, but what I would recommend is viewing doing a tour in the military as a stepping stone towards the long term career of your choice. That being said take the time to make sure that you are stepping in the right direction as with the right choice in job and your applying yourself (ie putting into whatever college benefits you can get as well as taking any courses that can help you both correspondance and formal in addition to your military duties) you can really accelerate your marketability when you get out and gain further education benefits.
Of course I don't know what your long term intents are or career interests, but my experience is this:
I spent 20yrs in the Navy as an Aircraft Mechanic (AD rating), I now have a pretty good job as an operator / technician in the power industry. Looking at my peers we have a significant number of Veterans probably about 40-50% and by and large the majority of our Vets have spent time in the Navy (probably about 70%). Of course I work in an industrial environment and when you think about it Ships are basically floating industrial complexes, so many Navy jobs readily cross over into industry.
So take a good look at what interests you and try to find Vets in the fields that interest you and find out their consensus of branch and job that give you a leg up in that field and go from there.
When I enlisted, I strongly considered Air Guard or Air Force Reserve. I didn't go "Chair Force" because the closest Air Base to me is something on 4 hrs. away. I work with two guys who are Air Force vets, and neither one of them regrets their service, though neither one of them made a career out of it. My wife's Grandpa is a retired AF vet, he don't regret it. Which brings me to my point, and one of the things that I considered when I was making up my mind whether to enlist or not. That is; I have never met a vet who regretted his service. Not saying their aren't any, just saying I've never met one. I've met veterans who advise others against enlisting, but even they when pressed won't say that they regret having served. If you don't like it, don't re-up! My wife hopes I don't re-up even if I want to when my 6 is up... but that's another subject.
As far as getting what job you want, that's where you have to be careful! Recruiters will screw you over if you let 'em! I don't know how the AF does their job assigning, but I don't think it's as set, as say the Army where you contract for a certain MOS.
I went to Basic and AIT with a guy who's recruiter told him he was going to do construction work, carpentry and masonry. Ah, no, that's not what combat engineers do! Should have seen the look on the guys face when he asks, "Drill Sergeant, what do 12b's do? "We ****ing kill mother ****ers, private!"
You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.--Gospel of John 8:32
Did over 4 years in the Air Force, July 1968-Dec 1972 and do not regret a single minute. Thanks to the service I got to see Turkey, Spain and Greenland. Hopefully the AF has changed some since then. The going riddle when I was in went something like this: What is the difference between the Air Force and the Boy Scouts? Answer: The Boy Scouts have adult leadership and can carry pocket knives!
Whatever branch you choose, thank you for wanting to serve your country and having the courage to do so.
I served 22 years active AF, ANG, and AFRES, in that order. I don't regret any of my service. I worked in many career fields: Communications ops, training, ground radio ops, small arms (oh boy! Paid to play with guns), and personal affairs. Remember, no matter what field you may be assigned to initially, it's always possible to cross train to another field.
Also, if you do enlist, get to know the people in the personnel office, and learn what a manning document is. It details all the positions in a unit, the rank assigned to that position, and when you want to cross train, it lets you know what's available.
And yeah, I agree, don't go to Lackland in the summer, unles you like hot weather. Winter is far better, spring or fall is OK too.
There aren't a lot of fields in the AF that don't have a close civilian counterpart. Tank driver or infantryman doesn't correlate too much to a civilian job.
My experience in the Air Force was over in 1981. There is probably not a lot I can say that is applicable to today's service, except that the AF was a lot more lax on "military bearing" than the other services, as far as I could tell.
Take advantage of all the training you can get, no matter what it is. You never know what will come in handy in your future.
I spent 20 years in the Air Force and retired in 2006. For me it was an outstanding experience and I would recommend it with all my heart. I had the chance to fly some amazing equipment and the training was second to none. Although we ALL have issues with the PC world of 2012, I was able to stiff arm much of the BS and it realy didn`t detrect from the experience if you did not let it get to you. I had a blessed and long career. I would say if you want to fly go with the Air Force.
Ten Man is right about the AF being the most `office worker` climate of the military. Having said that again it is what you make of it and to me this didn`t wind up being a big deal. The Marines were the most hard core, the Army was somwhere in between (and was austere and in the field alot--went to war with the Army in the first war as a ground FAC). The Navy flyers had more freedom and autonomy flying, but had to live on boats.
I wouldn`t worry about the nit noid stuff and would, as talked above try to get a good look at all the different services firsthand to see what suits you. At the end of the day they can all offer very rewarding careers and time for what you do and are wonderfull service to your nation--the core beliefs of the latter last a lifetime and have value beyond words.
For those here who have served or are or have loved ones serving I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude.
As a career or path to life the AF served me well and the training was OUTSTANDING--it stays to me to this very day. The mindset and comraderie was also wonderful and I would do it all over again.
Hope this helps; you can PM me with other questions (my response might be a little slow because I am on the road alot these days).
We certainly DO need quality people at the tip of the spear these days--one with personal values who are willing to do what they believe right.
I did six years in the Air Force and I don't regret one minute of it. I have been to the Philippines, Okinawa, Japan and Korea. I spent two years in Missouri spending 3 days on and 3 days off at Minuteman Missiles sites out in the middle of nowhere. I am proud to say my oldest is active duty Air Force right now and she will be on her way to Osan Korea in about 3 weeks.
Each branch has the good and bad. You should be able to contract your job with any of them. In the end its up to you as to which branch you would rather be in. I was in the Air Force and for the most part basic was a playground for me. Not too strict and not too soft. Oh and dont worry about going to Lackland in the middle of summer. I went the end of June and the heat wasnt all bad and, I came from the north east.
Thank you all for all the replies. I have really looked at all the different branches but it came down between air force and navy. I would lose my mind on a boat so airforce won. Hearing your guys responses/experiences makes it harder and harder not to go.
I did Navy time, and have been around all branches of the service my life. I've been working for military ever since I got out 23 years ago. There's a lot of interservice rivalry and a lot of crap between support and combat personnel in all branches. Don't listen to any of that B.S because that's exactly what it is.
I think you'll do fine in the Air Force, you'll be challenged because it's very competitive, advancement can be hard. You bring a good attitude and an open mind and you'll back what you put in.
__________________ "Yeah I'm playing with a full deck, all Jokers of course"
I've got 12 years in the AF now, 5 of them active duty. I'm now in the ANG and am loving my new career field. The AF is a lot more relaxed than the Army or Marines, but there's a reason for that. Most of our mission requires working on highly technical equipment and we don't need to have someone yelling at us over our shoulder to keep doing pushups until they get tired. I just recently moved over to the maintenance world from SF, and it is so much better on the maintainer side! Check out the crew chief job, or if you want to play with the toys, look at aircraft armament (that's what I do). You get to play with the bombs AND the plane!
Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.
24 years in the Air Force, wish I was still in. I started as a Flight Simulator Technician, superb technical training, the equivalent of a four year degree. Interesting, fun and useful work. The last seven years I was a Flight Engineer on C-130s, I enjoyed that much more, lots of work, lots of travel. The Air Force is 2% Operations, 98% Support. The support functions are critical, but it's a blast actually doing the mission.