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Old 09-21-2011, 07:55 PM
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Default Thinking about joining the military...

Well guys, within a few months I will be finishing high school and will have to decide what to do for the rest of my life lol. Ever since I was a little kid I looked up to the men and women that serve our country and I always had the utmost respect for them. Now that I am older I have been really thinking that I want to join. My goal in life (as of now) is to end up flying, hopefully I will be able to work my way up to Airliners. My grandfather was a helicopter mechanic in the Marine's and he got out and flew for Delta until he retired. He now just restores planes and flies in airshows across the north west. My uncle was a professional stunt pilot until his plane malfunctioned and he crashed and died 12 years ago. I guess you could say flying is in my blood.

So I've been doing a little research, but I would love to get you guys opinion.

I would like to get the most flight hours possible while at job training. So when I finish serving my time and start looking for jobs I can have an assload of flight hours.

Obviously a pilot would be the best choice, but I see that you have to be an officer to become a pilot. I think I remember reading somewhere that if you went to college first you could join as an officer. If that is true would I need a 4 year degree or would a 2 year suffice? If that isn't possible, what is officer training like? How long is it? Lets just say I fail the test or whatever, blah blah blah I can't become on officer. What should I train to be??? I just want to be around planes, preferably flying them.

This is all concerning the USAF ohh and BTW FIXED WING!!!
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I also like the Army very well, but I noticed that my only option for flying over there would be an Aviation Officer, which only flies helicopters. Well I don't really have a problem with helicopters, but my question is will flight hours in a chopper count the same as hours in a fixed wing??

Anyways guys, I'm just looking for insight, and a few answers to my questions. I haven't talked to any recruiters yet, because I want to know EXACTLY what I want before I talk to anyone. Also, if you don't mind just share your experiences you had and why I should, or maybe why I shouldn't join.

Thank you very much for your time, Dillon
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:39 PM
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Well, Dillon, I think it is a great choice to join the military. I spent 20.5 years in the Guard and Reserve. I was Infantry for 16 yrs, a Drill Sergeant for 2, and an ROTC instructor for the last 2.5 yrs. I taught a survival skills class for college freshmen and was responsible for the physical training program, along with spring and fall field training exercises. When I retired, the University did not want to loose me as an instructor, so they hired me as a part time teacher. I am still there today, after retiring 5 years ago.

I think it is a great idea to get some input before you talk to a recruiter, but the recruiter is the one that can and will tell you what you will be able to do. Some recruiters can be pushy, and some very calm and relaxed and let the military sell itself. If you DO talk to a recruiter and you feel pressured, get up and walk out!

The first thing they will want you to do is to take an ASVAB test which is a basic apptitude test that will give you a ranking and tell you what military jobs would be open to you depending on your score. This would be going the enlisted route. If you wish to be an officeer, you could try looking at a college that has an ROTC program (Reserve Officer Training Corps). If scholarships are available for that schools ROTC program, you would be able attend that school and receive up to 4 years free admission. Along with a monthly stipend for books/meals/ etc. I think the monthly stipend at my school is around $400 a month? That is a guess. After you complete 4 yrs of college and maintaiin a certain GPA and fulfill the requirements of the program, you are commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant for an 8 year obligation. Keep in mind, this is on the Army side. The college I work at is an aviation school, but I don't know if it is fixed wing or helicopters for aviation on the Army side. I believe it to be helicopter.

If you wish to speak to my Colonel at the school, you can PM me and I will give you the number and you can call him and ask questions. If you wish to know more, you can PM me and I will give you my number to call me. I hope it works out for you and you make the right choice.

DISCLAIMER_ It has been a while since I have been in the military, so please don't quote me on the above information. It is remembered to the best of my ability, and my ability isn't what it was when I was 20!!! LOL!! (nor my memory!)
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:48 PM
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Thanks Dave! I still have a lot to learn and really need to get my shit together. I appreciate your possibly cloudy recollection of the military
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:56 PM
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I friend that I worked with for a few years was in the military and he once said something like this to me "I think every american should be required to do some sort of service to their country for some period of time".....that statement always stuck with me. I honestly think I would struggle greatly myself in the military, but really admire those who do serve. I always fear that it would be too much for me. I've never met anyone whose served that has regretted it...
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:56 PM
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Dillon, I am sure there are many Air Force guys and gals on here that can give you a better understanding of the Air Force. The military isn't for everyone, and in the end, you are the one that will have to make the decision. Best of luck to you!!
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jixer View Post
Dillon, I am sure there are many Air Force guys and gals on here that can give you a better understanding of the Air Force. The military isn't for everyone, and in the end, you are the one that will have to make the decision. Best of luck to you!!
That's what my sisters boyfriend keeps telling me. It's all up to me! Well I know that lol, I'm just trying to make sure it's right for me
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:07 PM
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Originally Posted by GeauxHunting View Post
...I'm just trying to make sure it's right for me
Is there any Air Force Reserve units in your area that you could visit for one of their Battle Assemblies? (Like take a tour during one of their drill weekends to get an idea?)
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Last edited by Jixer; 09-21-2011 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jixer View Post
Is there any Air Force Reserve units in your area that you could visit for one of their Battle Assemblies? (Like take a tour during one of their drill weekends to get an idea?)
Not that I know of, but I will look into it.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:37 PM
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Even look into JROTC units in your area. I was thinking about going to the military when my high school adopted an Air Force JROTC program my juniour year. After taking it my senior year I quickly realized the military wasnt for me although I had several friends and classmates who enlisted or went into ROTC after high school (all branches). Some love it some hate it.
If you do choose that route I would highly consider the ROTC option. Its usually 4 years in school then either 4 or 7 years of service after school. It is true that if you go the ROTC route you will become an officer.
I had two Chiefs and a Major as my teachers and the Chiefs told us numerous times that as much as they loved it they wished they had done ROTC instead of enlisting.
My best friend, who was also in in AF JROTC program joined ROTC at a local university out of school, didnt like it, went to school for three years and this past spring decided to enlist. He is currently in Texas for USAF Basic Training and from what I hear is very happy.
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Old 09-21-2011, 11:51 PM
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I was in the Marines for a few years before ripping my shoulder out and having multiple surgeries. I was honorably discharged after surgery due to recovery time. That was April 2009, I know it has changed a lot since I was out. Some days I want to go back. Some days I don't. I know the gov. has been messing with a lot of stuff recently so it may not be the most stable choice currently. For awhile it was pay cuts, then pay freezes, then I heard they were talking about raising insurance rates etc. Just do your homework and make sure you no what your getting into. This is all my 2 cents and in no way should any of what we say influence a decision, cuz in the end, it'll be you signing on the dotted line not any ramforumz members! Good luck to you man!
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