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  #1  
Old 11-25-2010, 08:48 PM
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Default Military advice

I'm not sure if this is the right section for this, sorry if it isn't. I'm thinking of joining the military and am not sure which path to take. I'm gonna go to college and get my bachelors degree in 2 years so I'll be 18 with a college degree when I join and I'm not sure if I should join as an officer or a higher ranking enlisted and not sure if I want to go Army or Air Force. I've heard that the Air force conditions are better, but I've also heard that the Army conditions are about the same. Would you recommend I go officer or enlisted and Air Force or Army?

I've asked my mom who served 30 years Army and was lieutenant colonel, my friend who is e-4 Army and has served 2 years, and my friend's parents that served 20 years Army and were e-9, but I keep getting conflicting opinions and views so I thought maybe people here would give more opinions and views.


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Old 11-25-2010, 09:03 PM
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I was career AF and enlisted. There were varying degrees of quality amongst the officers.

Those that went to the AF Academy were reasonably good officers but had a "I am God" complex.

Next came the guys that did ROTC in college. They didn't have a clue.

Last were the ones that started as enlisted and after a few years became officers. Some had a real attitude toward enlisted either because they were treated poorly when they were junior enlisted by NCO's or just never learned a thing while enlisted because they knew they were going to be officers. Others were great officers to work for because they knew what life was like on the other side of the fence.

Personally, if you can keep your head straight (judging by your age and advanced level of schooling, I'd say you could), go in enlisted and see what life is like for the folks you'll be in charge of. It would be beneficial if you enlisted in the same area you planned to be an Officer in.

As for Army vs Air Force? I always went by the rule of thumb, "in the Army the Officers send the enlisted out to get shot at and in the AF the enlisted send the Officers out to get shot at." lol

Realistically in today's military, everyone is on the firing line and I don't think one service is better than the other. Each has their role.

Regardless of which branch you go into remember the following:

1. Recruiters do NOT lie. But they will only answer questions you ask. If you don't ask it, they won't offer it.

2. If you get injured to where you can no longer serve, you will get screwed. Contrary to what they will tell you, they do NOT take care of their own.

3. If you have an injury go to sick call or at least see the Dr or ER and get it in your medical records. You will need the documentation when you eventually exit the military and try to get benefits from the Veterans Administration. Do NOT suck it up and tough it out. You will be screwing yourself.

Good luck.
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Old 11-25-2010, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RootBeer View Post
I was career AF and enlisted. There were varying degrees of quality amongst the officers.

Those that went to the AF Academy were reasonably good officers but had a "I am God" complex.

Next came the guys that did ROTC in college. They didn't have a clue.

Last were the ones that started as enlisted and after a few years became officers. Some had a real attitude toward enlisted either because they were treated poorly when they were junior enlisted by NCO's or just never learned a thing while enlisted because they knew they were going to be officers. Others were great officers to work for because they knew what life was like on the other side of the fence.

Personally, if you can keep your head straight (judging by your age and advanced level of schooling, I'd say you could), go in enlisted and see what life is like for the folks you'll be in charge of. It would be beneficial if you enlisted in the same area you planned to be an Officer in.

As for Army vs Air Force? I always went by the rule of thumb, "in the Army the Officers send the enlisted out to get shot at and in the AF the enlisted send the Officers out to get shot at." lol

Realistically in today's military, everyone is on the firing line and I don't think one service is better than the other. Each has their role.

Regardless of which branch you go into remember the following:

1. Recruiters do NOT lie. But they will only answer questions you ask. If you don't ask it, they won't offer it.

2. If you get injured to where you can no longer serve, you will get screwed. Contrary to what they will tell you, they do NOT take care of their own.

3. If you have an injury go to sick call or at least see the Dr or ER and get it in your medical records. You will need the documentation when you eventually exit the military and try to get benefits from the Veterans Administration. Do NOT suck it up and tough it out. You will be screwing yourself.

Good luck.
Quality of life in the AF is a lot better then in the army. Most of the AF I had the honor of meeting never went outside the wire while I was in Iraq, except for a platoon or two that were attached to my platoon for a couple days. (they were scared sh*tless once we left the wire.) It was a whole new ball game for them. If you are worried about living conditions if deployed I recommend you to go AF. But do not get me wrong there was plenty of army paper pushers who never left the wire.

As what beer said, recruiters do not lie. You just have to word your questions right. I also did delayed entry into the army.. was suppose to be a e-2 when I entered but MEPS never recieved my paperwork from my recruiting station for that promotion. But that was no big deal to me, I just felt better when I actually earned it.

None of the military takes care of there own... you must take care of yourself first.

I just recently got out, before I did they done some xrays on both my knees, ankles & feet... Come to find out I had severe wearing in my joints... but I never went to sick call about it. I toughed it out.. Luckily the army did do those xrays and now it is in my medical records.

Now i'm just waiting on my va compensation to start. I did have a lot of other problems to.. tumor behind the left knee... blown up, concussion and some other issues.

Don't get my wrong I love the army.. but you have to take care of yourself first. & if I had the chance to go back and change anything I wouldn't.

I sucked up a lot of things for a long time... did a lot of great things while down range. In return I did become a recipient of a bronze star.

Hope some of this helps you make your mind up.

btw, hope you go with the army It will make a man out of ya.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:08 PM
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In my case i went Navy for 4 years, & i busted my butt, never made it past E-4, because i decided not to re-enlist or even extend, i had a high school education & was promised by my recruiter that i would be in the aviation part of the Navy, so i wore green stripes while i was below decks on an aircraft carrier, so i was a glorified seaman assigned to ships company & not an air field, while at sea liberty call may be 2 days out of every 90 days while on sea duty during the Viet Nam crisis
My cousin went into the Air Force, at the same time, for 4 years & made it to E-5 & took care of golf courses & swimming pools & had liberty almost every night.
So that being said some branches work their butts off & others have it easy

If i had to do it all again, i would have gone SEA BEE in the Navy, or Coast Guard, 3 rd choice would be Air Force. I never would have thought even today of being an Officer
The best officers that i had to work with were White Hats, they went up through the ranks, but, were pretty limited in how high a rank that they could achieve in 30 years
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:42 PM
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You won't join as an officer unless you do the ROTC thing in college. And you won't join as a higher rank enlisted...everyone starts at square one.

Having said that, I came out of the Air Force with a skill I could use in the civilian world. You can do that with most branches of service unless they need bodies in a military specialty that doesn't translate well into the civilian market.
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Old 11-25-2010, 10:52 PM
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yeppers, they trained me in explosives, ammunition for the planes guns, bombs, missiles, & rockets
not many civilian companies use that for qualifications
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Old 11-26-2010, 12:29 AM
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Hi : Thought I would add my 2 cents worth. There is a lot of good information here as well as some good advice. I have served 21 years in the (Canadian) airforce, I know that things are a little different here than they are in the United States but all in all the military is the same the world over.
I started in the ranks as an enlisted man and eventually took my commission and became an officer.Like someone mentioned earlier, I feel this is the best way to go. Firstly you learn the job from the ground up and this way you will know what you are asking of your men later as you assume command. I have found from working under several officers that the best ones started at the bottom and worked their way up.
As for the question of Army or Airforce, well both have their advantages. Army does cool stuff and is a very physical career where as I find the the Airfoce to be more suited for the guy that likes technical things and more of the book work environment. I like the saying " the Army digs in and the Airforce checks in" that about sums it up for me.
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Old 11-27-2010, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MADDOG View Post
You won't join as an officer unless you do the ROTC thing in college. And you won't join as a higher rank enlisted...everyone starts at square one.
As for joining at a higher rank, if you have "XX" college credits, you will come in as an E-2, but if you have more (can't remember how many), you can (as I did) join as an E-3. Now for getting your commision (officer), you will need a minimum of a BA. Alot of my friends have done some time as enlisted and then applied for a commissioning once they had thier BA or Masters, but even then, the Air Force needs dictate what the AF wants. Some earlier posts regarding AF Academy Grads is true (I spent 6.5 years in Colorado Springs at the Academy and Peterson)...some of them DO think they are mightier than thou, but that usually doesn't last too long. If you are serious about joining, talk to a recruiter and ask them about getting commissioned. Your local college should have some contact info...check with a guidance counselor and they should be able to get you started in the right direction.

PS: 4 Dec will make it 21 years for me and once I retire, I will be receiving a retirement check for the rest of my life. But I have heard some rumors that may change soon.........
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:24 AM
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only 4 more years to go for retirement then Rinnels69, whats nObama going to do, make you do 30?

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Old 11-27-2010, 03:37 AM
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I don't know how much my experience is here, but I'm a trained aerospace engineer, attempted to join up with the Canadian forces, but was declined due to medical reasons... (apparently full dentures is a disqualifying feature ) however, I had spent some time in our pre-officer program... and honestly, I would not recommend a commission. Too many of the officers I worked with had the 'I know all' attitude and do NOT prove them wrong. Most of my co-op programs were Forces-related, and the NCOs and techs were the people with the real knowledge, the officers were just in charge of logistics. You can also come out of it with some great knowledge and hands-on if you're enlisted.
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