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post #1 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Air Force Guys - Get in here.

Hey y'all

Long time no see. It's been awhile since I've lurked around here. Yet MM always seems to give some great advice so here I am.

If you all remember, I live in NYC and am an actor. I'm 24 years old, have a B.A. in acting, and have made a decent career for myself doing stage work. I love what I do. I've done it since I was 10 years old, and there's nothing else I want to do for the rest of my life. I know that for a fact, and it's the only career I'll ever pursue.

That being said, I've always felt this serious calling to serve in the armed forces ever since I was a young kid. I know that freedom isn't free, and I've always felt an obligation and calling to do what I can to serve our country in any capacity I can.

I'm getting to an age where I feel if I don't join soon, I won't be able to at all, and I'll wake up in my 30s and severely regret never having done it. I love my life in NY - I have THE perfect damn apartment (which if anyone else is a New Yorker you know is a gold mine you don't ever want to let go of), I'm working consistently in my industry, and am just starting to make a name for myself in the circles of the business I want to be in. But, I keep getting pulled towards this need to do this.

All that being said, I'm strongly considering joining the Air Force in the fall and commissioning as an officer. I have a college degree so I'm pretty sure (if I understand correctly) that after 6 months of OTS, I can begin my time as an officer.

I really would ideally like to do a 4 year contract, that way I'm done with active duty at the age of 28, and can return to my life and my career, just remaining in the individual ready reserves.

At this point, I think I'd likely be looking to become a Security Forces Officer. I've always had an interest in law enforcement and a buddy of mine is an SFO and LOVES it. He said it's long hours, and the deployments get intense, but that it's a great job.

Anyone else here in Security Forces?

I have a lot of skills that are useful. I grew up shooting like crazy and am a pretty excellent marksman. I'm also very technically minded and good with motors. I'm also fantastic with ambassadorship. That being said, any other jobs I should maybe consider?

I don't want to push pencils all day. I would love a job that is interesting and brings something new to the table since I will have a career later that is as opposite as can be from anything in the armed forces.

I have $65,000 in student loan debt - the shit thing is that the Air Force has the lowest loan forgiveness program of all the branches being at only $10k, but I also am pretty certain it has the highest quality of life and the highest pay, which I think is a fair trade off. I'm single, my loans are my only debt, I don't own a car or a house, so traveling is easy for me, and getting out of debt would be my priority.

What are y'alls thoughts? Experiences? Stories to share? Advice?

Anything?

I'd appreciate any help or advice. Thanks in advance guys.



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post #2 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 07:36 PM
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well first off, if you don't want to push pencils all day, don't get a commision.


maintenance is a great job, if you're one of the very rare people that like it (me). you work outside in all weather, all day/night, and get almost no recognition. you will also forget what a holiday or weekend is like.


I could never be SecFo. All i've seen them do is check ID's at the gates, and do basic traffic cop stuff. I have no idea what their officers do, probably a lot of paperwork.

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post #3 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 07:53 PM
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Air Force Guys - Get in here.

I'm not in Air Force, just a navy dude. But if you have a good life, don't leave it. The military isn't worth it. You will regret it 3 months into serving. I wish I could paint a picture of the sacrifices, regardless of being single, that happens to us. I don't wish that on anyone. With that said, if you really feel the need to join, Air Force definitely has the best standards. But as an O in any branch, you won't work. It may not be straight admin, but you will be in charge of people and that's about it. Unless you're a pilot or some kind of operator. I would lose my mind if I ever saw an officer with security forces actively doing something. I'm sure towelie will be me up on that.


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post #4 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 08:11 PM
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I'll be honest here, the most "work" i've ever seen a secfo officer do was help the gate guards pass out flyers for alcohol awareness month

---------- Post added at 08:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:02 PM ----------

also, the pay is pretty much the same across all the services. we all get the same base pay (rank and time in service dependent of course) and our allowances are pretty much the same too. The AF does have the highest standard of living though.

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post #5 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting perspective - my army and navy friends have both said similar things, yet all my air force buddies have said that joining was one of the best things they ever did. They all rave about the branch and their jobs.

Base security doesn't sound horrendous to me though. Working as a cop on base sounds appealing to be honest. I've been told as an officer though you can still pretty easily volunteer for deployments, is that correct? I'm joining with the expectation of likely deploying overseas. I'm not one of those people who would be joining, fearful of deployment - I expect it and would likely welcome it.

Towelie, are you stationed out of Nellis? Vegas is my hometown and where my mom lives. If I join, I'd love to be stationed there or somewhere nearby (Creech, Edwards, Travis, etc.) at some point if I could. That'd be so ideal.



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post #6 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 09:19 PM
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Unless you want to get shit on and fucked with repeatedly day in and day out and have to deal with subpar living conditions, don't go enlisted.

Seriously, you already have your bachelors and it would be extremely dumb of you to not capitalize on that and go officer. I can't even begin to tell you how many Marines I had in my unit that had their degrees and regretted every single day of their enlistment because they didn't go officer.

Not that there's anything wrong with being enlisted, because there isn't. But you already have what you need to be ahead of the bell curve. Be aware though that the entire military across the board is going through massive manpower decreases, so certain jobs are hard to get and hard to maintain a career designator in. You'd be best off talking to an officer recruiter, but keep your options open. Don't just stick with the Air Force in mind. Every branch has their pros and cons and depending on what job field you want to focus in, certain branches might not be for you.

Also, keep in mind that most units are experiencing a large decrease in operational tempo due to budget and manpower cuts, so the chances of you being able to go from being fresh off a boot drop to deployed is fairly slim unless you get a job field with high deployment turnover rates.

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post #7 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 10:10 PM
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Wanna be an officer that doesn't push pencils? Join a combat element. Probably one of the only jobs where you will work more than sit at a desk. EOD might be a good choice, but for the love of god. Don't become a MP. From what I see, it's nothing like law enforcement. Other than the badge, gun, and pretty lights.
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post #8 of 16 Old June 5th, 2015, 10:39 PM
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Op i have been in the service 10 years now and i enjoy it. I don't love it but don't hate it. each day has its ups and downs and there are plenty of struggles. You need to talk to a recruiter to get more facts. problem is recruiters will blow sunshine up your ass so you will have to do outside research at the same time. Even though you have a Degree in something does not mean you will get a commission. Recently there have been more and more airmen coming in with degrees cause they were denied commission cause it was not in what the Air force was looking for. A few other draw backs that you have to remember is officers don't settle anywhere. they will move about every 2 years for most of their career and a lot of the time it is not their choice where they go. Since your only looking to stay in for 1 term you will be at the bottom of the pile as a kicked around lieutenant who is looked at as a dummy cause they fill a low position as a OIC working with enlisted people who have been doing the job for a lot longer and don't trust you. if you stay in long enough to make major you will become a squadron commander which is not better than the OIC positions cause now your the guy making the Air force cut backs and delivering all the punishments to enlisted people. Sure their are good things about being commissioned but it is mostly just money you get paid. Most days you will just wear a fake ass smile and lie threw your teeth that everything will be ok, but once the door closes your just another back stabber just trying to make numbers match.


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post #9 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 08:47 AM
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Ill tell you now, having been an NCOIC of BDOC "base defense". That shit sucks, stupid policies and SOPs. High rank officials that get pissed off for not getting special treatment, so you get shat on. I suggest joining the reserves or air guard. You can deploy or volunteer for extra duties like advon while serving your country. You wont have to up and go from home, excepy temporarily for training.

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post #10 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 09:12 AM
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Ok this thread is getting ridiculous. I am in the AF, I was enlisted for 7 years then commissioned as an officer. The AF has done amazing things for my wife and I. She is a Captain and I am a Lt. I'm not "Mr Air Force Blue" but I am thoroughly satisfied with my experience so far. It has everything to do with your attitude going in, and frankly it seems like you have a pretty good one. Dont expect your New York standard of living to follow you around though. Do you think base housing at Little Rock AFB will be the same as NY? Will you be upset if that is the case? Can you adapt? If you want to sit on your hands and be un-involved, your leadership will see it from a mile away the real responsibilities that make you role up your sleeves will pass over you. PM me if you want to talk for real.

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post #11 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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Ok this thread is getting ridiculous. I am in the AF, I was enlisted for 7 years then commissioned as an officer. The AF has done amazing things for my wife and I. She is a Captain and I am a Lt. I'm not "Mr Air Force Blue" but I am thoroughly satisfied with my experience so far. It has everything to do with your attitude going in, and frankly it seems like you have a pretty good one. Dont expect your New York standard of living to follow you around though. Do you think base housing at Little Rock AFB will be the same as NY? Will you be upset if that is the case? Can you adapt? If you want to sit on your hands and be un-involved, your leadership will see it from a mile away the real responsibilities that make you role up your sleeves will pass over you. PM me if you want to talk for real.
Joining the AF by no means is bad, the issue is toxic command and joining after you already have a degree. Even with a good attitude and being squared away, youll get screwed.
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post #12 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 12:06 PM
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Joining the AF by no means is bad, the issue is toxic command and joining after you already have a degree. Even with a good attitude and being squared away, youll get screwed.
Dinged it. I loved my time in the Marine Corps, I loved my job and I loved the Marines I worked with. However, I hated the toxic command climate that was all too apparent at my parent unit. I used to chalk it up to the fact that I was in the Marine Corps until I was temporarily attached to a MEU for deployment and was able to experience a good head shed.

If OP didn't have their degree, I'd say entertain being enlisted, but with their degree it'd be dumb for them to not see what jobs they could get as an officer.

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post #13 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 12:13 PM
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USMC FTW!

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Semper Fidelis. Hoorah!


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post #14 of 16 Old June 6th, 2015, 04:07 PM
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post #15 of 16 Old June 10th, 2015, 04:58 PM
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Joining the AF by no means is bad, the issue is toxic command and joining after you already have a degree. Even with a good attitude and being squared away, youll get screwed.
How will he and I get screwed?

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post #16 of 16 Old June 11th, 2015, 02:57 PM
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I don't think he was talking about you as much as he was just OP in general. You seem to have had a pretty career so far and definitely benefited from your hard work.

What he was saying, for OP's situation, is to not go enlisted when he already has a degree and watch for toxic headsheds. I'm not sure how the Air Force operates so I'm strictly speaking from my experience and time in the Marines.

My MOS when I was in was filled with people who enlisted when they were older as opposed to other MOS's where most join right out of high school. I was actually a bit of an oddity having joined right out of high school since most of my peers were 21+ and even as I moved up the ranks, I had quite a few troops under my charge that were older than I was.

A few of them did have their degrees but for some reason or another decided to go enlisted instead of officer. Usually it was impatience with the officer recruiting process, but once they hit the fleet as a 24/25 year old E-3, they hated being treated like an E-3 and ultimately regretted their decisions to not wait it out.

As far as toxic commands go, you could be a hot shit 5.0/5.0 Marine but if you don't fall under the politics of the head shed then you might as well stop by the PX and grab a jar of vaseline because you're going to get fucked. I watched a lot of Marines either have their careers ruined or just became so discouraged that they decided to get out, which is a sad state of affairs.

I would never discourage anyone from joining the military, but I'm not going to give them a bunch of fluff about it either. I loved my time in but there's obviously things the recruiters aren't going to tell you. Not saying they're going to lie to you, but they're going to omit a few things. Thankfully I had an awesome recruiter when I was going through the process and I was well aware of what I was getting myself into. Sadly, some don't get that luxury and become disenchanted once they hit the fleet because the military wasn't what was sold to them.

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