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Enlisting in USAF, Any Advice?

Discussion in 'The US Air Force Forum' started by BayouGlocker, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. I spent 21 years in Communications as a 2E173, Ground Radio Maint Tech and retired in 2002 as a MSgt (E-7). There are so many options with this job but you would be best in it if you have an aptitude for electronics. There are slots with Special Ops, NSA, NASA, R&D, etc, all while being in the Air Force. On the plus side I was able to ge an Instrumentation Tech job at a Power Plant that pays very well.

    If you want a challenging job, check out Pararescue, Combat Control Team, Combat Weather to just mention a few.

    Since Security Forces restructured awhile back, there are not different jobs or career fields like LE, Security Police, and CATM. They are a large pool and assigned from that at their duty station depending on needs. A former Security Forces member may correct me on this. I know manning was so low at Malmstrom when I was there that they forcast their leave a year in advance where I could ask and usually get leave a day in advance.

    I had an excellent recruiter when I went in but I pretty much aced the ASVAB so they knew I wasn't just a warm body in a slot.

    Personnally, I would not mention the asthma if you have not had any problems in the last several years. I found out from my mom I had asthma as a child but I already had 10 years in the service so I never said a thing since it was a non issue.

    Good Luck

    DaveUSAF

    LajesField, Azores 82-84
    Dobbins AFB, Ga 84-88
    Incirlik AB, Turkey 88-89
    Malmstrom AFB, Mt 89-96
    Incirlik AB, Turkey 96-98
    Tinker AFB, Ok 98-00
    Osan AB, Korea 00-02
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  2. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    12,972
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    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    CATM is a seperate branch inside SF. You generally switch over and stay there. For years. Sometimes if manning's tight they'll pull you (I deployed with a CATM SSgt who had that happen, he was a regular line NCO instead of CATM as we didn't have a role for that) but they generally stay in CATM from SSgt through TSgt since there's not too many MSgt spots in CATM available, then go back to flight or retire.
     


  3. BayouGlocker

    BayouGlocker

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    May 12, 2010
    NW Louisiana
    Thanks for all the replies. I'm still waiting on the local hospitals and clinics to get my records to my recruiter. Longest and most annoying thing so far.

    Thanks for the imput about SF. It's something I am interested in because I am interested in a possible carreer in law enforcment. I'm also a gun nut (go figure, this is GT afterall...).

    However, I am keeping my options open. When I was in high school I got a 90 or something on the ASVAB, so we'll see how things go when I'm finally able to take it again. I've been told that depending on how things work out, they could stick me in a job that requires higher scores, simply because they need the guys who can qualify for those jobs.

    For all I know, I could end up assigned something I never would have dreamed up, and end up loving it.

    As far as getting ready for basic goes, I'm going to start getting with some buddies and working out. I'm already in decent shape, but would like to build up my strength and endurance a bit.
     
  4. Gunner442

    Gunner442

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    • I gotta agree yet disagree. Security forces( Security Specialist) 1988-2004, 1st Sgt 2004-2007. Retired in 2007. I was SAC ( Barksdale LA), USAFE ( Europe), AMC( transports), and 1st Sgt for a C-130 Sq, and a Civil Engineer Sq. Yes, like any police job the hours and shifts can suck. It can be boring no doubt. But, I've done my time on the "stone" guarding nukes, etc. I've also worked in the armory, training, and as a Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection NCO. The career field is not for everyone... Currently SF is heavily deployed in Afghanistan, and Iraq so lots of time in the "box". And yes, SF does go outside the wire. As far as jobs, and you might think this is BS, but I tool my SF background, earned a degree on my off duty time(on-line) and now currently work in the homeland security world for a governmental agency. I would also agree that a flying job(loadmaster) is a pretty good life, and worth considering. I was able to work embedded security with the aircrews, which was very cool. PM me if you want, I married a LA girl...
     
  5. bluelineman

    bluelineman Infidel كافر

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    Apr 17, 2005
    Texas
    Keep in mind that having military police on your resume doesn't necessarily transfer to civilian police jobs. In Texas, most agencies (in this area) don't recognize military police as having experience in the civilian world.
     
  6. Donny Doyle

    Donny Doyle

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    Dec 20, 2010
    I turned 23 my first week at Lackland Basic Training back in 1982. Did four years refueling planes. No regrets, met Pres. Reagan had plenty of good times mainly because I STAYED SINGLE !!!! Don't get hung up on this bit of "I have to have a job that relates to the civilian world when I get out stuff" That's years away and who knows what you'll be interested in doing for a living then. Stay away from the dope guys, keep alcohol to a min, and keep a positive attitude and you'll enjoy your time. Remember that 100 years from now there will be records of your military service for your great-grandkids to read so behave yourself.
     
  7. page329

    page329

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    Mar 29, 2009
    WPAFB, Dayton Ohio
    LOL @ Ralff. Are you a 9S?

    Advice to the OP:
    1. First and foremost: No matter what job you do, GET IT IN WRITING. There are plenty of horror stories of people not getting a contract for their job and they end up flipping omelettes for 4-6 years.

    2. I'm a 9S100, which as Ralff alluded to is a highly technical career field. If you can qualify for it I would give it the highest recommendation (requires the highest ASVAB scores). Most recruiters are unfamiliar with this field because there are so few of us in the AF, so you will have to press on them if you are really interested. If you don't qualify for it, you should still try for something technical or that has a security clearance because both will provide you the best options for a job once you decide to leave the AF. Flying jobs are also very cool, but not sure of the employability factor after the AF for those jobs....

    3. If you are very physically minded and in great shape (mentally as well as physically), you can try Pararescue, Combat Control Team, TACP, or Combat Weather

    4. It's my advice that you should stay away from Security Forces, Crew Chief, or any services related fields. I've known people in all theses fields and they have some of lowest morale and job satisfaction for a multitude of reasons

    Hope this helps. Whatever you do...good luck!
     
  8. Ralff

    Ralff

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    Central FL
    Yep, cross trained over from 3D back when it was 3C. I'm at headquarters in GEMS. 9S folks are by far the most unique people I think I've ever come across. :rofl:
     
  9. TSAX

    TSAX USAF Vet

    10,162
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    Jun 5, 2010
    OK, 1st of all there are several jobs from personnel and admin to flight line to medical you can do. I am an HR professional.

    Personnel jobs can help you with admin jobs like HR and office type positions. Flight line jobs like refuelers, cargo loaders, crew chiefs can get you jobs at the airport. Medical can consist of dental tech, x-ray tech, etc and lots of hospitals like hiring prior service with experience in the support staff/non doctor rolls. Even working in services you can learn hospitality skills for hotel, travel, etc type jobs.

    Now for more about "Security Forces". When I was in the USAF I was I was part of the 2nd class of the new school "Security Forces" program. Before it was just Law Enforcement troops and Security. Now a days what jobs you do fro "Security Forces" much depends on where your stationed and where you go TDY. If you at at a missile/you know what type base you will most likely be on some fire team protecting a silo somewhere. If you are at an priority aircraft base then you will be guarding a plane for a while. If you are at a base that is has mainly basic flight line with a low protection level that is a large hub which is mainly a Law Enforcement base like I was at most of my time then you can actually get some good LE training that will help you on the outside.

    I was recruited by a few local LE agencies when I got out. Passed all the tests, back round and if I didn't decide on a career change I would be an LEO now. Many people who were stationed at prior bases said they learned more about LE while at my base then any other. I know that many bases don't emphasize LE training as much of Security because of their mission/commanders preference/lack of quality trainers/whatever else.

    Several of the Reservists/Guard/IMA guys at my station where LE on the outside but stated as LE troops in the USAF. Some of the guys in my squadron got out an became civilian LE in the hard to be LE state of CA. One of my MSgts even was sent to a POST ( California Police Officers Standards and Training ) academy while he was in and paid for by my squadron.

    The military was a great experience for me. Make sure you read all the documents and get a guaranteed contract/job in writing so you don't get placed into open general. If you do then you will not not what job you get until mid way through basic and you may not get what you want. Good Luck! I wish you well.
     
  10. md2lgyk

    md2lgyk

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    Mar 23, 2001
    WV
    If you decide to try for Combat Control, Pararescue, or other "high speed" career field, be aware that the dropout rate for those is huge. My oldest grandson enlisted for Combat Control (a 6-year enlistment) but washed out of the physical training. I don't know his specific AFSC now, but it deals with satellite communications and he hates it.
     
  11. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    12,972
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    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    Agreed. CCT, PJ,TACP etc have about a 75% drop rate, and about 50% of those don't last the first month i'd say.
     
  12. kenga236

    kenga236

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    Jan 2, 2011
    With that said, you still have an edge on someone with no police or military experience. You also get veterans preference points on a police test. Now that we are in a war on terror, every military recruit becomes a veteran of a war, thus getting the bonus points. I am 21 years Security Police / Forces. It's a good job, good money (depending on your rank). If you want to be a civilian police officer, having military police experience is certainly a plus.

    ___________________
    "At the Heart of Freedom, There is Bravery."
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011
  13. BayouGlocker

    BayouGlocker

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    May 12, 2010
    NW Louisiana
    Thanks everyone for the replies. I know the drop out rate is huge for Pararescue and the other high intensity guys. I also know that I would have to have lasik before being able to qualify for those jobs. Although I am interested in them, I acknowledge my physical limitations.

    I did finally get a medical waiver!!! The hospital took forever and a day to get the stuff done, and the AF cleared me in just a few days! It's amazing!!! Now I simply have to get a traffic ticket resolved and I'm golden to go to MEPS.

    Another job I've considered is EOD. I know it's a big deal to sign up to work with stuff that can literally blow you to pieces, but I'm mechanically inclined and like dealing with electronics and puzzles. I know this doesn't automatically mean I'll be good at it, much less it be a good idea. If anyone has experience in this field I'd really appreciate sharing it.
     
  14. Ralff

    Ralff

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Central FL
    No experience with EOD, but I know they get one hell of a bonus. :supergrin:
     
  15. Mwildt

    Mwildt

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    Mar 23, 2003
    Lexington, KY
    Met several EOD guys going through Tech School, they ate with us at the same cafeteria. Met several that washed out too. The vast majority of the ones that washed out said it was due to the bookwork and not the physical requirements. They all said it's a very technical career field (not surprising of course) and that you have to stay up on the course work going through Tech or you're done.

    Always got a laugh out of them having to lug that suit around too. It would go everywhere with them. Saw it more than once at lunch sitting at the table with its own chair, tray and dishes sitting in front of it.

    Hats off to them by the way, tough job.
     
  16. TSAX

    TSAX USAF Vet

    10,162
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    Jun 5, 2010
    In some areas in Texas they might not recognize but every state and agency does not view this the same way. I was recruited by a few departments and a few did not acknowledge my LE experience but did acknowledge that at least a background with top secret clearance, firearms experience, leadership experience and with very good recommendation letters counts for something.

    An experienced recruit does have some advantages but the other way to look at it is that a department might want a fresh body since they might have different techniques in doing somethings and don't want to have to retrain or have the recruit unlearn some other training that may conflict with their philosophies in how to deal with a situation.

    Either way I'm happy I made the choice to go Security Forces. I learned several non police specific skills like training and development techniques, supervision, management, scheduling, logistics, responsibility, work ethic, adversity and much more that has helped me with professions when I left the Military.
     
  17. AFshooter

    AFshooter

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    Nebraska, USA
    This, but if you are looking for action, 1A3 and 1A4. Right now, 1A4 specifically.

    PM me for details.
     
  18. Markasaurus

    Markasaurus

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    Dec 13, 2009
    I enlisted in the USAF April 1980. I also had childhood asthma that went away when i was 7. I told my recruiter this and he told me on the sly, the following: "Don't ever tell them this, if you want to join up! If they ask you if you ever had asthma the answer is no!"
    I hate to tell you this but you should not have told them if there was any way not to (it showed up on some medical records they searched or did you tell them?)

    The Air force is the best service to be in, in most ways - the best food, the best quarters and the most women! Most of the people are great and you will have a lot of friends. Advice? Yes i have some:

    - It's worth serving four years to get all the good stuff - the minimum - but DON'T sign up for the six year thing on your first enlistment, not even for an extra stripe (which is all you are going to get out of that deal!) Reason, if you find yourself at some point stuck in a yucky situation - bad post, lousy supervision, assignment you hate - you'll regret doing that!

    -Think hard about the job choice you make before you sign. Security Police is fine if you really want it. But there isn't much demand in civilian life for that skill unless you intend to join a police force someday. You are doing the time and signing your body and soul over to Uncle Sam for 4 long years, my advice is pick a skill with a direct civilian application.
    I signed up for missile pneumatic/hydraulic systems tech, finished the 3 month training, and thought i'd have it made after i got out. WRONG! There aren't any Titan II's to be serviced in civilian life and the training was too generalized for anyone to pay attention to it on a resume. Like i said, choose your AFSC wisely (you'll find out what that is later if you haven't been told already).

    -Even if there's a wait list for the job you want and you can't join the Air Force right away because of that, wait for your desired training to open up if you can and don't settle for something else! If you choose delayed enlistment, all the time counts toward your 2 years inactive reserve that comes after you get out, so you won't be losing much by waiting.

    -Air force training is tougher then it used to be. All we had to do was run a mile and a half and do a lot of marching. We never did a single push-up. those sissy days are over and the physical training is harder now, and so is the combat training aspect of it. Also my basic training was 6 weeks long, yours will be 8.
    Do make a serious effort to get in shape before you go in! Run and walk as much as you can. Spend lots of time in a standing position, because you are going to be doing a hell of a lot of that too.

    -If you think you may want to make a career out of the Air force, remember you (and everybody else you are with) are going to be observed constantly and everything you say will be significant. Not in a paranoid kind of way but be aware you will be constantly sized up - the Air force has a real interest in knowing what sort of character you have and what you are like. Don't worry too much about this because the air force realizes that none of its members are going to be perfect. But when in doubt, "take the high road" about things. Don't backstab or talk badly about other people, this is often rewarded in the civilian world but more often then not in the military, is seen as a bad reflection on you and not the other person (unless they are a genuine menace and a danger to themselves or others).
    Respect your superior NCO's and officers no matter what kind of wimps or idiots they might seem to be (this guy or gal might be writing your next evaluation report, which is all-important if you intend to be a lifer).

    -Sign up for new GI bill from the get-go if you can afford it (be aware it is very expensive). Especially If you pick training that has no civilian application. If you opt to do your first enlistment and get out, it's nice to have the option of having school paid for instead of being forced to look for work straight out of the service (i could not find a decent job for 5 YEARS after i got out).

    -I thought that serving in the military would give me some kind of special status when applying for a civilian job (i was 19 and had too much television or something when i signed up). That's only true IF you are applying for government jobs - federal, state and many but not all municipalities will give you a few points credit on job tests for being a vet.
    The awful truth though is that most civilian employers really could not care less that you served, unless you received some training or skills they need. So get all the training and experience you can especially the stuff with civilian application!

    -Never forget, you should get everything you can out of the service, because they are going to get everything they can out of you!
     
  19. AFshooter

    AFshooter

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    Jan 17, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    Mostly good advise here. I would however not recommend Security Forces. The level of B.S. you have to endure is not really worth it vs. many other AFSCs.
    The only positive side I can see is the fact that you can be stationed at nearly every AF station or base. Talk to Mr. Murphy and other prior USAF SF guys before signing up for that.
    I am biased, but like others have said, Aircrew is where it's at if you can qualify.
    As for PJ, CCT, SERE, and others, don't even apply if you think you won't make it.
     
  20. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Moderator Millennium Member Lifetime Member

    12,972
    3
    Jan 16, 2001
    Buried in the X-files
    The GI bill takes $100ish a month for a year. You get back $30k. You're fine.

    As to Security Forces. Yes, in many ways it sucked. But you'll be a cop for the rest of your life and it's not something to laugh at. As to civilian jobs, it's all about how you write up stuff and know how to make military skills applicable to a civilian (don't put it in milspeak). My current job i got partially because of my Security Forces time and it has nothing to do with being a cop.