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Thinking of joining the Air Force.

Discussion in 'Veteran's Forum' started by Cango, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. Cango

    Cango

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    I'm 18, live and grew up in Va near Langley. My Dads a Cop, my grandfather was in the Navy. The military has been in the back of my mind as long as I can remember. I have a GED, just because I got lazy and dropped outta high school instead of sucking it up and finishing it. I have horrible eyesight, am about 10 pounds overweight (about 1 pound more than what the max is for joining the air force at my height) and has Asthma when I was younger. Despite all this, I'm still seriously thinking of trying to enlist into the AF as Security Forces. Was wondering if anyone has been in shoes similar to mine, and can give some insight/comments.

    I haven't talked to a recruiter yet, should I set up an appointment or just show up? I tried calling twice during the week and both times noone picked up. Are they open on saturdays?
     
  2. habu3

    habu3

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    If you are really serious about joining the Air Force, keep trying. I'm not sure why nobody answered the phone, but maybe they were out on calls. You might try going by the office. If they are busy you can always setup an appointment at that time.

    There are restrictions on eyesight depending on the field you want to go into. Some of them state it must be correctable though so it may not be an issue. The recruiter will probably tell you to shed the extra pounds, but you never know.

    Good luck!

    USAF MSgt Ret.
     

  3. ret_marine2003

    ret_marine2003

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    Asthma is the deal killer.

    Maybe you could find a way to make that history go away?

    I used to work with a recruiter that was good at re-inventing history.
     
  4. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    You can get the asthma waved. I went through Army OSUT with 3 guys in my platoon that had. At least one soldier in my current platoon also has asthma. They said that it was a pain in the arse, but they eventually got in. The job you are seeking will require a "Secret"-level clearance and you really don't want to risk your military career on a lie during your initial enlistment.

    Your recruiter may try to get you to lie, but if you press, he'll take you through all the steps. You'll need to see an army doctor at some point and they'll have you take a breathing test.

    A few other points:
    Security forces are among the most commonly deployed in the Air Force. Expect 6 months deployed out of every year (shorter tours than Army).

    The Air Force is currently overstrength, which makes it a little harder to get waivers and such. Certain jobs and ranks will be strongly encouraged to retire or change branches (security forces will stay a high-demand job, so this probably won't affect you).

    Promotion in the Air Force usually requires written examinations, one on your job and one on general Air Force stuff (military curtesy, Air Force history, drill and ceremony, etc.). Your skill as a test taker will play an enormous role in how fast you advance.

    Some jobs advance very very slowly, especially in the Air Force, while others promote much faster. Do some research to find out which you'll be getting into.

    The Air Force demands the best for their men and the best from them. (Some Airmen at Tallil are still living in tents because the trailers delivered weren't up to standard. The Army was perfectly happy to take the trailers off their hands).

    Heck, I'm biased, since I'm in the Army. Meet interesting people and kill them, etc. Congratulations on your decision and your willingness to serve. Stick with it and you can make it possible.

    -Biscuits
     
  5. Sam White

    Sam White I miss you bud Silver Member

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    Only you know how badly you want to join. If you have the desire, you should give it your all.

    Try calling the recruiter some more, or just show up. I don't think anyone will give you a hard time if you just show up. Granted, I'm in the Army, but I just showed up one day and they made sure I got an appointment.

    The circumstances of your medical issues will determine which jobs you will be allowed to take if you are able to join the Air Force. That could be an issue for you as well: do you only want to join if you can get Security Forces or would you take a different job if that's all you are able to get? In my case, I wanted to serve, and the job I took was secondary to being able to enlist. Whether or not you get the waiver(s) you will need depends partly upon your determination. Just like you will need to hunt down the recruiter, you may need to keep after him/her to process your waiver. Like someone said above, the Air Force is overstrength right now so you will have to fight that much harder to get in. I got a medical waiver easily and I've known a bunch of others who did as well, but we're in the Army.

    It only took me 4 months to get enlisted, with my medical waiver and losing 25 lbs. If you want an example of someone who fought a long battle to get into the Air Force, you should look at some posts by Mr. Murphy. I believe it took him 2 years. He is a perfect example of initiative and persistence.
     
  6. MrMurphy

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

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    I am currently Air Force Security Forces, active duty overseas. I just graduated tech school, so if you wanna know, I'm "recent".


    PM me if you want more details.


    I lost 30 pounds for the AF, and passed SF school at 27 going on 28. I suck at running. However I have a good memory and am a good shot, so most of the school stuff outside PT was easy for me.

    If you can hack the discipline and PT, keep your zipper zipped and your brain on school, you'll do fine.


    AF basic training is no cake walk (easier than Army basic, which I did for Army ROTC, but not by much) and by the time you get in, it'll be longer/harder and very, very similar to Army basic.

    I'm on duty much of the time, so if you PM and I don't answer, gimme a day, I might be doing something.

    And to correct pierre, it took me 2.8 years and a medical waiver, plus losing 30lbs. :)
     
  7. mdvctry

    mdvctry

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    MrMurphy has given you good advice. Before you go down and talk to a recruiter, get yourself in shape and put some discipline in your life, if you want to join the Air Force or any service. If you need someone else to put discipline in your life, the military is not the place for you and if you get "lazy" and quit the military, a less than honorable discharge or a chapter "out" can follow you for the rest of your life and can keep you from buying handguns.
     
  8. Biscuitsjam

    Biscuitsjam

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    I think if you want to join and think it is the right choice for you, it is better to start the process now rather than later.

    1. There is a gap between talking to the recruiter and going to MEPS (Military Enlistment Processing System - I think), especially if you need to seek waivers. Go ahead and start it now, since it may take a while to work through the system (it took me over a month WITHOUT needing any waivers).

    2. There is another gap between enlistment and basic training. Mine was 3 weeks. Some are 12 months. Very few leave within days of signing on the dotted line. Your date is your choice within what's available, and usually there will be plenty of time to get in better shape.

    3. Even if you miss your target weight by 1 pound (your weight fluctuates more than that over the course of a day), you'll probably still pass the "tape test" and be allowed to join.

    I'd say that there is still plenty of time to get in shape before you go to basic. Seeing a recruiter now will get the potentially time-intensive process of getting waivers started now rather than later. It may also help to associate a name and a face with your goals when it comes to losing weight and getting in shape.

    It is possible to ruin a military career through lack of discipline. However, you'll have plenty of opportunities to learn the skills you need, both in basic training and later. Whether they stick is up to you. If you get in the right mindset and stay that way, you'll do fine.
     
  9. PeterJasonMN

    PeterJasonMN ****

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    I went to enlist at the airbase here 2 mo. before 9/11. Recruiter liked me, and I passed my interview with SF Lt. (No pass interview, he told recruiter right there not to have you sign up for SF. Lucky for me he was also a State Trooper for my county and we'd met once on good terms and once on a pullover).

    The guy loved my education, life experience, etc etc. Then he got to my weight "250". "Call me in 51 pounds." Had I got in, I'd now be in Big Sandy.

    Since then I've been yo-yo'ing. I'm currently working on my 4 year, and as long as I don't slack, I'll still be young enough for OCS if I want to enlist. Who knows. By then maybe I'll have a cop job by then.
     
  10. MrMurphy

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

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    There was an idiot on my training team. Nearly ruined my wedding day as a matter of fact. 6'2, 200lbs of solid muscle. Former personal trainer. Strong as hell, good runner, decent shot, passed most of the tests fine. But an absolute moron when it came to discipline or having any self control.

    He's now in jail for multiple violations of Article 92, and several others (108, 94 and a few more I think).

    And for any SFers out there, he wanted to go 820th! I think they would have used him for an airspeed checker before jumping, and not issued him a working chute.

    "Asthma" (whether you really have it or not) is a major killer in SF school. I know a guy, highly motivated, smart and in shape who nearly suceeded in staying in the AF because he had a cough when he went to Reid medical center (sick call for something else entirely) they had him take the asthma test. If you take that, you will NEVER, EVER pass from all I've ever heard. 3 different docs later, they claimed he had asthma, even though he says he doesn't (and he's a PT fanatic, runs like crazy, you think he'd know).

    If you're motivated enough, and can get around the asthma thing, PM me for more info. But talk to a recruiter first. They might not let you in because of that up front. However, the Army probably will. I know two "asthma" cases from the AF who either didn't have it or not very bad who went Army.
     
  11. PeterJasonMN

    PeterJasonMN ****

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    Murph,

    At my police academy we had a kid who claimed he was former 820th.

    Also said he'd HALO'd into Afghanistan, etc etc.

    This is kind of surprising since this is the same guy who would talk back to squad leaders IN formation, and while correcting people's tests he would draw bongs/joints on them.

    If he actually was in there it's a wonder someone from his own side didn't shoot him, because we all thought about doing it.
     
  12. Sam White

    Sam White I miss you bud Silver Member

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    I'll go along with Biscuits on this one.

    I started out with a Naval Reserve recruiter, and it took a couple of weeks to get paperwork together and schedule a physical. It took a couple of months trying to get the medical waiver after passing the physical. The waiver was denied and the recruiter gave me my stack of paperwork back. Someone suggested I try the Army instead, so I saw an Army Reserve recruiter the next day. He took a couple of weeks to process my packet (he was able to recycle most of my paperwork), and then there were three more trips to MEPS after I got my waiver. Then it was another month from when I signed to the day I left- and this was only because they had a training slot available for the MOS at that time. Otherwise, it would have been the next spring before I shipped. Btw, out of the 30 lbs. I lost to get in, I lost the last five in the weeks before final weigh-in on ship day.

    I don't know about the Air Force, but with the Army will make sure you have what you need to survive while you're in training and will help you find it within yourself. This is part of what you are supposed to get from BCT in the Army- finding out you can do things you never thought you could do. I'm not saying to go in unprepared; I'm just saying not to get too far ahead of yourself. Lose the weight, do lots of PT, drink water, get used to getting up early, and get your personal business in order. The other stuff will come with time- most people that start basic finish it, and most people who enlist finish their contract.
     
  13. schrack

    schrack

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    Try the AF Reserve, should have office at Langley. Once you get in switch to AD. Reggie
     
  14. A_Swede_17_1911

    A_Swede_17_1911

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    Hey man IM me im a Recuiter for the Army, and I can answer not all the Airforce questions, but answer some of the Medical, and educational questions for you okay? Let me know, but IM me so I can help you out.
     
  15. frefoo

    frefoo

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    Cango,

    I can't speak about the health issues you mentioned in you post.

    I served at Langley (F-15 Avonics) during my four years.

    A bit of advice, if you sign up always enter with a ASVAB... do not go in as "open".

    If you want to be in Security Forces then make sure that is in your contract.

    That way you will not end up being in a job you do not like or did not want to do.

    I saw many people in my BT flight that went in as "open" get assigned to positions they did not want, and they were stuck with it.


    Best of luck