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Maybe the USAF will fit me better.

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Old 07-18-2010, 08:20 PM   #1
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Maybe the USAF will fit me better.

Hey folks, I need some insight and guidance on my thinking here. I posted this question here because not much of my family has served in the armed forces, only a couple but I really dont talk to them and they would all be biased towards the Marines (nothing wrong with them but I figure I'd go a different route)

So, here it is.

I finished junior college for pharmacy tech back in Feb, the reason I decided on this course was because I had just been fired from my job and wanted to hurry up and do something else, so I jumped into pharmacy.

Ive been working as one for about 4 months now and its pretty boring, I mean its not all fast paced or anything like I was told it was. It doesnt bother me much but the boredom sure does get to me at times. You would think that it would be great to get paid to do nothing but it actually SUCKS to do nothing.

Well across the parking lot there is a military careers office and started to get myself interested in the military again, I have always wanted to fly.

I did some research and found that they had a Pharmacy tech position. I found that another plus as I'd have more experience when my service was over translating in better civilian job.

BUT, at the same time i want to join and be part of an air crew at least.

I dont want to waste my time at a boring job, especially at my age, I feel like I am not at my potential at my current job. Plus, military life looks like it would be easier for me.

I am giving this civilian life another 6-8 months before I make the decision.

Any input will be highly regarded. Thanks brothers.

And special thanks to all of our service men.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:39 PM   #2
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If you're interested, I say go for it. Although a long career in the AF wasn't for me, I don't regret my service and would encourage anyone who's interested to do it. The professional development, brotherhood, field training, responsibility at young age, tactics training, etc. was all something you can't get anywhere else and is a great asset when contributing as a productive member of society.

Of course I'm biased towards the Air Force (AF), but if flying is really what you want to do, it is the obvious choice. Of course the other services have flying options too, but the odds are in your favor in the AF.

Beware of recruiters though! Remember, they are salesmen with a quota. They will stretch the truth just shy of guaranteeing your dream job just to get you to sign up. Just make sure you read the fine print and will be happy with whatever job you get. If you want to fly the airplanes and/or get your degree, consider ROTC (reserve officer training school) or OTS (officer training school) and become an officer. The pay is better too
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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The exciting stuff is all, "under the table."

The Military's always looking for good men and women to serve. You'll get your fill of excitement being a pharmaceutical technician or a member of a JSTARS crew. It may be different levels of excitement, but albeit excitement at least. It's not just the exciting stuff that comes with the Military though. It's a commitment, if you like moving around every few years or so, then maybe, but there's other things too. Not being able to see your family (or truck) for months at a time gets to some people. Some people just were not brought in to this world to want to work, and it seems like a lot of these people are joining these days, and sometimes you're going to be stuck working with them. I will say though, the Military does take good care of their servicemembers and your benefits will be oustanding. As a pharm tech, you've already got pretty good job security, but there is also that job aspect in the military as well. Hope this helps. Good luck with your decision, what ever it may be.

Jake
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryde09 View Post
Of course I'm biased towards the Air Force (AF), but if flying is really what you want to do, it is the obvious choice. Of course the other services have flying options too, but the odds are in your favor in the AF.
Navy has more fixed wing aircraft. Army has more rotary wing.

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Originally Posted by larryde09 View Post
Beware of recruiters though! Remember, they are salesmen with a quota. They will stretch the truth just shy of guaranteeing your dream job just to get you to sign up. Just make sure you read the fine print and will be happy with whatever job you get. If you want to fly the airplanes and/or get your degree, consider ROTC (reserve officer training school) or OTS (officer training school) and become an officer. The pay is better too
Definitely a yes on the ROTC thing, especially since you're already in your junior year, start talking to an officer recruiter, and see what you qualify for. You may get the full ROTC bennies, or you may just be an OCS candidate. Do your homework, know what you're getting into before you go in.

A lot of recruiters will tell you things to get you to join. (They don't have "quotas," they have "goals." ) Some will be straightforward and honest and tell you, yes duty days stink, for the first 2-3 years as an enlistedman you'll be scrubbing toilets and showers, maybe even longer. As a former recruiter, when someone was to the point on thinking that the branch I was working for was their thing, I'd tell them the ins and outs to assure them that it's not all pies and cupcakes, and there's an actual job to be filled. They appreciated that most of all, and most if not all of them have enjoyed their service, and thanked me for being upfront. If you ask a recruiter straight up, and tell them you're not in there for cupcakes, you want a job, they'll be honest with you. Most people these days want it all for nothing, so that's what the recruiters are "selling."

Good points brought up.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryde09 View Post
If you want to fly the airplanes and/or get your degree, consider ROTC (reserve officer training school) or OTS (officer training school) and become an officer. The pay is better too
Degree in what?

I already have my associates of science if thats what you mean.


And thanks to both of you for input
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unentered View Post
Navy has more fixed wing aircraft. Army has more rotary wing.



Definitely a yes on the ROTC thing, especially since you're already in your junior year, start talking to an officer recruiter, and see what you qualify for. You may get the full ROTC bennies, or you may just be an OCS candidate. Do your homework, know what you're getting into before you go in.

.
Can you elaborate on the ROTC
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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ROTC so that you don't have to go to OTS afterward. Probably the best route to go. I have to go to OTS and that's now 12 weeks long for us!
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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I am pretty sure the Air Force requires a 4 year bachelors degree to be a pilot. The field the degree is in doesn't really matter much.

You can get on an air crew without a degree, but you need one to be a pilot.

I believe the army is the only branch where the pilots are not required to have a degree.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
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You'd need a Bachelor's degree to be commissioned as an officer, as he was Saying, ROTC would pay your school and you'd get your military training in school, instead of going through school, then having to go through extra military Officer Candidate or Officer Training School.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mxboy57 View Post
I believe the army is the only branch where the pilots are not required to have a degree.
The Navy's starting to put LDO's and CWO's in whirlibirds too.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:26 PM   #11
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I saw your post in the Jobs/Careers forum as well, and wanted to let you know that your Associate's degree is good for enlisting into the E-3 Paygrade as an Enlistedman. Once you're in, some branches will take it into consideration towards promotion, but it will not get you a commission. Man, I am just blowin' up this thread, sorry for all the scattered replies, just tryin' to keep ya informed.

Jake
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unentered View Post
I saw your post in the Jobs/Careers forum as well, and wanted to let you know that your Associate's degree is good for enlisting into the E-3 Paygrade as an Enlistedman. Once you're in, some branches will take it into consideration towards promotion, but it will not get you a commission. Man, I am just blowin' up this thread, sorry for all the scattered replies, just tryin' to keep ya informed.

Jake
Yea I put in the jobs/careers section but then seen the military section and thought it would fit better here.

And I dont think youre blowin the thread up, its just more info for me and any other member in the same shoes. THANKS.

I'll trust you guys over some recruiter trying to fill his quota.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:56 PM   #13
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And what degree is required to fly?

Any one as long as its a bachelors?

Plus I'd settle for air crew.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:11 PM   #14
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A bachelor's is required to gain a commission. They don't take just any degree, but that info can be had on their websites, or ask.military.com some of the branches' sites are very vague, but some get down to great detail, the info's out there to be had one way or another. There's other qualifying factors too, not just the degree. Color blind, vision, criminal record, countries you've visited, and anything that'd go into a security clearance investigation. Taking pills for anything, asthma, those are just some of the ones that I've seen disqualify most people, there's a whole tonna disqualifying things.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:18 PM   #15
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How long is the waiting list to even go to boot camp? Marines are like 6 months. From what I understand, most services are looking for 18 y/o upcoming HS seniors that afford to wait to go to boot camp.

Like they said... you ain't flying shit unless you're an officer AND pass flight school.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:27 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlemike View Post
How long is the waiting list to even go to boot camp? Marines are like 6 months. From what I understand, most services are looking for 18 y/o upcoming HS seniors that afford to wait to go to boot camp.

Like they said... you ain't flying shit unless you're an officer AND pass flight school.
Waiting list depends on the job. It's all about what's important to you, if you want to leave now, you might be cleaning fuel tanks then pumping gas, then managing fuel as you get promoted... If you are willing to wait you're more apt to get the job you want, flight crew, or whatever.
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:45 PM   #17
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I'm a USAF pilot. Went through ROTC in college. Bachelors in Kinesiology/Exercise Science. Shoot me an email for more info. I'd be glad to fill you in on the "road to wings".

Take care.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:30 AM   #18
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Give the AF Reserve or National Guard a thought. You keep your boring civilian job but also get the excitement of a military career. Could be what you are looking for.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:50 AM   #19
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I think the OP still needs some background....

To be a pilot, you need to be an officer. To be an officer, you need a bachelor's degree. What I was getting at is that if you have any desire to get a B.S. degree, go to ROTC and get your commission as an officer. If you're satisfied with your A.S., then maybe enlisting is right for you. Like the other posters said, just because you earn a commission as an officer doesn't mean you'll be a pilot. I was disqualified from being a pilot and therefore served my time as an engineer and program manager. The officers "lead" and make decisions...I say that lightly because the senior enlisted really make a lot of those decisions, but what I'm getting at is that officers are responsible for these things the day they join whereas a new enlistee has to scrub toilets (borrowing another poster's statement) for a couple years to earn some clout.

OTS (officer training school) and OCS (officer candidate school) are the military schools you go to after you've graduated from college...they teach you how to march, wear a uniform, customs & courtesies, military history, leadership, etc. These schools take a number of weeks to complete. ROTC on the other hand is basically OTS/OCS wrapped up with your normal college classes. Therefore, the day you graduate college is the day you join the military...there's no delay in training. However, you have to take more classes (e.g. your military education) and reduces your party time I did ROTC and it is the best way to go if you have enough time before graduation, which it sounds like you do. ROTC also typically has scholarship programs whereas OTS requires that you finance school by your own means, although I'm not sure if they have programs where they'll repay some of your loans.
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:49 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryde09 View Post
I think the OP still needs some background....

To be a pilot, you need to be an officer. To be an officer, you need a bachelor's degree. What I was getting at is that if you have any desire to get a B.S. degree, go to ROTC and get your commission as an officer. If you're satisfied with your A.S., then maybe enlisting is right for you. Like the other posters said, just because you earn a commission as an officer doesn't mean you'll be a pilot. I was disqualified from being a pilot and therefore served my time as an engineer and program manager. The officers "lead" and make decisions...I say that lightly because the senior enlisted really make a lot of those decisions, but what I'm getting at is that officers are responsible for these things the day they join whereas a new enlistee has to scrub toilets (borrowing another poster's statement) for a couple years to earn some clout.

OTS (officer training school) and OCS (officer candidate school) are the military schools you go to after you've graduated from college...they teach you how to march, wear a uniform, customs & courtesies, military history, leadership, etc. These schools take a number of weeks to complete. ROTC on the other hand is basically OTS/OCS wrapped up with your normal college classes. Therefore, the day you graduate college is the day you join the military...there's no delay in training. However, you have to take more classes (e.g. your military education) and reduces your party time I did ROTC and it is the best way to go if you have enough time before graduation, which it sounds like you do. ROTC also typically has scholarship programs whereas OTS requires that you finance school by your own means, although I'm not sure if they have programs where they'll repay some of your loans.
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... ^^^ ... IMO, this explains it very well.

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