Enlisting in Air Force

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by JLUGO35, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. JLUGO35 Guest


    Jul 14, 2009
    Inman/Columbia, South Carolina
    Due to the crappy economy many of the scholarships I once had for college are gone. So I'm looking at fair amount of debt when I graduate. I'm entering my junior year and majoring in Information Technology. Just wondering if anyone here is in the Air Force, what is it like? Should I enlist or go to Officer Training School if my passionate is for electronics?
  2. crewrules101 macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007

    Take this for what it is worth. I am not enlisted in any branch of the military, but I have jumped through the hoops to try and enlist.

    While I was not entering the Air Force, I believe the same applies to any branch of the military. Unless it is on paper, it dosen't mean squat.

    I was promised so much stuff when I signed my contract for the USMC. I was promised that I would not be deployed as long as I was in school, I was promised a slot in Officer school, I was promised bonuses, and choice of jobs (which was based on your ASVAB score). Among many of these things, none of them ever came to fruition on paper.

    A side note on MEPS. When you go through the whole bunch of tests and exams, you are just a number. The people there don't care what was promised to you by your recruiter. When it comes time for you to sign on the line, unless you actually have enough time to read your contract, if what your recruiter promised you isn't listed, you are not going to get it.

    Other than that, the recruiters are just salesmen. Don't get me wrong, serving in the military is not a bad thing, I almost did it. After a good family friend took a look at my contract he showed me where the things my recruiter promised me should appear, and nothing was there. I got shafted.

    One of my good friends though just got out of the US Coast Guard, and while he enjoyed it, he is glad to be out. He is though, happy that Uncle Sam will be helping pay for his schooling.

    As to your question: do good on your ASVAB, and depending on what is available you might just get a job in the field that you want. Take a good look though online at the required things you have to do if you are enlisted versus Officer. Many times, in the enlisted tours, after you reach a certain rank you must be either a drill sergeant, or a recruiter. And if you actually graduate with your degree before entering the military, you should be eligible to go to Officer school, and guaranteed a commission because you have a degree.

    Best of luck
  3. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The service is probably the few areas where you are guaranteed work. You'll get great experiences and you'll be serving your country.

    My stepson joined the marines and it completely turned him around. He now has self confidence, he's doing something great and unlike many of us, he's not in danger of getting laid off ;)

    I wished I joined the service when I was younger. Since its only for a short time and you receive a lot of great tangible and intangible benefits, I'd say go for it you have nothing to lose.
  4. scotty96LSC macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2007
    Charlotte, NC
    You join to serve your country first, your needs come second. Other posts above state they were promised this and that but not "came to fruition..."
    Well the needs of the country changed and thus the needs of the military branch of service changed.
    With that said...
    You make the military what you put into it. It's like a small business in that if you treat like a small business that's what you get, but if you treat like a multi-million dollar business that is what you get. You invest your time and future to serve your country. In return you get to learn what you want, travel, 30-days paid vacation, schooling and more. But you have to give to get.
    I spent 20 years in the Air Force and believe me it was not my intention to stay. It was my intention to get away from home, have some fun and get started with life. Instead it became my life. I enjoyed the dicipline, the job challenges and academics. I got more out of it than what I had signed up for.
    If you have your degree apply for OTS and a commission. With that comes more responsibiity. If you want more hands on work join the enlisted ranks. Both are rewarding depending on what your goals are.
    Do yourself a favor and talk to more than just recruiters, talk to others who have joined the military, stayed in the military or made a career out of the military. You will get both sides of the story not just one side. Then make your decision to SERVE your country so it can serve you.
  5. JLUGO35 thread starter Guest


    Jul 14, 2009
    Inman/Columbia, South Carolina
    I was thinking enlisting cause I always have been a more hands on person and would like to get adjusted to military life before trying to become an officer.
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    If you like the hands-on thing, definitely go Air Force and stay enlisted. Once you go officer, you will probably never actually work on anything again.
  7. shivermetimbers macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2008
    McChord, Wash
    I am a veteran of the Air Force, 18 years and counting. Free travel to stange new lands, exotic women of various cultures, free college classes as long as you pass them, you will form a bond with your co-workers that will last a life time, you will treat them as family...some at least. Free medical/dental, GI Bill, BX/Commissary, a steady pay check and they "give" you your first 3 ranks...after that you test and compete. The catch, you will at one point or another go to the AOR (The war, sandbox, the suck...etc).

    It is a great gig! Learn a trade and get some college behind you and build life long friends. You will need to be in good shape. They are "serious" about your physical ability. I am 37 and did 4.9 miles on the cross trainer and then ran 2.75 miles this morning before my 12 hour shift (in Kuwait). If you cant stay in shape no matter the age.....out you go. I know some will agree or not agree, but the Air Force have the best of everything. Some say we are spoiled, we are. We are also held to a higher standard on some things.

    If I was to do it all over again, I would go OTS and get my commission. But I was too busy chasing girls and drinkin beer. Enlisted is not a bad choice either. I have zero regrets.

    You can enlist, bang out some college then go to your commander for help putting a package together to get excepted to OTS. Those make the best officers because they started out as enlisted and dont act like snobby punks.

    You will need to think about some things:
    1) Can you deal with people telling you what to do? Some cannot and create friction before they piss someone off and get their asses thrown out. No matter the rank, you always answer to someone....
    2) Once you sign, your butt belongs to them. If its your time to go to the AOR, its your time. Everyone pulls their share. Some do think it's only 9-5's and college....not always. The mission comes first!

    If you have some direct questions you would like to ask me....shoot me a PM. I would be glad to help you. I will not sugar coat and will give it to you straight.

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