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Old 01-30-2007, 10:44 PM   #1
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Questions for all you guys in the Military

So, due to some things going on in my life, and the realization that I have no marketable skill, I have been thinking about going into the service, particularly the Airforce.

My main goals from this are as follows: To find something that I can do with my hands (I dont think I could tolerate a desk job for long), that I enjoy doing, that will go to the civilian field, and that I can get at least a Bachelor's in. A career that transfers to the civie life would be neccesary. I have no intention on making a career out the military itself, but I'm not closed to the idea. I just know that is not what I INTEND to do. Ideally, once I get decently established, I would like the job to earn about 50-60k a year. It sounds like a lot for a military trained job, but I've heard of a lot of cases, especially with the degree and an electronics related field (which is what I'm leaning toward).

The Airforce I know, possibly all branches IDK, pays in full for any college education while in the service and for a few years outside the service. Being that I have an Associate's, I would go in as an E 3 making about $1,550 a month starting out and no real bills.

I just really need to do something that will train me in a career, get me a related goal to strive for in education, and I've always kind of thought about joining anyway, it just seems more urgent to me now.

So what I need from you guys that have/are served/serving is advice. Of course the recruiter will tell you all the things you want to hear, and now I need a BS filter from guys who have been there. What do I need to look out for, what is some advice that you would have wanted before you went in, how much did the recruiter lie to you and what about(lol), what are some things I can do to prevent being screwed out of the jobs you sign up for (I've heard this happens semi frequently), what are some benefits that are on the "Dont tell unless asked list" lol. Are there any companies that look specifically to hire military trained employees for technical jobs? What careers pay the most in civie life that you know of? Which has the most demand? Just stuff like that.

I haven't decided yet, but I'm definately leaning towards this. So any info ANYONE can give will be taken appreciatively. Thanks
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:52 PM   #2
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

I am currently in the Airforce, I am a "Heavy Aircraft"(cargo Aircraft) electrician. I work on just about anything that has to do with wires on aircraft. It is a marketable skill, but you have ready for the bull that goes along with it. I would suggest something in IT or Communications.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

IT or Communications wont pay **** after you get out of the army... expect low 30s in the alabama area IF YOU ARE LUCKY. I would first go and take the test and all that to determine if they will let you work at the job(s) you want and if that goes well then go from there.

If you are one of those people who dont care to be alone and away from your family and also unable to have a relationship due to your constantly moving/busy/away from home/work/etc and dont mind modest/low end pay and you also dont mind taking orders all the time and being unable to do things unless you are told then it might be something you would fit right in with. Just do some research and talk to some people who have been there and done that (non recruiters) and see what all they say and it might help you to determine if its right for you.
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Old 01-31-2007, 11:27 AM   #4
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

Yeah I wanted to join, but I sat down one night with my GF and told her what all my thoughts were. If I didnt get a job with a police or fire dept full time i wanted to join and be a Firefighter or MP, and with Indiana not having a active base (besides reserve base and crane) I said I would wait one more year be4 i made a choice. I dont think I could be away from my family that long. so i will try to fill my duty to my country on the local field.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

my friend joined the national guard right after highschool, got a $20,000 sign on bonus and left for basic at the end of the summer. He is now in AIT and will be in college next fall, going for free. I'm not sure how long he will serve/has to serve active duty, but i think he was kinda in the same mindset as you when he joined
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:18 PM   #6
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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I am currently in the Airforce, I am a "Heavy Aircraft"(cargo Aircraft) electrician. I work on just about anything that has to do with wires on aircraft. It is a marketable skill, but you have ready for the bull that goes along with it. I would suggest something in IT or Communications.
What are some of the things you didn't find out until you got in the service? What kind of pay will you expect after the military? I know there is a lot of BS that goes on in any branch, but what are some specifics? Bad officers and poopy running down hill lol?
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:30 PM   #7
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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IT or Communications wont pay **** after you get out of the army... expect low 30s in the alabama area IF YOU ARE LUCKY. I would first go and take the test and all that to determine if they will let you work at the job(s) you want and if that goes well then go from there.

If you are one of those people who dont care to be alone and away from your family and also unable to have a relationship due to your constantly moving/busy/away from home/work/etc and dont mind modest/low end pay and you also dont mind taking orders all the time and being unable to do things unless you are told then it might be something you would fit right in with. Just do some research and talk to some people who have been there and done that (non recruiters) and see what all they say and it might help you to determine if its right for you.
Yep the test score is definately going to be a first step. The recriuter had a "sample test" in the office that he had me take, I guess to see if he was wasting his time with a dummy. He said 38 is all you have to make, and that average is 60's and 70's. I made an 88 just half assing so we will see how close that is to the actual test.

Bah, guys in uniform get all the poon lol. Seriously, I dont have a whole lot of attachments here, supposedly, when assigned to a base, you dont do a whole lot of moving around. It seems like you stay there for a year or 2 and move etc. SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT THIS! Also, supposedly, your work is pretty much like a "40 hour work week" SOMEONE PLEASE CORRECT THIS! As far as pay goes, starting out is more than I am making as a manager at the parts store lol, so even brand new it would be a move up. I haven't taken the time to do the figures myself yet, I will, but the supposed adjusted pay after you take in the housing, utilities, and food allowances is above $3,300 a month.....yeah. As far as taking orders, I would like to think I would be able to look at is a hard nose job with a PIA boss. I could endure that for 4 years, and it wont be a whole lot different then when I was growing up with my dad.

Also, if I do this, it would be with the realization, not neccesarily intention, that I would probably not be coming back to this area. The only tie I care about is with my mom and a few friends, and she would be following me to the areas I get a prolonged station at. So incomes here, wouldn't really apply as the only really well paying jobs it seems are at/near the arsenal.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:33 PM   #8
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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Yeah I wanted to join, but I sat down one night with my GF and told her what all my thoughts were. If I didnt get a job with a police or fire dept full time i wanted to join and be a Firefighter or MP, and with Indiana not having a active base (besides reserve base and crane) I said I would wait one more year be4 i made a choice. I dont think I could be away from my family that long. so i will try to fill my duty to my country on the local field.
Yeah, the main reason I am thinking about it is that I feel stagnant. I keep changing majors and when I take the classes and am shown examples of the work, it's just stuff that I can't see doing for the rest of my life. So I am tired of wasting my time with classes that do me no good other than "enriching myself" and being paid a whopping $8.50 per hour in the mean time living on my own.

Bah.
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Old 01-31-2007, 05:35 PM   #9
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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my friend joined the national guard right after highschool, got a $20,000 sign on bonus and left for basic at the end of the summer. He is now in AIT and will be in college next fall, going for free. I'm not sure how long he will serve/has to serve active duty, but i think he was kinda in the same mindset as you when he joined
It seems as I best understand it, I ahve a page of more questions for the recruiter, that if you go for the paid degree for the military, instead of your own time, once you get the degree and become an officer, that you then have to give and additional 4 years of active after that. Not sure though. I doubt I want to make this a 6 year adventure lol.
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Old 02-01-2007, 02:49 AM   #10
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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What are some of the things you didn't find out until you got in the service? What kind of pay will you expect after the military? I know there is a lot of BS that goes on in any branch, but what are some specifics? Bad officers and poopy running down hill lol?
If you get your A and P license (Airframe and Powerplant) and get into the managment sector you looking between 70 and 90 yr. If you hook up with a goverment contractor it could be more. As for IT and communications in the Air force (I don't know about the army), it means anything from telephones to fiber optics to computers. The airforce will send you to get all of your certifications for free and pay you for it. I know guys who went into career fields like computer security and computer investigations ,got out after four yrs and are making 60 yr starting out.
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Old 02-01-2007, 07:48 AM   #11
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

All of the things you're saying sound like the things my best friend was saying before he decided to enlist. He's told me in his letters he loves it. As much as I'm worried about him going to Iraq I'm proud of all of those guys over there. My dad is a Marine and if he wasn't a Veteran he'd probably be over there too. You just have to take it into consideration what you want to do. Basically they will all get you where you want to go. Maybe I'm just a Marine brat, but I always tell people to think about them as well. (If you're not willing to go to Iraq it is very hard to avoid with them so maybe they're just not for you.) I have a friend who is in Florida because he just joined the Airforce. Last time he was home he was telling me how great it was. All the opportunities they're giving him. Basically I've got a friend or family member in every area. (haha ok I'm kind of rambling...) Point is look at all the military branches without focusing on one. Talk to guys or gals that joined any of them. I had a friend who was dead set on Airforce and when he finally came down to it he started to look at everything else. He's now in the Marines.
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Old 02-01-2007, 08:01 AM   #12
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

Air Force is a good way of life. I am a C-130 Aero Repair Technician/Crew Chief. in civie terms, just a mechanic. I rip out landing gear, flight controls, doors, cables, etc and put it all back in. After so much time you can go down and take your test for your Airframe side of the A&P. Dont know about the powerplant though. Haven't researched it really. As stated, money for college.

But if you really want something to translate into a future civie job and work with your hands, look into Avionics or Sheetmetal. So many times I have been turned down for jobs because I dont have those experiences.

Plus side of the military, you get to see the world. Seen Canada, Scotland, Germany, Romania, Spain, Portugal, and Qatar.

and dont do it for the money. Do it cause you want the chance to serve your country, and get a good work experience for your future...cause you dont get paid all that great in the military. As AD, I would be getting 19k a year...my civ counter part 60k a year.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:09 PM   #13
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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All of the things you're saying sound like the things my best friend was saying before he decided to enlist. He's told me in his letters he loves it. As much as I'm worried about him going to Iraq I'm proud of all of those guys over there. My dad is a Marine and if he wasn't a Veteran he'd probably be over there too. You just have to take it into consideration what you want to do. Basically they will all get you where you want to go. Maybe I'm just a Marine brat, but I always tell people to think about them as well. (If you're not willing to go to Iraq it is very hard to avoid with them so maybe they're just not for you.) I have a friend who is in Florida because he just joined the Airforce. Last time he was home he was telling me how great it was. All the opportunities they're giving him. Basically I've got a friend or family member in every area. (haha ok I'm kind of rambling...) Point is look at all the military branches without focusing on one. Talk to guys or gals that joined any of them. I had a friend who was dead set on Airforce and when he finally came down to it he started to look at everything else. He's now in the Marines.


I'm glad to hear it's working out so well for your friend. As far as looking at other branches, it seems from what I've researched, the Airforce is more interested in "skills". By that I dont mean the other branches aren't interested in being skilled, but it seems that this is the Airforce's main interest. That probably didn't come out well, but hopefully you get my meaning. And my reason for going in is for the skill training.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:12 PM   #14
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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Air Force is a good way of life. I am a C-130 Aero Repair Technician/Crew Chief. in civie terms, just a mechanic. I rip out landing gear, flight controls, doors, cables, etc and put it all back in. After so much time you can go down and take your test for your Airframe side of the A&P. Dont know about the powerplant though. Haven't researched it really. As stated, money for college.

But if you really want something to translate into a future civie job and work with your hands, look into Avionics or Sheetmetal. So many times I have been turned down for jobs because I dont have those experiences.

Plus side of the military, you get to see the world. Seen Canada, Scotland, Germany, Romania, Spain, Portugal, and Qatar.

and dont do it for the money. Do it cause you want the chance to serve your country, and get a good work experience for your future...cause you dont get paid all that great in the military. As AD, I would be getting 19k a year...my civ counter part 60k a year.
I've definately been looking at Avionics. For the 4 jobs you get to pick, I am going to try for at least 3 avionics fields and maybe one mechanical, or maybe have all 4 in avionics. Definately not interested in it for the money lol. Just the training and experience. Where else do you go where they will train, educate, AND pay? Plus I'd be happy to be serving my country. I will not complain if it's my turn to go to the desert.
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Old 02-04-2007, 07:40 PM   #15
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

95% of the people I hire are ex military, The military is the only place you can get Metrology training. Air Force has the best Metrology training you can get. The navy is a close second. It pays $50k to $60k when you get out. The training is called PMEL. It's calibration of precision test equipment. It's not an easy school but it's in high demand in the civilian world. All the services have it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:04 PM   #16
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

honestly, i didnt read your post that well (sorry), but i browsed it. i also think its safe to say that follow what YOU wanna do. you only live once. want to join the army/navy/air force/national guard/coast guard/etc? do it.
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:50 PM   #17
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

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95% of the people I hire are ex military, The military is the only place you can get Metrology training. Air Force has the best Metrology training you can get. The navy is a close second. It pays $50k to $60k when you get out. The training is called PMEL. It's calibration of precision test equipment. It's not an easy school but it's in high demand in the civilian world. All the services have it.
Very interesting, That was actually one of the mechanical fields I was considering as well. I may do 3 in Avionics and that one for Mechanical.
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Old 02-04-2007, 09:58 PM   #18
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

I did 4 years in Avionics and 4 years in Metrology in the Navy.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:05 AM   #19
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

So I might as well give ya'll an update on this:

I went in February to take the ASVAB and made a ****ty score, only a 96/99

So I'm pretty much qualified for anything I want to do except for my main physical limitation (eyesite). I failed my physical however because I take Nexium, a heartburn medication. The dick weed doctor at MEPS chose to interpret the fact that I need to take it everyday as a sign that I can't sleep at nights because of heartburn, and you are not allowed to take ANY medication with you to boot camp. So now I have to be off the stuff for 6 months before I can go back up and take the physical again in August. The good news though is that I've had heartburn since I was 11, but now I've been off the medication for 2 months and have no heartburn anymore. Then if all else goes good, I'm golden and I will be doing something in Avionics.

Since I have an Associate's Degree already, I'll be going in as an E3 and I will be able to get a Bachelor's Degree in this field, governement training, and on the job experience when I'm done. I should ahve the Bachelor's before I'm even out because I have the 2 year already and the "tech school" classes for the career can count as your minor, so the only classes I need are the ones just for the major.
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:56 AM   #20
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

Sounds like your good to go !! I have several friends that have retired from the Armed Forces at age 45 !!!! They put in there 25 years get a very nice pension aand there training has gotten them great jobs in the private sector
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Old 04-20-2007, 06:40 PM   #21
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Re: Questions for all you guys in the Military

Remember to make sure that while you were in basic, you get pay as an E3, even though in basic you are an Airman Basic.
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