TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › for people in the Air Force or who know people in the Air Force :)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

for people in the Air Force or who know people in the Air Force :)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, I've been seriously thinking lately about joining the US Air Force, but after doing a bit of reading on it, I'm not so sure I can get in. I'm 22, already graduated from college (and have been working for a while), but when I took some ASVAB practice tests I could hardly remember how to do any of the math on it The last math I took was Calculus II and that was 5 years ago!!! I've read that it's pretty hard to get into AF because of a waiting line among other things. Do you guys think I even have a chance? My high school GPA was a 4.5, but that was so long ago (obviously if I can't even remember how to do simple algebra *sniffle*), my college GPA was a 3.something or other but it was from art school and not even a prestigious one at that!!

And as for the kitties, no worries for them as Jim will be caring for them But I would miss them terribly Thanks for any advice you guys can give!!
post #2 of 19
I have no advice for you, but just wanted to wish you luck in whatever happens!

Try setting up an appointment to talk to a recruiter- they'll be able to tell you if you'd meet requirements for your field of interest or not
post #3 of 19
Already graduating college is a plus as far as ranks go. Can't hurt to try if that is what *you* want to do
post #4 of 19
My father is retired Army, my uncle is retired Air Force, and my cousin is active Army. I think the military is a FANTASTIC life, and I wouldn't trade growing up as an Army brat for anything.

Whether it's right for you personally or not, only you can decide. But I will say this: my parents are in their 80s now, and I don't believe either one of them would still be living if it were not for the outstanding healthcare coverage they earned during 38 years of service. We all thank heaven every day that my father decided, in 1940, to join the Army.

A career as a military officer is an outstanding way to achieve a reliably comfortable lifestyle and good secure retirement. It's also a career of honor and dignity in service to the founding principles of our country. On my father's behalf, I recommend it highly!
post #5 of 19
I'm pretty sure DH's old room mate joined the AF when he was about 22 or so. I think you can join up until you are in your 30's but I may be wrong. As far as graduating college, that won't hurt you getting in. I think the testing they give you just determines what career fields are available to you. DH did 6 years and worked in cargo transportation. He was limited to certain fields because he is partially color blind. (more like has some difficulties distinguishing some colors like blue and purple or yellow and orange--he calls yellow lights orange lights. )

My step-father retired after 23 1/2 years or so. It definitely taught him a different work ethic than he's encountered in the civilian world.

I'm extremely proud of my husband and my step-dad and my family. My Grandfathers all served in WWII and so did one Grandmother (where she met my Grandpa!).

I won't tell you that everything is easy for military families, but that is quite obvious. You will have to make sacrifices as well as your spouse, your children and your family, be it leaving behind friends and family to move every 4 years or so (though sometimes more or less, it depends on a lot of things), being separated from your family for deployments or other things like that can be very common. In DH's field normal deployments were yearly and lasted 4 months at a time. Sometimes I knew where he was going, sometimes I didn't. Though the uniform they leave in can be a clue! For my step-father, 2 am calls to go on a trip to fix a plane which had broken down somewhere he couldn't tell us he was going (even if it were a good place!), became routine.

There are benefits of joining too, which I'm sure any recruiter will wax poetic about to you! I had a lot to learn about things like the health insurance the rest of the US uses and things once DH finished his enlistment.

When you join the military, no matter the branch, you are becoming a part of something bigger than yourself. That is where they sacrifice comes in. I'm not talking about the possible loss of life in a combat situation, I'm talking about those everyday sacrifices. In the military you are all working for the same goal. At times you may be asked to do things that you don't know why you are doing them and you may not be in total agreement with the mission. But that can't matter. Anything, be it a military, a family, a team, etc. can not stand if it is divided. I once heard a Marine say "I don't necessarily agree with the Captain, but I'm still part of the team!" And there are times where 'the team' comes before family even. Not that it is always that way but it can be. I had a high school friend (who is an officer in the AF reserve and her husband is an officer) who' husband missed the birth of their first child last year when his deployment had to be extended--twice. I also had a friend who's husband was brought home early because of some complications in her pregnancy. DH and I had to do some things when he was scheduled to deploy over the same time we had scheduled our wedding. Right before his last deployment and during it, I was undergoing several cardiologic tests that he did not want to be away from me during.

Deployments were all very hard on me. But each one got easier in one way or another. I learned how to cope and I learned to rely on some other supports. Every year my mother and/or step-father lead the Memorial Day service at our church. My Mom always reads a poem about Military spouses. If I can find that online I will post a link, or I can PM it to you if I can't find it. It does kind of give you a peek into some of the ways of military life.

Even with these hard things, the military has given DH and I some of the sweetest times in our relationship. When we were dating he was in Afghanistan (just a few months after 9/11), though I didn't know that at the time. I was in college at the time. I came home from either work or school late one night in a crabby mood. I was missing him terribly and things were just stressing me out! On my dresser my mom had put a copy of the Airlifter, a paper our base puts out. The cover had a picture of a plane and a guy in desert uniform and was about our base's guys and gals in Afghanistan. Well I started looking at it, knowing Mom would only leave it there for me if she thought I would know someone or something interesting would be in there. A couple pages into it was the little column the often have called "Deployed Voices." It usually features 3 people, with their pictures, and a short comment. One guy said hi to some people, another said how he thought the conditions there were. And there was my boyfriend. All his comment said was "I love you Leighann!" Thats it. We were married 1 year to the day he came home from that deployment. Now that's a story I can tell my kids and grandkids! The next week he was in our state paper with the rest of the guys in a feature article.


I feel like I've told you more negative than positive here. I don't mean to scare you away from this decision. I believe it is a very good and important thing to do, in-spite of the difficulties it brings too. I just hope that what I have said will help you to make this choice for yourself. Keep in mind, most enlistments are only 4 years to begin with, so it's not forever. DH wasn't very happy in the AF. Mostly he didn't enjoy his job that much. But he's proud he did it and he believed it was the right thing to do. He signed up for 6 years initially so that is how long he had to serve. He's currently in his 2 years of inactive reserve. If I remember correctly (this is from when he joined, things could have changed) if you signed for 6 years of active you also agree to 2 years of inactive reserve. (If you want me to 'explain' what inactive reserve is better just ask or PM me.)

I know this is very long, but I can't express in words how important I feel that military service is. It's ingrained in my heart. Military service is hard but I can't put a value on it. Our military men and women are of priceless value to me. I guess you could say that as hard as the hard things are, the good things can outweigh them. We wouldn't be the country we are today without our military. Our military needs more good men and women serving.

Once the military is part of your life, you stand a little taller and hold your head a little higher when you see our flag flying or when you hear our national anthem. I get chills when on the base, at 5pm every day the National Anthem comes on. All traffic stops, wherever they are. All people stop walking, wherever they are. Anyone in uniform (and some not) snap to attention and salute in the direction of the flag. I wish I could share with you the things I've heard from my step-father over the years. His love for his country and our military runs very deep into his heart. He's a man with a tough shell, but every year without fail, when he shares his stories with the church on Memorial Day, my step-dad - the man who's brown eyes turn black when he is mad - cries like a baby. Just writing this has been emotionally draining to me. I just can't express it truly in words. It really is ingrained in my heart.
post #6 of 19
Oh, Leighann... you captured it perfectly, the deep emotion that comes with standing in defense of the ideal of America, standing up for the justice and equality our flag flies for.

Even as things are right now, when I believe our service people are being cruelly exploited by a corrupt administration, I still feel the pride and passion you described. Thank you so much for that extraordinarily beautiful post.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you guys for your support and your advice And it's okay to tell me the negative things, I really do want to hear them!! I told my friends about how I wanted to join and like 90% of them said not to but they couldn't give me any reasons why I shouldn't. So I'm very happy that someone can tell me the negatives about being in the service (as well as the positives of course)

Why did your husband dislike his job? Was he unable to choose it? That is one thing I'm wondering about. Since I majored in computer animation and stuff I don't even know what they can use me for. A couple of my friends know people in AF that are photographers or do design work because they knew a little bit about Photoshop and it would be cool if I could do something like that. Something I need to ask the recruiters about but am worried they will tell me I'll be able to do those things and then it turns out that I get a completely different job :X

Edit: I just realized that I misread your first paragraph and I see it was because your husband was colorblind that he was limited to certain jobs :x I thought it was the roommate at first hehe.

Also, I thought inactive just meant that you could be called back when there was a need for it, but then some people at my work said they can call you back even after that is over??? So I guess I don't know what it is :x My boss at work was in the Marine Corps and he left over ten years ago, but then he got a letter or something saying he was needed in Iraq. Is that a common thing? I do hear a lot of stories of people who have finished their enlistment being very stressed out and stuff because they worry a lot that they may get called back to duty.
post #8 of 19
My neices husband is in the RAF as an officer and soon will be taking exams to jump him up to squadron leader.

He loves it!
post #9 of 19
I'm still getting used to the fact that militaries actually exist. It sounds really weird but I grew up in a country that doesn't have an army. Which makes sense actually because with a total population of under 300.000 people (yes I'm not missing a zero) there's not the resources for it so there is no military or navy or airforce there. We have a coast guard that has around 2 ships, that's all. Our police isn't armed (we have an armed response unit but it gets called out maybe once a year)

So really when I was growing up I only saw people serving the army/navy/airforce etc. in movies so it was about as real to me as dinosaurs. I still have a big culture shock when it comes to a lot of things concerning the armed forces but I do admire people who know what they want to do, have conviction and then do it.

Anyway if you sincerely want to join the air force, talk to a recruiter, weigh up your decision and then go for it
post #10 of 19
With a degree, you show whoever hires you that you had the commitment to further your education past high school. The military, if you go in as enlisted you should pin on your E-4 upon completion of basic if you have a 4 year degree. You could go in as a Officer with a college degree which gives you more options during your career counseling with MEPS.

Do not agree to just any job that is thrown at you. You need to go in there with a 5 -10 different jobs you want and see what is available. Retake the ASVAB and see if you can get a better grade if you aren't happy with your grade now. The higher your ASVAB score the more career options are made available to you. It will also determine what field you will fit in better. The ASVAB is really easy with basic math, mechanics, computers and such.

Ask about sign up bonuses. And if you decide to join any service take advantage of college they offer.

My son tried the Airforce and they wanted him to load bombs or be a air crew member, that was not the job he was looking for. He did not accept what they had to offer and he saw a Navy recruiter and told him what he wanted to do. recruiter said sign here. He is now in military doing the job HE wanted in the medical field.

Good luck in what ever you decide to do in the military, We had a great 13 years 5 foreign countries, 3 stateside assignments.
post #11 of 19
My Mom was in the Air Force during Viet Nam. She was able to go around the world and see different countries and cultures, but it was a very difficult life for her. You have to be ready to go anywhere at a moments notice.

Having a college degree may make you an officer candidate. That type of training and schooling is far different that being enlisted. Also, it's going to make you in charge of people almost right away. Are you okay with that?
post #12 of 19
Hmmm thats strange, I guess my friend is alot smarter than I ever gave him credit for... If those are the requirements ? My friend Danny is in the airforce and if he can get in there (total goof ball/party animal) then I think your chances are more than good. He never got bad grades when we were in highschool, but he never cut your grades... and I also dont think he went to college.

Have some faith and positivity towards yourself, if you want something bad enough and work hard towards it, anything is possible/achieveable!
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
Having a college degree may make you an officer candidate. That type of training and schooling is far different that being enlisted. Also, it's going to make you in charge of people almost right away. Are you okay with that?
This is another thing I'm worried about. I'm not so sure I'm cut out for leadership. I think it would have to depend on what I am doing... But still, I'm hesitant to take that kind of position unless I have a lot of experience :| And anyway, I'm not sure what they can do with someone who has a degree in computer animation, haha.

Made an appointment to speak with a recruiter here tomorrow evening In September I'm flying to Phoenix for a week so I'm going to try and talk to a couple recruiters there too.
post #14 of 19
I was in the AF for about 10 months (Honorable Discharge) and I know that you can pass the ASVAB! Good grief, I took that test when I was still a Junior in High school and passed with a 98/99! The highest in my county plus the three other counties surrounding us! And I didn't take classes such as calculus, like you. Now if you're going to try to go for officer, that can be a different story since I don't know what it takes to pass those tests. I obviously wasn't one, lol. But I can tell you for one thing, go for officer! It's sooo much better than a simple enlistee.
I was with my recruiter for about a year before I got in. I could've gotten in right after I had graduated high school but I knew I wouldn't last in the Texas summer weather so I waited until December. It was still harsh but I do better in the cold than in the heat.
Curious question: What job field are you planning on going into?
Job training is a big decision! I had wanted to go into photography but since I tore my shoulder in Basic and had to stay in medical hold for over a month, I missed my tech school slot and had to pick another job. By then there were only 2 choices; Aerospace Control and Warning Systems Technician (radar work) or work with the military police and up the chance of going to Iraq 500%! I chose the ACWS. Both were bad choices since neither were of my job forte and that was why I was discharged. Plus the fact that the AF was supposively 'down-sizing' as well. (Long story short, pick a good job! Medical field is one of the best if you can do it and they're always wanting more people. Plus when you get out, you'll have better job choices! I don't have any civilian job choices.)
As for feeling like you're not cut to be a leader, they train you to be one whether as an enlisted or as an officer. That's what makes the military strong.
I would talk to as many recruiters as you can because each one has their own story about the military and their experience with it. Good luck!!!
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by extinctosaurus View Post
Why did your husband dislike his job? Was he unable to choose it?
Dh did choose his job to a certain extent. He just didn't know exactly what it would entail. And cross training isn't always easy unless your a 'career' person.

Inactive reserve can depend on the contract you signed when you join, to my understanding. When my old coworker's husband retired in the 80's he had a 10 year inactive reserve. DH's contract was for 2 because he served 6. My step-dad retired in 2005 and he also had a 2 year inactive reserve. Basically they can only call you back if they absolutely need you. In June DH was activated for an exercise to practice calling back people from the inactive reserve. Stupid in my opinion, but it's something they do regularly, he just got 'lucky!' Truthfully they can probably call anyone back, or try to, if they need them. Depending on the career field too.

When DH was in the Base paper it was the military people who create the paper that went to Afghanistan. So that may be an area you would be good in and could be used in (though I'm sure the need for it is lower than other fields), but it's not necessarily just a state side job. In the picture of my DH that was in the paper I mentioned, he had an M-16 strapped to his back. (Imagine my shock at seeing my quiet, gentle boyfriend with a deadly weapon strapped to him!) So even those people were right there in an area where they were be armed too, and meaning an area where they may come under fire. (DH said he never did on his shift.) I've heard explosions and warning sirens while on the phone with DH when he was overseas. (and then gone in the other room to see it being reported on CNN!) He mostly said that the explosions were our troops destroying weapons they ceased and what not. I have pictures of some places that were struck by mortars. I would say someone in that career field would be much less likely to be put in a more dangerous zone, but you'd still be trained for it.

During the exercise DH was did in June he found out that they are making some changes to things like Air Force basic training. They said that it is being extended in length (to what I don't remember) and that they are trying to make it tougher because more Air Force people are seeing more combat situations. My guess is that it may be more so for the Security Forces people, but that kind of training goes for the whole branch. (And it should in my opinion!)

My advice is to not let anyone, including/especially a recruiter, push you into any decisions. Don't sign anything till you know what your signing and agree to it. That can help you from getting into something you don't want to be doing. But remember also, while the military keeps our country free, it doesn't necessarily mean our troops are so free. Lets say you start in one career field, and then they decide that that field is too full, so they may move you to another field or section where there is a need. Now you may like that job, you may not. But you can't just quit or react the way we can as civilians if we don't like our jobs. DH was moved once to a position in his squadron that he absolutely hated. I mean he HATED it. It was definitely something he was not well suited for. He stuck with it for a few months and eventually had to go to his officer's to try to get moved out of it. And believe me when I say this, they didn't make that easy on him. I think if it hadn't been so obvious that he wasn't meant for that kind of work, they would have made it even harder. DH was also chewed out by his NCO for backing into a parking space in the parking area where the spots are all on an angle. I guess you could say that the military is more like a Dictatorship that a Republic! Things are a bit more relaxed that they used to be though, according to my step-dad.

I hope your able to make the right decision for you. I commend you for considering it at a time when it seems (to me) that so many people are putting our men and women in uniform down. A couple years ago my step-dad was at the post office, in uniform, and saw a civilian person actually spit on another man in uniform. That soldier stood there unmoved (on the outside) of course. Which way that man was moved on the inside I do not know. I just know which way that moved me! I know the military isn't for everyone, but anyone who decides to serve our country in that manner has my support!
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyD1987 View Post
I was in the AF for about 10 months (Honorable Discharge) and I know that you can pass the ASVAB! Good grief, I took that test when I was still a Junior in High school and passed with a 98/99! ...
Curious question: What job field are you planning on going into?
Yeah, I definitely would have done okay if I took the test back when I was in high school :x But after that I went straight to art school and well... no math at all, hahaha (or English, or any of those classes :x) So the only math I can really remember how to do now is arithmatic and very, very simple algebra!!! Eeek!!

As for the job I'm considering... I was going to meet with a recruiter today but ended up having to push the appt to tomorrow. I'm hoping to get some kind of media job if there are any. If not then I'll just have to ask them about different ones and what kind of skills they'd require to see what would be good for me... I wish I could remember all that math stuff, because I definitely did enjoy it back in high school and wouldn't have minded a job that required a lot of that stuff!

How come they discharged you rather than placing you in a different job? :\\ That makes me worry! Does that happen a lot?
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by extinctosaurus View Post
Yeah, I definitely would have done okay if I took the test back when I was in high school :x But after that I went straight to art school and well... no math at all, hahaha (or English, or any of those classes :x) So the only math I can really remember how to do now is arithmatic and very, very simple algebra!!! Eeek!!

As for the job I'm considering... I was going to meet with a recruiter today but ended up having to push the appt to tomorrow. I'm hoping to get some kind of media job if there are any. If not then I'll just have to ask them about different ones and what kind of skills they'd require to see what would be good for me... I wish I could remember all that math stuff, because I definitely did enjoy it back in high school and wouldn't have minded a job that required a lot of that stuff!

How come they discharged you rather than placing you in a different job? :\\ That makes me worry! Does that happen a lot?
Don't worry about the math. It's easy! Just freshen up with your neighbor's kid's math book.
There's a LOT of media type jobs to choose from. That was my goal as well and I chose photography.
As for why they didn't place me in another job, it was because I was in S.Korea at the time with the on-the-job training. My husband swears it was because they needed to meet their downsizing quota for the year though, lol. I could've went in the Blue To Green program and switch to Army but I knew I couldn't survive their PT tests. I'm a twig, lol.
It doesn't happen a lot though. My friend from bootcamp was stationed Conus(US) and she had the chance to take on another job because hers wasn't doing to well too. (People who work with radar tend to have the highest drop our rate.)
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
Phew, I spoke with a recruiter today and I was just BARELY under the max weight :x Need to lose some of the pounds I gained (40 pounds in less than a year!!!) since I moved up here!

Those recruiters are really good at dodging questions/changing the subject (so sneaky!!) but at least I think this one didn't lie. Most of the stuff he said matched up with what you guys and my coworker said... the only thing he said different was that there was no curfew on the weekdays (my friend said he had to be in at midnight or something like that... different for each unit maybe..?) Of course after I left I thought of a gazillion other questions to ask :\\

I have to really, really thank you guys for everything you're telling me. I have a lot of friends in the service (just none in Air Force) and all the ones who didn't like it were just like "It sucks!!!" But they won't tell me the reasons why they think it sucks so I can decide for myself So I am really grateful that there are so many helpful people on this forum Thank you so much guys!!! I still haven't made my decision (want to talk to some other recruiters too) but you have definitely given me a lot to think and ask about.
post #19 of 19
If I remember correctly, there was technically a curfew for when people had to be out of the dorms, meaning those that didn't live there. Can't remember if it was 10 or 12 though. I know there are more restrictions on those that are just out of basic than those with some stripes on. I'd have to ask DH.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › for people in the Air Force or who know people in the Air Force :)