Need help Gentleman, Advice needed [Archive] - Glock Talk

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BigBore45
11-11-2006, 22:06
Tell me about the pros and cons of the Air Force Reserves? I have a friend who just finished Basic and tech training. He is an E3 and is in the Security Forces. A little background on me- I'm 25 I work in Law Enforcement my wife is 100% supportive parents thats another story they are worried I may be deployed which may be true but many serve away from home for long periods of time. I am told it is getting better in Iraq? I just heard this from officers who have returned. They tell me its more training and cleaning up and helping them establish a government more than warefare. They do have the occasional threats. Correct me politely if i'm wrong at all as this is what I have been told. I am asking those of you who serve to let me know what its like in the Air Force. I want to be Security Forces or Intelligence. That will give me a good background toward the Federal Government which is my goal in the civilian world. Any advice would be highly appreciated. The military will help me serve my country and help me advance in school and my civilian job as well. It will benifit my family as well. I just need advice as to which branch to join. I am told the Air Force treats their reserves the best. Help me please.

MrMurphy
11-12-2006, 11:26
I'm overseas, been in a year and a half, and in SF. Air National Guard guys who are SF appear to have it pretty good (we have a bunch over here), but I don't know exactly how their system works out, i'm active duty.


SF is moving more airbase defense and less LE (some say no LE) in the near future from what I have heard and seen.

Meeko here on GT is a long time SF guy, he can tell you more, but for recent tech school/basic training experience i can tell you some.

Sam White
11-12-2006, 15:01
Take a look at the Air National Guard as well. The Air Guard and Air Force Reserve have minor differences in policies here and there and you may find one more favorable to you. You also may be more likely to find an Air Guard base near you than a Reserve one- there is at least one Guard base per state. You may find promotions come a little faster in the Guard due to different regulations. I switched to the Air Guard from the Army Reserve this year and like it a lot better. They look after you more and take more of an interest in developing you, and the atmosphere is professional but laid back. From what I've seen either flavor of the Air Force would be an excellent choice.

BigBore45
11-12-2006, 17:39
Thank you all for your help. I am pretty positive I am going to join the Air Force reserves. I live 20 minutes from Hill Air force Base so reporting for duty will be positive and not a long drive. I appreciate the advice gentleman. I'll be sworn in some time next week I hope. I'll keep you posted. I'm sure I'll have more questions for you in the near future. God bless and be safe.

Sam White
11-12-2006, 18:03
Congratulations and good luck:thumbsup:

MrMurphy
11-12-2006, 21:59
If you've already got LE training, basic training is pretty much a cakewalk, run like hell, keep your mouth shut. It's different now from when I went through ( i was in the last, literally THE LAST flight group that folded anything, now they roll it all), mostly because now they get M16s to carry everywhere and fieldstrip all the time, instead of never seeing one till the 5th week of basic and only getting to play with it for a day or so.

Tech School is fairly easy just read your material, pay attention, ask some questions and you're ok.

themouth1
11-14-2006, 17:26
With the Reserves, you really need to be ready to deploy pretty frequently. Don't buy in to the recruiter BS that you get to pick when you go( I am an USAF recruiter). It is a lot easier for the Air Force to deploy a reservist than to deploy and active duty member and then have to back fill them with a reservist anyway...I am not trying to be negative but, the facts are the facts. I think if I had a choice (I don't I am active duty) I would go with the ANG. Better promotion rates and deployments are usually less frequent. In the 3P031 career field though, deployment rates accross the board are pretty high. There is a reason 15-35 percent of the total number of recruits this year will be cops...

BilltheCat
11-14-2006, 21:58
The guys before me can tell you about nowadays, but I know something about intel having been a 20170 before getting out. The reserve intel types stayed with their guard aircraft wherever they went.

Its mostly flightline sitrep breifings and debreif upon RTB.
Not a good feild for government work unless you can get into the DIA (Defense Intel Agency), or NSA.

I would imagine most of that work is follow the terrorist by satellite these days.

meeko
11-15-2006, 13:10
Originally posted by themouth1
With the Reserves, you really need to be ready to deploy pretty frequently. Don't buy in to the recruiter BS that you get to pick when you go( I am an USAF recruiter). It is a lot easier for the Air Force to deploy a reservist than to deploy and active duty member and then have to back fill them with a reservist anyway...I am not trying to be negative but, the facts are the facts. I think if I had a choice (I don't I am active duty) I would go with the ANG. Better promotion rates and deployments are usually less frequent. In the 3P031 career field though, deployment rates accross the board are pretty high. There is a reason 15-35 percent of the total number of recruits this year will be cops...

Actually the Air force can't just "deploy" reserve or Guard units on a whim. They usually ask for voulenteers first. Then they will either have to go to a full or partial activation. For example like almost every Security Forces SQ in the ANG and Reserve my SQ was activated on 9/11 per presidential order. This initially was to last 365 days. Then extended for an additional year. Not everyone stayed the whole 2 years. Our CC started deactivating folks at the 365 day mark per there time spent away (deployed). (If you did your time you were let go before the baggage was).

Now in Jan of 06 we had a partial activation of ANG and Reserve ACC command SFS guys. this was supposedly done under the same presidential order for 9/11. I'm not a legal expert so not 100% but anyway. The AF needed 500 cops for 179 day deployments. The guard bureau put stipulations on it though. If you spent time in the AOR since 9/11 you could not be mandatoried to be deployed. They asked for voulenteers but if your time was in you couldn't be made to go. Sort of payback for the ones that had the drama and couldn't go the first time.

Yes as a AF Cop you will be tasked more than most other fields in the ANG and Reserve but there is a set protocal unless you voulenteer to get "pimped out" by yourself.


As far as differences between the Guard and Reserve. The reserve is stricly a federal mission. The ANG is both federal and state. As an ANG you can be put on "state orders" for natural disaters and such. On state orders you are not subject to posse comitatis (sp) because you are acting by order of your state GOV. Thats why the Guard is used in extreme times of civil unrest and can have powers of arrest. the government is very sparing though on giving a green light only in the most dire of circumstances. (Yes the 82nd Airborne was brought into New Orleans for Katrina but that was a PR issue)

I have 21 years combined in active duty and the ANG as a Security Forces troop. Don't know everything but been around and seen alot too.

Sam White
11-15-2006, 15:31
I'm in the ANG but I'm not a cop. We just had about 1/3 of our state's ANG go downrange and all but a few were volunteers. The ANG for a lot of trips downrange also does not do full 6 month rotations- elements from different states' Guard units will send volunteers and split up a 6 month rotation of x troops into a bunch of rotations with different numbers in each. I helped make up C bags for a bunch that would do about 45 days of a rotation. As mentioned by meeko, however, there is another chance to volunteer- IMA. You are reserve component but get to go with an active duty unit and do what they do.

MrMurphy
11-15-2006, 18:48
Yeah, we actually have a couple people that are usually reservist wives or husbands of active members of our unit, like one couple who just PCSd back to the land of people who actually work (i.e not Europe), husband was active duty cop, wife was IMA, when I got here, she was just like active duty.....stayed on for like 9 months then "done!" then a while later came back on for another 3-4 months before they left.

themouth1
11-16-2006, 13:26
All of the above posts are why I recommend the Guard over the Reserve. As far as people in Europe not working, I am not sure where you have been but, in my time in Europe I worked twice what I do stateside. Overseas is more of what I like to call the "real" Air Force. Until you are stationed abroad, you may not understand.

meeko
11-16-2006, 15:27
The IMA option is also something to think about. I have a friend that was IMA at Ellsworth AFB South Dakota. He just would show up when it suited his schedule. You just have to do X number of days per year. I checked into it once and as far as Security Forces it depended on what slot you were in on how many days you had to do. Flight level slots where something like 24 days or something. I saw a few back office slots that generaly were a few more days. I don't think they care if you want to do more. The IMA has it beat compaired to the ANG and reserve because there is always something you want to do that falls during Guard drill weekend. With the IMA you just show up when it works for you.

The only down side is you sort of have to push your own paperwork and such through for pay and etc. there are IMA liasons but thats the way all sides (active ANG Reserve) are doing thing.

themouth1
11-16-2006, 21:43
I agree 100 percent with the IMA thing. I had a TSgt come work for me a few years ago and he loved it. You just look around the world for a job and you go. The downside is that you have to be in the reserves first and you may have to commitments to your unit that you have to deal with as well. IMA doesn't change your reserve commitment.

MrMurphy
11-17-2006, 07:25
I am currently stationed in Europe, and yes, we do work. I meant the local nationals, who do all they can to avoid it. (love socialism don't you? They still get paid).

meeko
11-17-2006, 12:25
Originally posted by themouth1
I agree 100 percent with the IMA thing. I had a TSgt come work for me a few years ago and he loved it. You just look around the world for a job and you go. The downside is that you have to be in the reserves first and you may have to commitments to your unit that you have to deal with as well. IMA doesn't change your reserve commitment.

themouth, I'm not sure if I am hearing you right. Let me know but actually you don't have to be in the reserves first. Your IMA commitment is your commitment. No drills however just X number of days at your call. The AF Reserve is the ones that handle the program. The AF Reserve recriuters are the ones you need to see. It's sort of a hidden world. I have a little insight and it still took some effort on my part when I checked into it. If I didn't already have my 20 years in i'd probably transfer to an IMA spot. There is really no pressure once you have your 20 year letter and everyday is potential retirement day. A nice trump card to have.

meeko
11-17-2006, 12:34
Originally posted by MrMurphy
I am currently stationed in Europe, and yes, we do work. I meant the local nationals, who do all they can to avoid it. (love socialism don't you? They still get paid).

Sorry MrMurphy not trying to spin your last but I was just thinking about my time overseas with the lovely host nation mentality and something hit me. Actually the USA has socialism alive and well. It's called welfare!! Don't get me wrong if someone is say messed up from birth, or had a legitimate accident etc and can't work I don't have a problem however I notice from when I was a street cop that alot more people on welfare have all their mental and motor skills an 07 vehicle and cell phone (with camera and blackberry) and weekends and holidays off. I get sort of peeved.

MrMurphy
11-17-2006, 13:11
Yup.

themouth1
11-17-2006, 16:21
I could be wrong(it does happen) but I am almost certain you have to be a member of a reserve unit to do man days(IMA). I have had alot of folks over the years that did man days. A few times in Italy, we had three from the same reserve unit in Oklahoma. How can you do IMA and not be in the active reserve??

meeko
11-18-2006, 11:38
Originally posted by themouth1
I could be wrong(it does happen) but I am almost certain you have to be a member of a reserve unit to do man days(IMA). I have had alot of folks over the years that did man days. A few times in Italy, we had three from the same reserve unit in Oklahoma. How can you do IMA and not be in the active reserve??

You don't have to join the reserve per say in a traditonal capacity however the reserve recruiters are the ones that you have to go through for an IMA position. As an IMA you are an Individual Military Augmentee (something close to that) Being an IMA you are assigned to a specific active duty base. You are required to do X number of days per year. The AF Reserve is in charge of the program. Your X number of days is all you do no weekend drills just those days reqiured. Thats the perk you schedule it so it works for you. A lot of IMA's are not even from the area their base of assignment is. One fella was a deputy sheriff in Florida and an IMA at Ellsworth. It worked out his wife was from the Ellsworth area so he just planned a working vacation for 24 or whatever days every summer.

Now if you join a full reserve wing somewhere like say Grissom ARB Indiana. They have traditional drill weekends and two weeks annual training (AT) just like the ANG.

najaboy
11-19-2006, 18:40
Okay, it seems I need to correct and clarify a few things. As an ART, I can offer a perspective on this matter that Active Duty just doesn't have. For those who don't know, ART is an acronym for Air Reserve Technician. I carry dual status with the AF Reserves. During the week, I do my job wearing civilian clothes, and on UTAs and Annual Tour, I wear the uniform and train Traditional Reservists on the ins and outs of their job.

Firstly, it is not easier to deploy a TR than it is an active duty Airman. Barring a unit activation, the CC's ability to direct a member to involuntary duty is very limited. The CC may direct members to annual tour to support an ORE/ORI or to accomplish block training. In short, if they don't volunteer to go to Iraq, we generally can't send them.

However, in the case of an AEF deployment, it is entirely a volunteer scenario. If a position on the DRMD has to be shortfalled due to a lack of volunteers, the requirement goes to our sister unit to fill. If it still has to be shortfalled, the requirement then goes AFRC-wide for volunteers. In the extremely unlikely event that AFRC cannot find a volunteer, it then goes AF-wide.

As an example, one of my junior NCO's, who is a traditional reservist, was slated to deploy on our last AEF. For personal reasons, he backed out at the last minute. While it caused some heartburn in the chain, the position was shortfalled until a volunteer could be found. As the unit was not activated, he could not legally be forced to go.

On this upcoming AEF, I had a TR that was scheduled to go on rotation 3 in March. However, he's been accepted into a pilot slot at Grissom ARB. To accommodate the possibility of him going to OTS as early as April, he was moved to rotation 1 in January.

I have another TR who works for Boeing in TX. The nature of his civilian job is such that his employer can dictate to AFRC when he is available to us. Of course, situations such as this are not the norm, but rather just an example of when AFRC cannot dictate a member's participation.

On to IMAs... An IMA, or Individual Mobilization Augmentee is a reservist who works with an Active Duty unit. The participation requirements for different categories of IMA vary, and may include unpaid days of working for points only. Unlike TRs, IMAs can be activated as individuals. Their primary purpose is to backfill positions at home station in the event of a unit deployment. However, they can also be deployed while activated. Typically, IMA slots are given to prior service folks who are already proficient in their AFSC. These positions are popular right now because of the "reshaping" of the Active Duty force.

Man days... each FY, there's a limited amount of man day money available from AFRC. When an IMA pulls a man day, it is funded by AFRC, which works out well for the gaining unit. All an IMA needs to do, provided man days are available, is submit his/her orders request and Form 40-A.

I won't get much into the ANG as they are the portion of this total force that I'm least experienced with. I will state however that they are just as prone to activation and deployment as the Reserves. Also that the Guard is one step ahead of AFRC in the total force concept- full time employees of the ANG are generally required by law to wear their BDUs or Blues to work and are subject to the UCMJ. In the AF Reserves, ARTs cannot be forced to wear their uniform when not on orders (the current exception is flight crews, who must wear their uniform when operating a military aircraft). Likewise, we are subject to the UCMJ only when on military orders. Aside from that, working for AFRC or the ANG as a civilian is similar. Both are paid on the same pay scale and both earn similar benefits although many states have their own education benefit for ANG members.

All that being said, I'd like to address the OP's original question. Personally, I have no qualms about recommending the AF Reserves if you're looking to join a reserve component, nor would I write of the ANG. My personal bias, however, would lean towards the AF Reserves. The opportunities for advancement in either component are limited only by the individual. A person can choose to sit in an E-5 slot and stagnate for 20 years, or they can make their own opportunities and rise to E-9 or even earn a commission.

The pros involved with serving in the AF Reserves are numerous, not the least of which is the pride and satisfaction that you'll feel each time you don the uniform. I could also detail the material benefits of serving, but they're pretty much on par with most of the bennies afforded Active Duty. The one thing I will say though, is that the administration of the Reserve GI Bill has been severely neglected throughout the years, as it is run by the DoD and not the VA. As such, the Reserve GI Bill benefit has not grown at the same proportional rate that the Active Duty MGIB has.

As for the drawbacks, the list is short and can easily be remedied. One of the chief complaints I hear from people is that their rank is tied to the slot they're in, and they cannot advance until someone retires or dies. That is just a cop out. The opportunities for advancement are there for those that are willing to put forth the time and effort. My former unit's Command Chief had an Article 15 back when he was just an A1C. The opportunities for advancement are there for those willing to pursue them. In the Chief's case, he crosstrained to other AFSCs when he hit the ceiling in his last one. For those who have a clean record, there's the PEP, or Promotion Enhancement Program. PEP promotions are competetive, and a unit is given a limited number of stripes by HHQ to give out each PEP cycle. Being promoted under PEP means that you can go one over your authorized grade. For example, if you're a TSgt sitting in an E-6 slot and you meet the TIG and TIS requirements, you would be authorized to sew on MSgt after being PEP'd.

As to the question about Iraq, the situation over there is ever changing. Balad AB and its aircraft, for instance, are a common target for insurgents and terrorists. It's my understanding that SF is currently involved in many things over there, from base defense to convoy escorts. However, the SF guys here are far better qualified than myself to answer that one.

In closing, one of the best things you can do is to go see the unit you're thinking of signing up with before putting your name on the dotted line. Get a feel for the unit and for the folks you might be working with. Just like any service, there's great places and people to work for, and then there's the not-so-great ones.

themouth1
11-19-2006, 23:47
Good post. I learned quite a bit I didn't know. Thanks,

meeko
11-20-2006, 06:35
najaboy, Good post!! Just for information the ANG technicians as well as AGR's are not subject to the UCMJ. The AGR's are on title 32 thus they are subject to their state UCMJ but not the active UCMJ unless they revert to title 10. There was a collage professor in my cop squadron that researched that and used it in his classroom presentations. ANG technicians are also represented by a union while on technician status. I sort of chuckled when I first came from active duty and learned that.
As a prior active duty AF and ANG AGR now traditional and federal civilian (federal LE agency) I have experience working for or seeing a number of programs. They all hve there perks.

And for all the critics out there (mostly active duty)the U. S. military is really getting cheap labor when you compare what a civil service technician makes (not a bad wage by the way) with drill pay to say what an active duty person makes with BAQ, BAS etc.