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-   -   Enlisting in USAF, Any Advice? (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1294098)

BayouGlocker 12-13-2010 20:46

Enlisting in USAF, Any Advice?
 
I know I'm a little late to the party, but at almost 23 years of age, I've decided to enlist in the AF. Going through some things trying to get a waiver, since I was diagnosed with childhood asthma. I ran track and cross country in high school, so hopefully this will be cleared up.....

I'm very interested in Security Forces, but open to other jobs as well.

Anyways, as a (hopeful) recruit, any advice?

trdvet 12-14-2010 14:47

Congrats and you picked well. 3 years Army here.

I would pick a technical job so when it comes time to get out of the military I could have a skill that transfers to the civilian world and hopefully one that pays well.

pennlineman 12-14-2010 15:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by trdvet (Post 16458961)
Congrats and you picked well. 3 years Army here.

I would pick a technical job so when it comes time to get out of the military I could have a skill that transfers to the civilian world and hopefully one that pays well.


I agree. I was combat arms. It was fun but didn't do much for me when I got out. I had no interest in being in law enforcement. There are some high tech jobs in there, let them train you and you'll be set for life.

Good luck with your pursuit.

MrMurphy 12-14-2010 15:57

I was Security Forces. Most of you training will NOT cross over and most of the copstuff they teach you in the academy you will never (unless you make sergeant.....maybe) have a chance to do.

If you need info, PM me. I will tell you the non BS version and it's recent (I got out in Dec 2008, i have guys working in the academy now who were troops of mine who are now instructors).

AZ Husker 12-14-2010 17:30

Isn't Security Forces guarding a missal silo in South Dakota at -35 degrees?

pennlineman 12-14-2010 17:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZ Husker (Post 16459819)
Isn't Security Forces guarding a missal silo in South Dakota at -35 degrees?

That or a B-52, Same weather.

Jolly_Giant 12-15-2010 20:48

I just got out of the Air Force. I would recommend a flying job. You are enlisting so that would be: A Linguist, Loadmaster, boom operator or gunner. Take it from someone who knows. If you are going to be in the Air Force, you want to be a flyer.

bluelineman 12-15-2010 22:32

Great posts above. Also remember, unless it's in writing, it's not guaranteed.

Ralff 12-16-2010 07:36

How smart are you? If you're really nerdy you can try for 9S, but you have to like algebra, calculus, chemistry, physics and geology. Bonus points for interests in D&D and World of Warcraft.

8th SPS USAF 12-16-2010 10:20

Usaf
 
I was in LE from 1971/1974 Loved it. Worked as PD officer for 3 years
after that. NRA trainer and help train local PD's. I would guess that things
have changed alot since then. But you get the best of most things,
chow, rooms,etc. Good luck

8th

JBnTX 12-16-2010 10:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouGlocker (Post 16455550)

....I'm very interested in Security Forces....


DON'T DO IT!!!
Not Security Forces, Hell No, No Way!!!


...And I know what I'm talking about because I spent 21 years in the USAF
as a Security Policeman (1971-1992). I retired a Master Sergeant in 1992.

Security Forces (as it's now called) is nothing more than a plain old security
guard job. The only difference between it and a civilian security guard job is
what you're guarding. Nuclear weapons versus some warehouse somewhere.

Where will your Security Forces training get you a job after you leave the AF?
You guessed it! A security guard job. Think about it!

Don't get me wrong. I loved the job, but it's not for everyone. Hell, it's not
for 95% of most people. I liked it because I have a tremendous amount of patience,
don't mind boredom, I like guns, the outdoors and I like being alone.

Does that describe you?

Unless you like standing all alone out in the freezing rain or the scorching hot sun
for hours at a time, stay away from security forces.

As previously stated, get a specific job guarantee in writing before you sign anything.
Security Foces is the largest enlisted career field and chances are that's where you'll end up
if you don't get a specific job guarantee in writing before you join.

Recruiters are always pressured to fill SF job slots because the USAF always needs them due
to the high turnover rate. They will stick your ass there in a heartbeat.

Please don't misunderstand my rant. I loved every minute of every day while
I was a Security Policeman, but I saw many, many, many unhappy people in that job.

MrMurphy 12-16-2010 12:37

Exactly.

If you know what you're getting into, not a problem. Believe the recruiter BS that you'll be rolling in a Crown Vic with an M9 chasing parked cars? Yeah..........sure.

I spent my time sitting in a Humvee with a machine gun waiting for the worst to happen. It never quite did, though we had many interesting times. Nowdays, SF=deployment. Whatever other job you have is irrelevant, you WILL deploy. Repeatedly. Since that was what i was after i had no problem with it, except they only sent me to Al Udeid (vacation spot)......whatever, it was better than no deployment.

If you know how to play the system you can get what you want. Go in blind? Yeah, you'll be guarding silos in the northern tier.

bluelineman 12-18-2010 11:48

Funny you guys should mention security forces. Back in the day when I was in 7 level school, out class leader was a MSgt cross-trainee. He knew exactly how many steps it took to go around a B-52. BTW, I forget the number, but it was a lot. :supergrin:

Mwildt 12-21-2010 17:53

23? I went through basic at 27, it wasn't bad.

I'm 2T2X1 - air transportation, in the reserves. Mindless job and there really isn't much of a future outside of UPS, FedEx or working for an airline. I joined for the GI Bill mainly, so that's not a concern for me.

We had a guy that F'd up and told a doctor he had asthma as a child when he went to sick call in basic. A few days later he was packing his bags and heading home. Hope you can get your waiver.

I wish I would have gone active out of high school, but that's long since passed. Listen to what others have said here. I've met several former load masters and a handful of linguists. All of them spoke highly of their former career. The former security force members I've met echo what has been said here as well. A few loved it while most could not wait to cross train.

If you have any questions about basic let me know. It's still fairly fresh in my mind and I went through the 8.5 weeks opposed to the 6.5 weeks.

Rocknropes 12-21-2010 22:30

Considering where you are located, have you been in Barksdale yet?

bluelineman 12-21-2010 22:30

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mwildt (Post 16500321)
23? I went through basic at 27, it wasn't bad.

I'm 2T2X1 - air transportation, in the reserves. Mindless job and there really isn't much of a future outside of UPS, FedEx or working for an airline. I joined for the GI Bill mainly, so that's not a concern for me.

We had a guy that F'd up and told a doctor he had asthma as a child when he went to sick call in basic. A few days later he was packing his bags and heading home. Hope you can get your waiver.

I wish I would have gone active out of high school, but that's long since passed. Listen to what others have said here. I've met several former load masters and a handful of linguists. All of them spoke highly of their former career. The former security force members I've met echo what has been said here as well. A few loved it while most could not wait to cross train.

If you have any questions about basic let me know. It's still fairly fresh in my mind and I went through the 8.5 weeks opposed to the 6.5 weeks.

PM sent re: 2T2X1.

Mwildt 12-21-2010 23:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by bluelineman (Post 16501983)
PM sent re: 2T2X1.

Back at you.

Edmo01 12-22-2010 00:12

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouGlocker (Post 16455550)
I know I'm a little late to the party, but at almost 23 years of age, I've decided to enlist in the AF. Going through some things trying to get a waiver, since I was diagnosed with childhood asthma. I ran track and cross country in high school, so hopefully this will be cleared up.....

I'm very interested in Security Forces, but open to other jobs as well.

Anyways, as a (hopeful) recruit, any advice?

Don't try to hide an illness when you fill out the forms. If they need a waiver, they'll get one. Otherwise you risk being discharged if the find out at a later date that you were less than honest.

Get in shape prior to basic... Running, situps, pushups, pullups, etc. USAF Basic Training is more physical than it used to be and you'll be challenged physically and mentally. The training will go easier if you are already in shape. Don't wait for them to get you into shape.

Pick a job you think you'll enjoy. Every job has a suck side, but most are rewarding. There is always the "needs of the Air Force" with regards to job placement, so you might not get what you want. Flying jobs mean long hours, time from home, and lot of study and challenge. However, they can be very rewarding. I flew most of my 21 years and enjoyed it.

Good luck if you decide to go in.

Edmo

Sigluvr 12-25-2010 17:31

Go Combat Arms. I didn't know that was an option until I was allready in. BTW Guaranteed Electrical translated into Boiler Tech. Not a bad job, but I never did figure out how that worked. I tried to re-train but the waiting list was to long for CATM, so I just got out. I don't regret a minute of it though (OK maybee a few.)

Good Luck.

MrMurphy 12-25-2010 21:13

You can't enlist straight into CATM.

DaveUSAF 12-26-2010 09:49

I spent 21 years in Communications as a 2E173, Ground Radio Maint Tech and retired in 2002 as a MSgt (E-7). There are so many options with this job but you would be best in it if you have an aptitude for electronics. There are slots with Special Ops, NSA, NASA, R&D, etc, all while being in the Air Force. On the plus side I was able to ge an Instrumentation Tech job at a Power Plant that pays very well.

If you want a challenging job, check out Pararescue, Combat Control Team, Combat Weather to just mention a few.

Since Security Forces restructured awhile back, there are not different jobs or career fields like LE, Security Police, and CATM. They are a large pool and assigned from that at their duty station depending on needs. A former Security Forces member may correct me on this. I know manning was so low at Malmstrom when I was there that they forcast their leave a year in advance where I could ask and usually get leave a day in advance.

I had an excellent recruiter when I went in but I pretty much aced the ASVAB so they knew I wasn't just a warm body in a slot.

Personnally, I would not mention the asthma if you have not had any problems in the last several years. I found out from my mom I had asthma as a child but I already had 10 years in the service so I never said a thing since it was a non issue.

Good Luck

DaveUSAF

LajesField, Azores 82-84
Dobbins AFB, Ga 84-88
Incirlik AB, Turkey 88-89
Malmstrom AFB, Mt 89-96
Incirlik AB, Turkey 96-98
Tinker AFB, Ok 98-00
Osan AB, Korea 00-02

MrMurphy 12-26-2010 10:26

CATM is a seperate branch inside SF. You generally switch over and stay there. For years. Sometimes if manning's tight they'll pull you (I deployed with a CATM SSgt who had that happen, he was a regular line NCO instead of CATM as we didn't have a role for that) but they generally stay in CATM from SSgt through TSgt since there's not too many MSgt spots in CATM available, then go back to flight or retire.

BayouGlocker 12-27-2010 15:04

Thanks for all the replies. I'm still waiting on the local hospitals and clinics to get my records to my recruiter. Longest and most annoying thing so far.

Thanks for the imput about SF. It's something I am interested in because I am interested in a possible carreer in law enforcment. I'm also a gun nut (go figure, this is GT afterall...).

However, I am keeping my options open. When I was in high school I got a 90 or something on the ASVAB, so we'll see how things go when I'm finally able to take it again. I've been told that depending on how things work out, they could stick me in a job that requires higher scores, simply because they need the guys who can qualify for those jobs.

For all I know, I could end up assigned something I never would have dreamed up, and end up loving it.

As far as getting ready for basic goes, I'm going to start getting with some buddies and working out. I'm already in decent shape, but would like to build up my strength and endurance a bit.

Gunner442 12-27-2010 20:28

Quote:

Originally Posted by JBnTX (Post 16469629)
DON'T DO IT!!!
Not Security Forces, Hell No, No Way!!!

...And I know what I'm talking about because I spent 21 years in the USAF
as a Security Policeman (1971-1992). I retired a Master Sergeant in 1992.

Security Forces (as it's now called) is nothing more than a plain old security
guard job. The only difference between it and a civilian security guard job is
what you're guarding. Nuclear weapons versus some warehouse somewhere.

Where will your Security Forces training get you a job after you leave the AF?
You guessed it! A security guard job. Think about it!

Don't get me wrong. I loved the job, but it's not for everyone. Hell, it's not
for 95% of most people. I liked it because I have a tremendous amount of patience,
don't mind boredom, I like guns, the outdoors and I like being alone.

Does that describe you?

Unless you like standing all alone out in the freezing rain or the scorching hot sun
for hours at a time, stay away from security forces.

As previously stated, get a specific job guarantee in writing before you sign anything.
Security Foces is the largest enlisted career field and chances are that's where you'll end up
if you don't get a specific job guarantee in writing before you join.

Recruiters are always pressured to fill SF job slots because the USAF always needs them due
to the high turnover rate. They will stick your ass there in a heartbeat.

Please don't misunderstand my rant. I loved every minute of every day while
I was a Security Policeman, but I saw many, many, many unhappy people in that job.

  • I gotta agree yet disagree. Security forces( Security Specialist) 1988-2004, 1st Sgt 2004-2007. Retired in 2007. I was SAC ( Barksdale LA), USAFE ( Europe), AMC( transports), and 1st Sgt for a C-130 Sq, and a Civil Engineer Sq. Yes, like any police job the hours and shifts can suck. It can be boring no doubt. But, I've done my time on the "stone" guarding nukes, etc. I've also worked in the armory, training, and as a Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection NCO. The career field is not for everyone... Currently SF is heavily deployed in Afghanistan, and Iraq so lots of time in the "box". And yes, SF does go outside the wire. As far as jobs, and you might think this is BS, but I tool my SF background, earned a degree on my off duty time(on-line) and now currently work in the homeland security world for a governmental agency. I would also agree that a flying job(loadmaster) is a pretty good life, and worth considering. I was able to work embedded security with the aircrews, which was very cool. PM me if you want, I married a LA girl...

bluelineman 12-27-2010 23:24

Quote:

Originally Posted by BayouGlocker (Post 16532559)
Thanks for the imput about SF. It's something I am interested in because I am interested in a possible carreer in law enforcment. I'm also a gun nut (go figure, this is GT afterall...).

Keep in mind that having military police on your resume doesn't necessarily transfer to civilian police jobs. In Texas, most agencies (in this area) don't recognize military police as having experience in the civilian world.


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