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Old 05-29-2006, 11:08   #1
TexasGlock23
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Ok so I may be joining up for the AF

Give me pointers please. I want to be MP. I am 21, and I still do not have a degree, so officer is out for me. Thanks guys and Happy Memorial Day
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Old 05-30-2006, 02:18   #2
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I spent 2 years in Security Forces before cross-training into another career field. I may not have all the answers but I'll see what I can do. What would you like to know?
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Old 05-30-2006, 06:21   #3
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Anything and everything, what to expect, etc.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:44   #4
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Air Force Security Forces

IMHO, Security Forces is a dead end career field. (AF doesn't use the term "MP.") Most security force troops right out of basic training end up walking a post at night, guarding an aircraft. I think we will continue to see civilian guards at military bases. At Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth Carswell Field, it appears that all gate guards are now civilianized. Please don't sign up for security forces thinking you're going to be investigating crime.
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Old 05-30-2006, 07:58   #5
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No matter what your career field, you will be much better served with the degree.

That goes the same for USAF or not USAF.
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:54   #6
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Re: Air Force Security Forces

As was mentioned before, most, if not all, bases are using or are going to start using civilian contractors for gate security. A lot of that is because of Security Forces being stretched thin due to overseas deployments. SF deploy a lot, so you can pretty much count on spending time in the desert. And even if not deployed, being stretched thin means long shifts and few days off.

About the only time you would not deploy, would be if you ended up at a missile base guarding nukes. That's what I did for 2 years. Some troops don't mind working missiles, but most consider it to be the ass-end of the SF career field.

Is there anything specific you’d like to know about? What are your expectations for the job? What do you see it as being like?
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Old 05-30-2006, 10:56   #7
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Re: Re: Air Force Security Forces

Quote:
Originally posted by Kalmah
...What are your expectations for the job? What do you see it as being like?
Excellent questions! How many years you planning on putting in?
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Old 05-30-2006, 16:40   #8
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Well from what my girlfriend said her dad did, he pretty much patrolled the base on shifts much like a police officer here would. I just want to know what I should look for or do while in there. My goal is to become a police officer, but I am finding it difficult for me. I have 12 hours of college under my belt and no experience, I am 21 working at a part store making no money while my girlfriend is a paralegal with a degree. I would love to start a family in the next 5 years and have a house. The way I am going I won't be able to. Basically it is time to man up and do something with my life. I thought I could work full-time and do school, but all I can manage is 2 classes a semester. I want to work in some LEO field, that is all I ever wanted to do. I had thoughts of becomming a mechanic since I live cars so much, but not necessarily aircrafts, and since I have been told by several members of the Armed Forces that the AF has the best benefits I wanted to shoot for the AF.
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Old 05-30-2006, 18:08   #9
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Sign up for a vech mechanic in the Air Force, lots of ground equipment to support those aircraft you know.

I am a former United States Air Force mobile RADAR tech, 303x2. We spent lots of time in trucks driving around the country side dragging a RADAR unit behind us. We had mechanics fix all those trucks.

Japan, S. Korea, Germany and the Middle East have our RADAR gear deployed there.
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Old 05-30-2006, 21:37   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by TexasGlock23
Well from what my girlfriend said her dad did, he pretty much patrolled the base on shifts much like a police officer here would. I just want to know what I should look for or do while in there. My goal is to become a police officer, but I am finding it difficult for me. I have 12 hours of college under my belt and no experience, I am 21 working at a part store making no money while my girlfriend is a paralegal with a degree. I would love to start a family in the next 5 years and have a house. The way I am going I won't be able to. Basically it is time to man up and do something with my life. I thought I could work full-time and do school, but all I can manage is 2 classes a semester. I want to work in some LEO field, that is all I ever wanted to do. I had thoughts of becomming a mechanic since I live cars so much, but not necessarily aircrafts, and since I have been told by several members of the Armed Forces that the AF has the best benefits I wanted to shoot for the AF.
If you went Security Forces, you could end up in LE, essentially being the base cop. Or you could end up in security, spending hours walking a flight line in all kinds of weather, or out on the wide-open prairie guarding nukes. It’s a crapshoot. You could also pick another career field that would be more marketable in the civilian world.

There’s no guarantee SF is going to be any more helpful to you when you look for a civilian LE gig than any other career field would be. An honorable discharge is going to look good on an application or resume, regardless of what your job was. Most departments are looking for applicants with life experiences in general, not just security/LE backgrounds.

And most departments are looking for college grads, or at least someone who’s close to graduating. That’s where the Air Force is going to help you a lot. You’ll have all kinds of educational opportunities, from tuition assistance to the GI Bill. BE SURE TO SIGN UP FOR THE GI BILL!!! With these programs, you’ll end up paying very little, or even nothing, for a bachelor’s degree.

You’re probably wondering, who am I to give you advice? Well, I was in a similar situation to yours. I was 21 years old, a college dropout, working a dead end job with no future. I finally said, “screw this,” I need to do something with my life. So I enlisted in the Air Force and became a weather specialist. I did my 4 years, got out, put my GI Bill to work, became a full time student and finished my degree.

After graduating, I worked in civilian law enforcement for several years - as a deputy in a small county sheriff’s office, and then as a patrol officer in a large city PD. I then applied to Air Force Officer Training School, got my commission and spent 2 years in Security Forces.

So I do know a little something about both civilian and military LE.
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Old 05-30-2006, 22:22   #11
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Well thanks, that is exactly the type of info. I am looking for! To be honest i am not joining up to fight for my country, although it is great that some do, I just never really had ambitions to do so. Joining was always a last option in the back of my mind. I thought I could make it out here, but I guess I was wrong. My only reason now is for the benefits! As ****ty as that may seem to others, I am an honest person. I have nothing but respect for those guys fighting so that I can b*tch about my financial problems. Thanks for the info. guys. Keep it flowing. Anything can help.
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Old 05-31-2006, 16:37   #12
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I have been in for almost 13 years in aircraft maintenance. I like it well enough. If you just want to use it for the benifits, that is fine. There is almost any type of job you can think of in the A.F. and our quality of life is better than the other services. There is also lots of jobs that don't deploy nearly as much as the cops. NDI, PMEL, optometry, public affairs, MEO, any of the bean counter types just to name a few. Not saying they don't go places but not nearly as much as the SF guys.

I think someone already said that just because you were SF doens't really help you much more than just being in the military and from what I have gathered from others I would agree.

The one thing you have to remember and I tell all my new troops is is that the military is 90% attitude and 10% ability. A good positive can do attitude with a nice uniform and good boots can get you a long way. Young guys sometimes don't get the little things, I notice every time when one of them says yeah instead of yes.

The A.F. is probably the easiest job that people hate.
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Old 05-31-2006, 16:49   #13
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Thanks guys, all this is helping me decide, reply with whatever you can. I need to set up an appointment with a recruiter to discuss further I guess
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Old 05-31-2006, 20:39   #14
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I've talked about this issue with a friend of mine at work a few times. He was an active duty SF for 4 years, a security guard, a correctional officer at the state prison, a campus cop, and a deputy. He's told me many times his employers specifically told him his 4 years as a cop in the Air Force weren't considered "previous law enforcement experience." Our supervisor is a retired Air Force SF who also worked for the Federal Protective Service before setting down here- we make good money here but he's also got retirement checks coming in every month. I have another friend who was in with my other friend at the same time, doing the same thing, and now works security making a lot less than I do with no LE experience but a college degree.

So what? Don't count on that time/training in Security Forces to guarantee you a job as a civilian cop. Use your tuition reimbursement and your GI BILL to your fullest advantage.

You don't have to go in with the attitude "I'm serving my country:" I've know plenty of people who've approached the military as a job who were damned good at what they did. Just be good at what you do.
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Old 05-31-2006, 23:36   #15
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I'm current USAF Security Forces, overseas.

If you want the headsup on how things are RIGHT NOW (sorry guys, but 2-3 years changes much in this field lately) give me a PM. Might take a day to reply, I"m working 6-and-3's and in Europe so time is off.


I'm an LE troop in a base where you do both LE and security in the same squadron (not necessarily always the case). LE is, indeed, within a few years, going away. Mostly.

I know two guys from NY who have done their 4 and are getting out at 22 to go be state troopers or local cops. While SF may not qualify as "LE experience" it's a hell of a lot more than someone else off the street knows. Most of the LE stuff you learn in an academy you learn in tech school (cuffing, crime scenes, car stops etc) to some extent. The future of SF, though, is "Air Force Infantry" doing airbase defense as the primary if not only mission.

PM me if you want a run down on exactly how tech school is being run as of this year (I'm only six months out, and a bunch of noobs just showed up, so i can quiz them).
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Old 06-02-2006, 17:11   #16
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Being SF will not guarantee you a smooth transition into a civilian cop job. However, it is looked up favorably. Many local cops around here are reserve or Guard SF troops.

What is your interest? Do you want to be something other than a cop? I regret that I did not demand the powerplant tech school/AFSC when I got in. I could have worked on my A&P and been doing well as a jet engine mechanic.

Instead, I was a weapons loader, CATM troop, then TACP (which was a good time). All good experiences I left at ten years to be the better F/T cop. Still miss the AF.
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Old 06-02-2006, 17:16   #17
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I really have no interest in much beside law. A game warden would be nice. Mechanics, but not on planes.
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Old 06-02-2006, 19:15   #18
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You could be a heavy vehicle mechanic (MXS). As a Security Forces troop, yes you learn LE stuff, but depending where you go, you'd maybe/never do it. I've been a cop six months and have issued two tickets. Mostly because I'm an entry controller and don't get mobile patrols much, and the rest of the time I'm pulling security posts because I'm cleared for them, we're perpetually (till pretty soon with a bunch of guys in) undermanned, and I'm qualified on all weapons in the inventory unlike many.

But when I do, I enjoy them. One day I was the only LE patrol mobile on the entire base, by myself, for about 2 hrs because the sgt I was riding with got pulled for other duties for a bit. That was fun.

Just realize that if you go in SF you won't have much time for college without some serious self-dedication, refusal of party offers and girl chasing by other SFers etc. We don't have much free time. Being married I get about 4 hours sleep a night then I'm at work.
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Old 06-03-2006, 07:54   #19
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You know, I picked up more applicable skills from my TACP days that relate to my current LE job than with the other AFSCs I had. Funny how that works.
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Old 06-03-2006, 16:25   #20
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Ok, you all understand I might go and that I am not in, so abbreviations mean nothing to me Explain them for the slow guy
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