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Sheepish
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Discussion Starter #1
I've been thinking about this for a long time and have decided I want to enlist and make something of myself in the military while I complete my college degree. But now I've got to decide where to go.

I've narrowed it down to Army Airborne and Navy, any of you have any input?

I'd REALLY like to fly an F-14 or an F-18, but I can't do that without a college degree. There's a lot of things in the Army I'd like to do, that I couldn't do in the Navy. What about going through the Army, getting my degree and finishing a 4-6 year stint, then turning around and going Naval to fly?

What do all of you think about this, or what would you do in my shoes?
 

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Chapter Director Coordinator
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why can't you stay in the army and go Air Force at the end?

they have better jets anyway.. of course, you can go Air Force from beginning to end, they supposedly have one of the best education programs too...
 

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As a former Coastie, I have to recommend the US Coast Guard.

It is a very satisfying job as there is a peacetime mission (Search and Rescue, Drug Interdiction, Homeland Security, etc.).

The training is excellent, it is a small outfit where you can make a name for yourself if you're willing to apply yourself and it has all the benefits of all the other branches. And since it’s such a small organization, it doesn’t have a lot of the BS that the major branches have.

I was in from ’82 – ’86 and would have made it a career had it not been for the financial situation within DoT at the time.

If you want one of the most satisfying jobs in the world, go into the US Coast Guard and try to get into the “Rescue Swimmer” field. These are the guys that jump out of the helicopters into the water and rescue stranded boaters, etc.

Very elite and you’re trained to save lives vs. trained to take lives.

Just my .02. :thumbsup:

http://www.gocoastguard.com/
 

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As a career person, if your looking for something to stay in for a while. I would have to recommend at least talking to an Air Force recruiter. Get a tour of a base, meet some people who do what you want to do, and who are NOT recruiters. Any branch can set that up for you.
The quality of life in the Air Force is beyond comparison, the education programs are endless and you will have countless opportunities to better yourself.

All of the branches are good and have a purpose, so look at all of them without bias and without what the other recruiters are telling you about them and you will see whats right for you.

:)
 

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OK, as an Army lifer, let me tell you about flying in the Army.

No airplanes, just helicopters.
You don't need a college degree to fly in the Army.
Spend 4 years in, and make SGT, put in a Warrant Officer packet, and go to flight school. If you're gonna fly, pick Apache helicopters, because the pilots are babied, and treated like kings.

If you want to stay enlisted, I'd recommend the Air Force, like was posted before, I was stationed on Hurlburt Field, FL and the Air Force has a higher standard of living that the Army on the enlisted side. Officers get treated better in any service.

How many military folks can guess what an old Army guy was doing stationed on Hurlburt Field? Should be pretty easy, since there is only 1 Army unit there.

BTW, I'm now an Army Career Counselor, so if you have any questions about any Army jobs offered, shoot me an email or PM, and I can tell you what the real deal is on them, most recruiters are OK, but some will tell you what you want to hear, As a career counselor, my job is to help people map out their careers in the Army and reach their goals, so if you are thinking about the Army Airborne, been there done that, and I loved FT. Bragg.
 

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Boom.
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Especially in current times, it might take you awhile to actually finish your degree while enlisted in the Army, depending on your line of work. Two of my friends were at USF AROTC enlisted in the Reserves and they are currently in Iraq. They were a year ahead of me, but at this point I will pin the bar on about a year ahead of them. That's not to say it can't be done and I am very glad that they are doing for us what they are right now, but it is something to think about.

The Coast Guard is pretty sweet. I had some opportunity to set up a program where my cadets in high school Navy ROTC got to train with a CG Cutter unit and it is a very cool job/life, and it is very important as well.

It is possible to enlist in the Army and complete college and go Navy, but I believe you will have to be a part of one of the officer accession programs of the Navy anyways, be it ROTC or OCS. My wing commander is prior Army enlisted, and he is now about to pin on in blues.

I would echo what many others have said though and talk to a lot of people who are in the field now. I only made the decision of even what branch I wanted to go into after talking to countless people and even going through some different programs (I very nearly went to the Naval Academy, and I spent a very beneficial week there realizing that I didn't want to lol). I'm still not sure what job I'm going for, as I just found out that my eyesight might not be a limiting factor for flying and I did quite well on the pilot/nav qualification test (88 pilot/94 nav).


Oh, one more thing, if you are interested in Electrical Engineering check out the Air Force ROTC scholarship program. The AF is desparate for EEs and is basically handing out scholarships to those who meet the minimum criteria and will major in EE. If I changed majors right now to EE I'd be on scholarship and contracted next semester.
 

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Boom.
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Rich95XR7 said:


How many military folks can guess what an old Army guy was doing stationed on Hurlburt Field? Should be pretty easy, since there is only 1 Army unit there.

Some sort of special operations I would guess.
 

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close, I was attached to the Army Advisory Board for the Air Force, but assigned to Ranger Training Brigade, even though I'm not a Ranger. My job was to integrate Army Field Artillery systems with the Air Force systems, and plan practice joint exercises and ensure that the systems would cooperate and talk to each other. It was a pretty nice job, and for an Army guy, working from 8-6 is a dream. It was also nice living in a condo in Ft. Walton Beach. If you ever get a chance to go there, check out a club called "The Swamp". One of the best clubs I've ever been to.
 

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Johnny Five is Alive, TCCoAAC Member
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I did not join the service as per the request of my mother..


However, all my brothers have served..

Eldest (currently in)

Started as Ranger, determined it has no real purpose (you can't use your skillz after you leave), moved to "medical" stuff, and of course as some of you know, was hit with an RPG, still in service in LA.

Older (but younger then eldest)

Navy, Beach Master Unit.. Lets just say he had fun making fun of Marines, no pratical skills learned, but can tie a very nice rope knot..

Me, if i was to go in, it most likely would of been the Air Force, EE or something simular, I can't fly, my vision sucks..
 

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Boom.
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I figured if you were at Hurlburt it probably had something to do with spec ops....as I recall it is the Air Force's special operations is HQ'd. I actually had the opportunity to go there just a month ago but had last minute circumstances that prevented my going.
 

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Yeah, I worked with all those Air Force SF guys, quite a change from Ft. Bragg with Army Special Forces, didn't realize there was such a difference. Just shows how laid back the Air Force really is compared to the Army. Hurlburt field is the home of the Army Ranger Training Brigade, that's who I worked for. It's an awesome place.
 

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Sheepish
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Discussion Starter #13
How are the promotion opportunities in the AF Palmguy? What about skills usable outside of the military?
 

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Boom.
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Well I am only soon-to-be commissioned, upon receiving my degree I will become a second lieutenant. I'm still in college now.

That said, also I can only speak for officer status. I don't have the slightest clue about enlisted side of things very much. Generally speaking 1st Lt. and Capt. are guaranteed, with two years separating each one (i.e. 2nd Lt. ->2 yrs.->1st Lt.-> 2 yrs. -> Capt.). By four years of service you should make Captain. You go for the Major board at 9 years (Capt. plus 5) and Lt. Col. after another quite a few years. Monetarily as a newly commissioned 2Lt. in Orlando, FL (just saw the chart for this today), you will receive $38,170 (base pay, housing, and subsistence). At 2 years and 1st Lt., that raises to $47,098. Another two years and promotion to Captain and it's up to $60,164. That ain't bad at all. And those are the guaranteed promotions unless you are an absolute crackhead. A Major makes around $75k and it's up from there.

As far as skills usable outside the military, with the Navy and Air Force especially, many of the technical fields have corollaries in the civilian world. The Navy has some pretty cool advanced computer and electronics programs. On the enlisted side I believe that those programs are 6-yr enlistments with automatic Petty Officer 3rd Class right out of A-School (E-4). That's some good real world training right there. The Air Force has many of the same technical fields as the Navy and some others as well. It is possible while your in the AF at least to get the opportunity to work in industry with civilian companies, it's something that I am going to try to do through the Air Force Institute of Technology, work with Lockheed or McDonnell Douglas or something.

What college are you attending right now? Do they have any ROTC program? Speaking for AFROTC here, even if you aren't on scholarship in AFROTC when you enter the final two years (the POC: Professional Officer Course) you receive the POC Incentive, which is I believe now $400/month.
 

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Sheepish
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Discussion Starter #15
Well, my current college has AFROTC, but enlistment is my Christmas present to myself. I'm honestly that tired of the life I'm leading at this point.
 

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Boom.
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That's cool. My commanding officer last year, a Navy Commander (O-5) was in the same situation that you are in when he first started college. He enlisted in the Navy and finished college later. He's very glad that he did.

So you are basically just trying to figure out what branch it is that you want to enlist into?
 

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I was active duty in the Army as an MP for 5 years. I loved it and everyone had me down as a lifer. Then I got divorced. I did not want to drag my son all over the world. I had just gotten my spot in Warrant Officer school, so getting out was a hard decision.

However, being a cop is a great career. Sure, there's the "occasional" BS. But what an awesome job. Be a State Trooper, you can go anywhere in the state. I would never go back to being a city cop or in the military.

We're hiring if anyone is interested.
 

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Sheepish
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Discussion Starter #18
Palmguy said:
So you are basically just trying to figure out what branch it is that you want to enlist into?
Exactly.:cool:
 

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Sheepish
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Discussion Starter #20
Palmguy said:
What is it in the Army that you want to do that you can't in the Navy?
Airborne Engineer, ground combat, etc. Wouldn't get to do much parachuting in the Navy, as well as running around a field with an automatic weapon.:tongue:
 
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