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The US Air Force, what do you think? (new questions)





ocalhoun
I've been thinking of joining the US Navy...
I'd be joining as an IT technician, and because of my previous college, I can join as an E-3 (Third lowest rank, rather than absolute lowest rank).
It's an attractive offer:
$36,000 salary, with yearly raises
$30,000 GI bill (scholarship)
Free housing, medical care, and food, on base or not.

Seeing as how I make around $11,000 a year now, and can make due, I would expect to be able to save $25,000 per year.
After ten years of service, I could have about a quarter of a million dollars: 2 years of paid training + 4 years service + 4 years re-enlistment = 10 years * $25,000/yr = $250,000. $250K would make a nice retirement in Mexico, methinks.

But, how is life in the Navy? Has anyone been in the US Navy and can you tell me your impressions?
Will I be able to stand ten years as an enlisted man in the Navy?


Search key so I can find this thread again: LSDFOLENOMSFU
jwellsy
First off all recruiters are liars.
They will not tell you the truth about your options.
They will tell you anything to improve their own end of the month reports.
Anything they say, be sure and get it in writing.

Is IT school a six year commitment?
Most auto E3 enlistments are a six year deal.
Nowdays I bet most people get some IT training in bootcamp anyway.

I was a Navy nuc back in the mid seventies.
It was not uncommon to work 125 hours a week for months on end.
The TV ads all show guys smilling and laughing as they leave the boat.
What they don't show is the heartache and tears of the guys going back to the boat.
On average you can figure that at least half of your enlistment would be spent out at sea.
Most duty stations are not very suitable for family life.
Plan on being single or divorced for most of your enlistment in the Navy.
IMO the Navy is a very difficult gig to stay with long term.
They do have good benefits, but for a lot of their jobs it's just not worth it.

If I had it to do over again, I would go into the Air Force.
Advancement in rank is slower.
But, the quality of life would be much better.
Most duty stations in the Air Force you can take a wife with you.
Most duty stations are not very dangerous at all.
And you'll have a dry warm place to sleep and good food.
It would be much more conducive to staying in.

If you already have a couple of years of college,
check out the Air Force ROTC to finish out a degree.
You'll make tons more money and have much better opportunities as an officer.
ocalhoun
^Yes, it seems to be a 6-year gig, with 2 years of schooling.

So, I'll have a chat with the Air Force recruiter as well...

EDIT:
Air Force seems much better. I'm taking the test and physical to see if I'm eligible for the job(s) I want.
Thanks for the advice! If anybody else wants to say something about it, it's not too late.

(Though the Air Force says that they pay exactly the same as the Navy, they have better living conditions.)
Coclus
Sounds pretty good the math you got there.. well I don't really like the military, but I guess that s a pretty good offer.
jwellsy
Quote:
because of my previous college, I can join as an E-3




Quote:
^Yes, it seems to be a 6-year gig, with 2 years of schooling.



See, there was one big fat lie the recruiter told you.
Your previous college has nothing to do with going in as an E3.
Anyone willing to sign up for the extra 2 years will get that deal.

During bootcamp and your 'A School' your only obligated for 4 years.
During your main school you will have to serve an extra 3 months for every month at that school.
For up to an additional 2 years of active duty.

They probably offered you an auto promotion to E4 and possibly a cash bonus at the end of that school.
I was lied to about a cash bonus at the end of nuc school.
It was cancelled for a few years after I was already in and was reinstated after I was through school.

Get everything in writing.
ocalhoun
Well, I've enlisted now in the air force, and am scheduled to ship out sometime between January and March.
I was talking to my cousin, though, and he strongly suggests going the route of being an officer. I think I could do it (if my status of having already signed up doesn't prevent that), because my ASVAB scores were excellent (99th percentile).
I'm worried though, that being an officer would distance me from the IT field in which I want to work...
Your thoughts?
jwellsy
Congratulations on making a difficult life altering decision.
I agree with your cousin about becoming an officer.
People will actually listen to things you have to say.
The pay and fringe benefits will be several times better.

The IT field doesn't pay squat anymore.
It is another lie that the IT field is hot.
That boom has already busted a few years ago.
New entries barely make min wage, about $8/hour.
It's better to get a degree in business/marketing or whatever
and then hire the poor saps at $8/hr to implement your plans.

Learning IT stuff is fine in your free spare time.
It is good stuff to know, and interesting.
By all means, take all the cert. classes you want too on the side.
But, I don't see the field getting any better in the future.


Finish your degree and get a commission.
Then when you get out
you'll be qualified for any type of management job.

Find the local ROTC unit.
You may have enough college to go in as a Warrant Officer.
The ROTC guys will be a lot more honest with you than a recruiter.
They will lay out a whole range of other options
that the recruiter will never mention.
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