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Flying_Crab
Apr 12, 2002





Odd, do you already have a degree or something?

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DaNerd
Sep 15, 2009

u br?


Flying_Crab posted:

Odd, do you already have a degree or something?

Yea I got a BE out of pocket and am currently getting my MSN using my GI Bill. I wasn't particularly surprised that my application was denied.

Being 82 days short of the yellow ribbon sucks but I'll take 90% GI Bill any day. I was set to get my last 90 days doing funeral ADOS but our new 1stSgt didn't like my haircut.

Flying_Crab
Apr 12, 2002





Ah, that makes a whole lot more sense. 1SG is a dick.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006



So I met with the recruiter this afternoon. He was very nice, as I'd expect any salesman to be. Basically he told me, at this point in my career. if I join I'm losing money, I'm not doing it for my career, etc. He said he guaranteed I'd lose money in the deal and the only reason he'd recommend joining is if I was in it for all the other reasons.

He's going to look to see if all my IT certs would enable me to skip ahead a few weeks in AIT like it does for people in the medical field. Also my options in MN do not include the 17C series MOS just the 25 series.

As I said before I have a 3rd round interview on monday for a job thats going to pay, presumably around $120k, so this may all be moot as I cant afford to turn down that much money.

pkells
Sep 14, 2007

King of Klatch

If you're still dead-set on doing the Guard/Reserves thing, I cannot stress going towards for the Air Force. Most of the "lol Chair Force" jokes are pretty true. We have some older junior enlisted in my squadron, and they're all treated like adults. I can imagine it's only better in a communications squadron. That ain't happening in the army.

The Air Guard still does deploy, but if you get a comm job or something, it's probably not going to be often. I've been at my Guard base for about 8 years, and I'm not aware of many, if any comm troops deploying. My previous squadron was a mobile air traffic control unit, and they went about 12 years between deployments.

That recruiter was right, you will lose money while you're away for training and deployment. Possibly a lot of money. Base pay for a new E-3 is like $2000/month before taxes, plus BAH. Unless you really, really want to do it, I'd forget about it.

the yellow dart
Jul 19, 2004

King of rings, armlocks, hugs, and our hearts

pkells posted:

If you're still dead-set on doing the Guard/Reserves thing, I cannot stress going towards for the Air Force. Most of the "lol Chair Force" jokes are pretty true. We have some older junior enlisted in my squadron, and they're all treated like adults. I can imagine it's only better in a communications squadron. That ain't happening in the army.

The Air Guard still does deploy, but if you get a comm job or something, it's probably not going to be often. I've been at my Guard base for about 8 years, and I'm not aware of many, if any comm troops deploying. My previous squadron was a mobile air traffic control unit, and they went about 12 years between deployments.

That recruiter was right, you will lose money while you're away for training and deployment. Possibly a lot of money. Base pay for a new E-3 is like $2000/month before taxes, plus BAH. Unless you really, really want to do it, I'd forget about it.

Worth noting also that AF deployments will typically be 4-6 months if you get deployed. Army and Navy deployments are much more likely to be 365s. The difference in the amount of pay you'd lose is staggering. At least the AF will hedge those losses through shorter deployments (typically).

Do you have a degree? If you become an officer the pay scale will at least be somewhat more commensurate.

Arc Light
Sep 26, 2013




LingcodKilla posted:

Drilling is super lame and a terrible way to spend a weekend but some units do "flex drilling" and only meet once or twice a quarter.

BaseballPCHiker:

So, my experience has been entirely active duty, but my squadron shares a couple of buildings with a reserve unit. This is all Air Force comm/cyber personnel, so I don't know if it would be an option in, say, the Army National Guard or Reserves, but some of our Air Force reservists do their entire year's drilling obligation in a single shot. They just work as part of the active duty squadron for a month or so, and then disappear back to their civilian jobs for the rest of the year. Back when I was NCOIC of a network management (routers/switches/firewalls/etc) shop, it was always nice to have an extra guy around to help out.

The real trick for guard/reserves seems to be whether or not your unit culture sucks. That's something that you may be able to suss out before joining. From what my various ANG buddies have told me, they all had the chance to visit their units before they joined up, to see if it would be a good fit (and, in turn, a chance for the unit to figure out whether they sucked). idk if that's a thing in the reserves, but it def seemed to be the case for the air guard.

As you could probably deduce from LingcodKilla's post, luck plays a role, but your job plays an even bigger role. I'm 3D172 - Cyber Transport Systems, which is a catch-all for network infrastructure, telephones, data links, and some other stuff. I can basically go anywhere active duty, and I can get deployed anywhere we have computers. I picked the job because I wanted to travel and I wanted to deploy. There are a few comm & intel jobs for computer touchers (programmer, etc) that basically don't deploy, so you could always try for one of those (if your local unit has them) if you want to stay in one place.

I've generally had a good time. Many, maybe most, of the posters here are pretty sour on the military. I guess I'll be other side of that scale. I dropped out of university because I couldn't stand to go to another day of class as an accounting major and I didn't want to sink even more money into a new major. I thought I'd do a single enlistment, then ride the GI Bill back to college. Almost 13 years later, I'm still in. I can live very comfortably on my salary. I deployed a handful of times. I've lived in Germany, Italy, Korea (the good one), and a bunch of US states. There's a lot of nonsense bullshit that comes with being enlisted, especially if you're active duty or you deploy and do the job every day, but it trails off when you get promoted beyond a certain point. After that, it's mostly dealing with other people and their bullshit. At the end of the day, if I could go back to being 19 again, I'd still enlist.

Basically, if you want to join up, do your thing.


Also, Reddit on the whole is a cesspit, but the Air Force subreddit is mostly focused on USAF, and it doesn't generally suck. They regularly have newbie threads that would probably provide better guidance from people who recently joined the ANG or AF Reserves. GiP doesn't have many people who are still in, so the advice that we provide is largely dated and colored by experiences that may no longer be applicable.

Finally, you said that you do enterprise routing and switching. My career field, 3D1X2, is the one that maps directly to your current job. I spent most of my career working in and then running router/switch shops at both the airbase and enterprise level, so I can say from personal experience that prior experience (in particular Cisco experience) is treasured. When people come out of tech school later in life, they're usually treated a bit better than their 18 year old peers, and that goes triple for older Airmen who actually know how to do their jobs.

Bellum
Jun 3, 2011

All war is deception.


The objective view is that there are a few opportunities in the military that might afford you a very specific and comfortable career, for a specific time and place, and there are numerous ways to get absolutely hosed with little recourse

Knives Amilli
Sep 26, 2014


Arc Light posted:

BaseballPCHiker:

So, my experience has been entirely active duty, but my squadron shares a couple of buildings with a reserve unit. This is all Air Force comm/cyber personnel, so I don't know if it would be an option in, say, the Army National Guard or Reserves, but some of our Air Force reservists do their entire year's drilling obligation in a single shot. They just work as part of the active duty squadron for a month or so, and then disappear back to their civilian jobs for the rest of the year. Back when I was NCOIC of a network management (routers/switches/firewalls/etc) shop, it was always nice to have an extra guy around to help out.

The real trick for guard/reserves seems to be whether or not your unit culture sucks. That's something that you may be able to suss out before joining. From what my various ANG buddies have told me, they all had the chance to visit their units before they joined up, to see if it would be a good fit (and, in turn, a chance for the unit to figure out whether they sucked). idk if that's a thing in the reserves, but it def seemed to be the case for the air guard.

As you could probably deduce from LingcodKilla's post, luck plays a role, but your job plays an even bigger role. I'm 3D172 - Cyber Transport Systems, which is a catch-all for network infrastructure, telephones, data links, and some other stuff. I can basically go anywhere active duty, and I can get deployed anywhere we have computers. I picked the job because I wanted to travel and I wanted to deploy. There are a few comm & intel jobs for computer touchers (programmer, etc) that basically don't deploy, so you could always try for one of those (if your local unit has them) if you want to stay in one place.

I've generally had a good time. Many, maybe most, of the posters here are pretty sour on the military. I guess I'll be other side of that scale. I dropped out of university because I couldn't stand to go to another day of class as an accounting major and I didn't want to sink even more money into a new major. I thought I'd do a single enlistment, then ride the GI Bill back to college. Almost 13 years later, I'm still in. I can live very comfortably on my salary. I deployed a handful of times. I've lived in Germany, Italy, Korea (the good one), and a bunch of US states. There's a lot of nonsense bullshit that comes with being enlisted, especially if you're active duty or you deploy and do the job every day, but it trails off when you get promoted beyond a certain point. After that, it's mostly dealing with other people and their bullshit. At the end of the day, if I could go back to being 19 again, I'd still enlist.

Basically, if you want to join up, do your thing.


Also, Reddit on the whole is a cesspit, but the Air Force subreddit is mostly focused on USAF, and it doesn't generally suck. They regularly have newbie threads that would probably provide better guidance from people who recently joined the ANG or AF Reserves. GiP doesn't have many people who are still in, so the advice that we provide is largely dated and colored by experiences that may no longer be applicable.

Finally, you said that you do enterprise routing and switching. My career field, 3D1X2, is the one that maps directly to your current job. I spent most of my career working in and then running router/switch shops at both the airbase and enterprise level, so I can say from personal experience that prior experience (in particular Cisco experience) is treasured. When people come out of tech school later in life, they're usually treated a bit better than their 18 year old peers, and that goes triple for older Airmen who actually know how to do their jobs.

To add: Those folks who knock out all the drills in one go are what they call IMA (Individual Mobilization Augmentee) Reservists. They are as you said assigned to Active Duty units to perform full time support. Unfortunately this program doesnt really exist in the ANG as the Guard has its own mission set + has to be constantly training to support the States needs if necessary. Traditionally, only the highly specialized career fields in the ANG, like Special Tactics/Flying Career fields have the green light to do quarterly style drills as they often need at least a week of time to keep their operators current on training.

BaseballPCHiker
Jan 16, 2006




Thanks for your perspective Arc Light.

I mentioned it briefly before but I did end up getting the IT security job that I was gunning for, and got a huge pay raise switching roles. The recruiter was very forthright with me as well. Basically I dont think I could even afford to leave my job and join now if I wanted to. Between paying the rent for my father, and an upcoming kid I cant even swing it if I tried.

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Arc Light
Sep 26, 2013




I saw that you were up for it a couple of months ago, but I didn't realize you'd gotten the job. Hell yeah, congrats. Forget about joining the mil; get that bread.

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