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Typical Gnu
Mar 4, 2013



I'm decided on Air Force now and am looking especially at 1N031 and 1N131. I have three more jobs that seem interesting, but those two seem much more appealing. Problem is Air Force job selection, the way my recruiter described it, seems a little fuzzy. Would I be better off going down to MEPS and giving them my top 5, or should I go open-general and get first dibs on the jobs that month? It's hard to decide when I have no clue what the availability is for AFSCs or how they prioritize people; If 1N031's regularly open up but are taken by people going in Open then I figure it wouldn't be a big risk going open, but if they're rare then I'd be better of giving them my top 5 jobs and getting some intelligence job, even if it's not the one I'd like.

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Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


If there's a job you want and qualify for, do not sign any contract unless it's in there. If you go open you will get the worst job available at the time. The leftovers that nobody wants. That's why they're available.

It seems a little fuzzy because your recruiter doesn't give a gently caress what you want, he wants your name on a contract regardless of what job you want/get. If you want to wait until the right job opens up, you're not helping his numbers. If you sign up for open general, you're out of his hair and he gets a point for his monthly totals.

Typical Gnu
Mar 4, 2013



So I can go to MEPS, pass all the qualifications, get to the job list, and walk away if I don't see anything I like? I was told that by the time you get to see the job list you're already past the point of no return.

LingcodKilla
Dec 28, 2002

I ate too much crab and transformed into this.


Typical Gnu posted:

So I can go to MEPS, pass all the qualifications, get to the job list, and walk away if I don't see anything I like? I was told that by the time you get to see the job list you're already past the point of no return.

Lol no. I held out for 3 hours before they offered what I actually wanted. I was willing to go home without signing but it didn't come to that.

Mike-o
Dec 25, 2004

Now I'm in your room
And I'm in your bed




Grimey Drawer

You're not obligated to poo poo until you sign your life awaythe contract

Arc Light
Sep 26, 2013



Biscuit Hider

Typical Gnu posted:

So I can go to MEPS, pass all the qualifications, get to the job list, and walk away if I don't see anything I like? I was told that by the time you get to see the job list you're already past the point of no return.

If your recruiter told you that, he's full of poo poo inexplicably mistaken.

When you sign your enlistment paperwork, you fill out an Air Force form 3007. This lists the terms of your contract: years of service, AFSC (if any), etc etc.

This is mine. The form has changed slightly in the years since I joined, but not in any meaningful way:



Note that there are three options in section 1. Options A and B are for suckers, option C is the one for you. Actually, option C is also for suckers, because really smart people don't enlist, but that's neither here nor there.

The recruiters get a list (monthly or quarterly, I forget) of available AFSCs for their region, and the corresponding ship dates for basic training. They also have access to everyone else's list. This is important. If your recruiter wants you badly enough, he can and will call up a different recruiting region, and swap one of his unwanted jobs for the one you want. Assuming the other region agrees, it takes all of ten minutes.

Back when I went to MEPS, I told my recruiter I wasn't signing poo poo unless I got the job I wanted. My recruiter liked me, and I'd done very well on the ASVAB, so he did the legwork to get me my first-choice AFSC.

If you go Open General, you could get a 1N job. It is possible. It's also possible to win the lottery. You'll probably get Security Forces, just like every single Open General dude I enlisted with. Don't do that. Being a real cop is probably pretty cool. Being a junior enlisted Air Force cop will just make you an alcoholic.

Arc Light fucked around with this message at 00:28 on Jan 26, 2016

tankadillo
Aug 15, 2006



I've been talking to an Army recruiter about getting into OCS. When I asked about how I pick my career path as an officer, he brushed off the question and said that all that stuff gets decided during OCS. Is that accurate? It feels weird that I wouldn't get any say in my career until I'm already that deep in the system, but I'm coming to find that a lot of stuff in the military doesn't work the way I would expect.

tankadillo fucked around with this message at 01:15 on Jan 26, 2016

zharmad
Feb 9, 2010


tankadillo posted:

I've been talking to an Army recruiter about getting into OCS. When I asked about how I pick my career path as an officer, he brushed off the question and said that all that stuff gets decided during OCS. Is that accurate? It feels weird that I wouldn't get any say in my career until I'm already sworn into the system, but I'm coming to find that a lot of stuff in the military doesn't work the way I would expect.

You rank all the army basic branches in order and are assigned one based off needs of the army/your preference. Or get really boned and given your top choice but branch detailed to a branch no one wants, like chemical. The only way to get a guaranteed branch is through the guard if you have a by name letter of acceptance into a specific paragraph and line number for the branch you want.

tankadillo
Aug 15, 2006



zharmad posted:

You rank all the army basic branches in order and are assigned one based off needs of the army/your preference. Or get really boned and given your top choice but branch detailed to a branch no one wants, like chemical. The only way to get a guaranteed branch is through the guard if you have a by name letter of acceptance into a specific paragraph and line number for the branch you want.

Alright, good to know. I was worried at first that my recruiter was just trying to push me along.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


tankadillo posted:

I've been talking to an Army recruiter about getting into OCS. When I asked about how I pick my career path as an officer, he brushed off the question and said that all that stuff gets decided during OCS. Is that accurate? It feels weird that I wouldn't get any say in my career until I'm already that deep in the system, but I'm coming to find that a lot of stuff in the military doesn't work the way I would expect.

That's actually how it works for AF officers, the exception being professional careers like chaplain, lawyer, doctor, or "rated" jobs like pilot, nav, air battle manager. They apply to OTS through a separate board, while everyone else goes through one together and finds out their career field about halfway through OTS. Seems weird to me, too. I don't think the Army has an equivalent to the "rated" jobs, though.

Mustang
Jun 18, 2006


Have you considered not attending the Captain's Career Course?


tankadillo posted:

I've been talking to an Army recruiter about getting into OCS. When I asked about how I pick my career path as an officer, he brushed off the question and said that all that stuff gets decided during OCS. Is that accurate? It feels weird that I wouldn't get any say in my career until I'm already that deep in the system, but I'm coming to find that a lot of stuff in the military doesn't work the way I would expect.

It's based on what branch slots your OCS class is allocated and where you stand on the order of merit list, ie the guy on top gets first pick with whats available. There's practically always a good amount of infantry, armor, and artillery slots. Everything else can be pretty random. My class had 1 MI slot whereas the class ahead of mine had 12.

Melthir
Dec 29, 2009

I need to go scrap some money together cause my avatar is just sad.


What is the website where you switch your GI bill?

Mr Newsman
Nov 8, 2006
Did somebody say news?

I've got a masters degree in engineering and currently teach engineering undergrads at a state university. It's dull as hell and on a year by year contract that has nothing to do with performance.

Had a buddy of mine stop by my office yesterday who was in town recruiting at the career fairs and he did his job and got me interested in checking out potential careers.

Wondering if anyone has gone in (I'm 29 late this year) with advanced education and viewed it as a positive experience. I might qualify for some of the Navy Biochem positions based on some work I've done before/during academia but I don't know for sure - he didn't have any experience with that side of stuff.

Thoughts? I get paid poo poo now but have decent benefits and a ton of time off. I was the first dude in my family to not go into the military so I know a bit about what it's like, although we had it pretty easy mostly.

anne frank fanfic
Oct 31, 2005

by SA Support Robot


Mr Newsman posted:

I've got a masters degree in engineering and currently teach engineering undergrads at a state university. It's dull as hell and on a year by year contract that has nothing to do with performance.

Had a buddy of mine stop by my office yesterday who was in town recruiting at the career fairs and he did his job and got me interested in checking out potential careers.

Wondering if anyone has gone in (I'm 29 late this year) with advanced education and viewed it as a positive experience. I might qualify for some of the Navy Biochem positions based on some work I've done before/during academia but I don't know for sure - he didn't have any experience with that side of stuff.

Thoughts? I get paid poo poo now but have decent benefits and a ton of time off. I was the first dude in my family to not go into the military so I know a bit about what it's like, although we had it pretty easy mostly.

gently caress you

tyler
Jun 2, 2014



Mr Newsman posted:

I've got a masters degree in engineering and currently teach engineering undergrads at a state university. It's dull as hell and on a year by year contract that has nothing to do with performance.

Had a buddy of mine stop by my office yesterday who was in town recruiting at the career fairs and he did his job and got me interested in checking out potential careers.

Wondering if anyone has gone in (I'm 29 late this year) with advanced education and viewed it as a positive experience. I might qualify for some of the Navy Biochem positions based on some work I've done before/during academia but I don't know for sure - he didn't have any experience with that side of stuff.

Thoughts? I get paid poo poo now but have decent benefits and a ton of time off. I was the first dude in my family to not go into the military so I know a bit about what it's like, although we had it pretty easy mostly.

Enlist infantry.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Mr Newsman posted:

I've got a masters degree in engineering and currently teach engineering undergrads at a state university. It's dull as hell and on a year by year contract that has nothing to do with performance.

Had a buddy of mine stop by my office yesterday who was in town recruiting at the career fairs and he did his job and got me interested in checking out potential careers.

Wondering if anyone has gone in (I'm 29 late this year) with advanced education and viewed it as a positive experience. I might qualify for some of the Navy Biochem positions based on some work I've done before/during academia but I don't know for sure - he didn't have any experience with that side of stuff.

Thoughts? I get paid poo poo now but have decent benefits and a ton of time off. I was the first dude in my family to not go into the military so I know a bit about what it's like, although we had it pretty easy mostly.

Unless there's some kind of program to put you directly in a specific job (for example, the Air Force does this with religious officials/chaplains, lawyers, and medical doctors), but I doubt you'll find that for engineering. You write down your desired jobs (you pick 5 in the AF) and someone in Texas throws a dart at the list of vacant positions. You sign on to be an officer, then they assign you a career.

Most of the actual scientific and engineering work is done by companies contracted by DOD. I've never met a military engineer who did anything but review performance reports and contract paperwork. Of course, I'm assuming you're talking about commissioning. If you want to enlist, you can expect to be singled out because of your age and advanced education, and you will do endless pushups and running because as the elder statesman of your various training classes (from basic until you're fully qualified in your job) their failures reflect YOUR failure as a leader. And once you're done with your training pipeline, you can expect to sweep floors and pick up cigarette butts alongside your 19 and 20 year old peers because you're just as much a peon as a junior enlisted person. At best nobody will care about your degrees. At worst you'll have bad NCOs and officers giving you poo poo because you've got more education than they do.

I think this is a terrible idea, personally.

Mr Newsman
Nov 8, 2006
Did somebody say news?

Godholio posted:


I think this is a terrible idea, personally.

I figured it was a terrible idea, and am aware that it's probably not something many people would pursue. Just curious if there were any people in similar positions.

I was mostly interested in http://www.navy.com/careers/healthc...ey-requirements but I honestly have no idea if it's a bullshit fake job or not.

Nostalgia4Dogges
Jun 18, 2004

Only emojis can express my pure, simple stupidity.



I love the I am Legend syndrome where people think they can be will smith in that movie irl. Like that poo poo exists in some capacity in the actual mil outside of contractors and such (well maybe, but extremely niche)

Mr Newsman
Nov 8, 2006
Did somebody say news?

I mean I am mostly just looking to see if the big bag of dicks that is the United States of America Military has any opportunities for people that aren't looking to get their education after they shovel poo poo for 5 years. I don't need to be a super hero and fully expected to be told that I would just be a paper pusher. I really do understand that most science / research isn't done (only funded) by the DoD.

Seems silly to not at least consider it when I'd be looking at 4-6 more years making 20-35k/year without benefits to move up in academia.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Mr Newsman posted:

I figured it was a terrible idea, and am aware that it's probably not something many people would pursue. Just curious if there were any people in similar positions.

I was mostly interested in http://www.navy.com/careers/healthc...ey-requirements but I honestly have no idea if it's a bullshit fake job or not.

That's one of those career fields that might have an option for you to join with a guaranteed job. You're probably going to have to talk to an actual officer recruiter (there are recruiters that specifically deal with getting officers, vs normal recruiters who chase enlistments). IF it's a guarantee, it might be worthwhile. If, like the Air Force, you apply for a commission THEN get assigned a career by personnelists, run away.

It's kind of a niche field, but even if nobody here has much of an answer, you can always post the recruiter's answers to see if they're the usual BS or if they sound plausible.

pkells
Sep 14, 2007

King of Klatch

Godholio posted:

That's actually how it works for AF officers, the exception being professional careers like chaplain, lawyer, doctor, or "rated" jobs like pilot, nav, air battle manager. They apply to OTS through a separate board, while everyone else goes through one together and finds out their career field about halfway through OTS. Seems weird to me, too. I don't think the Army has an equivalent to the "rated" jobs, though.

I think this has changed, because everyone here at OTS already knows what AFSC they're going into, including the non-rated ones. Apparently they all found out upon acceptance.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


The timing might have changed, but the three O-6s that make up a non-rated accessions board don't deal with AFSC assignment. There's often a gap of a couple of months between the board and the release of results, so AFPC probably does it's voodoo in that window.

Edit: I'm curious how it's changed though. Probably only two or three student squadrons, more than half the OTs are prior enlisted?

Godholio fucked around with this message at 17:57 on Feb 7, 2016

pkells
Sep 14, 2007

King of Klatch

Active duty, reserve, and guard are all combined into one big class now. There's 2 squadrons running Line Officer training (TFOT, Total force officer training), and one running the non-line (COT, commissioned officer training). I think each TFOT squadron has like 4 student squadrons a piece.

Mr Newsman
Nov 8, 2006
Did somebody say news?

Godholio posted:

It's kind of a niche field, but even if nobody here has much of an answer, you can always post the recruiter's answers to see if they're the usual BS or if they sound plausible.

Thanks! Will get in touch with a recruiter to see if there's any options.

Splal
Oct 9, 2003
PrObLeM is the coolest Mother Fucker I know.

Mr Newsman posted:

I mean I am mostly just looking to see if the big bag of dicks that is the United States of America Military has any opportunities for people that aren't looking to get their education after they shovel poo poo for 5 years. I don't need to be a super hero and fully expected to be told that I would just be a paper pusher. I really do understand that most science / research isn't done (only funded) by the DoD.

Seems silly to not at least consider it when I'd be looking at 4-6 more years making 20-35k/year without benefits to move up in academia.

It's me, I'm the idiot that did this-engineering masters, went Air Force OTS. You do find out your career field before you go to OTS, I would have walked if I got something other than engineering.

As mentioned, for engineers it's a total crapshoot on what kind of job you get assigned to. Good chance you're pushing paper, I somehow won the lottery and my first assignment has been fantastic. Plenty of technical work, get to fly reasonably often, still a standard measure of bullshit to put up with that you don't encounter in the private sector. Did well and was able to avoid the AFPC dice roll and now have my next assignment lined up which looks to be pretty awesome too.

As far as I can tell, such luck is not at all typical so take it with a giant grain of salt. I went in with the attitude of having an adventure until it sucks and then moving on. So far it's worked out. lovely pay for an engineer for a few years but it catches up fast assuming you manage to not get a DUI. The medical career fields are special so I got nothing there, but pm me if you have any specific questions I might be able to answer.

Punk da Bundo
Dec 29, 2006

by FactsAreUseless


im a perenellial gently caress up and my gpa is not officer material , I am 27 would I hate my life in the enlisted Air Force ?? I want that sweet GI bill money for a do over and all . I got a 92 on their little practice asvab. Air Force seems like the place you'd least hate your life

Lazy Reservist
Nov 30, 2005

FUBIJAR

Pon de Bundy posted:

im a perenellial gently caress up and my gpa is not officer material , I am 27 would I hate my life in the enlisted Air Force ?? I want that sweet GI bill money for a do over and all . I got a 92 on their little practice asvab. Air Force seems like the place you'd least hate your life

Go to a trade school, get an apprenticeship, and start earning more in four years than you would enlisting.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Pon de Bundy posted:

im a perenellial gently caress up and my gpa is not officer material , I am 27 would I hate my life in the enlisted Air Force ?? I want that sweet GI bill money for a do over and all . I got a 92 on their little practice asvab. Air Force seems like the place you'd least hate your life

You're going to be a 28 year old working for 19 year olds. And getting punished along with the group because 19 year olds will be acting like 19 year olds. Think very hard about that.

tyler
Jun 2, 2014



Lazy Reservist posted:

Go to a trade school, get an apprenticeship, and start earning more in four years than you would enlisting.

This. Plumbers and electricians are in high demand. Especially plumbers.

iyaayas01
Feb 19, 2010

Perry'd


Godholio posted:

You're going to be a 28 year old working for 19 year olds. And getting punished along with the group because 19 year olds will be acting like 19 year olds. Think very hard about that.

I had a thought today after interacting with a couple of SSgts that went something along the lines of "hm these people are pretty technically competent but they still don't really see the big picture, that's okay though they're young NCOs so they're just 25-26, it's understandable"

I can't for the life of me imagine enlisting at my age (even in the AF) and initially working for a bunch of 19-21 year olds as the lowest dude on the totem pole

Vocation/trade school is the way to go, it's insane how much in demand plumbers/HVAC/electrician types are these days

Punk da Bundo
Dec 29, 2006

by FactsAreUseless


ive taken your advice into consideration and decided to enlist in the army...

but no..seriously..

my cousin was in the marines(2001-2005, oh yeah) and he married an officer and they live pretty easy because of that

she makes 90k a year and OUR TAXES pay their 3k a month mortgage in san diego, and everything else because our troops

i could always try for army/marine officer..is that worth it? its a much longer commitment tho

Low Energy
Feb 18, 2016

by Shine


It used to be 3 years for Army OCS. Plus training time.

Godholio
Aug 28, 2002

Does a bear split in the woods near Zheleznogorsk?


Everybody gets 8 years, the active/IRR mix is what might be different. There can also be additional commitment for certain jobs (like pilots).

LingcodKilla
Dec 28, 2002

I ate too much crab and transformed into this.


Pon de Bundy posted:



i could always try for army/marine officer..is that worth it? its a much longer commitment tho

Dude marriage isn't forever. You can end it whenever.

Typical Gnu
Mar 4, 2013



LingcodKilla posted:

Lol no. I held out for 3 hours before they offered what I actually wanted. I was willing to go home without signing but it didn't come to that.

I haven't had much luck finding a recruiter who doesn't insist that going open is the bee's knees, so I want to ask for a clarification:

If the worst case scenario comes, I go down to MEPS with my list of 5 10 jobs, all they have available are chef, services, combat chef, culinary artist, and security, and I decide to go home without signing anything, do they allow me to go back to that MEPS again at a later date, or does leaving without signing anything disqualify me from ever entering the branch?

LingcodKilla
Dec 28, 2002

I ate too much crab and transformed into this.


Lol they will sit you in a chair and sweat you out but by the end of the day they are more motivated to get you a contract than send you home unsigned.

If you qualify for the job don't settle for anything else. They will horse-trade to get it for you behind the scene but try to get you to sign for something in the meantime to save them some phone-work.

I'm pretty sure you can go back. You may have to wait a month or go to different recruiter who doesn't think he's waisting his time on you though.

Lazy Reservist
Nov 30, 2005

FUBIJAR

Or you can say gently caress you to the AD recruiters, get chummy with a Guard or Reserve unit that has a vacancy for the job you want, and go that route.

Mustang
Jun 18, 2006


Have you considered not attending the Captain's Career Course?


Pon de Bundy posted:

i could always try for army/marine officer..is that worth it? its a much longer commitment tho

Active duty Army OCS is a 3.5 year active duty commitment. Neither Basic nor OCS are hard and you can expect to spend your first 6 months in the Army in an "immersive military environment." OCS lightens up towards the end with weekend passes and such but it's still OCS and you will want out of OCS ASAP. OCS is like one giant gently caress gently caress game for 3 months. Where people have trouble is if they can't land nav, struggle when put in leadership positions, or if they suck at history.

Life as a LT is pretty chill but it is the Army so expect poo poo to suck from time to time. It's 130 AM on Monday and I'm getting ready to go work a 48 hour shift at 230 with 3 other LT's so that I can listen to people on a radio while they execute a mission then listen to them do who knows what all day Tuesday while they plan their next mission before getting replaced at 230 on Wednesday by 4 other LTs.

I've been through the armor officer pipeline and have a pretty good idea of what it's like for the infantry LT's since it's also here at Benning. No idea what it's like for the support branch guys but it's probably considerably less gay since all my support branch OCS classmates facebook feeds are full of pictures of them in uniform in air conditioned buildings. Also can't tell you what being a PL is like yet since I still have 2 months before I leave Benning for my unit.

tldr: it's still the army but there are worse decisions when joining the military than becoming an officer

A White Guy
Dec 19, 2012

Never fear!
Japan is here!


What up Military Goons.

So, I've thought about this for a while, but I want to join the Navy. My old man was a chief, his old man was a chief, my uncle was an officer blah blah basically there's a strong navy tradition in the family. Aside from this kinda unimportant motivation, I realized that my college degree (a bachelors of science in Environmental science) is not much use without some proper workplace experience. So, I figured I want to shoot for being a SWO, spend 4 years in the Navy, and then get out and use that sweet GI bill to pay for a Masters, and then parlay being a vet with a masters into getting employed in my field. I'm 22, and set to graduate this semester, so aside from the task of losing a bunch of weight, I want to join when I'm 23.

Advantages to my favor:

3.0 GPA, which I guess isn't a disadvantage
The old man was literally a recruiter for the Navy during the last years of his enlistment, so though his knowledge of practices may be outdated(he retired shortly after the 1st Gulf War), I'm still taking him down to the recruiter with me.
A few good letters of rec from my professors
Provided I don't get pulled over again for another two or three months, no arrests/convictions
Fluent in Spanish, which again is not a disadvantage at least

Disadvantages

1. I have a torn meniscus in my left knee. I haven't gotten an MRI yet (Tricare kicks in on the 1st), but either way, the long term prognosis is good, even if I end up having to get a menisctomoy. Would the fact that I have a repaired knee be an impediment/outright disqualification to becoming a SWO?
2. Peacetime military. I've been looking through This officer billet's opening spreadsheet and it seems like there's a tremendous need for aviation personnel right now. Are there any Goons out there who are Naval aviation peoples? I'm not exactly particular on what billet I eventually end up in, only that I'm firmly convinced that enlisting with a degree is a retarded move.

A White Guy fucked around with this message at 04:40 on Feb 23, 2016

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nwin
Feb 25, 2002

make's u think


Fallen Rib

My googling isn't working too well and there's some conflicting information at work about this.

Active duty, can I max out the Roth IRA I have through USAA (5500 or whatever the yearly max is) and then still contribute to a Roth TSP without any tax penalties?

I'm being told in some places that the TSP (regardless if Roth or Traditional) is a separate bucket of money so you can do both Roths, essentially dumping over $20k/year into two separate Roth accounts.

I'm also being told that you would incur huge tax penalties if you did this, and there can only be one Roth account (regardless if it's TSP or Vanguard/USAA/whatever).

The TSP.gov website seems loving useless in this regard.

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