Skip to comments.Joining the Air Force (Vanity)
Posted on 02/14/2009 4:07:18 PM PST by Little Pig
So I've been weighing things in my mind for a little while now, and I have decided to seriously look into re-joining the Military. I was in the Army for four years from 1990-1994. I now have a Master's degree and lots of real-world experience under my belt. I am looking at joining the Air Force, specifically the newly-forming 24th (possible) Air Force, which will be the new Cyber Warfare command. My Master's is in Information Assurance (computer security). I have been having a hard time recently finding new jobs (who hasn't). I have been doing contracting, but the economy is particularly dry right now, and I don't seem to fit into the corporate world as well as I'd like.
However, there are a few things I need to consider, and which I'd like the opinion of the FreeRepublic intelligentsia on: First, although Gates has stayed on as SecDef, that won't be a perfect shield for the military from this administration. The Cyber command is likely to be less affected than the weapon-heavy jobs, but there is still the possibility that the Zero's administration will negatively affect the military. I'd like the forum's opinion on this. Second, I am a bit older than the "cutoff" age, particularly for the Air Force, and I'd like the advice of the forum on how I can best address this with recruiting. I plan to go in as an officer, so the age limit is higher, and a former AF pilot friend of mine tells me that there are still waivers and whatnot for special skills such as mine. I still want to maximize my chances should I decide this is what I want to do. I know I can handle the physical demands, and my life experience will make the mental demands much easier to keep in perspective, but I have to convince the AF of this.
I know there are those among my fellow Freepers that can help. Thanks.
1) Will Obama ruin the military that badly, that I wouldn't want to be in the service despite Gates as SecDef
2) How do I address the age issue to the satisfaction of the service? I am only 2 years past the cutoff (and the AF allows people as old as 42 for healthcare jobs, and I'm under that).
Do you still have an active clearance? Have you looked into the DoD contracting world? There is all kinds of companies that are constantly looking for folks. You have an MS in IA so that puts you a step above most hires. Do you have a CISSP or any other certs?
I can only address your question #1 - I suspect that Barama will affect the AF and the Marines less than the Navy and Army. I would not recommend the latter two right now, but i would think the AF will be OK.
I have a CISSP, An MCSE with a specialization in Security, a CCNA. I used to have a secret clearance, and had a civilian clearance for a recent project with the Dept. of Education, but that kind of clearance ends once the project is done, so no, I don’t still have an active clearance. Also, most of the civilian jobs don’t have the perqs that the mil job has. If I do the mil route, I can keep my house in TX, but if I go the civ contract route, I have to move, and the mil job is a lot more stable.
In regards to Q2, everything is waiverable.
Sure everything is waiverable, but how likely is it?
How old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?
First, if you join the military you must follow the orders of the C-in-C, who, like it or not, is Obama. Going in with the thought that Obama will “ruin” the military conveys a very low opinion about the institution you wish to join and it’s ability to withstand whatever ruinous things might happen.
I also find it hard to fathom that you can’t find a job in the civilian sector, especially with a Fed contractor. Even the stimulus bill contains cyber security elements. Also, NSA and HSA are hiring people in this field. Where do you live? That might be the problem.
As for not fitting into the corporate world, I think that would be a bad indicator of how you would fit into the Air Force or other branch, especially as an officer. What about the corporate world is the problem.
I guess it would depend on the need of the Air Force. We need nurses more than anything right now.
You can never depend on any administration or SOD. The congress is notoriously fickle. Your field however has good prospects for long term priority.
I was an aircraft maintenance officer hence the handle. Good luck.
See if this helps you.
2) I recently received information that the AF is seeking retired O-5 and below rated officers to return to duty, if they are under age 60. This does not affect you, per se, but it may indicate a trend. Go aggressively after the waiver if you need one. Prior service may help, and could be a plus for you in obtaining waivers. But that's only my guess.
First, it’s not that I’m going into this thinking that Obama will definitely ruin the military. Just that recent Dem presidents have historically had a deleterious effect on the military, and that has in turn had an impact on military morale.
Second, right now the IT/Security field is pretty tight. I know I can find a job, but most are contracts, not full-time, and moving out of state for a contract is an iffy proposition at best. I live in TX right now. I’ve looked at the gov agencies, but I am not that big on moving to DC.
Lastly, I don’t fit into the corporate world for the very reason that I will fit into the military world. I just prefer a world where goals are more clearly defined, not to mention where said goals are more predictable. I still think in military patterns. Also, with very few exceptions, I have not worked with former military often, and it can be difficult to match my experiences and thought patterns with those who have never “been there”.
2- Not sure about Air Force, but Army calculates your age by subtracting years of prior service. USAF probably does the same thing.
You'd go in as an Officer with a desk job, make great pay and have great benefits... I'd highly recommend it.
I served 12 years in USAF. I think you'll like it. I tried to get back in a few times but they have changed the rules about diabetes. I'd have to work myself off meds and I don't think I can at this point.
Well, the important question here is, how do I get rid of this damn Netflix ad that keeps popping up in Firefox?
I’m assuming you have the Firefox pop-up blocker plugin added?
I’m not sure what I would do in your situation, but I sure would like see someone with your experience and education serving on our side and watching our back. Even with Obama as leader...
Don’t do it.
Hey, me too!
The normal age cutoff for USAF Officer Training School (OTS) is 35, but I think that your prior service time will save you because they make allowance for prior service time. You will need to contact an OTS recruiter.
I wouldn't worry about the Obama thing, especially in the new Cyber Command. There wil be steady work there. Heck, I commissioned under Clinton, and I'm still around.
Hey, it works. Thanks!
PS: Don’t do it.
Take orders from that Kenyan pretender? No, thanks!
I’m planning to talk to the OTS recruiter on Monday. What do you do in the AF?
Also, have you heard anything on the new Cyber command? I know that they dropped the idea of making it a MAJCOM back in October, and now they are considering making it a NAF, the 24th Air Force.
It has the right MOS’s for the field you are qualified for!!! More pay and “less” Officer crap:-()
see old pay scales:http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/pay/bl05warrantsalary.htm
I was enlisted Army and had a chance for Warrant Officer but only MOS then was “153A - Rotary Wing Aviator
I haven’t heard anything about the proposed Cyber Command since I heard that they were setting it up.
At 37, you’d only need a one year waiver.
I can offer some advice on the age issue.
Make an appointment with your Congressional Representative and U.S. Senator’s office. Take with you your DD214, your education transcripts, and get at least 3 (5 is better) personal recommendations from community leaders, in business and/or public servants. Bring also any and all documents, such as awards, commendations, Community Service Recognitions, etc. you may have.
Make your case for a very strongly worded recommendation for any waiver that’s needed, and the Representative/Senator’s personal recommendation for appointment by Congress.
Chances are the reps’ staff have worked with Military recruiters before, and may even know one or two that they prefer to work with, maybe even make some calls on your behalf.
Remember, you add the number of years of active duty, 4, to the current maximum age allowed. i.e. 32+4=36. (depends on Military specialty applying for).
2: The Air Force will be heavily involved and highly at risk in the Obama wars. He will "fight" like Clinton. You're way too old for reeducation.
While I agree that Marxist Obama (and BFF Ayers) will do their dirtiest to undermine our wonderful military and personnel, I'm hoping that those fantastic troops who would have stayed in in a GOP admin will do so in an Obama admin.
My reason is that we need them, and that the replacements who Obama might have in mind may not have a true sense of what's right.
I'm also hopeful that well qualified and properly motivated folks enlist or receive commissions (including you, sir) for the same reason...we need you.
Here's my take on should or shouldn't.
Did you "resonate" with the military experience? If so, then it might be a "go". If you hated it, then...nah.
I spent 4 yrs in the USAF back in the viet nam days. It was a (mostly) good organization, with some great people, punctuated by some true sphincters.
Keep in mind that I'm currently a Blue Star Dad, with 2 daughters, a son-in-law, and a nephew in uniform, and I spend a bit of time watching the military channel. Thus, I may be viewing your decision through camo-colored glasses.
You aren’t going into healthcare so it’s time to look at plan B and forget the USAF.
I’ll look into your suggestion. Unfortunately, I don’t have that many acquaintances that are community leaders or public servants. I do know a couple of business leaders, and I will try to get in touch with them. Since I’m in Texas, hopefully my representatives, being (R), will favor the military, and their offices will be more amenable to helping.
No, everything is NOT waiverable.
And with all waivers, it is the candidate’s responsibility to prove that it is in the service’s best interest to grant a waiver.
Seven years of active military recruiting and I never saw or heard of anything close to an age waiver.
I had much the same experience as you did, personnel-wise. My time in the Army was, for the most part, pretty positive, punctuated by some real sphincters. I may have run into slightly more than the normal number, as I was a musician, and the musician temperament (for the most part) didn’t lend itself to real gung-ho military. On reflection after getting out, I think I would have enjoyed my time in service better in a unit that was more military-oriented rather than ceremonial.
You should check this yourself but the last I heard was that the cyber command was shot down (an Air Force turn of phrase there for you).
I have checked. According to the Cybercommand website, the idea has not been dropped, they have just decided to organize it differently. Now, instead of being its own MAJCOM (major command), it will be a Numbered Air Force under Space Command. The details are still being worked out, but they plan to have it up within the next 18 months. The Air Force knows this is needed, but they decided to do it differently than previously described. As such, now will be a good time to get in on it, as I can be a part of setting it up, and that is always exciting.
Call a recruiter and ask.
I'm waaayyyy over any and all limits for a return to service, and my MOS probably doesn't exist anymore (05c20 .. radio teletype).
Our military is going to need freeper/patriots ... If your wife and family are good with it ... just go in.
If you like Texas and want to keep your house, you may also want to speak with a Texas Air National Guard recruiter, too.
It is nice for all these Freepers to be supportive and if you just wanted strokes for good intentions then I guess you’ve got them.
But as a former military recruiter (and the processes and requirements are more common than different) I can tell you that yours is an EXTREMELY uphill battle at best.
Hey, EVERYONE wants to be an office, right? Well you have to be very competitive. Being over age isn’t competitive.
OCS and OTS age limits are not as flexible as some seem to think. The services make the rules and stick to them and even among the fully qualified only the most competitive candidates are selected.
IMO, don’t count on OCS/OTS. Check it out but don’t count on it.
And if the recruiter encourages your application, then feel fee to ping me with a ‘neener neener’.
Obama’s the commander in chief. I don’t think I would want to join HIS military. I don’t trust him to lead in a positive direction.
I would look into civil service. When I retired from the USAF it was full of deployments. If you are single it’s ok. If you are married prepare to be divorced.
You were in from 1990 to 1994. That was Desert Shield/Storm time frame. If you are a vet that gives priority hiring preference for any GS job.
I did part of my time in HR. Part of it at HQ ACC at Langley. Based on your previous service you would technically be 33 or so. However, the services don’t like making exceptions unless it is an extreme case. Other folks are right, everything is waiverable, but you would need some serious horse power from a sponsor. Like a General who is a friend of yours who has connections or maybe a congresscrttter willing to put in a good word.
I’m not trying to discourage you, but being a GS is a hole lot better than trying to sleep in a ten man tent, crapping in a 55 gallon barrel and eating MRE’s on the side of some God-forsaken mountain ridge. Unless you like that sort of thing?
Are you willing to risk Obama controlling your life, and as Commander-in-Chief he does. Any military decisions he makes, and he has made some hasty and unbelievable ones already financially, his plans can impact your life once you take that oath. If this is just about a job, then why not consider an agency and move for the right opportunity, since the AF will move you anyway. If children are involved, then think twice before leaving them for Afghanistan or worse.
1) Are you within the height/weight limits? If not, get that done BEFORE you even try. That is an automatic “No Go” right now, and may be a note in your records even if you don’t sign up at first and come back later once you do qualify -— hate to have that follow you around your whole career.
2) The military is a “delayed gratification” job; i.e., you will make more $’s on the outside now, but the retirement benefits are good if you hang in there for 20. That said, remember that ALL military benefits are considered “entitlements” by the government, and are NOT guaranteed.
3) If you were in the Army, then the Air Force will be a “cakewalk” -— no offense meant to the Air Force types on the list!!! And you might get to play with some really cool new toys, too, like those drones in Afghanistan that they pilot from over here.
4) There is always the personal perk of serving your country, which still means a lot to at least 50% of our citizens. Besides, we need FReeper talent and mindset in the service!!!
Go for it.
Get in before being a homo is mandatory.
Hey! I know we didn’t eat snakes and such but I can tell you when we loose cable there was usually hell to pay ;)
FWIW : The Cyber Warfare Center is still at Barksdale,AFB
in Bossier City,Louisiana,,,
The Cyber Innovation Center should be finished sometime
It’s at Bossier Parrish Community College on “Old” 80
just east of Bossier just off base,,,
They will employ the hacker/cracker folks there,,,
(10,000 so they say)
All this stuff will be hard-wired together with a bore
under I-20 (deep) (super-computer/etc.),,,
The CIC folks will brain-storm and write codes(?) and
hand them off to the CWC to wage “cyber-war”(?),,,