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Old 08-20-2012, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default USAF Jobs for my son.

I'm retired Army and my son is a senior this year and has been looking into the AF for about 2 yrs now. NO he's not joining the Army.

Right now his short term is getting his associates then going Active. He's pondering the idea of USAFR or Air Guard to get the basic out of the way and get some time in uniform. He's going to starting college course during the school year. His long term is to finish his BA while Active and become a Pilot.

Nowthen, the AF MOS identifiers have me clueless. HE's wanting to be an aerial gunner. He has the smarts, the common sense and the boy can shoot any weapon I put in his hands...very well. He's well trained from flintlocks and recurve bows to fully automatic weapons.

Currently we have 2 other issues to deal with. I haven't talked to any recruiters yet. But he has a tattoo of a dragon on his back and has previously had a broken arm and broken collarbone. Both were pinned, plated and screwed. But now all metal is out of his body. For now. He races alot of MX and is pretty damn fast. So when he goes down, it's usually pretty bad.

He's very dedicated, knows to do what he's told and do it right the first time. But I hear the AF is getting pretty **** about alot of things.

What's good and what's bad?
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:05 AM   #2
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as far as the tattoo goes, if it can't be seen in uniform and its not offensive he should be good, and since we need aerial gunners I don't think they'll give him too much **** about it. since he wants to go to school I would say guard or reserve for sure, being active and going to school its a PITA, trust me... I didn't see what degree he wants but the AF is going with people that have engineering, science and math degrees, just something to think about


good luck
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Old 08-20-2012, 12:33 PM   #3
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If he eventually wants a Bachelor's and to be a pilot, why not just join ROTC right now (after his senior year of HS, I mean) and work towards both of those goals at the same time without the intervening associate's/reserve/gunner stuff? He can apply for a scholarship, but even if he's not competitive for that, even "walk-ons" in ROTC can get some form of a stipend, though it might be school-dependent.

I'd find the closest ROTC detachment to you and go pick their brains.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:41 PM   #4
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He wants to fly but he likes the job of being a gunner. He knows that being an officer is a different world and some of the BS you have to deal with. He's seen alot of how Army officers are and likes the idea of being hands on vs pushing papers all day. Plus he understands the benefit of being prior enlisted. He'll know both sides of the street and treat ppl with respect. As a kid he was around my officers and seen the difference in those who were prior enlisted vs the college-OCS / West Pointers.

He's set on joining one day but there's still some things to look at. There is an ROTC in his HS but I've seen those kids and leaders. I wouldn't say they're Army. Plus over many years I've dealt with the ROTC and they bring them to Ft Knox every year. Not very impressive. But I'll admit my mentality vs dealing with HS kids is something I'd have to learn. No such thing as smoking the DS out of a kid in ROTC. I can be rough on my kids at times, but, spoil the hell out them at the same time. They just know the value of things in life.

I just want whats best for him & something he's going to enjoy. I loved my career. It was just time to go.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:43 PM   #5
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Agree with LS1 Disciple. Going into the Guard/Reserve is going to delay college and his ultimate goal. If he goes ROTC, there no requirement to go through OTS. If he enlist then goes thru BMT, and ultimately gets his degree, he'll still have to endure the 12 weeks of *** pain known as OTS. He wont learn much, but still has to go.
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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He's set on joining one day but there's still some things to look at. There is an ROTC in his HS but I've seen those kids and leaders. I wouldn't say they're Army. Plus over many years I've dealt with the ROTC and they bring them to Ft Knox every year. Not very impressive. But I'll admit my mentality vs dealing with HS kids is something I'd have to learn. No such thing as smoking the DS out of a kid in ROTC. I can be rough on my kids at times, but, spoil the hell out them at the same time. They just know the value of things in life.
That isn't ROTC, that's JROTC. HUGE difference.

I am a product of ROTC and I loved it. You couldn't pay me to go to the USAFA. Once active duty it is very easy to get lost on your way to a college degree. It takes a lot of dedication to get it beaten out before reaching the cut off age for pilot.

In my UPT (pilot training) class we had 1 non-rated (aircrew) prior-e guy going through and he was a reservist with an age waiver.

I'd highly recommend him doing college first, be it the Academy (if he can get in) or a college ROTC.
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:37 PM   #7
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StoleIt beat me to it. JROTC is NOT ROTC. I largely agree with your observations about JROTC, but supposedly there are good ones (I haven't seen one).

As far as hands-on, you'd be hard-pressed to find an officer job as hands-on as pilot.

Edit - Now that I've got a few more minutes, rather than tell you what things aren't, here's a quick scoop on what things are:

JROTC is a high school program (like you said) that I suppose is intended to acquaint HS kids with the military and perhaps get some to consider the military as a career that would not have otherwise. It does nothing else (except get fat kids out of having to take PE or a sport), and certainly has no professional merit, i.e. it doesn't affect one's career should he/she choose to join the military.

ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) is a commissioning program offered at lots of universities across the country. You can join ROTC in college and work on your Bachelor's degree at the same time you are trained to become an officer. At the end of the program, you graduate with a Bachelor's degree from the university, then turn right around (sometimes literally) and commission as a 2Lt (just like the Academy folks). You typically have military-related classes twice a week and some additional military-type duties to perform at the detachment. And at some point (typically between sophomore and junior years), cadets go through a 4-wk field training over the summer that is generally basic-esque.

Please do not form your opinion of officers who were commissioned through ROTC based on what you see HS kids doing in JROTC. And not every non-prior officer is a dick, either (especially one who's father is a retired SNCO). I don't think you'd have to worry about your son.

Here's some detachment locators. Again, highly suggest you and your son talk to one near you.

http://afrotc.com/college-life/college-locator/
http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/find-schools.html
http://www.nrotc.navy.mil/colleges_nrotc_unitsXP3.aspx

Last edited by LS1_Disciple; 08-20-2012 at 08:30 PM.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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They won't give him crap about the tattoo, I have a Phoenix on my back with fire and American colors and it was like I never even had one. I wouldn't be concerned about the broken bones either, how long ago did those fractures happen? I seen a lot of people get held up because they had problems with the law, everything from several simple traffic tickets to higher things. If he's a good kid and scores well then there it won't be hard for him to get in.

If he does go gunner, make sure he doesn't get on the gunship, or else he'll just be loading weapons.
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Old 08-20-2012, 08:41 PM   #9
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I really appreciate the info fellas. I don't judge all officers like I explained. I've had some some really great ones that weren't prior enlisted due to the types of units I've been in.

As for his broken bones, the arm was in 09 and collar bone in 10. We're going to try to talk to a recruiter sometime soon. He has half my GI Bill plus money I put away every month since the day we knew he was coming. So he should easily be ok for the first 2 years of school.
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Old 08-20-2012, 10:56 PM   #10
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Active Duty are not accepting aerial gunners. You can talk to a reserve recruiter here in Florida and they can get him over at Patrick AFB doing aerial gunner for the SOF guys. Honestly, I would tell him to try Contracting or 6C0X1. Job translates to big money on the outside (6 figures). Security Forces isn't bad and will attain a lot of marketable skills on the outside as well.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:05 PM   #11
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Active Duty are not accepting aerial gunners. You can talk to a reserve recruiter here in Florida and they can get him over at Patrick AFB doing aerial gunner for the SOF guys. Honestly, I would tell him to try Contracting or 6C0X1. Job translates to big money on the outside (6 figures). Security Forces isn't bad and will attain a lot of marketable skills on the outside as well.
Agree with everything except the Security Forces... if he does want to go that way LE Law Enforcement is the way to go. Standing guard in front of a plane gets old fast.

Start w/ the recruiter and see what his test scores qualify him for. And remember the good jobs usually aren't readily available (airmen crosstrain into those after 1st term) This means get ready for some delayed enlistment to get the guaranteed job that he chooses. Going in a general category just to get in normally equates to a crap job.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:41 PM   #12
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Agree with everything except the Security Forces... if he does want to go that way LE Law Enforcement is the way to go. Standing guard in front of a plane gets old fast.

Start w/ the recruiter and see what his test scores qualify him for. And remember the good jobs usually aren't readily available (airmen crosstrain into those after 1st term) This means get ready for some delayed enlistment to get the guaranteed job that he chooses. Going in a general category just to get in normally equates to a crap job.
Security Forces has really changed facets in the past years. Alot of it entails personal security detail, I was a PSD for Adm. Fallon/Gen Petraeus. Raven/ FAST, UAV pilots (RQ-11B), TSE/PRT, K9, etc etc. Lots of shreds. We really dont do law enforcement anymore, it has been contracted out to DoD civilians. Again, the skills in that career field translate well after the military. HOWEVER, SF guys get shitted on quite regularly. Very different than most AF jobs.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:47 PM   #13
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Have you're son consider some sort of flying job as well. Loadmaster, Boom Operator, would be awesome jobs to start on the enlisted side and when he commissions to be a pilot, he would command alot of respect since he served in the air as enlisted. Any flying job is badass and you see the world. As a Raven, I've been all over the place and considered aircrew when Im attached with them and I'll tell ya its the place to be in the AF. They get treated really good.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:27 AM   #14
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We talked a little more last night during commercials of Ridiculousness. LOL

My first thing I told him a while ago is to get into something dealing with the mechanics of an aircraft. That way, he'll have a better understanding when going for pilot. The AF website says munitions is a good lead course to pilot. I'd rather know how a plane flies more than knowing about the bomb it's carrying.

We are going to try to see a recruiter this Sat. a.m.. The kids have a race Sat eve. so we'll see what he has to say. A good friend of mine is an Army recruiter here so he has the ASVAB practice stuff on his laptop. Last time I took an ASVAB was 26 yrs ago.

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Old 08-21-2012, 09:35 PM   #15
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Security Forces has really changed facets in the past years. Alot of it entails personal security detail, I was a PSD for Adm. Fallon/Gen Petraeus. Raven/ FAST, UAV pilots (RQ-11B), TSE/PRT, K9, etc etc. Lots of shreds. We really dont do law enforcement anymore, it has been contracted out to DoD civilians. Again, the skills in that career field translate well after the military. HOWEVER, SF guys get shitted on quite regularly. Very different than most AF jobs.
Ahhh yes I should have noticed that one. The civilain cops are everywhere now. Still wouldn't go that route though...
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Old 08-21-2012, 10:12 PM   #16
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Honestly, why join the USAF for anything other than a flying job?

If your son wants to shoot **** with a rifle...the Marines and Army are logical choices. If he wants to go float around the North Atlantic with a thousand other dudes then go Navy.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:35 PM   #17
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Be advised that the Aerial Gunner career field is being changed. There are proposals to merge Aerial Gunner, Rotary Wing Flight Engineer, and another job I forget into "Special Operations Aviation" and have them trained in all three.

Also understand that Gunner's essentially have two platforms, they either get to door gun rotary wing, which will primarily be CSAR, or they are in the back of an AC-130 loading rounds. If they end up on a gunship (more likely), they aren't actually shooting anything, it's the (officer) FSO "pulling the trigger"

Don't even consider Security Forces, and don't let him come in under any kind of open contract.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:37 PM   #18
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Honestly, why join the USAF for anything other than a flying job?

If your son wants to shoot **** with a rifle...the Marines and Army are logical choices. If he wants to go float around the North Atlantic with a thousand other dudes then go Navy.
AF JTAC is the best thing going if you want to kill people wholesale
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:59 AM   #19
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AF JTAC is the best thing going if you want to kill people wholesale
or CCT. JTAC/TACP=Army
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:20 PM   #20
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DO NOT go into Security Forces. I am a K9 handler and have been in this careerfield for 13 years. Don't get me wrong I love having a dog as my partner and wouldn't trade it for anything but there are so many other jobs which transition better on the outside. We work the worst hours, get **** on the most and are the least respected for some reason. DO NOT go in open general or your son will be a SF member and probably wind up in some misslefield in the middle of bum *** Egypt for days on end wishing he could suck start a 9mm!!!!!!!
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