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  1. #1
    Baluchitherium Lead Synth's Avatar
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    02.22.16 @ 08:29 AM
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    I'm looking into joining right after I get done with school, in spring '04. I'm considering this because of all the money for paying back school loans, and because it just seems like a great opportunity. Especially if it's going to be as hard to find a job then as it is right now. Thing is, it looks like I'd have to enlist for 6 years to get the benefits.

    As far as I can tell, as part of the air national guard, you go through basic training for 6 weeks, then 6 to 52 weeks of training for the job in some technical field that you enlisted with, and from there you can go on to be a pilot or an officer, or get the job.

    I thought "Visual Information Production-Documentation" sounded pretty awesome:
    here's the site with a job description

    So I'm writing to them for more information, but I'm wondering if any posters know anyone in the AFNG? any info would be appreciated. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    [ January 06, 2003, 09:02 PM: Message edited by: Lead Synth ]
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  2. #2
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    Donor

    VERY similar to what I was doing in the Navy for six years as a photographer.

    I think overall there really is a lot to consider synthy. Getting out of school, you can go in as an officer. Probably pretty good bennies in that even at one weekend p/m and two weeks outta the year. Mike will have some good info for you too, but I'll just say that I will always cherish my military experience. It would be good for you to get a good dose of good ol'e fashioned conservative military to balance out that god awful liberal education you are getting done with. Good experience in an area that you will obviously be interested in and working with in the civilian world. All very good things.

    Now, also think about our current political climate on a global spectrum. The odds of you being in during war would be high. Active reservists get called in first and foremost and before you know it you ARE regular military ready or not. It's not just a weekend thing anymore. You drop your job, relationships, and you SCOOT. Also, you are considered primarily a fighter first, audiovisualwhatever second. You would be an officer and you would be expected to command like one too.

    Lots to weigh....

    I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat! Loved it, war or no war.
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  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Wolfman's Avatar
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    07.20.17 @ 03:43 PM
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    Seen's probably right -both on the fact that there's a lot to consider, and that MikeL will have plenty of good advice.

    Either way, I'm proud of you for considering the path. [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Donor

    I think it's a great choice if you go into it well-informed. There's a lot to consider, and it's a large commitment. It sounds like you're mostly considering it for the education benefits, which is great, but I think if you go ahead with it you'll find some less tangible benefits that will mean much more to you. I was very surprised at how good I felt being a part of the service. It can be a very satisfying job. I learned quite a few things that will serve me well throughout my life that I wouldn't have if I hadn't signed up. It was a great experience, and I've never regretted it.

    There are quite a few things to weigh and decide on. I think the first is officer or enlisted. I don't think I'd recommend enlisting with the goal of becoming an officer down the line. It's not a straightforward process. I can tell you quite a bit about enlisted life, but not too much about the officer experience. Where I was based our head honcho was an enlisted guy, and the nearest officer in our chain of command was 700 miles away. [img]smile.gif[/img] Most of my experiences with officers involved saluting Army fellows in passing.

    The ANG consists of many, many units spread across the country. With the more specialized jobs, there are fewer units that perform in. You can be a clerk almost anywhere, but the visual arts job you mentioned might only have a few places around the country where they do it.

    There's also what's called the operations tempo. While you're in the ANG you can be deployed for periods of time beyond your one weekend per month/two weeks per year commitment. Sometimes whole units deploy, and other times individuals are sent on active duty for a time. This can be disruptive to your life, but it's part of the commitment. It's also an opportunity. If you're between jobs or need a break from what you're doing, you can volunteer for temporary duty somewhere. There were a few ANG people that worked with me at Fort Knox for a while through that.

    Let's see... I'm forgetting things that I thought I should mention. They'll come back to me. [img]smile.gif[/img] If you want to know anything about basic training or tech school, let me know. Basic is actually 7 weeks, as the first week doesn't count. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    The things I'd think about before joining the ANG are these: Where do I want to live once I graduate, and is the unit I want to serve with near there? If it isn't, am I willing to commute once per month? Quite a few people do that. Can I commit for how ever many years, and what do I potentially sacrifice with that commitment?

    Once I got out of the regular Air Force I thought pretty hard about joining the ANG. There's a weather unit here in Minneapolis, so that would have been very convenient for me. I decided not to because the real education benefits come with the 6 year commitment, like you'd said. I knew I'd be done with school within about 3 years (I finished in December), and I wasn't sure where life would take me after that.

    One thing I would recommend is contacting the unit you're interested in serving with. The address for them was up in MI. Explain to them what you're considering, and they'll be able to give you much better answers about the kinds of work they do, as well as likely deployments and such.

  5. #5
    Baluchitherium
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    12.15.17 @ 05:52 AM
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    Donor

    Lead Synth,

    Last January I joined the Maryland Army National Guard. At that time I was in the process of getting my master's and I had enough credits to sign up for OCS right there. This ment that my military operations specialty (MOS) was OCS and not a clerk, infantry, truck driver, or whatever. This translated into not going to my advanced training after boot camp. Where as 99% of the soldiers I trained with had to go for more training straight after boot camp. There are two main things about signing up for OCS I ran into with the Army NG. First, you need to have at least 60 credits towards (I believe that's the right #) your bachelor's degree (I don't know where you stand with that or you haven't started college yet). Second, if you sign up for the OCS option you don't get any Montgomery GI bill benefits, but don't feel left out. There is a stipend each month, federal tution assistance, and MD has a state tution waiver with certain colleges (don't know about the Chicago area).

    Enough of that, if you want to talk more about it shoot me an PM. I can can give you some helpful hints if you would like.

    Like MikeL said, the first thing you need to decide is it the officer or enlisted route you want to go. Personally, I think the officer way is route to take, but you never know b/c for some the enlisted way is a better option (they don't want to have that leadership responsibility).

    Either way, that's great news that you are considering joining the military. And if anybody tells you that the Naitional Guard (either Air or Army) suck in more more ways than one (I'm being totally serious here)....tell them to FUCK OFF!!! The MD National Guard unit I'm with (Engineers) stormed the beaches on D-Day. It takes alot of courage to sign your life on the dotted line and possibly give your life for the freedom of this nation.

    Congrats and good luck!!! [img]graemlins/thumb.gif[/img]
    Rock the Red!!!

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  6. #6
    Johnson Rod Pabs's Avatar
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    10.29.09 @ 12:50 PM
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    Donor

    I have a friend who spent 4 years in the coast guard. He told me that he'd recommend anyone with a college education, that is eligible for officer training, should enlist first anyway and get some grunt experience (doing dishes, washing clothes, etc). He said that not only will it get you familiar with everything, but by the time you become an officer, you'll know what you're doing. He told me there are so many officers that are dumb, and don't lead anyway because of their lack of experience.
    CHICAGO WHITE SOX - 2005 WORLD CHAMPIONS

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    The Pilgrims/Americans/Somersets whatever you want to call them, have NEVER displayed "SOX" anywhere on their caps, jerseys, or merchandise, therefore they shouldn't be referred to as such. However, the White Sox have used "SOX" since 1912.

    The SOX are in Chicago...we just allow the Pilgrims/Americans/Somersets to use the name.

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  7. #7
    Baluchitherium Lead Synth's Avatar
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    02.22.16 @ 08:29 AM
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    Thanks everyone, this is a great help

    I'm gonna talk to a recruiter.

    As far as the possibility of going to war, that's part of the deal, I wouldn't sign up if I wasn't cool with it. Although 6 years is a long time and if we are in the midst of WWIII when I get out of school I'd be scared shitless [img]graemlins/scared.gif[/img]

    Last summer on my way home from Boston I met a woman a few years older than me who was in the ANG doing meteorology, and her brother was in the Air Force. Between the two of them they had their parents worried sick that they were both gonna get killed. She told me that it really puts a strain on your personal life, but that the benefits outweigh the negatives and that's why she decided to do it.

    Seen, heh, I HOPE you were joking about the "liberal education" thing. It's not like I'm going to Berkeley. I might lean to the left a bit, but it's not Northwestern's fault. Besides, if I was as liberal as you think I am, I would join the Peace Corps instead and go hug some third world trees, and then get kicked out for posession of pot. JK

    MikeL, do you get to decide where you want to work?? I thought the AV job looked good because it has a lot to do with what I'm studying in school, but you're right there are fewer places around the country where I could do it. I did a search and found that one in Michigan, Alaska, Colorado and just a few other states I forget. Of course what's available could change by the time I actually get there.
    www.mayakuper.com

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  8. #8
    Atomic Punk jrk5150's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 07:38 PM
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    Donor

    Never served, was recruited by the Coast Guard Academy to play basketball, but I simply don't have enough respect for my fellow humans to say yes sir all day so I passed on it

    I will say that I know two people very well who were/are in the regular service. One enlisted and is a lifer, will retire from the service, one went active after going to college at a military academy and was an officer, got out after his madatory hitch. Both Army. Biggest issue, according to them, you have to face is the relative lack of control you will have over your situation. Yes, you can work within the system to try to get what you want, but you have to first accept that your life is no longer your own. I'm sure it's to a lesser extent in the Guard than if you went regular, but still...YOU don't decide what you do and when or where, THEY do. Especially if you get called up, then your life is 100% theirs. If that's okay with you, it can be a wonderful experience. I wish I was the type of person who could have done it.

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    03.03.15 @ 08:31 PM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by Lead Synth:
    MikeL, do you get to decide where you want to work??
    If you go ANG or Reserve, yes. If I remember, the unit you'll serve with and your job will be specified in your contract. For active duty it's a bit different, you might say. [img]smile.gif[/img] My guess is that you've found all of the units that perform that specific job already. Most Guard units advertise all of their entry level positions regardless of their current manning levels. It's a way of showing people what is possible.

    One thing you might want to consider is going into a field other than what you'd normally consider. It's a chance to diversify your skills and find some new interests. I'd wanted to go in as a historian, but there's only something like 119 of them in the whole Air Force and they turn over pretty slowly. I ended up doing meteorology, even though I'd had no previous interest in it. Turns out I really enjoyed it, and learned a lot.

    Talking to a recruiter is a good step, and they'll have much more current and correct info than any of us. You can expect them to try to get you to sign up soon, and for the unit/region they recruit for. They'll make it sound like a good idea. [img]smile.gif[/img]

    If you decide to enlist, you'll likely start out as an E-3 because of your college credit. That's what I did, and it can give you a real jump on promotions.

  10. #10
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    Donor

    Cool Mike. Maybe you can fucking explain to me what evaporational cooling is sometime. lol

    Good point on starting out as E-3. Thats what I did too, and yes it does help on promotions. However, if you are in a rate like the one you are looking at, there may be a good chance that the ability to move upwards is pretty hard to do. I was actually a pretty good sailor, but in six years I never made it to E-6 because there were not enough billets open for the position. Not much turnaround, so I'd imagine the same stands for the one you are looking at too. Mikes example of historian with 110 or so spots, you would do well at hitting E-6 or 7 in 12-15 years. Other rates will promote pretty quick, but the experience you get could be worthless.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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  11. #11
    Sinner's Swing! chewbaccamonkeylunch's Avatar
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    02.16.16 @ 06:50 AM
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    Donor

    Originally posted by Lead Synth:

    I might lean to the left a bit, but it's not Northwestern's fault.
    Yes it is [img]graemlins/sssh.gif[/img]

    Nah, really I admire you for thinking of doing this!
    The trashman was my hero.......
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  12. #12
    Atomic Punk MikeL's Avatar
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    Originally posted by seenbad:
    Cool Mike. Maybe you can fucking explain to me what evaporational cooling is sometime. lol
    When water evaporates it pulls heat (energy) from the air. It's not unusual to see the temp drop by 10 or more degrees after a storm.

    I was actually a pretty good sailor, but in six years I never made it to E-6 because there were not enough billets open for the position. Not much turnaround, so I'd imagine the same stands for the one you are looking at too.
    In the Air Force promotions come slowly. When I was in the average for E-5 was something like 7.6 years. In Guard units it's more like how you describe, being that when a billet opens up they fill it.

  13. #13
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    Donor

    Cool. All I know is that we generally need that for it to snow, but I never knew what it meant. Thank you.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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  14. #14
    Good Enough Vince G.'s Avatar
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    09.21.15 @ 04:44 PM
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    17 years of advice talking to you right now, Maya. Seenbad and Mikel have given you some extremely sound advice. Heed it.

    Watch yourself with the recruiters. Remember this, they are nothing but salesmen for the military. Much in the way a car salesman will tell you anything to get you to buy that car to get a commission, a recruiter will sell you on anything in order to get his quota in for the month so they don't look bad. Don't let any of them tell you "we don't operate on an individual quota system". Bullshit. They may operate on a station quota, where everyone at that recruiting station is responsible, but they will divide it up amongst everyone, thus giving everyone an individual quota.

    I went with my brother-in-law back in '99 to a Navy recruiter. I was on leave at the time; unshaven, earring, ballcap on backwards, no haircut. Walked on in and listened to them throw a load of crap at him, but didn't say anything. Then, they turned their attention towards me, trying to unload on me as well, and when I informed them I was in the Navy, proving it by showing them my ID card, you could've heard a pin drop in that office. The room cleared out...FAST! I'm not lying here. There are good recruiters out there, but it was evident I wasn't in a station that practiced honesty. Watch yourself.

    That aside, I highly recommend you enter as an enlisted. This will give you deep insight as to how the military, regardless of the branch, really operates. You'll do a lot of shit jobs as an E3, but the experience you'll gain will be to your advantage once you choose to pursue the path of an officer. It'll allow you the chance to see what it's like on the other side of the fence.

    Pabs is right (for once) about that fact that most officers are dipshits and have no clue about how the military runs. Yes, an officer you get paid "the big bucks", but too often these people are fucking retarded when it comes to leading. You gain the best leadership skills as an enlisted. People will respect you more because you've been where they've been and walked in their shoes. The best officers have always been "mustangs" (prior enlisted).

    Also, should you choose to become an officer, because you've spent time as enlisted, you'll be 5 steps ahead of everyone in ROTC. But, in that same vein, your fellow classmates will also look to you for help, and your instructors will look at you as "you should know better". It's a double-edged sword.

    In addition to all this, you'll be eligible for multiple eductaion benefits while you serve: GI Bill (good for 10 years after you depart the service), Tuition Assistance (a program that pays for your off-duty education. You pay for your book, the military pays for the cost of tuition, as long as you maintain a "C" average. You fail or drop the course, you reimburse the military), and many others which will allow you to pursue a degree, all on the military's dime without having to utilize your GI Bill.

    And, who knows? Once you're in you might find you like and stay in as long as I have, retiring in a few years with a pension that eventually become my monthly house payment. And, all that shit aside, think of the pride you'll have given yourself, and the respect and admiration others will give you. It's an awesome feeling.
    "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."

    "This is a lttle prayer dedicated to the separation of church and state. I guess if they are going to force those kids to pray in schools they might as well have a nice prayer like this: Our Father who art in heaven, and to the republic for which it stands, thy kingdom come, one nation indivisible as in heaven, give us this day as we forgive those who so proudly we hail. Crown thy good into temptation but deliver us from the twilight's last gleaming. Amen and Awomen. ."

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  15. #15
    Damage your reputation seenbad's Avatar
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    12.15.17 @ 10:48 AM
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    More great points there, especially on enlisted first, and a funny recruiter story!

    The guys of all ranks that I worked with ALWAYS, without fail, had more respect towards prior enlisted officers. We would see a new ensign or ltjg come on board and basically think they should be working for US. Especially after a mission or cruise. I'd see salty folks flat out walk past them without saluting at times...which is wrong, but it shows our point.

    As far as recruiters go, yeah, they are pretty much used car salesmen for the most part, but I had a good one. He totally helped me out. Even took me out for beers and bullshitted for hours more than once. Had me over to his house for bbq with his family. Just a real good guy. Turns out he got stationed on the same ship I was on in Japan as a computer tech. When he saw me, he freaked out. He totally cared about me and making sure I had the job I wanted and that I was ready for full time enlisted service. I was a lucky one though from what I understand, as pretty much everybody in boot camp wanted to KICK their recruiters ASS....COMPLETELY.
    sheepa latta peepah dabba looka foh a moopy

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