Career Direction from USAFA?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by stella, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. stella

    stella Member

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    For someone who is not interested in being a pilot, how helpful is the academy in helping folks find their niche? Do you need to go in knowing for sure what you want to do or is knowing what you like and are good at (for instance biology and chemistry or perhaps economics and business) enough of a start so that with time you can figure out how you may best use those skills to serve in the Air Force.

    Secondly, a lot of posts speak of how you are either a pilot or you are not with the USAFA and the Air Force. If you are not, you are a second class citizen. Well, for those who do not want to fly (though of course, they could change their minds!) is their camaraderie amongst that group?
    Also, and it may be sexist, but is it 'easier' for woman who choose not to fly...meaning, is it more of a macho things where guys who don't fly are at the punch line of the jokes but women who are inclined not fly don't get as much as much push back or ribbing about it?
    Finally, is it correct that non flyers are indeed 2nd class citizens and that there is in fact a true division between them and pilots?

    As the research keeps unfolding, dd is trying to see where the best fit is for one who wants to serve, but is not entirely sure in what capacity they want to do so or will have the skills best to do so. She is at a math/science school now so they push USNC but she wants/needs to explore her options. Thanks!

    S
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    They have "job fairs" and booths cadets can visit at certain times. I remember being relieved to learn that my sons only "sorta" wanted to "go CRO" after going to the booths.
     
  3. stella

    stella Member

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    Insight from Fencers?

    Thanks for the insight. Any thoughts on these other issues...
    "...Well, for those who do not want to fly (though of course, they could change their minds!) is there camaraderie amongst that group?
    Also, and it may be sexist, but is it 'easier' for woman who choose not to fly...meaning, is it more of a macho things where guys who don't fly are the punch line of the jokes but women who are inclined not fly don't get as much push back or ribbing about it?
    Finally, is it correct that non flyers are indeed 2nd class citizens and that there is in fact a true division between them and pilots?"

    S
     
  4. dohdean

    dohdean Member

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    As a parent of a female Firstie -- non pilot -- I have never heard her talk about being "second class" because she is not going the pilot route. Also, while it hasn't always been easy to be a female at the Academy she also has never felt "second class" because she is a female. I understand -- perhaps incorrectly -- that more than 50% of this year's senior class (like many classes in the past) are not going to become pilots. Like my daughter, most of her friends will be training for/entering other jobs. My sense is that cadets are well aware of the ongoing cut backs in the military and the prediction of more cutbacks in the future. Many are looking at jobs with good civilian opportunities if long term careers are not in the future for this year's graduates. They are also well aware of how fortunate they are to be leaving the Academy with a job -- something that many of their high school classmates graduating this spring may or may not be lucky enough to have!
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    JMPO,

    You will be a 2nd class citizen if you believe you are a 2nd class citizen. It is up to you in this perspective.

    Honestly, JMPHO, if you feel 2nd class for not wanting rated before you step foot on the AFA, and 4 yrs prior to commissioning you might want to rethink this path.

    Just my 0.018548 cents.
     
  6. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    In its simplest explanation. Only about 50% of academy grads go to pilot training. Does that mean 50% are 2nd class? I could see the bad stereotype if 90% went pilot. But only half the class. Remember, pilot is an automatic 10 year commitment. Many dont want that.
     
  8. stella

    stella Member

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    Insights

    The responses on here are very informative and helpful. Several other threads (here and on other boards) mentioned the 'second class citizen' issue and the division between those who fly and those who don't (for instance the debate on this on http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=15277 and the post by Memphis). Thus, the reason for my origianl post, in part, was to get more feedback on that issues from others.
    There are always SO many views from which folks see things. I, for one, enjoy hearing the viewpoints and gathering information.

    One thing that has not been responded to in much detail is the other part of the questions asked...how much career guidance is given to those who do not want to fly? Any insight on that is welcomed! Because of the many non pilot options, the air force has a lot of appeal.

    S
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2013
  9. icarus

    icarus Member

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    There are over 30 majors offered. Your DD can look up the admissions website and even see testimonials from cadets. We have been fortunate to live in an area where the USAFA holds symposiums where they have recent graduates describe their jobs and most of them weren't pilots. i.e. intelligence, satellites, recruitment, logistics, support etc.
     
  10. melindayching

    melindayching Member

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    Within the first semester of her C4C year, my daughter attended a career day where she was able to attend briefings by career officers in several careers in which she was interested. Her squadron's academic advisor has also given her great advice in choosing a major that would be suitable for her career choices. She still keeps in touch with her former ALO who has put her in touch with other career officers who have careers in which she is interested. From her perspective, there are so many people willing to help in defining future career goals, but you will have to take some initiative, talk to people and do your homework on your own as well. Like so many things, the resources are there as long as you take advantage of them.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    I think there are some who feel they get treated as 2nd class, and some aircrew who tend to hold negative views about some non-aircrew members (usually of certain career fields). I've definitely heard of situations where an aircrew member was dealing with someone and said something like, "If I did my job as well as you do yours, I'd be dead!" I can certainly imagine that being said, as I've seen people's pay screwed up badly enough that they wonder if they'll be able to pay their rent (literally months fighting of incorrect pay), and I've had the AF try to dock my pay for not submitting travel receipts before I was even done with my trip! If you become a finance officer, you'll likely deal with a lot of angry customers (some legitimately so, some not).
     

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