Job vs Career

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by Christcorp, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I am still pretty involved with air force academy applicants. Many have been turned onto this site, and mostly lurkers. But one thing I have noticed from many of their questions; as well as questions by some "young" posters; is their comparison of the academies to civilian colleges/universities, as well as their future after graduation.

    I'd like to simply mention the "Difference" between a "JOB" and a "CAREER". 75% of most student who graduate high school, whether they go to college or not, will wind up with a "JOB". About 20% will wind up with a "Career". And the other 5% will be unemployed. And when I say "Career", I'm not speaking of a "Long Term" employment such as a "20 year military CAREER". So, what is the difference between a "Job" and a "Career", and why do many refer to the military as being a "Career"?

    Yes, the technical term of a "Job" is the work you do, day to day, that earns you money to pay your bills and discretionary spending. Whereby a "Career" is a long term advancement of one or many "Jobs" which provides advancement in your area of expertise. This may be technically true, but I contend that it's much more than that.

    I have family members, and many of you may also, who have "Jobs". They've had this or similar "Jobs" for 20-30 years. And when they retire, they may even get some sort of a pension. But that still doesn't constitute it being a career. Maybe for some, but not for most. That factory worker, assembly line worker, manufacturing worker, utility worker, etc... are generally "JOBS". You go at the beginning of your shift, you do what they pay you to do, you come home, you have your other life, you go to bed, you wake up the next morning, and you start all over again. You look forward to the weekends and your time away from the "Job". The majority of people will spend their entire life like this. Nothing wrong with it for most. But this not a "Career". At least not by the definition that matters.

    A "Career" is a job where you honestly feel part of something bigger than yourself. Where you care about the others you work with. A place where you don't mind coming to. Where you don't spend Monday waiting for the weekend. A "Career" is where you can advance to the level of your choosing. Where you can accept and achieve the level of responsibility you desire. You can usually tell that you have a "Career", because many of the people you work with, are many of the people you spend your free time with. Your co-workers become your close friends. There's an unofficial support system among employees. You feel that if you were to leave, people would MISS YOU. Or when someone else leaves, you will miss them. This is a career.

    So, what does this have to do with the academy and air force? Simple, the military CAN be just a job, or it can be a career. Many times it's a career. Whether you do 5 years and get out, or 20 years and retire. Unlike most "Jobs", you will build bonds with those you work with. You will spend a lot off duty time with these same people. You will be part of a family. You all have common goals. It's not uncommon to work on things during your off duty time, because you WANT to. You aren't doing it just for the paycheck. You feel part of something bigger than yourself. You know that there's people there that truly care about you.

    It's really difficult to explain, but the vast majority of military people realize the difference. Many who are young, and haven't had too many real jobs, don't realize it until they leave the military. But I want people to know that military life can be a rewarding CAREER and not just a job. There are some people in the civilian world fortunate enough to find a "Career". But the vast majority in the military have that benefit. Even though many don't realize it. So, when you think about the academy and future military life, keep in mind that for most people it's not just a job. It's a career. It's a family. You are part of something bigger. It can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Something that most civilians look for their entire life and few ever find. Best of luck to everyone. Mike.....
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    CC great post. I remember when I was in college I worked in the bar business, and on my last day people joked that I was leaving my job at the bar to have a career. My response and taking a pay cut to do it too!

    My point is sometimes a career can also be described as one that you take less pay, benefits etc, because that is where you want to be. A job is one that you want the best bang for your buck. I guess that is why many military members see it as a career regardless how long you are there. Bullet use to say his job was a WSO his career was the AF, because no matter what he was going to go and do whatever the AF wanted for his job. Bullet when he was in flying billets would come home and say I can't believe they pay me to do this, believe it or not even though sitting in a sandbox for months on end, he still enjoyed it because his career allowed him to be promoted to this position. His job as a WSO did not get him in residence PME at a sister school, his career did.

    This all goes back to DO NOT JOIN FOR THE "JOB", you join for the career, which is the service. The people that always have a bitter taste in their mouth in the military are those that didn't get the "job" they wanted and got stuck in something else.
     
  3. pinkharley99

    pinkharley99 Member

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    Right on...thank you

    My DD, damevaako, has been monitoring and posting the forum for a couple of months now while she has been completing the application process. Since the fervor of getting the application in is over she is in now in a holding pattern waiting, thinking and wondering if she is making the right decision.

    CC your post came at just the right time. Your words are exactly what I have been trying to convey to DD but couldn't quite get there. Thanks.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    There was never a yr that we lived far away (Europe, Alaska) that we were not with our 'other family". There is a common toast that we all made during those times.."To our family, that we chose".

    That is the military, everyone is family and it doesn't matter rank, marriage, religion etc. We always were there for each other.

    DD was rushed by ambulance to the hospital after being bit by a copperhead snake 3 times, by the time he got there, his commander was waiting for him (tidbit military families know if only one can go in the ambulance, it is the military member). Bullet was befuddled thinking he must be visiting some one else. He wasn't, he was there for our family. (Our neighbor was in the squadron and called the commander). IBM will not be there...the military will.

    I can't tell you how many younger wives I have helped move in while their DH was deployed, and how many times I baby sat little ones, while their folks were at the hospital having another child...or how many move in meals I have made.

    The military, at least the AF takes care of their own. During our 20 yrs in the AF, we always had an open house on Xmas Eve, there were yrs that I had 100 people (overseas), and yrs that I had 20, but no matter how many I had it was important to us to do it because we were all in the same boat!

    She maybe nervous now because family roots tend to be deep, but in the end she will walk away however many yrs from now with tears flowing because the song was over.

    All of this is due to the close relationship within the military...trust me we all joke about how family and friends don't get it...i.e. family/friends as loving as they are do not understand the rule...plane goes down you don't call anyone, instead you wait for their call. Family and friends don't understand how it feels to watch your child cry as they leave their friends behind, military members do.

    In the end when Bullet retired, we had 200 people, 60 were family. Our family sat behind me and when I was called up for my "certificate" I saw them all crying, nobody else, just them. After the ceremony they turned to us and said OMG I am so glad I came I never realized how much you did and how you were gone so much. Bullet turned to them and said "I did what I was asked to do". The military gets that.

    Enough of my diatribe, and I hope that maybe our life experience makes her excited to be one of the select few to wear the blues...or bags and realizes that we close ranks within our own to make each and every member a part of their chosen family.
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    I was the DS...then the military member...and EVERYTHING you read above by PIMA is "dead on accurate." I experienced it as a kid, and then as an adult.

    Beautifully said!

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I can ditto and acknowledge everything that Pima, Steve (Flieger), Bullet, tpg, and many others will say. It is a "Family". Yes, sometimes you can find this in the civilian world, but it's far and few between; and it's not "Quite" the same. But let me tell you about my experiences somewhat recently.

    I retired after 21 years; in 1999. The main reason I retired, was because of 8 PCS (Moves) in the 21 years; TDY (Temporary Duty) to at least 20 other bases; some for 4-6 months at a time (Such as the Sand-box); and my children born in 2 different countries; they were actually doing quite well in school, here in Wyoming. Well, I knew that if I stayed in, and didn't retire, either I was going on a remote (year+ without my family); or the entire family was moving back overseas. Either way, my children were not going to get to do all of high school at one school, and graduate with all their high school friends. So, I (Unselfishly) retired, so the kids could stay stable in school, friends, social life, etc...

    OK, no complaining. I made the choice. Without kids, I would have stayed in longer. But that's NOT what this post is about. That was just a little background. Here's "The Rest of the Story". I didn't mind retiring, because initially I was offered a lot of "Jobs". Most making around $30-$40,000 MORE than I was making in the Air Force. Not bad. And the Big "Fortune 500" company I hired on with, even had a bit of that "Family and Career" attitude. I loved working with the people; many were friends off duty; I volunteered to work and help my fellow workers on my off time; etc... It was pretty good. The problem was, after 6 years, I found that I was NEVER able to see my kids or wife. I left at 6am every day, and returned around 7pm. Was missing sports, concerts, school programs, time with wife, etc... So, I quit that job and took one where I'm at now. When I started here, my daughter was starting her 1st year in college. Sort of missed her high school years, BUT I still had my son for 3 years of high school. I had already been working with ALO's and others in helping students apply to the academy, ROTC, OTS, or traditional colleges. And now, I was able to see my son play football, soccer, and all the good things of having a kid. The job SUCKS compared to the other one, but, I had my family back.

    My son had always mentioned the academy, and he had NEVER had less than a 4.0gpa; since the 1st grade; but being a 9th grader still leaves plenty of room for them to change their mind. However, at the start of his Junior year, he was still serious about the academy. Now, I was getting excited. The part of the military that I missed so much, I was starting to get back vicariously through my son. He already had the right classes (IB/AP); he was a mega athlete; he was doing everything the academy wanted. But now I got to spend time working with the military again. Introducing him to military members, so he could talk to them, and make sure he really wanted it. Working with the ALO (Who I already knew) to now help me son, just as I had helped many before him. I WAS EXCITED. The military life, once in your blood, NEVER LEAVES.

    Fast forward 2 years; he gets his appointment; becomes a recruited athlete; and enters BCT. Of course, I buy season football tickets because I only live 2 hours away. I get to see my son most of the fall. Almost every weekend. Just driving on base again makes me feel like 'I'M BACK HOME AGAIN WITH MY FAMILY". Then, being Football is very important to me and my family, I find out about the tail-gates. Namely "Thudgate" that you all here me talk about. NOW, I am hanging out with 50-100 people on weekends who are ALL AIR FORCE PEOPLE. Academy Grads, ROTC, OTS, Enlisted, 20 year Career, 5 and dives, Dependents of Military personnel, active/current cadets.... HOLY CRAP!!!! I AM HOME!!!!

    So now; even though my son isn't playing football any longer and has found other interests, my wife and I STILL have Season Tickets to the games. We Still go to the "Thudgate" and hang out with our "REAL FAMILY". And now, even my Son hangs out at Thudgate with us and sits with us when he can, during the game instead of being with the team. We actually see more of him now. But the point is, because my son wanted to go to the academy, I was able to be around MILITARY FOLK AGAIN. I was able to be with my FAMILY again. Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE my mom, dad, and brothers and sisters. But I left that home 30 years ago. I see them once a year or so, but not that often. But I can honestly say, I have MORE IN COMMON and prefer to spend time with the Military folk I meet at Thudgate, games, on the base, helping those interested in the Academy or Active duty, etc... than I do with my family back "Home". I would rather spend time with these military people I've only known a few months for the last 2 years, than with family and friends that I've known most of my life. I have MORE in common, MORE interests, MORE empathy/sympathy, and plain and simply; I'd just WANT to be with them more. It is one HELL OF A FAMILY!!!! Mike....
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    The moral of the story is when you kiss your child goodbye on I Day they will be welcomed, ...maybe by the mad DAD and MOM for BCT...saying don't make me come back there:eek:, but still into a family.

    Shack TPG!

    ALSO...just a tip, if you ever live in AK, and do open house tell your guests to keep on their shoes, you can't imagine what it is like with 100 prs sitting in the foyer...for women think about Sex In The City where Carries shoes were stolen! Still to this day I wonder how we landed up with extra shoes in the foyer after the party was over when there was 4 feet of snow outside.

    Mike you only want to hang with them because they are only the people that will do a shot of weed!:shake: I need your address because I have the best Xmas gift for you, they are actual shells from the strike made into shot glasses...now that puts an edge on the drink, the brass that is it!

    Back on topic...a career is truly something you love and hate to walk away from...a job is a paycheck. There will be military members that think the service is a job, and then there are those that will say "I am willing to go remote for a yr away from my family, because we aren't ready yet to hear the fat lady sing"
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
  8. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Pima darling. You found me out. I was hoping my "Military Family" wouldn't find out I was "Using" them. LOL!!! Seriously, PM me your email address, and I'll give you my Snail-Mail address. Anything related to "Weed", I love. And believe it or not, my wife and daughter LOVE the taste of Weed. Granted, 1 shot is all they can handle, and it's only for special occasions, but they like it still the same. But we still have one more home game after this weekend, and one of my best friends/regulars at the Thudgate, is an "Eagle-Driver". He's flown all models. He's retired now and flys for United Airlines. He'd LOVE to have a shot with me using those. Let me know.....

    OK, a little serious here. One of my lurker's mom emailed me after reading my last post about "The Family". Sort of sounds like we're in the "Mafia". LOL!!!! Anyway, between my posts and many of yours, she got a little "Nervous". Especially when I mentioned that even though I loved my parents, brother, sisters, friends, etc... That I had so much more in common with those in/were/related to the military than I did my "Original" family. And that I actually preferred to be with my "Military" family. She immediately had a panic attack. (Alright, a bit exaggerated). But she thought that he "Little Boy" wouldn't ever want to come home if he went into the academy. Let me put to rest any fears from some parents or applicants/wannabe applicants.

    1. The academy and ROTC is actually much easier on the family, friends, cadets, etc... than OTS or enlisted service. Why? Because for 4 years, the family, friends, and cadets have a "Weening" period. The cadets are away for a few months, then they're back for a couple weeks... Then they're gone again for a few months, and they're back again for a few weeks, then they're gone again, and back for almost a month.... You do this for 4 years, and you really get use to it. Both the cadets, and the family.

    2. The respect that cadets (I use this term for ROTC students also) learn, is not just respect for their classmates and military members. They learn and have a deeper level of respect and appreciation for their family also. They don't forget you.

    3. Yes, they are going to grow and mature faster than any other student you've ever met. And if you have an older child who did traditional college, you will definitely notice the difference.

    4. I won't lie to you. The cadet once S/He becomes a commissioned officer is going to begin a whole new life. You will probably only get to see them around the holidays. However, many parents (Including mine), found it a great experience to actually go and visit their child, wherever they were stationed, instead of having the child come home. My parents/in-laws, got to go to Holland, Texas, New Mexico, Wyoming, and other places they probably never would have visited if not for me.

    SUGGESTIONS: For both parents and cadets.
    Cadets: You are going to learn a lot of new things in the military. Especially the way you speak. Acronyms, different vocabulary, etc... Realize that your parents, family, and friends probably won't understand a lot of this. Help them out. Use your new words, but explain what they mean. Also remember that your life will be hectic at the academy, or even ROTC. Your family and friends will still be in their "Normal" routine. Remember to talk about "THEIR" lives too. Not just about what you've been doing.

    MOM/DAD: Learn about the academy. People like to talk about themselves. Ask your son and daughter questions. Not just about how the food sucks. Ask them about new friends; possibility of doing an exchange program to another academy or country; some of the exchange students there; if they're friends with one, see if they'd like to bring them home with them for thanksgiving, christmas, spring break, etc.... (We had a great time last thanksgiving with my son's room mate who was from Madagascar. DON'T ask your child about their grades in detail. "Are classes going OK" is fine. "You might need to work harder at bringing up that "C"" is NOT OK. Whenever your child mentions a "Place" or something very "Military", try to learn about it. "GOOGLE IS YOUR FRIEND". You can also ask on forums like this. Ask another cadet in private; "What did my son mean by ........?" This way you will have more to talk about with your child.

    Bottom line is that your kids are going to change at the academy, ROTC, and the military. They won't have as long to mature and become independent as a traditional 18 year old. By the end of their first year, they will probably be as mature as a 22 year old finishing college. But, that gives you 3 more years with them still coming home during breaks, holidays, vacation time, to get to know them that much more. And DON'T FREAK OUT when a long weekend or thanksgiving comes around and you'd like them to come home, but they mention how they'd really like to spend it with their friends skiing, visiting their home, etc.... (Sort of like traditional college students taking off for spring break)

    And not that there are too many on this board; but if your child graduates college and goes OTS or graduates High School and goes enlisted; then you're on your own. That is the most difficult. One day they're home, the next day they're gone. There's no parent's weekend. They won't have any real vacation time saved up for that first christmas holiday or whatever. And in their first 6 months of BCT (Basic Training) and/or specialty job training, they are going to be jammed with all the military growing up and maturing that an academy or ROTC cadet does in a 4 year period. So that is much harder. You really lose your kids fast in OTS and enlisted ranks. But you are on an academy service forum. Which means the academy or ROTC for your child. (Most likely). You've got 4 years to get use to it and ween yourself. Best of luck. Mike....
     
  9. ds52262

    ds52262 Member

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    I think in our case it has become a family business as much as an extended family. Our best friends have been made along the way. I will have to revisit this later, gotta get ready for the moving truck to bring our household stuff this morning.

    PS see you at the Army game Mike.
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    ds where did you move to...seeing as if memory serves right, you were in a warm city base, thus, it means they sent you to Eilson:shake:

    For us that is how it always worked...base 1 sunny and hot (MT Home summer time), base 2 grey and damp (UK), base 3 sunny and hot (Bragg), base 4 Cold (Elmendorf), base 5 sunny and hot (SJAFB), base 6 cold (Leavenworth), base 7 both hot and cold (Pentagon), base 7 Sunny and hot (SJAFB).

    I always joked that I knew where we would be going next, because it was wherever I no longer had a wardrobe to wear when we got there.

    To add on to Mikes list for the folks.

    1. Learn the acronyms, don't hand them a list, but if they say they are going to PCS to XYZ, say what exactly does PCS stand for. As their career progresses they will learn to speak in acronyms as second nature.

    2. The military is unique, so if your child says they are going to do this to get that, don't say OMG why don't you try this instead. TRUST ME, they have looked at all of their options, so trust them and just support them.

    3. No matter what if they are going to be deployed to badlands and are married with kids, offer to come and visit to help, but don't demand and force it on them. The last thing any spouse needs is to entertain the in-laws when their mind is somewhere else.

    Also when they have children and if you do come while they are deployed, look to the spouse on how much they are sheltering the kids. Again it is stressful, thus, if the parent does not want the news on, don't argue. If they say the kids know he/she is gone, but not the place, don't feel it is your place to tell them. If the spouse goes back to their mothers don't get upset, spouses will want their family...it is nothing personal, it is where they feel the most comfortable. Don't tell your child that your upset with their spouse...you will be very disappointed when they support the spouse's decision and not your opinion.

    4. Support them, but don't live vicariously through them. Of course they want you to be proud of them, but there is a fine line between being proud and supportive and being a helicopter. In other words, when they call and say I got a DP/P, don't call weekly and ask have you heard yet if you got promoted? Trust me they will call you the day they find out...and if they don't get promoted DON'T SAY WELL THERE IS ALWAYS NEXT TIME :eek: (luckily we didn't ever have that, but we know many friends that did)

    5. Finally, don't say well when my friend or when I was in XXX branch we did it this way and make it into a debate which way is better or ask did you tr this? The fact is if you were in the service remember how much it changed from day one to the day you left...they can't change the way it is now done, so just move on.

    Those are obviously from my own experience, and it will be different for each of you, but always take the lead from them. They will never keep you in the dark, but sometimes they will want to keep you protected from the real AF. This is also why the military becomes a family, because just in those 5 fast tidbits we all have walked that route, we all know the boundaries and that makes it easier.
     
  11. ds52262

    ds52262 Member

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    We moved to Colorado Springs. Got the furniture in now working on the boxes.
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    One thing I don't miss from the AF is the BINGO sheet! and always having to go back and check among the 400 items.. glad to know you are closer to potter now.

    Lesson for all of you, remember to remove the old # tag before they slap on the new one :rolleyes:
     
  13. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet

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    This is my EXACT mentality for the academy. I even wrote something similar to this in my essay to my MOCs.

    The way I figure it, you have to wake up every morning at X:00 and leave home to make money to support yourself and your family. You might as well enjoy where you are and what you're doing. So many times I hear family members and adult friends who say they hate their jobs, or they can't wait to retire. If you're working 40+ hours a week for, in most civilian cases, 20-30 years, you should at least like it.

    I don't want to sound arrogant or cocky, but I know I could go to a big school, get a degree in whatever, and make $130K+ a year if I wanted to. Sure, the money would be great, but at what real cost? I would probably wake up in the morning and hate every minute of doing whatever it is I'm doing because it's not what I really want to do.

    The military is ever changing. Only being 17, I'm not really thinking about the implications of having a family in the military yet, but I know it will be difficult when that point in my life arrives. However, being as I'm still young, I like the idea of moving around, seeing the world, doing things a civilian wouldn't normally be able to do.
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Zooming...your last line about being 17 and not expecting to get married for a long time, made me giggle inside. Bullet was sure when he went to ROTC (we hadn't met yet) he was not going to get married until he was at least 30, and no kids until 35.

    He proposed to me at 22, married at 23, 1st child born at 25, last child born at 30.

    The point is life has a way of throwing you curve balls. I always say when people plot their life, watch out because God has a sense of humor too!
     
  15. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet

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    That would be my luck...not that that's a bad thing :thumb:

    I do have a question regarding the "family" of the Air Force:

    CC and Pima, you both mentioned hosting gatherings and helping out with fellow airmen throughout the years. As friends, do you find any kind of conflict of interest during social events? For example, if I'm a captain and I want to go golfing with a friend of mine who is a lieutenant (or vice versa), are we both expected to maintain military standards (sir's, salutes, etc.) even though we're off-duty?

    I understand that the Air Force, as well as the other service branches, are all closely knit, but is there ever a kind of awkwardness between people with actions done off-duty and expectations on-duty?
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    NO! NO! NO! Regarding fear you can't! You are both officers...spades with spades.

    You are brethren...now if you said you were a Lt. and went with the 1st shirt every weekend that is a different story.

    Also don't expect the CC to call you up and say whatcha doin this weekend?

    When we hosted parties it was a "blanket invite" within the squadron. That is how squadron parties occur. You post a flyer, send emails, and whoever comes comes.

    As far as awkwardness off duty v on duty, of course there is because people gossip! IN EVEN GUYS!

    I remember sitting in a church pew and a couple entered, there were many military members elbowing their wife saying...THAT'S THE GUY!...It is a very long story, but the point is... BE A MORON OFF BASE ON FRIDAY NIGHT, THE SQUADRON WILL KNOW BEFORE YOU ENTER AT O'DARK THIRTY ON MONDAY...THE OTHER SQUADRONS WILL KNOW BEFORE THEY FINISH THEIR 1ST CUP OF COFFEE, FLIGHTLINE BY LUNCH, ENTIRE BASE BY DINNER! Hate to say it, but that's the reality when the avg base is only 5K
     
  17. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Some will say there is a fine line. Actually, that line isn't that fine. For the normal "Day to Day" get together events, there isn't really an issue. I.e. golfing, sporting events in general, off duty social events, etc... And normally, the Lt, Capt, Major relationships (Off duty) are pretty much informal. Fred, Bob, Mary, and Cathy. Same hold true for the enlisted ranks. However, if the individuals involved in these social events are separated a lot further in rank; e.g. Lt and Lt. Col, Col, general..... or AIC and Tsgt, Msgt, CMSgt; then it's usually a little more formal with "Sir" type of responses. And because there is usually a much larger "Age Difference" between an LT and Colonel; or an Airman and a MSgt; the whole Sir thing isn't a big issue. Of course; if you are both into HUNTING; where such a social event is "Isolated" from the general population and age isn't as significant in the interest in the activity; then unofficially, first names are commonly used. Even among Lt and Colonel or Airman and MSgt. But that's an individual and case by case unofficial situation.

    Where the "PROBLEM" arises, is when there is a similarity in age and interests, and the 2 individuals are officer and enlisted. E.g. SRA and Lt. They tend to use each other's first name, which is fine (Unofficially) in an isolated environment; but sometimes when people are around, there's a tendency to slip up. Same with the SSgt/Major; MSgt/Lt. Colonel, etc...

    And the 2 MAIN AREAS where there seems to lean towards conflicts is with enlisted/officers in a PUBLIC SOCIAL environment. I.e. A Tsgt and Major, BOTH MALES, at the club having a beer, is socially acceptable. (At a consolidated club). A TSgt and Major (One female and one male); us usually frowned upon .

    So, in a nutshell:
    1. Lt - Major: Most activities are fine to do together. Off duty in a Non-Military environment; 1st names are normal and common and acceptable. In military environments, SIR/Ma'am speaking up.... First name speaking down is the norm.

    2. Same with the Lt Colonel and Up. However, most call full birds and generals Sir/Ma'am most of the time.

    3. Same with enlisted. AB-SSgt: Same as Lt-Major

    4. TSgt-CMSgt: Same as Lt Col - General. Also, all CMSgt are referred to as CHIEF. Just like Generals are referred to General or Sir. No matter the rank.

    5. Enlisted and Officer: Same sex, no problem with semi-private relationships. Including first names in non-military environment.

    6. Enlisted and Officer: Opposite sex: Frowned upon heavily.

    And the final "Unofficial" greeting. Even though an LT, Capt, Major, or Lt Col outrank ALL ENLISTED; usually only a Colonel or above will address a Chief by their first name. Lower grades will call them "Chief". And Lt's, unofficially, have to play the "greeting" game by ear for the TSgt-SMSgt grades. Some don't mind an Lt calling them by their first name. Some have a problem with someone who is almost as young as their kid calling them by their first name. But that's usually only on Military time. Off duty, most officers and enlisted are on first name basis if they are friends.

    Hope this sort of explains it. There's a lot of "UNOFFICIAL" etiquette and bearing involved. mike.....
     
  18. ZoomingFalcon

    ZoomingFalcon Cadet

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    Awesome. Definitely cleared that up.

    What about salutes? If I'm golfing with another officer and we walk by a colonel (everyone in civ. clothing of course) are salutes expected? I would think so, and I know this is a long way down the road, but I wouldn't want to come off as a "brown nose" or something to that nature.
     
  19. soccerdude407

    soccerdude407 Member

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    You wouldn't salute in civilian clothes. You would just render a verbal greeting: good morning/afternoon/evening mam/sir.
     
  20. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Short answer: No. You're in civilian attire, obviously doing something "off duty". (I've met very few in the AF whose official duty was playing a round of golf. Perhaps the academy coach (lucky dog), but very few after that :wink:).

    When off duty, in civilian clothes, salutes aren't required, or expected. The Colonel may return a salute if you give him one while you're in civilian clothes, but only because it is the respectful thing to do (acknowledging your respect of HIS rank).

    Acting courteous to him as you walk by? Never a bad course of action. How would I have handled this as a young Lt or Capt and I saw the O-6 strolling by on the golf course? Simple: "Hello sir. You haven't seen my ball by any chance have you? What's that? A ball hit you in the shin just now? Did I say that was MY ball? I meant we're looking for my buddy Bob's ball, weren't we Bob." :thumb:
     

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