Missileer Job

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Cadet mom, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Cadet mom

    Cadet mom New Member

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    I am the mother of an AFROTC scholarship cadet that will soon graduate. I'm new to this forum, so if this is the wrong place to post my question, my apologies, just delete this. Anyway, I'm trying to educate myself and understand more fully what has happened with a job assignment that was awarded to my son. I don't meddle in his business and he has been quiet while processing his assignment. Here Are my questions based upon the following information (as I understand it- so many acronyms!):

    Cadet was awarded a full AFROC scholarship sophomore year, providing his major was in a tech field. He choose Chemistry. Cadet will graduate with this and three additional degrees this spring. This individual took the MCAT as medical school was one of the things I believe was listed on his dream sheet. Two years ago, the Det. Commander requested he get Lasic for pilot school. The ophthalmologist did not recommend this due to cornea shape. Several months later, cadet was asked to visit an opthamologist that specialized in high risk Lasic. This doctor also denied Lasic for my son due to his cornea. Cadet was wing commander last semester and has received numerous awards as well as additional scholarships due to his studies and research in his major. It is my understanding that his cadet ranking has been at the very top of his class for the previous four years he's been involved with ROTC. He's very excited to complete his studies and begin serving his country. My question (s) based on the above are:
    1) my son was awarded at 13N Missileer position even though this was not listed on his dream list. He is the only one in his cadre to be given a job that was not on that list. Why?
    2) his report date to Vandenberg AFB is spring of 2016. Why so far out? My limited understanding of training in this field is 100 days.
    3) would his training be part of his four year payback? He previously would have made the AF a career choice. This Missileer mission is not one where I can imagine he would consider staying given his interests and the fact that it appears to be a deadend job with no similar jobs he could train in the public sector.
    4) Four and done seems to be six and done under new changes in this field. Will this cadet be forced to take on additional years that he did not sign on for with regards to his scholarship? I can understand pilots needing to agree to additional service because pilot training is expensive. Missileer training, in my very limited understanding is very inexpensive. The six and done seems to me to be an attempt to keep these officers in longer because the AF knows by slotting these individuals with such a mission means they'll serve for their commitment and leave.
    Well, those are questions. Thank you in advance for any information you can provide.
     
  2. BlahuKahuna

    BlahuKahuna Member

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    So we've had some similar issues of cadets being "forced" into 13N here at the Academy, and the basic reason is because they (AF leadership) are trying to improve the overall quality of officers in the career field. They've had some shortages (with the scandal and all) and I know for at least the Academy, they've made putting cadets from all over the class order of merit a priority for the class of 2015, regardless of personal preferences. Our #2 senior this year is doing missiles. Obviously we've all committed to serving in whatever capacity the Air Force needs us to, but being frustrated for not being rewarded for hard work in college is completely understandable.

    I can't really speak to the details of the 13N career field, but I know we've had a few speakers/presentations here. There are some definite positives to the career field and some drawbacks, and if I remember correctly, missiles has one of the highest rates of non-rated officers to reach general. In addition, a lot of people retrain into other career fields after 2-4 years in missiles.

    I totally understand being upset with this assignment-missiles has traditionally been an "undesirable" career field and it must be hard to feel like you're being punished despite great performance in college and AFROTC. But, bottom line, it's a needs of the Air Force issue.
     
  3. Cadet mom

    Cadet mom New Member

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    Thank you very much for your reply! To say this cadet's AF assignment was a surprise to the cadets in the cadre is an understatement. Due to the drawdown, several cadets (hundreds) nationally have been given the option to dis enroll ( or separate?) and not have to repay their scholarship money. This cadet is not eligible for this due to his assignment. Truthfully, he would probably not take this choice anyway. We've told him from the very beginning that if he accepted any scholarship money for his schooling, the AF would "own" him and he would be sent/trained where the AF determined. He "gets" it, even if he doesn't like it. Thank you for putting into words what he has felt- punished for doing his best and going above what has been expected of him over the years. The hardest lessons and greatest disappointments are what cause the most growth in an individual!
     
  4. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    First off welcome to the forum, you will find a wealth of information here. There has been a lot of discussion about the missileer slot here lately. On the plus side your son will be making more than other newly minted 2LT's as an incentive to go into the job. My understanding is the AF is trying to do a better job for all folks in this job in terms of pay and working enviroment. Your son sounds exceptionally intelligent and highly motivated and will do well in the AF. PIMA on this forum will be your best source to answer some of the questions on training you posed.
     
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  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Your son sounds like an amazing cadet, the number of degrees he will graduate with is impressive to say the least.

    I as well understand the disappointment some cadets feel when they get their assignments, somehow feeling like they are being punished in some way. I reality it's quite the opposite, the military is beginning to look at cadets across the entire OML to fill positions, their goal is to find some of the best and brightest available to to fill these slots, your son seems to be one of those they were looking for.

    13N has had some issues to say the least, filling slots with cadets like your son is the AF way to elevate the professionalism in the field. Your son will have the opportunity to re-shape 13N and he sounds like the type they need to get the task done.

    Every job has it's ups and downs, at the end of the day you still get to go home no matter what your doing. There will always be opportunities for good officers that excel at their job, if your son works as hard as a 13N as he did in school and AFROTC, he will have plenty of these opportunities down the line.

    At the end of the day your son will be wearing the uniform of an Air Force Officer, doing a job critical to our national defense, well deserving of a big thank you from all of us.
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    1. He was given the assignment because as harsh as it seems...service before self. They did a plug and chug, and from a tech aspect he is at the top.
    ~ Rated is out of the question from what I have read. What did he request? Intel, cyber, SP, Finance, ALO, etc?

    2. This is a very specialized career field. There is a lot of training that goes in. They don't just show up and start. They spend many months training and learning. Hence, they have to get enough students before they start the class, plus they need to graduate those in front of them.
    ~ My DS, FEncers DS and kevster all waited almost a year before training. DS went casual status in September (rated) until his start class date in April. nick4060 (Intel) went straight to Intel school in October.

    3. The clock would not start ticking at the very earliest until he reports to his 1st duty station in April 2016. If the missileer school is like rated, than the clock usually starts upon their graduation.
    ~ DS is a pilot. He graduated May 2012. Winged 2014, and owes 9 years. He can't bolt until 2023.

    I would also say that IMPO I would not consider it a dead end career. He is going to have a specialized career and when it comes to corporate he might be happy.
     
  7. Cadet mom

    Cadet mom New Member

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    Thank you all for your encouraging information. My cadet knew he would not go rated due to his vision issues. His desire was to diversify as much as possible his education. He even sat down with his Det. Commander to inquire about taking additional courses in Russian or Chinese. He did ask on his dream list all of the stated positions with the exception of finance. His concern with not going rated was that he did not want to be an officer managing a supply closet! Does a missile silo count as a supply closet? Sorry, that was a poor joke! As stated previously, my cadet has been quietly processing and coming to terms with his job offer. I too believe he will apply himself fully and capably to his AF
    responsibilities. Until early November, I had no idea what a Missileer even was. I had briefly read "news" articles about the concerns with this mission. As a civilian, I deeply respect our current and past officers serving our country as Missileers. Thanks again for all your input, I appreciate your insight.
     
  8. enskaisin

    enskaisin Member

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    Top of her class Missileer-select who did not list 13N on her dream sheet (there's a lot of us), here. I can add some insight to what hasn't been answered:

    2- common consensus amongst the 13N-selects ( tell him to get into our FB group!) is that our "real" EADs will come when we are assigned to a missile school class. Different dets' cadre have said that they expect us to go quickly (1-3 mo after commissioning) again this year, if your security clearance and medical are in line. When this will happen, no one knows for sure.
    3&4- yes, as far as we've been told, training should be included in TiS. Currently Missileers have the option to request to crosstrain into a different career field after two years and more choose to stay with Missiles than can stay. Nothing we've seen/signed has indicated that our service commitment has been extended beyond four years.

    He may just be complaining to you as a safe space, which is cool and fine, but tell him to get into the mentor program offered to us if he's really that upset. There are a lot of cool changes going on in the career field right now and it's really not the end of the world.
     
  9. Cadet mom

    Cadet mom New Member

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    I would love to tell this cadet about your FB group, however, I feel as though I've already become "that mother"... I do think he would find it interesting to know that he has much in common with the 13N-selects. Wonderful information -thanks!
     
  10. MedB

    MedB Parent

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    Good for your, Cadet Mom. That seemingly simple stance of not sharing something that might help is a lot harder than many think. Sounds like mom and cadet are both pretty special and will be just fine... :)
     
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  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    It is the hardest thing as a parent to shut up and color. Good for you realizing that he needs to find his own path. I am sure he already has done research.

    I also agree the EADs change a lot. DSs changed three times before it finally settled.

    While we were ADAF we knew a guy that was a missileer that cross changed. The only thing to mention is doing four and the door can be more difficult than one may think. The reason why is if he PCSs they can tack on more time. Let's say at two years he sees there is a great job using his Russian language at Langley. That move will tack on another 3 years.

    Also there was on 60 Minutes an expose about life as a Missileer. They interviewed about 5 or 6 young LTS. They discuss what their daily life is like. Granted all of them requested this career field, but still if you can find it on On Demand or the net, you might find it interesting to watch.

    OBTW, it is funny as a parent. You don't want to become THAT parent and so you stop trying to give guidance freely. Been there, done that, collected a check. They than miss the guidance and start coming to you for advice....different types of advice. It becomes hey Mom, Dad, what is the difference between a traditional IRA and a Roth? Mom, how do you make your pulled pork? The conversations get very interesting when they go and buy their first house.
    ~ Many military members will buy as an O1 because they can use the VA loan. Our DS is in the midst of doing it right now and the phone is ringing off the wall. Mom, what is a good MTG rate? What does it meen paying points? Should I pay points? Etc, etc. Etc. The latest call was yesterday asking do I buy lunch for the movers?

    I think when you don't become THAT parent, they realize quickly that you know more than they ever realized, especially with regards to real life things that they have yet to experience, even if they lived off campus in college.
     
  12. sheriff3

    sheriff3 Member

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    Mom, how do you make your pulled pork?
    Pima, do share I am always up for a good pulled pork receipe. :D
     
  13. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I don't know if she'll share, but I have no doubt if its a good pulled pork recipe, it's one she acquired while living in North Carolina! :D
     
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  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Yes kinnem it is NC pulled pork...none of that BBQ sauce...vinegar based!
     
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  15. FlyingWildcatDad

    FlyingWildcatDad Member

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    Cadet mom, my heart goes out to your DS, his disappointment is understandable. I feel that most AF cadets believe and have been told that the higher their OML the better chance they have of receiving one of their desired AFSC choices. I guess this is not always the case as illustrated by your DS's AFSC award and others. This should be a wake up call to all AFROTC cadets out there, no guarantees not matter where they fall on the OML, AF needs will always come first. My DS's resume is similar to yours sons, although he is just a junior. Scholarship recipient, Tech major, in the top of his AFROTC class, DG recipient at FT, selected to be a CTA at this years FT, very active in his DET, and going for a Non Rated AFSC. I know if the same thing happens to him next year he will be equally disappointed. But like your DS, his first goal is to be an AF Officer, so he would make the best out of what comes his way. Good luck to your son and hoping that he has a long prosperous career in the Air Force.
     
  16. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Unfortunate to hear....everyone knows Memphis has the best cue. The Neely's BBQ spaghetti just changes your life. :D
     
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  17. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    I've had that....and your right.
     
  18. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Sure! Now I HAVE to go to Memphis! Thanks a lot guys! :D
     
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  19. Cadet mom

    Cadet mom New Member

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    I can't believe I'm writing another message. If my cadet son knew that I've created a generic person to educate myself on his AFSC position ( I don't even know what that acronym means. I call it a job), let's just say, I've posted all necessary information- I'll quietly observe from here on. This forum has been very educational, the responses respectful, very positive! I was able to locate the Sixty Minute special on the Missilieers. I've no words at all. Wait a minute I do, I feel bad for the current Missileers currently serving in this capacity. MSM is trashing their mission, a mission it seems to me that the vast majority did not choose. They are serving under a cloud of negativity due to a decent amount of their peers acting in a way that is unbecoming of an officer. Now the AF is trying to change things up. I agree that current cadets have been under the impression that if they have high scores, they'll get a job on their dream list. It was eye opening to the cadets in my son's cadre that this may not always be the case. By the way, I do not have a good recipe for pulled pork- someone please share!
     
  20. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Don't act like its a negative! I'll gladly meet you there and show you the good spots (any excuse for me to eat more of it). I guess I have to be honest and admit I've never had NC cue but why try anything else when Memphis is in your backyard? :D
     
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