Other than being a pilot?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by aglages, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    This question is directed particularly to those people with either AFA or actual Air Force experience (including spouses). If you were considering a career in the Air Force (and applying to the AFA) what jobs would you consider other than being a pilot? I know it would depend on the individual interests of the person applying, but my son (HS Junior) would appreciate some ideas of jobs that you might recommend (perhaps something you think you might have chosen) OTHER than being a pilot. It's not that he doesn't want to fly, it is just that he is curious about other career choices within the AF. He has (like most applicants) perused the Air Force site many times during the last year to get some career ideas....but he would definitely welcome some experienced suggestions. He is considering a couple of different engineering majors.
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Let me make this really simple. Click on the link below. You will then be taken to a list of categories for officer's jobs in the air force. Click on a category, and it will give you a very good detailed explanation of what the job entails. Hope that helps. Mike....

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/officerjobs/a/afoffjobs.htm
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Thanks..I'll pass the link on to him. What AF job are you pursuing?
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I was thinking Recliners.... Actually, I retired from the air force about 10 years ago. I must "Type Young". Hee Hee. later... mike.....
     
  5. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    I was a personnel officer, affectionatley known as a "bean counter" but I loved it. Our office learned about any new programs before anyone else on base, and we were tasked with implementing them. We handled Aviators Continuation Pay, new Officer/Enlisted performance reports, deployment taskings, Base readiness, PCS's, education and training, Awards and Decorations, Retirements, Survivor benefits/casualty counseling, etc. It was a pretty high vis job for a company grade officer.
     
  6. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Falconchic88: Thank you for your opinion and the details of your experience. That is exactly the first person kind of input that someone cannot get from a job description. Thanks for your service!

    Christcorp: So you're an old guy like me? Thank you also for your service! What job (other than reclining:shake:) did you do while in the AF?
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    telecommunications. Most here who know me know that I was a non-com. I spent most of my 21 years in Tac-Comm, which basically means I spent a lot of my career away from my family working with satellites, radios, and other communications; in a tactical environment.
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Everybody knows that non-coms run the military so your opinion REALLY matters. Would you recommend telecommunications (as an officer) to your son or daughter?
     
  9. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    That is a difficult question. My son plans on applying to Medical School. If he doesn't get accepted, for whatever reason, his backup plans are Pilot and going to Graduate school while waiting for his UPT slot to come up.

    As for telecommunication; for an officer, that is both the "telecommunications and Information" field. Which is very broad. Very techie. Degrees are usually in computer science, information technology, electronic engineering, and similar jobs. The "IT" side of the job, as far as duties go, are usually at the more established bases. Yes, there are deployments to places like the sandbox, but it's usually fixed bases. On the telecommunications side however, S/He could get stationed in some pretty unique assignments. Everything from space command and control, to Air Force One, to regular bases, to tactical communications, and everything imaginable in between. In other words, it's definitely a diverse career path. The positive is: Jobs on the outside are very lucrative. 6 figure jobs are not hard to come by on the outside world with the right degree. I have degrees in Electronics and another in Computer science. And I've never spent more than 2 weeks unemployed. (And that was by choice). But in the military, in 21 years, I was permanently at 9 bases, tdy to 11 countries and 15 bases. Although, I never went to Asia, I was on every other continent except Antarctica.

    But recommending a career is like recommending a firearm or an automobile. It really has to fit the person who is going to have it. My commander, I was her 1st Sergeant, always wondered why I didn't go OTS or ROTC when I had the chance. It's hard to explain. Once in a life time, you find a job that you really enjoy. It becomes more than a job. It's more than a career. And that's how mine was. Yes, it was sometimes hard on the family some times with me gone a lot. And I really did feel guilty, because I LOVED doing what I did in all these places. But it's got to be up to your son to choose what's best for him. I spent a lot of years working with young people helping them get to the academy, ROTC, OTS, and enlisting; as well as civilian colleges and universities. Some people just have a certain attraction for different things. The ALO's I work with know this all too well. There are some people that you know will excel in ROTC, but not at the academy. Then there's some that need the full time discipline of the academy. There is no only one way. So personally, I wouldn't recommend anything to your son. I'd show him the link I provided, and let him see what interests him.

    But realize, that no matter what he says he wants.... He will change his mind dozens of times in the first 2 years before he has to really commit to a path. Best of luck. Mike.....
     
  10. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Thanks Mike. I appreciate you taking the time to relate some of your AF experiences and I have no doubt that the above quote is absolutely true. Of course as a parent I can hope that he is as fortunate as you and will find a career that he loves and can support his future family. Good luck to you and your son. :thumb:
     
  11. CadCandMateus

    CadCandMateus Recent Grad

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    Im currently an aeronautical engineering guy

    possibly pursuing a flight engineer AFSC haven't decided yet.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I grew up thinking I wanted to be a "Test Pilot for an ICBM". But my dad convinced me that it would be a very short career. (Humorous, but semi-true). In the early mid-70's height of the cold war; I was about 15 years old. I always knew I wanted the air force. I'd heard that the ICBM was the most powerful weapon system in the world. I thought it was a plane. I told my dad I'd like to be a test pilot for them. He gave the typical "Dad Tilt". When he looks down at you, lifts the eyebrow, shakes he head slowly, and wonders to himself: How could such a smart kid in school, be such a retard. Definitely funny to look back on now. For the 1st 10+ years in the air force, he would tease me and want to know when I was cross-training into the ICBM program. Of course, my last base was F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming; with 200 ICBM missles. My dad laughs to this day thinking I finally found my dream job.
     
  13. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Christcorp, if you don't mind me asking, why did your son pick the academy when his goal is to become a military doctor? I've heard ROTC is a much easier route to get there. Please don't think I'm bashing your son's path, I'm very interested in doing the exact same thing. I was just wondering what his reasons were.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Actually, a very good question. Well, my son had a LOT of educational opportunities. He graduated with a 4.0gpa in the IB program. Never had a "B" in his life. Was accepted to 7 colleges/universities. 3 with full-ride scholarships 1 with a 75% scholarship. The other 3 we never pursued that far. But he's always been around the air force. He grew up with the air force. Matter of fact, he didn't even apply to any other academy. His goal was quite simple. The air force academy, or he took the scholarship to one of the other universities. I have absolutely nothing against ROTC. I've helped a lot of students apply and get ROTC scholarships. But I, as well as my son, "and my daughter and wife to be honest", are the type that if we are going to do something, we do it 100%. We don't like doing something part time. I could NEVER be in the guard or reserve. Nothing against them, but I couldn't do it. Same with my son. If he was going to be in the military, it had to be air force, and it had to be full time. And because of his grades and academics, it had to be the academy.

    If he hadn't gotten accepted, and went to a traditional college, would he have considered ROTC??? Hard to say. He wouldn't need the money for school, so an ROTC scholarship probably wouldn't have been appealing. Matter of fact, one of our conversations was about that. He basically figured if he didn't get accepted to the academy, he'd go to the traditional college and then apply for OTS after graduating. This way he could be a 100% student and then become 100% air force. Just the way we think. We are very much perfectionists. "Although, we learn that we can't control everything around us".

    But my son also realizes that he might not get accepted to medical school. So far, in his 2nd year, he's still holding a 3.94 gpa. But he realizes that either grades or the needs of the air force might make med school not an option. He's OK with that. He has backup careers in mind. And I think he's made the right choice; for him. Whenever he's home visiting, and sees his friends from high school and their civilian college experiences, he's the first to admit that if he was there with them, he'd never be excelling as well as he is. He knows he'd be partying all the time and not giving school the 100% that he wants. The academy gives him the discipline and surroundings that is conducive for his personality. At least that is how it started. Every day at the academy brings on different feelings for different people. But I believe that my son will make it through and do fine. But time will tell.
     
  15. tallbutshort

    tallbutshort Member

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    Wow, that's great! Good luck to your son; I hope he gets into med school if that's still what he wants come service selection.
     

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