ItsRoldy

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May 11, 2020
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I've searched this forum and found a lot of incredibly helpful peers and intuitive lines of questioning so I figured I'd shoot my own, Thank you for your time and consideration.

I am currently 26 and enrolled at a local college, in order to transfer to one of my state colleges for Electrical Engineering. I am incredibly interested in telecommunications and signal analysis, however; very inexperienced. My goals outside the military would be to work for SpaceX, or for one of our military research labs. I am also currently working on my HAM Technicians license as well as reviewing the history of EM propagation as well as the magnetodielectric. I have had a lot of pressure and support in the past in considering the armed forces, but lacked the ambition and discipline at the time. I have since gained an eclectic plethora of STEM, leadership and management experience and knowledge.

It is my understanding from my studies that POST WW1 due to req's of the Navy for comm's and the difficulties in standardizing radio at the time, RCA and AT&T were regifted their monopolies over telecomm's. On the one hand it seems that after that partnership formed, the Navy quite literally wrote the book for electrical engineering and electronics practices. On the other, I don't see a clear path to Space Operations through them, whereas everything I've read so far about Space Force is that they will be absorbing current AF personnel. I am very torn about which branch to pursue. Everyone I know in the military has gone cavalry or infantry whether it be the Marines or the Army I generally lack peers that see any value in studying whatsoever, so I have a very difficult time communicating my goals with them.

- On a side note, my father has a pilots license, and my great uncle was a colonel and flew the for the thunderbirds and I also would not say no to opportunities to fly.

My dream is to experiment, however; problem solving and critical thinking are passions of mine.
I have not yet contacted an AF recruiter (haven't heard back from the Navy through FB), so other than a few hours per day over a few weeks, I do not have a lot of direct information in regards to career paths, opportunities within and flexibility. I also have this issue of oppositional defiance (which I'm certain will be straightened out with the discipline) that has steered me from showing up at an office before I know the path I wish to take, as pressuring me without all of the information will likely steer me away. I have taken a "practice asvab" and scored 93% (percentage of correct answers not weighted percentile/average), not that it was official or means anything.

1. What are the benefits of NROTC VS AFROTC in pursuing a career in Electrical Engineering as pertaining to future Space Operations
2. Which MOS/positions do you believe from experience or hearsay are in high demand pertaining to EE
3. What obstacles would I face in applying for ROTC today in hopes of an immediate or eventual transfer to the Space Force
4. What if any books would help me excel in my studies (I am aware the Navy has quite literally encyclopedia size manuals)
5. Does my age disqualify or put me at a disadvantage for promotion opportunities within
6. Is anyone in the greater Seattle area that would like to help me further explore and pursue these opportunities

Edit*
7. After speaking with a cousin enlisted with a 93 ASVAB in the Navy, he was DQ'd from certain career paths because of a current ADD diagnosis with ongoing treatment. With an adolescent diagnosis of ADHD, but no treatment/medication history for 5+ years; (possibly longer I'd have to check my medical records) would I be DQ'd from certain schools/training programs? To best explain my experience, normal people have one train of thought often derailed by a second. I have 10 trains of thought running full blown at all times and am very adept at controlling and guiding them within any environment without treatment.
 
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Joined
Apr 16, 2020
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Good question, and I share it too. My DS is a high school junior and will be applying to AFROTC this fall. His dream is to major in EE or Physics and pursue a military career in engineering research & development. I don't know what that career path looks like, or if it is a straightforward vs. rare/difficult path. I'd love to hear peoples' experience with this.

(As an aside, @ItsRoldy - your question #7 might get more answers on the DoDMERB board. There are quite a few active posts there on ADD/ADHD and what the criteria for a DQ is. Best of luck! )
 

phil61526

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Feb 18, 2020
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165
what are your current grades - entry into these programs might not be all that easy as a rising junior - might look to the OCS track
 

ItsRoldy

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May 11, 2020
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@BreakerBreaker I have done a bit more research into the ADHD issue and medical waivers, I think its a question for the recruiting officer. I think it really depends on the severity, that being said I read that over the past few years the AF has been allowing waivers for thousands of ADD ADHD patients to join. I spoke to an old foreman of mine who's a sarg in the army reserves and he essentially stated since I'm not medicated It shouldn't be a problem.
Archive.org has the books I'm about to mention for free online
Also - As far as whether or not to do electrical engineering or physics, I would suggest that he reads a few books. There's Sir Oliver Lodge's "A History of the Theories of Aether and Electricity ", which describes experimentation and thought processes of western cultures scientific views throughout the 17th to 20th century and is highly insightful into the nature of electricity, essentially culminating with Oliver Heaviside's treatise on "Electromagnetic Theory" and its propagation. Heaviside wrote the book for electrical equivalencies and essentially made the abstractions we use today that we call maxwell's equations, as well as co-invented Vector Calculus.
Another interesting book in electrical engineering that is a lot less complex is JJ Thomson's "Electricity and Matter", as well as his "Recent Researches into Electricity" if i'm not mistaken. The "father of the electron" had some very astoundingly different views of his discovery that Standard Relativity would claim today.

Also, getting a Ham radio technicians license will allow minor electrical experimentation and for the effort and cost its fairly cheap and easy to get into experimenting.

Those are the books that made me decide EE over Physics. Both fields have tremendous promise and application, however; Electricity has made very feeble progress in the last 75 years comparatively. Physics is a lot more tangible though, you're not playing with invisible stuff for the most part and waiting to get shocked.
 

Tex232

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Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Messages
428
I'm an Air Force officer assigned to the USSF (formerly AFSPC). Having a technical degree such as electrical engineering may help you get into the Space Ops career field, but ironically almost nothing you do as a space ops officer will be engineering related. You'll be staring at a computer screen for 8-12 hours a day, monitoring radar returns or sending commands to a satellite out of a windowless, hardened building. Don't expect to be designing spacecraft or any of that hot ****. That kind of stuff is almost exclusively handled by civilians.

That said, if space ops sounds interesting to you, your best bet is to probably pursue AFROTC or OTS and try to get into the 13S career field. Or, you could also wait for the Space Force to establish its own recruitment/training pipeline, but that will probably be several years in the making.
 
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