Where Are They Now?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Stealth_81, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. AFAMOM08

    AFAMOM08 10-Year Member

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    My son is an 08 AFA grad. Is currently a KC-10 Aircraft Commander and Instructor Pilot at Travis AFB with 3,000+ flight hours. He has been deployed and done TDY's in combat zones 14+ times, and has been out of the country more than in the country since pinning on his wings. His wife is a flight surgeon attached to a Helicopter rescue squad soon to start a residency in Dermatology on the East Coast. Son is PCSing to East Coast in January...they will be able to live together for the first time after being married for over two years.
     
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  2. Maplerock

    Maplerock Proud to be an American 5-Year Member

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    Heck with 'em if they can't take a joke! There are lots of times we need to be serious... so your levity is appreciated. No apologies necessary.
     
  3. Andromeda

    Andromeda Banned

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    "Milton, though, is not exactly paradise."

    I don't know if that was intentional or not, but I appreciate that, fencersmother.
     
  4. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ 10-Year Member

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    It's the lost one.
    I appreciated it too.
     
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  5. LongAgoPlebe

    LongAgoPlebe 5-Year Member

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    Well done, you two.

    I matriculated to USNA in July 1989 - quite possibly the best summer ever for movies (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Back to the Future II, When Harry Met Sally, The Abyss, Casualties of War, and my personal favorite Sex, Lies, & Videotape). Somehow I thought it would be wise to spend it marching, sweating, PEP-ing, and sounding off instead; what was I thinking??

    Not to worry; you already know I thought plebe summer tasted like dead thing's butt. I finished my plebe year with more than a little wonder that I did it and that it was complete, with great memories, profound respect for human capacity and resilience, and a clear commitment to leaving this world just a bit better than I found it. I transferred to one of the many midwestern liberal-arts colleges planted by 19th-century Congregationalists, floundered quite a bit for a couple of years as my family fell apart, found my footing, graduated in 1994, and almost accidentally landed as an instructor in the National Outdoor Leadership School. (That "wanting to do hard things with people up to hard things" never quite left me.) I survived frostbite, hypothermia, heat exhaustion, hallucinations, a couple of broken bones, and a dislocated knee (that keeps me from running now) and learned a thing or two about myself and what other people were capable of, given the right leadership and motivation. I returned to graduate school in the aughts, kicked ***, took names, met the man who would become my DH, and uncovered a passion for helping young people realize what they were capable of. I'm still learning how to mentor and guide them, but I can tell you all confidently: our future is in capable, competent, creative hands.

    My DH is a lily-livered, East-Coast, boarding-school, soft-handed liberal (full disclosure: I'm the latter too, and always have been - oh, yes, candidates and current mids/plebes/swabs, we exist). He also spent two summers as an apprentice wrangler in Wyoming working 12-hour days on a ranch, helping to brand cattle and castrate sheep and breaking a few bones of his own. I shot expert at USNA; he was on his boarding school's rifle and pistol team, before that became politically and economically impractical. A common interest is shooting traps, although with Sprout (our DS) and our jobs, it's been a while. We live in a smallish midwestern town, where I teach biology in one of those small liberal-arts colleges, and he teaches military history and political science.

    There are a few reasons I lurk and respond, from time to time, on a forum where I differ so significantly in almost every way from the people posting here. It takes serious cajones to place service to some higher purpose above one's own needs and I honor and respect that. It can't be faked or bought, and it should be challenged, nurtured, and strengthened whenever possible. People are also complex creatures. One of the finest attributes of our armed forces, to my thinking, has always been that they represent the diversity of thinking, backgrounds, choices, upbringings, educations, and livelihoods that make this country so great. When we lose that diversity in our armed forces, we are in serious, serious trouble. Although a commission in the USN was not the right choice for me, I want to make sure that young people of all stripes consider it, for as long as I'm breathing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  6. EOD/SEALmom

    EOD/SEALmom Member

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    Epic Awesome, LongAgoPlebe :cool:
     
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  7. Jcc123

    Jcc123 5-Year Member

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    I don't often find posts here touching in any real fashion, but @LongAgoPlebe, yours was so well written and real that I'd put it up there as one of my favorites on this forum. It made me want your life!

    On to the topic at hand - I don't feel it's quite time to update on DS's status as he's still in training, but I'll give an initial look at his career so far.

    He had a storybook college/ROTC experience, winning Bde Ranger Challenge, competing at Sandhurst, CULP in the Marshall Islands, graduating from CDQC (SF Combat Dive school), winning Xavier Best Ranger competition and the Mountain Man March. He was Cadet Bn commander and attended the George C Marshall conference, awarded the Faculty Award (highest academic award given at his school - 1 per dept) in both his major (Anthropology) and in the Military Science dept. It all culminated in getting his first choice of AD Infantry and Hawaii as his first post, all with no ADSO.

    IBOLC went very well - made the Commandant's List and enjoyed himself tremendously. He starts Ranger School on Sunday, and feels prepared mentally and physically. He's hoping for Airborne after graduation, but as his unit isn't airborne he'll have to wait and see.

    So, to be continued after Ranger and follow-on training.
     
  8. nick4060

    nick4060 10-Year Member

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    I don't get around to posting too much here anymore, mainly because my experiences with ROTC are getting to be pretty dated. But I'm still happy to answer questions for new Lts or cadets interested in the Air Force 14N career field.

    I graduated from Va Tech in 2012 and then PCS'd to Goodfellow AFB for about 8 months of intel training. From there I picked up a flying assignment and spent most of 2013 in various SERE schools and aircrew training. Currently stationed at Offutt, and I've deployed several times, mostly flying in CENTCOM but in others as well. Also have spent a good amount of time at Nellis supporting exercises there.

    Its interesting to think that when I joined this site I was a senior in high school still learning about the differences between academies and ROTC programs. It doesn't seem that long ago but apparently its been almost 8 years!
     
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  9. Eagle 1

    Eagle 1 5-Year Member

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    Joined SAF as a junior in high school (2009).

    Did AFROTC at Embry-Riddle (Daytona). Commissioned 5 May 2014, graduated on the 6th, active duty on the 17th. IFS in June, RAP program in September, UPT in October. I've had the benefit so far of being very quick to EAD, go to IFS, start/complete UPT, and start follow on operational training.

    Stationed at Columbus Air Force Base and completed pilot training in October (16-01). Tracked RPAs, the red-headed step child of Air Combat Command and dreaded fear of almost every grad, but only due to misinformation. I think it's an awesome job and as students here learn more a lot of people are realizing it's not a bad deal -- kinda on par with FAIP. The two downsides are 1) not being in the air, and 2) shift work. Overall though, rated pilot with a 3 year gig killing bad guys and doing ISR, CAS and CSAR then back to manned -- not bad.

    Since this is a rather unique path, for those with questions, I can offer you perspective on the UPT pipeline (T-6 --> T-1) as well as the RPA pipeline (TDY'd to Randolph to join the class there in their final month of training). PCS in a week.

    From graduation to being mission qualified -- 2 years. Deployment option will be with launch/recovery, otherwise will stay CONUS.

    PM if you have questions!
     
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  10. SamAca10

    SamAca10 5-Year Member

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    Graduated the USCGA in May 2014 and reported into my cutter July 1st.

    Since then I've earned my Deck Watch Officer qualification, interdicted lots of migrants, ran 2 major SAR cases in Hurricane Joaquin and have gotten a handful of drug busts. Underway at the moment and for the holidays. Recently made O2 back in November and hoping that I will have been selected for flight training in February.

    What I've learned most from this experience is the need for work-life balance. When you deploy every 2 months it's difficult establishing a personal life, so you need to make the most of your time on land and find activities you enjoy. That and looking out for you guys and communication.
     
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  11. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad 5-Year Member

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    Well, to follow Jcc123's excellent lead, our LT graduated very high in his USMA class (low double digits overall rank, low single digit mil rank), key brigade leadership positions as cow and firstie, etc. All that behind him now, and no looking back. Totally focused on getting to his unit.

    Also comm's list for IBOLC along with Jcc123's LT, and both just advanced to mountains phase in Ranger School. (Yay for both our LTs!)

    He still has some hard times ahead, but will proceed to his OCONUS Airborne unit once finished with RS and any final training identified by his unit.

    JCC, hopefully your guy will get ABN, conventional wisdom is that all IBOLC grads normally do last few years. But that may have changed, my guy's read is that 2-11 was pretty much only scheduling training specified by the receiving unit. But that may just be pre-RS behavior.
     
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  12. Jcc123

    Jcc123 5-Year Member

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    It was good to see you again on Friday, @hawk. Hopefully the next time will be at Ranger school graduation. Best of luck to both the boys!
     
  13. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad 5-Year Member

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    Good to see you as well, Jcc. I hope to accidentally sit next to you at graduation, seems to be our pattern. BTW, pretty night out tonight, hoping for a bluebird day tomorrow and Wed for Yonah mountain.
     
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  14. NorwichDad

    NorwichDad 5-Year Member

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    Hello all,
    It has been a while. My son graduated high school with a dismal GPA. I did not see the value of spending $40,000 plus to send him away to college. He enrolled in a county college. He watched all his friends leave for college and he was determined to do well. He made deans list and I told him he could look for a college to take him as a transfer. He called Norwich and was accepted within two days. He wanted to go Marines but an overnight with Norwich rooks convinced him to go Army. To make up for a missed year of Army MS classes he was sent to Fort Knox the summer of his first Norwich Year for LTC. He won a scholarship there for his remaining years of college for highest PT score of 365. He did real well at Norwich graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2012. He branched Infantry. He reported to IBOLC at Fort Benning 5 days after graduation. His captain in IBOLC was tough wanting to make sure his group passed Ranger School. Half of his group were lost as heat casualties. He completed Ranger School and a mechanized course and reported to Fort Polk to take over a platoon. They deployed to Afghanistan a few months later. They supported SOFT forces in an eastern province. He saw much of the country driving around in RG 33s. There was some fighting in the beginning and not so much in the end. He hit two IEDs the first couple of weeks. He probably could have qualified for a purple heart on one but pushed back on that. His cuts and bruises were not shrapnel or bullet wounds. He also did another mission the next day. With regard to that he was thinking about his two friends from IBOLC killed that month from suicide bombers. They truly earned the purple heart. Throughout the deployment there were many times they were very lucky! He enjoyed the deployment and brought all of his men home. I told him when he left get no medals but he did get a bronze star, CIB and some achievement medals. The return ceremony was awesome and exciting. He prepped the next year for SF selection. Near the time to go he was running 12 miles a day and 20 on weekends. He pulled a hamstring and did not pass selection. It is not something you can reschedule. Sometimes you can overtrain. He is committed to stay in the Army and soon will be en route to a captains career course.

    My son learned early to use your network. He is in constant contact with friends from Norwich, and all the Army Schools he attended. He has gotten great information from his network as he passed each phase of his Army career.

    So build your network as you go.

    As parent of a soldier you will worry but when asked how you feel about their service always respond you are very proud of your soldier!
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016
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  15. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

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    Just an update, though it will be hard to follow NorwichDad's great post.

    Younger son has settled in at Ft. Rucker. Finished and survived the grueling 5 week AV BOLC, I say that with a wink and a smile. AV BOLC has to be the easiest one in the Army, of course now the real fun begins. This week they completed HOST (Dunker Training) He's pretty much a fish, scuba and the week of drown proofing, made this feel like a water park for grown ups. He has the rest of this week in holding, just PT and then off for the day. SERE starts on the Valentines Day, the Army does have a sense of humor. I'm pretty sure SERE will make up for the easy BOLC. He doesn't know for sure when Primary Flight will start but figures it will be soon after SERE is completed, he's hoping for at least a week to heal body and mind.

    Older son's Sqaudron went surfing for PT this morning.....we have decided to disown him.
     
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  16. fencersmother

    fencersmother 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    NETWORK... NorwichDad is right: it is all all all about the network!

    Here's an update from the Proud Grandma Long Book of Stories: Son was away for almost three weeks, flying here and there in his BIG plane. When he returned home, his wife, in her 36th week of pregnancy now, looked tired, but the 16 month old son learned how to run... and (this is the kicker) he learned to give his dad the "stink eye." Well, and boy howdy, it's good to be home. :)

    On that particular trip, he was able to meet up with his twin brother on another continent, for some food, work outs, teasing, and video games. Just like old times.
     
  17. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    Graduated SBOLC Jan 29. Home the next day. Colorado the next, DW stayed back sick. Spent four days skiing in the best snow ever. Highlight was staying with my older brother who flew C7A's in Vietnam. With Mom at home and my sister-in-law out of town, there was neither a governor on the length of days skiing nor on the length of evenings of bourbon, stories and laughter. Said goodbyes at DIA on Thursday. He spent several days with GF, an AROTC MSIV Cadet Commander, then off the Kuwait on Sunday.

    There have been several mentions of networking with ROTC cadets and BOLC classmates. I can see those relationships already with DS. The importance of these was a constant theme of my brother's reminiscences. Some of those relationships are still active almost 50 years later.

    DS would never equate his service with that of so many of your DS's and soon to be more of your DD's. He knows the difference between discomfort and danger, between separation and isolation. He is nonetheless proud of having gotten to where he is and we are proud that he is doing exactly what he wants to do, where he wants to do it. That is a claim that few his age can make.

    All the best and Godspeed to all of your DS/DD's.
     
  18. -Bull-

    -Bull- 10-Year Member

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    Signal is important! Don't let him ever say anything different. The most powerful weapon, in my job, are my radios and other digital comms equipment that allow me to call for big booms. 25mm guns and .50 cals are cool, but 155 rounds and 2000lb bombs are way cooler.
     
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  19. cb7893

    cb7893 5-Year Member

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    The respect is mutual.
     
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  20. Cluelessparent

    Cluelessparent Member

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    DS graduated from a SMC in 2015 and branched AD with FA. He reported to Sill and has completed BOLC. He was slotted to report to Benning and looks like would have been with Hawks and JCC's DS's. He was bumped at the last minute and is awaiting a report date. He is not a real keen communicator with DD, so I have no idea where that stands :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016
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