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Old 02-21-2010, 10:10 AM   #21
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I was prior enlisted Army and now Officer Air Force. No way would I ever make the transition the other way. I really enjoyed my Army time but what a big difference. I think the Army Motto is either "If it ain't painful it ain't right" or "Sucks to be you." I deployed with some Army folks and first question was what is your date of rank? I think they are trained to beat their heads against a wall to try and go thru it instead of figuring a way around it. I do admire the job they do.

If you are really set on trying to be an O go the AFROTC route. Even if you have to pay for the education which 9/11 GI bill should do it is a much better option IMO.

I keep in touch with my best Army buddy from my E days. A couple of years ago I was visiting him and he got me and my kids in to see the President's helicopter. So we signed in and the Marine Guards were letting us walk around with minimal supervision (of course we could not touch) I over heard them talking asking who I was. Joe told them that I was once an E-5 now and 0-5. One said he was amazed that I was so approachable and nice to them. For me that is just who I am and the AF culture.

Be careful what you ask for you may get it.

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Old 02-21-2010, 11:13 AM   #22
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As retired Army, my advice would be to stay in the AF. If I were your superior in the Army, I would wonder why you left the AF, perhaps baggage of some sort. Also, your experience as enlisted is experience in the AF, little bit different then grunting it. I think you would be a much more valuable young officer in the AF, just my opinion. I knew several officers who were prior service Navy or AF as enlisted, switched services as enlisted, and then were commissioned. The grass isn't always greener sort to speak.
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Old 02-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #23
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As an Army guy, I feel somewhat compelled to defend the brand. The Army, like most other endeavors in life, is what you make of it.

I would not advise you to switch from enlisted service in the Air Force to enlisted service in the Army—it will not increase your pay or eventual pension and will likely not increase your QOL. Promotions are faster in the Army these days, though…I’ve seen some really outstanding NCOs make E-7 with only 7 years of service and E-9 with ~15.

The Army’s warrant officer program is one of the best opportunities available to enlisted service members of all branches interested in being officers (http://www.usarec.army.mil/hq/warrant/index.htm). I know quite a few former AF enlisted folks that came over to be aviation warrant officers in the Army. None of them have every complained to me about making the switch—they wanted to be pilots, and the Army let them do it. As a warrant officer you are specialized, and will spend your entire career in your field. You get paid pretty well too (http://www.dfas.mil/militarypay/militarypaytables/2010MilitaryPayTable34.pdf).

As far as commissioned officers go, depending on how old you are you may be able to apply to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY (http://admissions.usma.edu/soldiers/default.cfm). Appointments to West Point are very competitive, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to give it a shot if it interests you. Army ROTC is also a good option for enlisted service members interested in earning a commission (http://www.goarmy.com/rotc/enlisted_soldiers.jsp). And, of course, OCS is the quickest path to a commission, though it does not guarantee you a degree.

Before you make the switch, I would definitely encourage you to talk to people in the Army that are currently doing whatever it is that you decide that you want to do. There are differences in cultures between the services, but the basics are the same across all branches. Work hard and be good at what you do and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-21-2010, 09:34 PM   #24
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Thank you for all of the comments and advice. If you've got more keep them coming.

I've considered the ROTC route, but I have already received my BA in Liberal Studies. The comment about looking for a BSEE program was just my ambitious goal of getting a second Bachelor's while I was in. The only issue that I have run into is that lateral degrees are not eligible for tuition assistance.

If the option of going through ROTC while currently holding a BA is available then I will jump all over that. I am now in my last 12months of my first term enlistment, and the choices I have to make are pretty hard. At times I feel like I'm a participant in Nord's book, but I'm not retiring.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:33 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by HawkeyeNFO View Post
Aviator: "I was the first one off the boat for liberty call!"
SWO: "I was the last one off the boat for liberty call."
Submariner: "What's liberty call?"
Guilty as charged.

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Where is my decoder ring for this thread
You really don't want to know how we learned all those acronyms...
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Old 02-22-2010, 01:15 PM   #26
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For tuition assistance you are correct. But don't you have the 911 GI Bill? Go for a masters. I think we had a guy in grad school doing AFROTC? Might want to check out their website.

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Old 02-22-2010, 02:22 PM   #27
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KB Ninja -
Apply again! It took me the second time around - after I added a few initials after my name and started grad school. Keep applying until you get selected. Make sure you are NOT just doing this for the money (you will suck as an officer and get no real respect) Your time in the military should be enjoyable! You have the heard the phrase, "when you are no longer having fun, go home!" All have provided great advice, so ditto what the other posters have said. I have a few sailors that I am nagging about putting in their comm packages - because of their dedication to their service today - and have the desire to stay in for the long haul, and I believe they will be outstanding officers. If it is in your heart - do it!
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Old 02-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #28
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This has nothing to do with your situation.

We had a young crew chief that worked hard, got his degree, and applied for OCS. He was well liked by the pilots and many of us and the commander wrote letters. He was accepted!, and he went out and smoked some weed to celebrate, got caught, and ended up with a dishonorable discharge instead.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:10 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rustic23 View Post
This has nothing to do with your situation.

We had a young crew chief that worked hard, got his degree, and applied for OCS. He was well liked by the pilots and many of us and the commander wrote letters. He was accepted!, and he went out and smoked some weed to celebrate, got caught, and ended up with a dishonorable discharge instead.

Reminds me of an AFN commercial

Guy gets picked up for Officer's training, and drives home from the club intoxicated. End result was losing his OCS slot, suspended license, and all of the money he and his wife saved up for a house was spent on legal fees.


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