Was just curious how many members of the forums are prior military? If so which branch? And has there been any regrets after leaving the military? I'm currently active duty Air Force stationed in Okinawa, Japan. Have two years left on my contract and would be curious to hear from other vets regarding how their transition from the military service to Fire Service panned out.
I just got out last July from the Air Force at Lakenheath. Started EMT in August, Fire Academy in January, and Medic in May. Had a minor blemish go on my record in May, but charges were dismissed, even still just took a poly for a big city dept and it looks like (knock on wood) they are going to hire me. Another dept didn't like that blemish, another I got a call back for chief's interview then a call back seconds later to ask when I was graduating Medic school, so they could tell me to cancel that interview! Lot's of places look highly on the military, just start the process as soon as you get out and don't stop. Hell, start it earlier if you're not stuck in Okinawa for the rest of your enlistment. Maybe take some Fire Science courses online through UMUC if you are. But yah...no regrets....not for a second.
Hey MadMan, I started out in the reserves, and am still in, so I might not have the entire answer you were loooking for, but maybe this'll help. After my tour in Iraq, I came back and was almost depressed at the lack of comradarie. I joined up with my fire dept in april 09, as paid-call. Since being there, its like being back in that big family all over again. I dont think it really matters your qualifications as much as it does that you get on with a good crew. After that it almost feels like you're back in without all the b.s., you still have a semi-military structure, and as I previously said, the comradarie is definitely there, and better than the service for that matter. As far as other transitions, Im not sure your qualifications, but even the basic first aid taught in all branches gives you an invaluable tool for EMT and Medic, and your knowledge of chain of command will help too. Also, not sure where you are planning on going when you return but all of the departments I know of give Veterans Preference points, which can be a HUGE deal on the written exam and your score on the ranking list! Definitely no regrets, and I found a new family to boot! Hope this helped.