Thread: Prior Military

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2007

    Default Prior Military

    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.

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Washington, DC/Northern Virginia


    Marine Corps, four years active duty as a Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Defense Specialist, now called CBRNE. I had many years between active duty and the time I joined the Fire Department. My military experiance has served me well. With two years to go, you have the time to start the application process and have minimum down time between your EAS and starting the Academy. Although it might be tough to pull of from Okinawa, it can and has been done before.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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  3. #3
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    CrnkB8's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Fire Protection Specialist, USAF. Honorable Discharge. I was stationed at Vandenberg during the "Reagan Era". While I was there they were conditioning the base to be an alternate launch/landing site for the space shuttle. So, on top of our "normal duties", I was trained and part of the Space Shuttle Rescue Team and since Reagan had his ranch in Santa Barbara, I was also on the Presidential Support Firefighting Team and would be there anytime he flew in/out.

    I regret getting married while in the military (divorce followed soon after), should have stayed single and toured the world more. Looking back now, if I would have stayed, I could have retired at age 39 and still had a career in the fire service. But overall, the military experience greatly helped with preparing me for the fire service. The training, time-in-service and hands-on experience helped in starting a career with a civilian/municipality fire dept.

    I don't regret the overall experience. I would recommend military service to anyone (regardless of the career field) to help prepare them for adulthood, responsibility, rank and structure, dedication, etc.

  4. #4
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    One enlistment Navy. Gulf War Vet.. I didn't care so much for the service when I was active, but now there are times when I truely miss it. It was the best choice I ever made as a young adult. The service helped me achieve all that I have today personally and profesionally

    Transitioning can be hard. Especially if you don't have an idea of what it is you want to do as a civilian. I'm assuming you want to be a firefighter. Good! You will find being a firefighter is alot like being in the military with much more.

    I suggess if you leave active duty set a goal for where it is you want to live and work. And work everyday until you get to where you want to be. Don't leave without a plan. You will find transitioning harder than ever without a plan.

    Also when I left the Navy I set a time table for getting to where I wanted to be. If I wasn't getting anywhere or making progress on completeing my goals I was going back to be a lifer. No shame!! Sometimes things just don't fall together the way we like. Having a back-up plan will help you rest alittle easier.

    Finally, let your plan be flexable giving alittle to get alittle can pay off big time. I'm not living where I truely wanted to, but I have the best job in the world with a dept 2nd to none in my eyes.

    Don't mean to sound like dad. But I hope this helps you.

    All of you that serve in this day and age are remarkable heros in my eyes.. If all you need is alittle advice it's the least we can do for you after all you do for us.

    Thank you

  5. #5
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    FFWALT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2000



    Four years active Army, 15 years Army National Guard, currently on second Iraq tour. Became a volunteer fire fighter a year after getting off active duty and became a paid fire fighter/operator 5 years ago with the same combination department.

    A military background helps you to understand how the fire service works and gives you a lot of the traits that make a good fire fighter. I'm going to assume that you are a fire fighter currently, please correct me if I'm wrong. The transition should be pretty smooth for you. Keep in mind that departments vary the same as units do, some are tighter than others. Sometimes the hardest part is dealing with the people who have never been in the military. They just don't look at things the same way as troops do.

    Just have to throw this out there, you don't have to have the military or the fire service. You can remain in the Air Guard which could benefit you in several ways. Some of the military training may be better, or at least a compliment, to the training your future department offers. You would still be working toward a retirement, although it is reduced and not available until age 60. It would keep the door open for easily going back to active duty. The Air Guard deployments are only four months long which is not a big hardship for most employers to cover. One of the other fire fighter/operators is in the Air Guard and has done two deployments so I know both sides from experience.
    Train like you want to fight.

  6. #6
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    CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Jun 1999


    Went in back in the late 1950's got caught up in the VIETMAN WAR. Received a Honorable Discharge in May 1964.

    I received extra points, Veterans Preference, when I applied for the job.
    Stay Safe and Well Out There....

    Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    USMC active duty from 04-08.

    i regret it sometimes. i miss it a lot, but i'm trying to go back into the reserves now.

    i was cfr and it hasnt helped me get a ff job. i'm a 911 dispatcher now instead waiting to find a ff job in the area.

    I miss the camraderie of it the most, and the pride of being a Marine.

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