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  1. #1
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    Default What would be better

    I've pretty much decided I'm going to join the military in one way or another at the very least to serve my country and have the experience.

    I do want though to do something in the military to prepare me for a firefighting career, either to make me look better as an applicant, or make me better as a firefighter/paramedic. My question is, out of the coast guard and air force, which MOS would you think would be the best to get? I was thinking for the USCG either damage control (DC) or boastwain mate (BM), for the air force I was looking at pararescuer, firefighter, and SERE specialist. What do you guys think?
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    Well, I suppose it is what you want later on down the road. I would lean towards the USAF, but I have no firsthand experience with the USCG. I do know that the Navy only sends more senior folk (usually ABH career field) to the DOD Fire Academy as compared to the USAF sending you straight out of basic training. Strange logic to me, but that's the way the Navy does it. The way I see it, for the best training in the long run, stick USAF. You will get better advanced schooling, the military experience will be less....well, military, and the career options after you get out will be greater. Believe it or not, having AF firefighter on your resume will usually hold more weight than a Navy firefighter even if all things are equal. No matter what service you decide, get EVERYTHING in writing in regards to your career field. And remember that pararescue is the hardest school in the USAF and even if they "guarantee" you a job in it, if you wash out they can place you in whatever job they want you to fill (school for thought). Ok, my first ever time writing here and already I ramble on.

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    I would pick the service that fits YOU, than just go with the appropriate MOS that is offered by them. Don't join up with only your future resume in mind, join up to serve your country, think of where your personality will do that best, not just what you can get out of it job training wise. Otherwise you could spend four years plus in misery. All the services have firefighting MOS's to one degree or another, all have ways to become well qualified on the fire AND ems sides of things. Think though about the rest of the time in, think about the self disapline you desire; high level go Marines, lower go Air Force, in between Army or Navy; think about how you would like to be deployed, if you don't like the water or isolation, don't go Navy, if you like your feet on terrafirma at established bases go USAF, if you want to see alot of the world in a short period of time and like the ocean go Navy. If EMS is your passion think about being a Navy Corpsman with the Marines, there is no better OJT and experiance that you can get in the field than that. If you want to get dirty a lot and still be a firefighter, go Marines.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by JBrehm
    I've pretty much decided I'm going to join the military in one way or another at the very least to serve my country and have the experience.

    I do want though to do something in the military to prepare me for a firefighting career, either to make me look better as an applicant, or make me better as a firefighter/paramedic. My question is, out of the coast guard and air force, which MOS would you think would be the best to get? I was thinking for the USCG either damage control (DC) or boastwain mate (BM), for the air force I was looking at pararescuer, firefighter, and SERE specialist. What do you guys think?
    JBrehm, The Air Force provides good facilities, maintenance and training for their people. They are very well organized and are a great place to learn. The Coast Guard is a very under rated organization and is a great way to go as well. The Coast Guard has fewer people and allows more responsibility quickly. They finance their facilities, maintenance and training just as well as the Air Force. You do in many cases have to cross-train to do other jobs because they are so small. This is good later because we are picking up extra jobs in the fire service almost everyday. Damage Control with Coast Guard or Firefighter with the Air Force would be my bet. FEDVVFAC was right about the Navy having some good programs. Research them all and get online with some firefighters in all branches by going to the websites and ask them what they like and don't like about each branch and ask what they would have done differently. It is good that you are not only looking to serve your country but you are thinking about future employment as well. Don't forget computer training in all your fire training. More systems are digital, and computerized and let's face it, if you can't work the equipment you can't do the job. Good luck with the military!

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    Default Hmmm.....

    I'm not trying to dog you, but think about your question. You know you want to be a firefighter when you're done in the military and you want to prep for that. Why would you NOT take the firefighter MOS in the Air Force? Beside the practical experience, you would be padding your resume against the other possible applicants. I'm obviously an Army firefighter from my screen name, but the fire academy at Goodfellow AFB in Texas teaches all branches and you get NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS! Also, if you wanted to go to school for paramedicine, you still could and use that in your military fire service career. If I wanted to be a pro football player, I wouldn't consider boxing or wrestling to prepare for it, you know?

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USArmyFF1
    I'm not trying to dog you, but think about your question. You know you want to be a firefighter when you're done in the military and you want to prep for that. Why would you NOT take the firefighter MOS in the Air Force? Beside the practical experience, you would be padding your resume against the other possible applicants. I'm obviously an Army firefighter from my screen name, but the fire academy at Goodfellow AFB in Texas teaches all branches and you get NATIONAL CERTIFICATIONS! Also, if you wanted to go to school for paramedicine, you still could and use that in your military fire service career. If I wanted to be a pro football player, I wouldn't consider boxing or wrestling to prepare for it, you know?
    So why push him to limit it to the Air Force? A person's time in the military, particularly at this period if time, consists of far more than just one's MOS. One needs to look at the whole military life when making the four year commitment, it is not like college or even taking a civilian fire fighter where you can quit or transfer because you don't like it or are not getting out of it what you wanted.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

  7. #7
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    Default Just go to the fire academy/paramedic school

    Why dont you just go to your local fire academy and medic school. The only thing that matters when you get hired is how you test on the civil srvice exam. No one will care if you were in the military. I ws a dc 3 in the navy got out and got a job only because I scored well.

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    Default Air Force...Aim High

    Quote Originally Posted by JBrehm
    I've pretty much decided I'm going to join the military in one way or another at the very least to serve my country and have the experience.

    I do want though to do something in the military to prepare me for a firefighting career, either to make me look better as an applicant, or make me better as a firefighter/paramedic. My question is, out of the coast guard and air force, which MOS would you think would be the best to get? I was thinking for the USCG either damage control (DC) or boastwain mate (BM), for the air force I was looking at pararescuer, firefighter, and SERE specialist. What do you guys think?
    I went Air Force.....great academy great training throughout my 10 years....I've been out for 5 years and have declined many opportunities. In the Air Force as a Firefighter, thats what you are a firefighter, nothing else....your career is your own move as fast as you like for your future.

  9. #9
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    Default What kind of advice is this?

    Quote Originally Posted by SMorabito
    Why dont you just go to your local fire academy and medic school. The only thing that matters when you get hired is how you test on the civil srvice exam. No one will care if you were in the military. I ws a dc 3 in the navy got out and got a job only because I scored well.
    What are you saying? You're telling me that beyond what you score on the entrance exam, military experience, particularly in the field you're applying for, has no bearing? I would put a 24 year old ex-military applicant up against ANYBODY coming out of a college program. Not only does the military person have more practical experience, they will have better discipline, and understand what it means to work in a cohesive unit. My academy for my civilian fire department had 14 people. 4 of us were prior military, 3 in the fire service. Throughout the entire academy, our instructors constantly relied on us as student leaders. A year after my probation, I was the first person they asked me to be an instructor who wasn't a first class firefighter yet (probationary, 3rd class, 2nd class, 1st class) If you don't think that had nothing to do with the military, you're crazy.

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    they will have better discipline, and understand what it means to work in a cohesive unit
    You cant make that general statement like that....I have met alot of sh*tbags through out the military not just the Navy either...The navy has more basic firefighting training I wouldnt really recommend it for a future of firefighting outside of the military.
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  11. #11
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    Default Everybody has them

    Quote Originally Posted by FDNY101TRUCK
    You cant make that general statement like that....I have met alot of sh*tbags through out the military not just the Navy either...The navy has more basic firefighting training I wouldnt really recommend it for a future of firefighting outside of the military.
    True. Everybody has their fair share of scumbags. But for the most part, you've got a lot better experience than someone coming out of a juco. That was what I was getting at.

    As far as the Navy and firefighting goes, you're right. I wouldn't recommend it either. Hell, EVERYBODY in the Navy is a firefighter when it comes down to it. (USS Forrestal) My dad and brother were Navy, by the way. But I'm not talking dc.

    The Air Force and Army are pretty much on line with municipal departments. More so in the Air Force, since they run their bases with military firefighters and cover everything from medicals, to fire, to rescues, like anybody else.
    I'm just a realist. From the Bronx, born in Parkchester, been on three combat deployments, and currently working for a good size municipal department in Colorado. I've sat on oral boards and can tell right away the ones with some military background. And not just me. It's usually the other people on the boards who score these people high. Sure, there are some folks who crush their interview with no military, but it seems that the military ones are more consistently what the job's looking for.

    So let's go back to the intial question posed. The kid's going to join one way or the other, so I just gave an honest answer.

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    Airforce would be your best option if you truely want to be a firefighter. I would say the Marines are your second best option they actually do there job as firefighters. As for the Navy and Army I would suggest you stay away from those branches unless your feeling really lucky. You gonna need luck if you want to be a true fireifghter in the Army and Navy.

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    my advice for you being NAVY myself would be to go AF that might sound strange but the whole fire protection and prevention system is ran by the AF they founded it and the rest of the branches piggie backed on they're program with the exception of a few codes and restrictions. if you want to make fire fighting a career after the military i suggest AF. all the DOD ac's, inspectors and my fire chief are all retired AF if that helps you with your decision.

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    Default Lucky...

    Quote Originally Posted by Engine75
    Airforce would be your best option if you truely want to be a firefighter. I would say the Marines are your second best option they actually do there job as firefighters. As for the Navy and Army I would suggest you stay away from those branches unless your feeling really lucky. You gonna need luck if you want to be a true fireifghter in the Army and Navy.
    You're funny. You somehow think the Marines will give you a better deal firefighting than the Army? I absolutely agree with the Air Force and Navy assessment, but you need to check your facts before diming the Army. The Army still has about 1000 soldier firefighters. True, some are assigned to ordnance companies, and they are not as integral to the post fire departments unless a working relationship is in place. But the Army has just stood up 6 new firefighting detachments. These soldiers are often used to augment the civilian firefighters on post, or are assigned to dedicated
    stations of just military firefighters responsible for an area of response on post. I've met plenty of Marine firefighters who aren't doing their assigned duty as expected, i.e. security detail, range safety, etc. Maybe this has changed recently, (hell, I've only been doing this 17 years.) But as far as the Army goes, the only downside in the MOS is there are no overseas assignments. Alaska is the only one left that comes close. (And that lone E6 position in Kuwait.) So if travel is what you want, look elsewhere. Beyond that, Army firefighters do the same job any other civilian does.

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    I still think that for me, the best bet would be to join the USAF. The Navy won't send you to the academy until you are at least an E-4, so it will be a secondary MOS at best. The Army has few and far between active duty firefighters. The USMC has them, but from what I have seen, they mostly cover the airfield while the civilians do the structural, EMS, ... I have worked as a civilian for the USAF, the Navy, and now the Army. As an Asst. Chief I can attest that most of the highest qualified resumes I see come from the AF folks. And if the gentleman who originally posted this thread decides to continue on with the Feds after his enlistment (Gawd forbid he becomes a lifer LOL), then his AF training will go far, not to mention he will have the opportunity to travel the world as a civilian (been overseas twice for a total of five years), and he won't have to worry about a civil-service exam, and he'll most likely get veterans preferences when being considered. My USAF training was more than good to me!

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    Default I am a ABH firefighter in the Navy

    If you pick a Branch Go Air Force they treat you a whole lot better. I am the Crash LPO (leading Petty Officer) on an Aircraft Carrier. The school that the Navy send us is nothing about Firefighting but about Salvaging Aircraft to get ready to launch and recover AIrcraft. Plus another down fall the Navy has not come to its sense about NFPA and IFSTA. Thta is one thing I am trying to fight right now. As we speak there are 8 Shore base stations that require you to be FF@, HAX MAT OPS and Airport Firefighter. and 5 are over seas. I was staioned in Rota SPain for 3 years and actually got my Command to follow NFPA Standards and sent us to school for what we are suppose to be qualified in. Of cours I am not using my skilss right now until I find a place to volunteer at.

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    I've been in the Army Reserves as a FF for 5 years, Now the USAFNG for 2, and I'm a DOD civilian FF for the Navy. If you plan to go active, I would say go AF all the way. One of the things to remember though about the training that everyone says is so great (Goodfellow is, I agree), but a lot of your advanced training comes from a CD-rom. I am 100% against the DOD cert process, but don't really have a choice at this point. Most of the branches use CDC's including Federal civilian FF's. I know that up the Army reserve unit I was in did not believe in them. We were fortunate enough the Bucks County was right up the road, and we had a Drill Maintenance Program with them, which enabled me to get 75% of the certifications needed for my Full time employment. The Army is now just coming on board with actually having their FF's be certified to do thier job as driver, crew chiefs, captains, etc... which is a good thing I believe. If you want to stay mostly in the states and do "the job", go AF, if you want to go overseas (as in a deployment to the box), go Army NG or Reserves. I was at BIAP for OIF1 and we saw a hell of a lot of fire there. We had a joint US Army/US Air Force there with about 50 FF's, and we kept pretty busy. The Army went off base quite a bit for bldg fires, rescues, helo crashes, etc.... The AF mostly stayed on base to cover the airfield. Even though we were one fire department, each branch had a different mission. The AF's was the airfield, so it was understood and accepted that they could not respond off base for certain calls. The Army though, it was pretty much if they call, we go; it didn't really matter how far it was. We also had a commitment to our side of the airfield which included many helo's as well. As far as I know, we were the only Army ff's there. Today, its covered by AF and civilian, and the AF is doing structural firefighting there, something not normally done in Theatre. I say this b/c there are a lot of guard/reserve there who's primary responsibility back in the states is airfield ops. I know that if you want to become a civilian FF after the Military, you do NOT want anything to do with the NAVY at all. Go Army, AF, or USCG civilian for that. Ok, enouigh for my 1st posting. cya

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