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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Navy vs AF vs ANG

    Which is best? Based on what I've seen in these forums Air Force is the best. I'm looking to gain the military experience, however, I would also like to stay as close to home as possible seeing that I will be getting married in December. All in all I want the safest bet.

    Any insight on these branches?
    Thanks,
    Tim


  2. #2
    Forum Member mdcook's Avatar
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    Post Which branch to choose?

    Well Pancho, that might depend on what speciality you are looking to get in to and what bases are near you. Do you want one that has a direct civilian relationship, such as emergency services?
    The Navy provides it's own firefighters on it's carriers and at some Naval Air Stations. It is also responsible for providing medical support for not only the Navy, but the Marine Corps. I know, I was a Hospital Corpsman for 4 years, the last 2 as a combat medic. After that, there isn't much of anything short of getting shot at that stresses me out any more.
    I do not know what the rotation from over seas to domestic duty stations is for the Air Force, but I do know some of the fire fighters that are at our local ANG base. They tell me they had to go through the Air Force basic training and the DOD fire fighting school before they could come back home to the local base. It is a fighter wing that has deployed over seas several times and on some of the deployments they had to go along and on others they didn't.
    I guess my point is that what is "best" probably depends on your point of view. I would strongly suggest a lot of research and wait until after you are married. I am happy to see that you are thinking about serving our country.
    Best of luck in what ever branch you choose.
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  3. #3
    Truckie SPFDRum's Avatar
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    If you are looking at it at straight face value on the firefighting, the Air Force is the closest to the civilian sector, especially airport stuff. Even working 24hr shifts. But the odds ar good you end up in some lovely tourist destination like Grand Forks or Mandane, SD, or worse....
    Now if you are looking at it to get some fire training and have a little more variety and travel options, the US Navy maybe the way to go. Which may or may not be what you want once you are married.
    Both will give you vets preferance, here that's 5 points added to your total score.
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  4. #4
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    I would also like to stay as close to home as possible seeing that I will be getting married in December. All in all I want the safest bet.

    Any insight on these branches?
    Plenty. Just so you know where I'm coming from: former 20 yr Navy brat, current CA SDF (ARNG support BN) member, former overnight Moderator for military.com, and used to do a lot of time on the recruiting forums over there.

    If you want to stay close to home, the Guard/Reserve is pretty much your only option. Active duty in any of the services will most likely entail a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) move after completion of that service's basic training and technical schooling (BCT/AIT or OSUT for the Army, Boot Camp + A/C school for the Navy, or BMT/Tech School for the AF), unless you just so happen to live near an installation of that service, that just so happens to have billets for your particular specialty, and in your paygrade.
    ANG/ARNG units recruit pretty much only for their own unit and needs, and once you complete basic + tech schooling, you come back to the unit in a drill status and there you remain unless you transfer or the unit deploys somewhere.

    Both the Army and the Air Force have Firefighting available as full-time jobs, with technical schooling taking place at Goodfellow AFB, TX.
    The bad news about the Army side is that there are something along the lines of 1,000-1,500 21Ms Army-wide--to include reserve components (USAR/ARNG). This means that you're not likely to live near an Engineer BN/CO that has any 21M slots at all, let alone open slots they're recruiting for.
    The Air Force/ANG have a good many more Fire Protection slots available, your chances of getting in there are much better. Nearly all major ANG installations (and all active AF "flying" installations) have their own ARFF resources and Fire Protection personnel to man them, most of them assigned to the base Civil Engineering Squadron/Group.

    Lastly--I said it on mil.com and I'll say it here: if your goal is being "safe", don't join the military. All military services--Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and all reserve and subsidary components thereof--you are considered a warfighter first, your MOS/AFSC/NEC second.

    Edit to Add: A word of advice from an old Mil.com Mod--do not take your original post as-written into military.com, you will be eaten alive, and your femur used as a toothpick by ol UconnDogg.
    I'd advise dropping the stuff about "being safe" and "staying home" should you decide to post your Q at mil.com.
    Last edited by the1141man; 10-31-2006 at 09:00 AM.

  5. #5
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    Well I'm not really looking necessarily for a fire fighter job in the military. I'm mainly looking for the experience. I'm pretty much trying to decide whether I should do 4 years Navy/Air Force or just do reserve in the Air National Guard. I want the experience and I know it'll look great for my resume, plus free schooling. When I talked to the Navy recruiter yesterday they treated me great compared to the Coast Guard recruiter I talked to.
    I know they are all warfighters and that's fine, I really wouldn't mind fighting. All I'm saying is, if I can, I'd like to choose the safest one.
    Although I have heard the Navy gets to travel more than the Air Force.

    What does each branch do while deployed and what do they do when they are home?
    Thanks,
    Tim

  6. #6
    Fir Na Tine LuckyThirteen's Avatar
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    That's really a broad question. Your best bet is to ask questions based on specific career fields you might be interested in.

    For me, I do the same job (AF comm maintenance type) whether I'm deployed or stateside. Just different uniform and possibility of getting shot at (although not as great a chance as with the Army and Marines)
    Tom Warshaw
    Station 13 (Bethel)
    Sumter Fire Department

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    All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.

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    Like I said initially--if you want to guarantee that your permanent station will be near your home, you need to go Guard or Reserve. Even if your first tour on the Active side is nearby to home, there's no guarantee that your next order won't be overseas--Europe, Korea, Japan...

    As for job selection--well, you need to take the ASVAB first and see where you stand, what jobs you qualify for. That'll set the stage for everything else to fall into place.

    As for the USCG...they're not exactly desperate for people... in fact, they're actually very selective about who they recruit, probably moreso than any other service.

    The Air Force as of last year was about 35% overmanned--needless to say they're also being really selective of late, because they can afford to be.

    What you do at home vs what you do deployed:
    Pretty much the same thing. If you're in the Navy, working as an Aviation Machinist Mate (AD), you're going to be doing pretty much the same thing on shore duty as you do on sea duty--fixing jet engines. The only difference is that on shore duty you get to go home to your wife and kids at the end of the shift... when on cruises during sea duty, you have to wait a little longer.
    About the only group that does anything "differently" at home vs overseas are Combat Arms units--Infantry, Artillery, etc... overseas, they engage in combat operations to destroy enemy units, take ground, and secure positions. In short, they kill people and blow things up. At home, they merely practice and train to kill people and blow things up.

    You're already on the right track by talking to recruiters--that's the first, best, and well, only way to get started on a career in the military.

  8. #8
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    The only Firefighting the Navy has (enlisted) is a DC to my knowledge..I work for teh NAvy as a FF civillian

  9. #9
    Fir Na Tine LuckyThirteen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man
    You're already on the right track by talking to recruiters--that's the first, best, and well, only way to get started on a career in the military.
    That's the ticket.
    Tom Warshaw
    Station 13 (Bethel)
    Sumter Fire Department

    "Scientists believe that the world is composed mainly of hydrogen because in their opinion, it is the most abundant element. I however, feel the earth is composed mainly of stupidity, because it is more abundant than hydrogen." - Frank Zappa

    September 11, 2001. We Must Never Forget.

    In memory of Thomas Sabella, L-13, FDNY


    All opinions stated are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my department or any organization I may belong to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piker311
    The only Firefighting the Navy has (enlisted) is a DC to my knowledge..I work for teh NAvy as a FF civillian
    Negative. DC is not a "firefighting" rate--it's Damage Controlman. Their primary responsibility is to repair damage to ship systems after the fire is out...onboard a vessel at sea, fire suppression is a all-hands responsibility.

    All enlisted sailors are taught basic shipboard firefighting and damage control as part of their Basic Training (boot camp). Needless to say, shipboard firefighting is a much different critter than structural, wildland, or ARFF operations are. DCs probably do spend more time practicing firefighting evolutions, but saying they're a "fire suppression" rating is like saying that all the Fire Service does is HAZMAT.
    All aviation sailors and "blackshoes" attached to CV/CVN ship's company or an air wing, are also given an abbreviated "crash/rescue firefighting" course.

    Carriers do have their own "crash/rescue" crews--usually comprised of Aviation Boatswain's Mates (-E, -F, or -H immaterial) from the ship's company, however such assignments are not "permanent jobs" and rotation back to the regular "shop" is required after a set tour on crash/rescue. In other words, you can't do "crash/rescue" as a career in the Navy--unless you go civvie FF.
    Last edited by the1141man; 11-02-2006 at 05:08 AM.

  11. #11
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    i hate to disagree but having been a damage controlman and retired from the navy i can honestly state it is a firefighting rate. i even taught fire school for 4 years

  12. #12
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    Default Aim High!

    Quote Originally Posted by Pancho View Post
    Which is best? Based on what I've seen in these forums Air Force is the best. I'm looking to gain the military experience, however, I would also like to stay as close to home as possible seeing that I will be getting married in December. All in all I want the safest bet.

    Any insight on these branches?
    Thanks,
    Tim
    Well, I am VERY prejudiced on this subject since I was a career Air Force officer and come from an Air Force family (hell, I even married an Air Force woman whose family is career Air Force!), so take what I say with a grain of salt (or a truck load).

    I agree with the comments other posters made about the Air Force being closest to the civilian fire service, but what should really sell you on the Air Force is the quality of life for your family will be the best of any of the branches. Although I spent a lot of time overseas, most Air Force members don't spend long periods away from their families. Unlike the Navy, where deployments can be extended and where you can't always take your family, that isn't often the case with the Air Force, at least in peacetime. The other thing is the Air Force has the nicest bases with the best golf courses!

    Any branch is good and I applaud you for joining at this time. Aim High!

  13. #13
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    Navyret, I guess that I am in a similar situation as this other guy but i was wondering if it would be ok to send you a few questions over private messages. Ive got some questions about DC and Firefighting in the navy. I see that your PM is turned off, well thanks inadvance.

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    i have to agree with the person who said that fire fighting on ship is a all hands event as an 18 year navy person who in an EN in the navy.DC men take care of all the firefighting equipment or installed firefighting systems on board ship , and i also agree with the dc men also being the ship firefighter.in the years that i have been in the navy i have served as crash and salvage on the helo deck,also first attack on the flight deck out of what we called the hell hole,i also served as an on scean leader,hoseman, nozzelman,and team leader so with that said not all dc men are just firefighters on an navy ship.
    yes the af has their own firefighting mos and they are the closet to strucrial firefighting as you can get as an person in the military im not really sure about the army or the marines.now as far as wanting to get married and be close to your famiely,unless you can get an rate in the navy that will keep you on shore duty for your whole career then i dont suggest joining the navy.i do applaued you for wanting to serve you country,but talk with your recuters in you area and chose carfully where you want to go......

  15. #15
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    Default Burn or swim

    Quote Originally Posted by the1141man View Post
    Negative. DC is not a "firefighting" rate--it's Damage Controlman. Their primary responsibility is to repair damage to ship systems after the fire is out...onboard a vessel at sea, fire suppression is a all-hands responsibility.
    LOL, there's a saying I heard once.... if you're on a boat, and you're flammable - you're a fireman.

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