1. #1

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    Question Regarding AF reserve FF ...

    So, I have been thinking about Firefighting as a career since I was a junior in 2002. However, I moved out on my own after I graduated and have ever since been trying to make it on my own. You know the routine; working to live. As it is, I haven't really had a good enough paying job to have my own place, pay the bills, and have enough time to chase my dreams. I guess you can say I'm waiting on a miracle, and I'm agnostic. Sounds like a "catch 22", no?

    Anyhow, to get to the point, I have definently done my fair share of research on the career, and know for the most part what is expected of me and what I need to take care of. However, I have never really considered the military aspect of it until tonight. From what I have been reading, near everyone agrees that the Air Force is the way to go for military Firefighting. So my question is, would I still be able to get the same benefits and experience out of the reserves versus a 4 year contract? I am not sure if I want to sign away 4 years of my life to something I am not to sure I want to do (military, that is).

    Any feedback is more than welcome, and very much appreciated. Basically, I want to know if joining the reserves would be worth it, and if so, is it paid training as well?

    Thank you for taking the time to read this,

    Matt Dimock - Ventura, CA

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    Don't think of it as signing four years of your life away. If that's the case your better off going the civilian route. The military is not a place for people who think it's a waste of time. My advice to you is if you want to serve your country make a decent living and get valuable training go into the Air Force. If you can't commit to that go to college get a degree, get your paramedic's license. Besides the Air Force is more like the civilian world than any of the other branches unless your a PJ. You get the best bases, best standard of living, and best food, plus easy travel. If you go into the service it's not always easy to get that degree while serving active duty. I'm not saying it's impossible but it is difficult so plan on going to school when you get out.
    One other thing, FireFighting is one of the hardest jobs to get in the Military and they usually open up in October the new fiscal year so if it's something your considering you should start talking to a recruiter now just to get a heads up.

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    So my question is, would I still be able to get the same benefits and experience out of the reserves versus a 4 year contract? I am not sure if I want to sign away 4 years of my life to something I am not to sure I want to do (military, that is).
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even if you join the Reserve/Guard, you'll end up signing either a 4 or 6 year enlistment contract. If you stay "traditional" Guard/Reserve (aka an M-Day or "weekend warrior" Reservist), you won't be full-time (except during deployments!), but you'll still be committing to 4 years of time in the Reserve/Guard.

    As for Ventura--you're in luck, you have the 146th Tactical Airlift Wing nearby at Channel Islands ANGS (Point Hueneme). Take a look at their recruiting page for info on contacting their recruiters to get info and maybe arrange a tour of the Wing facilities and meet the people. Air Guard units only recruit for their own unit, and they will tell you flat out straight up if you have a chance at getting in and getting the AFSC you want.

    Good luck.

    ....gee, I feel like I'm back at military.com again...*LOL*

    EDIT to add:
    Besides the Air Force is more like the civilian world than any of the other branches unless your a PJ.
    *LOL* ... or a Combat Controller, ETAC (who spend a lot of time with Army units), Combat Weatherman, or Security Forces type... I know quite a few SP NCOs who'd be more than happy to educate you about how "military" the AF can be.
    Last edited by the1141man; 04-19-2007 at 03:22 AM.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

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    Don't get all bent out of shape 1141man. All I was saying their are not alot of combat roles in the Airforce, except the few that you mentioned. I was not trying to take anything away from the Airforce by saying that. Their service is very valuble when you need ride to a fight. JK....There is also no need for your SP NCO's to educate me on military life I was A Sgt in Marine Corps my MOS was Security Forces/Mortarman, and their were plenty of times where I wished we had the same accomadations as the Airforce. I was only refrencing PJ's because I had a chance to train with some.

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    [QUOTE=the1141man;799504]I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but even if you join the Reserve/Guard, you'll end up signing either a 4 or 6 year enlistment contract. If you stay "traditional" Guard/Reserve (aka an M-Day or "weekend warrior" Reservist), you won't be full-time (except during deployments!), but you'll still be committing to 4 years of time in the Reserve/Guard.

    ITS TRUE, IM A ARMY NATIONAL GUARD FIREFIGHTER IN NC, AND FOR ME IT WAS A 6 YEAR CONTRACT. I WOULD ALSO RECOMMEND THE AIR FORCE AS THEY DO INDEED LIVE BETTER THEN OTHER BRANCHS AND OFFER BETTER TRAINING. AS AN ARMY GUARD FIREFIGHTER, WE HAVE TO BALANCE FIRE TRAINING AND WITH BASIC SOLDIERING SKILLS, (COMBAT TATICS, LAND NAVIGATION, RIFLE MARKSMANSHIP ETC).

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    If I may, I would like to throw in my 2.5 cents' worth..........

    Just so there's no misunderstanding, I'm not upset/****ed off/offended by anything anyone has said so far about the military--I'm just adding my thoughts. I served six years as an AF officer in the medical field (3 years active, 3 years ANG), so I've been there, too, but not as a FF, so I can't offer any thoughts on that.

    What I can comment on, and it's a nerve that got tweaked a little, is the question of using the military as a means to an end, i.e., getting job training. I agree 110 per cent with jstrgs0405's comment: "Don't think of it as signing four years of your life away. If that's the case your better off going the civilian route. The military is not a place for people who think it's a waste of time." Setting aside all the ribbing about the AF's cushy lifestyle, my being a former ZERO (as my wife, a former enlisted squid, puts it), etc., I emphatically agree and tell anyone who's even thinking about joining the military the following: when you put on that uniform, you are government property, and you become a piece on a giant chessboard (or Stratego game). To some extent, you get a say in where you go and what you do, but don't think for a second that it's negotiable. Bottom line: the job training and perks of military life are all great, but if you're looking at enlisting only for the job training and not because you passionately care about defending our nation if need be, the answer is simple. Don't join.

    (Remember, I'm not PO'ed here--just adding an opinion--I hate having to provide such disclaimers, but so many comments get taken the wrong way.)

    Minor clarification regarding the ribbing between the branches of the service--it's all in fun. I was an Air Force officer, so I know lots of jarhead jokes, but man, I have nothin' but respect for the Corps. Marines make our country proud, I love every damn one of them, and I would go to the mat for any of them in a heartbeat. Ditto for squids, grunts and coasties. (And for anyone who thinks that military customs and courtesies are somehow less important in the AF, it ain't so. Ask any of my former airmen if they would have felt comfortable addressing me by my first name or giving a sloppy salute in my presence. Heh, heh, heh...I DON'T THINK SO).

    I wish you the best, man--let everyone know what you decide.

    Bob
    volly FF / paramedic wannabe and a hopeless patriot

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    And for anyone who thinks that military customs and courtesies are somehow less important in the AF, it ain't so. Ask any of my former airmen if they would have felt comfortable addressing me by my first name or giving a sloppy salute in my presence. Heh, heh, heh...I DON'T THINK SO
    Well of course they're gonna snap-to and lock it up when an officer's around, sir. It's what goes on when the bars & leaves aren't around that makes you go, "Ehhhh?" That's ok, though...everybody knows that if you want common sense, go talk to the NCO Corps.
    My opinions might coincide with someone of importance's POV... I wouldn't know, since I never bothered to ask. My policy is: "Don't ask, don't care."

    IACOJ--West Coast PITA

  8. #8
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    Talking

    Yeah, roger that...

    You know the saying (just think of R. Lee Ermey from Mail Call and Full Metal Jacket): "YA DON'T CALL ME SIR, NUMB NUTS--I WORK FOR A LIVING!!"

    hoooo-yah

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