I am thinking about joining the Air Force

  • #1
I am thinking about going into the Air Force ROTC program at University of Arizona if I can get accepted. Hints, tips, ideas, opinions, words of praise?
 

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  • #2
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Just make sure you want to do the Air Force and not another branch of the military. As long as you are an officer and have good grades, I think it will open a lot of cool doors for you.
 
  • #3
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If you are just starting you should have a little while before you'll have to contract. You will have time to feel it out a bit. It is not for everyone, but you may really enjoy it. Good luck.
 
  • #4
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plan to be the property of the US Government until they get tired of fighting wars to occupy lands where we want to establish oil pipelines not controlled by Russia and other enemies.
 
  • #5
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I told my kids to say "Air Force", when the recruiters show up at the school and tell them they have one chance to choose.:uhh:

As for "fighting wars to occupy lands where we want to establish oil pipelines not controlled by Russia", the Air Force doesn't exactly put "boots on the ground".
 
  • #6
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As for "fighting wars to occupy lands where we want to establish oil pipelines not controlled by Russia", the Air Force doesn't exactly put "boots on the ground".
still, for people thinking they're just going to spend 4 years in and then get on with their life, maybe they ought to realize it may end up being a career for them.
 
  • #7
Evo
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still, for people thinking they're just going to spend 4 years in and then get on with their life, maybe they ought to realize it may end up being a career for them.
If they decide that's what they want as a career, then it's all good.

The military will give you an excellent education and graduates are very sought after in civilian jobs. I don't see any down side to this if he's willing to go the military route.

My first husband wasn't going anywhere at NASA until he went into Naval Intelligence, spent two years at a desk job in Washington DC with Naval Intelligence, then they were begging for him. You can sign up for a 4 year tour and get early out in 2.
 
  • #8
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The Air Force is one of the premier schools for insurance actuaries.
http://www.beanactuary.org/parents/salary.cfm [Broken]

Salaries and Benefits

Actuaries are well compensated. Experienced Fellows have the potential to earn from $150,000 to $250,000 annually. In fact, did you know that new Associate actuaries earned a higher salary than the average MBA in 2002?

Compensation may vary significantly according to years of experience, industry, geographic region, and responsibilities. For example, an actuary with a Fellowship designation working as a financial manager in the banking industry could earn a higher salary than another Fellow working in the health insurance industry.

Up-to-date salary information for actuaries working in traditional insurance and pension settings can be found on the Web site of D.W. Simpson & Company. This firm's salary information is based on their latest Actuary Salary Survey.

Additional U.S. salary information for traditional actuaries can be found at the Bureau of Labor and Statistics at http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm.
 
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  • #9
still, for people thinking they're just going to spend 4 years in and then get on with their life, maybe they ought to realize it may end up being a career for them.
I knew an officer at the AFRL that left the AF after his term of duty wrapped up, but retained his research job at the labs as a civilian. I think that was a good gig for him... but he certainly detested his first post-undergrad location -- guarding a missile silo in either North or South Dakota.
 
  • #10
dlgoff
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The military will give you an excellent education and graduates are very sought after in civilian jobs. I don't see any down side to this if he's willing to go the military route.
I had several guys in my graduating class that the Navy was paying their way through a BS in physics. But they did have to serve a couple of years in their nuclear program and spend a year on a nuclear sub afterwords. These guys were really sharp.
 
  • #11
I think it will open up many doors for me. Honestly, I don't know how I am going to get in, if it will be through U of A ROTC or if I will go through their Officer Trainning School. But reguardless, if I do end up going in I will most likely go career for the AFRL. I am thinking that if I go to have them pay for my college I might as well give them their monies worth. :smile:
 
  • #12
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Go into the Marines!
 
  • #13
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I think it will open up many doors for me. Honestly, I don't know how I am going to get in, if it will be through U of A ROTC or if I will go through their Officer Trainning School. But reguardless, if I do end up going in I will most likely go career for the AFRL. I am thinking that if I go to have them pay for my college I might as well give them their monies worth. :smile:
ROTC has a reasonable amount of flexibility to get out if you change your mind, as long as you change your mind during your freshman year. It's a great way to get your education paid for you, but do keep in mind that it's going to add some obligations to your time during college that you will need to balance with your academic workload. I've had a couple students in ROTC, and sometimes get a bit annoyed that the program expects them to skip classes for their major to attend military science seminars or classes or training events. I don't know if that's just here or everywhere that they are so unreasonable about planning things (I've been tempted to tell the students they can't go and let the people from ROTC contact me to explain why they should have to miss my classes, but usually leave it up to my students which is more important based on their individual career goals...if I had a student struggling in my course academically, I would take a firmer stand on it.) Anyway, just be prepared that it might happen to you too.

As long as you research the matter carefully, know what you're getting into, what obligations you have once in the program, then there can be a lot of positives of getting the training that comes with ROTC.
 
  • #14
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Sorry to bump an old thread...but I'm interested. I'm currently 17 and plan to do an undergrad in physics. I also have a strong interest in Astrophysics and Cosmology. I have been planning on applying to Air Force ROTC but after reading around I see Navy is also a strong option. How possible is graduate education during post-undergrad in either? If i'm looking for Astrophysicist employment after completing phD which ROTC + service would be more beneficial if I decided to leave or stay?
 
  • #15
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You can sign up for a 4 year tour and get early out in 2.
Er... No. Perhaps in your first husband's field, not as an O in the Air Force. If you sign up for 4 years, they'll keep you for four years, unless you're clammoring for a dishonorable discharge. And any schools you go, or additional education you receive carries an active duty service committment. Fortunately, they usually run concurrently. For education and any PCS, it's 2 years. For the flying schools it varies depending on the "needs of the Air Force," but it varried from 6 to 10 years while I was in.

Sorry to bump an old thread...but I'm interested. I'm currently 17 and plan to do an undergrad in physics. I also have a strong interest in Astrophysics and Cosmology. I have been planning on applying to Air Force ROTC but after reading around I see Navy is also a strong option. How possible is graduate education during post-undergrad in either? If i'm looking for Astrophysicist employment after completing phD which ROTC + service would be more beneficial if I decided to leave or stay?
Either one, and if you want to use your physics degree and go into the nuclear Navy, you'll do very well! Grades, grades, grades, though. Both also have science and research functions.

It helps to round yourself out playing sports, joining a social organization, or other endeavors, just to prove you're not only a geek, but focus on the grades. Without the grades, the star captain of the team doesn't get into the nuclear Navy (or other worthwhile endeavors).
 
  • #16
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If i'm looking for Astrophysicist employment after completing phD which ROTC + service would be more beneficial if I decided to leave or stay?
Neither. While there are good reasons to join the military, do not expect it to help you in a career as an astrophysicist. That's not one of them.
 
  • #17
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So if I wanted to work for NASA or another space organization, being in the Air Force would not help at all?
 
  • #18
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What makes you think all (or even most) astrophysicists work for NASA.
 
  • #19
turbo
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If you want to work for NASA or on NASA-run projects, you can accomplish that another way. For instance, there are people at the University of Arizona who work on NASA projects, including designing probes, suggesting missions, overseeing missions, etc. Plus U of A is affiliated with a world-class observatory complex. You could find out where your aptitudes lie, and with some hard work and good grades, you could end up working on research projects under the direction of your professors and/or grad students.
 
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  • #20
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What makes you think all (or even most) astrophysicists work for NASA.
nothing, its just a general goal of a career I could see myself doing and enjoy. They're simply an example
 
  • #21
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If you want to work for NASA or on NASA-run projects, you get accomplish that another way. For instance, there are people at the University of Arizona who work on NASA projects, including designing probes, suggesting missions, overseeing missions, etc. Plus U of A is affiliated with a world-class observatory complex. You could find out where your aptitudes lie, and with some hard work and good grades, you could end up working on research projects under the direction of your professors and/or grad students.
Really. I thought the experience would benefit character and help me succeed and help me gain research opportunities.
So my physics ambitions would not be aided at all by the military?
This is eye-opening. I'm glad I posted here. (:
 
  • #22
turbo
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Really. I thought the experience would benefit character and help me succeed and help me gain research opportunities.
So my physics ambitions would not be aided at all by the military?
This is eye-opening. I'm glad I posted here. (:
I didn't say that a stint in the military would not benefit you, but you must realize that for every benefit and every bit of specialized training the military gives you, they expect commitments from you, and those commitments may take a lot of your time. You can have a much more direct path to exciting research work if you approach it from the academic side and excel in your studies. I have a young friend from Mongolia that in his freshman year at U of A was given work operating the school's telescopes, and on at least one project that year he was building electronics for a specialized sensor under the direction of a couple of grad students. Certainly, there are opportunities if you work hard.
 
  • #23
BobG
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The military won't be all that helpful for getting your PhD. In fact the conflicting time requirements would make being in the military a disadvantage.

The military would be a huge advantage if you wanted to be an engineer working with, or designing satellites. I wouldn't restrict that just to NASA, because if you come out with experience and a high security clearance, there's better paying options than NASA (NASA still outshines everyone else when it comes to glamor, though).

If you're sold on being an astrophysicist, then you'd probably be better off looking at other options for funding your education than the military.
 
  • #24
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The Air force is a great idea to have them pay for your college, and then you get to be on base for 4 years!

I am currently thinking about Air Force Academy in Colorado, But they dont have the program I want to get in to so its a downer there, but if I ever decide to go its a phone call to my recruiter away.

Having a job in the military, and then moving into the civilian sector, especially for sciences has helped a lot of people get jobs quick.

Would you rather hire someone who has served their country, has leadership skills, are able to stay on task and get the job done right the first time.

Or someone you really don't know about, their resume may look good, but you really just dont know.

I know who I would hire.

plus you get the satisfaction of serving your country and know that you have helped protect the freedom that so many take for granted.

Pilots are a mandatory 8 years I believe (what I was going in to do) because of the extra training.

My cousin did naval ROTC, and while he was in college, has completed a whole bunch of training, from jump school to helo pilot. You will work your way up quick if you set your mind to it in the ROTC, so when you are done with college, instead of cleaning the bathroom, you get to be the guy telling the people to clean the bathroom!
 
  • #25
BobG
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The Air force is a great idea to have them pay for your college, and then you get to be on base for 4 years!

I am currently thinking about Air Force Academy in Colorado, But they dont have the program I want to get in to so its a downer there, but if I ever decide to go its a phone call to my recruiter away.

Having a job in the military, and then moving into the civilian sector, especially for sciences has helped a lot of people get jobs quick.

Would you rather hire someone who has served their country, has leadership skills, are able to stay on task and get the job done right the first time.

Or someone you really don't know about, their resume may look good, but you really just dont know.

I know who I would hire.

plus you get the satisfaction of serving your country and know that you have helped protect the freedom that so many take for granted.

Pilots are a mandatory 8 years I believe (what I was going in to do) because of the extra training.

My cousin did naval ROTC, and while he was in college, has completed a whole bunch of training, from jump school to helo pilot. You will work your way up quick if you set your mind to it in the ROTC, so when you are done with college, instead of cleaning the bathroom, you get to be the guy telling the people to clean the bathroom!
I'm impressed. You have to be nominated, usually by one of your Congressmen, for the Academy, plus your SAT scores normally have to be in the top 25%.

You're also lucky to have a recruiter that can get you into the Air Force Academy. Most students have to apply through the admissions office (same as any other college).

It is one of the top engineering schools in the nation (info for the kids that grow up and realize that there are other military careers besides "fighter pilot").
 

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