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Non-traditional student + USAF + EE = what?

  1. Jan 14, 2010 #1
    First of all, sorry if this is posted in the wrong area. I thought that this pertains more to a career than anything (also because I do indeed view my education as the first step of my new career...)

    I've found myself in a situation that is quite the opposite of what I'd envisioned for myself ten years ago when graduating HS. I'm 28 years old, no degree, laid off from my job (almost turned career) and studying full-time. I never even seriously considered military service once I found out that my vision would most likely disqualify me from ever being an AF or Naval aviator. (I grew up watching 'Top Gun', wanting to be Maverick, like everybody else my age! lol. At least I ride the motorcycle now, ha!)

    I've been in-and-out of college since graduating HS, and am presently enrolled full-time in a local community college. I guess one could say I'm in my second year of studies, although I'm still taking a couple of 100-level classes (GER 112, CHE 112.) All of my english requirement is finished, and I have a few "exploratory" classes on my transcript.

    My transcript shows my current GPA to be 3.9 (and on the "Dean's List", if that even means anything at a community college.) I've completed English Comp. I and II, College Algebra and Trigonometry, Calculus I, Intro. Chem, Gen. Chem I, Meteorology I, Micro+Macro Economics, German I; and for this semester I'm enrolled in Calculus II, Gen. Chem. II, and German II. I know that German isn't exactly highly relevant to my study plan, but I'm interested in the language and plan to study it through German III. I'd love to live/work over there someday (Ich habe Deutschland und die Schweiz besucht. Sie sind sehr schön!)

    My plan is to dual-enroll in the Colorado School of Mines, taking their freshman Engineering/Design (EPICS) courses starting Summer 2010, with full matriculation by Spring 2011. I would like to double-major in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics.

    But recently, and especially after breaking up with my girlfriend, I've been considering the USAF. I've finally convinced myself of my own aptitude to do well in mathematics and school, but I have a weakness in keeping myself on-task. I'm interested in too many things and I find myself constantly distracted by something. In the words of the Governator, "You Lack DISCIPLINE!" Hence, my consideration of the armed forces; if anyone can teach me to stay disciplined, they can. I know that the courseload at CSM is no walk in the park, and while I'm committed to the path, I want to develop myself as best I can for it--and indeed the rest of my life.

    I'm just not sure what I should be looking at: the USAF Reserve; should I enlist fully in the USAF, or find an AFROTC program? I'm pretty sure that CSM has an AFROTC program (hosted by CU Boulder.) If I went AFROTC, should I not delay my transfer into CSM and try to get in ASAP? Or, at this point in my life, is it just a waste of time and should I find some civilian method of disciplining myself (like what?)

    Is there anybody here that has any advice or insights they'd be willing to share?

    Thanks for your time,
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 14, 2010 #2
    At your age, I think you need to make your studies your first priority. If you feel as if you need the military to keep you in line, I'd suggest AFROTC... direct enrollment, even in the reserves, could disrupt your studies.

    Military life is quite a commitment to make though, if all you really want is someone to tell you to straighten up and fly right.
  4. Jan 14, 2010 #3
    Having some entity there to inspire me to straighten up and fly right isn't ALL that I would want from a military life, but that's a part of it that I won't deny. I'm all about opening options and creating opportunities for myself, and it seems to me that being an officer in the USAF couldn't hurt with that. I'm inspired, I'm just lacking some of the tools of discipline I think that I'm going to need.

    Speaking of studies being a first priority, classes start in five days; so back to the books I go. I'll check in later. Thanks! :)
  5. Jan 14, 2010 #4
    I think the age limit for regular enlistee is 28 and reservist is 32, though I could be remembering wrong; maybe its different for officers. Other than that, there are quite a few good positions in the AF where you could apply an engineering/math degree.
  6. Jan 14, 2010 #5
    I think that I'm still eligible by age, though I am approaching the upper limit and not getting younger.

    Obviously, if I'm serious about this I'll need to speak with a recruiter, I was just hoping to gain some insights on the situation from any who've "been there, done that" before I escalate my consideration of the option. It seems like a good deal to me though: get my education (almost) paid for, graduate as a commissioned officer in the AF, spend four years of my life applying what I've just learned. That's the crux though: do I want to spend four years of my life in the military? I can't answer that right now.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  7. Jan 15, 2010 #6
    You do see that you *do* have to answer it right now though, right?

    The military can be a great way of life for some people. It's an incredible commitment though.
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