Recent EE grad with civilian job considering AFR or ANG

In summary, an EE could work in the nuclear industry as a civilian or join the Air National Guard for a few weekends a month and a few weeks during the summer.
  • #1
aliaze1
174
1
I posted before when I was considering a career in the Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion officer.

Though I have not fully thrown the idea out, I landed a civilian job in the nuclear industry. I was looking into the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard, and was wondering how it would actually work? What I mean is, in the AFR or Air National Guard, part time employment = a few weekends a month + a few weeks during the summer. As an EE, I wonder with such little time actually on duty, what work would actually be done? It seems like there isn't enough time to actually do stuff? Suggestions regarding being an officer or enlistee? (people say go officer)

I am not particularly keen on combat zones, but would really like to go on humanitarian deployments. Which of these would be more likely to go on such deployments?

For those who have walked this path, please share your experiences. Thanks!
 
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  • #2
aliaze1 said:
I am not particularly keen on combat zones, but would really like to go on humanitarian deployments. Which of these would be more likely to go on such deployments?

This isn't meant to be rude but if you want humanitarian deployments then I would join the Peace Corps. I have many friends in both ANG and AFR that have deployed for natural disasters and others that have deployed to the "desert" for combat missions. If you're in the military your number can be picked for anything. If they need you, you go. If you're not ready to commit to that then it would be a horrendous idea to join up. Good luck.
 
  • #3
DrummingAtom said:
This isn't meant to be rude but if you want humanitarian deployments then I would join the Peace Corps. I have many friends in both ANG and AFR that have deployed for natural disasters and others that have deployed to the "desert" for combat missions. If you're in the military your number can be picked for anything. If they need you, you go. If you're not ready to commit to that then it would be a horrendous idea to join up. Good luck.

I understand that there is a possibility, but I was thinking more in terms of probability, seeing as I am an Electrical Engineer (what would an EE do in combat?) and that I would be part time (wouldn't the full time guys be sent first?)
 
  • #4
I think personnel on overseas deployments are fairly even between Active duty and Guard/Reserve. I remember hearing something about 60%/40%, respectively. Statistically, sure, ANG/AFR are safer. Heck even the AF, both Active and Guard/Reserve, has the least amount of deaths total in the current war but it's still war.

I'll leave you with this story:

I saw a commander (O-7) of a ANG Wing about a month ago and he just got back from the desert. He said quote "When I was over there, I had use my weapon on several occasions."

So don't think that because you're part-time and an EE your number won't be picked. War is complete chaos and you could be over there having bullets fly over your head just like anyone else. It's a very serious decision. Good luck.
 
  • #5
If you're interested in weapon design, without getting shot at, consider working for civilian research arms of the government such as the Naval Research Lab.

Though they may not pay as well as private industry, you won't starve. Most people there don't do it for the money. They do it for the research opportunities, and for being able to see what they create take shape.

I will second DrummingAtom's advice: Do not join the military thinking you'll never see a live battlefield. Everyone from Privates to Generals knows that it can happen to them.
 
  • #6
I was planning to just work as a EE in the Power or Electronics areas. I was even considering going as an enlistee as some of their job functions seem interesting.

From my understanding of the Air National Guard, you work with your unit. So if I were to be in a unit whose primary focus is refueling, that would have a low risk of deployment right?

I understand what everyone is saying about it being possible, I have friends who graduated from ROTC who said the same, but I am speaking more with regard to probability. Yes I understand the chance is there, but some are more probable than others.
 
  • #7
While the topic is up, I guess I will throw it out there...what about the Coast Guard? This is something else I also considered for a part time thing...though I wonder what an EE would do in the Coast Guard...
 
  • #8
I have friends who have served in the National Guard and the Reserve. They have each done several tours of duty overseas. One of them, when he returned from his most recent tour of duty, had to mentally restrain himself from diving for cover every time a car door was closed. That thump of a car door closing sounded a lot like mortar fire to him. From the sort of work he did, you wouldn't think he'd be in much danger. But he was.

As for the Coast Guard, it is still a military force. You realize that don't you? Who can say where the next military action will come from?

Mind you, I'm not recommending that you stay away from the armed forces. Far from it. They need good people and if you're interested in that line of work, I encourage you to pursue it. But I would not want to see someone join them without having a pretty good idea of what he or she is getting in to. That is no good for the armed forces, and it is no good for you. And I as a tax payer will not get my money's worth.

If you are looking to serve your country, I will thank you. But please do so with a full understanding of what you're doing.
 
  • #9
I understand the coast guard is a military force as well.

I have recently been looking into these services (Air Force, Coast Guard) as well as Public Health Service. I know each has it's own risks, but many civilian jobs do as well. As in any situation, I'm trying to inform myself as well as reduce the risk as much as possible.
 
  • #10
aliaze1 said:
As in any situation, I'm trying to inform myself as well as reduce the risk as much as possible.

Like I said before, statistically the Air Force and also the Coast Guard are the safest branches but that doesn't mean you won't get picked. I got some friends doing trade work type jobs (electrical, HVAC, etc.) in the ANG that randomly got augmentee duty with the Army. They went from doing their usual work to kicking in doors of terrorists and securing buildings. I think you can guess what happened in these situations..
 
  • #11
aliaze1 said:
I understand that there is a possibility, but I was thinking more in terms of probability, seeing as I am an Electrical Engineer (what would an EE do in combat?) and that I would be part time (wouldn't the full time guys be sent first?)

The best part about basic training is that everyone comes out with the same skill set. It has been said many times in this thread and you have acknowledged it, but I'm not sure you actually get it yet. If you are not prepared to go to war, do not join the armed forces.

If you're serious, you should really talk to a recruiter and they could at least give you an idea of the type of work you COULD be doing when you're on duty.
 
  • #12
You are less likely to get deployed with the ANG than as AFR. Also, don't expect to go into either and do much in the way of engineering. Most of the AF engineering is done by contractors or civil service. If you are reserve, the chance of doing engineering goes down even more because you don't have constant exposure to the systems.
 

Related to Recent EE grad with civilian job considering AFR or ANG

1. What are the benefits of joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard as a recent EE graduate with a civilian job?

There are several benefits to joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard as a recent EE graduate with a civilian job. These include gaining valuable experience and skills in a highly technical field, receiving financial assistance for education and training, and having the opportunity to serve your country while still maintaining a civilian career. Additionally, joining the military reserves can provide networking opportunities and potential career advancement.

2. Will joining the AFR or ANG interfere with my current civilian job?

In most cases, joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard should not interfere with your civilian job. Reservists and guardsmen typically have one weekend of training per month and two weeks of annual training per year. In the event of deployment, your employer is required by law to hold your job and allow you to return to it when you come back.

3. What are the requirements for joining the AFR or ANG as a recent EE graduate?

The requirements for joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard as a recent EE graduate may vary, but generally, you must be between the ages of 17-39, be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have a high school diploma, and pass a physical and background check. Additionally, you may need to meet certain educational or technical qualifications depending on the specific job you are interested in.

4. How long is the commitment for joining the AFR or ANG?

The commitment for joining the Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard varies depending on your job and training requirements. Typically, reservists and guardsmen have a minimum commitment of 6 years, which includes one year of active duty training and 5 years of part-time service. However, there are options for shorter or longer commitments depending on your career goals.

5. What opportunities are available for EE graduates in the AFR or ANG?

There are a variety of opportunities for EE graduates in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Some common job roles include electrical engineers, avionics technicians, cyber systems operations specialists, and intelligence analysts. Additionally, there are opportunities for further education and training in specialized fields such as aerospace engineering or communications systems. Your recruiter can provide more information on specific job opportunities and qualifications.

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