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Other Study in college or join the US Air Force?

  1. Feb 16, 2017 #1
    Hello, thanks to everyone who is reading this. First of all, I'm sorry if i made a mistake on my english, i'm learning.

    My name is Andre I will tell a brief story of my life so you can understand my situation. My parents are peruvian and traveled to usa because of all the problems that Peru had (economic problems, terrorism, corruption, etc) and stayed there, and then i was born in California. Five years later i came back to peru and stayed here. Now i am 17 (In march i will be 18) finished my high school here in peru and i'm traveling to usa in march to study a career.

    As soon i'll be there i will need to get my documents and get my ged certificate to be able to study. Then i planned to pay for my studies and room by working and, at the same time, studying in a community college and after two years a university (with a room and financial aid of course). Working for living and studying at the same time (One relative will host me for a couple of months, then i will have to live on my own).

    But then my dad suggested me to consider going to military, because it would make my life more easier and i would have more benefits. So i researched about the option to military and i find that us air force would fit for me (I don´t like the idea of "war" and us air force is the less of the five on having that idea). However, my only option is to enlist as a recruit because of lack of time to apply for rotc programs or us air force academy and the fact that i will have only my ged and no college credits.

    I love science and i'm sure i want to study or physics or physics enginering or aerospace enginering. These are my 3 options of career. But here is my doubt: I don't know which of the two options (us air force or community college) will benefit me more and be able to achieve my career. I know that if i join to us air force i will have more benefits for me and my family and will make my life easier because they will give me a place to live, food, job, they'll pay me, etc.

    But i am afraid that if i join i would have destroyed my dreams to be a scientist or a engineer doing something useful for science and progress of humanity. I really don´t like military because there are other ways to serve your country (for example, volunteering) and in my opinion i see wars unnecessary, it just brings pain and death to innocents as a consequence of the tirany of a few. I like to consider myself as a peace supporter, but in this case priorities are different.

    A question i have is if i can i get a bachelor of science in physics or engeeniring while i am in service? I know i get an associate degree but i don´t know if that would help me to persue my desired career. However if i choose not to join us air force i don´t know if i could handle work and studies at the same time. And i am sure i will end my career with a lot of debts. And i don´t know if a bachelor of physics would help at all in my life, the thing is that i like physics but don't know if i could get a stable job, all my necesities will be paid by me.

    I would be very pleased if you share your experiences and could tell me about all related to my doubts. And i need you to tell me all about us air force education because i don't know too much about that. Any advice, opinion, suggestion, correction, etc will be welcomed, doesn't matter if it's a positive or negative. Thank you if you read all my post, sorry if it was very long, but i needed to be detailed so that you undestand my problem. Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 16, 2017 #2


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    As a veteran and ex-Air Force member, let me tell you that if you object to war then you do not want to join at all. No matter what your career field is, you will be directly contributing to the potential loss of life, despite not holding a gun, pulling a trigger, or pushing a big red button.

    I've got to get to an exam, so I don't have time to say much more. I'll check back later or you can feel free to send me a PM if you'd like to talk more about the Air Force.
  4. Feb 16, 2017 #3
    If you join the military, work hard and show promise, they'll encourage you to get an officer's commission at some point, and then you'll be able to study whatever you like not only debt free, but even with them paying you for it.

    However, will you really be able to thrive in the military when you're a pacifist ??!
  5. Feb 16, 2017 #4

    Stephen Tashi

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    A basic difference between being in the military and being on your own is that in the military you will almost always be working as part of a team. You should consider whether you like that lifestyle. Are you used to being surrounded by a family or group of comrades?

    Lots of people are not enthusiastic about wars, but you haven't made the commitment to being a pacifist. Make up your mind about that issue.
  6. Feb 16, 2017 #5


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    The only ways I know of for an enlisted personnel to become an officer is to either get a degree on their own (military will still pay for most/all of it) while they are working full time and then go to officer candidate school, or to go to something like the Air Force Academy (competition is very tough). ROTC might be an option though. Note that the 1st option, getting a degree on your own time while you're still active duty, is very tough and it takes a while. You just can't put much time into school if you're also working full time unless you push yourself extremely hard for several years.
  7. Feb 17, 2017 #6
    OK, you know allot more about this than me.

    I based my post on the story of a guy who enlisted in the US army when he was 18, became a sergeant after several years and was eventually encouraged to study and go for an officer's commission (which he did).
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