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Dh is thinking of joining the military!!!!


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From a standpoint of quality of family life, I would say Air Force. The Air Force has better living conditions in general (nicer housing to be sure) as well as fewer/shorter deployments and field problems and less exposure to direct danger than say the Marines or Army. Navy tends to be safer for the sailor than say Army or Marines but there will be 6-month rotations where he is out to sea.

 

I would say out of those 4, Air Force. I don't know much about the Coast Guard so I can't speak to that.

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DH's dad is retired Marine and he told my dh to join the Air Force. He knew my dh would need the more "family friendly" side of the military. That said, if he goes in as a reservist in the AF, he will be deployed. All reservists stationed here spend more time in Iraq and Afghanistan than anywhere else. I'm talking years.

 

I don't think any branch of the service is really "family friendly" but the AF comes closest to it.

 

My 2 cents. :D

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From what DH has said (he's AF), yes, the AF probably has the best standard of living for families. It is the least "hooah" of the branches, though. It drives my DH crazy. He's a "hooah" kind of guy. He doesn't hate being in the AF, but the "weenie factor" (as he and others put it) drives him nuts at times. It is very a very detail oriented atmosphere.

 

He's in legal, and knows that there are fewer serious legal problems in the AF with the troops than say, the Army. (Though the AF is NOT perfect by any stretch...).

 

Navy locations are nice - usually water front :) but separations are long because of the cruises. Army separations are frequent and long. AF separations don't see, to be as long because so much is now being done remotely.

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You should go talk to the Coast Guard recruiter. If you ask specific questions maybe someone here can answer them.

 

My girlfriend's husband is in the CG. He typically does 3 months at home (working 9 to 5, usually he gets off earlier) and then 3 months at sea. I've spoken with him at length about his CG experience (and he is prior Marine Corps so he can draw comparisons between the two). He is so happy with the CG, says it's very family friendly, etc. I believe their get a pay increase with each additional family member (Marine Corps does not).

 

Each chain of command is different of course but his overall experience dictates that the CG is more...idk...pleasant, enjoyable, less stressful...than the Marine Corps.

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Well what does your husband do?

 

My husband joined the AF when he was 33. He was a dentist and wanted out of private practice and wanted a more clinical setting to work in. The AF had the best offers, and the best opportunities for him within his specialty.

 

I'm friends with Marines and Navy, who both lived on our AFB overseas. They all agreed the AF had the 'better living', and things were more family friendly.

 

As for deployments, most AF people I've known to deploy, including my husband, were gone only 4 months or so. My Marine/Navy friends were amazed by this short time. Also, out of all the AF I've known to deploy, very few of them have gone to the desert. They go all sorts of other places (places I never would have expected), but few have been to the desert.

 

I agree about the reserves. I'd think of that as expecting to deploy. To the desert.

Edited by Renthead Mommy
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For schools, the Coast Guard usually sends you to Navy schools, but sometimes the other branches, since they run few of their own sub-specialty schools. Deployments are shorter, usually 6-8 weeks, home 6-8 weeks, out again. You almost always go on a ship for your first "job", for about a year, out of boot camp but then you might be assigned to something that doesn't requiring going out after that first job. But that first year, you are still in and out of port, with frequent home visits. Very few of the Coast Guard are deployed overseas but it does happen, usually attached to a Navy or Marine Corps unit. Even though they are under the Dept. of Homeland Security instead of the Department of Defense, you get the same benefits, both while in and once out or retired. For example, we have a VA loan on our house.

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Be aware that Coast Guard does a lot of drug enforcement work. I hadn't realized this (I'd thought it was mostly rescuing people who get into trouble at sea) but I talked to one of my DH's grad school classmates who was a CG vet one time and that's what he said he spent a lot of his time doing. It sounded like it was pretty dangerous stuff, too.

 

The Reserves these days isn't the old "1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer" type of commitment. They will be doing regular deployments in combat zones like Afghanistan and Iraq. Prior to 9/11, a lot of folks we knew who left active duty Army went into the Reserves so that they could continue building credit towards retirement with a minimal amount of work. Now, they just get out entirely like my DH did.

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DH was active Army and is now National Guard. He has always said if he had it to do over he would go Air Force. He told me a story about when he was young and stationed in Germany, some AF guys were assigned to live in the same building as the Army guys, and when they reported the condition of the living quarters to their chain of command, they came and checked it out and had them moved, said is was "sub-standard living quarters". Seems that it was OK for army guys, but not Air Force! Right then DH knew he had picked the wrong branch:glare:.

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What does your dh do?

 

My dh was active duty Air Force for 4 years, and now he's in the reserves. He's a JAG (lawyer), and we don't foresee any deployments for him. He tried to volunteer for one this summer, but he didn't get picked.

 

I have only good things to say about the AF. The deployments used to be 4 months, but I think most are up to 6 months now. My dh was on a 6 months deployment to Iraq. No desert time for him.

 

The reserves can be a good option for gap employment opportunities. That's actually one of the reasons dh is in the reserves. There are always opportunities for short-term active duty assignments, so if he was facing unemployment, he could easily land some of those assignments to help bridge our finances during an unemployment period.

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Yes, you will get paid while your dh is in basic. It isn't much, I think around 800.00 per month, but any signing bonuses he receives won't be distributed until he graduates basic but before he goes to MOS school (I think that's correct...someone speak up if I'm wrong). As long as he has his pay deposited into an account you have access to you should be set.

 

The CG does run drug stings, that's true, and not without danger. Something to be aware of.

 

The Air Force deploys less frequently and generally for shorter periods of time. My dh's uncle has done one deployment in 20 years and that was I believe under 6 months in Afghanistan last year. He also did an 18 month (unaccompanied) rotation to...Korea?...the preceeding year but was able to both return to the states and fly his family over to visit him while he was away.

 

My dh's grandfather did 12 yrs in the Marine Corps and 8 in the Air Force (or vice versa) because it was easier on his family.

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Having been in the Air Force I can suggest no other. :001_smile: Air Force also has the shortest basic training of the different branches. Back in 1991 when I went in yes, you got paid right away. We actually got cash our first night from a ATM card given to us during in processing. Good Luck with your choice.

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Another question, is there pay for basic training?

 

Yes. An E-1 with less than 4 mos service makes $1339/mo. basic pay when on Active Duty plus certain allowances (talk to a recruiter about these). If he'd be going in as an O-1, it's $2745/mo. Officers can bring their families with them when they attend the Officer Basic Course if they choose.

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One thing to note on that first paycheck.... many things the military has issued you will be charged to your first paycheck or two. Is your dh looking at going in enlisted or has he completed college, and looking at going the officer route?

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Ok need some help from the military families. My dh is thinking of joining the military he is 28 and is in good health, what branch would be best for him? He is thinking about the reserves, so tell me the good, the bad and the ugly about it all.

 

I have some questions:

 

What does he do for a job now? What is he wanting to do in the military?

 

What are his reasons for joining? Others are correct, ime, Air Force has a better quality of life than other branches, but they are the least "hooah." That might bother him, depending upon his mindset.

 

Is he considering making it a career, or is this a short-term thing?

 

What is his level of education?

 

Do not make the mistake of joining the reserves thinking that it will be nice to have a bit of extra income and that he probably won't deploy. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

 

I agree. Reservists are *extremely* likely to deploy at this point and they get activated and sent away (for training, deployment, redeployment) for *two years* at a time. I honestly wouldn't recommend that anyone with a family join the reserves at this point.

 

Another question, is there pay for basic training?

 

Yes.

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Yes. An E-1 with less than 4 mos service makes $1339/mo. basic pay when on Active Duty plus certain allowances (talk to a recruiter about these). If he'd be going in as an O-1, it's $2745/mo. Officers can bring their families with them when they attend the Officer Basic Course if they choose.

 

Many branches discourage families from accompanying their soldier to OBC and will be non-command sponsored if they choose to do so. At least, that was the case when my hubby went to OBC.

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Which service is best also depends on what his current skills are. For scientific/technical types, either AF or Navy. For certain other skills, other services are best. The AF has nice bases and shorter deployments, if any, but depending on his job, he could travel a lot. My dh has never deployed in 23.5 years but he has traveled very, very frequently. The good thing about that now is that if he is traveling commercially or staying in civilian hotels. we get to keep mileage or reward points. It helps make up for all the absences.

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Many branches discourage families from accompanying their soldier to OBC and will be non-command sponsored if they choose to do so. At least, that was the case when my hubby went to OBC.

 

Must depend on the branch. There were a bunch of wives when my DH went through Armor OBC. I'd say there were probably 15-20 of us. Most "snowbirded" (got there early) or "blackbirded" (stayed afterwards) to make it a longer stay at Ft. Knox and nobody I heard of had any trouble with command approving this.

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One thing to consider is that the Air Force in particular, isn't interested in just anyone. They are picky on who they allow in so you might want to see what is available to him before you try and make a decision. You can also see what each branch has to offer. Sometimes one can come up with better options for you when it knows there is competition for your "business".

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NO ONE.....and by that I mean ABSOLUTELY NO ONE should enter the military in a time of war and think that they will not deploy.

 

Plan on the fact that he WILL deploy then be pleasantly surprised if he doesn't.

 

All of my brothers were Air Force and my dad was Air Force. My mom was civil service for the Air Force and my dh is Air Force. It is all I know.

 

A pp was right: the Air Force is the most picky. Some other branches will take felons. Not the Air Foce. It all depends on his MOS.

 

I agree with pp's. What does he do NOW and what does he want to do in the Air Force? What were his ASVAB scores?

 

GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!! Particularly from a recruiter. They are salespeople, not necessarily just 'representatives of the military'.

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AF is being picky with who they let in. They are also making it harder to stay in. Their PT tests used to be annually, now it's bi-annually. If you "bomb" one area of your PT you could be kicked out. AF is going through a cycle of reduction at the moment. So if your dh is serious about the AF, college education would be a must, and of course excells in his physical.

 

My dh has been in for 7 years and has seen a change in how things are ran. The deployments were next to nill at FEWarren AFB because the mission was to maintain the missilles but here at Travis AFB we have troops out 2-3 times a month on 6 months stretches. The deployments can be rough on families but the AF has phenominal resources for them.

 

Housing, well what can I say about housing? I'm in a 2,000sq.ft. 4 bedroom, 2 car garage stucco home. It's real nice and it's privitized, meaning not military ran. The resources on base are incredible, love the commissary and my neighbors are great. And you can't beat the health insurance!

 

 

I wish you good luck.

 

I wish you good luck

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We're a Navy family here! We LOVE it! I would seriously consider Active Duty...there is FAR more family support than the Reserves. Further, all of our friends who left Active Duty for the reserves are now in Iraq or Afghanistan. Those who stayed Active Duty are either home or assigned to a ship on a predictable schedule (read: 6 month deployment vs. a year or two).

 

We regard to deployments, at least with the Navy (for the most part), deployments are predictable...you know when the ship you're assigned to is going out. It makes it much easier to plan ahead.

 

Best of luck to you and your family!

Edited by ktog29
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GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING!!! Particularly from a recruiter. They are salespeople, not necessarily just 'representatives of the military'.

 

 

Also, ask a lot of questions here. There are a lot of military families here. I have had relatives who visited recruiters, then called me to ask questions. I think *sometimes* recruiters forget what civilians know and don't know. Sometimes, they say things that mislead people unintentionally.

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My DH is Army and I would recommend Air Force too, if you can, and I'd also recommend Active rather than Reserves and going in as an officer if at all possible. For the past few years, my DH (who is in a position to know) says that the reserves soldiers deploy more often and for longer periods of time than regular soldiers. They are trying to change that but I think because of the mission and the types of units who are reserve vs. active, that it is hard to not use reserves. Over and over and over. The active soldiers will still deploy and probably multiple times but they are more likely to deploy for shorter tours and to have more time home between tours. Also, the services for the active families are a lot better. Technically reserve families of activated soldiers can access all the services that regular active families get, but in practice, it's not going to happen when you live hours away from the closest post. And, in my experience, the insurance is a PITA to deal with and it differs widely based on if you can go on post or off.

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Do not make the mistake of joining the reserves thinking that it will be nice to have a bit of extra income and that he probably won't deploy. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

 

:iagree: Dh was National Guard for 8 years and was gone more than my brother who is active duty - both army. I would recommend the Air Force as far as family support goes. We're active duty army now and it is different, but not bad. AND dh gets to stay home for at least two years. We haven't spent two years together straight through since he joined.

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Not to be a party pooper but I do have to mention that going in the AF doesn't mean he won't ever (or rarely) deploy. My dh has been deployed more than he's been here. His last deployment ended 2 years ago and we're still trying to get the hang of being together for such a long period of time! AF is best, don't get me wrong, just don't want anyone thinking joining that branch will keep you home. I am grateful for short deployments though and there's absolutely nothing to be said for the camraderie of living on a military base. :)

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Dh runs a roll form machine right now, he can't get into the air force because of a dirty drug test back when he was 18 and 21 (the one at 21 he was just around people who smoked ALOT of pot and it showed up on the test). He is thinking more the Coast Guard, He thinks that it would more adventure and we are more likely to end up around Michigan because of the ice breakers to clear the shipping lanes. As for me, I don't like the idea of it but right now we are only talking about it, decisions won't be made final until sometime around December.

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My ds served with a man that was 37 when he joined. My dh and I are about the same age as this man. My ds dubbed him "Alaska dad". They were the same rank, but this wonderful not so young soldier took my ds in as family. When my ds passed away, his family was and still is amazing. The 37 year old soldier brought 3 other soldiers down from Alaska for my ds' service. Even though they were all the same rank - he was put in charge. Anyway, it is not odd to see an older man join these days.

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A pp was right: the Air Force is the most picky. Some other branches will take felons. Not the Air Foce. It all depends on his MOS.

 

 

No branch of the US military accepts recruits who have felony convictions.

 

Under certain conditions, a recruit with a misdemeanor conviction may get a waiver to join. These waivers are few and far between and entirely dependent upon what the conviction was for.

 

Despite a raised age limit, none of the services are "hurting" for recruits at this time. They are all easily meeting their recruiting targets and can afford to be quite picky with whom they accept. The age limit was raised not to "widen the pool" to meet goals, but to allow some more experienced people to come in/come back.

 

Anyone who wishes to join the US Armed Forces at this time needs to realize that the days of huge signing bonuses, multitudes of jobs to choose from, and picking one's first duty station are all but gone. You (the global you) need them more than they need you. Over a quarter of the US workforce is out of work - a huge proportion of them headed to a recruiter's office.

 

 

asta

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My step father was (is? still lol) Navy. That's his mantra as well. lol

 

Just because salt water runs in my veins I have to interrupt this AF love-fest with

 

 

 

GO NAVY!!!

 

I must point out that a submarine is the safest place in the world in case of nuclear attack.;) In my family, we aren't just navy, we're submariners. We stay off of targets, um I mean surface ships.

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Just because salt water runs in my veins I have to interrupt this AF love-fest with

 

 

 

GO NAVY!!!

 

I must point out that a submarine is the safest place in the world in case of nuclear attack.;) In my family, we aren't just navy, we're submariners. We stay off of targets, um I mean surface ships.

 

I was wondering when someone was going to step in with that...

 

The Navy's standard of living makes the AF look like the Army, LOL.

 

 

a

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My ds served with a man that was 37 when he joined. My dh and I are about the same age as this man. My ds dubbed him "Alaska dad". They were the same rank, but this wonderful not so young soldier took my ds in as family. When my ds passed away, his family was and still is amazing. The 37 year old soldier brought 3 other soldiers down from Alaska for my ds' service. Even though they were all the same rank - he was put in charge. Anyway, it is not odd to see an older man join these days.

 

My DH was in OTS with a Chaplain (a Rabbi) who was 49. Yes, 49. They were really hurting for Rabbis in the Chaplaincy, and he was given an age waiver. Granted, this was July of 2001, a different economy for sure. My DH was 32 when he went in.

 

So all of that rambling to say, they will make rare exceptions if they need someone with a very special skill set.

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No branch of the US military accepts recruits who have felony convictions.

 

Under certain conditions, a recruit with a misdemeanor conviction may get a waiver to join. These waivers are few and far between and entirely dependent upon what the conviction was for.

 

Despite a raised age limit, none of the services are "hurting" for recruits at this time. They are all easily meeting their recruiting targets and can afford to be quite picky with whom they accept. The age limit was raised not to "widen the pool" to meet goals, but to allow some more experienced people to come in/come back.

 

Anyone who wishes to join the US Armed Forces at this time needs to realize that the days of huge signing bonuses, multitudes of jobs to choose from, and picking one's first duty station are all but gone. You (the global you) need them more than they need you. Over a quarter of the US workforce is out of work - a huge proportion of them headed to a recruiter's office.

 

 

asta

 

:iagree:

 

Oh yeah, team NAVY here!!

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A few different posters have said this, that the Air Foce is the "least hooah of the branches". What does that MEAN? :confused:

 

They are the least likely to go on ten mile ruck marches, jump out of airplanes, sleep in a tent, etc.

 

We do like our ocean views :lol:

 

Hey, I'm the one stationed in Hawaii. ;) Granted, the Navy Lodge in Naples is MUCH nicer than the Army camp in Livorno.

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Just because salt water runs in my veins I have to interrupt this AF love-fest with

 

 

 

GO NAVY!!!

 

I must point out that a submarine is the safest place in the world in case of nuclear attack.;) In my family, we aren't just navy, we're submariners. We stay off of targets, um I mean surface ships.

:iagree:

 

Besides, what could possibly be hotter than a Sailor (and submariners are REAL Sailors) in a crackerjack uniform?

 

Because really, it all boils down to what branch has the best uniforms. Navy wins, hands down.

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