Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

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mrspock
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by mrspock » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:39 am

ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:39 pm
mrspock wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 2:13 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:05 pm
Hello,
I have been thinking about joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve as an Officer. I am 31 and have two kids, and have a good paying job. Not sure if it is a crazy idea, would like to know your feedback on it. Pretty sure there are some folks here who have served or currently serving, would like to hear your thoughts.
Thank you,
AJM
Why not join in a full-time civilian capacity? This might be a good middle ground.
What is that?
Civilians work for the US military in all sorts of capacities. Engineers, scientists, etc. You can hit up the DoD site and apply for tons of these jobs. You won't get the parades for doing this, but it's still serving the country in a different way.

Paddygirl
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Paddygirl » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:33 am

I was in the Air National Guard for 6 years. To me, it was a wonderful experience. I was able to serve my country and travel to places I would never have been able to before. Except, I was 21 and I did not have a family and yes, the one weekend a month ordeal is a lot to give up at the age of 31. I would do it over again if given that opportunity. The memories of the Swiss Alps, the German military base in Ulm, the traveling softball league that I played on, and my security clearance enabled me to work in a specialized field to which led me to get good jobs in the future. But I assure you, basic training is not fun. If you treat it as a game, you will get through it.

ScubaHogg
Posts: 531
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ScubaHogg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am

Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

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Sandtrap
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:13 am

Because of the additional time commitments, consider the maximum potential fnancial impact on your existing income and employment position, and also the maximum potential impact on future employment position advancement with your current employer.

Possible conversation between upper management about you while you are doing military commitments:

Upper Manager: "Hey Ted, that open senior position would've been perfect for "such and such" (you ajm1489).

Senior Management: "Yea. I really like that guy. Too bad his (ajm1489) time is already commited."

Upper Manager: "So, If we're not going to promote "such and such" (you ajm1489), who are we going to get?"

Senior Management: "No worries. I've got a long list of guys that want that job."


Take time to consider what you have not considered.

Did you know that a lot of folks in your life and financial position start "thinking about other things" about now at your age?
Usually around mid-life.

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

Valuethinker
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:50 am

ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:05 pm
Hello,
I have been thinking about joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve as an Officer. I am 31 and have two kids, and have a good paying job. Not sure if it is a crazy idea, would like to know your feedback on it. Pretty sure there are some folks here who have served or currently serving, would like to hear your thoughts.
Thank you,
AJM
Your idealism and desire to pay something back are admirable - true patriotism, in my book.

I am guessing you are too old for their flyer training programmes? My friends joined Air Cadets in university (UK) to learn to fly - it was a good tradeoff (I wish I had done something similar with scuba-diving).

These things can be huge commitments of time. If you are killed when on duty your life insurance might not apply? What if you are disabled?

There are some categories of employers where ex service people are a huge fraction - usually ex full time service, though. They would not necessarily rate ANG experience. I am thinking of defence contractors in particular (defence/ aerospace) and some sorts of government consulting work.

If you have an urge to serve your community can I suggest:

- volunteer firefighter
- some sort of work with paramedics
- volunteer/ auxiliary police

These sorts of things can we worked in after hours/ on weekends in line with a more "normal" working life.

The "military experience" can to some extent be duplicated with outdoor training experience. I went on Outward Bound course when I was in mid 30s-- and there's a US branch (it was originally founded in WW2 in Scotland by an Austrian refugee to help merchant mariners survive torpedoed ships). There's also Leadership Trust - don't know if they are in the USA as well. OB was an experience I would recommend to most people - with certain caveats.

https://www.outwardbound.org/

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:40 am

IMO wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:39 pm
One thing you have to remember if you work a normal 8 hour, 5 day per week job:

Month 1:
Week 1: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 2: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 3: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 4: Work M-F, drill Sat and Sun

So in typical month, you lost 2/8 weekend days off or 1/4 of your free time every month.

It's gets worse, on week #4, you are now working 7 days for the week (5 civilian, 2 drill days) , then the following week you are working M-F again (5 civilian days of work), so your now working 12 days straight in a row. This 12 working days straight goes on month after month, year after year.

And you must deploy when called to deploy, short or long. I've met more than 1 physician/health care provider who's deployment ruined their private practice.

I'm all for people serving their country, been there/done that along with the Reserves. Just understand it's definitely a 2nd job, and this is coming from a landlord who doesn't think managing properties in any way/shape compares to an actual 2nd job. I believe? for most in the Air National Guard, you are at least typically living in the area/base where you will drill. In other Reserve situations, you may have to travel very far for your billet (sometimes including flights), and in some circumstances, you may not be in a paid billet, but instead are just drilling for retirement credits. I think at least now you can write off your travel costs to get to your weekend drills.

FWIW, concerning your issue with minorities in the Services, personally, it was very diverse. Perhaps in your particular area minorities are not joining, but it's not like there are not minorities who serve their country.
Thank you for the input. Yes time commitment is a huge concern that I have especially with a young family. Can you explain a little bit about what a drill weekend looks like? You can PM me that if you don't want to be public.

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:42 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:13 am


Did you know that a lot of folks in your life and financial position start "thinking about other things" about now at your age?
Usually around mid-life.

j :happy
i understand what you mean. But that is because I can see the life projectile and would like to change up a bit as like many other people who are in my age having similar thoughts. Did you have something like this, did you do anything about it?

Topic Author
ajm1489
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:59 am

ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am
Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
Thank you for the response. What I have learned is, it is really hard to get info about the opportunities within Guard. It is readily accessible to the people in the guard but for a civilian it is confusing.

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ajm1489
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:00 am

Paddygirl wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:33 am
I was in the Air National Guard for 6 years. To me, it was a wonderful experience. I was able to serve my country and travel to places I would never have been able to before. Except, I was 21 and I did not have a family and yes, the one weekend a month ordeal is a lot to give up at the age of 31. I would do it over again if given that opportunity. The memories of the Swiss Alps, the German military base in Ulm, the traveling softball league that I played on, and my security clearance enabled me to work in a specialized field to which led me to get good jobs in the future. But I assure you, basic training is not fun. If you treat it as a game, you will get through it.
i wish i could join at your age

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Sandtrap
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Sandtrap » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:14 am

ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:42 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:13 am


Did you know that a lot of folks in your life and financial position start "thinking about other things" about now at your age?
Usually around mid-life.

j :happy
i understand what you mean. But that is because I can see the life projectile and would like to change up a bit as like many other people who are in my age having similar thoughts. Did you have something like this, did you do anything about it?
I am a bit past age 65.
Over the decades, I don't know nor have I met anyone that "has not" gone through stages of life and transition along these lines. Some great, some not so great. Career changes, Spouse changes, Life changes. YMMV.

j :happy
Wiki Bogleheads Wiki: Everything You Need to Know

ScubaHogg
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ScubaHogg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 am

ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:59 am
ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am
Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
Thank you for the response. What I have learned is, it is really hard to get info about the opportunities within Guard. It is readily accessible to the people in the guard but for a civilian it is confusing.
If it were me I’d focus on two things. 1) figure out roughly what kind of job you want to do (intel, etc.) and 2) use LinkedIn, find some local guard officers and ask to meet them for coffee or something. It’s a confusing world if you aren’t in it and a insider can help make the process much much clearer.
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

Hockey10
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Hockey10 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:21 pm

ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm

If I go in as an engineer or into Intel, what skills would I learn? I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
An Army Engineer is an infantryman with a shovel. (Sometimes the shovel is a bulldozer, or backhoe, or front end loader). In the Corps of Engineers, you will get lots of training on various weapons and infantry skills. You will dig foxholes, lead patrols, disarm mines, set up ambushes, construct obstacles, use explosives, build bridges, build roads, and many other things.

If you become an officer, you will attend a 4 month course at Ft, Leonard Wood, MO.

https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/un ... ENBN/EBOLC

I went through this course at Ft. Belvoir, VA and served on active duty when I was in my 20s (not married yet and no kids). I would think that doing this at age 31 with kids would be much more difficult. However, when I look back on my working life, the decades I spent in the corporate world post-Army don't give me much pride or satisfaction, while the time I served in the Army left me with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for having served my country.

IMO
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by IMO » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:57 pm

ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:40 am
IMO wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:39 pm
One thing you have to remember if you work a normal 8 hour, 5 day per week job:

Month 1:
Week 1: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 2: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 3: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 4: Work M-F, drill Sat and Sun

So in typical month, you lost 2/8 weekend days off or 1/4 of your free time every month.

It's gets worse, on week #4, you are now working 7 days for the week (5 civilian, 2 drill days) , then the following week you are working M-F again (5 civilian days of work), so your now working 12 days straight in a row. This 12 working days straight goes on month after month, year after year.

And you must deploy when called to deploy, short or long. I've met more than 1 physician/health care provider who's deployment ruined their private practice.

I'm all for people serving their country, been there/done that along with the Reserves. Just understand it's definitely a 2nd job, and this is coming from a landlord who doesn't think managing properties in any way/shape compares to an actual 2nd job. I believe? for most in the Air National Guard, you are at least typically living in the area/base where you will drill. In other Reserve situations, you may have to travel very far for your billet (sometimes including flights), and in some circumstances, you may not be in a paid billet, but instead are just drilling for retirement credits. I think at least now you can write off your travel costs to get to your weekend drills.

FWIW, concerning your issue with minorities in the Services, personally, it was very diverse. Perhaps in your particular area minorities are not joining, but it's not like there are not minorities who serve their country.
Thank you for the input. Yes time commitment is a huge concern that I have especially with a young family. Can you explain a little bit about what a drill weekend looks like? You can PM me that if you don't want to be public.
I think a drill weekend looks different for everyone. You're there to do what specific role you are filling. Mine was different than my day job, it wasn't hard per se and I enjoyed it.

With the Reserves, I think it matters where you live in relationship to a particular base and where your particular billet (position) is located. As I noted, I suspect most in the National Guard live close by so it's a simple drive over to the base.

For me personally, it was work a full very busy day M-F week. Drive 150 miles Friday after work to the airport, pay for on my own a flight (500 miles), have to find a ride once I landed, find a place to stay (stayed with friend typically) getting a ride or borrowing a car to get to base for Sat/Sun. Sunday, get to airport late, land after return flight that was often delayed, drive 150 miles, often now with snow and get home about 1 am morning. Then have a work related drive 100+ miles to be at that work site by 8 am. At the time, you essentially could not write off travel costs.

For my CO of my unit, he flew longer for drill weekends, he was 1000 miles away.

Most people don't have that type of difficult and long commute because they are fortunate to find a position that is reasonable close to the base they drill. A friend of mine had no issues doing a full reserve career because he lived right next to a base and he made his own schedule and I don't think he ever had any long deployments his entire career. But it does bring up some interesting issues, such as what happens if for personal reasons/civilian job or career issues you relocate. There is no guarantee that you will have either a base and more importantly a position available to you. There were also people who were able to get into billets but they weren't paid for the drill weekend, but did it just to get the credit for retirement, not sure if that still happens?

You also have to be looking out for your military career. As an officer, you must continually be looking to show upward progression and responsibility. Sometimes that's reasonable, other times it's not so straight forward. I don't know about the various reserve components, but for Active Duty, if you fail to promote a couple times you would get kicked out of the service essentially (bye bye retirement prospects). I knew a few good officers that had this occur to them on Active Duty, it's a very very competitive environment for promotions and that adds a stress aspect to someone trying to complete a full career as an officer.

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:25 pm

ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 am
ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:59 am
ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am
Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
Thank you for the response. What I have learned is, it is really hard to get info about the opportunities within Guard. It is readily accessible to the people in the guard but for a civilian it is confusing.
If it were me I’d focus on two things. 1) figure out roughly what kind of job you want to do (intel, etc.) and 2) use LinkedIn, find some local guard officers and ask to meet them for coffee or something. It’s a confusing world if you aren’t in it and a insider can help make the process much much clearer.
Thank you

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:26 pm

IMO wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:57 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:40 am
IMO wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:39 pm
One thing you have to remember if you work a normal 8 hour, 5 day per week job:

Month 1:
Week 1: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 2: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 3: Work M-F, have Sat and Sun off
Week 4: Work M-F, drill Sat and Sun

So in typical month, you lost 2/8 weekend days off or 1/4 of your free time every month.

It's gets worse, on week #4, you are now working 7 days for the week (5 civilian, 2 drill days) , then the following week you are working M-F again (5 civilian days of work), so your now working 12 days straight in a row. This 12 working days straight goes on month after month, year after year.

And you must deploy when called to deploy, short or long. I've met more than 1 physician/health care provider who's deployment ruined their private practice.

I'm all for people serving their country, been there/done that along with the Reserves. Just understand it's definitely a 2nd job, and this is coming from a landlord who doesn't think managing properties in any way/shape compares to an actual 2nd job. I believe? for most in the Air National Guard, you are at least typically living in the area/base where you will drill. In other Reserve situations, you may have to travel very far for your billet (sometimes including flights), and in some circumstances, you may not be in a paid billet, but instead are just drilling for retirement credits. I think at least now you can write off your travel costs to get to your weekend drills.

FWIW, concerning your issue with minorities in the Services, personally, it was very diverse. Perhaps in your particular area minorities are not joining, but it's not like there are not minorities who serve their country.
Thank you for the input. Yes time commitment is a huge concern that I have especially with a young family. Can you explain a little bit about what a drill weekend looks like? You can PM me that if you don't want to be public.
I think a drill weekend looks different for everyone. You're there to do what specific role you are filling. Mine was different than my day job, it wasn't hard per se and I enjoyed it.

With the Reserves, I think it matters where you live in relationship to a particular base and where your particular billet (position) is located. As I noted, I suspect most in the National Guard live close by so it's a simple drive over to the base.

For me personally, it was work a full very busy day M-F week. Drive 150 miles Friday after work to the airport, pay for on my own a flight (500 miles), have to find a ride once I landed, find a place to stay (stayed with friend typically) getting a ride or borrowing a car to get to base for Sat/Sun. Sunday, get to airport late, land after return flight that was often delayed, drive 150 miles, often now with snow and get home about 1 am morning. Then have a work related drive 100+ miles to be at that work site by 8 am. At the time, you essentially could not write off travel costs.

For my CO of my unit, he flew longer for drill weekends, he was 1000 miles away.

Most people don't have that type of difficult and long commute because they are fortunate to find a position that is reasonable close to the base they drill. A friend of mine had no issues doing a full reserve career because he lived right next to a base and he made his own schedule and I don't think he ever had any long deployments his entire career. But it does bring up some interesting issues, such as what happens if for personal reasons/civilian job or career issues you relocate. There is no guarantee that you will have either a base and more importantly a position available to you. There were also people who were able to get into billets but they weren't paid for the drill weekend, but did it just to get the credit for retirement, not sure if that still happens?

You also have to be looking out for your military career. As an officer, you must continually be looking to show upward progression and responsibility. Sometimes that's reasonable, other times it's not so straight forward. I don't know about the various reserve components, but for Active Duty, if you fail to promote a couple times you would get kicked out of the service essentially (bye bye retirement prospects). I knew a few good officers that had this occur to them on Active Duty, it's a very very competitive environment for promotions and that adds a stress aspect to someone trying to complete a full career as an officer.
Thank you for sharing your experience L :)

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:27 pm

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:21 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm

If I go in as an engineer or into Intel, what skills would I learn? I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
An Army Engineer is an infantryman with a shovel. (Sometimes the shovel is a bulldozer, or backhoe, or front end loader). In the Corps of Engineers, you will get lots of training on various weapons and infantry skills. You will dig foxholes, lead patrols, disarm mines, set up ambushes, construct obstacles, use explosives, build bridges, build roads, and many other things.

If you become an officer, you will attend a 4 month course at Ft, Leonard Wood, MO.

https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/un ... ENBN/EBOLC

I went through this course at Ft. Belvoir, VA and served on active duty when I was in my 20s (not married yet and no kids). I would think that doing this at age 31 with kids would be much more difficult. However, when I look back on my working life, the decades I spent in the corporate world post-Army don't give me much pride or satisfaction, while the time I served in the Army left me with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for having served my country.
Good for you. Glad you got to enjoy something many people don't. Thank you for sharing your thought

oldfort
Posts: 1057
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:38 pm

ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 am
ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:59 am
ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am
Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
Thank you for the response. What I have learned is, it is really hard to get info about the opportunities within Guard. It is readily accessible to the people in the guard but for a civilian it is confusing.
If it were me I’d focus on two things. 1) figure out roughly what kind of job you want to do (intel, etc.) and 2) use LinkedIn, find some local guard officers and ask to meet them for coffee or something. It’s a confusing world if you aren’t in it and a insider can help make the process much much clearer.
If the OP goes intel, his clearance process could be lengthy with no guarantee of success.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by RadAudit » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:41 pm

Best of luck. Basic training at 31 is a gut check.
FI is the best revenge. LBYM. Invest the rest. Stay the course. - PS: The cavalry isn't coming, kids. You are on your own.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ScubaHogg » Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:34 pm

oldfort wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 1:38 pm
ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 11:29 am
ajm1489 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 9:59 am
ScubaHogg wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 am
Thought I’d add that while I’m in a different branch I have met a lot of Air Force Guard folks. Quite a few of them, including full time Guard, have either deployed once or never in their entire career. And I’m talking about people with 15+ years of service. Not to say you won’t, because you absolutely can, but going back the last 20 years the US has been involved in several conflicts and these people basically didn’t deploy. Take that FWIW.

Additionally, just because the other side of this has been mentioned, since I’m guessing you won’t be joining a ground combat unit (infantry, etc.) and you are probably too old for flight school, your odds of getting hurt or killed are tiny tiny. I wouldn’t let that worry drive your decision either way.

If it’s a desire you have, I encourage you to do it. It would help if you knew the kind of job you wanted. Then I’d find a unit in your area that does that mission. Get a hold of them somehow (phone call, LinkedIn, might be able to just show up) and express your interest. As I understand it, to increase your odds of success of joining a particular unit, you really need to “rush” them by showing up, getting to know folks, etc. If they hire you it could be for years, they want someone who is pleasant to work with. I wouldn’t put too much faith in a recruiter.
Thank you for the response. What I have learned is, it is really hard to get info about the opportunities within Guard. It is readily accessible to the people in the guard but for a civilian it is confusing.
If it were me I’d focus on two things. 1) figure out roughly what kind of job you want to do (intel, etc.) and 2) use LinkedIn, find some local guard officers and ask to meet them for coffee or something. It’s a confusing world if you aren’t in it and a insider can help make the process much much clearer.
If the OP goes intel, his clearance process could be lengthy with no guarantee of success.
Just an example, not a suggestion
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Jim Baround » Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:08 pm

I am mid-30s and have strongly considered joining the reserves myself.

Some thoughts:

The time commitment shouldn't be taken lightly, particularly with kids.

What has you focused on the Air Force/ANG in particular? All of the branches have some sort of reserves. In certain states being part of the National Guard may bring some small additional benefits (free schooling being the top I can think of), but it seems to me that NG and Reserves are very similar. A program like the Navy DCO might be easier to navigate (although very competitive).

Officer training school is 9.5 weeks at Maxwell AFB in AL. That's the officer equivalent of Basic Training, and I believe all Active, Reserve, and ANG new officers go there together.

I would look at an AFB close to you, see if they have open rolls posted online. Reach out to folks there (use LinkedIn if you have to), just to get a better idea of the experience.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Rocinante » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:55 pm

Hi ajm1489,
Despite reading this board for a number of years, I've never registered, but this discussion piqued my interest.

I am a field-grade officer in the Air National Guard, I've been doing it for close to 20 years. I was prior-enlisted for few years before I was commissioned. You can be both full-time and part-time in the Guard, I've done both. I'm hired a number of officers as a unit commander.

What you are going to quickly find out is that it is difficult to join the Air Guard directly as an officer. Most Guard units have more than enough enlisted candidates for each officer position, candidates that have already proven they can adapt and thrive in the military lifestyle. It will be very challenging to get commissioned off the street (in my officer class of 120 people there were 2 that came off the street).

Being in the Guard also takes a big commitment, that may conflict with your employer. I've had it both ways. I had an employer that hated it, and an employer that loved it (at my employer that loved it, my role for them was very similar to what I did in the military, and the other thing I would mention is that I ended up taking all my PTO to do military duty, so it didn't impact them any more than a normal employee). It's also going to put strain on your family if you have one, you will be away from them for long periods of time for training, exercises, and possibly deployments.

You are also going to have to deal with a lot of different different personalities in the military, and there is a lot of nonsense that you will have to put up with as a junior member where you will just be told what to do all the time.

Despite this there are plenty of people that enlist in their 30s (there were a number in my BMT flight) and some even become officers. If you are serious, focused and professional, you can make it happen. You just may have to enlist before becoming an officer.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by niftylouie » Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:55 pm

I was in The Guard for 6 years. It was a culture shock compared to Active Duty. I don't recommend enlisted unless you join right out of high school. Everywhere you go in the Guard, it's a good-ole-boy club. It's not a place of merit as much as it is a local-yokul club of Regional In-State nobodys. I was in the Air Guard at Scott AFB.

If you go in to the Guard at your age, I highly recommend you get a commission instead. I believe they send you down to Tennessee for OCS. I would say that at least at that level, it takes merits to get the commission. The officers are looking for talent - i.e. pilots, engineers, architects, doctors, lawyers, Accountants, Contracting Officers (KO), Communications Officers, Admin Officers, Chaplains (yeah). One caveat you get even in all those categories is some exposure to executive level management and you get to make decisions on budgeting, procurement and expenditures. I was offered a commission before I got out, and I didn't take it due to health reasons. I don't regret it as I'm just now starting to get such health problems under control, but I ended up making way more money anyway.

Stay away from the Enlisted Corps if you have some level of sophistication about you - i.e. a higher IQ level. The Enlisted Corps doesn't like intellectuals or empathizers. It's more of a haven for socializers and tyrannical types who are pretty well trained.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by deserat » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:01 pm

Hi ajm1489,

Coming out of lurking to give my opinion. I preface it with my creds in this area: 30 years combined active and reserve in the USAF; five AFSCs; two engineering degrees combined with a successful engineering career over 35 years - as a female.

First, congratulations on deciding to possibly serve....you will serve if you become an officer. Second the Air National Guard or Guard is run by the state and is 'chopped over' to the national service (usually the Air Force or Army) in times of war or deployment. Therefore the flavor of the tasks and the organization of the Guard is very different than that of the active duty Air Force or Air Force Reserves.

With your background (engineering and MBA), one of your best chances is to become a Reservist as an individual mobile augmentee (IMA) (there was an earlier poster who discussed that). There are two types of Reservists: unit and IMA. An IMA Reservist works directly for the active duty and their duty is negotiated with their active duty supervisor. When I was an IMA, I could do my two weeks and weekends over a month or so. I also had some opportunities to do my weekend work on weekends. When I was in a unit program, the schedule was set for the weekends and two weekends I had duty. The unit drills together; the IMA is individual. Acquisition officers and engineers are uniquely situated for IMA work based on their specific content and knowledge.

Notwithstanding the above, the best place to get information regarding your eligibility and/or opportunities as well as any hoops you need to jump through (basic training, career schools, etc) is to speak with a Reserve recruiter. They will go over what is required and involved. Ask to speak with a current IMA or unit officer in the area of your interest. I was a squadron commander in a Reserve unit and a mobilization assistant for a space program office and had conversations with possible recruits both from the Active Duty and new Reserve all the time. They, the commander and MA, are there to help you make a well informed decision.

Lastly, I am deeply indebted to the Air Force for much of my education and life experiences. It was very difficult at times time-wise and commitment-wise to manage both a civilian career and a military one, however, as I look back it has made my life that much richer. If you think that you want to serve and wish to have a military experience in your lifetime, now is as good a time as any to at least see what would be involved and go do it if you think it would be important to you.

Please feel free to PM me for more information. Best of luck to you in your research and decision.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:19 pm

niftylouie wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:55 pm
Stay away from the Enlisted Corps if you have some level of sophistication about you - i.e. a higher IQ level. The Enlisted Corps doesn't like intellectuals or empathizers. It's more of a haven for socializers and tyrannical types who are pretty well trained.
I won't go as far as this, but your bottom line is right. Anyone who has a Masters is going to hate their life as an enlisted.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by RustyShackleford » Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:53 pm

This may apply more to active duty military than ANG, but it's an interesting perspective:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_8rbHwMXMT8

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Old Goat » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:57 pm

Career military here. To live with the regret of not serving if that is what is in your heart would be substantial. As far as enlisted or officer, serve in whatever capacity you choose but do so the best you can.

Frankly, some of these comments borderline disgust me. I've served with remarkable people of all ranks. Enlisted with more degrees than required for officers. A degree doesn't make a Soldier, Sailor, Marine, or Airrman professional.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by MathIsMyWayr » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:28 pm

Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:14 am
I am a bit past age 65.
Over the decades, I don't know nor have I met anyone that "has not" gone through stages of life and transition along these lines. Some great, some not so great. Career changes, Spouse changes, Life changes.
A digression. Are there any service programs, not necessarily military, available to anyone who passes PT without age limits?

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:39 pm

MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:28 pm
Sandtrap wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 10:14 am
I am a bit past age 65.
Over the decades, I don't know nor have I met anyone that "has not" gone through stages of life and transition along these lines. Some great, some not so great. Career changes, Spouse changes, Life changes.
A digression. Are there any service programs, not necessarily military, available to anyone who passes PT without age limits?
In general, no within the military. I've heard of cases where experienced physicians get brought in directly as O-5/O-6 military doctors, who are well past the normal ages for commissioning.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:49 pm

Junior enlisted get treated as children in a lot of ways in active duty. It might not be as bad in the Guard, where they know you go back to the real world as soon as your drill weekend is over.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by jcar » Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:14 pm

Having served in the Marine Corps at a young age, 17, it was the best thing that ever happened for me. After discharge they paid for my education and today I use my health care benefits. For someone at your point in life I suspect you may be disappointed and certainly your family will make significant sacrifice. When I was in it was difficult to enter the reserves as the draft was still operating and the reserve units were filled with folks dodging Vietnam for the most part. Now the reserve units are deployed liberally which is the entire purpose, defend the country. It only takes one incident to end up with a one year deployment overseas that can be easily extended. Also the life of a company grade officer cn be quite stressful. Let us know your decision.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by SR7 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 12:50 am

Hockey10 wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:21 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm

If I go in as an engineer or into Intel, what skills would I learn? I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
An Army Engineer is an infantryman with a shovel. (Sometimes the shovel is a bulldozer, or backhoe, or front end loader). In the Corps of Engineers, you will get lots of training on various weapons and infantry skills. You will dig foxholes, lead patrols, disarm mines, set up ambushes, construct obstacles, use explosives, build bridges, build roads, and many other things.

If you become an officer, you will attend a 4 month course at Ft, Leonard Wood, MO.

https://home.army.mil/wood/index.php/un ... ENBN/EBOLC

I went through this course at Ft. Belvoir, VA and served on active duty when I was in my 20s (not married yet and no kids). I would think that doing this at age 31 with kids would be much more difficult. However, when I look back on my working life, the decades I spent in the corporate world post-Army don't give me much pride or satisfaction, while the time I served in the Army left me with a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for having served my country.
I enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve at age 31, and became a Sapper (Combat Engineer). Just after I enlisted September-11 happened, we had the “one army” policy (everybody was trained the same), and I was shipped off to do regular (full time) army basic training at Kapooka, then to my unit, then to SME (School of Military Engineering). With Afghanistan on, we were very active. There were times when between my two jobs I worked everyday for 3 months solid. Sometimes two jobs on the same day, with an active 12-14 hour day. I never deployed to Afghanistan myself, but many of my reserve mates did, not all came back. We were as good as anybody, some of my group went for the special forces selection, passed selection, and went on to full time SF. One a digger (enlisted) in the SAS the other an Officer in the Commandos.

My civy job was Physics in a large research intensive university. I needed a change, but didn’t want to leave a rare and great job, so I joined the army. One of the best decisions of my life. I was in for over 10 years, and I would do it all over again without question. I still have my good civy job, but I’m no longer in the army. My best mate in the army was the best man at my wedding and I was a pallbearer at his fathers funeral. You make a different type of friend in the military, they have seen you at your best and at your lowest point. You get through it together.

Given my education and how I performed on the aptitude tests, they tried to make me an officer, but I told them I wanted to carry a gun and blow stuff up. They understood, and I became a Sapper, which is a Private in the Combat Engineers, an ancient rank the commonwealth countries still use. In a Reserve Combat Engineer Regiment, every Private had either a degree or studying for a degree (in science or engineering) or was a qualified trade person (welder, mechanic, etc). We were never treated like a bunch of fools by officers, rather they respected and relied on our knowledge base to solve engineering problems.

However once I had children, I left, it was such an active army life that I realised I would not be part of my children growing up. So I left, a very sad day, but the right decision as I have a great relationship with my son.
I studied Physics not Finance, so best to ignore anything I say about money.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by warner25 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:29 am

oldfort wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:39 pm
MathIsMyWayr wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 6:28 pm
A digression. Are there any service programs, not necessarily military, available to anyone who passes PT without age limits?
In general, no within the military. I've heard of cases where experienced physicians get brought in directly as O-5/O-6 military doctors, who are well past the normal ages for commissioning.
Half-joking: I don't think those guys pass PT either...
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:05 pm
I have been thinking about joining the Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve as an Officer. I am 31 and have two kids, and have a good paying job. Not sure if it is a crazy idea...
I'm an active duty officer and I don't think you're crazy. There's a lot of age, education, and civilian career diversity in the National Guard. However, my part-time drilling Guard and Reserve friends seem to suffer terrible work-life balance compared to me. They receive part-time pay and benefits with near full-time expectations for answering emails and phone calls and doing other work, including lots of short-notice travel for missions and training... forget one weekend per month and two weeks per year. The old joke is that success for a Guard or Reserve officer means having your commander, civilian boss, and spouse equally upset with you. I think this has been a paradigm shift over the past 30 years, as we came to rely upon the Guard and Reserve forces to meet growing requirements with a shrinking active duty force.
Last edited by warner25 on Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ScubaHogg » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:59 am

OP, can you say roughly where you live? Depending there might be more or better opportunities in the reserves of one of the other services close to home (someone mentioned the Navy DCO program for example).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with enlisting, lots of great and talented people there. But at your life stage and education level I think it’s probably bad advice. Focus on a commissioning program.
“There is no problem so bad you can’t make it worse.” - Chris Hatfield, Astronaut mantra

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by Nowizard » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:34 am

A major concern would be the possibility of being called to active duty.

Tim

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TxAg
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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by TxAg » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:55 am

I'm 38 with 2 kids, wife, good job etc.

My biggest regret in life is never serving in the military.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by warner25 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:10 pm

TxAg wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:55 am
My biggest regret in life is never serving in the military.
I get it, but if this is truly your biggest regret, I think you've done well. I've had some interesting opportunities and experiences, but what we do is mostly very mundane, bureaucratic, and dysfunctional. I've served in two different career fields, and I've always felt like we are amateurs compared to the professionals who perform similar jobs in the "real world." When I'm having a bad day and then read on this forum about yet another individual contributor younger than me earning $600k/year in the tech industry, my biggest regret is that I did/do serve in the military.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by nedsaid » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:26 pm

ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:30 pm
riots_rus wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 1:07 pm
Why do you want to join?
It has been my dream since I came to US in 2012, but having a Masters degree, I did not want to enlist. And I could not be an Officer candidate till last year when I became a citizen. There are couple of reasons why I want to join:
1. Military life has always fascinated me but never got an opportunity due to migrating and family depending on me to settle by getting a job
2. I belong to a minority and there are not much military people in my community - mainly because no one to guide them. I would like to be in the military and be a guide and mentor to many young people who I am sure have similar interests
I say go for it. We need good people to serve.
A fool and his money are good for business.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:31 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Wed Jul 01, 2020 8:50 am
The "military experience" can to some extent be duplicated with outdoor training experience. I went on Outward Bound course when I was in mid 30s-- and there's a US branch (it was originally founded in WW2 in Scotland by an Austrian refugee to help merchant mariners survive torpedoed ships). There's also Leadership Trust - don't know if they are in the USA as well. OB was an experience I would recommend to most people - with certain caveats.

https://www.outwardbound.org/
If he's in the Air Force, he's not going to spend a lot of time on outdoor wilderness experiences. Unless he's a pilot, there's a 80% chance he gets a job in an office cubicle and a 20% chance he's working in an aircraft hangar or on a flight line.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by hudson » Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:39 pm

ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm
I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
I'm sure the Air Force has security type jobs that use the same skills as the army or the marines. That kind of job may not be near where you live.
You would probably have some weapons training in whatever basic training that you get. Maybe go to your nearest AirGuard location and talk to somebody there.

The air force does a great job of responding to calls for help from the army and marines. They have some great tools. Those would be weapons and combat.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:25 pm

hudson wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:39 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm
I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
I'm sure the Air Force has security type jobs that use the same skills as the army or the marines.
Outside of the special ops community, there's not going to be a lot of overlap between army or marines combat skills and the Air Force. TACPs would be the closest. All bases have security forces, but they're more like the local police force for the base.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by brokendirtdart » Sat Jul 04, 2020 3:13 pm

While livesoft's comment on page 1 about the OP having a romantic notion of the military has some truth, non combat formations in the reserve component tend to thrive with older individuals bringing diverse life experiences to their branch of choice.

With the OP looking at USAF options, the physical stress will not be overwhelming. There may be the opportunity to deploy or at least be activated, but lets face it-no USAF unit goes anywhere for a long period of time, and those not embedded with Army units live disgustingly comfortable and low stress lives wherever they are at.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by SR7 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:44 pm

oldfort wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:25 pm
hudson wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:39 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm
I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
I'm sure the Air Force has security type jobs that use the same skills as the army or the marines.
Outside of the special ops community, there's not going to be a lot of overlap between army or marines combat skills and the Air Force. TACPs would be the closest. All bases have security forces, but they're more like the local police force for the base.
You will certainly learn small arms weapons handling in your basic training, but obviously not as much as the army or the marines, where the rifle is the primary combat tool. For the navy and the air force their primary combat tool is a lot bigger.

However all air forces have some sort of security defence guards that act as a type of infantry to protect the air field and other vital assets from enemy raids.
In the UK it’s the RAF Regiment, or “Rock Apes”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Regiment

In Australia it’s the Airfield Defence Guards or “ADGies”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airfield_Defence_Guards

In the USA-AF it’s the Security Forces
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... ity_Forces

A mate of mine in the army combat engineers transferred to the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Adgies, we catch up and chat a few times. They get lots of overseas combat deployments, it involves aggressively patrolling deep into hostile environments outside the airfield to provide protection in depth.
29 June 1941, Churchill stated he would no longer tolerate the shortcomings of the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which half a million RAF personnel had no combat role. He ordered that all airmen be armed and ready "to fight and die in defense of their air fields" and that every airfield should be a stronghold of fighting air-ground men and not "uniformed civilians in the prime of life protected by detachments of soldiers."
I studied Physics not Finance, so best to ignore anything I say about money.

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Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by oldfort » Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:34 am

SR7 wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:44 pm
oldfort wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:25 pm
hudson wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 1:39 pm
ajm1489 wrote:
Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:31 pm
I like to learn more about weapons and combat. It might not be directly related to the job I chose, but will there be opportunity within the military to learn those. Or do you have to be infantry in Marine or Army to get those skills?
I'm sure the Air Force has security type jobs that use the same skills as the army or the marines.
Outside of the special ops community, there's not going to be a lot of overlap between army or marines combat skills and the Air Force. TACPs would be the closest. All bases have security forces, but they're more like the local police force for the base.
You will certainly learn small arms weapons handling in your basic training, but obviously not as much as the army or the marines, where the rifle is the primary combat tool. For the navy and the air force their primary combat tool is a lot bigger.

However all air forces have some sort of security defence guards that act as a type of infantry to protect the air field and other vital assets from enemy raids.
In the UK it’s the RAF Regiment, or “Rock Apes”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Regiment

In Australia it’s the Airfield Defence Guards or “ADGies”
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airfield_Defence_Guards

In the USA-AF it’s the Security Forces
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... ity_Forces

A mate of mine in the army combat engineers transferred to the RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Adgies, we catch up and chat a few times. They get lots of overseas combat deployments, it involves aggressively patrolling deep into hostile environments outside the airfield to provide protection in depth.
29 June 1941, Churchill stated he would no longer tolerate the shortcomings of the Royal Air Force (RAF), in which half a million RAF personnel had no combat role. He ordered that all airmen be armed and ready "to fight and die in defense of their air fields" and that every airfield should be a stronghold of fighting air-ground men and not "uniformed civilians in the prime of life protected by detachments of soldiers."
USAF security forces aren't likely to aggressively patrol deep into hostile environments or for that matter to ever leave the base. They do get more small arms training than most other career fields. USAF security forces have a hybrid law enforcement mission, like a cop in a small town. They deal with traffic enforcement, investigate minor thefts, juvenile problems, some domestic disturbances, some drug offenses and some alcohol related stupidity. Stateside, they can expect to spend a lot of their career checking IDs when people come onto base.

SR7
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 4:06 am
Location: Down Under

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by SR7 » Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:37 pm

oldfort wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:34 am
USAF security forces aren't likely to aggressively patrol deep into hostile environments or for that matter to ever leave the base. They do get more small arms training than most other career fields. USAF security forces have a hybrid law enforcement mission, like a cop in a small town. They deal with traffic enforcement, investigate minor thefts, juvenile problems, some domestic disturbances, some drug offenses and some alcohol related stupidity. Stateside, they can expect to spend a lot of their career checking IDs when people come onto base.
Thanks Oldfort, over here the Adgies and the RAAF Militarily Police are separate units that operate independently, based on the UK model. I see over there they have more of a combined role, leaning more towards the MP duties.

OP, let us know what you decide, no wrong decision here, but the conversation should involve your family. I was single when I enlisted. If you don’t have your family backing your decision, it significantly increases your stress on the job, I’ve seen that first hand.

Good Luck !
I studied Physics not Finance, so best to ignore anything I say about money.

Topic Author
ajm1489
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:31 pm

Re: Thinking about joining Air National Guard at 31 years

Post by ajm1489 » Wed Jul 08, 2020 3:35 pm

deserat wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:01 pm
Hi ajm1489,

Coming out of lurking to give my opinion. I preface it with my creds in this area: 30 years combined active and reserve in the USAF; five AFSCs; two engineering degrees combined with a successful engineering career over 35 years - as a female.

First, congratulations on deciding to possibly serve....you will serve if you become an officer. Second the Air National Guard or Guard is run by the state and is 'chopped over' to the national service (usually the Air Force or Army) in times of war or deployment. Therefore the flavor of the tasks and the organization of the Guard is very different than that of the active duty Air Force or Air Force Reserves.

With your background (engineering and MBA), one of your best chances is to become a Reservist as an individual mobile augmentee (IMA) (there was an earlier poster who discussed that). There are two types of Reservists: unit and IMA. An IMA Reservist works directly for the active duty and their duty is negotiated with their active duty supervisor. When I was an IMA, I could do my two weeks and weekends over a month or so. I also had some opportunities to do my weekend work on weekends. When I was in a unit program, the schedule was set for the weekends and two weekends I had duty. The unit drills together; the IMA is individual. Acquisition officers and engineers are uniquely situated for IMA work based on their specific content and knowledge.

Notwithstanding the above, the best place to get information regarding your eligibility and/or opportunities as well as any hoops you need to jump through (basic training, career schools, etc) is to speak with a Reserve recruiter. They will go over what is required and involved. Ask to speak with a current IMA or unit officer in the area of your interest. I was a squadron commander in a Reserve unit and a mobilization assistant for a space program office and had conversations with possible recruits both from the Active Duty and new Reserve all the time. They, the commander and MA, are there to help you make a well informed decision.

Lastly, I am deeply indebted to the Air Force for much of my education and life experiences. It was very difficult at times time-wise and commitment-wise to manage both a civilian career and a military one, however, as I look back it has made my life that much richer. If you think that you want to serve and wish to have a military experience in your lifetime, now is as good a time as any to at least see what would be involved and go do it if you think it would be important to you.

Please feel free to PM me for more information. Best of luck to you in your research and decision.
Thank you for the response. I have never heard about IMA, which is exactly why I posted my interest in this forum because as far as I know, majority of the folks here want to help other people and share their own experience. I have messaged you.

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