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Guest TerryT

Got an Air Force recruiting question for all you AF guy

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I am currently considering going back into the military and had a few questions about how the Air Force works (I was in the Army). I got out at grade E-3 due to EPTS (existent prior to service medical-honorable discharge). I have flat feet and was in the Airborne Rangers. Apparently they missed the flat feet thing on my medical exam and said that the flat feet = Airborne would probably cause me quite a few problems down the road so I got an honorable discharge. Which I find out now is no big deal, I just should choose an MOS other then Infantry (long road marches etc..lol)In the Army you get to choose your MOS if you scored high enough on the ASVAB and met the physical requirements for the specific job. In the Air Force is it the same way? I am interested in going into an enlisted aircrew MOS and was wondering if it is possible to get a job garuntee like you can in the Army if you score well enough on the ASVAB, etc.. or is your job pretty much a toss up like it is in the Marine Corps right now where you can only choose your "occupational field".I know there are quite few enlisted aircrew positions in the Air Force such as Flight Engineer, Aerial Gunner, Loadmaster, Airborne Battle Management Systems, etc... Personally, I am most interested in the Flight Engineer MOS but do have interest in the others as well.The reason I am asking is because I don't want to join the Air Force as a Flight Engineer and then all of a sudden after Basic Training I get assigned to be a mechanic, not that there's anything wrong with that, my interests just lie elsewhere.ANY AND ALL INFORMATION would be greatly appreciated!!!Thanks to all who respond.Thanks to all who respond!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Shane

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Shane, I hope that I might be able to answer some of your questions and or point you to the folks that can give your the absolute answers you are looking for. First off, I want to say thank you for considering returning to active duty. I would recommend that you contact your local Air Force recruiter to get the latest information on jobs available and what the exact physical requirements would be to do so. The areas you are looking at (Enlisted Aircrew) would require a slightly higher physical profile than say someone that had a ground based job. Since you have had medical problems in the past, you would most likely need to get a re-evaluation and or a wavier just to re-enter the service. It looks like you are leaning toward the Flight Engineer career field which generally requires input from a "Maintenance" related AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code). The Aerial Gunner, Loadmaster, Airborne Battle Management Systems positions "Might" but probably would not require a "Lateral Input" career field as would the Flight Engineer would. As with any job you would be applying for in the Air Force, to insure that you did indeed get that particular job, you would need to have it put in "Writing" on the enlistment contract. That way if for any reason down the road your situation changed, you would have some recourse to fall back on. During my first enlistment in the Air Force in 1972, I was only guarantied the "Administrative Career Track". My recruiter said I would be going into the "Accounting and Finance field" but midway through basic training, we were retested for several new jobs and I ended up in the communications field. I had not had "Specific Job" written into my contract. (I did not know about this at the time) During that first enlistment, I had several opportunities to move to an enlisted aircrew positions (lateral shred out) but I was unable to pass the flight physical due to vision requirement. At the time, I held a FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate. I separated from the Air Force in 1976 and joined the Indiana Air National Guard in the same career field that I had been in while on active duty. After aprox 7 months in the Air Guard I started talking to the recruiters again about returning to active duty. So after being out for 13months, I returned to active duty. This time on my enlistment contract, the "Specific" job I was to go in was typed in.There were only two jobs available to me being prior service, "command post Controller and Flight Simulator Repair" I took the Flight Simulator job and was in that for nearly 11years before "All" military flight simulator slots converted to "Civilian Contractors". This conversion did have its benefits in that I was finally allowed to finish my college degree through a program called "Project Bootstrap". When I returned to my home base, I was fortune enough to land an engineering job that monitored the civilian contractors working on the flight simulators. This lasted for nearly two more years before that job converted to a "Civil Service" position. Once more I faced a retraining situation which found me going to school for a year to become a Diagnostic Radiology Technologist. As before, this was in writing before I left for school. During my return to active duty, I along with my fellow "Prior Service" classmates did not have to go through "Basic Training". This included a former Navy member. We did either lose a stripe or two (Navy guy) or all of our "Time In Grade" if we returned at our former grades. I hope this helps and again, I recommend that you contact your Air Force recruiter.Sincerely,Terry Turner, USAF Ret

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Thanks for taking the time to respond Terry! :)I spoke to an Army recruiter yesterday and he told me that my medical situation has a 99.9% chance of being waivered. My problem being flat feet is deemed as being no longer a disqualifying factor in enlistment. My only problem was that since I was an Army Ranger the flat feet "thing" could have been an issue down the road if I had in fact stayed in. I did myself a favor, so to speak, by getting out.He also stated that if I wanted to return I might have a few problems going back into my old MOS which is fine with me....I certainly don't want to be infantry again, LOL.My ASVAB scores were very high and I maintain very high physical standards so I don't see anything physical being an issue, especially since flat feet isn't really a problem any longer and a job in the Air Force wouldn't, I'm sure, be 45 mile road march related LOL. I am not interested in Pararescue or Combat Controller so the infantry related "stuff" really isn't in the cards.How is Basic training and such. I heard it is more relaxed then the Army (not sure this is a fair question since you weren't in the Army). And how is the "Air Force quality of life"?Thanks for all your help thus far, it is greatly appreciated!:)Shane

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Shane, Depending on the amount of time you have been out of the Army, I doubt very much if you would be required to go back to basic training. Again, the Air Force recruiter would be able to answer your questions on that. Just a note, the Air Force basic training "use" to be easy compared to say the Army and or Marine basic only because we (Air Force) were not considered combat ground troops "First" and "Technicians" second. During my years in the "Medical" field, I spent more time (only) in a tent under field conditions than I had in the entire 15 years prior to that. Even when stationed at NKP Royal Thai Air Base in northern Thailand at the end of the Viet Nam war, we had wooden and metal barracks. Now with all of the deployments around the world, I imagine that there is more training and priority placed on "ALL" Air Force members to be able to live, work, and fight in "Field" conditions. Good luck with your endeavors,Terry

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