My US Career Air Force can be defined as a crucial transformation to manhood and I would recommend it to any young man who hasn't yet decided on another course of action.
When you first arrive in Basic Training you are unsure of yourself but the instructors quickly instill direction and discipline and before it you are functional like an oiled wheel.
I was taken for four months of school to learn my Network and System Administration job and those were my first experiences dealing with Cisco as well as true Windows Servers. By the end Cisco was my favorite and ever since I have favored Networking even though our job involved occasional rotational to system administration maybe a weekend every two months and I learnt a lot.
One of my friends got his CCNA, then CCNP, which was unheard of at that time, and given my competitive nature, I followed suit and knocked out CCNA, CCNP, CCSP, and CCDP; basically all the P level certifications that were available at the time. We also got the Microsoft Server Certification training courses several times a year which prove useful even to this day.
My best technical day was when as a lowly ranked Airman I got to solve a problem after encryptors(hardware vpns) were upgraded. A specific program used by commanders to report up their chains to higher level headquarters stopped working and everybody was on their feet. I looked through the settings of the encryptors till I was dizzy until I found one setting that had been changed by
良い点You get to travel, Discipline induced, free education, training on equipment you are not qualified on civilian sector, and a sense of purpose
悪い点Discipline could be tough, you could be woken up on Saturdays to run errands, you had to follow instructions whether at work or home, pay was not very high, all normal things that come with military life
Dock Chief | 三沢市 | 2017年3月19日
Productive and challenging workplace
A typical workday in the Fighter Aircraft Maintenance field starts at 0700 hours and ends around 1700 hours. You will check out and inventory tool kits, laptops with technical data and any other items you need at the start of shift. If working on the Flightline you will provide aircraft launch and recovery assist. These duties include removing or installing aircraft protective equipment such as covers and plugs, removing and installing ground safety pins, and providing standby emergency fire suppresion. Lunch break happens after the first set of jets are all in the air and usually does not last long enough to sit and enjoy a meal. Instead, you will usually end up eating on the Maintenance Expeditor's truck on the way out to an aircraft to perform maintenance. Some days there will be a lot of maintenance that needs to be completed, and lunch happens when the job is done. Shortly after "lunch" the aircraft return from their flight and you provide recovery assistance (installing ground safety pins, chocking wheels, etc.). Shift will end sometime after the next shift arrives and gets adequate turnover on what maintenance needs to be completed. At this time, you will turn in all tools and equipment that is checked out to you (as long as all items have all the bits and pieces that they came with, and are still in working order as they were when you received them).
The hardest part of this job is adapting to a similar but often different schedule every day. Some days you will hav
良い点Health care, steady paycheck, job security, camaraderie
悪い点Long hours, work in the elements, no standard work schedule or workload
Equipment Technician | 沖縄県 | 2018年3月24日
Long hours and demanding work schedule depending on job.
I performed inspections, maintenance, and driving responsibilities for the flightline. Equipment worked on was various electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, HVAC, and compressors. Flightline worker, AGE, maintenance work, or driver. I've been called all of these but our job in AGE was not driving as most people believe it to be.
I learned good discipline, time management, punctuality, prioritization, and various other leadership skills.
The culture in maintenance is fun for the simple fact that everyone on your level or below are your closest friends. However, the way they get treated sometimes is hard to deal with. Again, it depends on location, manpower, and missions. In the United States, it was far easier, while not as rewarding, I felt better going home at the end of the day. Overseas can be hard on family and the work schedule is consistently all over the place. Medical is a lot more restricted overseas than it is stateside, but that should be obvious.
I don't regret joining the Air Force or even picking the job that I did. It was all a great experience and very necessary to push me to do more than I thought I ever could. The benefits you get after leaving the military are great too.
良い点Good consistent pay, good mentors when you find them, can quickly move up in rank if motivated, etc.
悪い点Inconsistent schedules, abrupt shift changes (1 day notices), work hours randomly get extended for any reason deemed necessary (outside of mission requirement), training in every aspect is poor.
Journeyman | 福生市 横田飛行場 | 2014年6月10日
Great work environment with lots of camaraderie.
I worked in the production support section which was in an office. I managed all of the special tools, tool boxes, hazardous waste, hazardous materials, electronic technical tools, fuel tank, and was responsible for turnover of day shift. I learned a lot about the administration side of being a mechanic. Lots of things happened behind the scene to ensure we had the proper training and tools to complete daily tasks. Management in the military tends to lean towards a micro managed approach; anyone who simply out ranked you was your "boss" and many conflicting tasks occurred. My co-workers had a very tightly knit mentality. Everyone was friendly and spent time together on and off duty. The hardest part of the job was working long hours if we were behind as well as multi-tasking many different objectives all while having to complete a checklist everyday. The most enjoyable part of the job was the "work hard, play hard" mentality. When we were ahead of inspections, we either took half days off or had a shop BBQ and just had a great time together.
良い点Half days when we were ahead, shop BBQ, holiday parties.
悪い点Short breaks, multiple stressors, worked during harsh weather.
Engineer | 日本 | 2015年2月18日
Overworked Undermanned and Underpaid
PROs: Lets see a typical day would start out at 0800 with me doing about 6 additional duties, going to commander calls that were a little redundant, then doing a mission briefing. Then going out to the plane and doing a preflight and waiting on the pilots. then flying a 4-6 hour sortie mind you that's just the flying not counting preflight time or time waiting on maintenance. then doing another briefing about the flight with me getting home really late. But all that training was awesome at preparing me for real-world missions and uptempo deployment. And i did have some awesome mentors and some really terrible ones too. All and all I loved my job as a Flight Engineer, having an in flight emergence and watching the pilots heads turn around and look at me and say what do you think Eng? FE job satisfaction 100 out of 10.
CONs: Additional duties, time away from loved ones, being over worked and tired most of the time, being treated like a child, have to listen to, and execute bad ideas, and bad plans from higher ups (i'm sure everyone has to do that too), overworked undermanned and underpaid.
Security Specialist | 沖縄県 | 2019年1月29日
Great experience as Security Police Specialist
Overall the experience was great. Primarily worked entry gates and would patrol once in a while. The hardest part of the job was the "hurry up and wait" mentality that you had to deal with and the every so often, arrogant officer, that you had to deal with. Not everything was peaches and cream, as the police squadrons within the air force were known to have low moral due to the in fighting, especially between the NCO's, individual appreciation, but full squadron discipline for one individuals actions.
This was also a great experience to become independent, how to live away from my parent's home, learning to create a budget and live responsibly and within means. Great learning experience.
The best part of the job was the traveling as I was able to see a good portion on the Far East. Was able to experience and see areas deemed as third world and how other societies live and survive.
If I had a choice to do another 4 year term, I would do it again, just for the experience alone.
良い点Independence and Traveling
悪い点Some not so great coworkers/supervisors
Civil Engineer | 三沢市 | 2018年7月20日
Work was demanding, stressful, at times scary, but worth it
After you get through training for the most part work is about the same as it is in the civilian sector. In my profession I fixed fuel pipelines and facilities. The job had different challenges with every day, one minute I would handle all the office needs such as inputting hours, managing work orders, ordering parts, and the next day I would be donning a hazmat suit and preventing an international innocent preventing a petroleum leak from pouring out into my host countries crops. I would prepare for wartime situations , performing my duties in gas-mask and combat attire on one day, and building strong relations with international companies while serving as an interpreter. The hardest part of the job was being away from family back home, however this was adaptable as my coworkers both American and Japanese became my second family, perhaps that brotherhood is what I liked most about the job.
良い点Training, acquiring a magnitude of new skills, financial security, many benefits, teamwork
悪い点working in harsh environments
Human Resources Representative | 沖縄県 | 2017年7月7日
USAF Medical Field
I loved being in the Air Force but more so I enjoyed the learning process of how to educate and take proper care of the oral cavity. Helping others has always been a passion of mine and being a part of the medical field in the military allowed me to express that passion at full capacity. I moved around into each section of the clinic (orthodontics, pediatrics, oral surgery, endodontics, general dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics w/ lab, dental instrument processing center and all front desk and inbound call lines) so that I could become a well rounded individual. I would say that the hardest part of the job was calming angry customers that were not receiving treatment in the time frame that they were looking for. The most enjoyable part was seeing a smile on each patients face, following their treatment. I would recommend this career to anyone with a passion to help others and willing to travel and see the world.
良い点Medical and Dental Benefits, Base Access and Salary
悪い点Uniform Dress Code
Inspector | 沖縄県 | 2014年10月27日
Eye opening, diverse work environment with high work tempo
A typical day at work consisted of getting work orders together, gathering info needed for inspections and performing inspections on a variety of military weapons.
I gained leadership and management skills from the military that will stick with me for the rest of my life and a measure of discipline I had not had before.
The hardest part of my work in the military was trying to plan personal and family time around unexpected world events, dealing with time away from family and friends, and always knowing that if the unknown would ever to happen, myself and many others would be thrust into a position we all knew about but hoped that wouldn't come.
The most enjoyable part of the military for me was the diversity. Meeting so many different people and learning from them, from their traditions, families, and previous life stories.
良い点A vast number of benefits, meeting new people, seeing new cultures
悪い点Constant travel, no sense of home, separation from loved ones
Transportation Specialist | 沖縄県 | 2014年6月24日
Directed transport of 300 mail trailers and orchestrated movement of 2M+lbs of mail to/from Naha airport. Performed daily airline cargo inspections, ensuring DoD mail delivery to other overseas locations was within 48 hours. Coordinated mail delivery for two Naval Battle groups, likewise ensured delivery of 90K lbs of mail to 16 ships and 25,000 Sailors and Marines. Enforced security measures to over 5,000 aircraft containers, resulting in 0 discrepancies in mail misplacement. Transcribed incoming mail volumes into databases, maintained accurate annual volume for higher HQ reporting. Prepared over 3,200 airlift forms, therefore enabling correct manifesting of mail and swift payments of $4M in annual DoD fees. An a established liaison with Air Nippon Airlines and Japan International Airlines, resulting in mail delivery from 11 bases in Okinawa to world-wide destinations including JFK,SFO,ORD,EWR,BWI and so forth.