Any advice on having kids in the military?

Willy

Well-Known
Aug 28, 2009
1,062
48
Ellis County
My oldest son took the ASVAB yesterday and as long as he passes the physical, I'm pretty sure he will be going into the USAF soon. Anybody have any advice for me or for me to pass to my son? He hasn't chosen a job yet, but he aced the ASVAB and can get any job he wants. (AFQT of 99!)

He tore his ACL and it was repaired 2 years ago. He is fine now, but I don't think he is up for Combat Control or Pararescue. He is leaning toward an intel job, but I'm trying to get him into something more "technical" for better training after the military. A Marine friend of mine suggested he become a linguist. I know it's up to him and I can't make his choices, but it's good to have the advice of others to consider as I advise him.

Also, I'll take advice on how to best stay in touch with him, financial arrangements, overseas tours, etc....
 

majormadmax

Úlfhéðnar
Aug 27, 2009
13,711
113
San Antonio!
If he enlists in the USAF (which he'd have to do unless he has a degree and is apply for OTS or is going to college under a commissioning program), then he'll go to Lackland for basic military training. You can visit him when he graduates.

As for jobs, he should talk to a recruiter who will let him know what is available. Intel is a pretty good profession but honestly I would steer clear of linguists. The military has always had a problem guessing what languages will be needed in the future, and is constantly behind the power curve. Plus, his choice of assignments would be greatly limited and unless he likes Ft Meade, Maryland; he may not be too happy.

Other than that, it would be tough to predict what his future would look like. The military is under a financial strain at the moment and all services are cutting back on personnel. They will always need new people to fill the ranks, but it won't be as easy as it once was to get in and he can expect a bumpy road for some time as the DoD is responsible for about 50% of the budget cuts in the Federal government. A lot of overseas bases are closing and as we prepare to depart Afghanistan next year it will be even tougher to score OCONUS assignments. They will still be there, but the competition to get them will be tight.

My best advice for him would be if he does go in, then take advantage of every opportunity presented to him, especially educational benefits. If he plans to make a career out of it, then he should try to get commissioned after his first assignment. That means getting his bachelors degree and finding an officer program (AFROTC or OTS). There's nothing wrong with being enlisted, I was prior enlisted myself; but the bigger and better opportunities are usually offered to officers. Plus, as a first lieutenant I made more than a E-9 Chief Master Sergeant!
 

Jlrockboy

Member
Feb 4, 2013
69
16
Midland
If I had a son going into the USAF, I would have him look into Air traffic control, Computer's lots of computers in the military today, and into the health care side of the service, my cousin just retired from the USAF 2 years ago, he was in finance and weather forecasting (he did have a degree and the USAF paid for his Masters at Texas A&M). An if he is mechanical all those jets need to be maintained. All this training will easily cross over into civilian life.

I served in the US Army as a 2nd lieutenant, 1st lieutenant, 1969-75. Not many jobs in civilian life for search and destroy. I had a degree in Geological Engineering so when I was discharged, went into the oil industry for the next 35 years.

If he wants to make it a career I would take advantage of all the courses, officers training, college if made available.
 
Last edited:

Willy

Well-Known
Aug 28, 2009
1,062
48
Ellis County
I have a friend who was air traffic control. I hadn't thought of suggesting that. I did avionics on F-111s and finished my BS during my first enlistment. I decided to be a mister instead of OTS, but I have friends who went into OTS and they are all retiring about now as Majors and Lt. Cols. I will definitely encourage him to finish his degree as his choices in and out of the military will be much better. Thanks for the advice. Keep them coming.
 

TheDan

4th Best Member
TGT Supporter
Nov 11, 2008
19,974
113
Austin - Rockdale
Whatever job he chooses, make sure to get it guaranteed. I can't remember what the exact term for it is now, but when I was enlisting I researched all the AFSCs and wrote my congressman to get the specific job I wanted guaranteed. The recruiter I was working with didn't even know you could do that. He had advised me that I could list like 3 or 5 jobs that I wanted and the people at MEPS would just pick one off the list. Screw that noise, lol... Even with the guaranteed job the MEPS people kept trying to talk me into switching to one of the mechanic AFSCs based on my ASVAB scores. Obviously didn't happen because I'm still in my chosen career field today :laughing:

What does he want to do? My take on intel is it's boring, but that is highly subjective. I went to tech school with air traffic controllers and they all seemed miserable. Sounds like a stressful job.
 

reddog

Member
Jul 19, 2013
193
16
I had fun in Electronic Warfare, after four years on aircraft working Wild Weasles it turned into a good career at Raytheon Systems that I retired from a year or so ago. Hard to go wrong in electronics..
 

breakingcontact

TGT Addict
Oct 16, 2012
18,298
38
Indianapolis
A young person entering the military needs to think about when they ETS or retire. If you get into the right fields there are lots of good defense related jobs out there.
 

Shotgun Jeremy

Spelling Bee Champeon
Lifetime Member
Jul 8, 2012
11,250
113
Central Texas
I would look at the top 50 fortune 500 companies and see what of those, can be transferred to military jobs. Then, go after a job in the military that you can get out and take to the fortune 500. Also, go after any and all educational courses possible. Everything from first aid and land nav to in-rate training. The opportunities are just so much easier in the military than when you get out.
 

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