Should I go to college or join the Air Force? (PLEASE GIVE ADVICE)?
Topic: Career planning case studies
July 19, 2019 / By Cindy Question:
I'm really having a tough time deciding whether or not I should join the A.F. I'm in my second year of community college with 30 credits. I can either transfer or do four years in the air force. Whatever I do, I plan on getting my bachelors someday. I would like to join the A.F. for travel, learn a skill, see new things, and to meet new people and finish up my associates degree. If everything goes well I will leave the air force at age 24 and finish up my last two years of school. Some of my family would rather me just go get my bachelors and forget the AF. My mom says if I want to travel so bad hopefully I'll just have a good job and I can pay for it with that. In today's economy it isn't even guaranteed I'll end up finding a great job when I graduate. I'd like to go to school for the learning experience and the fun. If i do the AF I'll wonder what it would be like to be young and in college. If I do college I'll wonder my entire what it would have been like if I joined the A.F. PLEASE HELP VERY CONFUSED THANKS.
by the way, I'm not interested in doing school then becoming an officer in the AF. I'm not looking to make a career out of the Air Force. I just want four years.
Best Answers: Should I go to college or join the Air Force? (PLEASE GIVE ADVICE)?
Babs | 7 days ago
I am telling you this as a proud Airman and a former full-time university student for 2 years.
If you can afford to transfer to a college/university without having to take out a private loan, then by all means DO SO! MSU gave me some of my best memories; it's just too bad that I failed to make a smooth and successful transition into college. I was grossly irresponsible, my goals very unprioritized and in complete disarray at 18. I ended up flunking out with a 1.4 GPA at 20... and accruing tremendous student loan debt in just 2 years. You seem like a bright and determined guy. Starting off at a community college was a good idea (though people denounce community/junior colleges). It gives you secondary school experience without the high cost of traditional college prices. Traditional college is an exhilarating, enlightening, exciting experience; however, I would never advise anyone to enroll knowing that they will have to take out a slew of private loans. Private loans are the DEVIL. Small federal loans are okay because there are a lot of alternatives to repaying them, but you have no help with private loans. NEVER take out a private loan to go to college; instead, enlist in the Air Force and have them pay your way through school. Take advantage of the Tuition Assistance program ($4500 a year), the MGIB/Post 9-11 Bill, and the countless scholarships and tuition reduction rates offered by colleges/universities to veterans and current military personnel. Being in the AF, you will definately have enough time to pursue your education while on duty...
If I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose college over anything (I'd just go about it more intelligently and responsibly). If you have the financial means of attending college, then go! No, you won't get the type of traveling that you want done and you won't necessarily learn a new skill (besides your major if you're studying something practical). But colleges have unique experiences of its own. Like I said, MSU gave me some of the best memories of my life. If you can afford it, don't pass up the oppurtunity. Oh, and the other users are right - there is no guaruntee that you will get a lot of traveling done in the AF, especially in just 4 years. You could be stationed at one base your entire enlistment (like several of people in my shop). If that's the case, the best thing to do is to explore the surrounding areas. I'm stationed in WA, so I have Portland, Canada, and CA to travel to in the meantime (I'm going to CA this summer, Portland next week, Canada is somewhere in my agenda). Oh, and Mt. Rainier I have yet to go to but I plan on hiking soon. Traveling in that aspect is always open, but as far as getting orders to different places... that's not a given.
The Air Force is awesome and I definately don't regret enlisting. The AF has also given me a lot of wonderful memories and it's setting my life up for success in ways the civilian sector could not do before I even thought about the military. So if you choose the AF, you won't be disappointed (well, I'm not). I know others who are incredibly miserable because they are at bad bases and stuck in bad jobs or working with bad people. I was fortunate to get stationed at a fairly decent base, in a promising (but kind of boring) career field, with tolerable people. Others are at an awesome base with a job that they love and coworkers who are their best friends. It all depends, buddy... The military is unpredictable in nature; you control nothing.
I'd suggest that you go to college if you can afford it without racking up a slew of student loan debt (especially in private loans). In whatever you choose to do, GOOD LUCK!
👍 202 | 👎 7
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Originally Answered: I would like to join the air force. I currently attend Bronx community college which doesnt have a ROTCprogram?
I attended the University of South Florida and was a member of the ROTC there for four years. We had students from 19 other colleges in our ROTC detachment. Those colleges had what was called a "cross-town" agreement with the host University (USF in this case). The ROTC classes were all conducted at USF, but the students from other schools were permitted to participate. It is almost equal to being "dual enrolled." If you go to the website below (in the sources section) it will have all the info you could ever want, including all of the current cross-town schools. You can even search by location!
Everything you just mentioned doesn't matter in the AF besides school, i.e. you need to be a HS grad, sounds like you have that. The military, especially the AF, will set you on the right track to go wherever you want to. They will give you motivation, discipline, and, for you it sounds, most importantly, a family, the AF is a giant one and no matter who you meet in blue, you can consider them family as they would do just about anything for you if you ask. The AF will give you a job from a list lord knows how long and let you pick what interests you most. If you want to go to school, tell them that once you get on active duty and they won't only help you go to college, they'll "make" you go to college. Many enlisted folks come out of the AF amazingly focused people having gone in with their life astray. If you want a sort of guidance the military will help you with that. I think for you the AF is just what you need, a good job, good education, a resume' after you get out that will rival some college grads (that is if you don't go to college while you're in), direction, and a huge family in blue. Go talk to a recruiter and get the ball rolling, nothing is ever lost or too overwhelming.
👍 80 | 👎 5
What makes you think that you'll travel in the Air Force. You could most likely get stationed somewhere stateside and that will be it. If you travel it could only be to Afghanistan or Iraq. Have you not chosen a major yet? What makes you think the Air Force will give you the skills you need to take you the rest of the way through your life, where as college won't?
One of the plus sides of enlisting in the Air Force, will be to finally decide what you don't want to do with your life. Stay in school....The Air Force takes a commitment that you cannot give right now.
👍 74 | 👎 3
if you want to join the air force then join. if you get out at 24 that's still young enough to go to college only by then your college would be paid for by the g.i. bill. you wouldn't have to worry about student loans like so many other young people. you say you want to go to college for the learning experience and the fun. the air force can give you that too.
👍 68 | 👎 1
From what I read in here you will not travel much in the Air Force as they have much more here than there. Japan and Germany with a bit in Great Britain is most likely for overseas. Alaska and Honolulu are possible too. Not all officers stay in for 20. Those bars take you further in a civilian interview than stripes do too!
I say go to school, apply for OCS in one of the Branchs, do the minimum time and leave with a great post college resume.
👍 62 | 👎 -1
Well if you don't want to be an officer, than join the Air Force. You'll definitely get to travel. Then you can get money to finish out your college years.
👍 56 | 👎 -3
Originally Answered: Should I join the Air Force or Army?
This question has been asked and answered many times before. I am going to cut and paste an earlier answer and use it to answer your question.
Sit down and write up a list of questions to ask the recruiters. Visit each branches recruiter and write down their answers. Then compare the answers.
Compare the jobs, the bases, the location of the bases, and the physical aspect of each branch.
All of the branches offer the same benefits and the same pay.
The Marine Corps is a hybrid force. It contains aspects of the Army in our infantry, the Air Force in our air wing and the Navy due to our jets and squadrons being deploy-able aboard ship. Very high discipline and the hardest boot camp. Many old bases scattered around the world. Under the department of the Navy and we tended to get older equipment. This is changing but slowly.
The Army is MAINLY a ground fighting force but they do have some air capability with their helicopters. High discipline and the next hardest boot camp. Very good budget but mainly in support of their infantry. Quite a few old bases but in some pretty good locations.
The Navy is mainly a shipboard force. You will much of your tour in the Navy floating on a boat somewhere. You can be assigned to the regular Navy or Naval Air. Less discipline and not a very difficult boot camp. You will get to see quite a bit of the world in both the regular Navy or Naval Air but it will be just a few days here and a few days there. You tend to work a minimum of 12 hour shifts while on ship.
The Air Force is strictly aviation. They have a huge budget and the newest equipment. The Air Force has the least discipline of any of the branches. Sort of like a civilian job where you wear a uniform. Their boot camp is very easy but has been modified slightly over the last few years to be bit more physical. You will qualify with a weapon while in their boot camp and the potential exists that you will never touch one again during your service.
The Coast Guard is mainly used to patrol US waters. More like the Navy than anything else.
As you can see, there are various choices you can make. Visit them all. Research all you can on the Internet and then go talk to the recruiters.
Congratulations on your decision to join.