U.S. Air Force Employee Reviews

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
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  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Job Security/Advancement
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Hardest part of the job is realizing you are paid the same as your peers no matter what. I learned to be self-sufficient.
Security Forces 12 years officer (Former Employee), Europe, Middle-East, US, Far-EastNovember 28, 2015
Pros: Discipline, some education, travel
Cons: Dwindling benefits. Medical is generic
The Air Force is a one-sided relationship. It has a few perks but you will pay for them with time and money. If you are a go-getter, then this is the place for you. Get over the initial shock that everyone is paid the same. That creates a lot of sluggish peers "your competition." You compete from the start. If you joined because you were sick and tired of education, you are in trouble. The Air Force will "Force" you to learn on your own. The faster you get your training done, the better you are treated. The higher the scores you get on your tests, the better you are treated. Literally do your best at trying to be #1 in all your tests, schools, and fitness tests. Why? Because your peers will compete for the same things. I say peers but each base has the exact same "you" thinking about how they can get a better angle at life. It is always easier to start off with good study habits so start off as best you can. Do this as a single person because any branch of the military is very tough on the family. They have support systems but trust me, those are programs you really do not want to be associated with if you are trying to get promoted. It can be very tough if not impossible to recover from getting into trouble. You may hear the Air Force as a "One Mistake Air Force." This is partially true. The small infrequent mistakes are ok. The big ones or constant mistakes are indications to your supervisors that you are the first one they will "let-go" when the Air Force has to cut people. I was in for 12 years and was told I may face a "force shaping board" once. I ended – more... up facing three different ones. I also watched the active duty, education, and retirement benefits decline. My career field for the year that I joined was cut by nearly 50% after 9/11. Then a few years later, it was cut by about 20%. Then the final cut came this past year at 30%. I gave a lot to this job and sacrificed holidays and many of my vacation days. If you want to be an officer, you will do the same. That's life in any branch of the service. I was deployed for a total of about two years. That's a long time away from family members so again, think about the strains it puts on your relationships. If you're a single parent, you'll have to figure out who is taking care of your kids while you deploy because you will deploy. DO NOT GO INTO THE AIRFORCE AS OPEN GENERAL. You need to be patient and do your research. Your recruiter has to make a quota so think of them as a used car salesman. That's right, they get a nice little bonus for getting you into certain jobs. Think about what you can mentally and physically do for 10 - 20 years. You'll get more education of course but your body will not. Take a real look at it. Also, figure out what actually translates into a civilian job because you will eventually have to leave the Air Force. With the current retirement system and benefits slowly withering, you will not actually retire at 20 years and be able to live off it. Also think, 20 years in the Air Force will make you about 38-48 when you get out. You will need to find another career which puts you behind the curve. There is a reason why a few career fields actually pay you a bonus in the Air Force. So my final thoughts are: Get in, get the education and experience you wanted, make connections, and get out. It's just like any other business. And no you cannot change jobs whenever you feel like. You may have an opportunity to go into a single other job but it is usually one that is critically undermanned for reasons that are usually not good. Again, go in focused and you will come out ahead. If you go in with a whimsical attitude, you'll come out behind. If you want a real heart-to-heart talk contact your nearest base and to a Chief Master Sergeant - This is the senior ranking enlisted advisor. They will either talk to you directly or get someone that can represent their career field for you. They'll tell you the ups and downs of their job as well as ups and downs of other jobs. They meet with each other all of the time so they may even let you sit in on a working lunch and you'll see a whole different world than what a recruiter can paint for you. Most chiefs will tell you that they played around at first but eventually something clicked in their life and they decided to buckle down.

For Security Forces: This is a very tough life-style. You will work all year round and will prepare to defend your base with weaponry. It is cool and fun but tough physically and mentally. Don't do it to see what you are made of. Figure that out before you go into it. The last thing you want to do is decide it isn't for you after you already signed up...too late. It is a predominately male career field. There are some super talented people in it. You have to be physically fit by Air Force standards! Nobody cares if you can bench press a million pounds because the test is about run times for 1.5 miles, sit ups, push ups, and a waist measurement. If you struggle with weight, do not do this. You will fail very quickly because you will work night shift eventually so you will be forced to figure out what to eat and too many snack on garbage and then they look like what they eat. Security Forces is very similar to army infantry. Both fight in squad sized units, both go in as Open General, both feel underappreciated. Again, take care of yourself and you'll feel a lot better. Each career-field has ups and downs. Go in only because you REALLY want to. I enjoyed it and I hated it depending on what was going on of course, part of the gig is to not wear your heart on your sleeve. The days you hate it, you're going to have to "suck it up," so dont complain. However feel free to present good ideas but vet those through your chain of command. You will carry weapons daily along with a large ruck sack. You don't drive a cop car until a few years down the road, you do stand at a shack daily. From there, you catch a bad guy once in a while and a lot of people that aren't paying attention. Once you graduate from that portion, you then supervise those same people. Throw a deployment in there every year or so and your deployments last about 6 months with 1 month extra of training so you'll be gone for 7 months from you home that year unless you went to some other training. Then you'll be gone longer. That's probably one of the roughest deals. Working on the holidays stinks but eventually you get used to it. Night shift stinks but that's when you catch most of the bad guys so if you're single, that job is truly fun and rewarding. Day shift usually hands out speeding tickets and checks IDs but then again, you go home at night. Your shift in most bases lasts 10-14 hours. That part is rough because you have to check out your weapon, go to a briefing just like in all cop movies, and then turn your weapons in at the end of shift.
ME: I stayed in for the travel, education, and experience. I deployed a few times, got lots of decorations, ribbons, and awards. I led small and large units. I didn't enjoy the nuclear world at all. Too cold, unpopulated areas that you never want to visit, inspected monthly with zero forgiveness. I DID enjoy deploying. You will go to the Middle-East, you may go to Africa, Afghanistan, Europe various places south of the US, and the US. The other spots are kind of rare. If you really want to be stationed someplace in a foreign country...LEARN the language and you will go. Plus, there's a list of languages to learn that the Air Force will pay you for depending on how well you learn them. – less
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Important job with decent pay. Good training. Poor leadership
Commissioned Air Force Officer and Pilot (Former Employee), Several Bases in the U.S.May 16, 2013
Pros: exciting flying, exotic aircraft
Cons: poor leadership and managment, additional stressful duties, very little recognition for success, no personal life
The Air Force was a mix of a good workplace at times to a very stressful environment at other times. Obviously military operations require a certain amount of risk, and those risks need to be taken seriously with a balance of having a good time as a group of people who depend on each other. Generally, as an Air Force pilot my typical work day would vary an incredible amount. As a Special Operations pilot, I would fly about two times per month. It is my feeling that this amount of flight time was not adequate to retain proficiency, but due to budget cuts during the height of the war on terrorism we were forced to be proficient with as little as 20 hours a month of flight time. On a flying day, I would typically show at the base around 1 PM to start mission planning for a flight to include planning the training route we would fly, preparing the crew briefing and filling out flight plans and any additional paperwork needed for the mission. Around six in the evening we would bring all players to include flight crew and we would brief the details of the flight. Around 7:30 in the evening we would fly a six hour mission under night vision goggles at low level (500 feet above the ground) to an airdrop, a helicopter air refueling mission, or a blacked out landing on a dirt runway. Usually the end of the mission would have us practicing instrument procedures and takeoffs and landings at the base or other local airfields. Following the mission we would have a thorough de-briefing before heading home. During the de-briefs, any mistakes that were made were discussed to prevent them in the – more... future

On a non flying day, which was the majority of days I would concentrate on my "Additional Duties" as the Mobility Officer for the squadron. This was a managment job where I was in charge of the squadron's mobility budget, equipment, and supplies. the purpose of the job was to deploy a then brand new Air Force Squadron to combat from it's initial beginings. The 79th Rescue Squadron and the 319th Special Operations Squadron where two units that I volunteered for, and I had to build the mobility programs for both squadron's from scratch. I was given a budget and several inlisted personel whom I supervised. The first task of the job was to purchase the equipment needed for the unit to effectively deploy. With our budget, we had to buy everything from computers, to staplers to Assault weapons and pistols to be carried by the crews in flight. Once the equipment was purchased we had to prepare the equipment and personel for deployments. On the cargo and equipment side, I had to work with agencies on base and throughout the Air Force to create, organize, catalog and weigh cargo to be deployed on airlift assets to the theater of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. On the personel side of the job, we were responsible for mobility training, record keeping and the deployment of all personel in the squadron. In many cases we had to get all our members of the squadron official passports, immunizations so that they could safely deploy. Another aspect, was arranging airlift transportation for individuals in the squadron to the various bases where we deployed.

In the Air Force, you tend to shift jobs every few years. I also served as a tactics officer, where I was responsible for creating real world training scenareos for our aircraft back in the U.S. that would better prepare them for combat operation overseas. This included scenario based training in the aircraft, as well as classified briefings on our best tactics relative to the enemies equipment and tactics.

Two other additional duties were as the squadron's Drop Zone Control Officer and Landing Zone Safety Officer. Often times myself and an enlisted member of the squadron would drive to austere areas of the Arizona desert to control the drop zone or landing zone for our aircraft. Usually it would include setting out an Infared light source on the runway or drop zone, taking wind readings for the drop, and retreiving practice parachute loads post airdrop while relaying how close the crew had come to actually dropping the practice load on target and on time.

The best part of the job was getting to be a pilot and flying operational missions. Unfortunetly, I did not get to fly as often as I would want to really enjoy the job.

As to co-workers, I would say that I'm split on my feelings. I met and worked with many really fine individuals in the Air Force. I have the utmost respect for the enlisted individuals I served with during my seven years in the Air Force and feel they are the ones that make the force work. As to my fellow officers and pilots, I am mixed somewhat. For the most part, I had great friends in the pilots that were of equal rank throughout most of my Air Force time. They are good hard working educated individuals who were required to retain a high level of professionalism in a very stressfull time in this nations history. I personally was dissapointed with individuals between the rank of Major and LT Colonel. I felt those individuals became careerists who were much more interested in being promoted and advancing their political aspirations then they were in mentoring and helping the younger company grade officers whom they commanded. The only exception I would make to this feeling is a handfull of Majors and Lt Colonels I flew with in various phases of training. Those individuals in the training command were in a position to help and mentor, but on a squadron level I felt that us younger pilots where in "an eat your young" situation. Any mistake an individual made on the job, or in their personal life was often times known by the people in charge. Generally, I never felt that many of these individuals ever really took the time to mentor or help us younger officers. In the Air Force, I felt that their was a huge bias against single individuals. When additional duties needed to be accomplished the single people were called first, while the married individuals seemed to get a pass due to their families. Furthermore, I felt that commanders tended to want to promote married officers over single individuals, unless the single folks were willing to have basically no life other then the Air Force.

I felt the Colonels and few Generals I met or knew seemed to care about the forces and people under their command, but the main managers seemed to be apathetic to the younger officers whom they commanded.

I'd say the hardest part of the job is all of the various responsibilities put on mostly younger officers. To work a full time managment job, while retaining proficiency as a combat pilot was very tasking on an individual. Sadly, on the pilot side of the house their were several accidents that lead to fatalities during my time in the Air Force. Most of these accidents were the result of a lack of flight time by aircrew and problems in proficiency. Rather then increase the hours of flight training for aircrew, the Air Force just put more stress on its crews by adding additional stressful checkrides and tests in an attempt to prevent future accidents. Everything was put on the individual, and basically bandaids were placed on easily fixable problems. – less
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Loved it and I would recommend it to any young person unsure of what they want to do with their life.
Battlefield Weather Forecaster (Former Employee), Fort Bragg, NCJanuary 26, 2014
Pros: you get trained in a particular career field of which you get to choose(stick to your guns), you get to travel all over the world or at least the country, you meet tons of new people some are even like minded, you get to support your country with many an american man and woman patting you on the back, the healthcare benefits cannot be beat, plenty of room for upward growth..
Cons: during periods of training or deployment you are away from your family
A typical day in the air force for me started out with physical training in the morning at about 7 am for one hour then starting work at 8:30 where I would receive briefings from co-workers about the regional and tactical weather patterns and forecasts. From there I would take over the desk for that particular field of operations and begin by analyzing the current weather data to further grasp what was happening. As they were published I would interpret and apply numerical, graphical, satellite and radar data to my forecast worksheet and build a daily forecast. All the while every hour on the hour I would take a weather forecast and disseminate it. If any inclement weather was anticipated I would timely issue any forecast watches, warnings and advisories. At the end of my shift I would prepare a short and concise weather briefing to convey the weather situation to the following person. At times my work days were quite different from that with such things as training over the computer or in the field(which was the best part of the job), in or out processing a base, traveling to or from a deployed location or training facility, or there would be some changes to the typical workday itself such as having to prepare and lead a verbal briefing for aviators, task force commanders, and/or weather personnel. It was widely varied.

I learned many many skills during my time in the military from general computer skills, to proficiency in excel, powerpoint, outlook, and word, I learned tactical vehicle driving, tactical movement, public speaking, proficiency in light armaments, CPR, battlefield – more... first responder medical training, how to be professional and confident in front of those who significantly outrank you, I was trained in survival, evasion, resistance and escape, and more.

Management could have been much much better, often times you would be given multiple orders that seemed to conflict and so you would be inhibited from completing your orders until your supervisor could get clarification. It is really easy for someone who is book smart but not a real leader to get into a leadership position simply by ranking. You gain rank simply by taking tests, and as long as you study and have half a brain you will pass the test and go to the next rank. Its really quite simple and easy. That said you find yourself many times having to take orders from someone who has no skills in motivating or leading period.

You will find that your co-workers are usually great people, extremely varied coming from all walks of life from nudists to hill billy folk and everyone in between. That said, you will find that many people in the military are highly competitive and there is even an almost high school esque band of clicks that will form. These are mostly in the younger airmen and will eventually end by either those airmen maturing or leaving the service. Its difficult to maintain those groups when you and your buddies are constantly being shipped from here to there every couple years and with people gaining or losing stripes left and right.

For me the hardest part of this job was the level of stress, never before had I ever had so much responsibility thrust upon me so quickly, I was responsible for the safety of personnel and other military assets like aircraft worth millions if not more. I would often come home from the end of the day and veg letting my mind be completely void of all work related things, I rarely talked about work at home for that reason.

The most enjoyable part of the job was all the training. For me basic training was a breeze, it was as simple as keeping your mouth shut and doing what you were told no matter how badly your muscles burned or how little sleep you had gotten the night before. But throughout my time in the Air Force I received other training like how to drive a humvee, how to deploy a claymore, how to shoot a grenade launcher, how to respond to a gunshot wound in the field, how to cross miles of terrain with a paper map and compass, how to survive in the wilderness, evade capture, resist interrogation and torture, and escape captivity. I learned so much more and it was all a blast, I would very much like to do all of this training over again it was all some of the most fun I have ever had in my life and wouldn't trade it for the world. – less
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good place to work
Electrical Engineer -Power (Former Employee), Hurlburt Field, FLOctober 5, 2013
o Creates, designs and analyzes new products in a multitude of polymers and manufacturing processes
o Master of Embedded systems.
o Does performance reviews, cost estimation and schedule meetings, fabrication and procurement issues.
o one line diagrams, cable trays and instrumentation diagrams (P&ID's) and decision making skills.
o Manages a team of 28 E/I Engineers.
o Maintain Time sheets and design reviews set ups.
o Experience in working with design teams, implicated strategic construction planning, involved in comprehensive engineering solutions, which include schematic, design/development and construction phase for various industrial/government projects.
o Key Strengths: Promis-E, AutoCAD, Electrical Design Master, Siemens PLCs and HMIs, FESTO valves and Sensors, ABB/SIEMENS/ROCKWELL Drives, Pspice, Matlab, Matcad, Multisim
o Experience in PSPICE , MATLAB and MCAD.
o Knowledge and implementation of electric/electronic/pneumatic control systems design, CAD drafting standards, programming PLCs/HMIs.
o Ability to design and draft single line drawings, logic drawings, controls and LAN network drawings, panel layouts, conduit layouts, wire schedules, and instrumentation loops.
o Ability to perform lighting level calculations, short circuit calculations and over current protection for both lighting and power applications.
o Ability to perform control and power distribution/ transformers/single-three phase motor/ generator calculations (low, medium and high voltage system), protective relaying, fire detection and security system, voltage drop calculations, route conduit and cable – more... tray.
o Knowledge of cost estimation and price analysis to develop and facilitate cost effective designs, perform all bid process requirements, construction project planning and management.
o Capability of strategic planning, management and supervision.
o Provide safety leadership relative to electrical distribution and power systems. Qualify personnel in safe operation of High and Medium Voltage switching and execution of electrical system Lock Out/Tag Out.
o Lead development and implementation of arc flash, power system and electrical distribution Standard Operating Procedures and employee training and qualification
o Work collaboratively with Engineering, Management, SHE, Purchasing, Maintenance and Reliability, Planning, Human Resources, Finance, Planning, and contractors on scoping, developing and implementing projects and programs.
o Demonstrated competency with export power generation systems larger than 10 MVA; larger than 25 MVA.
o Power electronics Design expert. (Analog and Digital Design
o Examines existing products for cost, manufacturability, functionality, and quality improvements.
o Drives recommendations for products and projects as required; drives improvements in designs of existing products.
o Maintains direct interaction with Marketing & Sales and clients during the development of new products.
o Supports production facilities to drive product improvement, cost reduction, and product specification efforts.
o Analyzes design problems using engineering, mathematical principles and extensive knowledge of tooling and products.
o Creates design concepts and production level CAD drawings to support new products and existing product improvement.
o Develops product specifications for newly developed products and modifications to existing products.
o Monitors tooling success and make adjustments as required; communicate job schedule as necessary.
o Mentor and Lead Electrical Designer Levels I & II on best practices in product and tool designs.
o Supplies product designs & PLC programming requirements to Electrical Designer Level I and Engineering Technicians.
o Direct current power supplies and circuits for instrumentation, DCS and PLC systems and safety interlocks/shutdowns.
o All instrumentation and field analyzers, both analog and discrete.
o Coordinates all levels of Design Input as dictated in the department documentation.
o Coordinates the analysis of SPC data for corrective actions.
o Evaluates product function & performance during customer startups.
o Worked with maintenance of Fired Heaters, air condenser, crude oil tower and reflux drums on daily basis.
o Experience programming PLC’S and DCS.
o Process control systems architecture design implementation.
o Thorough understanding of the engineering documents associated with electrical/instrumentation such as: P& IDs, loop sheets, specification sheets, electrical line diagrams, logic diagrams, installation detail drawings, etc
o Work on Voltage above 138KV and below 600V.
o Resolve Electrical equipment reliability malfunctions.
o Provide advice on safety, reliability, replacement, and flexibility of the electrical equipment.
o Knowledge of different SAP modules.
o Working knowledge of test equipment and test methods.
o Provide routine electrical support to refinery process plants that include, but are not limited to, refining, NGL and utilities plants.
o Provide routine electrical operation support to refinery in-house power generation and electrical distribution systems.
o Perform electrical system studies, such as system transients, dynamic modeling and load flow and reliability calculations.
o Prepare electrical design packages and specify materials to add new equipment or modify existing systems.
o Prepare scoping, review proposals and detailed designs and follow-up on execution of major projects.
o Develop operating and switching procedures for electrical equipment.
o Prepare annual and long range operating plans and objectives.
o Troubleshoot, review, and implement solution for electrical problems/issues.
o Provide technical standards/reports for preventative and predictive maintenance and repair of electrical equipment.
o Provide technical expertise during testing, commissioning, and start-ups on new electrical equipment installation.
o Support project engineering group in reviewing designing of electrical equipment, electrical distribution systems and substations.
o Work within other organization to identify trends and opportunities to improve plant/stations availability, increase plant capacity, growth, reliability, maintainability and expandability. – less
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Pre-Screening Questions
Program Manager (Current Employee), GlobalJune 27, 2014
Pros: travel and experiences
Cons: stability
What can you contribute to a new employer?

I am confident hard worker, and I have a diverse military background in management. I am flexible to schedule changes, so transitions will be easy. I am also able to take on multiple tasks while prioritizing and organizing accordingly.

What is your greatest strength? And why?

I believe that my greatest strength is my ability to investigate. Throughout my career I have been the “go to” person for discrepancies and problems within projects or programs. The outcomes of those findings have been beneficial for their counterpart solutions.

What do you think is your greatest weakness? And why?

My greatest weakness is patience. If time management is an issue when completing deadlines, my knack for patience grows thin. Attending to suspensions while an agenda is pressing, slows progress.

How would you describe your greatest accomplishment?

Serving in the Armed Forces will always be one of my greatest accomplishments. While acting as an ambassador for my country, I was able to live, travel, and work with foreign nationals. I broadened my familiarity with culture, and diversity for a variety of different experiences.

Describe a time when you disagreed with your boss. What was the result?

My supervisor decided that she would be the delegate for our office during an inspection since she was the most experienced. I disagreed, and suggested the whole office be present so that a mixture of members from different positions is available for response. She disagreed and went ahead with the decision to pursue it alone. The result ended in an unsatisfactory – more... rating for our inspection.

What is the most difficult thing you have ever done?

While working as an administrator at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida a hurricane damaged 98% of our assets. Even with preparation for the storm, we were unable to preserve our buildings and offices. Initiating operations without equipment and resources was extremely difficult.

What is the largest project you have ever worked on?

As a manager in Aviano Air Base, Italy, our team had to expand to a separate location for training. I lead the assignment to build a tracking program that would document resources, training, and personnel. The report, and analysis consisted of 11K training items, 84 personnel, and 123K resources worth $2.3M. The trip was successful!

What do you see yourself doing 5 years from? How do you plan to get there?

I see myself in a top management position of a well-established company. I can do this by building up my achievements within my realm. By then, I will have my Masters degree in Business Management, since I am already enrolled in the BBA program.

Describe a challenge you faced, and how you addressed it.

A challenge that I faced was to become a Property and Housing Manager. The job was far from my every day functions, but I needed to expand my employment for greater opportunities. I addressed it by gaining knowledge of how the process worked, through examining instructions and regulations. I soon became proficient in the subjects pertaining to contracts and laws surrounding Housing and Property Management.

What makes you a better choice than any other job seeker?

I am globally diverse! Not only have I worked in a variety of places in the US, but I have also worked abroad in places such as Germany, Spain and Turkey. I have also faced a number of different scenarios that many other candidates may not have any knowledge of, like natural disasters and relocations.

Choose a previous job you held, and describe what you learned from it.

Being a Property Manager is certainly different, specifically because you’re handling the living environment of your customers. Working in a traditional office where the results are controlled through analysis, I find it easier to pinpoint the solutions. With managing a residence, people have different standards of living; therefore, the same analysis is not always the correct answer.

Choose a previous job you held, and describe what you liked most about it.

I enjoyed working as a Fighter Squadron Program Manager at Langley, Virginia; Kunsan Air Base, Korea; and Aviano, Italy. These positions enabled me to challenge myself as it gave opportunities for growth, and proficiency. In this particular position, you are given multiple tasks while controlling the progress of over four different programs. The job was very rewarding.

Choose a previous employer, and describe what you liked most about the company.

Working at the 35th Fighter Squadron in Kunsan Air Base, Korea was tremendous due to the amount of continuity. Communication, time management, and teamwork were all integrated into short-term and long-term plans; for that reason, the amount of work accomplished was done with little error. – less
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An amazing job that allowed for personal and professional growth
Security Response Team Leader/Patrolman (Former Employee), Vandenberg AFB, CAJuly 19, 2012
A typical day at work varied depending on the position I was currently in. It could range from that of a security guard, patrolling an assigned area while staying vigilant for signs of a threat to that of a police officer, taking on a more active role in seeking out offenders through the use of selective enforcements, random vehicle inspections, running radar, and responding to calls ranging from domestic disturbances to stolen vehicles. I also spent a good amount of time as a 911 dispatcher, which consisted of dealing with complainants at the station and effectively dispatching routes while plotting cordons, safe routes, casualty collection points, and entry plans when necessary. As a supervisor, I was also personally responsible for eight to twelve troops at a time, ensuring they were all trained to the highest standards, while ensuring their quality of life was the best the unit could provide (IE helping with any issues that were detrimental to their work performance, to the best of my abilities and referring them elsewhere when necessary.) Due to the military situation it was more than just managerial work, it became mentorship, and I greatly enjoyed that part of the job.

If there was one thing I can certainly say I learned from my time in the Air Force, it would be versatility. Working such a variety of jobs under one title, deployments to the middle east, and also writing performance reports, award packages, all while be selected for training schools required the ability to keep a list of priorities and always ensure the mission got done. This gave me a great ability – more... to manage my time well in order to take on and complete multiple projects at the same time.

Management was almost always good in my time in the Air Force, though there were a couple rough patches and numerous transitions in management, which inevitably would shift policies in the direction of new management. This again fostered versatility and an understanding that the new management was going in a new direction because that was a better direction, more inline with accomplishing the mission in the most effective way.

Co-workers in the Air Force more times felt like a second family than people you worked with. When you are posted with people for twelve to fourteen hours at a time you get to know one another. You also get a feel for each others professional styles and find a way to mesh, in order to make the most effective team you can. I found this to be a very positive experience, working with people from every imaginable background to accomplish the same goals and get the job done.

If I had to pick some hardest parts of the job, they would definitely be deployments to the middle east taking you away from home for six months to over a year at a time and fighting as hard as you can to maintain a good quality of living for your troops. There were more times than not solutions to both of these hardships. With deployments I would just take it one day at a time and focus on getting done what needed to be done. For my troops, I would use the chain of command in order to take care of them to the best of my ability. There were times when because of the mission, my troops could not be at home for the birth of a child or the funeral of a family member. This was absolutely the hardest part, knowing I fought tooth and nail, but did not really accomplish anything. Usually troops were aware that I was doing this and fully appreciated it, sometimes they were not aware and probably hated me for it.

The most enjoyable part of the job was without a doubt the sense of accomplishment from a job well done. It was not always easy to see the effects of your work. If a good police officer has anything to measure his work by, I suppose it would be safe neighborhoods that someone would be proud to call home. Other times it was more readily apparent: the safe arrival of a convoy, the arrest of a criminal, or even the launching of a multi-billion dollar rocket with zero security breaches. My personal favorite part, however, was the mentoring of my troops. To see them succeeding in their careers and moving up the chain, getting ranks early, and assisting their peers in getting better. This was not always easy, some people are not the easiest to motivate. It takes a special care in getting to know someone to truly understand what motivates them. Because it was not easy, I suppose that is what made it the most personally rewarding.

Overall I would rate my time in the Air Force as very positive. Some days were not the best, but every day can't be perfect. Most individuals I worked with were all working as hard as they could to complete the mission. We worked as a team and understood how each part of the team worked. This fostered a respect up and down the chain of command and led to continuous mission success. – less
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Security Forces - Senior Airman (Former Employee), Hanscom AFB, MAAugust 6, 2014
Supervised and coordinated activities of personnel assigned to police military unit. Excelled in leading others in ground operations during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Supervised and coordinated the activities of several crew members while operating and maintaining weapons and equipment worth millions of dollars during military operations. Secured U.S. and Coalition assets valued at over $10 billion while in a deployed location. Diligently searched over 400 vehicles and thousands of personnel while ensuring the safety of 14,000 coalition forces overseas. In Pass and Identification administrative office, registered military servicemembers, retirees, and their dependents in the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). Explained in written and oral correspondence eligibility requirements for TRICARE benefits. Entered, updated, and maintained personal information into computerized database of uniformed services members, their family members, and others eligible for benefits. Operated office equipment such as fax machines, copiers, and phone systems, and use computers for spreadsheet, word processing, database management, and other applications. Answered telephones and gave information to callers, took messages, or transferred calls to appropriate individuals. Greeted visitors or callers and handled their inquiries or directed them to the appropriate persons according to their needs. Set up and maintained paper and electronic filing systems for records, correspondence, and other material. Located and attached appropriate files to incoming correspondence – more... requiring replies. Opened, read, routed, and distributed incoming mail or other materials and answered routine letters. Completed forms in accordance with company procedures. Examined applications for military passes and identification. Review documents for accuracy and completeness. Participated as a valuable team member in the protection of the Joint Chief of Staff General James E. Cartwright while in a combat area. In combat and in garrison, patrolled premises to prevent and detect signs of intrusion and ensure security of weapons and equipment. Monitor and authorized entrance and departure of persons to maintain security of premises. Investigated and seized evidence at war zone ambush sites, insurgency sites, buildings, and enemy properties. Conducted investigations and interrogated enemy prisoners of war as a team member of a military task force. Received written and verbal reports from suspects, witnesses, and confidential informants. Prepared and wrote reports of investigations and daily activities such as equipment, weapons, and property damage, theft, or presence of unauthorized persons. Escorted individuals to specified locations, providing for the protection and that of others. Monitored command frequencies in order to detect distress calls and responded by allocating military resources. Communicated with receiving operators in order to exchange transmissions. Conducted pre-combat checks for periodic maintenance of equipment inspections and routine radio checks in order to ensure that operational standards were met. Assumed responsibility for safekeeping of money and valuables taken from prisoners, lost or stolen articles, and property held as evidence. Supervised work of other Police Officers who searched suspects. Supervised Dispatcher engaged in sending and receiving police communication via telephone and radio systems. Received notification and informed commanding officer of calls and orders received over police communication systems. Recorded information, such as name of arresting officer and prisoner's name, address, and charge, to complete precinct activity reports for commanding officer. Commanded subordinate officers and subordinate personnel on assigned duty and assumed responsibility for efficiency and discipline of workers under command. Questioned callers to determine their locations, and the nature of their problems to determine type of response needed. Received incoming telephone or alarm system calls regarding emergency and non-emergency police service, and after hours calls. Determined response requirements and relative priorities of situations, and dispatched units in accordance with established procedures. Recorded details of calls, dispatches, and messages. Entered, updated, and retrieved information from teletype networks and computerized data systems regarding such things as wanted persons, stolen property, vehicle registration, and stolen vehicles. Maintained access to, and security of, highly sensitive materials. Relayed information and messages to and from emergency sites, to law enforcement agencies, and to all other individuals or groups requiring notification. Scanned status charts and computer screens, and contacted emergency response field units to determine emergency units available for dispatch. Observed alarm registers and scan maps to determine whether a specific emergency was in the dispatch service area. – less
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Given chances to learn different skills
Security Forces Flight Chief (Former Employee), Biloxi, MSApril 30, 2013
AIR FORCE COURSE: L3ABR3P031 002, Security Forces Apprentice
LENGTH: 10 Week, 1 Day.
(Description Dates JUN 1955 - NOV 2004)
Trains security forces personnel to perform the duties of security force apprentice. Training includes career field history; training and supervision; force protection OPSEC principles; threats to USAF installations and resources; legal considerations and provisions; general security forces duties; application of force; weapons; air base defense and contingency operations; Security Police (SP) operations. Prerequisite: Student must be prepared to perform rigorous physical activities to achieve field training objectives. ECL: 70. Special Requirements: 1. Student must meet weight and fitness standards according to AFI 40-502. (AIR FORCE TRAINING HISTORY COURSE: L3ABR3P031 002)

AIR FORCE COURSE: L8ALR3P031A0H1A, Military Working Dog Handler Course
LENGTH: 55 Days.
(Description Dates JUN 1955 - AUG 2005)
The instructional design for this course is Group-Paced. The course trains airmen, sister Service personnel, and other government agency personnel to perform duties prescribed in AFI 36-2108 for Military Working Dog Handlers in AFSC 3P0X1A (or sister Service equivalent). Training includes: Safety procedures, maintenance of dogs; kennel and equipment; principles of conditioning; utilization of dogs; document training and utilization records, perform as decoy and maintaining proficiency of dogs in obedience, obedience – more... course, aggression, scouting, patrolling, vehicle patrol, conditions under gunfire, and substance detection, maintaining proficiency of dog teams, advising on the use of dog teams, explosives and chemical security and safety, legal considerations and security of drugs. (AIR FORCE TRAINING HISTORY COURSE: L8ALR3P031A0H1A)

AIR FORCE COURSE: L3AZR3P071 010, Traffic Management and Accident Investigation
LENGTH: 3 Weeks, 2 Days 17 Days.
(Description Dates MAR 2004 - AUG 2004)
Page Last Updated: 19 Mar 2004 Provides training for US Armed Forces personnel and DoD civilians performing Military Police duties in the knowledge and skills needed to perform as a traffic investigator. Scope of training includes; Analyze Accident Components, Hit and Run Investigations, Diagramming, Legal Aspects, Accident Photography, Planning Traffic Management, Drug and Alcohol Enforcement, Formulas, and Accident Reports. (AIR FORCE TRAINING HISTORY COURSE: L3AZR3P071 010)

AIR FORCE COURSE: PME CODE 0, Airman Leadership School
LENGTH: 23 Days.
(Description Dates JUN 1955 - OCT 2011)
Leadership and Management (LMM 1101): Role and responsibilities of airmen; theories, techniques, and practical application of leadership/followership; supervision; management; stress management; problem solving; concepts of human behavior; standards of discipline; effective counseling techniques; evaluation of enlisted personnel; and current social issues. Managerial Communications (LMM 1102): Principles of oral/written communications for airmen, theories/concepts of communications, factors influencing communication process, speaking techniques including oral presentations, and principles of effective writing. Military Studies (LMM 1103): Organization, mission, and history of Air Force; dress and appearance; drill/ceremonies; customs/courtesies; respect for flag; military deterrence; democratic process; code of conduct; and personal readiness. Introduction to Total Quality Management (LMM 1104): Introduction to the total quality approach to management. Includes the quality Air Force commitment; seven-step continuous improvement process; quality environment, tools, metrics, roles and responsibilities; and effective team-building concepts. (AIR FORCE TRAINING HISTORY COURSE: PME CODE 0

AIR FORCE COURSE: L3ACR3P071 0C0A, Security Forces Craftsman
LENGTH: 2 Weeks.
(Description Dates MAR 2008 - NOV 2008)
This course replaces Course L3ACR3P071-003 to comply with the new AETC course numbering system only. This course satisfies the Career Field Education and Training Plan's (CFETP) formal school requirements for the award of the 7-skill level in the Security Forces career field. The course provides training for those personnel in 7-level upgrade training on: Squad weapons maintenance and fundamentals to include the M203 Grenade Launcher, M240B Machine Gun, M249 Automatic Rifle, employment of the M18A1 Claymore Mine, and the M67 Hand Grenade. Air Base Defense topics include: Priorities of work, routines in defense, employing obstacles, and preparation of warning/operation orders. (AIR FORCE TRAINING HISTORY COURSE: L3ACR3P071 0C0A) – less
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Security Forces on a good day
Security Forces (Current Employee), Lompoc, CAAugust 6, 2013
Pros: got paid every 1st and 15th, received a lot of fun and useful training for free
Cons: deployed time away from the family, terrible people in charge that cannot be avoided or removed, on stand by for recalls 24/7 365 days a year, my first couple years we had recalls every couple weeks making a 16 hour day into a 20 hour day, poor compensation compared to amount of work and effort required
In the years that I have been at Vandenberg AFB, CA i have worked 12 hour shifts, 8 hour shifts, days, swing and mids. Most recently before my deployment I was in 8 hour shifts on swings. I will give you a brief run down of a typical work day for me on swing shift as a patrolman (with being BDOC/dispatcher certified I am not always a law enforcement patrolman for that shift).
So, I wake up with my wife and son anywhere from 0700-0900, depending on when he decides we need to be up. Spend some family time eating breakfast and getting ready for the gym. I head to the gym sometime around 1000-1100 for either personal physical training (PT) or organized PT with my flight members, which was usually lead by myself. PT sessions would last about an hour to an hour and a half, then it was home for a shower and start getting ready for work. I would arrive at work at 1245 to arm up, attend guardmount at 1320, and conduct changeover with days patrolman sometime before 1400. Once my gear and everything is situated in the patrol car I start patrolling. I conduct traffic stops on both civilian and military personnel, on and off base, due to violations of California Vehicle Codes as well as base policies. We also enforce regulations and standards on all military personnel. I continue remaining vigilant throughout my shift waiting for the dispatcher to send me to any variety of incidents. I have handled, as an on scene commander at times, high risk traffic stops (similar to a felony stop), building alarms, a possible improvised explosive device in a unit commanders building, wild fires, fire – more... alarms, major and minor vehicle accidents, trespassers on base, shop liftings and medical emergencies. Whenever I can I try to fit a meal in at work, sometimes there is no time. I also like to make face time with the subordinates that I directly supervise and conduct training with them. Towards the end of shift I was my vehicle and finish up any paperwork that I may have needed to do. Mid shift usually arrives for our relief around 2200. I head to the armory, followed by the locker room and proceed home. I usually arrive home to a sleeping family where one of my dogs may welcome me around 2230-0001. I would then eat any dinner my wife left for me to reheat and watch a sporting event that I probably recorded that day before heading to bed. That is a typical, no coming in early or staying late, no errands to run with the family, day of work.

Aside from all my tactical training in law enforcement and air base defense, I have learned how to lead from the front, how to be an effective communicator, and how to supervise. A few of the tougher lessons I have learned would be: what kind of leader/supervisor I do not want to become, how little family time my career field left me with and how immature each generation has become. With all my trials and tribulations I have try to make sure I take something away and use it to better myself. There is no point in not continuing to grow and develop as a person. – less
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Not so light decision, know before you go.
Journeyman Aircraft Metals Technology (Former Employee), Dyess AFB, TexasNovember 4, 2014
Pros: advancement, set hours, vacation, work in different parts of country/world, volunteer opportunities, relief efforts, community support, college credit/paid training, job retraining
Cons: supervisors, work weekends, mandatory work, exercises/drills, unlawful orders, harsher punishments for crimes/work related problems, uniform code of military justice
Basic training is going to suck, but its nothing anybody can't handle. It's a mind game to ensure you can take the stress of whats to come and keep a clear head and ensure you can do the job right. As a machinist/welder, they will give you the basics thought mind numbing videos along with a hands on demonstration and skills assessment. It is best to research what you want to do and study the ASVAB before deciding what you want to do. Go to visit at least four different places and know what skills you will need to do the job. If you don't like it or what they say about the job, look for another. There are penalties for not being able to finish the training and possible jail time if believe to be not performing the way they think you could. Research and know the basic knowledge of the job before hand. It will be very handy when you go through training.
The Air Force along with other services are transitioning to a carrier based military. They have more focus on retention and even use information based data and people testimonies to keep retention high. Do what is best for yourself, not what is best for the military when it comes to staying.
Typical day checking equipment and verification of tools put back, cleaned shop check, equipment serviced, repairs to building/equipment being done, notes for the day/week, plane repair status, 15 pounds of stuck stainless steel screws pulled out, repairing problems that people cause by not following written instructions, work load is normal for machine shop, 30% manufacturing equipment, 10% welding parts/ aircraft engines, 20% keeping co-workers – more... on task, 10 working on local manufacturing, 5% getting training or training someone else, 25% paperwork or customer service. Everyone has additional duties as part of their job, try and find the least objectible or one that allows for additional work opportunities outside of service. Exercising has become part of the normal job and it is required you do it on your own time. It was required two hours three times a week at my base last, things could have changed. Be well informed before taking any bonuses and before you join. Look up recently retired or separated military personal at unemployment office for most up to date information and help on deciding which service is best for you. Still any doubts, join the reservers for a taste of things to come without being fully committed. Just a warning !!! reservers are first to fight in any conflicts or efforts of national security, american interest, etc.

Good luck – less
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A secure job with not-so-secure job descriptions
Client Systems Technician (3D1X1) (Current Employee), Dyess AFB, TXNovember 9, 2015
Pros: healthcare, tuition assistance, GI BIll, secure job, safe work environment, steady promotions
Cons: stressful deployments, undermanned shops, budget cuts
As a disclaimer, I'd like to say that I joined the Air Force with the mindset that I was going to use it as a stepping stone job for better opportunities in the corporate world. I joined for 4 years which is the minimum contract period. Some people join expecting to be in for 20+ years, but I knew exactly what I wanted from the Air Force: a steady job, tuition assistance for college, and job experience/certifications. I got all 3 of those things.

The biggest thing about joining the Air force and making it up the ranks (or surviving your enlistment if you hate it from the start) is managing your expectations. If you expect to be doing the sci-fi stuff they show in the TV ads and be paid competitively to what you would make in the civilian world, you're sadly mistaken. The Air Force is more like a company than a military service, and thus, it looks for people who can do one job well as well as any other secondary job they may need you to do. The Air Force differs from the other services in that way and also because most jobs could be done by anyone without military training. There are very few jobs that would require military training of any kind. That being said, you're basically cheap labor for them so they don't have to hire contractors to do your job.

You have to go in knowing what to expect and what you want from the Air Force. If you don't know what you want, you will get used in any way your leadership wants to use you. For example, I know I want certifications, school (use the $4,500 in TA you get yearly while you're in!!), and a breadth of job experience, so I – more... started school as soon as possible, started studying for certifications, and was constantly applying for new assignments and looking for ways to enhance my job knowledge. On the other hand, I've seen guys that come in with no plan and they're just doing their jobs to the minimum extent, don't do school, and then they wake up one day and its time to choose whether to stay in or get out and find a better job. Ultimately, they have to re-enlist because they didn't plan ahead from the beginning. I'm not saying it's bad to re-enlist, I've had a lot of great leaders and supervisors that have been in for many years, but again, make sure you know what you want from the start.

The Air Force is a very secure job. It's not a company, so it's not just going to shut down overnight, and plus, it's really hard to get kicked out. A lot of people just want a secure job with steady promotions every couple of years, and that's great! The Air Force is perfect for that especially considering you can retire after only 20 years! That means you could come in at 18 years old and be chilling on a beach in Florida by age 38.

In any case, make sure you know what you want with your life. If you want to be a nurse or computer technician, make sure your recruiter doesn't talk you into becoming an aircraft maintainer. In the end, the Air force is going to take care of you, but it's up to you to make the most of your career, no matter how long you stay in. – less
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A career in the USAF is an incredible life adventure to discover your true potential!
DEPUTY BRANCH CHIEF (Former Employee), FL, Iceland, UK, MT, AL, Middle East, OH, & TXDecember 9, 2014
Pros: heathcare, comraderie, promotion opportunities, college tuition, financial compensation, 30 days vacation/year, travel, challenge, and excitement
Cons: occasional time away from family, operations tempo can be "high" depending on job. society's perception of the military.
A day at work in the USAF varies significantly with the career you have the opportunity to pursue. Depending on the job, job tempo also fluctuates, especially when deployed overseas and/or during conflict. If you don't learn to serve more than yourself, you will have a hard time assimilating to the USAF core values: Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in Everything! The USAF recently has also adopted the core value: Respect for Human Dignity which translates into a "zero tolerance" for inappropriate discrimination in our military.

Serving my country in the USAF as afforded me the opportunity to serve with so many different personalities, races, and cultures other than my own. I have had the honor of working with so many different people. This variance in my life as allowed me to reflect on how I can better myself by improving on my self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and reducing ethnocentric ideologies. This all leads to professional improvement and the ability to lead and manage people effectively and efficiently.

From a management perspective, I always lean toward a style of leadership that inspires and motivates, cares about others, sets the example, and encourages creativity and innovation. Sure, leaders need to use leverage sometimes to get the job completed (e.g., contingent reward, carrot & stick, etc.), but I believe it is having a balanced approach to leadership that allows you and others to grow.

This balance approach to leadership is especially helpful when working with peers. It is important to be considerate of others and not over bearing; – more... especially when working in peer groups such as process action teams, think tanks, etc.

The hardest part of the USAF are the long hours when preparing to go to war or participate in global conflicts and/or humanitarian aid efforts. When you are serving your country, you are on the job twenty-four/seven! Being away from your loved ones can also be hard.

The most enjoyable part of the job is getting to see the results of your hard work and the positive impact it has on people and the world in general. For example, teaching young Iraqi cadets to become officers of character during Operation Iraqi Freedom, delivering aid for a humanitarian effort like Provide Comfort in Kuwait, or relief efforts in Haiti or Louisiana after the hurricanes...just doing things you wouldn't imagine in the corporate world! Overall, the USAF experience for most who make it a career is an outstanding opportunity! – less
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Excellent Training Programs and enjoyable work environment
Security Forces Response Force Patrolman (Former Employee), Robins AFB, GAAugust 10, 2012
Pros: education benefits, paid leave, medical, 401k, insurance
Cons: limited posting, i felt there should be a rotation
A typical day at work would begin at 1600 and ended at 2400. I would perform the duties each day for the post that i was assigned. Posts were decided upon your rank, experience, and for any training that necessary. On a daily basis I would carry a 9MM and a M4 Carbine. On other days, for different posts, I would carry one of the following weapons: M249 Squad Automatic Assault rifle, M203 Grenaude Launcher, or the M240Bravo Small Machine Gun. The qualifications were kept annually on a 6 month basis. Duties were depending on the assigned post, but included and were not limited to: Patrol, foot and mobile; Protection of 1,2,3,and 4 resources; checking Identification for base entry; Performing random vehicle searches according to Air Force Regulations; Responding to any incident on the installation with in post boundaries. As a patrolman I would respond to Alarm activations, set up a perimitter, do a complete walk around, gain entry to the area/building, make contact with personnel inside, and conduct an interior walk through until given the all clear; I also would respond to vehicle accidents and emergencies on the installation, give first responder emergency care if needed, fill out paperwork and radio all required information to law enforcement desk; I would respond to shoplifting incidents, arrive, apprehend any suspects, handcuff/search, and transport the individual if needed, and collect evidence; as a patrolman I was also responsible for mobile patrols of the installation checking gates, fences, and boundaries. On a day to day basis my job was ever changing and I had to be – more... prepared for anything. For extra training our Flight(unit) would conduct exercises for real world situations. My co-workers were usually easy to get along with, and I can not recall a problem I had with anyone. The higher ranking officer woulod be in charge and i understand the ranking system and change of comand. The hardest part of my job would have to be the balance between work and family. We were usually under manned from deployments, which prevented taking leave( vacation time), so i did not get many chances to travel back to Tennessee from Georgia to see my family. I do however, understand the mission comes first. The most enjoyable part of my job was the weapons trainging and the training i got to be apart of before my deployment to Ali Al Salem, Kuwait in 2007. Clearing buildings, SIM round training and the knowledge I gained was exciting for me. I always wanted to be apart of it and out in the field. – less
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Excellent friends, long days
Avionics Technician (Former Employee), Holloman AFB, NMJune 5, 2015
Pros: Strong bonds with coworkers, simple and clearly defined promotions, ability to travel and see more of the world, 30 days paid vacation per year
Cons: No lunch break, no overtime, long hours, constant shift changes that affect sleep patterns, responsible for mistakes made by anyone and everyone (squadron recalls), high stress and tiring job. Unpredictable to plan for the future due to TDYs and deployments.
The USAF is an excellent place to work. It depends on your specific AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) which is your job. If you work on the flightline, be prepared for long hours in the freezing cold and burning heat. Your coworkers will become your lifelong friends as you overcome obstacles together. The number of exercises, inspections, paperwork, appointments, additional duties, and all things military related you are required to do feel as if you're doing far more than your original job description but it builds character and a high professional tolerance. Many times you'll be working with tools and directions that aren't ideal for the job, but you'll find a way to accomplish the task at hand. Sometimes management can forget that people aren't robots and that following proper procedures are time consuming but necessary. A typical day on the flightline as an avionics technician would begin with a roll call and shift turnover. You see what needs to be done on certain aircraft and the expeditor assigns you to a job or jobs. Simple jobs can become quite complex due to several variables of finding proper documentation, coordinating with other maintainers that may or may not affect the work you are going to perform, working around others' lunch hours (which you don't get), etc. You usually work at least nine hours without a break but sometimes you'll need to work twelve hours in order to ensure that sorties are produced and pilots satisfy their flight hours.
Some days it feels like an absolute disaster. Scheduled maintenance or perhaps something broke after a flight or maybe even – more... someone else didn't properly fix an aircraft. But you have a lot of coworkers to rely on. You do your absolute best, get yelled at quite a bit, but at the end of the day you leave everything at work (usually) and live for the weekends when you have enough energy to realize that life doesn't revolve around work. It can be both mind numbingly boring and frustrating at the same time. You don't have access to all knowledge about the aircraft and usually need to employ the help of Boeing or Lockheed Field Service Representatives for diagnostic help as they have access to equipment you do not.

In short, you'll grow up in a very short amount of time and learn what it means to be a true team player. – less
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long hours around good people
SSgt RC-135 Crew Chief (Former Employee), offutt afbNovember 14, 2014
Pros: vaction time, med bennifets, school benifets, seeing the would
Cons: long hours, little appreciation, military life style( away from family alot)
On a typical day you would come into work about 30 minutes early. I would see what is going on so you could check out the tools that u needed. Seeing that I was on the second shift we did the most hands on work. Typical we would recover and repair 2 to 5 aircraft per shift while also preparing 2 to 3 to fly that night. Repairs include tire changes, engine changes, servicing, inspections, brake changes, truck changes, identifying fuel leaks, etc. While we did a lot of repairs on the aircraft after flight we also did a lot of preflight checks. This is where we would inspect the aircraft to insure it was able to fly without incident. As SSgt I was in charge of the overall condition of the aircraft. Usually I would lead a team of 2 to 8 on daily tasks. I was the first line of quality insurance. I was the one that would check behind the lower ranked airman to insure the job was done properly and safely. I had what the Air Force called my 7 LVL. This meant I was one of the few that was certified to sign off jobs that would otherwise ground the aircraft. 90% of the days that I worked we were outside in the elements. I enjoyed my time with the air force. The most enjoyable part of the job had to be when I was deployed. You realized what your job really meant. Seeing that the jets I worked on were "spy" jets and would give information that would save lives of man and women down range gave me a great sense of pride. It was like every other job when it came to co-workers. There were some that you got along with and others that you had to watch and give instruction to so they would work – more... efficiently. When it came to management the work moral was low but it didn’t stop us from completing the mission. For the most part I would say that the leadership was efficient. I can’t really say anything else then that about the leadership. I think that the hardest part of the job was going home at the end of the night. I liked doing it so much that I would stay behind working extra just to get my jet to look better than all the others. I also enjoyed training new airman in the ways of aircraft maintaince. Doing this gave me the most satisfaction. To see an airman that you molded come from knowing nothing to being the go to guy for knowledge on a system is satisfaction. It gave me a great since of pride. I’ve learned with this job that no matter your background you could complete a common goal. Watching people putting aside my differences and working together was something inspiring to watch. – less
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Airman (big "A") (Former Employee), World wideJune 1, 2015
Pros: Camaraderie, job security, travel, medical
Cons: Deployments, 12-16 hour shifts, on-call 24/7
There are many career fields and day to day duties within the Air Force. I began my journey as an avionics technician. I cut trained into communications, hydraulics, electrical and general maintenance on multiple aircraft. My career expanded and grew to encompass supervision, shift supervisor, lead technician, expediter, production supervisor, superintendent, and first sergeant. Each new career path provided many opportunities to extend personal and professional growth. Along the way, I was served with many benefits to include medical coverage, vacation time, and education to name a few. Since there are many jobs in the Air Force, I cannot say that any one job is a typical 8-5 job. Some paths allow for more travel and others operate 24/7 on multiple shifts. I found promotion to be as political as any other institution. However, regardless of the institution, they each believe they have created the most fair system. I was given the opportunity to live in 8 locations while serving 24 years; three of them were overseas and they were outstanding. Co-workers very just like any other organization. You love some, like some, and some you just tolerate. I have noticed that each career field does embody it own personality. The Air Force is the least military of all of the branches. Yes, there are customs and courtesies such as saluting BUT, the average Airman wouldn't know what to do if confronted by a warrant officer. In my opinion, less mature members of the Air Force push regulation (instruction) guidelines to the limits more often then other branches (less discipline). – more... That is not to say that ALL Airmen are cut from the same cloth. There are some great leaders and outstanding professionals that have made fabulous strides to improve the Air Force, subordinates and working environment. I have had the great pleasure of working with members that were and are very selfless. Every fiber of their being drives them to better the unit, community and people. I cherish these heroes. Management is...different. Direct daily management is typical. However, as a government run body, one is directly impacted by the acts, or lack thereof, of the president and congress. The military is consistently under fire for cutbacks. What is rarely recognized by career politicians is that the slightest tweak in benefits is often a cut in pay. For example, the governing bodies today want to have the base commissaries to be profitable and be able to stand "on their own". What that translates to is higher prices or store closings. Ultimately this results in a pay cut for the military member. – less
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Great Place to work.
Transportation Security Officer (Former Employee), Andrews AFB, MDJanuary 17, 2014
Pros: freedom to make my own choices to get the job done. met many famous people.
Cons: no breaks, random call ins long hours with same pay....no overtime pay.
My typical day consisted of waking up at 5 am to report for duty at 6 am at the Transportation shop. I would pick a new assignment or if I was still working on one I would grab one of the many different keys from the key rack and take a vehicle and meet my workers at the gate near the work site. I would make sure all vehicles were inspected and had all the materials needed for the workers to complete their job so they can perform their jobs to the level of satisfaction that the Air Force expects. Also I would inspect all vehicles to see if it was safe to pass through the gate and into the secure area where the workers performed their tasks. Also I would coordinate with the Air Traffic control tower via with a hand held radio to see when and where my workers could do there job without getting in the way of incoming aircraft. The secure area was the Base Airfield. Also I coordinated the incoming cargo from various aircraft into the correct taxiways so that the supplies reached the correct building. I have provided security and private transportation personally for all V.I.P's coming to the base including President Barrack Hussein Obama, Michelle Obama, Condoleeza Rice, Hilary Clinton, Bill Clinton, etc etc....My work day was typically 10-12 hrs...which I had no problem with. I loved working out on the Air Field and contributing to the grand mission of the Air Force.This job taught me how to handle multiple problems at once while keeping a focused and clear mind. I also learned how to accept responsibilities with zero complaints. I welcome responsibility.Everyday had new problems – more... and I was constantly challenged to find the answers to them. This made my work very exciting and invigorating. I enjoyed nothing more than knowing I did important work to the best of my ability. I also briefed various Army, Air Force and Navy Commanders on important V.I.P's coming to the base and helped coordinate the transportation for the proper accommodations for the VIP's. Also I worked my way up to have my own desk and new responsibilities. I had to coordinate exactly when and where throughout the month where my construction crews can work while aircraft operations were occurring. I logged flight arrivals and departures keeping track of what kind of plane landed at Andrews AFB,what they were carrying, who was working on the aircraft what time they landed and logged when the aircraft left with what items at what time.I assigned airman to supervise certain limited areas of the Hangers and Airfield to make sure civilians did not wander into areas they were not allowed in and made sure my airman kept the civilians working and under control. – less
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Review of My Time in the Air Force
Base Equipment Control Office, (NCOIC) (Current Employee), Colorado Springs, CONovember 11, 2014
A typical day at work has varied greatly during my time in the Air Force, primarily due to the many positions that I've held over the past 5 1/2 years. During my time in the Tech Control Facility, I worked a "Panama Shift" of two days on, 3 days off, 3 days on, 2 days off (12 hour shifts), sometimes working days and sometimes working nights. During this time, I worked as a technician and a supervisor. A typical day consisted of ensuring daily cryptographic updates were done to keep circuits up and running as well as troubleshooting circuits that were down or degraded. Troubleshooting a circuit was by far the most enjoyable part of the job, as I would be able to put my skills to use in dissecting the problem. Management during this time was a challenge, but also enjoyable. The part I enjoyed most was working with the younger Airmen and helping them understand circuit flow and that adopting the quality of "persistence" will take them far in troubleshooting a circuit and in the Air Force career in general.

As a Circuit Actions technician, I worked on the "installation" part of a circuit's life instead of the "maintaining" part as in Tech Control. Installing circuits did not really seem like work at all. It was by far the most fun I've had during my Air Force career; from the people I worked with to the job itself, it was great. Fabricating all sorts of cables (RJ-45, fiber, Coax, etc.), creating circuit drawings (circuit layout records, CLRs), and creating reports of circuit up time were part of the daily/weekly duties.

As the Training Manger for the section, I assisted in training – more... the new Airmen, but primarily, I was in charge of updating/maintaining 3 training databases for 50+ service members.

During my time at the Base Equipment Control Office, I was a supervisor for the first 2 months or so, then transitioned to my current position as the NCOIC of the shop which is pretty much the manager. We are essentially a warehouse for the entire base for all information technology (IT) equipment, i.e. computers, printers, laptops and monitors. I have never been busier than I am now, but we are making a lot of progressive strides in quality and efficiency, which I am proud of. My co-workers now, and in times past, have all been great. Different personalities, likes, dislikes...all were (and are) inconsequential in our ability to get along, have a good working relationship and completing the mission.

My time in the Air Force taught me a lot about myself and other people. I believe it has helped bring the best out of myself. I realize that I really enjoy going to work where there is a real mission; I get to be a part of something much bigger than myself. Aiding in defense of this nation, even if I wasn't on the front lines, is something that I'll cherish forever and hope to continue to do in some capacity for the rest of my working career. – less
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40 years with USAF, joining active duty 1973, sperating 1981 for college, now Civil Service 36 years and plan to work as long as healthy.
Base Community Planner (Current Employee), Robins AFB, GAJune 17, 2013
Pros: health plan of 3 hours weekly and benefits. mostly 40 hour weeks with 30 days leave and holidays.
Cons: for installation security, after 9/11 happened, vehilce lines to get on and off the installation now backed up
As a Base Community Planner since 1987 one thing I enjoy most about my job is I am not tied to typical day at work. I on any given day with active duty, reserve and guard members of all branches of the military. I work with local city, county, state and federal employees of all different grades, rank, position status, city coucil members, Congressional members and their staff, Governors Staff, citizens and forgein nationals. I am not restricted by far to my desk as planning military installations one has to go out much of the day to make site visits or travel to assist other installations in a new mission beddown. Help developing the region, not just the installation as all use some natural and cultural, besides man made resourses such as infrastructure, water, engery and most everything in any area. Militay installations have most any and everything a city has. Besides the military operations, their are major recreational parks for all sports and gymnasium, shopping and community areas, entertainment of most every type, gas station, fast food and the list goes on. Management are experience in the engineering, archeteture and planning career fields. As good management they assign tasks, let workers do their work and assist as required. Also as good managers they assist workers as needed when other managers or leadership becomes needlessly involved in a workers job. Co-workers are put in a good hard days work. We all get alone and many have long term working relationships. New hires are welcomed into the group and all help to train them. Having good working relationships and – more... wingman makes the group very cohesive and work days much more enjoyable. Government seems inscesdent on much needless paper work. Often must do papers or documents to justify other papers and documents. Most often consider this type work to be 'Busy Work'. All the people on the installation I work with in one way or one time or another. If I get tired being at my desk I can go outside and look over an area that is being planned for a project. I am allowed to determine my own priorities and daily work schedule. I attend professional conferences and other duties that allow some travel to new and different places. – less
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The workplace was extremely productive and the break room did actually have a ping pong table
PMEL Journeyman (Former Employee), Luke AFB, AZAugust 13, 2014
Pros: great benefits, breaks, base access to gyms and cafeteria, free housing, great management, and a great work environment
Cons: cluttered with politics and useless time wasting when it came to wing management visiting.
Typical day: Arrive at work at 7, get the morning briefing and review the current state of the lab to delegate that days task to the airmen and nco's. Get into the lab around 7:15 and begin calibrating or continue a calibration from the previous day. At 11 we got an hour lunch break. continue to calibrate until 3:30 (1530) at which point go to PT and exercise.

What I learned: The military taught me how to be a professional in everything I do and hold myself to a higher standard, not to cut any corners and that quality will be around much longer than I am. I became very well trained in the calibration and dealings of electronic equipment, understanding components and how they interact with eachother, the laws and principles of electronics as well.

Management was always on point, the flight chief and technical manager were always very well aware of what was going on in the lab and how everything was running with the airmen and supervisors and were quick to efficiently handle any situations as they came alone all while keeping the morale high.

Co-workers were amazing, kept the environment relaxed yet productive. Keeping a professional relationship with eachother in the work place and being good friends when we're at home.

The hardest part of the job was dealing with all of the politics of being in the military, the dog and pony show that started whenever the squadron commander was stopping in for a tour, to brief us, or to give an airmen a new decoration or announce an achievement. All work and production would come to a halt so we could clean the lab from top to bottom to – more... get it ready for one person to be there for 5 minutes than leave.

The most enjoyable part of the job was the morale of the flight, every once in a while, usually once a month, everyone would get together for some paintball, or a hike, or we'd have a barbecue on our lunch break. It was like a family and everyone looked out and took care of eachother, there was never a problem I had that I couldn't take to a supervisor or another airmen and they'd give me all the help I could ever need on getting that problem solved whether it was with work or my personal life. – less
Claimed Profile
Headquarters Air Force Recruiting Service
Joint Base San Antonio, Randolph AFB, TX
U.S. Air Force website