Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Place Your Bets Now!

I’ve been out of town for a bit, so I haven’t quite figured out what I am going to do with my Army situation. So yesterday my friend Natalie and I went to see the Air Force recruiter. This is the second time I’ve talked to this recruiter…the first time I saw him was about 3 months ago. I don’t particular care for him. He acted a little too care free for me…like he was untouchable…and I had to almost beg to get into the Air Force. Before we even made it into the office, we passed a Marine recruiter. Natalie commented on how “crazy” the Marines are…I told her to join. I stood in front of the office before I knocked on the door…the lovely Air Force recruiter was chatting on the phone and had the TV on. I told Natalie I didn’t want to go in and that I didn‘t want to join, so we stood there for a few minutes. Fuck it, we finally went in. He told his “buddy”, two young ladies just walked in and he had to go. This time I was prepared….I whipped out a list of questions that I wrote on a piece of scrap paper from work. I told him I had a lot of questions…he chuckled a little and said that if he didn’t have the answers, he’d just make them up. Natalie thought this was funny. However, at this point I wanted to reach across his desk and grab him by his throat and tell him, this is my fucking life we are talking about here…another three years…I’m a little tired of bullshit and making things up wasn’t going to cut it. Instead I smirked and said, “I bet you will”. Anyways, the questions ranged from how long my enlistment would have to be, specific MOS questions, bonuses, what I had to do on my end to get into the Air Force, etc. We talked about my scores on the ASVAB…lets just say with those scores, you probably won’t see me strolling the campus of an Ivy League school. I didn’t score high enough for the job I wanted, which I knew. So I asked about retesting…he advised me not to retest because if I fail I won’t be allowed to join at all. I took that test when I was 17, I’m pretty positive I wouldn’t fail this time around…I’ve been studying and have two years of college under my belt (and my GPA is over 3.0)…still he said it wasn’t a good idea. So with this, he printed out a list of jobs I could do…pretty much everything except the one I wanted, Public Affairs. He also told me the Public Affairs position is “Code B”, like I know what the fuck “Code B” means to the Air Force…so I asked him to explain. Apparently, it means its usually for active duty prior service and therefore I probably wouldn’t be able to get this job…but I could be interviewed for it…then some Major decides if they want to take me or not. So recruiter of the year already made up his mind that that MOS wouldn’t work for me, so he told me I could join and pick another MOS and after two years I could switch my job to the one I initially wanted. This seemed a little pointless to me…I don’t want to waste anymore time doing some job I didn’t care for. I entertained him and looked through the list…logistics, personal, supply, command something, this and that, security or police. Police…I’m going to be honest, part of me wants to become a cop…well an undercover detective, dress in all black and take people out. But I realized this would be a far cry from what I would actually be doing in the Air Force. I stared a few and told him I’d look into them but I wanted Public Affairs. Then we talked about bonuses…I guess President Bush just signed a bill yesterday that determined all bonuses. Who knew? The Army offers $7,000 if you sign up for three years and $15,000 for six…but I guess the Air Force doesn’t and he wouldn’t know bonuses for a few more days. Okay, so…half an hour into this…I wanted to choke him, I was told I couldn’t have the job I wanted, retesting wasn’t a smart choice, no bonus, and he thinks my enlist would only have to be three years (he later checked online and found out that was correct) basically, I came away with nothing. However, I realized trying to avoid Iraq again was fucking hard. I asked him if he’d take my number and call me when he found out bonus info…he said, yeah I guess…trying to be funny and cool…and threw me a post-it. Thanks. As I was writing my number down, Natalie and Air Force jackass chatted about other people trying to join. He pointed to a stack of envelopes and told her all these people were trying to “Aim High“ but failed the test, had criminal backgrounds, etc…and he doesn’t even need to put anymore people in this month…his numbers are good. Maybe that’s why he wasn’t dry humping my leg when I walked through the door…I’m pretty sure if I walked into the Army recruiting office they would’ve bent over backwards to satisfy me…not this guy…he already got off…I was just a pain in the ass. I asked all my questions and again told him to give me a call when he got more info, he said he would. I haven’t heard from him…probably won’t. Natalie and I left and went shopping…I bought nothing and was stressed the rest of the day. Natalie thought he was nice and funny…poor Natalie, so innocent and naive…I wish I was still that way.

So now tomorrow I am going to call my unit and tell them to put me in the IRR. I’m not ready to reenlist in the Army and I don’t think the Air Force needs me. And another thing that makes me upset is that I now have no college benefits….six years! A veteran! And no benefits. I plan on getting my bachelors degree in Sociology with a minor in Journalism…and I was really looking forward to using my other benefits besides my GI Bill. Well hello school loans! Anyways, lets start betting…by the way, I only bet dollars…so…

Who thinks…

1) In two weeks the harassing phone calls start and I’m told I have to join the Reserves again…and there I am for another two years.

2) I go into the IRR and in about two months I get a call telling me to pack my bags…its Iraq time again!

I’m putting my dollar on number one.


Blogger GRUNTSHIT said...

You should look into Active Army see if they give you what you want, get the student loan repayment going for you then Apply for Active Green to Gold through the college ROTC program of your choice if you are excepted the Army pays you as an e-5 and all you do is go to school for 2 years earn your bachelors and get your commission, the catch you do 6 years as an officer. One prereq is that you already have to have 60 credits and be able to graduate within 2 years, that or see what the other branchs offer.
good luck

2/02/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Earl said...

Recruiters are only used car salesmen, and when they make their quota nothing else shakes them. Yours didn't do too bad, but I would go Active Army only if they gave you exactly what you wanted to serve as, because they want your intent and then to get you to sign the contract away so they can do with you what they want, warm bodies.

2/03/2008 08:16:00 PM  
Blogger DragonLady said...

Reading your blog gave me flashbacks to my conversation with the AF Recruiter in 1978. I had National Guard background and a little rank. He offered (with a yawn-think it was the same autobot?) recycle thru boot camp, no schools (I had a critical AFCS (MOS), roll back to E2, and a big "sign here for 3 years!" (That 3 year thing? Was really 6 years-check that fine print.)
I said "Lemme talk to these folks next door." Navy recruiter offered "No boot camp, 2 weeks of indoc instead. Retake ASVAB if you want and we'd like you to. Score high enough for electronics and for 6 years (and they meant 6 and did not mislead me on it)you'll get: 12 month A school, guaranteed C school, Guaranteed E4 upon grad from A school, challenging work, and maybe a chance of London.
Fast forward 20 years, I retired a Senior Chief (E8), from a job I loved, having lived in London twice and some other great places in between. With 2 (Navy funded)degrees, one a BS in Sociology, and headed to grad school, which the VA paid for.
I am so glad I took two steps outside my comfort zone, instead of the one I thought I was taking when I talked to the Wingnuts.
Good luck. And talk to recruiters at the Beginning of their Quota period, not at the end.

2/06/2008 10:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Gator142 said...

Take the ASVAB again. You are older, wiser, and more educated. Have you thought about the Navy? The Airforce does have the bext food and facilities, but you make rank faster in the Navy. You don't have to go in front of a board, or meet your units requirements to get promoted. You take a test against everyone in your same rate (MOS) in the Navy and if you score higher than the median you get promoted no matter how many others in your unit get promoted. You are much less likely to be directly in harms way unless you are a Medic.

3/19/2008 04:26:00 PM  

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