Friday, February 8, 2008

The United States Air Force

So, for anyone who hasn't yet heard, I have officially joined the United States Air Force. I am truly excited about going in, I can't wait.

I'm not sure exactly when I'm leaving yet; I'm expecting to know by the end of the month.

My first look into the Air Force was back about mid terms, when my life was pretty much falling apart. Those of you know know me, know what I'm talking about. I needed to figure out what the hell I was going to do. As it turns out, I didn't decide to join right then and there. I did my best to finish the semester at New Paltz, and decided that I would concentrate on figuring out my future after I got through finals.

Well, finals came and went. At that point, I had figured out that what I really wanted to do in life was become a New York State Trooper. I did a lot of research on the job and spoke to many people who are Troopers, and police officers at various departments. As I've blogged about, I took the test and am very confident about what score I'll receive. However, I won't even find out about my score until 9-10 weeks after the last test date, which is sometime in the first half of February; in fact, it may have already come to pass. Even if I did scored #1 on the test, I wouldn't be going into the Trooper's Academy until September: I needed a plan for the interim.

I starting looking all over the place for jobs, and it seems as though the one I wanted is coming through. I will soon hopefully be working for the Troopers as a "Communications Specialist" (dispatcher). I'm really looking forward to this job, as short lived as it may prove to be for me.

Anyway, it didn't look like the dispatching job was going to work for me, so I kept on searching for work. Eventually, I saw an ad for a police officer placed by the Army National Guard. I looked into it, but that only sparked my interest in full time, Active Duty with the military. I poked around and spoke with many people, and after only a day or two of getting more and more excited about it, I called back the Air Force recruiter that I had spoken to 3 or 4 months earlier.

About a week went by and I was underway. Maybe two weeks after I first called him, I made my way up to Albany for the ASVAB and the physical exam. I scored a 95 out of a possible 99 on the ASVAB, which seemed to really impress everyone I spoke to about it. The most common scores were in the 50-60's, with only two people having scored 85 which turned out to be the closest anyone came to me. The Air Force guys told me that I could have any job I wanted.

That was until I couldn't make my ears pop. That has to do with being able to equalize the pressure in your ears and sinuses for missions in the air. That cut out a few jobs for me, but I scored abnormally high on the tests for depth perception and vision (20/20 in my left, 20/17 in my right). Everything else was fine too...I was pretty nervous about the hearing, but I passed.

Anyway, I was told to pick five jobs that I would want to do, and the Air Force would pick one of those jobs that they need me for the most. Because of my ASVAB score, the career counselor told me about jobs that were intelligence related. The one that I ultimately want to do would have me looking at maps, pictures, and intel from various sorces and interpret it, then advise my superiors. The counselor told me that this job would open up doors to many jobs in the civilian world, or with other parts of the government, such as the FBI.

Other jobs I listed include working on the avionics for the Raptors and other planes, being a computer geek, and a handful of others that I only half way remember. The truth is, I want the intel job, and if I don't get it, I have a back up plan.

The Tactical Air Control Party Members are the elite of the Air Force. They are the special forces for this branch of our military. They have the ability to deliver far more damage to the enemy than any other special forces units in the military. Basically, I'd be acompanying special forces from other branches of the military, such as the Army Rangers and Navy Seals, and I'd be the one that calls in any necessary air power. Yup, I'm the one with the radio who gets to make the phone call when he needs something destroyed. You may have heard mobsters in movies brag about how they can have someone dead with a phonecall? Well, I'll be making the call on a $10,000,000 phone, and it won't be a hitman coming after you.

The TACP's job is a very physically and mentally demanding job, and my score on the ASVAB qualifies me for it. Now all I have to do is pass the physical exam, and the job is mine, aparently reguardless of what job the Air Force would have previously chosen me for. That being said, my plan is to wait and see if they've picked the intel job for me. If that's not the one they pick, I'm going to take the physical exam for the TACP, and that'll be what I do. Like I said, I want the intel job, but I'm not going to be too upset if it turns out that I have to go the TACP route.

So, that's what I've been up to for the last few weeks. Be sure to check back here, I'll be giving updates on everything that's going on with this, and everything else in my life. Be safe out there...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

TACP is not the SOF of the USAF. USAF's SOF consist of PJs, CCTs, and SOWs. Regardless of their lack of SOF status, TACP is still a great job with great people. TACPs are conventional forces that roll with the conventional Army. Granted, there are TACPs attached to PJs, CCTs, Army SF, Army Rangers, and Navy SEALs, but these TACPs are highly trained, experienced, and at the top 10% of entire career field.