Overall Reviews at U.S. Air Force
Physical Therapy Aide | Mississippi | Sep 2, 2018
PMEL and the Air Force
Overall working at PMEL was an adventure. No matter how your agenda was set up most of what went on aside from regular calibrations was very spontaneous. I would start my day checking my email and calendar. Then I'd go straight into calibrations. That aside there were times I'd spend training on different core tasks. Contacting customers to discuss equipment status. Hardest part about the job was encountering a stand still during calibration. Stand still meaning there is an obvious problem with the item being calibrated and all possible solutions have been assessed. At which point the customer would be contacted and advised on the status of the item at hand. If a solution could not be reached the issue was elevated up the chain of command to section leadership level. Management was great. Once the situation was elevated to their level they would work diligently to get an answer. If nothing could be figured out the item was condemned and removed from the system or returned un-calibrated until a solution was reached. This was the most challenging because sometimes the resolution would drag out for a couple days up to weeks sometimes. It required utmost patience and understanding of what was actually going on. Over the course of the 4 years in this field I learned how to effectively communicate and relay messages to customers when ever it was needed. Also became certified in a field I never thought I'd become proficient in. Learned about the ins and outs of each item in my sect...more
Public Health Nurse | Dover, DE | Mar 11, 2019
Productive and Mission driven environment
My job has been to coordinate all the United States Department of Defense (DoD) support that is needed or used to help these Partner Nations in order to focus and provide a unity of effort. The DoD support comes from our United States European Command (EUCOM) Components, to include USAREUR, USAFE, NAVEUR, and MARFOREUR as well as force providers from the National Guard and State Partnership Program and other US DoD medical commands in the US such as our amputee and burn Centers of Excellence.
I have worked on issues that are important to our Partner Nations such as care for Wounded Warriors in Georgia, Ukraine and Estonia, battlefield medical care in Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia, combating transnational threats such as HIV and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Serbia, and Estonia and finally, building medical disaster response and peacekeeping operations capabilities with a multinational, deployable field hospital in Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Serbia, and Slovenia.
All the above activities are encompassed under a term that our Department of Defense uses to describe these activities called Global Health Engagement. It is a tool that fits under our DoD Security Cooperation portfolio – the goal is to enable Partner Nations become more capable and interoperable. What is understood by many is that medical is an especially useful tool since it is always used for good purposes and thus, benefits not just the military ...more
Instructor | United States | Nov 4, 2019
You're in the Military, not the private sector.
I spent roughly 11 years active duty Air Force, finishing out my second enlistment as an E6, Technical Sergeant. The United States Military is a commitment, and a chosen life-style--it is not a "job" and it is absolutely not the private sector.
Your entire career in the Air Force is exactly what you make of it, for as long as you decide to do it. Many enlistees join with the false idea that the military will be an extension of themselves. These people quickly realize this is not the way it works. You either assimilate, or you fail and spend years beating yourself over the head for ever joining.
Your commitment is to take on the responsibility of national defense. Your duty is to die if need be. Your "job" is whatever AFSC you choose, or the Air Force chooses for you. Don't confuse your selfish ambition with your commitment and duty.
There is a party-line in the ranks about "toxic leadership". That "leadership" doesn't care about their people. This idea spreads like a virus among those who never developed the necessary skills to survive in an environment like the military...and instead rely on everyone around them to take care of them. I cared about my subordinates, I devoted countless hours behind the scenes to do things these young enlistees never knew I was doing for them...it almost cost me my marriage. I know for a fact their opinion of me was still that I "didn't care enough".
I left the military a few months after I received my first student who wasn't ev...more
Officer | Remote | Sep 14, 2019
Not for Everyone
AIr Force has a ton of different jobs to suit just about everyone. If you like flying, you can't beat the Air Force. Leadership for the most part takes care of its people. It is a big bureaucracy so some things fall through the cracks and if you get into trouble, ie DUI, you'll probably be sent packing. Travel is quite frequent to include deployments in the middle east. There are many temporary duty assignments worldwide to include European locations which makes the Air Force a dream job. Air Force is an exclusive club, and its getting tougher to join. Once you're in, they take care of you and your family. There are times where you feel isolated especially if you deploy and the family is left to fend for itself. But, there are many support groups to assist any hardships. Depending on what track you choose (officer vs. enlisted) you tend to move around frequently. If you're an Officer, expect to move every 2-3 years to a new assignment. Kids get affected big time with the moves. Friends come and go, but good friends keep in touch and visit from time to time. THere are three different commission tracks, Officer Training SChool in AL, ROTC at any 4 year University and the Air Force Academy in CO Spgs. You'll start out as a 2nd Lieutenant and work your way up. It takes 4 years to become a Captain and about 10-11 years for Major. At your 16 year point, Lt Colonel comes around and then at the 21 year mark, Colonel. Very few officers make the rank of General. You can retire with 20 ...more
Administrative Specialist | Mather, CA | Jul 25, 2018
Air Force Life
Three years as Admin Specialist, two years Computer Maintenance of Secure Communications Network. Worked for Avionics Maintenance Squadron for first three years of my enlistment. I was responsible for all administrative work for six maintenance branches.
I also was a member of Base Advisory Board, Base Sports Council and Unit Advisory Councils and conducted facility tours for local high schools. Next two years, responsible for secure communications system. I worked for a Chief Master Sergeant when I was in admin. He had been in for 30 years. He let me do my work. I would go on mail runs around the base, take care of filing systems and prepare for major command inspections. Eventually had two Airmen working under me. Worked regular 40 hour week and worked 12 hours shifts when we had major command inspections. Hardest part of my job was when we both had to deal with Capt Manda. He had a difficult personality to deal with. The Chief pretty much ignored the attitude and spoke up when he disagreed with the officer. He was pretty cool. For the job in Computer Maintenance I went to a six month electronics training school. We learned how to troubleshoot the equipment. It was difficult training but I got through it. When I finally got to my next station at Mather, there was a group of us there to take care of the equipment which hardly ever broke down. It would get pretty boring sometimes. Met some great people during my training and enlistment. The military is not fo...more
ProsTravel, extra pay for meals/housing if you live off base, living in a co-ed dorm, meeting people from different walks of life, cheap food on base (chow hall), health benefits
ConsOccasional 12 hours shifts, location of enlistment/training, dealing with difficult personalities
Manager | Hurlburt Field, FL | Jan 16, 2020
My air force experience
I guess indeed wants me to do this review of my time in the U.S. Air Force so here you go. You go through H*** during your first few weeks of Basic Military Training (BMT). After you graduate you go on to tech school where you learn your AFSC; and tech school is kinda like BMT only you don't have someone screaming in your face every 5 seconds and you can actually take a s**t and eat somewhat peacfully. After tech school you then see how the real Air Force is when you arrive at your first duty station. You'll find that its just like the civilian world; with the only exception being respect and discipline play a HUGE part of your career. You can't stay in the military for more than 4-6yrs without forceably being promoted and if you don't study and pass your tests well...(either you rank up or they show you the gate). I enjoy the benefits and you make way more than you would as a civilian doing the same job. The only down side is a Chief that has 20 years in gets paid the same as a 4yr college grad butter bar out of OTS. Deploying is what I looked foward to while I was in and its what the military is all about. If you are joining only to get "a college education" DO NOT JOIN!! For the sake of your country, only join if you have a patriotic sense of duty; if you don't then you won't last. Also, DO NOT join the reserves or guard; why you ask?...becuase you don't get the same benefits as those on active duty (and they are substantial). If you want to go to college you c...more
Analyst | Fort Meade, MD | Mar 13, 2019
Great culture, great people, terrible priorities.
The Air Force was an amazing experience. I traveled the world, learned a new language, and met some of my closest friends. I reviewed poorly in two areas: Job Work/Life Balance, and Management. This is because of my experience with how the Air Force values those strongly dedicated to the mission. I spent two years performing a job at least two pay grades higher than my own. The problem was that I didn't volunteer and I didn't seek education opportunities. Because they did the latter, management promoted individuals that performed at a sub-par level and justified it by saying they were more well rounded. One of two major reasons I decided to leave because the mission, the job I signed on to do, was less important to management than participating in volunteer opportunities that promoted the Air Force's cause. That being said, this was changing. Policy coming all the way from the top was trying to fix this culture. The other reason I decided to leave was because the nature of my job required me to move almost annually. While not a bad thing for some people, I do prefer to stay in one location primarily.
To focus more on the positives, the Air Force helped me focus my life as a young adult. I have never been part of a culture more open or understanding of people from all walks of life. Not to mention a culture that treated you more like family than co-workers. The benefits are endless: free college (post-service), free medical, free dental, tuition assistance(during service), ...more
Fleet Manager | Anchorage, AK | Jul 17, 2018
Overall Air Force Experience
I developed quickly as a leader and mentor thanks to the amazing mentorship I was given from our management. Our workplace culture was fun, yet strict. My boss and I made sure to create an environment where work comes first, but we know we're all human. Of course, we were no strangers to laughter between ourselves, our bosses, and those we supervised. We were tough on our young staff members because we wanted to make the best of them and really make them strive for greatness by pushing their limits both on and off the job. The hardest part of the job was communication from the top, down to our level. Having to work late and long hours due to last minute requests for large projects could be stressful but in the end, we always understood that the mission comes first. As leaders, we did our best to exemplify the Air Force Core Values of "Integrity First, Service Before Self, and Excellence in All We Do. The most enjoyable part of the job for me wasn't so much the actual job itself. One being the customer service being provided at a quality level; doing our best to ensure all of our personnel had what they needed to complete their objectives. Last but not least, the most treasuring aspect of my Air Force career was providing mentorship and leadership to the young airmen around me. Passing down the techniques and skills to carry them through their careers. Watching them grow professionally and personally by challenging them everyday to do their very best. All in all, t...more
ProsBenefits, travel, job security
ConsDeployments (I enjoyed them), redundant training, cannot choose your location of work (majority of the time)
Disgruntled Employee | United States | Jan 14, 2019
What Recruiters DON'T Tell You
The version of the USAF sold by recruiting agencies is a massive distance from reality. The talk about family, camaraderie, etc is true, HOWEVER, that is becoming more the exception than the rule. The AF has become a corporation masquerading as a military service, complete with micromanaging bosses that earn their promotions off your back, and only reward employees who will check the diversity box or have a well-used set of kneepads.
The major difference between the AF and an actual corporation is that they can make you work as long as they want to, and that the absence of a job description means that you can be assigned enough additional duties and programs (that don't in ANY way relate to one's job) to keep 4 people gainfully employed. And even one mistake or overlooked detail is rewarded with more work or a paper trail that can ultimately cost someone a promotion several years down the road.
If I had to go back in time to change anything, it would be to punch myself in the head and forget about enlisting. If I wanted to spend 50+ hours a week trading emails about forms and documents with other people, I could have done that at a real corporation and make more money doing it. And I probably wouldn't have crippling back injuries, tremors in my arm or enough medications to tranquilize a bear.
TL;DR: This isn't the military your parents & grandparents served in, and unless you join a special ops unit or a career field that deals directly in aircraft, you won't find ...more
ProsBenefits are fantastic, it's nearly impossible to get fired
ConsChoosing assignments is a matter of luck, deployments, zero room to switch jobs or sections unless you know someone with power
Aircraft Maintenance Technician | United States | Jun 3, 2018
Basic training be prepared it's nothing you have ever experienced, expect a lot of yelling and in your face actions, physical traing is intense.
Technical schools depending on you Air Force Specialty Code (job)
will be demanding, tons of study material little time for social activities. Upon graduation you will receive orders to the first base you will be assigned to and these could be in the US or any of a number of overseas bases.
Travel, depending on the career you have chosen ie. Flightline you can expect to travel a lot on what are called TDYs, these are temporary duties that may be at other bases through out the US or could be in a foreign countries.
Advancement, the first 4 ranks are based on years active duty and if you keep your self out of trouble and study your courses, once you reach NCO (Non Commissioned Officer) you well be tested each year on two test one will be based on your career and the other your professional military education, depending on the grade curve and your time in service you are advanced to the next highest rank.
Typical day at work, I was an Aircraft Maintenance Technician, typical day for me reporting for duty as scheduled to ready my aircraft (fighters) for the days flying schedule and to make sure it was ready when the pilot(s) arrived, completing all assigned duties to include repairing various systems(hydraulic, engines, flight controls, landing gear, fuel systems), assisting other maintenance personnel, reporting aircraft st...more
ProsTravel, great benefits, excellent health and dental care, job security
ConsLong hours, combat, away from family if married, low pay