Everything you need to know before signing up for the Air Force
Signing up for the Air Force can be an exciting and fulfilling first step to a satisfying career path. However, joining the Air Force is not a decision to be taken lightly – well, at least, it shouldn’t be. The Air Force can be a very rewarding growth experience. As an active-duty Air Force member, you will get to learn valuable and marketable experience, knowledge, and skills. But that’s only if you prepare yourself before joining. So, before you go out shopping for a Nomex flight suit, it helps to know about the requirements, benefits, drawbacks, demands, and experience that go along with service. Here is everything any prospective recruit should consider before signing up for the Air Force.
Not everyone can join
The first thing you need to figure out is whether you are eligible to join the Air Force. The U.S. Air Force’s website has an extensive list of qualifications that candidates must meet. For one, you need to be at least 17 (18 for GED holders) and not older than 39 years of age to enlist. Prospective recruits must also have a clean record, be of good physical health, and have mental discipline. You will also need to keep the drug use to a minimum to avoid disqualification. On applying, you will need to take the ASVAB and AFOQT tests and attain the minimum scores.
Before you join the Air Force, you need to know whether it will be a good fit for you. That is, will enlisting benefit you? Generally, there are a lot of benefits to joining the military. You will have the chance to learn new skills and develop discipline. You will receive steady pay, a package of benefits, including a world-class insurance plan, and a generous retirement plan. If you choose to live in on-base housing, the Air Force will cover your living expenses, including maintenance and utilities. Educational opportunities, vacation with pay, and travel are some of the other benefits you can enjoy in the Air Force.
You need to pass basic training
Like other branches of the military, recruits need to undergo basic training before they are deployed. The goal of basic training is to prepare recruits for all elements of service: physical, mental, and emotional. It usually lasts eight weeks and takes place in San Antonio, Texas. You will spend the first week in basic orientation and the rest of the time gaining the tools necessary to perform the roles that will be assigned to you. Graduation takes place in the final week.
You will not have as much control of your life
Once you join the Air Force, you will most certainly lose some level of autonomy. You need to strictly adhere to the orders you receive, accept your place in a chain of command, and follow all the rules and protocols. Everyday decisions, such as where you work, what you eat, and more, will not be just up to you.
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