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SoldierGround >> AF rsrve/air nat'l gaurd

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2/19/08 12:31 AM
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minotorro
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
Member Since: 06/29/2004
Posts: 227
 
So I'm kind of looking for people's opinions - tentatively looking at joining either the AF reserve or Air National guard (currently living in Washington State). I'm finishing up my masters (will be done in June of this year) and at that time will be a Nurse Practitioner, with experience as an emergency room RN. I will be 29 at the time of graduation, and have no prior service. my questions include: How are the benefits/tuition repayment options for these branches? How about actual time commitment (is it really just 1 weekend a month/2weeks a year)? How long does the typical commission last? I'm assuming I could go in as an officer - what should I expect in terms of rank? Does anyone know if there is even a place for NPs in the the military (I know they use PAs)? I have a strong interest in flight medicine and surgery assisting - anyone know about opportunities like this existing? I really have no idea about any of this, but I do have a pretty strong desire to serve my country, and additionally get some of my extensive school debt re payed. Sorry for all the questions at once; I plan on talking to a recruiter this week, but kind of wanted to get opinions from people who may have served (in any capacity)
2/19/08 12:35 AM
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minotorro
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
Member Since: 06/29/2004
Posts: 228
Oh yeah, and does anyone have an opinion on reserve vs national guard? - Thanks for any help!
2/20/08 10:19 PM
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MAJLeavitt
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Edited: 20-Feb-08
Member Since: 05/09/2005
Posts: 110
I used to be a medic in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and the Air Guard. NP aer typically in high demand, and with bonuses etc. There is usually a Nurse/Doc Recruiter that covers down on the state/region. The Reserve/Guard recruiters should be able to get you to these "special" recruiters. "Normal" recruiters are what you want as they cannot talk about the Medical Professionals and the MS Corp. For a NP board certified you are looking at bonuses plus constructive credit for service which means you will come in as a CPT possibly. I spent 8 years flying Air Evac with the ANG and USAFR. Both were great assignments. If you are interested in that it is a blast and you get to do some great training and go to some cool places. I believe McChord AFB has a USAFR Air Evacuation Squadron there. Not sure if the ANG has this type of unit in the state. USAFR or ANG doesn't matter, both are similar I think, it depends on location of the unit you are looking for, and bonuses, tuition reimbursement etc that will typically drive what you go into.
2/22/08 12:38 AM
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minotorro
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Edited: 22-Feb-08
Member Since: 06/29/2004
Posts: 229
Hey man, thanks for the response (and your service), its much appreciated. I talked to a "normal" recruiter today, and like you said, he passed me on to a healthcare recruiter - going to talk to them tomorrow. Just out of curiosity - what kind of missions did you do in the air evac? just looking at the recruiting website, it sounds pretty damn cool, exactly like what I want to do. One additional general question I have is - how much can I trust recruiters? Are they all used car salesmen, or do they try to make it really work for you? I suppose there's some degree of personal variability, but is there a general rule - did you (or anybody on here) get their contract looked at by a lawyer before signing? They seemed to think that they only had RN positions available - but that wouldn't really matter to me if they had a good position (air evac), and the rank was there(pay is dependent solely on rank, rather than job title - correct?). I have several civilian NP jobs lined up already. My biggest worries center around deployment - can they deploy me before school is over? That is my one big fear, as that would severely fuck up my life plans! I finish classes in June, and take boards in September - is there anyway to prevent deployment until then, or should I just wait to sign up? Sorry about the long post - any response would be appreciated! Thanks!
2/23/08 11:27 AM
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MAJLeavitt
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Edited: 23-Feb-08
Member Since: 05/09/2005
Posts: 111
super! Air evac. Now I have been out of the system for about 12 years. Typcially two types Tactical and Strategic air evac in the AF. Tactical is C130s, Strategic is C17s this days. Tactical deals with Combat AORs and short lifts and Strategic is typically across the big ponds from europe or the pacific. Missions are usually patient transport from one echelon of care to anohter, or to speciality clincs and larger medical centers. On C17s you spend time going, for example from Ramstein to Dover, Andrews, or down to San Antonio. The Active Duty Military has routine Air Evac as well in which they make the shorter runs around the U.S. and the Various theaters. Some times you get special missions for critical care, but mostly not, patients are stable before getting into the Air Evac System. I am not sure about the positions they have these days. Back in the day, seemed like NPs were in demand, probably more so on Active Duty. I still think they end up giving you constructive credit for rank etc. I'd do the Air Evac route. You get to be a NP during the week and in the civilian job, might as well do something fun. If you are an RN and are in the unit, you probably can be deployed. WIll they? Who knows. it seemed to me back n the day during desert storm we had more than enough volunteers and demand was not that high so you could kinda opt out and do the weekend thing. Not sure how it is today. Get with the H.S. recruiter. Go visit a unit that you are interested in over a drill weekend and ask the other RNs these questions, you will get honest answers. You may want to wait until you are done. Even if you sign up today, you are looking probably at a while to get commissioned, and a date to attend the couple of weeks of Medical Officer Indoctrination Course...I can't remember what they call it, it is a shake and bake course for Medical Professionals to teach you how to salute, wear the uniform and understand the military culture and rules. Recruiters typically don't lie, IMO. People only hear what they want to hear....or they don't ask the right questions. Remember, recruiters and guys like me are in the military because we like it! So it will be highly put in a positive light!
3/2/08 10:06 AM
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Dark Knight
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Edited: 02-Mar-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 7660
The National Guard has more money for education. I dont know what the payment for past, but when it comes time for future education, the Guard will have more money.
3/17/08 1:15 AM
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StephenL
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Edited: 17-Mar-08
Member Since: 04/01/2002
Posts: 17929
as you'll be going in as an officer, you'll be dealing with a different type of recruiter. you should also check out the reserve and guard bases in your area and talk to the people who are working your job. they'll steer you to the right people. stephen

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