Joining the Air Force: Getting Started

12 Oct

Good morning!

I do want to start making videos again, but until I have the right environment (aka an apartment), I’ll be writing about my Air Force journey here.

YT Screenshot

There was a time I sort of consistently made videos.

If you’re finding this because you’re looking for some information on joining the Air Force, here’s a quick intro: I’m a 26-year old woman, I have a bachelor’s degree in film studies, and I have joined the Air Force, shipping out for BMT (Basic Military Training) on December 17th. I AM SO EXCITED.

BMT Countdown

There are no military members in my family, and therefore, I currently have no family support. I only say that in the event that someone else is in the same situation, and they don’t feel singled out because of it. It’s okay to do what YOU want and not necessarily what your family wants.

A lot of people have been wondering why I decided to join the military. For… just about everyone I know, this was a total surprise. My interest in joining the military was never something I told anyone, mostly because I never gave it any serious consideration. Back when we were 15, a friend of mine was dating a Marine. That was the first I really heard of the military other than in history classes. Fast forward like, 9 years to talking to my boyfriend’s cousins who are in the Army. That was pretty much it.

DEP group C-17

My recruiter and some of the other people in her DEP (Delayed Entry Program, aka those who have officially joined the Air Force and await shipping out) on a trip to tour a C-17. It was awesome.

At first, I completely intended on joining the Army, but I decided to look into the Navy and the Air Force before making any commitments. I don’t love boats or chopping my hair off, so the Navy was out.

I discovered that the Air Force has the best benefits, the shortest deployments (max 6 months), the nicest bases, and all around it was just the best choice for me. The Air Force website is so comprehensive and user-friendly. There are plenty of YouTube videos and blogs from people (I especially watched/read from women) to fuel my excitement. I had already made my decision to join before I saw my recruiter.

Serving my country comes with so many bonuses: Healthcare, free housing, monthly allowances, steady pay with job security, potential to travel the world, meet new people, see new things… what more could you ask for? I’m all about the adventure.

AF.com screenshot

The Air Force website offers online chatting with a recruiter, but really, it doesn’t compare to going into a recruitment office and talking to someone face-to-face. You can explain your situation and ask questions and ask more questions after that.

Once you’ve made the decision to join the Air Force and you’ve filled out preliminary paperwork, you have to take the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery). This is similar to the SATs. It’s a long exam, mostly done on the computer. This is an important test for the Air Force because they have high standards for educated Airmen. For having not been in school for three years, I did really well! I made the highest aptitude, but on the lower side. I highly recommend The Princeton Review’s study guide, Cracking the ASVAB.

ASVAB book

Once you’ve met the required score on the ASVAB (which varies depending on which branch of military you’re trying to join), you can go through MEPS (Military Entrance Processing Station). I’ll go through that 8- to 9-hour day of fun (not really) next!

Base Pic

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4 Responses to “Joining the Air Force: Getting Started”

  1. Eoin (@scardis) October 15, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Joining any military organization brings big risks to life and limb, especially if called out to conflict zones. How do your family, Cade and most importantly YOU feel about that?

    • Samantha October 15, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

      Obviously no one wants to think about such things, and I won’t. I’ve already accepted this as a major part of joining the military. There’s no need to think on it more than that.

  2. cautiouscrow October 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Good for you for joining the military–the Air Force, specifically! I left college to join the Navy several years ago, completed my active duty time, and then finished up my college degree(s). I’m attempting to go back into the military now with my sights set on the Air Force Reserves or Air National Guard.

    You’ve made a great choice, I think. You’ll really learn a lot and, in my opinion, the Air Force is the best all-around branch (my prior service AF husband agrees as he’s also been in the National Guard and Navy). Good luck to you!

    • Samantha October 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      That’s awesome! Thank you so much! Best of luck getting back in!

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