FactsHow Long Does It Take To Be In The...

How Long Does It Take To Be In The Military

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Us Air Force Age Limits

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The United States Air Force has over 320,000 active-duty airmen.

It also employs 105,700 Air National Guard and an additional 69,000 reservists.

Lastly, the U.S. Air Force has over 140,000 civilian employees.

The military branch is third in terms of active enrollment behind the Army and Navy.

Here are the minimum and maximum ages required to join the U.S. Air Force:

Enlisted

Minimum Age: 17 years old Maximum Age: 39 years old

Officer

Minimum Age: 18 years oldMaximum Age: 39 years old*

*Certain healthcare-related military jobs or ministry allow you to be up to 48 years in age.

Many Deployed Service Members Can Visit A Uso Center To Stay In Touch With Loved Ones

Because staying in touch with loved ones during a deployment can be particularly challenging for some service members, the USO offers several programs, like Operation Phone Home and the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program, designed to help them connect back home.

Service members can be away from their homes for months at a time, but while they are in a distant location, they can stay connected to their families by taking advantage of the USOs free services, so they can stay strong while completing their missions.

Deployment can be a very exciting and tough experience, both physically and emotionally, which is why staying connected to their loved ones is especially important.

– This story originally appeared on USO.org in 2020. It has been updated in 2021.

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Take Advantage Of All Benefits Prior To Separating

Before I left active duty, I made sure to take advantage of everything I could. As I mentioned, I tested out of many college classes and I used Tuition Assistance program to earn both my associates and bachelors degrees.

I also took advantage of the military health care system to have surgery on both of my knees I had a Grade 3 tear in each meniscus, a byproduct of my military service. Those knee surgeries saved me thousands of dollars in medical costs. Just as important, I was able to get those issues documented in my military medical records.

Make sure you do a thorough review of any benefits available to you and take advantage of those benefits if possible. You can visit your personnel or Human Resources office for an overview of the benefits that will be available to you. This will be helpful for you and your family as you transition.

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Joining The Military: What You Should Know Before Committing

Joining the military is a big commitment, not to be taken lightly. Most first-term enlistments require a commitment to four years of active duty and two years of inactive . But the services also offer programs with two-, three- and six-year active-duty or reserve enlistments. It depends upon the service and the job you want.

One Month Before Separation

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If you have completed this checklist you should be able to spend the last 30 days taking care of your packing, checking out and getting settled into your new life.

Remember: Within the first 120 days after separation many of your benefits expire, so you should check out your options for replacing these benefits ASAP.

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What To Expect During Your Transition

Most people look at a separation checklist and methodically run through the list, taking care of every little item before signing some paperwork and going on your way. That pretty much sums up my experience. But if I had the chance to do it over again, I would have spent more time thinking about the actual transition itself.

To be honest, the decision for me to separate from the military came easily. I was burned out from 5 deployments, a one-year special duty assignment, and numerous TDYs and training sessions over my 6.5-year enlistment. I was ready for a break.

But I wasnt quite ready for life after the military. I went from going 100 mph down to being unemployed for 6 months while I was looking for a new job. In short, I struggled.

Your situation may be different. You may already have firm plans on what you are going to do after the military. If so, great! If not, I encourage you to spend some time thinking about what your transition will look like, both during, and after the fact.

As for the out-processing checklist, expect to try and fit everything in between your normal military duties. Hopefully, you will have a few days you can dedicate to the process. That makes it much easier. If not, try to make appointments well in advance so you can knock things out as you go. Leaving things to the last minute makes the process more stressful than it needs to be.

Factors That Make Readjustment Harder

Overall, the survey found that a plurality of all veterans say they had a very easy time readjusting to their post-military lives, and 29% say re-entry was somewhat easy. But an additional 21% say they had a somewhat difficult time, and 6% had major problems integrating back into civilian life.

Among the 18 variables tested, veterans who experienced emotional or physical trauma while serving are at the greatest risk of having difficulties readjusting to civilian life. According to the analysis, having an emotionally distressing experience reduces the chances that a veteran would have a relatively easy re-entry by 26 percentage points compared with a veteran who did not have an emotionally distressing experience. Similarly, suffering a serious injury while serving reduces the probability of an easy re-entry by 19 percentage points, from 77% to 58%.

The survey also pinpoints some of the specific problems faced by returning service members who suffered service-related emotional trauma or serious injury. More than half of all veterans who experienced a traumatic event say they have had flashbacks or repeated distressing memories of the experience, and nearly half say they have suffered from post-traumatic stress.5 Predictably, those who suffer from PTS were significantly less likely to say their re-entry was easy than those who did not .

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Take The Transition Assistance Program Or Gps Course

The military requires members to take the Transition GPS class prior to separating or retiring. The Transition GPS was formerly called the TAP class, or Transition Assistance Program. This short, 3-day course gives you an overview of what to expect during your transition and gives you a few condensed courses on resume writing, interviewing, post-military salary negotiation, and other necessary skills. This course is useful, but consider it a primer. You will likely need much more in-depth work to prepare for the transition.

If possible, take this course far in advance of your separation date so you can work through the different modules on your own. The more time you put into the preparation, the better.

You can often bring your spouse with you. Do this, if possible. Your spouse will also learn a lot, and having a second set of eyes and ears can help ensure you catch the most important parts of the course.

Some military members may also be able to take the course twice. This wouldnt hurt if you are able to swing this.

Note: The DoD and each service branch have their own Transition Assistance Program:

Scenario That Happens Still Today

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Recruiters will tell a recruit, sure, sign up now, get through medical , and when you get to your A-School, you can try out for jobs like Navy SEAL, SWCC, Diver, and EOD . If you get told this – walk out of the recruiter office because that is a lie. The way this works is to get it in your contract that you are part of the Warrior Challenge and you then have to start taking fitness tests with an area SEAL / Diver Mentor. Unfortunately, some people are told they can take the test at boot camp or after boot camp at A school. It used to be this way back in the 1990’s – not any more. But, once again, if you do not do your research for your future profession, you will not know this. You must put in the time. Treat this like a job interview and learn as much as you can about the process from your recruiter then verify. In this case, you should read the SEAL / SWCC Website – all of it. Then prepare properly for the physical challenges in front of you – which are many. In this case, if you fail the fitness test at any time before, during, or after boot camp, you lose the contract to go become a SEAL, SWCC, EOD / Diver, or Air Rescue.

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S For Joining The Military

Start by doing some research about your options for joining the military. Learn about the six active-duty branches and their part-time counterparts. Know the main differences between officers and enlisted members. And explore the career fields you can enter for each branch.

Once you know which branch youre considering, contact a recruiter. A recruiter will give you an overview and answer your questions about that service. If youre interested in more than one branch, contact a recruiter for each. If youre interested in joining as an officer, the recruiter will explain any options you may be eligible for.

If you decide to enlist, you will report to a military entrance processing station . Youll spend a day or two completing pre-enlistment steps. These include taking the ASVAB, having a physical exam, meeting with a career counselor, and if youre accepted, taking the oath of enlistment. From there youll receive orders for basic training, usually to start within a few weeks. If you enrolled in a delayed entry program, youll go home and get orders for basic training within a year.

Provide Twc With Dd Form 214

TWC requests your military information from the Federal Claims Control Center . If there is no DD Form 214 on file with the FCCC they will notify TWC. TWC will then send you a notice asking you to send us a copy of your DD Form 214 it must be any one of member copy 4 through 8. We cannot use Member 1 because it does not have all the required facts. We also request separation information directly from the military. We must have either your DD Form 214 or separation information from the military to use your military wages to calculate your benefit amounts.

Submit your DD Form 214 using our online UI Submission Upload portal.

After we receive the DD Form 214 from you or separation information from the military, we determine if we can use your military wages to calculate your benefit amounts. We calculate military wages using information on your pay grade at the time of your separation.

If you do not have your copy of DD Form 214, you can request a copy by following the instructions on the National Archives website. We can request a copy for you however, it can take up to two months for the military to provide us with information.

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Picking A Police Department

There are many things to take into consideration when picking a department. Things like the type of law enforcement agency, proximity to where you want to live, or starting pay all are important factors. One of the biggest mistakes made by candidates is having their heart set on one specific department and refusing to apply anywhere else. As anyone with experience will tell you, this is a big no-no.

Once you decide what type of agency you want to work for for example, a county sheriffs office, big city police department, or a state police department figure out WHERE you want to work. Maybe you want to stay near your last duty station, or maybe you want to return to your hometown. Try to narrow it down sooner rather than later, because you want to be sure youre available in the area for interviews, exams, polygraphs, etc.

Now that youve decided where you want to work, here are a few pointers for narrowing in on the specific departments.

Zeroing in on a department

Agency reviews

Networking

The best way to learn about any department is by getting the inside scoop from people already serving in it. That may seem a `bit tedious when youre serving your country half a world away. Fortunately, both PoliceLink and Military.com have the two largest communities of law enforcement and military personnel in the world.

And remember in a few years from youll have the opportunity to help the next wave of transitioning veterans, so be sure you help out when the time is right.

Military Separation Vs Discharge

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The military uses a number of different terms, codes, etc. to help organize things.

There are hundreds of reasons why military members leave, so the Department of Defense created military separation codes, or discharge codes, to categorize all of the reasons.

Many times, most veterans dont even know these codes exist.

Military separation codes can be found in box 26 on your military separation form DD 214.

If you Google military separation codes you may find many different codes to look at.

Unfortunately, the military codes list and their meanings are no longer made available to the public.

Military separation codes are intended for DoD internal use, so unless youve been discharged for something negative, dont stress about them.

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Apply For Va Disability Benefits

I encourage all military veterans to apply for VA service-connected disability rating if they have any injury or illness that occurred or was made worse during their time on active duty.

Again, applying for benefits is all upside, and no downside. Take a copy of your military medical records to a Veterans Service Organization and sit down with them to review your files. They will help you apply for benefits based on your records.

Even having a 0% rating indicates there is a medical condition that occurred during military service. There may not be an immediate impact on your health today. But having it documented proves the connection to your service and will make it easier to get a disability rating should your condition worsen as you age.

A 10% rating or higher is enough to receive a monthly disability compensation payment for the rest of your life. You can also earn other benefits, such as access to VA medical care, having the funding fee waived on a VA Loan, and more.

Higher ratings may bring different benefits, including higher monthly compensation payments, access to medical care, concurrent receipt with military retirement pay, possible education benefits through the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and much more.

The following articles provide more information about VA disability ratings. Consider these links valuable research that can have a lasting impact on your future:

Can You Get A Waiver For Anxiety In The Military

Army standards continue to stipulate that applicants who test positive for marijuana require a waiver to be eligible for enlistment, and applicants with a history of ADHD, depression, or anxiety will not meet enlistment standards and might not even qualify for a waiver, depending on their specific case.

What can get you kicked out of ROTC?

A. An ROTC program can launch a promising military career, as it did for me, or result in massive amounts of debt. Whether prompted by misconduct, poor grades, medical issues or some other factor, involuntary disenrollment typically leaves cadets in a difficult situation.

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One Year Before Separation

Check out the Reserve and Guard programs you could earn pay, benefits, and a pension.

Begin researching your relocation, benefits, job boards, etc.

Contact your Education or Transition Office to take a Job Skills and Interest assessment, to determine the best civilian career field.

Check out the Career Fields that interest you.

Start attending Job Fairs to begin networking.

Meet thousands of cops who are former vets on PoliceLink.

Contact your TAP or personnel division office for information about your services terminal leave and precede time policies. Note: You can actually check out from your present unit, move, and begin working a new job months before you are officially separated from the service.

Plan your terminal leave and proceed time to determine how soon you can begin working your new job.

Join a professional organization or union in your career field.

Actively pursue using your Military Education and Training Benefits to improve your qualifications.

Start using Military.coms Resume Builder to develop your resume.

Contact your medical department to begin scheduling any required physicals.

Eight Months Before Separation

Contact the law enforcement agencies that interest you. Fill out an Interest Card or equivalent. Let the recruiters know you will be seeking employment with them. Get the name and number of the personnel with whom you spoke.

The Difficult Transition From Military To Civilian Life

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Military service is difficult, demanding and dangerous. But returning to civilian life also poses challenges for the men and women who have served in the armed forces, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey of 1,853 veterans. While more than seven-in-ten veterans report they had an easy time readjusting to civilian life, 27% say re-entry was difficult for thema proportion that swells to 44% among veterans who served in the ten years since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Why do some veterans have a hard time readjusting to civilian life while others make the transition with little or no difficulty? To answer that question, Pew researchers analyzed the attitudes, experiences and demographic characteristic of veterans to identify the factors that independently predict whether a service member will have an easy or difficult re-entry experience.

Using a statistical technique known as logistic regression, the analysis examined the impact on re-entry of 18 demographic and attitudinal variables. Four variables were found to significantly increase the likelihood that a veteran would have an easier time readjusting to civilian life and six factors predicted a more difficult re-entry experience.

In contrast, veterans who say they had an emotionally traumatic experience while serving or had suffered a serious service-related injury were significantly more likely to report problems with re-entry, when other factors are held constant.

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