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  • Looking for some advice, Active or Reserve?

    Deleted by author
    Last edited by Dickie2798; 12-05-2009, 09:03 PM.

  • #2
    I think your first decision is actually choosing officer or enlisted.

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    • #3
      I decided on Enlisted

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      • #4
        Then I think your second decision should be do you want to be a real cop or not. Now before all of you start yelling at me and calling me all kinds of names, let me say why I say that. I was an MP for several years and later became MPI. I am now in the reserves and I have my packet with CID command right now waiting on an answer, so I did my active duty time and I am now a reservist. When I was an Active Duty MP, I was just buying my time to turn 21 and become a “real cop”. The military is the only place you can be a cop at 18. That was 17 years ago and now I am where I want to be with a state agency. But what I hated was the stupid rules like you turn your gun in at the end of shift, being told if you can run code or not by the MP desk, and many other things that I can’t post here for operational security reasons (those of you who have done it know what I am talking about here). Now maybe SF is a little different than an Army MP, but I am willing to bet it isn’t much different. Plus more and more of the “street level” jobs are being contracted out so the military MP’s can deploy.

        Since you said you want to be enlisted, that is where the “street cop” in the military is. The only street experience you would get as an officer would be if you are the duty officer, which are usually LT’s and Senior Enlisted.

        I have two questions for you though. First, with your education, other than maybe wanting to be a SF “street cop”, why on earth would you want to be enlisted? Use that education to your advantage and make some money in the military while you do your time. Second, why is your goal to have a Masters and work as a cop in northern CA? I can understand if you want to work a certain area for personal reasons, but again, with your education and wanting to move on to your Masters, why not look at a state or better yet, federal LEO job?
        "In God we trust, all others we run NCIC"

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        • #5
          I agree with signal 1.

          If you are going to enlist and already have a degree, go the Officer route. You will make more money and have better benefits. I was a active duty enlisted LE SP for 4 years (94-98), back when the AF let you do “police work.” I had a game plan to ultimately become a civilian LEO, stuck to it, did my 4 and punched out. Used my AF training and experience to accomplish my goals and have never looked back.
          Since the name change, SF is more focused on force protection and security missions. Most bases are going to DOAF civilian police officers for the LE duties.
          If you chose to enlist another reason I would suggest going in as an Officer is, the AF could use some good Officers that actually want to be “cops.” During my enlistment it seemed like most of the SF Officers I encountered were “washed out ‘pilots, who got put into SF. (Just my experience and opinion.)
          Also if you think you will be doing "street cop” type duties, think again, as stated in the previous post, the military severely restricts it’s military police forces, no off-duty carry is allowed, you will be turning in your weapon(s) at the end of your shift and will have to abide by various other “restrictive” base/unit policies. Not to mention the aforementioned “security” mindset that SF is currently in. A lot of guys I served with would get the squadron commanders approval and go through civilian police academies off-base and were part-time reserve police officers with the surrounding municipal departments. I would try that option if you do end up enlisting. However, I don’t know if that is still allowed though.

          Actually with your education and current experience I don’t see why you couldn’t just apply with the civilian agency of your choice now. There is nothing wrong with serving, I enjoyed my time in and do not regret it one bit, on the contrary, I probably would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my military service. But on the other hand if your qualified now, just go ahead and try to reach for your goals now.

          Just my perspective……

          Former AF Security Police
          Former Police Officer
          Current State Trooper

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          • #6
            Thanks for the advice, good stuff. I am interested in Enlisted because I have been told that the Officer route is more administrative and Enlsited would be more hands on. If I go in as Enlisted I would go for the Officer ( I would have to wait 1 years to do so though ). I was thinking about the CHP in Northern CA, I was also interested in some other agencies that were federal, but the CHP was one of the main ones that I was thinking of. I am basing this on what I have been told by others as well that I know, but it does sound like they were just buying their time when they were SF in the Air Force as well which is why I am thinking that the Reserve route would be great because I would be able to work on the CHP ( or whichever agency ) and serve at the same time.

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            • #7
              I'm not a police officer, but I have been in the Air Force Security Forces for 10 years, and I'll offer you some advice, if I may.

              I spent some time in NorCal myself trying to get into police departments...Sacramento, Santa Clara Co., etc. So I can see the appeal, believe me. If that is what you want to to do, then do it. Why enlist Active Duty in the Air Force (especially when you can go Commissioned) if you want to be a police officer. As you may have read in other threads here about the Air Force cop career field, there is very little law enforcement going on...it's just the nature of the career field.

              I say go apply to departments in and around the area you want to live/work, and start down your career path.

              Now, if you decide you HAVE join the military, do yourself a favor and go Commissioned, as others in the thread have said. The list of reasons why it's better is endless...take our word for it.

              By the way, if you have your heart set on CHP, it's my understanding that you can forget about going to cozy comfortable NorCal for some time.

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              • #8
                Just some advice from over here on the East Coast...if you already have your degree... start applying to Federal Agencies and the like. Unless your heart is set on a career in the USAF then you may not want to go in either way. It seems they use the Reserves as rented whores and deploy them constantly which will (whether they admit it or not) get prospective employers from picking you up and then losing you to a 18 month deployment.
                My advice from what you have said... Go Federal or civillian LE or go Career Military as AN OFFICER. Also do a search for the individual CIVILIAN departments providing police services for the military bases, IE Marine Corps Police Department, Navy Police Department, and Army Police Department. Keep us posted and all the best with it.
                Conduct every traffic stop extending the olive branch of peace; while having a tactical plan to kill everyone inside the vehicle

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                • #9
                  If you want to be a LEO, start applying for that.

                  Officers in the military are all about planning. Only branch I can really think of that gets to do more hands on are Infantry LT's. Planning and doing nothing but theory gets old very fast, trust me.

                  If you go active, you'll probably be stop loss'd near the end of your active contract duration. AF Major told us that today. I'm not AF but we had an AF instructor, he wasn't very happy with that.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you all for the advice. I am going to go with the Active Duty as opposed to the Reserve. I am meeting with my Recruiter tomorrow morning to do a few things. I was doing some of the processing with the Reserves and was told I just have to go back to the MEPS for the job counseling side of it. The only downside is, I am about 6'4" and weigh 220lbs. I was told I have to be 5 lbs under my max which is 225, but the Reserve said I was 6'3" and 220. So now I have to lose a few lbs...Shouldn't be hard though.

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