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Anyone a firefighter in the military?

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EvenKeel posted 4/25/2013 11:02 AM

DS is exploring his options after HS.

This is the first time he has mentioned military. I brought it up as an option before and he nixed it.

All of a sudden, it is an option.

Someone told me for a FF career, you have to get on a military waiting list ahead of time.

Anyone in this field? If so, what branch would you recommend, etc.


Sad in AZ posted 4/25/2013 11:59 AM

Hopefully, someone with experience will chime in, but I would caution him to be VERY, VERY careful with the recruiters. They promise the world and usually don't come through; then he's hooked into the military without is preferred option.

RyeBread posted 4/25/2013 12:18 PM

I was in the Marine Corps so I'm partial to recommending that branch

I was attached to the Air wing and knew a couple guys who did Fire Rescue on the flight line. Got to go out with them on some swift water rescue training with the L.A. fire department and also some major controlled burns where they walk into walls of fire to put them out. Cool stuff. Don't worry, they are all geared up and safety is a priority.

be VERY, VERY careful with the recruiters.

I'd like to second what Sad in AZ said. I'll tell you what happened to my BIL to illustrate. My BIL wanted to be a Military Policeman. the recruiter can only guarantee a general field. Within each field there are multiple jobs (aka MOS). My BIL said ok. Instead of becomin an MP, he was assigned to corrections, basically working with prisoners in the brig. Didn't like it at all.

The recruiter may be able to provide a general job area for your DS, but can't ensure that your DS will get the exact job he wants. Be prepared for that if your DS decides to go that route. It all depends on what that particular branch's needs are for personel in each job. If there is a shortage of MP's and your DS wants Fire/Rescue, and they are both under the same general field, then your DS becomes an MP. The recruiter will make all kinds of promises and claims that your DS will get what he wants. But don't buy into it.

I am speaking from experiences I saw/had in the Marines. Army, Navy, and AirForce may have different approaches. However, the recruiting aspect would still be the same. Hope that doesn't completely discoursage you but its something you need to be aware of.

FYI - I have a friend now who went to the FF program at the local community college to become a firefighter. There are other ways than joining the military if he wants to do that.

On a side note, I wouldn't trade my time in the good ol' USMC for anything. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Best of luck to your DS and his future.

PippaPeach6 posted 4/25/2013 12:21 PM

USAF! (as brat and service, DH former active, currently in Guard) - so guess where my vote goes

If there aren't any current openings, he might also check into going into the Guard or Reserve to get his foot in the door for an active duty opening, or the Guard/Reserve unit might also have full-time opportunities.

t/j - Active duty military service is a full-time, Federal job. Reserve is an adjunct of active duty, also Federal, and they have "traditional" weekend-a-month/two weeks a year positions AND they also have full-time positions. Guard is like the Reserve, but they are under the orders of the state governor (i.e., they can only be mobilized by the governor. If they are working with active duty, the governor actually "loans" them to the Federal government). Guard and Reserve have the exact same standards of training and accountability as active duty military, and most Guard/Reserve personnel have prior active service, so there is a lot of experience in those units. (The Guard is actually the oldest, beginning with the American Revolution. Put that in your trivia cap! )

end t/j

eta: Yes, caution with recruiters, what Rye said.

[This message edited by PippaPeach6 at 12:23 PM, April 25th (Thursday)]

why2008 posted 4/25/2013 23:23 PM

Economy is tight right now... there are not that many jobs, a friends son has a college degree and went into the air force. This is a guy with a 4 year Business degree from a good college, he wanted to go into technology and the only MOS he could get was mechanic. Oh and he had to go in as enlisted.

They are meeting all recruitment goals and since the economy is so bad people are not leaving.

I came from a military family, am a military wife and would absolutely NOT trust any recruiter. If he really wants to be a firefighter in the military he may want to think about undergoing training prior to going in... because based on my friends son's experience it's not a sure thing you will get what you want, even with a college degree.

Here is an article from the army times, they are not even allowing re enlistments for all soldiers, meaning some 35 percent will be separated.

EvenKeel posted 4/26/2013 20:56 PM

Thanks everyone.

He is a jr firefighter currently (still in HS). He has all sorts of certifications and has been a member of two fire companies for a few years now.

He has looked into going to college for it as well.

As I said, military was not even on this radar. Not sure where it came from this week.

I am not encouraging or discouraging. I think it is a world of pressure to figure out "what you want to be when you grow up" no matter what age you are.

I recommended he reach out to some ppl we know who are in the service (both active and retired) to get some perspective as well. He has taken the initiative on his own to do that.

Firefighting is a tough field. Not only physically; but getting into it at a paid-level is hard here. My area is all volunteer.

Thanks again for sharing!

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