Q: My family was talking to me about joining the Air force reserve because while I’m in the reserve I can go to college and still get a job or something like that.I really have no clue what They were talking about.Also,they told me not to join active duty.I’m confused can you explain it?

A. Hello Justin,

While your parents mean well, it is ultimately YOUR DECISION as to what you will do when you become an adult.

In the Active Duty Air Force you are in the military everyday of your life. Active duty is just what you think it is. You will go to basic training and then on to a technical school to learn an Air Force job. Then, you will go to your first Air Force base and go to work everyday in that job. You will be paid for everyday you are in the Air Force. You will be assigned to any base around the world and in the US.

If you join the AF Reserves you will also go to basic training and to a technical school to learn an AF job. Then, you will return to your home and be assigned to an AF Reserve unit usually within 100 miles from where you life. Once a month for a weekend you will report for duty. Then, once a year you will do 2 weeks of duty full time. But, you might only earn about $2,500 a year total (after taxes and social security). So, it is not a full time job.

But, the AF Reserves can be called up for active duty by the President and Department of Defense when needed such as now in the Middle East. If your unit is activated you would serve on active duty for maybe 18 – 24 months until your unit is released. That is the chance you take when you are a "reservist."

You could, of course, do college while in the reserves because you don’t go to college on the weekend and you usually do 2 weeks in the summer time when there is no school.

If you go active duty Air Force after you finish your 4 years you are entitled to free college under the Post 9/11 G.I. bill for education by the Veterans Administration. You would get 4 years (36 months of college tuition paid). You must, however, receive an Honorable discharge to receive this entitlement.

But, if you are wanting to go to college full time first you might consider this.

Forget about the AF Reserves.

Enroll into a college that has Air Force ROTC. Get accepted to the college and enroll into ROTC.

Apply for an ROTC scholarship. This will pay all your college tuition. But, not everybody gets the scholarship. But, you can still be in ROTC and get commissioned. You would just have to pay back your college student loans over a 10 year period after you graduate.

Do ROTC for 4 years along with your college studies. Then, when you graduate you will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Active Duty Air Force and you will serve 4 years as an officer being paid full time.

What is most important for me to know is this:

What kind of student are you in high school? What are your grades and GPA Grade/point/average?

Are you really interested in:

Going to college?
Going into the military first?
Going to college later?
Being Enlisted?
Being an Officer?

What do you want to do with your life?

What your parents "want" is not material for you.
They can not live your life for you and they won’t pay your rent and bills.

Only YOU can make the final decisions.

Parents are always concerned that you would get killed if you went to war.
That’s why they say what they say.

How old are you?

You may e-mail me back.

Best wishes.

Larry Smith
Senior Master Sergeant, USAF (Ret.)
First Sergeant

What is the difference between navy active duty & the navy reserve?
Q: Im 16 && im thinking about enlisting in the navy when i turn 18, but im still trying to figure everything out. what is the difference between these two??? Any help would be greatly appreciated. && can anybody explain it all to me… About the navy i mean.. Any advice u can give me??

Thanks :)

A. Im joining the marines, but I know the Active duty is where you work full time (or train the first couple of months) and if you plan on going to school it can only be part time. Reserve is where you complete 1drill once a month and for 2 weeks during the summer. This is more for people who want to serve their country while having a regular life. You can have a civilian job and go to school full time in the Reserves.

Im joining the reserves for the next 2 years, going to OCS (hopefully i pass it) and I can become an active duty officer. Thats just the plan that the recruiters and I agreed upon.

In some forces they dont let you go from reserves to active and vice versa

What’s the difference between Navy Active Enlisted and Reserve Enlisted?
Q: What are the overall differences of them two?

A. Active duty gives u and dependents free school, medical, dental and travel. Reserves u have to pay out of pocket for medical, dental, and only get help with school. (Not free) reserves gives a little over 100 dollars a month as drill pay. Active duty gives u pay depending on ur rank and if u r married a housing check or if u are sent out of the country u get cola( which is overseas extra pay). Once u are active duty, its 24-7 job. Reserves is once a month and 2 weeks every year

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