T Nation

Advice on Joining Air Force Reserves


Hey guys, I have been thinking about joining the USAF reserves while I am in college to help pay for it. I have read the website, and I am planning on talking to a recruiter soon, but know the recruiter is going to sugar coat it.

I would appreciate anyone with real experience with the USAF reserves for advice, Tips, or just any good and bad experiences they have had.



I'm an AF Reservist now. I'm not sure what is on the website, but there are Unit Reservists and IMAs (Individual Military Augmentees - reservist assigned to active duty units). My recommendation (and I strongly recommend this) is you look for a unit position. I'm assuming you have no experience with the military and will need the support a unit provides vice the IMA program. I've done both.

Feel free to PM with any questions you have.


any reason why joining the AF reserves is better than joining the air national guard?


I have looked at both, and the only thing I can find that is better about the AF reserves, is that there are more jobs to choose from.


gotcha, but if you got air nat guard, don't you get to choose what unit to belong to?


Yea you get to work at the closest airbase to your home for the AF reserves and the air national guard. Which in my case is only 20 minutes from my house! Im probably going to end up driving a damn bomb truck.....


Im a USAF Active duty Vet.........not too familiar with how the Reserves go exactly but would be willing to answer any other questions you may about active duty (which you surely will get activiated for a while)


Paying for college is a nice side benefit. If this is why you are joining the military, however, you are wrong. You join the military because you are prepared to drop whatever it is you are doing and go fight--no other PRIMARY reason is acceptable. Keep this at the front of your mind.

For reference, I am an active duty Marine.


If you're in college go ROTC. No one will respect you, but you'll be an officer and wont have to give a shit.
I've never really figured out what officer do (outside of combat arms), but it looks pretty easy.


Yeller is absolutely correct, If you join just for the benefits then you are wrong. I've been ANG, Active AF and now AF reserve. I volunteered for duty in Afghanistan and damn proud of it. I hate those that signed up and then were suprised when they were activated. This is the military not day care.
About the difference between ANG and USAFR is that the guard is state funded and the reserve is federal. So both have different benefits and the Governor of the state can call up the guard not the reserve. On many occasions the guard has been activate for state emergencies.
Also, because of the war, expect to be called to duty regardless of what you choose.


lol. thanks.


Not sure if it is different for air force and army, but I would reccomend going guard for college. The reason being that if you go guard then you get state benefits AND federal benefits which will give you more money towards college. If you go reserve then you only get federal. Just my two cents...


Yeller, the benefits for school isn't the only reason why I am joining. I am thinking of signing up in a time of war,so of course I understand that I could be called up for active duty any time. This has crossed my mind many times, and I am more than willing to serve my country. I completely agree with you that there is more to joining the military than just the benefits..

Its just a great benefit that I really want to take advantage of.


Honestly man, the few AFG guys I know haven't been activated for duty overseas. I do know that a few of their unit were sent to places like Quatar and Kuwait...for 90 days. When I was passing through Bagram I spoke with some AFG guys who were there on a 60 day deployment. I'm not trying to take away from thier service or anything, I'm just saying that from the cases I've seen AFG deployments are nothing like army deployments where you're gone from 12-18 months at a time. Active AF may be different, not sure.


Yea I bet that ANG deployments are not as long as the the others, but who knows. It says that the current posture for the ANG is to support the needs of the Air Force on an as-needed basis. Therefore, im assuming they are the back up to the Air Force. Thanks for your info and service FireFlyz.