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  1. #1
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    Question Getting out of the military after 10 years

    I am posting this here because I want the opinions of current officers that may have been in my situation.

    I am coming up on my 10th year in the AF and I am tired of dealing with the AF BS. With the way things are going I dont know if I want to be in the military any longer. I have been a reserve for about two years now and I think I have a good idea what my potential career will entail. I love getting suited up and going on patrol. Whether a slow night or an action packed night I love the LE lifestyle. So I guess my question is:

    Has anyone out there given up their military career for an LE one? I know many get out after 4-6 years but at 10 I am on the downhill slope. And this seems to be a normal, but has anyone made it this far and went LE? Positives, Negatives? Lessons learned?

    Thank you in advance for any replies.

    Batman

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    One caveat, I dont like to think of my duties as "Just a reserve" and go out for fun. I have a sincere desire to help our deputies in situations where being alone...sucks. Not to toot my own horn but there are several deputies that have told me "You are the only reserve I will let ride with me." That alone is the biggest compliment I could receive as a reserve. I really want to serve along side, and not just shotgun, with "Our" community.

  3. #3
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    10 years passes fast and then you can draw a pension and go full time in LE.

    You talk about AF BS, ..... well, there's enough BS to go around out here too.

    Just saying ..... think long and hard about leaving on the downside.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

    "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

    >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

    Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

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    I was SF in the AF for only 4 years and I got out solely because of the BS. I found there is just as much BS on the civilian side of the fence as well. You might not have seen a lot of it being a reserve. I know I was in 4 years and all but I suggest you really think about it. There are many days I wish I would have stayed in with the BS. Just my 2 cents.
    What Is A Veteran?
    A 'Veteran,' whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve is 'someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to 'The United States of America,' for an amount of 'up to and including his life.' That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today who no longer understand that fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by t150vsuptpr View Post
    10 years passes fast and then you can draw a pension and go full time in LE.

    You talk about AF BS, ..... well, there's enough BS to go around out here too.

    Just saying ..... think long and hard about leaving on the downside.
    THIS^^^^^^!!!!!

    i suspect that if you finish your 20 and then get into a LE gig you'll look back and be THANKFUL you stuck it out! i would've retired a year a half ago if i had stuck out my initial enlistment...what an idiot i was!

  6. #6
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    Or go federal LE and buy your time back...then it wont be a wasted 10 years. Do 20 yrs and get paid for 30. That's what I did.
    Bet they got a ticket for obstructing the rear window. God Bless America!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasmblack View Post
    I found there is just as much BS on the civilian side of the fence as well.
    There is....and even more so if you end up working for a smaller town/city/county that is tight on money.....or some big dept that just thinks of you as a number and doesn't give two craps about you.......


    Quote Originally Posted by Rasmblack View Post
    There are many days I wish I would have stayed in with the BS.
    Same here.... I'd been done and had 5 years on with a LEO agency like 2-3 of my buddies are doing now.....and not worry about the low pay a lot of place in MO are paying because of the retirement pay coming in.....Plus having PX/Comm/Tri-Care/Space A privleges.....

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    Give thought to going federal as ujocka suggested..don't waste the time you've already served.

    FYI, I'll have 7 years in when I separate and begin the academy.

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    You are in an extremely awkward position, as others have said, you are more than halfway through to a pension. After you finish that, then you can begin your career in law enforcement. Heck, after 20 years in the Air Force, I imagine still have 10-15 working years left before you even began to think about retirement. You might not like your current job, but then again, most people don't like their jobs.

    If you just had 4 years in and didn't care for a re-up, I'd fully recommend you go LEO... but that isn't case. Suck it up and finish out your 20 would be my advice. I imagine if you quit now (if you could) and became an LEO... you'd regret your decision, in say, 10 years.

  10. #10
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    I had 6 1/2 years in the Marine Corps when I punched out. I was working with a great crew, had good promotion opportunity, a nice apartment... life was good. But I was sick and tired of it, recently home from a war I had mixed emotions about, married with a little guy on the way........it was the hardest thing I've EVER done. Harder than being in combat, harder that being on the job.

    I like what I do now, but if I had to do it over, I would do my 20 in the Marine Corps and then get into LE.

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    I'm confused. Are you asking about getting out of the reserves? I never understood guys who got out on the downhill slide. You're fooling yourself if you think you are going to find less BS somewhere else.

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    I’m on terminal leave now, in two weeks I will be official retired from the US Army. I am a MP. I got out after my first enlistment, and went to work for a Police Dept Back home. The BS never stopped. After 3 years with a PD, and then a SO, I went back to active duty. It has paid off.

    1. You will have to look at some things like does your state have maximum age for police officer, down south I can work anywhere, up north, I’m to old based on there civil service rules.

    2. What’s your MOS/occupation in the AF? And what’s your pay grade? Are you in a high stress, or happy go lucky job? Do you have potential to get promoted? Your in the AF, us guy’s from the Army and Marine Corp only wished we lived like you guy’s.

    3. Who else depends on you for support? My kids are now 2 years old, wife was able to take care of her self all the times I was gone, but now that I have twins, I’m glad to be home for good. But we are insured for life now.

    The decision is ultimately yours, and you have to live with it. Like some said, go federal, If your in Mexico, and you like it, go look at the Border Patrol.

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    From what I'm reading, you're AD AF and a reserve LEO. You can always get out and join the AF Reserves. Look into the IMA program as it seems to be the most flexible. The deployments for IMA's seem to be non existant unless you volunteer. One thing I would do if I could do it all over, since I was in your kind of situation, is cross train once I was in the reserves. If the LE thing doesn't work out, you now have another skill to fall back on. And you still get to keep all the BX and base type privledges, Tri-care, and all the other stuff. You'll still get your retirement, although it might be a bit later than if you stay AD. (Plus, if you need a break from you LE job, you can always "depoly" to someplace like UAE or Qatar and relax for six months.)

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by t150vsuptpr View Post
    10 years passes fast and then you can draw a pension and go full time in LE.

    You talk about AF BS, ..... well, there's enough BS to go around out here too.

    Just saying ..... think long and hard about leaving on the downside.
    This X79.^^^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman21 View Post
    Has anyone out there given up their military career for an LE one? I know many get out after 4-6 years but at 10 I am on the downhill slope. And this seems to be a normal, but has anyone made it this far and went LE? Positives, Negatives? Lessons learned?

    Thank you in advance for any replies.

    Batman
    I gave up my military career at 20, went on the PD, and just passed 20 there. BS is BS. If you decide to bail, get into the reserves and finish 20, that retirement check goes nice for your house payment.

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    Thank you all for the replies.

    I wanted to clarify something, when I said BS I meant the fact I that my base gets no notice deployments on a weekly basis, can PCS anytime, and the fact I can never plan anything for the future because of it. As I get into my later years (28 in Jan LoL) I actually have a desire to settle down and get some roots. In my 10 years I have been stationed four places, with my current assignment being the longest. I have a girlfriend that is also AD and I will probably marry her. Being in the military we really have a chance at being separated for long times or being stationed at different bases. I have talked with her about everything and she is kind of feeling the same way. She has been wanting to get out for a long time because she doesnt like the military much and she has a job that is in high demand and high dollar on the outside so I think things would be ok financially while I try to get hired.

    Right now I really dont know. I have a line number for E-6 which I will sew on in Mar and should be happy about being on the back side. I have until Mar 2012 to figure out what I truly want to do so I have some soul searching to do. It sucks because I love LE and dont really care about the military. That draw is strong.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batman21 View Post
    the fact I can never plan anything for the future because of it.
    And you think that's going to get better when you are a LEO....? You will miss weekends, holidays, birthdays, sporting events, kids stuff (if/when you have kids), get called into cover shifts/emergencies at wee hours of the morning after working 10/12 hours, etc......

    Once again....BS is on both sides of the house...... If I was E-6 with 10 in.....I'd suck it up and find another job in the AF or just suck it up. @ 38 there are plenty of folks that are still in great shape getting out with a nice retirement check and going into LEO work......

    As stated, I kick myself in the *** about once a day for not staying in.....especially after talking to the Senior NCOs/Officers I work with that will have it made when they retire......

    One of the guys in our shop just retired after 22 years in and has a job (non-leo) making 60K starting off. Add his retirement and benfits....plus he's close to a base so he can use them......... He's loving life......

  18. #18
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    While I totally agree and with everyone’s point of view as far as you staying in and pursuing your goal afterwards, I will give you my 2 cents on your predicament.

    I punched out in 4 years............

    I enjoyed my time in, the first three years I did nothing but LE, after 1997 that all changed. I found myself sitting out on the flight line for 12 hours, counting the rivets on C-141s and KC-135s, but yet I still did not regret my decision of enlisting into the USAF in the least. I had the good fortune of being able to serve my country and work along side some fine men and women. So regardless of what you decide to do, you will always have that.....

    My path started when I was 21, with nothing but a high school diploma and 4 years of working at the local five and dime store for life experience, I enlisted in the USAF. I was able to get exactly what I wanted and I did it for 4 years. I never regretted one minute of it. After ETSing, I took my new found experience and began fulfilling my ultimate goal of becoming a police officer. Within 6 months of leaving the service, I accomplished that goal. I did that for almost 5 years, I have since moved on to become a State Trooper and have been doing that for last 6.

    Much like my time in the AF, being a civilian LEO is a thankless job. I still find myself out working in the heat, cold and rain, at all hours of the day and night. I continue to miss, holidays, birthdays and many other important dates. I have lost dear friends in the line of duty who I have worked alongside and had come to know and respect. Which is compunded with the countless senseless deaths I investigate, that often leave me wondering why such things must occur. Despite this, I continue to love what I do and could not imagine doing anything else......

    If you're scratching your head by now and wondering....Why is he telling me all of this?

    The reason is because; If being an LEO is your ulimate desire and you feel you are ready to take the leap, then by all means come join me and the countless others out here doing what we do. But just remember things will not get any easier on the outside, you will have to go after what you want, nothing will be handed to you and everyday you suit up, you never know if it will be your last.......

    With that said, I sincerely believe, all that I have been able to accomplish in my lifetime and what I am today, is because of the United States Air Force and the opportunity I was given to serve.

    Think it through and good luck.

  19. #19
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    I'm a twenty year USAF retiree and now am a Detective with a Sheriff's office. I was a mechanic though, not a sky cop. When I do a background on a former military guy in your position I gotta ask myself, "Why did he quit at the halfway point?"

    This isn't leaving BS behind; its looking for a different type of BS. Yeh, we don'y have ORIs, MEIs, STANEVALS, Desert rotations, etc. There's plenty of other things that'll get under your skin though.

    My recommendation is to finish that career. Your 50% will really help cover that mortage. And if you can get a disability rating do everyhting you can to be above 30%. Point out any dandruff, anything at all.

    Don't throw away your 10 years of service like this.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

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  20. #20
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    Your options for law-enforcement agencies are limited if you stay in the AF for 20.

    You are still young enough to go to work for a big department or a federal LE agency and be able to get a good retirement from them. And you should be able to stay in the AF Reserve and get a small military pension. Moreover, many LE agencies subsidize your being in the military reserve.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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    Your options for law-enforcement agencies are limited if you stay in the AF for 20.
    Is that so? The day after my retirement ceremony at age 38 I started FT with my Sheriff's Office. I've never looked at going Fed; 20 years is enough.
    I am concerned for the security of our great Nation; not so much because of any threat from without, but because of the insidious forces working from within.

    Douglas MacArthur

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    Had I had to do it all over again, I would have done the whole 20 yrs in the Coast Guard. I am still in the reserves with only 8 more to go. I dont deal with half the political BS I do in the Guard as compared to my agency. Stay in trust me!

  23. #23
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    I got out after 12yrs active duty for L.E. and don't regret it one damn bit. It got so ridiculous I refused to be apart of the B.S anymore and give them another year of my life filled with B.S.. My situation was little different though. I was an airborne infantry soldier and the way the military was going was deadly to soldiers and I couldnt' stand to see it anymore. Safety was so much a concern when training that it completely took training value away from the exercise, red tape bureaucracy was overwhelming, and the most important was the way these never ending wars were being handled. The damn near did everything but take away a soldiers right to defend himself when shot at and you better believe they started trimming any fat they could off of that. When you get ambushed, return suppressive fire in a kill zone and as a result 2 kids behind the enemy's location gets killed and you lose 3 of your own and upon return to base camp you are interrogated like a criminal having to give sworn written statements, video taped statements, follow up statements, count your rounds and and all kinds of other madness and not one question comes about how your 3 soldiers died, I knew it was time to go (they were more worried with media perception of the kids then their own) as these wars were going to out last the rest of my 8yrs which is proving right as I'd be down to my last couple now and there is no end in sight.

    I read Military.com everyday and the articles of soldiers getting killed because the white house would not authorize this or that, or the WH had ordered commanders NOT to approve the use of this, or can't fire in this situation or that situation REGARDLESS of whether or not these guys are on the verge of being overrun. It's sickening and I for one will not play a part in ordering my soldiers in combat to refrain from saving the lives of their brothers because this or that is NOT authorized. If I do I live with my guys blood on my hands and those memories forever, if I give them permission to do something to save their life but NOT authorized I risk my family being husband and fatherless because I'm locked up in some federal prison when I get back. To many chances and it's just not worth it anymore. The U.S.'s will to fight and win is severely diluted and that causes innocent soldiers to die for no reason.

    Not to mention all wasn't for nothing, My dept gave me a percentage of credit for every year I was in the military. I started off here almost in my depts 3rd payscale. After 6mo I was in our 3rd payscale. Also with our retirement system we are elgible for retirement after 12yrs, though the more years after that it significantly rises so your are better off going for 20 or more but nevertheless you can retire and collect a check after just 12yrs and keep medical benefits. I love my job now and though it has it's low points I wouldn't trade what I do now for anything else.
    Ignored: Towncop, Pulicords, TacoMac, Ten08

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DAL View Post
    Your options for law-enforcement agencies are limited if you stay in the AF for 20.
    BULL!!!!!!!!! You have no clue what the hell you are talking about!!!

    I had (3) guys in my Academy that had just retired......... PLUS....one of our instructors had gone through 2 classes before and had retired out as a US Army Special Forces SGT Major...... Want his name?????

  25. #25
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    You're at the halfway point. You can get out and go LEO, but what about the retirement benefits u might miss out on? If you get out go into reserves it will take you much longer to achieve military retirement, as you would not receive the retirement pay till age 60, vice finishing up with retirement from active service and receiving the check right away. Either way you can get veteran preference points for civil and federal employment. I retired out of the navy and entered into federal LEO through Veteran Affairs Police. Plenty of jobs posted for Veteran Affairs. The choice is yours, I do recommend that if you get out at 10 go reserves and at least finish up to get retirement from reserves.

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