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  1. #1
    Forum Member sectionchamp06's Avatar
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    Navy MAA? Or Air Force Security Forces?

    My goal in life is to become a Police Officer. I have a certificate in Criminal Justice from a community college near my home town. I plan to go back and finish my Associates degree in Criminal Justice in January. After that I plan to transfer to a four year college and earn my BA degree in Criminal Justice. I have taken several civil service exams in the Police Officer field as well as a few Correctional Officer exams for practice. I am 23 years old and not getting any younger. My worry is that after I finish my BA degree I still won't be able to find a position as a Police Officer and will be 27 years old after graduating from my degree program. Everyone knows that the Police/Law Enforcement game is a very long and extensive process, and I don't want to end up reaching the age cut off to become a Police Officer so my backup plan is the Military. It was never really an option for me until now, I have spent four years trying to get into an LE position. My question is, if I end up joining the Military which option would be best for me? The Navy as a Master At Arms? Or the Air Force in Security Forces? I have no intentions of joining the Army as an MP, though I have done a lot of research on 31B. What is a better life style as a Law Enforcement agent in the Military?

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    As a Navy vet myself, I would recommend going Air Force for sure :P Air Force is a smaller force, therefore more selective of who they let in. They have better training it seems like, and their treat their people as adults.

    Navy is good, but as MAA, you will probably do a lot of physical security around ship or base, and it is not as fun as it looks on the commercials. AF on the other hand, you might get to work with criminal investigators as security forces, and that might be something it appeals to you.

    I have heard that AF is hard to get in now, since competition is high, but talk to recruiters and see what they say.

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    Don't expect to do much if any law enforcement in any branch of the service. If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone into the Coast Guard.

    Those agencies that have age cut-offs tend to have them at around 35 or so. Also, a lot of agencies don't have age restrictions.

    A 27 year old with a clean background, a bach degree and some solid work experience would be a good candidate.
    Last edited by just joe; 11-23-2011 at 09:37 AM.

  4. #4
    Operator Bearcat357's Avatar
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    If you want to go into the military....thats fine....but go in because you want to and not because you want to use it as a resume builder. We will still be in the Middle East for years to come no matter what the politcians say.....and your chance of being sent there is very high no matter what service you are in.....and the bad guys love dropping mortars into FOBs...... Further, you don't have to be a MA or SF or MP to become a LEO in the outside world. Plenty of folks have been truck drivers, Intel Specialist, Infantry, Field Artillery, Finance Clerks Medics, etc.... If you go in, all you really need to do is come out with a clean background, be in shape, and have good credit.......

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    I have done both jobs. I just retired after 21 years total both active and reserve. My last assignment was USAF Security Forces for the last 5 years with the Air Guard.

    If I had to do all over again for actually working LE stuff, the Coast Guard would be the way to go.

    USAF and USN cops mainly only do physical security stuff and gate guard duties. You do not really do too much civ cop type stuff. If you deploy overseas, it is almost always boring *** static position type security, with clueless officers in charge since they usually don't make SF a career, but as a stepping stone.

    At least with the Coast Guard, you are considered part of Homeland Security and would be doing the same jobs here or overseas. That would look better on a resume probably.

  6. #6
    Forum Member Raidergx's Avatar
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    As a Civilian in the Air Force Security forces, I have a little bit of current knowledge of how things go in the Air Force. I see enlisted personnel get treated like crap 12 hour shifts, long hours, no days off sometimes. If you deploy, which you will, security forces is more and more Infantry soldiers.

    I was a navy MAA as a collateral duty back in the 90's it was fun back then and had a good time. The navy if you deploy it will be on a ship or to a location where you are needed not just deploying for the heck of it.

    Coast Guard is a good place to look too.
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    I wish I could go back and tell my 18 year old self to listen to my school resource officer when he told me that when I go into the Marine Corps I should broaden my horizons and do something other than MP work. Being a veteran and having kept your nose clean your a shoe in for most civilian cop jobs; HOWEVER, don't pigeon hole yourself into one thing so you have options when you get out in case being a cop doesn't work out for you. I'm sure you won't listen just like I didn't when I was your age but man I wish I would have!

  8. #8
    Hustler irishlad2nv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sectionchamp06 View Post
    My goal in life is to become a Police Officer. I have a certificate in Criminal Justice from a community college near my home town. I plan to go back and finish my Associates degree in Criminal Justice in January. After that I plan to transfer to a four year college and earn my BA degree in Criminal Justice. I have taken several civil service exams in the Police Officer field as well as a few Correctional Officer exams for practice. I am 23 years old and not getting any younger. My worry is that after I finish my BA degree I still won't be able to find a position as a Police Officer and will be 27 years old after graduating from my degree program. Everyone knows that the Police/Law Enforcement game is a very long and extensive process, and I don't want to end up reaching the age cut off to become a Police Officer so my backup plan is the Military. It was never really an option for me until now, I have spent four years trying to get into an LE position. My question is, if I end up joining the Military which option would be best for me? The Navy as a Master At Arms? Or the Air Force in Security Forces? I have no intentions of joining the Army as an MP, though I have done a lot of research on 31B. What is a better life style as a Law Enforcement agent in the Military?
    Ok, so what is a certificate in CJ?

    And what has been stopping you from getting hired as a cop or correctional officer the past 4 years? If something has, the military most likely will not help you. And just by going in "law enforcement" in the military" to ehance your chances on the outside, do it for other reasons.
    "An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded."

  9. #9
    Forum Member phillyrube's Avatar
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    If you like watching the crew pee into a bottle for drug tests, MAA is for you.

  10. #10
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    Finish your degree and go into the military. Those two things will never be taken from you. All the LE jobs you seek will still be around once you are done with school and the military. Most folks would rather hire some one with a proven track record than a snot nosed 21 year old right out of high school and college.

  11. #11
    Solo is how I roll statebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sectionchamp06 View Post
    I have no intentions of joining the Army as an MP, though I have done a lot of research on 31B.
    What’s wrong with the Army?

    If you enjoy, counting rivets on aircraft or freezing you’re @$$ off at a missile field or deplying to some airbase and standing tower watch and working ECPs in the blazing heat, then the AF is for you. The days of doing any meaningful LE in the AF ended in 1997......There is a reason they are called "Security" Forces now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by caseyp View Post
    I wish I could go back and tell my 18 year old self to listen to my school resource officer when he told me that when I go into the Marine Corps I should broaden my horizons and do something other than MP work. Being a veteran and having kept your nose clean your a shoe in for most civilian cop jobs; HOWEVER, don't pigeon hole yourself into one thing so you have options when you get out in case being a cop doesn't work out for you. I'm sure you won't listen just like I didn't when I was your age but man I wish I would have!
    I've been an MA for nine years, and just like caseyp said, don't pigeon hole yourself. You want something that will set you above and beyond? learn a skill set that will enhance your appeal. I didn't listen either.

    Regarding comments of physical security or watching people pee in a cup: yes, the majority of the Navy's mission these days is physical security. Is there ways to break out of it and become involved in more law enforcement stuff? ABSOLUTELY. Apply for Military Working Dog (MWD) Handler when you sign up, (they are in high need right now) or volunteer at the CID office if you are interested in investigations. MWD will have you acting like a beat-cop in no time, and its a skill that transfers over (to my understanding). As with any agency, it takes time to build yourself up and get to where you want. Urinalysis is a necessary evil for the Navy, so don't be surprised if you're required to assist with that, but at larger commands they have staff that handle that.

    Also, the Navy will require you to live overseas at some point as an MA. Guaranteed.

    I won't speak as to the Air Force SF program, other than to say that while some branches invest in equipment, the AF invests in their people (better housing, recreational stuff, etc.)

    Another option you might want to consider is to go Marine Corps. Besides the fact that Marines are by far the most entertaining individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with, that title represents so much when you leave the service. I have several friends who were prior Marines and landed seats at many tables, which in turn led to a career in civilian law enforcement. But they wanted to be Marines, and it takes a certain espirit de corps to be involved in that line of work.

    If you have any additional questions, please feel free to PM me. Good luck in your decision.

  13. #13
    Van
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    Quote Originally Posted by sectionchamp06 View Post
    My goal in life is to become a Police Officer. I have a certificate in Criminal Justice from a community college near my home town. I plan to go back and finish my Associates degree in Criminal Justice in January. After that I plan to transfer to a four year college and earn my BA degree in Criminal Justice. I have taken several civil service exams in the Police Officer field as well as a few Correctional Officer exams for practice. I am 23 years old and not getting any younger. My worry is that after I finish my BA degree I still won't be able to find a position as a Police Officer and will be 27 years old after graduating from my degree program. Everyone knows that the Police/Law Enforcement game is a very long and extensive process, and I don't want to end up reaching the age cut off to become a Police Officer so my backup plan is the Military. It was never really an option for me until now, I have spent four years trying to get into an LE position. My question is, if I end up joining the Military which option would be best for me? The Navy as a Master At Arms? Or the Air Force in Security Forces? I have no intentions of joining the Army as an MP, though I have done a lot of research on 31B. What is a better life style as a Law Enforcement agent in the Military?
    The military is a very interesting when it comes to LE. I spent 4 yrs in SFS and Ill tell you what I would have benefited from had someone told me. Chances are you have made up your mind about whether or not you are going to enlist. That being said, getting info from here is great I went on an AF forum before I joined but no matter what people say remember a few things. The Military is always changing, people come and go with the tides. I could give you a list of bases that are more LE than Security but by now it could have changed. I had a great enlistment, I spent 2 years in England and deployed ONLY twice in four years. Most SFS will average about 3 tours every 4 years or even 4 tours if you extend a couple months, it’s just a high tempo. With that in mind, I know of many, many people who claimed to have a crappy enlistment and these people were with me the entire time and had the same opportunities that I did. The difference will be this; what are YOU going to make of it?

    Learn your job like the back of your hand and deal with all the dumb $hit early and laugh at it later. 80% of my fellow airmen were too busy bitching about what perks the Sgt's got and complained and never did anything to better their situation. The military is like any other job, if you do your job well the first thing you can expect is.......MORE work. Then after you excel you will reap the benefit, in the world of SFS, that means LE patrol. Then you can laugh at all the retards sitting on the flight line for 12 hrs.....I did.... If you work hard and put in the time and effort it will pay off. I was a A1C(E-3) pulling LE over SrA and SSgt's(E4-5's). And lastly, for the love of god don’t lie about anything. If you make a mistake, own it. Never lie.... I ran my patrol car off the road responding to a fight and flattened both left-side tires on my car, I made it to the call(felt like I was driving the National Lampoons vacation car, but made it none the less, lol) and explained what happened to my Sgt and all is forgiven.

    So to recap....... It is what you make of it.... Airmen are mildly retarded at times(Same stuff in the Navy as well).... and Honesty is always the ONLY policy. Good luck, I know I jump around from topic to topic but I wanted to paint a clear picture for you.

  14. #14
    It's Complicated Iowa #1603's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishlad2nv View Post
    Ok, so what is a certificate in CJ?.
    That would be a "trade school" degree................Rather than getting an AA degree----he has just taken the Criminal Justice courses...

    A "worthless" certificate that the college got big money for..................
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    If you are gonna join stay away from the MA rate. As an MA for the past 4 years I can tell you it's not what you think. You hear about all this high speed low drag stuff and you rarely get to do it. I agree with codered try to do MWD. I joined thinking it would be like police work and what not and it is NOTHING like it. You will be very disappointed. Also MA's are the biggest blue falcons you will ever encounter, not all are but a good majority are. Research and find forums like this where you can talk to those who do the job. And don't just talk to one person talk to multiple people from that rate or MOS.

  16. #16
    Forum Member SFvet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statebear View Post
    What’s wrong with the Army?

    If you enjoy, counting rivets on aircraft or freezing you’re @$$ off at a missile field or deplying to some airbase and standing tower watch and working ECPs in the blazing heat, then the AF is for you. The days of doing any meaningful LE in the AF ended in 1997......There is a reason they are called "Security" Forces now.
    Couldn't have said it better myself. I did this job for 4 years and this about sums up my experience. What I will add is, after you suck it up for the first 3-4 years you can always retrain into combat arms or MWD considering you have good performance reports and you didn't **** off anyone in your chain that has to sign off on your packet.

    If I could do it all over again I would have crosstrained into MWD when they gave me the chance back in '05. I had no idea the opportunites and money to be made on the outside with MWD experience. Good luck.
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    It depends the Navy has opportunities for some specialized units such as Riverine, Maritime Expeditionary Security, Civil Affairs, ect... As an MA it's fairly easy to get into these units. LE stateside for MAs is pretty rare I was in 1 of the few bases where we did patrol work. The job is geared more towards anti-terrorism and force protection than LE, but it is possible to do LE. Security Forces is geared towards base defense and convoy security more than LE but they get really good combat training. Expect to deploy in either, I did a tour in Afghanistan during my enlistment and several of the MAs I worked with also deployed some a number or times.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by sectionchamp06 View Post
    My goal in life is to become a Police Officer. I have a certificate in Criminal Justice from a community college near my home town. I plan to go back and finish my Associates degree in Criminal Justice in January. After that I plan to transfer to a four year college and earn my BA degree in Criminal Justice. I have taken several civil service exams in the Police Officer field as well as a few Correctional Officer exams for practice. I am 23 years old and not getting any younger. My worry is that after I finish my BA degree I still won't be able to find a position as a Police Officer and will be 27 years old after graduating from my degree program. Everyone knows that the Police/Law Enforcement game is a very long and extensive process, and I don't want to end up reaching the age cut off to become a Police Officer so my backup plan is the Military. It was never really an option for me until now, I have spent four years trying to get into an LE position. My question is, if I end up joining the Military which option would be best for me? The Navy as a Master At Arms? Or the Air Force in Security Forces? I have no intentions of joining the Army as an MP, though I have done a lot of research on 31B. What is a better life style as a Law Enforcement agent in the Military?
    Why don't you get a degree in a field that you can use other than LE? Just my advice...
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  19. #19
    Why so serious? Kimble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtSailor View Post
    The job is geared more towards anti-terrorism and force protection than LE...
    For the young college kids with no experience in the military who are unfamiliar with what "antiterrorism" and "force protection" mean, these are fancy military-speak for physical security. Not to say there aren't some interesting aspects of doing ATFP work (ex: as the SECO or the senior MA of a ship you can get the opportunity to do port advances ahead of your ship pulling into port in the Navy), but a lot includes standing at a fixed post vice patrolling the base and making arrests.

  20. #20
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    Yeah Kimble is on point with that! Lol, but there are other elements SRF, harbor patrol, counter surveillance (fixed post but if your base is good you can get some decent training out of it), but yeah there's alot of fixed post security that is a very large part of it.

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    The thing with the navy is if you go overseas you'll never do SRF. Harbor is a legit thing but it's not really something that is useful. And as a junior guy you'll probably never see a ship and if you do it's a big deck not a small boy.

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    Depends where overseas. Guam has a full scale SRT nevermind SRF, so does Cuba. Harbor can get you good quals and certs that can be useful civilian side especially for something CBP MIA. As a brand new fresh from A-School MA your chances are this, Bahrain, Cuba, Guam, Diego Garcia, or the NECC.

  23. #23
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    Navy MAA? Or Air Force Security Forces?

    This is an interesting thread. First off, I never served in the military, but have a son that is now getting interested. Coincidentally, I work with a woman who is a captain in the US Army Reserve. We had some discussion this weekend and she told me a couple of interesting things:

    -She stated she estimates as many as 20% of the army seem to have pay issues. We have some in our agency who are in guard or reserves and they have pay issues in the military that seem to take months to clear up. Are they typical?

    -She stated if she knew then what she knows now, she wishes she had gone Air Force. When I asked more specifics, she claims that the Air Force treats their enlisted better than the Army treats their commissioned officers. It sounds like she is referring to pay, housing accommodations, staffing levels in certain jobs, etc. Again, is this typical or is she the exception rather than the rule?
    Last edited by Jim1648; 02-07-2012 at 07:10 PM. Reason: Details

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    In 4 years I never had a pay issue... I've heard of it happening but never experienced it myself.

    Alot of people say they would go Air Force if they could do it again because the AF has better housing, is more relaxed, in many cases it is the "civilianish" military.

    If I could do it all over again, I would go back into the Navy, and ensure I got orders to the Riverine Squadron as I intended to do...

  25. #25
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    Air force you would have better living standards. In my 4 years in the navy I've lived through some rough stuff. Black mold, no heat or A/C, no running water for weeks at a time, when the water did run it was brown and was cold. The sad part is is that wasn't even on a deployment, that was a regular naval base. You always have to weigh the pros and cons of everything.

    Dirtsailor did you hear that they are gonna start mixing RIVRON with MSRON? I had a buddy who was there and is furious about it.

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