Law Enforcement Specialties >> Military Law Enforcement >> AF SF Officer vs. Army MP Officer vs. Other

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AF SF Officer vs. Army MP Officer vs. Other

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Posted over 2 years ago

 

Hello,


 


I'm finishing up my schooling at UCSB, and plan to have my Bachelors Degree at the end of the school year (GPA ~ 3.1 June 2012). I'm currently applying CA municipal PDs but find the pickings to be slim. I'm looking at the option of joining the Military in order to recieve invaluable experiences/training, work experience, pay (least important to me), and serve my country. In order to start my LE career, I plan on a 4 year active commitment (although I would consider delaying my civilian life if I thoroughly enjoy military life).


 


My specific question for this thread is opinions/insight/knowledge pertaining to two of my current possible aspirations:


USAF Security Forces Officer


and (or versus)


US Army Military Police Officer


 


The reason I would like to be an officer is that I've already spent the time getting my degree, and I would like to show my future empolyers that I am mature and can lead. As a civilian LEO, I'm interested in pursuing K9, Detective, Swat options.


 


Other options I am weighing are: Officer positions in the Navy, Other Officer positions in the Army, becoming a Helicopter Pilot (I have a mind for physics, but my eyesight is questionable, possible Lasik?), Enlisting in the Marines (I do not have the letters of rec or super solid GPA to compete for the limited officer spots, or so I'm told), and Officer positions in the Coast Guard (although I know the least about this option).


 


 


Thanks again for any opinions and help


 


[***EDIT***] Currently 22 yrs old, will be 23 in May.

Ggb_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

If you're receiving a degree from UCSB, you're doing well in the education aspect. Check.


Number #2: If you have the ability, enroll in an Academy as an independent (versus agency sponsored). Getting hired by an agency who will send you to an academy is rare these days. Budgets are the usual problem. BUT you gotta figure: If an agency hires you without an academy under your belt, in all practicality, they won't see you on the street as a solo officer for about a year. They want more bang for their buck. Departments are hiring laterals and academy grads these days. Unless you find a slot with CHP or LAPD or LASO, you're gonna have to get your 'academy degree' as well.


Next: If you want maximum return in your investment, get to an agency versus doing a military stint. You will be able to retire from a civilian LEO position at 50 years old with nearly 30 years at a formula of 3% at 50 in California. Inserting a 4 to 6-year military contract will only delay your retirement.


(I definitely am not slamming the military. I am a veteran and enjoyed my enlistment.)


And lastly, my personal opinion is if you MUST go military, then seek a Master-at-Arms position with the Navy. The Air Force and Army have great military police positions as well.


 


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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Thank you for the response.


The main reason I'm looking to do military is to prove that I'm mature. I've made some immature decisions in my life (lived in the same house as a kid who had a "medical" marijuana card), smoked myself (over 5 years ago, and only once), and drove way too fast as a 16-17 year old (multiple speeding tickets). Additionally, I lack work experience. These factors, coupled with current job availability and job seekers, has led me to explore other options.


I have looked at the Navy, and the prospect of travelling is enticing, I'm just concerned at what GPA they are looking for (for officers), and (for all the branches except Army) the likelyhood of getting placed in an MP position.


 


I also realize that MP LE activies may vary greatly from civilian LE activities (or be somewhat similar, depending), thus I'm open to other military positions.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Military is very serious. There is no such thing as a four year enlistment the first time.


ALL first timers- sign an 8 year contract. Although you  may only serve actively for 4 years, you will be on inactive reserve for 4 years- and can be called upon at any time.


If military is what you are looking at, weigh all your options. Make sure the branches you look into have an Officer Security program that you can get into starting out. In the Navy in order to be a security officer you have to be selected after many years of enlisted top performance. It' consider Limited Duty Officer- or LDO.


Recruiters- talkt o a friend the previous or current military. These guys can be pretty shady. DO YOUR RESEARCH!


You have a degree- that is a for sure head start that will pay off.


Just remember as rewarding as it is to be in the Military, its a long hard road.


I've had several bumps. I wouldn't trade it for the world, but others have nto been able to say the same thing.


BIG BUMP TO MASTER-AT-ARMS!!!  BLACK SHOES!!!


Keep all your opitions open, be honest with everyone and especially yourself.


Keep chugging away. You can do it.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Thanks Redlight!


I actually knew about the 8 year contract, but thanks for the reminder.


Haven't talked to any recruiters yet, waiting for the New Years holiday period to pass.


I'm trying to do my own research, but the amount of information is a little overwhelming. Additionally, the information on each branches websites is not the same, e.g. the army has every job (MOS) spelled out to a T, while the other branches have more general information.


As for the Navy, I like the idea of travel, but I want to do something LE or Combat related, and it seems like officer positions at that aren't going to come to a new recruit.


As of now, it looks as if my options are: Army Officer, AF Officer, Navy enlistee, Marine enlistee, and possible CG positions.


Are there any general forums that might be able to help? A friend who's quite knowledgable and has been helping me is running out of information but he told me most branches have their own forums while he hasn't yet found a general military forum for what I desire (comparing different branches) [I'm already on military.com].


 

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I'm partial to the Air Force...Best Chow halls, best facilities, best treatment, best equipment, best quality of life of all the services.  Just my opinion.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Podypo, I've heard the same thing.


 


I was reading on another forum (military.com) that OTS for AF is competitive cause they're cutting down on active commissioned officers... I'm wondering if anyone knows more about the competitiveness for Officer selection for the different branches, as well as my other questions/concerns in the above posts. Thanks


 


[***EDIT***] Also does anyone know how competitive K9 and SRT training is? and if they're offered to officers? (I know K9 is very competitive and not offered to officers, but further insight would be helpful)

736335_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

I'm a Marine it may be different in the army but just because you are an MP does not mean you will be doing law enforcement you may be in a field unit where  you will train and lead missions to do combat patrols not conduct law enforcement on your base. I do know from talking to reservist that work as cops that some places give you a "military advantage" when they are looking for new cops.

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

While I'm no subject matter expert on the Marines/Navy/Army I am an AF SF guy and I can tell you a few things. If K-9 is where you really want to be, do not go officer. As an officer in the air force you will in charge with over seeing a squadron and you will get no actual police work. That being said, if you go enlisted in the air force you will be seeing entry control points(gates) for a long time. Just like the Marines we have a PRP program which means you will be guarding 'assests vital to national security'. Army/Marine/Air Force/Navy all have the same peramiters I don't think there is one who is 'better' then the other to be honest. Just rember to do any of the 'highspeed stuff' enlisted is your best bet.

Don_27t_20tred_20on_20me_max50

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Rate This | Posted over 2 years ago

 

Sorry for the long post, I wanted to see if I could give you a few pointers on becoming an LEO.


To tell you a little bit about me I've also always wanted to be LEO and decided to join the Army to make it a reality. I started out in the explorer program for my local police department then I joined the service....was an MP in the Army for 6 years....now I work as a corrections officer.


First of all, you're on the right track...college is the way to go.


Secondly, you should go on a few ride-a-longs with your local police department or the department you want to work for...LEO work is not all that it is cracked up to be. A lot of people aren't up for it. Being an LEO is a thankless job with lots of thankless tasks...you will probably be giving some cracked out prositute with Hepatitus C mouth-to-mouth before getting into a shoot out with any domestic terrorists...so if you think the job is flashing lights and sirens and saving kittens from trees a wake up call is in order. The ride-a-longs don't only serve as an educational moment...it is a many fold experience. You will network with people that may be in charge of the department years down the line, so make as many friends as you can. Also, you will get to know the layout of the community....streets you've never been to, trouble spots, hang arrounds, common drugs and gangs, etc, etc. There is no bad thing that can come from ride a longs with your local LEO.


Third, make good decisions NOW. Think that getting drunk with your friends before you go off to basic training is a good idea? Well, make sure you know your friends, that's all I'm saying. Flashing your butt to an adjacent vehicle may seam like fun know, but do you care to try to explain how you were just trying to have a little fun during the background check of your dream Law Enforcement Agency? Obviously stay away from drugs....even over the counter stuff. We all get headaches and have sore pain, but taking 800mg of ibueprophine with a few beers might give you a bigger headache down the road when that polygraph needle is jumping.


Fourth- learn Spanish. Period.


Other things to note...the job will change you, your friends NOW will suddenly hate you and you will have to make new ones, every mistake you make will be on YouTube but every life you save or bullet you take will just be dismissed as "hazards of the job", you will spend more time in court explaining your actions or testifying than actually catching criminals, you will be spat on more than thanked, insulted more than praised, and lose more sleep for seeing the aftermath of a crime than the criminal that actually did it.


Joing the service? Well let me tell you, that is not all that it is cracked up to be either. Nevertheless, I'm glad I did it and don't regret a day I served. Being an MP isn't what it seems either....I spent more time behind a HUMVEE in Afghanistan than I did behind a patrol car in Fort Bragg. It's the nature of the beast. Don't want to be stuck doing guard duty, sh*t stirring, detainee searching? Don't be an MP...do some research, both Garrison and Field duties of the job, and pick what you think will be fun. Knowing what I know now, I would have been a Scout, Combat Arms or even Special Forces...not an MP. Also, I wish I took full advantage of the educational benefits while I was in. CLEP tests are FREE, most universities give discounts and the GI Bill pays you even for vocational training.


As mentioned before, joining the service is an 8-year commitment, regardless of what any recruiter tells you. Whatever service you do in the regular army is "active duty"...the remainder of the eight years is "innactive reserve". I served 6 years just to have my wife about have heart attack from my "reserve NCOIC" threaten to reactivate and deploy me if I didn't reenlist in the reserves. Even if you don't give them a good address they will just track down where the GI Bill checks go.


Recruiters get bonuses for maintaining retention numbers and enlisting needed job classifications. They are not your friend. I swear that if a recruiter ever got a young, male finance specialist into ranger school they would win the lotto or something.


Last pointer, once you are on this path and finally start placing your application in to the department don't lie. Ever. More people get disqualified for lying than for admitting that they screwed up somewhere in their past. If you have no integrity, law enforcement can't use you. Period.


Good luck.


 


*Riot Out*


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