Career: Air Force-Enlisted
There are dozens of completely different jobs available to a high-school graduate in the Air Force. The apprentice system puts one under the command of an officer in a variety of jobs. For example, in the Administrative field are such positions as Operations Resource Management Apprentice, who keeps tracks missions and flight personnel, and Radio Communications Systems Apprentice, who helps to run radio and satellite communications. The Operations/Support field includes personnel such as Helicopter Maintenance Apprentices and Fuels Apprentices, who are responsible for storage and maintenance of fuel operations. There are also numerous jobs available in Operations, including intelligence and surveillance. Systems careerists will work with machines that chart the weather, launch missiles, and detect threats to the country. In short, those who expect to fly a plane as an enlistee should be prepared for disappointment, as all of the flying jobs go to officers.
In order to join the Air Force, enlistees have to sign an enlistment contract, which in most cases involves a commitment to 8 years of service. Depending on the terms of the contract, 2 to 6 years are spent on active duty and the rest spent in the Air Force Reserves. The enlistment contract obligates the Air Force to provide the agreed-upon job, rank, pay, cash bonuses for enlistment in certain occupations, medical and other benefits, occupational training, and continuing education. In exchange, enlisted personnel must serve satisfactorily for the specified period of time.
Air Force enlistees spend time with pilots, electricians, engineers, Air Force Officers, doctors, administrators. Joining the armed forces is like joining an enormous corporation, and all sections work in cooperation with the others. The Air Force works in conjunction with all other branches of the armed forces.