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Any differences in Navy vs. Air Force

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by drew5264, 07.03.09.

  1. drew5264

    drew5264

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    How is it going? I just joined the forum today but have read a lot in the past just never actually joined. I graduated this year from Nova Southeastern in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

    After looking at my loans I realized I owe a ridiculous amount of $, a lot more than most pharmacy grads. I have been looking into pharmacy in the air force and navy. Ive spoke to pharmacists in both branches to get a feel for the differences but thought Id post a question here.

    If anyone could give me some objective differences between the two it would be much appreciated. My primary concerns are loan repayment, deployment possibility and length of time (I have a family with a kid), residency opportunities and possibilities for long term?

    Thanks, Andy
  2. confettiflyer

    confettiflyer Unicorn w/ dirty wings

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    The scholarships are structured differently. There's a bunch of Navy and AF pharmacy threads from yesteryear you can find via search.

    Gist of the scholarships as of last year (what people have reported on here, check w/ a health science recruiter for current details):

    Navy: Considered "active duty" while on scholarship and receive stipend, housing allowance, and health insurance. 2-yr scholarship, those two years count toward your "20 yr" retirement. NO tuition coverage, but the allowance/stipend is generous.

    AF: Not considered "active duty" while on scholarship. Receive stipend only and health insurance over the summer. Apparent 45 day/yr commitment over the summer (no further details/confirmation on this). YES to tuition coverage for the last 2 years only.

    Other differences... Navy = other duties in addition to being a pharmacist. AF = "just a pharmacist" (refer to other threads). Obviously base locations are different.

    This is a summary of what's been said on the forums, again...check with a recruiter for current details.
  3. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    Check out the PHS, too.
  4. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Out of curiosity, why are you not considering the Army?

    First off, I really don't know much about the Navy. Parsox is a navy pharmacist. You may want to PM him. I work close enough with the AF to know that the same exactly BS that happens in the AF happens in the Army. As far as loan repayment, the Army beats them all. The Navy beats the hell out of the Air Force. You need to keep in mind the the AF doesn't need to spend money on recruiting benefits because everything outside of the military thinks that AF is the God of all military, which is totally incorrect. The Navy and the Army both offer very generous tuition reimbursement packages. You have to go with who you feel most comfortable with. I chose the Army because of money. The opportunities I have received have been awesome. I am sure there are great opportunities available in the Navy and AF as well.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me
  5. drew5264

    drew5264

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    I spoke to people who said the army has longer deployment times. I know they said 1 year standard compared to 6 months standard. The recruiter I spoke to indicated they had some definate loan repayment that was very good. However, I talked to a pharmacist who said she knew people who were deployed longer than a year. She also seemed to think depoyment was very likely???
  6. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Yes, the army does indeed have longer deployment times. Army pharmacists deploy for 12 months. The army used to send pharmacists for 16 months but that no longer is happening. I am relatively new and have yet to deploy. If you stay in any military branch, deployment is likely at some point in your career. I work with some people that have been in 16 years and have yet to deploy.

    On a side note, if you are worried about deploying, being away from your family for periods of time, or have trouble packing up and moving to a new place that is out of your control (meaning not knowing where your going), the military is not for you.
  7. inquirer89

    inquirer89

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    Caverject nice to see you back.

    This may be a dumb question, but after taking the HPSP and serving for 3 years in any of the branches, do they count towards the 20 retirement if you switch to the VA after discharge? I'd be pretty interested in applying for the HPSP in my second year.
  8. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus

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    This guy may know what he is talking about... although - with a name like Caver???
  9. SpirivaSunrise

    SpirivaSunrise Go Gators! Lifetime Donor

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    We really missed you!!!
  10. type b pharmD

    type b pharmD

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    The navy is cooler simply because of the fact that as a pharmacist, you have a decent shot at becoming a commander.. which everyone knows is the coolest rank title in the military.
  11. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    no, it wont count. Years in uniform is different than years working as a civilian for the government. I know that in some cases you can "buy back your years" in the service, but I have no idea how that works and if that applies to the VA.
  12. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    yeah...but that 67echo dude was a real fruit cake!
  13. SoonerPharmD

    SoonerPharmD

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    if you need to pay back loans, then retail will pay the most. i tried to go AF a couple of years ago, but they said to work retail to pay down my loans first b/c they were using $ for pharmacist retention rather than recruiting.
  14. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Perhaps with some due diligence you would of found out that this is not the case for the Army or the Navy.

    The AF spends the same amount of money on retention as the Navy and the Army. They don't spend a whole lot of money to recruit folks because everyone for some reason wants to join the AF. So yeah, if you are not getting student loan reimbursement, you would be making a heck of a lot more money in retail versus the air force.
  15. StaviZFingerZ

    StaviZFingerZ Retired

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    good lord...... caver is like fungus... can't get rid of it.
  16. drew5264

    drew5264

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    I've been talking to the navy they offer 32k/2 yes active duty I believe. An air force recruiter said you could get 70k between accession and loan repayment I think for 3 years which isn't bad. I have to clarify that. There is also the public health 10 year lone forgiveness program.
  17. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    When I checked the Navy was paying 38K/3 years. Times change all the time I guess!

    The air force recruiter said you could get 70k, but the chances and hoops you got to jump thru, it makes it highly unlikely. You have to get into the Air Force and then apply for the money. There is no definite when it comes to money with the AF.
  18. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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  19. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor

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    Pharmacist Rocket Scientist hSDN Member hSDN Alumni Navy SDN 5+ Year Member
    The navy recruiter I spoke to mentioned that their pharmacists do deploy. Either on a hospital shop, which is rare, or with marines.

    Just chiming in since I'm prior-Nav.
  20. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus

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    Wow - that is new - as recently as Feb of this year this program was not being offered (or perhaps it was simply not advertised). Glad to see the military is responding to the needs of its officers.

    This also means that the Navy is hurting for pharmacist in the same way the Army is (these incentive programs exist for a reason).

    Great info.
  21. drew5264

    drew5264

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    I just got my application in with the navy. I think the recruiter said the loan repayment (32, 38, 40?) incurs 6 years of service and accession possible $30k with 7. I think 3 years minimum active duty commitment atleast not sure if you take the accession. I am going to try to see if I can get assignment in Jacksonville here near my family.
  22. museabuse

    museabuse Senior Member

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    Does anyone know the age, weight, and physical requirements? I am 6ft 1in and I started to apply for the Af Scholarship 4 years ago but didn't pass physical because of hbp. I know then I had to be under 197. I could have gotten waiver from dr but then realized the scholarship is very competitive and not guaranteed so I stopped. Military has always interested me but I am not sure anymore because I am 34 now and a little overweight.
  23. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    here you go...

    http://usmilitary.about.com/od/army/l/blmaleweight.htm

    Also, don't let this stop you from applying for the military if you are interested. Your recruiter can give you a tape test to see if you qualify. I will never make my height and weight requirements and will be taped for the rest of my career in the military. Its really not a big deal at all.
  24. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    lmao...I'm apparently too fat to join the military.
  25. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Same here. Doesn't make any sense though why you would have these strict height-weight requirements when you're short on soldiers. The advanced weaponry should more than make up for the lack of physical ability of the soldier.

    But I don't get why they would have these for health care professionals in the military? Are health care professionals also put through boot camp and combat training?
  26. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Refer back to my post that says if you dont make height and weight, you can pass a tape test. The tape test is made specifically for people that are "overweight" but not fat. I'm 6'2" and 230 pounds. I will always be taped.

    Advanced weapons does not make up for a soldiers physical deficits. If you have no strength or endurance, there is no way that soldier is fit for combat. There is no exception to this.

    All healthcare professionals in the military, including yours truly, have to go to "boot camp", otherwise known as Officer Basic Course. There is a thread about this too...
  27. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    Do not join the military because it seems like an "easy" way to pay off your loans.
  28. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    There are physical standards in place because ALL soldiers are inherently capable of fighting. If your FOB is over-run, doesn't matter what your job is - you should be able to fight back. There is no advanced weaponry that is a quick fix for being a fat lazy ****bag.
  29. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    Here is some of the army's most advanced weaponry...

    [​IMG]
  30. Parsox

    Parsox

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    Pharmacists in the Navy currently are deploying to Kuwait, Afghanistan, and humanitarian missions (hospital ship(s)) or maybe LHD which does support a Marine landing force.
    Last edited: 07.06.09
  31. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus

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    I served on the LHD2 Essex for 6 months as part of a MEU - A mini carrier if you will - I had a great time - but I don't know if I could do it for 6 on 6 off - That would be brutal. Forget it if you are married.

    One fact many do not know about the military and night life. Be wary when the ships leave port - There are a lot of "singles" that show up whenever the ship leaves port. Just because you didn't know she wasn't single won't protect you from adultery charges.

    As to height and weight regulations - I would be very surprised in you guys couldn't tape and pass muster.

    Something tells me that Mikey's free will may clash with the more rigid military lifestyle... hahah I can just see him in a bar somewhere explaining how his military career lasted two days before he was asked to leave.
  32. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    Hell...I'm 5'10"...I can dunk a tennis ball on a 10' rim...but I'm apparently 20 lbs too fat for the military. They aren't in tune with my hilljack genes apparently.

    That's all I need to know. To hell with them.

    I just asked a few girls I work with how much they thought I weighed...one said 160...the other said 165-170...lmao...I'm a tad over 2 bills. I have a weird body. Legs the size of tree trunks...head the size of a cantalope...
  33. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Ehh, I'm 5'9" 240 lbs, I am fat but I consider myself fit because I can lift heavy weights, I'm pretty good at cardiovascular, paintball has definitely helped me in that area.

    Question for those in the military, is there any body armor out there that is good enough to prevent damage from .50 caliber weapons and high explosives?
  34. WVUPharm2007

    WVUPharm2007 "I hear the WMD is the bomb."

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    Yeah. It's called a ****ing bunker.
  35. Athrok

    Athrok

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    Hit the deck.
  36. Kirbypuff

    Kirbypuff Worldling

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    Weight doesn't mean anything. What's your body fat%? I know a girl who weighs about 30% more than what she looks like she weighs. Shrug.
  37. 117296

    117296 Guest

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    To OP: To me, AF looks like a better deal when you are still in school, because they will pay tuition and they do not play up the pay off the loans aspect. Army is probably the best deal for someone out of school already, in my opinion.

    From what I've heard each branch has their own set of BS to work through as well as their own benefits. Ultimately, I am applying for one over the other because of base locations (chances are better that you'll get a base in the area you want when there are actually bases there.)

    Also, from what I've heard, residencies are tougher to get in the armed forces than in the civilian world. However, I would do a residency for the years of experience, and if I'm going to be spending 5+ years in the AF I don't know whether I'd need it or not...but that's a topic for another thread.
  38. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    So I guess the government doesn't have any of these bad boys in development.

    [​IMG]

    Ehh, then again even if they did, I doubt that the government would value the life of a soldier so much to give every soldier a $10 Million dollar suit.
  39. MountainPharmD

    MountainPharmD custodiunt illud simplex

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    Ha ha ...thats funny! Have you ever seen a .50 cal round?

    quoted from: " http://www.inetres.com/gp/military/infantry/mg/50_ammo.html
  40. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    Sparda, you crack me up. Hoping you can fly a Raptor being a pharmacist in the Air Force, bionic suits and quoting lines from Batman Begins. About the only armor that can stop a 50 cal round is the classified material that the M1A1 Abrams tank is made of. The currently used IBA worn by soldiers is a kevlar weave which can stop a 9mm round and has optional ceramic plates which are inserted in front, back and sides of the armor. These ceramic plates called SAPI (Small Arms Protective Inserts) plates can stop a 7.62 round. The vest itself doesn't weigh much but once those inserts are put in, you're looking at around 20 lbs, +/- a few. Add your camelbak water weight, full combat load of ammo, grenades and what not your basic combat weight is upwards of 30 pounds, maybe a little more. To make a long story short - no, there is no magical suit that weighs as much as a pair of jeans and can stop a 50 cal round or a roadside bomb.
  41. Sparda29

    Sparda29 En Taro Adun Gold Donor

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    Hmmm, good thing enemies don't have .50 caliber rounds, and by enemies I don't mean any countries, just talking like your Al-Qaedas, and various splinter groups.

    Edit...never mind, turns out Osama did buy like 25 Barrett rifles from Austria.
  42. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus

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    If you have ever seen the American military on full out pursuit - it is an absolute awesome / scary sight. A tank line charging through the desert is absolutely ridiculous. That being said - at any given time, the guy with the lucky shot can take out the world's greatest Marine (okay, or soldier).

    Speaking from my scattered memories of combat training - your not actually allowed to aim a .50 cal weapon and fire at a human. It is considered an inappropriate use of force, as a shot any where to the torso is almost certainly a kill shot. The .50 cal (not including sniper) is used mainly to incapacitate vehicles - a few shots to the engine block kills most jeeps.

    I'm sure someone from the ground side of the house will know more.

    As a pharmacist serving with the Marine Corps (essentially, a Naval pharmacy officer with the EGA) will be expected to qualify each year with the M16A2 or 4 and possibly M9 pistol. You would be expected to be able to handle yourself in a fight and lead troops in combat. That includes both hand to hand (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) and squad tactics (Contact right, contact left, etc.). If you are not going to be attached to a Marine unit - all of the above need not apply.
  43. Caverject

    Caverject Try Some Schnitzel!

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    What about Marine Corps PT requirements? Would you have to abide by them or the Navy's?

    (For those that don't know, the Marines have the toughest PT requirements of all the military branches)
  44. ValeUC

    ValeUC PharmD

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    I wasn't contemplating the Navy because I couldn't be directly in the Corps again and I don't think I could handle that. I don't remember any other medical personnel being able to be attached/integrated into a Marine unit other than the Corpsman. In those cases the Navy DID have to pass Marine Corps PT standards if they wanted to be in the unit.
  45. Parsox

    Parsox

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    Navy medical would not have tactical control over non-medical units, even if the RPh was the senior member.

    You could choose to do Marine regs, if you wanted to participate in their PRT.
  46. drew5264

    drew5264

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    My recruiter said he's on the level but what I'm told isn't consistent with what a friend of mine was told. Where can I get access to navy regs on the lrp and accession guidelines.



    QUOTE=Parsox;8389739]Navy medical would not have tactical control over non-medical units, even if the RPh was the senior member.

    You could choose to do Marine regs, if you wanted to participate in their PRT.[/QUOTE]
  47. Parsox

    Parsox

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  48. RxMarine

    RxMarine

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    Ditto...I never saw Navy brass training with Marines. They would be in the rear.


    No such thing as a naval officer with an EGA...the only Navy personnel Marines would consider to have an EGA is the Corpsman...and not the fluffy Corpsmen attached to pogue units :smuggrin:
  49. aboveliquidice

    aboveliquidice No sacrifice - No victory Moderator Emeritus

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    We should ALL learn to check our sources (this includes mainly myself)

    It is NOT an EGA - as only a Marine may wear one. There is however the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Qualified Officer Insignia = Which is:

    Earned by Navy officers assigned to the Fleet Marine Force of the U.S. Marine Corps who have successfully completed the necessary requirements including serving for one year in a Marine Corps Command, completing a written test, and an oral board conducted by FMF qualified officers. The FMF Qualified Officer Insignia is most commonly earned by staff officers in the Medical Fields, and Chaplains, although it is also awarded to other officer communities, such as Civil Engineer Corps and line officers.


    In terms of command - No, a pharmacy officer will not typically be charged with running tactical operations... Of course not. However, EVERY OFFICER SHALL BE CAPABLE OF DOING SO.

    This is the cornerstone of being a Marine - Every Marine is a rifleman. This goes double for every officer. You will be capable of leading your men in combat should you choose to wear gold bars or anything greater. If the hospital / military installation is overrun - You as an officer shall take charge and lead your men.

    /rant hahah - I completely blanked out the EGA vs FMF insignia. Shows what being a civi for a few years can do to you...

    EDIT: Just for completeness - Naval Corpsman cannot wear an EGA either - they have the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) Enlisted Warfare Specialist Insignia - which is similar to the FMF insignia a medical officer can wear - however, there are slightly different requirements.
    Last edited: 07.12.09
  50. RxMarine

    RxMarine

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    Thanks for the info. I wasn't aware there was even an FMF insignia for officers. Apparently it's a very recent addition...as I read when I came across this article:

    http://www.military.com/cs/Satellite?c=maArticle&cid=1199421925090&pagename=News/nwsLayout

    This snip from the article kind of illustrates what I was getting at:


    The insignia is one thing...but the Corpsmen who are always with Marines, and take care of them when **** gets crazy...are pretty much Marines.

    It's good though that the officers are getting to know a little more about what Marines do.

    Fair winds to ya...

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