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Everyone wants Air Force?

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Hello,

It seems that a majority of people have Air Force HPSP as their first choice. Can someone of this ilk further explain why they like AF so much? The living facilities and treatment seem a bit vague, can anyone be more specific?


Thanks
 

Kahr

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Honestly I think it's purely a public perception thing for most people. A lot of what people assume is to an extent true, but the actual experience is another thing (true for all branches mind). There might be a small number who actually have prior service in a branch and make their decision based on that (good or bad, depending on branch, etc), but otherwise I think the first reason I mention is the primary one.
 

Kabek

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Honestly I think it's purely a public perception thing for most people.


My opinion is a bit different then your opinion. There are significant differences between all the branches. It is what one desires.

For instance on my previous Army airbase in Germany there were a few AF personnel stationed there as well. The AF personnel were paid hardship pay to live on an Army base, go figure.

In general AF bases are significantly nicer then the other branches, have shorter deployments, etc. etc.

All that really matters is the people you are stationed with.
 

ALTOSS

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My opinion is a bit different then your opinion. There are significant differences between all the branches. It is what one desires.

For instance on my previous Army airbase in Germany there were a few AF personnel stationed there as well. The AF personnel were paid hardship pay to live on an Army base, go figure.

In general AF bases are significantly nicer then the other branches, have shorter deployments, etc. etc.

All that really matters is the people you are stationed with.


My opinion is a bit different than your opinion. While there are significant differences among all the branches, to say one is "better" than the other would be an overstatement.

If you're in doubt, go to the military hospital with dental attachment or a stand-alone dental clinic. They'll be happy to show you around. I'd done my research, visiting many clinics, including both AF and Army. My conclusion: it's not the tools you're working with that make a difference, but it's the people you work with. You could be working for a CO who's all over you in AF, so go figure. I've talked to a bunch of army O-6s, and they were totally down-to-earth, honest, and hard working folks. I found most of the Army clinics I've visited were just as good, if not better as to the quality of the facilities.

As to living quarters, at least on the state side, why would a young officer even want to live on base, anyway (unless you have 5 kids or something)? Also, sure AF bases can appear "better," but unless you're doing a daily tour of the base, you'd be working in your clinic all day, all week.

As to deployment, well, one shouldn't join the military in the first place if s/he is worried about getting deployed for a few months while, as a military officer, getting all the benefits and privileges.
 

ALTOSS

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My opinion is a bit different then your opinion. There are significant differences between all the branches. It is what one desires.

For instance on my previous Army airbase in Germany there were a few AF personnel stationed there as well. The AF personnel were paid hardship pay to live on an Army base, go figure.

In general AF bases are significantly nicer then the other branches, have shorter deployments, etc. etc.

All that really matters is the people you are stationed with.


My opinion is a bit different then your opinion. While there are significant differences among all the branches, to say one is "better" than the other would be an overstatement.

If you're in doubt, go to the military hospital with dental attachment or a stand-alone dental clinic. They'll be happy to show you around. I'd done my research, visiting many clinics, including both AF and Army. My conclusion: it's not the tools you're working with that make a difference, but it's the people you work with. You could be working for a CO who's all over you in AF, so go figure. I've talked to a bunch of army O-6s, and they were totally down-to-earth, honest, and hard working folks. I found most of the Army clinics I've visited were just as good, if not better as to the quality of the facilities.

As to living quarters, at least on the state side, why would a young officer even want to live on base, anyway (unless you have 5 kids or something)? Also, sure AF bases can appear "better," but unless you're doing a daily tour of the base, you'd be working in your clinic all day, all week.

As to deployment, well, one shouldn't join the military in the first place if s/he is worried about getting deployed for a few months while, as a military officer, getting all the benefits and privileges.
 

Kabek

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My conclusion: it's not the tools you're working with that make a difference, but it's the people you work with.

You just reiterated my whole post with that statement.

Please read what I wrote again because I did not say one branch was "better" then another as you posted.

There are differences and I am glad you have done your research. Visiting a few clinics and reading posts from people on sitting their couch aren't the same as working.
 

ALTOSS

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You just reiterated my whole post with that statement.

Please read what I wrote again because I did not say one branch was "better" then another as you posted.

There are differences and I am glad you have done your research. Visiting a few clinics and reading posts from people on sitting their couch aren't the same as working.

"For instance on my previous Army airbase in Germany there were a few AF personnel stationed there as well. The AF personnel were paid hardship pay to live on an Army base, go figure.

In general AF bases are significantly nicer then the other branches, have shorter deployments, etc. etc."

Hmm... I think the above statements by you sound awful like one is superior than the other, so please re-read what you wrote again. To apply your logic, unless you'd worked in both clinics for a sufficient period of time, no one can compare the two convincingly. Have you worked in both services, or are you making general statements about AF from reading posts from people sitting in their couch?
 

Act0fgod

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I've thought about responding to this post a few times but each time decided not to. You're asking a tough question. Asking us to provide specifics when each specific individual will have a different experience depending on their personality, desires, expectations, circumstances, peers, assignments, supervisors...(you get the picture).

If we provide specifics someone can easily say that is wrong this is my experience, as we have seen.

I chose the AF before I knew what I would do in the AF. The AF offered the best opportunities and the best downside, in my opinion. Since everyone on this board is thinking dentistry it could be said the job is the same, but it isn't always. In the Army you have opportunity to serve as a brigade dentist. In the navy you have the opportunity to serve on a ship. In the AF you only have the opportunity to work in a civilian practice type setting. I'm not aware of any other opportunities for new dentists in the AF other than a clinic or training.

From my experience in DC as a medical administrator the active duty medical records room supervisor at Walter Reed was a dentist. It didn't make sense to me that a dentist would have responsibility for something outside the dental clinic but maybe the guy enjoyed the variety it offered and the break from clinic. In fact when I told one of my mentors in my previous career field that I was going into dentistry he told me how a dental commander friend of his once told him how he was jealous of the opportunity we had to work such varied tasks as administrators.

I also want to provide my input on the deployment topic. The deployment structure of the AF is more enticing to me than the deployment structures of the Army or the Navy and that played a large part in my decision process. That doesn't mean that I am trying to avoid deployments at all costs and I in fact want to deploy and told my boss that if I didn't get HPSP I wanted to volunteer for a 365 day deployment. I do however respect that not everyone will seek deployment opportunities and in the future I may not seek them out. When I have kids I think I will greatly prefer most AF deployments in comparison to most deployments with the Army or Navy.
 

Kabek

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Yes, I have worked in both services.

The AF in general has better infrastructure which DOESN'T make it superior but if you choose to read that way it is your choice.
 
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I hesitated slightly before posting this because there was the potental for inter-service rivalry, but I was really curious to get specifics. Everyone is speaking from their own experiences and I that is what I am looking for.

Act0fgod, thank you for your input. I understand people's experiences and perceptions are all different and that is exactly what I am looking. I cannot get specifics about the military experience otherwise.


Kabek, thank you for your input. I did not feel you were slandering any branch.

Altoss, I appreciate your input also. I currently do not have the opportunity to visit facilities for myself, and so the information you provided is great.
 

tingting

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The AF is popular because it is perceived as being the least "military". Many people take the dental HPSP package mainly for financial reasons and they want to avoid any military hardships. They do not want to be a soldier or sailor.

I have been to I believe 6 Navy dental clinics and they are all first class facilities. Also I have AF family and I've not noticed AF bases to be any nicer. My 2 cents.
 

Randomage

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I also want to provide my input on the deployment topic. The deployment structure of the AF is more enticing to me than the deployment structures of the Army or the Navy and that played a large part in my decision process. That doesn't mean that I am trying to avoid deployments at all costs and I in fact want to deploy and told my boss that if I didn't get HPSP I wanted to volunteer for a 365 day deployment. I do however respect that not everyone will seek deployment opportunities and in the future I may not seek them out. When I have kids I think I will greatly prefer most AF deployments in comparison to most deployments with the Army or Navy.

Could you elaborate on what you've found about the differences between air force and army deployments? It's my understanding that the majority of army deployments are 6 months, with only a few brigade dentists going 12 months. I would really like to know what the major differences are, because the more I research, the more it seems like they're very similar.
 

AFDDS

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Could you elaborate on what you've found about the differences between air force and army deployments? It's my understanding that the majority of army deployments are 6 months, with only a few brigade dentists going 12 months. I would really like to know what the major differences are, because the more I research, the more it seems like they're very similar.

The overwhelming majority of deployments for the Army and the AF are now 6 months. The AF has a few longer ones, but not many. From my experience while I was deployed, there isn't much difference. I wasn't in a remote location, but some AF do deploy more forward.
 

AFDDS

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I usually stay away from these threads because I don't want to come across as "against" any of the other services. I'm absolutely not. I knew I wouldn't like the Navy. They have a rich tradition and are a great service, however, I had no desire to be on a ship.

I am prior Army and considered joining the Army when I entered active duty. I chose the AF because I had several friends already in the AF when I joined. The main thing for me was that I wanted to serve.

Notice almost all of what I said was a personal decision for me. Each service has it's own traditions and its own ups and downs. I cannot speak to life as an Army Dentist or as a Navy Dentist, but can as an AF Dentist and can say I haven't regretted a day of it. I'm sure my Army and Navy colleagues would say the same.

I hear statements all the time that the AF is "less military". That's not my opinion and I live it daily. I don't let my time in a line unit for the Army sway my opinion one way or the other regarding what is more or less military. Life in the Dental Corps of any service is different that life in a line unit.

You need to make your own list of pros and cons for each service and pick the one that fits your needs the best. Once you do, just come on active duty with the attitude of "I'm here to serve" and you'll do just fine.
 
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