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Military cycling(21 posts)

Military cyclingstinkfoot247
May 31, 2003 2:31 PM
I never made it to the recruiter yesterday, so for those in the airforce I got some questions. Say you get out of training and your on base, Can you have your bike at home shipped over, and possibly a toolbox of park tools. Do you have any space to keep these kinda things. I would die with out my bike. I don't feel like waiting till monday to ask a recruiter.
re: Military cyclingxxl
May 31, 2003 2:49 PM
Can't say how it is for sure, as I wasn't in the military, but I did know quite a few folks that rode while in the service, even buying bikes (depending on where they were stationed) overseas; they must've kept them somewhere.
First off, the recruiter will lie and tell you what you want tosn69
May 31, 2003 4:11 PM
hear. That said, yes, you can have your bike shipped with your personal property move wherever you go. The only time you'll have to forgo it is during basic training.

After that and any subsequent schools AND when you post to your first permanent duty station, you are guaranteed a certain amount of goods shipped at the government's expense. The amount is based on rank. Don't worry,'ll have ample weight allowance for multitudes of bikes and tools. Likewise, most mail order bike retailers will ship to APOs and FPOs, the military post offices that act as clearing houses for overseas members.

If you're really intent on enlisting, might I suggest that you expend more energy towards what you want as your occupational specialty. It matters--SIGNIFICANTLY. Remember, recruiters are evaluated based not only on how many recruits they bring in, but also based upon how many "hard fill" MOSs/ratings they manage to fill. That means that they will try to push you into jobs that are typically less than idyllic.

Think about what you want to get from your time in. Are you looking for marketable skills? Are you looking for occupational specialites that offer college credit? These are the things that are vital if you're going to enlist. Be wary of the recruiter "trolling a turd" to see if you'll bite.

Just my two cents.
Spoiler here, your online recruiterSpoiler
May 31, 2003 4:52 PM
You bet you can ship your bikes and tools over. As long as the tool box doesn't contain a box cutter. We don't allow those to be shipped due to security reasons.
re: Military cyclingtorquecal
May 31, 2003 5:34 PM
Yes you'll be able to get those items shipped and you'll probably have room and permission to store them inside your dorm room if you like. The only reason I say "probably" is because dorm rooms vary greatly from base to base, so do dorm manager rules. Overall, the quality of AF dorms has been getting much better over the last few years.

What another posted above about concentrating on your job rather than the cycling aspects of military service was spot on GREAT advice! If you end up in a job you hate no mileage figure on the bike is going to make your life any better, at least for the term of your enlistment. Also makes a difference as to when you're going to want your bike. Some technical training schools are upwards of 9 months long or longer, others are a matter of weeks and some are what we call direct duty assignments - no formal training at all. If you're in one of the longer tech schools you may want your bike sooner (and have the freedom and time to ride it). But again, the rules within that training school will determine if you can keep a bike in your room.

I was in the Army for 5 years, and I've now been in the USAF for 16 years. The most important thing about it is your attitude going in, and concentrating on getting a job you want. Take what the recruiter tells you with a grain of salt. If there's a base within driving range visit it and talk to the airmen there doing the jobs the recruiter is offering you. If possible, talk to them out of earshot of the recruiter and/or their bosses. I'm not insinuating that anyone is going to out and out lie to you, but you generally get better info when the "stripes" aren't hanging around listening.

Good luck!
If you want to ride, get a flying jobspookyload
May 31, 2003 9:18 PM
I have been in for twelve years, flying different planes enlisted, and have always been able to put in 10 hours a week or so on the bike. Flyers fly about 3 times a week, and you are required to have 12 hours off prior to every flight. That is when I ride during the week. Look for jobs like Loadmaster, Boom Operator, or Radio Operator. Make sure you come in with a garunteed job, wait if neccessary. Taking a crap shoot in basic for a job is where people get screwed. Recruiters try to push you in right away because it is good for them, but wait the few months to get the job you want. To top it off, flyers get extra money every month in flight pay. I have a friend in security police and I get twice as much time to fly as him. Email me if you want honest answers about the air force.
After Basic Training and on your way to Technical tng...config
May 31, 2003 11:13 PM
You are authorized a shipment from your home to your technical training school (where ever that may be). I'll tell you right now, during your Basic Training you will have ZERO time to ride for the entire 6 weeks. After you graduate and enter into your Technical training, your schedule will be a lot more flexible.
Once you complete that it's almost like a regular job, but remember you'll still be in training for some time (mainly dependant on what type of job you're in).
Do you what kind of job you want to get it? What are your interests? If you're into computers tell your recruiter you want a 3C job (he'll know what that is) and ask him what kind of bonus they get.
Good luck and if you have any other questions, please feel free to ask. I've been in for 19 years and loving every minute of it especially here in Northern Italy!
something geared towards engineering, any suggestions?stinkfoot247
May 31, 2003 11:33 PM
I want to get a job in there that is going to look good when I go on to college and get a job in the engineering feild. You have a code name for that I can tell him?
I'm in the 2E field...config
Jun 1, 2003 12:46 AM
I'm in the 2E career field which is basically Communications-Electronics (CE) maintenance field. This broad field ranges from Meteorological/Navigation (Met/Nav), Satellite, Wideband & Telemetry Systems (SWATS), Visual Information & Intrusion Detection Systems (VIIDS), and Computer Maintenance.
I'm not sure if what you are interested is somewhere in here. I also have to add that many of these jobs have Combat Operations meaning you may get assigned to a unit that actually deploys and goes to war. Of course that applies to almost all jobs in the Air Force.
I don't want you to think that the Air Force is an easy way of life. It is and isn't - you work hard and play hard! Several of the new recruits I meet think that they'll do 4 years of easy living and get out. Yes, we may be easiest of all the other services but we are still in the MILITARY - You have to do what your ordered to do!
Just like any job, you may get a great boss or a lousy one.
If you have the right attitude you'll do very well.
Back to the topic, I am finishing my degree in Network Engineering and my job right now is as a Radio/Television Broadcast Chief Engineer. I'm in a 'Special duty' assignment and the Air Force has several of those as well. But I would concentrate on what field you want to get in and get a 'guarantee' from your recruiter. Don't sign up "Open General" - this is what they mean when they'll give you any job that is open once you graduate basic training.
DON"T GO IN !!! - I'm retired and can speak MY MIND!mazobob
Jun 1, 2003 10:28 AM
It's not what you think! I can speak my mind, these guys can't because they can get in trouble if their comanders read any negatives!

Go to college , take out an educational loan and you'll be farther ahead! Look into technical engineering college. The military can send you anywhere and have you do anything not just your job. Can you imagine wearing a gasmask in a war zone for 24 hours a day and being shot at or bombed. I've been there, done that.
If you want to be an engineer remember the USAF wants you for what it wants first, and most of the enlisted people are there because they didn't have the brains or dedication to be in college. They can and do change your duties in a heart beat!! They can make you work 12 plus hours per day with no days off in sight. It's a like being in a prison at times! YOU CAN"T QUIT either!
In short many pathetic ones find a home there and if you get an a__hole for a boss you're stuck. And I got way too many of them in my career! He can send you to jail if you get on his wrong side!

Go to college and steer clear. Incidently I made the senior enlisted ranks and if I had to do it again I would have gone to college and taken a loan out! If you go to school while in the military, it's in addition to your regular job and they can and willl make you drop out because "the needs of the mission come first!"
Good luck
Chief bob
Hey chief Kiss my buttspookyload
Jun 1, 2003 12:07 PM
I am happily enlisted. I highly doubt you spent any time in a war zone as most air force are rear echelon slobs. I have been in twelve years, gotten my AA from the Air Force for free, and am finishing my BA from Southern Illinois University this year. That is also free. I don't fear reprisal from my commander because I truely love my job. If I had never joined, I would never had the opportunity to see Paris-Roubaix for free, the Giro for free, and Liege-Bastogne-Liege for free. Not on TV either. My squadrons were deployed to Italy and Germany, and I had ample time off to go see them live.

The Air Force is big on education these days, and have programs where you can get your degree from major campuses on base. They are aware of the military lifestyle, and work around your schedule with night classes, weekend classes, and internet classes. I am currently assigned as an instuctor loadmaster in the training command in New Mexico, and the squadron here gives me two days a week off to go to school full time. Not to mention the riding here is second to none. So take the Chiefs inputs with a grain of salt. He sounds like some retired chief who didn't do anything with his opportunities given and is working at the base golf course telling war stories about handing towels out at the base gym in England. The military is a great way of life.
I'll second Spooky.sn69
Jun 1, 2003 2:39 PM
Granted, I'm an O (or a Zero...depends on who you ask). Still, there are ample opportunities at ALL levels in the military for smart, self-starters. For example, I just "lost" a bright young E-4 who got out when her enlistment ended. Incidentally, she got out with an MBA and is working for Bellsouth making a helluva lot more than I make.

That said, the key is to get a good MOS/rating. Take your time and don't rush into a contract with the recruiter. Ask lots of informed question, and don't be shy about demanding to get things in writing. It's just like buying a car.
Also agree with Spooky.94Nole
Jun 2, 2003 4:42 AM
There are all the opportunities in the world for education while in the military (I can speak about USAF) and after a tour of duty should you decide not to stay. I did 4 years active enlisted and 4 years reserves and got both undergrad and graduate degrees without a dime of debt about 9 years ago. It can be done. And don't let someone who's now bitter that he wasn't motivated enough to take advantage of the educational opportunities available to dissuade you from whatever it is that you want to do. With the military, you truly can have it all. If I could go back, I would do it all again except that I would have gone back in upon graduation from college 9 years ago. Way too much stress in the business world (IMHO).
Well said...config
Jun 2, 2003 1:58 AM
Speaking of races, the start of Stage 13 (Pordenone- Marostica) of this years Giro was 4 miles from where I live. I'm now planning on taking some leave to be able to see the TdF.
What a load of CRAP!!Dorf411
Jun 1, 2003 3:40 PM
I have 18 years active in the Navy as an enlisted and if I was disappointed with the military I would have no worries what so ever to mention them. All of the advise so far with the exception of mazobob's has been A+ info. #1 thing to do is pick a good job skill that you enjoy and will be marketable after your military tour weather that is 4 years or 20 years. College is avaialable while on active duty and it includes Tuition Assistance which pays for nearly ALL of it. Not to mention the pay and benefits are actually getting pretty good these days, so much so that I am having second thoughts about retiring in 2 years. Good Luck!
I'm active duty and often speak my mindtorquecal
Jun 1, 2003 5:00 PM
mazobob - while I respect your service, and I think I understand some of the points you made, I have to disagree with most of it.

I speak my mind every single day, as a responsible senior NCO I have never met an officer that didn't want me to speak my mind - in the most honest way possible.

I'm not sure that most of the enlisted men and women I work with don't have the brains or dedication to go to college. The percentage of enlisted men and women with degrees goes up every single year. It might be true that most of them couldn't afford college without their military service, but that fact hardly discounts their "brains or dedication."

You're right about the mission coming first, and that there are bad supervisors out there. There are also bad colleges and lousy professors out there too!

The Army and the Air Force have given me education, travel, opporunities to ride bikes where I never would have otherwise. All they've asked in return is a certain amount of loyalty, good honest hard work - and a few days in war zones with gas masks.

No reason a cyclist can't get A LOT out of a military enlistment. Another poster said it well: a european tour can get you to a lot of famous races cheaply, or even free.
re: Military cyclingSLR
Jun 1, 2003 3:02 AM
After Basic training and Technical school you will be able to have your personal belongs shipped from your home of record to your next base. This includes your bike, TV, stereo, clothes, and all of your personal items. There is a weight limit but it's pretty high. You should have enough room if you live in the dorm. Back in Korea I had a room-mate and we both had bikes in our room! I'm a 3C0 (Computer field) and the enlistment bonus right now is very high. I get lot's of time off for cycling both on and off road. Here in Japan they hold MTB races and Tri's, I just won this week at the 12th annual Tour de Tama. It's a MTB race held by the base and it's open to the public. This year the Americans had the upper hand winning 7 of the 12 awards. Don't will be able to ride whatever career field you pick.
One caveat, though:Alexx
Jun 1, 2003 8:29 AM
I've never been in the military, but I did once work for a moving company that handled a lot of military moves. When your stuff gets delivered to a moving warehouse, I can tell you, it isn't treated gently. God only knows what happens when the military actually sends it over, but we used to pack crates and boxes very tightly into ordinary 40 foot shipping containers. These containers then got hauled on plain-old hard steel sprung container chassis, and got handled like any other container freight ot the docks. Better pack your bikes really, really well.
I've always moved my bikes myself. Here's the gouge:sn69
Jun 1, 2003 8:56 AM
For military moves (in any branch, including the Puddle Pirates--USCG), the contract carrier is liable only up to a certain amount. That amount, in turn, is adjudicated by DOD to include a certain percentage of depreciation as decided upon by an adjuster. To suppliment that, a servicemember can elect to buy addition coverage through DOD up to full replacement coverage. The cost for that additional protection is simply deducted from the total dislocation allowance that the member is paid for the move. IOW, there's no money out of pocket, yet it provides piece of mind.

That said, I still take my bikes with me. Were I to move overseas, I'd ask my gaining command for a sponsor (a person of like rank who acts as your liason), and I'd see if I could ship the bike to that individual ahead of the move.

...There are always lots of options. FWIW, I've got a cross-country military move starting this week. We won't take possession of our stuff until late July. That means in addition to the pack-up and move, it's going to sit in storage on the west coast for a while. We'll see how this one goes and, yes, I opted for full replacement.
I pack my own and ship it USPSspookyload
Jun 1, 2003 12:10 PM
I fully insure it and ship it in advance before I move. That way I have a bike there when I get there since there is a ton of time when you first arrive at a station. You also know what condition the packing is when you leave. Their insurance is top notch too if anything is wrong.
AF MSgt perspective...BikeViking
Jun 2, 2003 5:17 AM
Being a MSgt with 22 yeares, I'll take this one.

The barracks are getting better every year. Currently you may have a roommate and share a latrine with another room with two personnel. You should have ample room in your room to store a bike and the related tools. A folding workstand would be the best way to go. The AF will ship your bike to your next duty station (even if its overseas), but the onus is on you to make sure its boxed properly. The movers will tape that prized possesion and stick it in cardboard if you let them. A hardshell bike case would be the way to go.

If you have any other AF questions, feel free to ask.

Hope you like deploying!!!