Military branches, Army, Air Force or Navy? What are the main differences?

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    I am currently in Nursing school and will graduate with my BS in May of this year. I have been looking into joining the military but am very unsure which branch is right for me. I have found that most sign on bonuses, commitments and such are about the same. So I am looking for the major differences. Obviously the recruiters I have talked too all think their branch is the best so I was wondering if anyone has maybe had experiences in different branches and can first hand tell me the pluses and cons.

    1. Do nurses get any input on where they deploy if they are in the navy. I'd prefer not to stay on a ship but instead on land?
    2. I have also heard that being a nurse in the military is very much like civilian nursing if you're not deployed. That they don't do normal hours, ruck marches, pt, and don't get a lot of the same training as other regular military members is that true?
    3. I also heard that nurses basically just stay on the FAB while deployed and do not participate in patrols, is this true for all of the branches?
    4. Which branch would provide me with the greatest chance of being able to be a flight nurse? I know it's very competitive but that's what I'm really looking forward to most.
    5. It may sound very naive of me to say this but I want to deploy. I have worked in a civilian hospital but I'd rather work on soldiers who are in combat, to help save them. They are right in the action, risking their lives, they often don't get the thanks they deserve and aren't appreciated enough. I want to make a difference in their lives, and help care for these individuals who risk their lives for our country. Which branches would give me the best opportunity for this?
    6. I want to be more than "just a nurse", are other things nurses can get into? I know there is flight nursing which really interests me, but considering how intense it is and I will be going in as a new grad are there other areas I might be able to get into sooner?
  2. 1 Comments so far...

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    I can only speak for Navy Nursing. Navy nurses deploy all over the world. More deploy to combat locations than on ships, with the exception of the hospital ships. (hospital ships do scheduled humanitarian missions every few years, unless they are needed in some disaster relief situation. As expected they have many nurses onboard.) Also depending on where and who you deploy with will depend on what type of base you are stationed at while deployed.
    Navy nurses are stationed all over the world in many countries. There is a flight nursing billet, but it is not the best way to earn your wings.
    As for the hours, schedule, etc. Check out the responses in: Military Nursing Questions Answered for a more detailed answer.


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