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Air Force Reserve Process

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by lucy18 lucy18 (New Member) New Member

lucy18 has 21 years experience .

1,116 Visitors; 48 Posts

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Majority of the posts are active duty in nature. I was wondering if the application process is the same i.e. packet, boards MEPS for reserve candidates? Is the selection process as vigorous for reserve status since it is less of a commitment? Is the availability of positions and the type of medical facility have a bearing on the selection process? Are you able to drill prior to attending COT? If your specialty is unavailable at the facility and you have an advanced degree can they use you administratively? Is the process as long and the board wait as long for reservists? Lastly, is it as competative since there does not appear to be as many applicants?

Any other information or experience would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for any responses.

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7,966 Visitors; 471 Posts

I can only speak for the army, but i'm sure the air force is in the same boat, as a coworker in the AFR has been deployed for two out of the last six years. The reserves have to meet the same standards as active duty for commissioning; its just as competitive. Do not fool yourself: reservists may only be a weekend a month, two weeks a year on the books; but in order to be successful, there's ALOT of time you donate. In addition to this, the new deployment scheme has reservists on AD for one out of five years. Do not count on having an advanced degree putting you in administration.

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lucy18 has 21 years experience.

1,116 Visitors; 48 Posts

Thank you for the response. I was aware of the commitment and was not making light of it. I am just trying to find out if the application process was just as long for reservists and as competitive. According to my recruiter there are not as many applicants for the reserves as active duty.

I was not expecting or wanting an administrative position, however I am an ED nurse and the location within commuting distance (mcGuire AFB) only has a clinic and not an acute care facility. I was really trying to find out if this lessens my chance of being accepted or could they possibly use me administratively since I have a Masters degree in Education and am working on a Masters in Administration. I really am hoping I get accepted and was trying to get insight into my chances and finding out how long I will have to wait to find out if I get in.

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nursekat43 has 24 years experience.

975 Visitors; 11 Posts

Thought I would give you my experience with the reserve side. I had initial contact with a health care recruiter 2 years ago. I have been shuffled around to 4 different recruiters and still have not commissioned. If it ever happens, I will go in as an 0-4- I have been a nurse a LONG time! The process is EXTREMELY slow.

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lucy18 has 21 years experience.

1,116 Visitors; 48 Posts

Well, I went to MEPS on Wednesday and had my interview with the Commander and Cheif Nursing Officer today @ McGuire. It went well and they told me they would love to have me. Here is my dilemma. First, they could not understand why at my age of 46 I would ever want to do this, knowing that I am not recieving anything for my service. I of course am interested in helping those who have served and are coming back from war. Problem is McGuire does no patient care at all. In addition to this, I will have to keep my per diem job in the ED, I have been working full time as a nurse educator for the past two years. Since they don't do patient care you must have ongoing patient care in a civilian hospital. My plan was to quit my per diem job once I commissioned, instead it will be like taking on a third job, besides that I am in school. I am very disappointed, it is not what I had hoped for at all. I am starting to rethink my decision.

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rghbsn has 7 years experience and works as a Flight Nurse.

2,151 Visitors; 187 Posts

They have a flying reserve unit there in Jersey, too. Look into that. It's reserves, though. If you're looking to go reserves, you don't really HAVE to be local...it just makes drill weekends, etc a little less of a hassle. Don't know how far you are from DC, but they do patient care down there.

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lucy18 has 21 years experience.

1,116 Visitors; 48 Posts

Thank you for the reply. I live in NYC so D.C. is not really driving distance. I think because of my age the flight nurse path is not an option, but I will ask the recruiter.

Any idea about active duty? Would I qualify for GI Bill or any type of retirement? I would have to give up my retirement at my current job so I would have to know about that.

I appreciate the reply.

Thanks again.

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rghbsn has 7 years experience and works as a Flight Nurse.

2,151 Visitors; 187 Posts

Anyone can qualify for GI Bill, because you put some money into it (depending on which version), retirement takes 20 years or X amount of points in the reserves. I don't know that age would keep you from flying as long as you pass the flight physical. And active duty, as long as they give you an age waiver, you should be able to do any nursing job they have. With the amount of experience you have, you're going to have a higher rank, which may keep you away from the bedside, though. Just so you know.

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lucy18 has 21 years experience.

1,116 Visitors; 48 Posts

Spoke to the recruiter, this was her response GI bill is not available in the reserves. I would require a waiver for flight which she does not think is possible. No partial retirement even for 1 day less of twenty years. No medical coverage, no sign on bonus, nothing. No answer to the perdiem requirement. I have two weeks to decide. I am going to look into active duty.

I would believe based on this experience the AF does not need nurses. Of course, I did not start this process to get anything other than offer my experience, however I am unable nor did I expect to incur an additional job and cost because of it. Especially since there is no need for my expertise at McGuire.

Thank you, you gave me more information than the recruiter. It is a definite military weakness. They undoubtedly lose many applicants due to their recruiter's minimal knowledge regarding healthcare professions, the hesitance to provide information and the intentional withholding of information.

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