joining military reserve

  1. I am seriously considering joining the AF reserve in order to supplement my income while in school, and possibly reimburse some of my tuition fees. Is there anyone out there who has done this that can tell me what their experience has been? You can PM me if you'd like. I want to make the right decision and I am really interested in this, but I want to make sure I know what I'm getting into.
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  2. Visit egul105 profile page

    About egul105

    Joined: Nov '04; Posts: 32
    CRNA
    Specialty: 18 year(s) of experience in ICU, ER, flight , anesthesia

    26 Comments

  3. by   Jroc
    Quote from egul105
    I am seriously considering joining the AF reserve in order to supplement my income while in school, and possibly reimburse some of my tuition fees. Is there anyone out there who has done this that can tell me what their experience has been? You can PM me if you'd like. I want to make the right decision and I am really interested in this, but I want to make sure I know what I'm getting into.
    I have been in the Navy (active) 8 years, and now Air Force Reserve for 2 years. I believe the Air Force Reserve still offers 100% tuition assistance for its members, however I believe that still requires a 6 year obligation.

    You may want to consider that when you join that you will have to attend basic training and a tech school which can take several months and may interfere with your current school.
  4. by   kmchugh
    Quote from egul105
    I am seriously considering joining the AF reserve in order to supplement my income while in school, and possibly reimburse some of my tuition fees. Is there anyone out there who has done this that can tell me what their experience has been? You can PM me if you'd like. I want to make the right decision and I am really interested in this, but I want to make sure I know what I'm getting into.
    14 year Army veteran here. There are upsides and downsides to military service. But, look at the contract. A standard clause in ALL military contracts is that whatever you are promised can be changed at the convenience of the government. So, if the Air Force needs RN's while you are in school, you are out of school and on your way to Afghanistan, Iraq, or Alaska. No questions asked, no allowances made. Just be wary.

    Kevin McHugh
  5. by   Mermaid4
    That is a great idea, but remember, they can call you up if needed and it might not be something you were expecting...Such as Iraq or other places nurses would be needed.
  6. by   maturner
    Money can be a perk of military service; however, the money should always be secondary to a desire to serve. I consider the money they give me while in school prepayment for future services and would encourage anyone else to look at it the same way.

    The gouge: As of early October of 2004 per Captain Dischner who is responsible for Navy Nurse Corps career affairs, "At present we are over 100% manning in the Reserve NC for CRNAs." This may change in the future and most likely will given the Navy's myoptic tendencies. I would be suprised if they turned anyone away but as of now it sounds like recruitment bonuses will be minimal, but it never hurts to ask.

    I have spoken with Army recruiters and they are keen on recruiting CRNAs and offering lots of goodies $. I have seen them advertising on several of the state AANA websites including $50k loan repayment and a $30K bonus. The Army has the strap program for CRNA students that is $1285/month plus drill pay.

    I have seen and heard different numbers and don't want to overreach but greater than 50% of the Army's medical resources (personnel) come from the reserves. Loosely translated, given the current climate this means your chance of recall after you finish school is huge. But then again, thats what you sign up for when you join. As I understand the current policy, an advantage to deployment as an Army reserve CRNA is that it is currently limited to 90 days outside the continental US (i.e IRAQ,AFGHANISTAN) but that can change as the Army see's fit.

    Additionally, I recently spoke with an AF reserve recruiter they currently offer a stipend program identical to the Army's STRAP and $20k in loan repayment spread out over something like 6 years.

    With regards to getting pulled out of a CRNA program b/c of "military needs" or a shortage of RNs I would sat that is highly unlikely as it is simply not in the best interest of any of the branches to do this as you are far more valuable to them as a CRNA as opposed to a generic RN. Especially if the branch (AF or Army) is paying you to be in school. However, I do know of a Navy nurse corps officer who was pulled out of a CRNA program during the build up for Iraq.
  7. by   BigDave
    I was talking to one of my workmates who is starting at Ft Sam's Army program in June. He said that he heard that the Army is having a real hard time filling their slots there. Are you hearing the same thing Mike or VArn?

    Also, I've never heard of anyone in the Air Force being pulled from school for deployment. Matter of fact, MGen Brannon (AF chief nurse) told me and my boss last May that the AF is 98% manned for nurses right now.
  8. by   WAREAGLE
    Quote from BigDave
    I was talking to one of my workmates who is starting at Ft Sam's Army program in June. He said that he heard that the Army is having a real hard time filling their slots there. Are you hearing the same thing Mike or VArn?

    Also, I've never heard of anyone in the Air Force being pulled from school for deployment. Matter of fact, MGen Brannon (AF chief nurse) told me and my boss last May that the AF is 98% manned for nurses right now.
    If you are talking about joining as a crna student then you will not be pulled during school. The army wants you in school & for that to be your only focus. Now after school you must go for a few weeks training & then you are fair game. That is what they told us in a meeting & we have plenty of people that signed up for the reserves.
  9. by   mwbeah
    Quote from BigDave
    I was talking to one of my workmates who is starting at Ft Sam's Army program in June. He said that he heard that the Army is having a real hard time filling their slots there. Are you hearing the same thing Mike or VArn?

    Also, I've never heard of anyone in the Air Force being pulled from school for deployment. Matter of fact, MGen Brannon (AF chief nurse) told me and my boss last May that the AF is 98% manned for nurses right now.
    Yep, that is an issue every year. In fact it is so much of an issue that our bonus just was upped to 40K per year for a four year contract (this is only for people who are no longer under obligation for schooling). The bonus for obligated CRNAs (those who attend the program incur a 4.5 year obligation upon completion) is up to 15K per year.

    While civilian schools have more applicants than slots, we have the inverse problem, slots but not enough applicants. My guess is this is due to the commitment and to the optempo (deployments). We are less than 60% strength in the active force right now. The US Army Graduate Program in Anesthesia Nursing is the name of the program if anyone is interested and can be found with an internet search if anyone is interested. (or just contact me). Our rep is solid and the program was ranked 2nd behind VCU.

    Mike
  10. by   CCRNERIC
    I'm prior enlisted and want to get back into the army. A recruiter came to speak with me from Albuquerque (AMED) and he had me sign the initial paperwork to receive a physical and enter the strap program. That was about a month ago and now he does not return his phone calls and did not schedule me for a physical. I was very professional with him, I'm a very clean cut person, I'm in shape physically. What do you think is going on?
  11. by   RNKitty
    I worked as a civilian at a tertiary care military hospital. The army nurses got the worst shifts and were on call 24/7. If they had worked a 12 hour night shift, and the day shift was short nurses, they were ordered to stay and work the day shift. They could not say no to the order of a superior officer. That being said, the army nurses were some of the best trained, most competent, confident nurses I have ever worked with.
  12. by   casualjim
    Hi
    About to retire from over 20 years in the Navy. All I have to say is when you do something like join a branch of the armed forces, make sure that you do it for the right reasons. It's kind of like getting married due to pregnancy. People do it but it's usually not fun in the long haul. With the whole "global war on teenagers" going on now, reserves are being deployed in numbers that they've never seen before. The Vegas line is pretty good that you'll get your schooling done. But it's even money that you'll end up paying for it with a deployment or two. If your ok with the deployments. If your ok with the military life in general, then it's probably a good plan. If you really dont dig the whole military deal and the "war, war, bloody war" stuff that's very very real right now, find another way to fund your schooling.
    good luck in whatever you decide
    Jim
  13. by   matts_pats2
    Do the Reserves, Army, if you need the money. Just my opinion.
    matt
  14. by   aithug316
    Do the Air Force Reserves! I am currently signed up for the CRNA stipend program and will get $1250/month for the duration of the program and a $50,000 student loan repayment if I desire at the end of the program. You serve 4 years in the the reserves after graduation and 2 years longer if you take the loan repayment. I served 4 years active duty as an enlisted member and another 6 years in the Air National Guard. It has been awesome! Just remember they want you as CRNA not a RN. You never know with the Army. The Air Force is currently overstaffed in the registered nurse career field and is looking to downsize. The Reserves are only staffed at 84% in the CRNA career field hence the bonuses. You are placed in a Category J status meaning the the possibility of deployment is slim if not none you are classified the same as a medical student. If you have any more questions let me know.

    Quote from matts_pats2
    Do the Reserves, Army, if you need the money. Just my opinion.
    matt

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