Published May 7, 2003
I am 35, divorced with two boys and am being recruited for the Air Force Reserves as a BSN graduate nurse. I have eight years experience in ambulatory nursing and wanted to diversify my resume without leaving my current job (which I love). The benefits of the military are very attractive...and I've been trying to glean as much "wisdom" from my esteemed collegues here (you all make this an exceptional site, by the way) as I can so I can make an educated decision. I have just two questions for you: 1) with no prior military experience, AF requires an eight year commitment. What if something happens, family wise, and I can no longer fulfill that commitment? (i.e. an illness or death) and 2) what is USPHS?
llg, PhD, RN
United States Public Health Service
They probably have an informative website.
I believe the eight year committment can be a combination of Active duty and reserve time. Just remember though, one of the core values of the Air Force is "Service before Self" and is not to be taken lightly. I am currently an active duty nurse and have had several times when family issues and emergencies have had to be set aside because the needs of the air force have priority. While it is unfortunate, it is something that I have learned to accept. And the medical/leave benefits the military offers are top notch. I know many single parents who would have a much more difficult time without them. Hope this helps you with your decision. I have only met one officer from the USPHS, the benefits are almost the same as AD military, yet the added threat of being deployed is not. that might be the right route for you to take.
I would have to ask, if you are happy in your current job, why AF reserves then? Is it question of more cash? You may want to look at active and reserves then, weigh the benefits. Active is only 4 years also, and there are bonuses too.
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