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About Stoker

  1. PRK and LASIK Information

    Still? Lasik / PRK aren't really disqualifying provided you meet the pre-op limits, and the surgery is successful and without complications. The waiver process seems pretty much pro forma at this point.
  2. Blended Retirement System Puzzle

    Slightly off topic, but have any recent hires had issues with opting in to the BRS? I thought I'd be automatically opted in since my first paycheck came in January, but apparently I have to choose to opt in because I swore in in 2017. But there's no BRS opt-in button for me on MyPay. Base finance is no help because I'm Reserve, Reserve squadron just keeps telling me to call DFAS, DFAS says I have to call AFPC, and everyone I've managed to get on the phone at AFPC says it's not their problem.
  3. Syria strikes underway

    Any speculation on the calculus of Assad actually using the weapons? Seems like he's contained the rebel groups quite well, and has the upper hand in the conflict. Why do something that risks inviting more direct US involvement? We've already made clear that we're more or less OK with him killing people, as long as it's with conventional weapons. So why use chemical weapons to achieve what appears to be a marginal military advantage?
  4. Syria strikes underway

    Does it? 500,000 people have already been killed in the war. The suspected chemical weapon attack in Douma killed under 100. Yeah, chlorine isn't a good way to go, but neither are the myriad other horrible methods of killing people that Syrians face. It's extraordinarily clear there is zero positive endgame in Syria, so why get involved? Even if we were to do what it takes to kill Assad and drive his allies from power, you're still looking at an ongoing civil war with at least three direct participants and a dozen-odd sponsors. Sometimes the best (only) move is to not make any move at all. Maybe at some point in the future there will be a situation in Syria where US influence, brought to bear at the right time and in the right way, could have positive longterm effects. When and if that day comes, then we should consider if doing so aligns with our interests and act accordingly. But it's not going to happen if we bomb every side of the civil war just to flex our muscles.
  5. Sanity check - Should we buy our dream home?

    If you don't plan on living in it, can you get homeowner's insurance on it? If not, what's the plan when the neighbor kids break in and start trashing using the place for weekend house parties? As for whether you're crazy, it depends on how common something that meets your criteria for "dream home" is. If this house is really one-of-a-kind, on a unique piece of land, or substantially below market value (and not for a bad reason!), then no, you're not crazy. If your dream home looks a lot like the other forty houses on the cul-de-sac, and builders in the area are laying out three new identical neighborhoods in the surrounding area... then I'd say wait, because like others have said, there's a lot that can change in 18 months.
  6. I didn't go quite the same path as you, but I definitely had to swear in as enlisted before going to OTS. You'll probably be fine, the Air Force isn't so hard up for personnel that they're pulling the old switcheroo on officer applicants.
  7. Border crisis

    I guess it's just a matter of viewing how big the "problem" is. To me, people breaking the law to sell Americans something they want (cheap, dependable labor) isn't something worth spending billions of taxpayer dollars trying to fix. Especially when it's not clear that, even if we do spend that money, you'd be able to deter or eliminate illegal immigration. The incentives are just too strong to stop. People illegally crossing the Mexican border already stand a good chance of being raped, murdered, or left for dead in an inhospitable desert. I don't know what more of a deterrent the US can realistically put in place (unless you're talking minefields and machine guns ready to fire, which brings up uncomfortable questions like, "Are we the East Germans?"). It's nice of you to consider what you know is best for the illegal immigrants, in that you really don't want them exploited, but I think the individuals making those decisions are probably better equipped to make that decision for themselves, than you are. I get the appeal of the law and order argument, but the question is then, if our borders were open now (as they historically were for the first 300-ish years of our existence on this continent), would you be arguing for them to be closed/restricted? If yes, then it's not really a law and order argument you're making, it's an anti-market one. As for your points about this being different than 1907, the welfare state is not going to be harmed by young, productive people who have lots of kids coming in to the country. That's a fundamental misunderstanding of the demographic challenges the current system faces. As for your other point... people should be excluded from the American dream because someone said mean things?
  8. Definitely don't need it prior to UPT, even. I mean, I'm here, anyways, with a rapidly approaching start date, and I still don't have mine.
  9. Border crisis

    1. AFAIK we already have fences/walls/rivers in every urban area. The unfenced areas tend to be incredibly rough, desolate terrain. If a fifty mile walk through the Chihuahuan Desert doesn't deter a border crossing, a small fence probably isn't going to, either. 2. What are military patrols going to accomplish that 20,000 sworn Border Patrol agents aren't doing already? Illegal border crossings are at a 50 year low as it is. Seems like a good way to degrade military readiness. 3. Expedited how? And, sure, that makes sense, but seems extremely expensive. 4. We sort of already have this with E-verify (varies state to state), but absent a massive increase in enforcement apparatus you aren't going to see much of a change. All E-verify did was ensure that illegal immigrants got a fake identity before going to work. It's going to take a rare US Attorney who wants to waste his time proving that an employer knew his employees weren't legal. 5. Seems expensive, and again, you're hurting military readiness to accomplish a law enforcement goal. 6. Just seems like nativism. We allowed about the same number of legal immigrants in last year as we did in 1907, when the population was less than a third what it is now. And somehow we managed to assimilate them. Reducing legal immigration is just about the one surefire way to increase illegal immigration. Basically, most of the things you mentioned might reduce illegal immigration somewhat, but at a huge cost. What's the point? Illegal immigrants only come here because people want to hire them. If you want drastically more expensive housing and food, and pay for it with higher taxes to boot, go for it, I guess.
  10. Doesn't hurt to apply, but my guess is that fighter units are going to be more stringent on age waivers than transport/tanker squadrons. They have a ton of candidates already, so why go through the work? But hey, what are they gonna do, not hire you? For seasoning days, right now the Reserves have ~6 months of active orders once you get to your squadron, full time, and then at that point they'll offer you a GS-9 Air Reserve Technician position (grade increasing as you gain hours). Depending on where you live this can be a good deal, but for the NYC area it's like a $10k paycut from O-1 pay. I'm thinking of not taking the ART position and just volunteering for as many deployments/trips as I can once qualified, then enjoying the "vacations" in between orders.
  11. 36 is definitely within the range to get an age waiver these days, and the rest of your info looks good enough. Luckily for you there's a ton of units within a reasonable commute to NY, though many are going to want you to be full-time for a while (if you show up the interview acting like you'll finish training then immediately go to one weekend a month, two weeks a year, it might not be received positively). I wonder if you might have luck with the Guard HH-60 squadron in Long Island. Start putting in applications everywhere you'd reasonably want to work, though, because you aren't getting any younger.
  12. Columbus AFB Information

    For anyone showing up who plans on staying in the dorms, the manager tells you it's a twin XL mattress, but it's really a full XL (53x80). Just in case you want to order the right size sheets/mattress topper.
  13. Fitness In TFOT

    Hey, three minutes of hip rotations followed by six laps around a track (extra points for dodging the forty cadets on profile walking around!), with zero time to stretch after, was more than enough PT for me. :) Seriously though, the PT is, mostly, a joke. Of course, when we had a cadet break his ankle the very first PT session we were allowed to do self-led PT, it makes sense why they make you color within the lines until the PFA. If you're truly serious about your PT, after the first couple weeks you can hit the gym in the time between reveille and breakfast, when no one is there.
  14. Pay rates and Entitlements during TFOT, IFS and UPT

    I haven't actually got the check yet, but my orders for OTS listed $540 in per diem. There's also talk about the DFAC not subtracting the full amount of our BAS. We'll see on payday. YMMV.
  15. I asked for my base because I'm going unaccompanied, and Columbus would put me within driving distance of my spouse on the weekends. Others who asked for certain bases based on, for example, their parent having trained there back in the day, weren't so lucky.