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About Erthwerm

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  • Birthday August 2

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    flying, marksmanship, lifting, cars, hockey, football,

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  1. That's the point I'm making. We can't stay in the Middle East forever. Stuff like this happens and we just have to get over it.
  2. I've seen anti-intellectualism be popular for a long time before Trump. It would appear to me that you're just parroting buzzwords. Additionally, there are plenty of racists out there who aren't Trump supporters. But hey, if you want to let a comedian's act dictate your political leanings, by all means, go ahead. I agree with you there. I have friends who fought in Sadr City, Iraq during the surge. President Obama wanted to start giving more control to the Iraqi Army and they lost Sadr City to ISIS. Stuff like this happens in war.
  3. You have a 6 month wait to retest for the AFOQT so you might as well study if you take it again. The short answer is likely "it depends." Every board, from what I understand, does things differently. That said, you only get one chance to make a first impression. If it's no issue for you to retest, then do so, but I would do a lot of studying prior to retesting.
  4. I haven't received anything from them. It's only been about 10 days, so it'll probably take a little longer.
  5. BLUF: Get every single letter you can from everybody you mentioned, irrespective of profession and rank. Put the best ones on top and if you feel like it, bring the rest of them with you if/when you get invited to the interview. It never hurts to have people write good things about you. Worst case scenario: you have too many letters of recommendation and you can pick the best three and in your interview, bring in the rest. Family friend who's a COL and pilot Squadron Commander COL Uncle (COL/Pilot) Flight Commander CPT Professor Current Civ Boss Old Wing Commander Flight Chief The board is likely just looking for people who are respected in their communities who can vouch for you and if possible, vouch for your leadership abilities as an officer. Obviously current and former officers are going to know how to write a letter to highlight your best qualities to other officers. Having a civilian professor write a recommendation is great because he can speak to your academic aptitude that perhaps folks in the military cannot. The reason the enlisted chief is at the bottom is that while he's respected in his field, he may not be able to write about you in a way that will highlight your abilities to be an officer to other officers, because of the disparity of responsibilities officers and NCOs have. You're former enlisted, so you know that the qualities that make a good NCO might not translate to being a good officer (in my experience as an enlisted soldier, NCOs are much more hands on and shape the force more than officers.) The board probably won't judge you for having a LOR from an enlisted person, but all other things being equal, will probably put more emphasis on a COL's recommendation than an E-8's. My list was: Former battalion commander (LTC/Lt. Col.) Former Platoon Leader (1LT) Friend (AF Maj Promotable to Lt. Col.) Family Friend (Civ) Former boss (Civ) I don't know any current pilots in the AF and I didn't include my civilian letters in my most recent application. If invited, I'll bring them with me to the interview. The more I apply to jobs, the more I think the whole "letters of recommendation" thing are just obstacles/barriers to entry for lazy people; separate the wheat from the chaff of who's really determined to apply and who will stop when they have to ask/wait for/pester people for letters. I think the most important items in an application to a unit are: AFOQT scores (obvious) PCSM score (also obvious as it's used as an indicator of success in UPT) resume/cover letter (can you highlight your achievements succinctly and what's your story?) Maybe grades if all of your scores are the same as somebody else. Sorry for the long reply. I wish you the best of luck.
  6. Flight hours significantly help, as well, as you're probably aware. If you're below 70 on the PCSM score, it'd behoove (I know, I said it) you to fly as much as you can.
  7. There already is an option that isn't the ED, and it's called urgent care clinics, which are all over the place.
  8. No sh*t, when I was at Basic Training (Army Infantry OSUT) we had this "can't get right" private who was a total sh*tshow of a soldier. One of the Drills straight up asked him how he came to the decision to join the Army, he replied "Walmart wouldn't hire me." Thankfully he washed out, but there is no shortage of soldiers out there who would probably be homeless or dead without the military. Sometimes those people get promoted and become the most toxic NCOs. Sometimes they turn it around, but that's a small percentage.
  9. That's called playing a stupid game and winning a stupid prize. I'm not a violent person, but my time in the infantry has made me tactically and technically proficient as far as moving, shooting, and communicating is concerned. If somebody starts smacking my car with a bike lock and threatening to kill me, it is not going to end well for that person. Edit: this is assuming that all my attempts to deescalate have failed.
  10. Joe Rogan just had James Lindsay on his podcast again today and talked about how the woke culture has started to spread and the "epigenetics" of it, if you will. I found it a pretty scholarly dissection of the climate.
  11. There certainly are a lot of us 33+ applicants around. Best of luck to you. Your scores are incredible and your flight hours will only help you. Do you have any volunteer experience? The boards are really big on serving the community (no surprise there). If you don't, maybe you can get some experience? I know hospitals are always looking for volunteers. It's not glamorous at all, but it certainly helps.
  12. I used it and it boosted my score ~20 points. I highly recommend it.
  13. It stands for the National Guard Bureau, which is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the United States National Guard.
  14. Ah, you're right, I accidentally quoted you quoting Brawnie. Again, you're right. I suppose a more elaborate way of illustrating my point is this: the government pays military members and then covers all of the associated living costs and then pays contractors to do that work while relegating SMs to do other work for which they're either unqualified or is not in their wheelhouses. I can't tell you the number of walls I've painted as an infantryman, and I'm not sure how the DFACs work in TFOT or downrange, but I know in a lot of BCT posts in the Army, all of our chow was made by contractors, not cooks, who could've used the practice, let me tell you. And look at how many contractors were used in convoys to deliver protected items during GWOT, it's insane. Those tasks could've been performed by infantrymen/cavalry dudes, or even SOF. BTW, I love your username. Were you ever in Batt or associated with them?
  15. @brawnie I'm not an officer or a pilot (currently an enlisted grunt in the USAR in the midst of applying to ANG/AFRES units), but I'd like to address some of what you said, if I can. Admins, if you feel I ought to know my place, please let me know. I think most of us work in the "socialist paradise," as you put it, as a sacrifice because at the end of the day, we have to sacrifice certain things (where we live, how long we have to work, whether we sleep in a cot or a hole in the ground, if we get shot at, etc) in order to protect the constitution and the citizens it protects. For the most part, even in the civilian world, once you're in your job is also secure (barring any large screw-ups.) In the civilian world, your healthcare is also pretty much paid for and I've never worked a job that didn't have a pretty good PPO for a meager sum ever month (<$20). Depending on your organization, budgets can operate exactly like the military. The military doesn't really manufacture anything, it just uses things manufactured by contractors (for the most part,) so the whole socialist portion is a little misleading. Realistically, a government is only socialist when it owns the means of production, which is not the case here. Yes, we have certain safety nets, but given the fact that a 19 year old can have his ass shot off at a moment's notice in a far-off land with no creature comforts, I'd say that's a fair trade. With my civilian job, I have almost 8 weeks of paid vacation saved up. Some companies have no cap to their PTO. The military's main purpose is not to generate a profit, because it's not a business and therefore doesn't produce anything. The military (as far as I understand with my limited experience) exists to protect the United States of America and her interests. You can't really put a price on that. As for it not being a meritocracy, I really can't speak for the Air Force. I have seen some really crappy soldiers advance in rank and some really great ones also advance in rank. And vice-versa. It's very difficult to gauge ROI because because how do you effectively judge the necessity of a weapon until you absolutely need to use it? I think it's like owning a firearm: I have a fairly expensive rifle that I've spent many hours and dollars zeroing and turning into a hell of a tack-driver and killing machine at distance. I hope I never have to use it, but if I ever do, I would judge the ROI by the sole criterion that it eliminated the threat. If there's never a threat to eliminate, well, then I have to eat that cost, but what alternative do I really have? Now, to your credit, the military is rife with admin bloat and tons of money wasted on contractors who do things service members are trained to do and should be doing. I don't know how the USAF works, but in my short tenure in the Army, my pay has been messed up, my Enlisted Record Brief is still jacked up no matter how many times I go to S-1 and give them copies of my "I love me book." So in a lot of senses, it is kind of like a communist government. Once again, sorry if I've stepped on any toes or spoken out of turn. Admins, please let me know if I'm in the wrong place by posting here and I'll happily edit/remove this post.
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