What military/service are/were you in?

Discussion in 'Members Lounge' started by Cybermat47, Mar 24, 2016.

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  1. Cybermat47

    Cybermat47 2nd Lieutenant

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    I thought a thread like this could lead to some good discussions, and oppurtunities to learn a bit more about other militaries and services :)

    I'm not in any military, but I am in the Australian Defence Force Cadets (ADFC), specifically the Australian Air Force Cadets (AAFC). I've been in for just over a year now, and I'm loving it. I've flown, learnt how to handle firearms, made new friends, and been useful to the community. It makes me feel proud, which was great after years of depression and my ongoing anxiety. It's helped me a lot.
     
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  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    I joined the Royal Norwegian Air Force at age 18, served until age 23 and am now 25 years of age (I'll be 26 in April). I joined the service after having some money problems. I'm not from Sandefjord, my place of residence, and my family isn't either, but I live here because I got into a bit (major bit) of a fight with my parents during my final year of primary schooling and moved in with a family friend to get away from them. I did what I could to earn money, wanting to go to college and become an engineer... there aren't a lot of job opportunities for a 16 year old girl. But I settled into a comfortable spot making pastries at a local shop, which is also where I met my current partner (with whom I'm having a child:0o:), but only after dating a few other people first:D.

    Working as a pastry chef wasn't exactly my life's calling, I'm hopelessly terrible at anything artsy (except writing I've been told), cooking definitely included. There wasn't much else I could do though. I wasn't in school, was a bit young and inexperienced and didn't have the money to move elsewhere. So after some deliberation I decided to try my luck in the military.

    "It couldn't be worse then burning cupcakes for a living right?"

    For once I actually was right!!! It wasn't worse!

    I don't really know how recruitment goes in the US. We have conscription and enlistment. I enlisted and had an opportunity to look around at the services and see what I could offer them, what they wanted from me and which service would best fit my skills and desires.

    The Army was ruled out from the beginning. I'm short, really short, someone who's 5'8" could use my head like an armrest. But the Navy, Air Force and Coastguard were more favorable to my being vertically challenged - for the navy it could even be a benefit as some of their ships are a tad small inside:

    I hope the seas aren't rough! One strong wave and you're smacking your head on the roof:eek:. There's no clearance there!
    [​IMG]

    The Navy didn't want me to be a sailor:D. I'm a strong diver and swimmer - I've always been at home in the water and was a competitive swimmer in primary school, a winning one at that. Like in most militaries, even the US military, if you've some special or useful skill, you're going to be pushed toward a task that makes use of it.

    Talking with representives from each branch:0o0:, it became appartant how each would want to use me, and even more appartent how my testing would go, unless I suddenly grew an urge to lie.

    The Navy wanted me as EOD tech. Unexploded ordinance from WWII is still a problem for Norway, in addition to more modern problems like naval mines from NATO exercises, the ever present threat of Russian trawlers or submarines leaving "presents" and training personal to police Norway's vast coast.

    [​IMG]

    Hmm, swimming in murky ocean water looking for and detonating UXOs? Sounds fun!

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    But no:p. Not really my thing.

    The Air force and Coastguard were more accommodating. Both were pushing me towards Search and Rescue.

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    I ended up in the RNoAF, rather than the Kystvakt, if only because I'd rather not be on a rolling ship - Sea sickness|Woot|.

    I ended up doing a rotation on Coastguard ship KV Svalbard anyway|Shifty|.

    [​IMG]

    So having chosen the Air Force, because I'm prone to sea sickness and didn't want to be exploded by the Germans... 70 years after they left, I started my career as everyone else does - basic!

    Good times, good times. Stupid experience too, kind of embarrassed myself (back story for that)|Bag|.

    Then came specialized training - one year, one freaking year of training!!!

    Rescue diving? Check.

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    Medical training? Check.

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    Helicopter "stuff?" Yup, check that too.

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    After one year of training I started my four years of service - including time loaned to the Coastguard, a 9 month rotation in Poland, and a whole lot of time exercising with the Army just in case we needed to do "our thing" in combat. Keep in mind I was in the Air Force, not Coastguard and trained for Combat Search and Rescue, in addition to our work in the Maritime domain. We were given aerial gunnery training too:O---:.

    Of course not with sniper rifles:D But with the HK417 and light machineguns!!!

    [​IMG]

    I left the service after 4 years of enlistment (5 years including training) with a heck of a lot of skills I've never put into use again:p. But I also left with a lot of skills I still use. I'm a trained first responder, and under go recertification every few years, I've helped at a few car accidents before dedicated medical persona arrive on scene. I still enjoy swimming, not competitively, not right now at least, pregnancy makes me want to sit, sleep and sleep again. But that'll be over soon enough|Hungover|.

    I've since used the money I earned to go to school. I have an advanced engineering degree in Process Cybernetics from NTNU (5 year graduate degree, I did it in 3 years - I was able to go to school while in the Air Force whenever we had downtime) and now work for a Norwegian defense contractor where I write the control code for AUVs for military customers including the US and UK:

    [​IMG]

    I moved out of my parent's friend's house, still live in Sandefjord (work in Oslo... a two hour trip one way|Arghh|) and live happily with my partner who owns a pastry shop and mercifully doesn't need to worry about me burning any.

    The End.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2016
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  3. Eagle

    Eagle 2nd Lieutenant

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    That's quite a story and very inspirational too. Techno, I thought that you are Sven's wife or I was confusing you with someone else...
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Nah, he's my best (man) friend. He's married to a Russian girl, I introduced the two of them to each other - she's my all-time best of best friends forever and ever. She's active duty though, USN and works as a pharmacist and is often deployed overseas (I met her while she was stationed in Germany), so I help Sven out when I can, usually while I'm staying with him while in the D.C. area for work related stuff.

    He's my best man, just not my man.
     
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  5. Falcon

    Falcon Lieutenant Colonel Staff Member Social Media Team

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    Being in the military does help a lot of people, it teaches team work and hard work without all of the home work. You become part of something bigger than yourself. You also go from zero to hero.
     
  6. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    The story was sad in the beginning but the ending seems pretty happy. Hopefully your parents are proud of you and your relations are good.
     
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  7. Sven

    Sven Teh Viking dood Industry Professional Ret. Military

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    Haha, what started this:0::?

    [​IMG]

    I guess I'm the one with the pretty pink bow|Shifty|.

    ...

    Thread topic...

    8 years in the United States Navy, and currently working as a researcher for said Navy in the realm of Biomechatronics:

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    A big part of my current job is restoring normal life functions to wounded soldiers, such as leg or arm movement, but I'm also involved in research to improve and optimize active personal to make them more efficient in field.

    [​IMG]

    During my Navy service I worked as an Emission Security (EMSEC) tech and helped certify electronics and communications gear found on US military satellites and submarines to ensure they aren't unintentionally leaking signals that can be intercepted by an adversary - as a result I am (was) a qualified submariner.. Satcoms was my focus while active, mainly sub-to-sat or sub-to-relay-to-sat communications. I had a strong working relationship with several US intelligence agencies as well, including the NRO and NGA, both of which helped develop and certify communications gear that the USN is using.

    I have undergone escape training.

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    And firefighting training.

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    I was never a permanent feature on any boat though. I was what submariners call a "single digit midget" or anyone that spend a small amount of time on board before leaving the boat.

    Getting picked up by my own personal ride was always a treat.

    [​IMG]

    Especially when you realize where you're being taken.

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    It wasn't always pleasant though.

    I used to be afraid of fire, not any more. Training like this teaches you respect for your flamy friend; I no longer like water. Not at all.

    I wrote this on another forum:

    I used to fear fire, but after my qualified submariner program and learning to combat fires in enclosed spaces such as a submarine's interior, I got over that. However, drowning is still a major fear for me. I can only imaging the horror felt by the sailors aboard K-141 when it went down. I have a pool, I've never used it, my dog loves it. To this day I can't stand swimming or being in any deep water. Puddles I'm fine with, but any deep water, no way! The only solace I took heart in when on subs was that in the event of a fire we can put it out with damage, but not the loss of the boat, but if there was a leak, the internal and external pressure differential would equalize so quickly that you'd be dead before you knew you were even drowning.

    I'm also a qualified diver (I still like snorkeling, but not diving anymore), underwent drown-proofing, but being hundreds of meters under millions of tons of water has an effect on your thoughts about how you look at water. Remember, if anything happens when you are underway, if a leak occurs, your dead. Forget about an emergency blow, that's only for minor problems such as a reactor failure (yeah, that's a minor problem), a leak that penetrates the inner hull would kill many sailors instantly, only those sealed within bulkheads would live. But even then, as seen with K-141 Kursk, being saved might not happen. Those sailors died too, only they died from a fire caused by a faulty air scrubber.

    Funny right? A former sailor afraid of water|Bag|.

    But overall I had fun in the Navy and am proud to continue working with them, though I'm a civilian this time around. I even got to keep the M21 I was issued for anti-shark duty during times when our sub was surfacing and I wasn't being evaced to the nearest piece of floating American Freedom.

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

    ...

    @Cybermat47 was there anything you're specifically interested in? Or just getting to know everyone?
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  8. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    :eek:So I'm Latvia. You know, in some countries calling someone a potato is a criminal offense:p.

    I have no idea how it started, but I've been asked if you're my man a few times on a few forums:0o0:. I wouldn't date a Navy guy anyway. My heart is for the Air Force only.

    And I'd say welcome back... but I just saw you last week.
     
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  9. Vergennes

    Vergennes Captain Staff Member Ret. Military International Mod

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    I served in the 2nd squadron,1st RHP which is somewhat a cavalry regiment part of the airborne brigade. I served in the regiment during 8 years. I participated in two overseas operations. I was deployed in Afghanistan in 2010,and during the Opération Serval in Mali in 2013.
    Our task in Mali was to control large areas and to conduct raids in the north.

    The 2nd squadron in Mali. "Second to none". I'm sowhere in this pic,don't try to find me. ;)

    mal8.jpg

    Damn,I miss these times....
     
  10. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Nice, you have probably seen a lot of messy things though.:(

    How does it feel to be in combat? Dealing with the reality that you or friends could be hurt? How do you deal with local populations? I am sure these are all very stressful.
     
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