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  1. #1
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    What should I do?

    Hello everyone, I am 18 years old and want to become an air traffic controller. My father was one and went into the Navy and become one that way in the 70's. I was trying to consider what branch is the best to make sure I can become one. I made an 88 on the asvab. Is the Airforce the best for atc? If i do well in the branch of service i choose will it be rather easy to get a job with the Faa? My basic question is what is the best branch of service in ensuring my civilian carrear as an atc? Thankyou for your time!

  2. #2
    GolfJuliet's Avatar
    F*** Terrorism

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    Re: What should I do?

    Air Force or Navy. You just need to make sure you get your CTO though. If you join the Navy and get stationed on a ship all you get is a radar certificate. The AF has more land bases which means more chances of getting a CTO. If I had to chose I would join the AF.
    PUBNAT9

  3. #3
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    Re: What should I do?

    Newb question but what is CTO? Also, is the military better than going the college route?

  4. #4
    GolfJuliet's Avatar
    F*** Terrorism

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    Re: What should I do?

    Control Tower Operator license. The military is a 5-6 commitment, they pay you, train you, and military controllers are preferred. CTI can be done in as little as a year, but it costs you, and there's no guarantee you'll be able to control. If you can't control in the military you can switch fields, and your not out any money.
    PUBNAT9

  5. #5
    SSgt Young's Avatar
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    Re: What should I do?

    The Marine Corps is always an option too. We have the same ratings as the other branches and you don't have to worry about getting a boat as your first duty station. We are the smallest of the branches so that means fewer bases, but it also means fewer people ahead of you training and all of our bases have CTO's. It all boils down to how you want to spend your time in the service. The air force offers more perks as far as living conditions and quality of life. The navy has decent living conditions but the leadership (based on my personal experience and by no means implies the entire navy) is horrible and usually very petty. As far as which branch will get you hired, its a crap shoot. Stats will show you that more air force people get hired but the pool of air force people is the biggest. I would be willing to bet that the percentages of military hires are fairly equal amongst the branches.
    1999-2004 - MCAS Yuma-Cerap Rated
    2004-2006 - Al Asad
    2006-2009 - ATC Instructor
    2009-2011 - TERPS Specialist Marine Corps Installations West
    2011-present- Radar controller FHU

  6. #6
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    Re: What should I do?

    Thanks for your responses. I'm going to make my decision by the end of the month and join in November. I was wondering about MEPS and the contract. So at MEPS they will have me sign my contract right? I have read that they could try to bs me and not put it into writing that gurantees me being an atc. Is this true? Do I just be persistent that I won't sign until it clearly states that I will be atc? One more question, are all the branches requiring a 5 year enlistment for atc or is it just the airforce?

  7. #7
    SkylinesSuck's Avatar
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    Re: What should I do?

    They tried screwing with me at MEPS about my rank. I was coming in as an E-3. They tried giving me some BS about getting E-3 after basic or tech school or something. I told them no, change the contract. Some Navy O-3 started getting angry with me telling me I had to sign it blah blah blah. I told him I'm not in the military yet, I haven't signed shit, and you can call me a taxi. They changed the contract.

    They might try and screw with you, but don't take it. You might have to wait to go to basic a bit longer, but it's worth it.

  8. #8
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    Re: What should I do?

    the army has some good airfields you can get a CTO at but they are very hard to get into because they are phasing the MOS out and if you are not on in a facility the they put you in a tactical unit and from what ive heard its not even atc. i will say you will get some great training while you are in training before they ship you off to your first duty station. my advice is go AF.

  9. #9
    duranme's Avatar
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    Re: What should I do?

    the thing with marines is marine first atc second


    navy you run the risk of going carrier first, which doesnt count towards the faa atc app...


    best bet, air force... if youre not certified within 2 years you get kicked out or crosstrained...

  10. #10
    xxDYxx's Avatar
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    Re: What should I do?

    The AF requires a 6 year enlistment for ATC. I dont KNOW, but I'm pretty sure its the Navy that offers a 5 year enlistment. Another thing to keep in mind is that if you get Radar first, then you might be hard up to get a CTO, even if theres both Twr/Radar at your base. Most facilities are undermanned, especially Rapcons, so you might not be let go to train in the tower.

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