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Asian-Americans in the Air Force?

WonderGirl2013WonderGirl2013 Posts: 26 College Search & Selection Champion
I am an Asian-American girl and am deeply considering joining the Air Force. I have almost completed my high school studies and will earn my A.S. when I graduate from H.S. I intend to transfer to a 4-yr university, and I want to major in Biomedical Engineering. Are there any job openings for biomedical engineers in the military in general? What is it like for women in the military? Asian-Americans in the military? Asian-American women? My dad has been very supportive of me considering joining the Air Force, but my mother is telling me that women are often mistreated in the Air Force. I have talked to women who have served in the Air Force and they either have had good or bad experiences. I am just looking for some more feedback and advice from anyone who is connected to the Air Force or the military.
Post edited by WonderGirl2013 on

Replies to: Asian-Americans in the Air Force?

  • MousheyAMousheyA Posts: 7 Harvard Champion
    edited May 2013
    Let me first say that I appreciate your desire to serve! The Air Force doesn't necessarily put you in a "job" based on your undergraduate major, as many English majors and engineering majors become pilots, intelligence officers, etc. An ROTC program would be great for teaching you more about your opportunities in your particular engineering field. The Air Force Academy does not have BME as a major, so if you're set on BME I wouldn't go there. If you're unsure about your major, the academy is great! They give you a full year of core classes to help you determine what major you want before you have to declare. As far as women in the Air Force, officer and enlisted corps are very different. With your degree and ROTC, you will become an officer and will be treated with a great amount of respect from your enlisted airmen. The mistreatment that your mother is worried about is likely due to the sexual assault cases that have been becoming more common in the last few years. I do not have any personal experience with how serious these cases are, but I do know that he Air Force is a family and will take care of you. Lastly, in regards to your Asian-American ethnicity, that should never be a problem, advantage, or disadvantage for you. Although the military is still primarily white and male, your race will never matter to your co-workers or the Air Force.
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11
    edited May 2013
    I am a women who had an AFROTC scholarship at 17, alhough I was fortunate enough to defer for many years until I finished med school. This was during the gulf war, and many of us found a way to maintain breast feeding while separated from our babies. I was looking at the hoarding thread, and thinking of letting go of my maternity bdu's.

    But I was 17 in the 70's, and African American. Let me know, but not sure if its relevant.
  • sosomenzasosomenza Posts: 111
    edited May 2013
    Academy life is rigorous by design. Make sure that you're up to it with regards to mental toughness and physicality. Expect that it will not be a warm and fuzzy place.
  • WonderGirl2013WonderGirl2013 Posts: 26 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    Hi, MousheyA, thanks for your post. You gave me some good and enthusiastic advice. I still have not decided on a major for sure. I really want to major in the sciences, though. And, yes, you are right about what my mom's telling me. I think and hope, though, that since the latest sexual assault cases have been so public, these cases will be less frequent.
  • WonderGirl2013WonderGirl2013 Posts: 26 College Search & Selection Champion
    edited May 2013
    You are right, sosomenza. The air force will not be a warm and fuzzy place. I am very aware of this as my father, grandfathers, and many uncles and cousins have served in the military and have made me aware of that.
  • raimiusraimius Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    USAFA does not have a specific biomedical engineering degree, although it does have strong science and engineering courses. Bio-chem seemed to be a popular one for people looking to get into med school, etc. In engineering fields, most active duty AF engineers will be more on the management side than actual research. Most high-level research is done by corporate contractors, from what I hear.

    The military is demographically male dominated, so that might be awkward to some women. Being a guy, I can't give you a ton of details.

    Unfortunately, sexual assaults do happen in the military. The AF has a pretty good system in place, in my opinion, for dealing with the aftermath. (It has a fairly strong system for prevention, but obviously it isn't 100% effective.) Know that for every predator that sneaks into the military, there are dozens (if not thousands) of people who want to prevent the bad ones from harming others (especially our brothers and sisters in arms).
  • USAFA10sUSAFA10s Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    I am a 2012 grad of the air force academy and an Air Force Physicist. I am also one of only two women in my entire office (of 40ish). It does make for a bit of a weird dynamic, but honestly I find guys easier to work with than other girls (less drama :)) If you have any more specific questions let me know, but in general my experiences have been all positive.
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