Yeah... Airforce is not bad... But in general advancing is significantly lower, and, as it stands now, getting into the Airforce is pretty hard because they are overmanned and such to their projected numbers (they are reducing forces).
As for being given a house... All branches of the military are the same, some bases you can live rent free ON BASE if you have a family, usually though, you get BaH (basic allowance for housing) which is calculated based on various variables (you can google the 2011 bah table for rates in various zip codes), and BaS (food allowance), as well as a yearly uniform allowance.
Airforce bases are typically nicer than the other branches... As for being in tip top shape for the Airforce... Lol... They are about equal to the Navy for physical standards (not very high) and lower than Army & Marines. I believe they do their physical readiness tests on a treadmill/exercise bike.
Food in Iraq/Afghan is the same for everyone on a LARGE base... If you are on a forward operating base, it blows... I know, I did 1 year in Iraq POST military (Oct 2008-Oct 2009) as a civilian contractor (electronics & IT) for the Army... I ate with all the various military branches and the food in general was damn good on the big bases (Baghdad, Balad, etc), and generally shitty or MREs on the smaller forward bases).
Really... All branches have their pluses and minuses... AF tended to have hotter chicks though! Lol.
Don't go to a branch based on the branch, go based on WHAT U WANT TO DO :) If you want to be in Information Technology (computer shit), Navy has an IT rate that's pretty awesome, and AF has something somewhat similar... From my AF buddies say, though, Navy you are GUARANTEED to get the rate you select before you show up to bootcamp, AF, there are no guarantees, so you could want one thing, go to bootcamp, and then get selected for something else and it's pretty much tough luck... Though I'm sure you can preference to what you want!
Overall, if you are looking for something reliable, enjoy traveling, want some good training/skills, military is the way to go imo. I did 6 years in the Navy like I said before, got a Secret clearance, and used it plus my degree (paid for by the GI Bill) to net a $200k ($90k tax free) contract job in Iraq that was overall pretty chill... (3/4 of the other contracts on the contract were ex-navy, a couple of them were ex-AF, and 1 or 2 were ex-Army/marine)... Now I am stateside and work in advanced Linux/Unix systems and making GOOD MONEY and half of us are... Ex-Navy :D Including my manager ;)
Originally Posted by hellokittycrunkk
I have never heard one Air Force member, active duty/reserves/national guard, complain about anything. My boyfriend flies around in a plane and is in the national guard. Now he normally flies for 10+ hours at a time and I'm sure that gets boring but he has the chance to go to so many places. He's been to Germany, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Puerto Rico to name a few. And with the National Guard, his maximum deployment is 3 months...But maybe it's just the unit he's in. He's been in seven years and is a Staff Sergeant. Oh, and when he was in Afghanistan, it was steak and lobster on Friday's. And most of the time when he deploys, he gets his own room. I can honestly say I have never heard anyone complain about their experience in his unit. But, you basically have to be in tip top shape to be an airmen. Not sure if that would be an issue.
(I know nothing about the military outside of National Guard.)
Active Duty has it's perks like giving you a house when you get married but National Guard pays you a basic housing allowance when you're on active duty. I'm sure finding a job outside of the military is difficult but in my boyfriend's situation, he's going to end up working full time on a military installation anyway.