I recieved permission to take this exchange public. I'd like to hear from others, so please comment.
Heh....too funny. I'd like to take this conversation public if you don't mind. Let me know.
I'm a former Marine 2831 (radio repair). I'm 31 years old and a FAA senior rigger. I reenlisted in the WV guard as a parachute rigger (92R) six months ago. Rigger jobs are pretty easy to come by, but there has to be one in your area. As far as I know, there are four parachute packing and maintenance shops in the guard. The LRS units that are airborne need riggers, and I assume any other unit marked as airborne needs riggers also. I live in Ohio and there are no rigger jobs. So I drive four and a half hours to Camp Dawson, West Virginia. Here's a good writeup of rigger school: http://www.quartermaster.army.mil/...Parachute_Rigger.htm
The guard is currently taking people up to age 39, but I think you must be 36 or younger to go to Airborne school. You will have to go to Basic Airborne Course to be a rigger if you're not airborne qualified already. BAC requires you to pass a PFT with a score of 180 in the 17-21 age group. That's 42 push ups, 53 sit ups, and a 15:54 two mile run. The longest run at BAC is 4 miles at 9 minutes a mile. I have not been yet, so someone with experience can clue you in about the nitty gritty if need be.
As far as being a young buck, I was never a pt stud in the Marines. I pretty much got by with 12-15 pullups, max situps, and a 24 minute 3 mile run. I've been in a desk job writing software since I got out in 98. To put it simply, I find donuts more attractive than running. I'm getting into shape, I'm down to the upper fatbody limit for my height now (6'0" - 203 pounds). I've found getting in shape on my own to be extremely difficult. My runtime is about 8:30 a mile at the moment and I need to bring it down. I do get some motivation due to the fact that the rigger shop is attached to C C0., 2Bn, 19th SF group and there are a bunch of SF and Ranger guys running around. Although, there are quite a few fat guys in other MOSs running around.
Although I don't get to pack yet, I really like drill and there's usually something riggerly that I can do. It's a little more laid back than you are used to, but it's still the military. Most in the guys in the unit have done time in Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The only things I've found really odd about the Army is that you pretty much call everbody who's rank ends in sergeant a "sergeant." I find it funny not to do that and use full ranks. The other interesting thing is all the trinkets they have for their uniforms.
Lastly, if you want to come in as a rigger, you'll have to come in as an E4/Specialist. Sergeant is a supervisory skill and I don't think there are any WOs to be had.
Semper Fi --
drop zone (drop'zone) n. An incestuous sesspool of broken people. -- Attributed to a whuffo girlfriend.