Former active duty USAF enlisted troop here, seriously considering the ANG as an option for returning to service and eventual commission as a technical officer.

Recently learned that I have exceeded the age limit to return to active service (cut off is 28), and that I may not have time to complete my Bachelors AND OCS before my 35th birthday, which is the age cut off for officers entering active duty (non-medical officers). It would take a miracle and a half to get both accomplished in 22 months.

My wife and I both miss the lifestyle and sense of duty. She would still be in the USAF herself, but cannot due to DAV status (service connected). I am kicking myself in the rear for not re-enlisting, as I would only be 7 years from having my 20 in right now. Yeah, I know, I'm a dumba. I'm tired of having "jobs". I want to start my career before it's too late to enjoy it.

But here's my current conundrum:

I have already seen the ANG recruiter and talked with him in great depth. I know what AFSC I want, 3E3X1 (structural engineer), but there are no openings at my local ANGB, with none projected for quite a while. I could go electrical (3E0X1), or power production (3E0X2), as I qualify for both, and both are considered "hot jobs" that come with not only sign on bonuses but also qualify for the MGIB "Kicker", but it's not what I really want for a career. Granted, I'm very interested in both of those fields, but not from a career standpoint. Both of those fields could be secondary to structural, and I'd be perfectly content.

I could sign on to either 3EO slot, reap the bennies, and simply re-train come re-up time to 3E3, but there's no guarantee that there will be a 3E3 position to move to at that time. Then again, there's nothing saying I'll even still be an enlisted troop by that time, as I will have long since completed my Bachelors and have pursued my commission as a T.O. So it leaves a lot to chance.

My main point is that I don't want to waste any more time than necessary in achieving my ultimate goal, a career in a field I enjoy, and that I could continue to enjoy for the rest of my working days. I am hesitant to sign on to a different engineering discipline than the one I specifically desire, for fear that I may become stagnated into a field I did not originally want, though it could still count as a firm stepping point for the other.

Can anyone shed some guiding light on this predicament for me? Any CE folks out there (active, guard, or reserve, any branch) that can give me a better feel for lateral moves within engineering? Sure, I want to learn everything that I can, structural, electrical, mechanical, etc, but I don't want to be a full time student for the rest of my life either, if it means never having taken the time to apply the education. One foot says jump, the other says to look first, good thing I always wear steel toes, eh?