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Old 09-25-2009, 03:27 AM #1
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Default Lasers in the military?

As I am joining the Air Force, and leaving for basic in November, I'm curious if anyone one knows if there are any laws regarding high powered lasers in the dorms. I know that there shouldn't be any if I get off base housing, but that is extremely unlikely for my first 6 years. Anyone in the military also and have any insight on this? I'm pretty sure that if I couldn't do anything with lasers for 6 years I may be a "little" sad.


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Old 09-25-2009, 04:28 AM #2
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

Ask your recruiter?
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:50 AM #3
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

I have, but no real idea on whether or not it would be allowed, and said I would have to find out at my first duty base. Well, if no one knows, I guess I'll just have to find out when I get there. Don't see it being to big of a problem though.
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Old 09-25-2009, 05:40 AM #4
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

i can see it considered as contraband unless you are going to live off-base.
i doubt you'll be able to really keep it in your berthing.

you can try to pass it off as a laser pointer.. but at that point, you may still raise questions on why you would be having such a thing.

probably not a big problem.. but still.. there might be a small one.
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Old 09-25-2009, 10:55 AM #5
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

They are going to keep you busy for at least 3~4 months, with little time to yourself. After that if you are not in a sensitive job description, where you are monitored, you should be OK, off-base.
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Old 09-25-2009, 06:39 PM #6
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

Having been in the Air Force and worked with laser systems, my recommendation is to leave it at home. Laser operation at any government/military installation is very tightly controlled by the base environmental health office. They won't give you grief for having pointers (dont take one to basic or tech school) as long as the pointer is used for it's intended purpose but if you get a non-compliant laser system confiscated on base you will end up with some form of administrative punishment (Article 15) and/or correctional custody and perhaps more depending on whether they need to make a public example of someone. It's just not worth it. Remember, as a member of the military you no longer have the freedoms you come to expect as a civilian. You fall under the uniform code of military justice. Of course you have rights under the UCMJ but when push comes to shove they like to whip out the old article 134 known as the catch all article for anything that is not expressly defined by any other articles. I don't know what your job field will be but the air force has some of the largest lasers available. You might consider getting into that arena. Your pointers will look like tinker toys after some time with the big dogs.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:56 PM #7
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

heheh.. good ol' article 134..

yea, keep this hobby well and away from work and on base... don't even have one in your car when you drive on base.

(i'm also former military, btw)
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Old 09-25-2009, 09:01 PM #8
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

All right, thanks for all the info! Guess I'm just gunna have to deal with it. Shouldn't be too hard, since I hear that Integrated Avionics have 12 hour days regularly, and still get to work with electronics. Again, thanks for all the info.
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:38 AM #9
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

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Originally Posted by killmore231 View Post
As I am joining the Air Force, and leaving for basic in November, I'm curious if anyone one knows if there are any laws regarding high powered lasers in the dorms. I know that there shouldn't be any if I get off base housing, but that is extremely unlikely for my first 6 years. Anyone in the military also and have any insight on this? I'm pretty sure that if I couldn't do anything with lasers for 6 years I may be a "little" sad.
When you start basic, I was in the Army so I'm sure it's about the same policy, you can't have electronics period till you graduate basic. Unless it's changed recently in the past four years, outside your electronics and some field classes, welcome to the stone age my friend. I remember not hearing or seeing any t.v. or music for about three weeks then suddenly seeing it and it was like a miracle. You'd be surprised how you can take even the simplest of technologies for granted.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:26 PM #10
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

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Originally Posted by Archienj7 View Post
When you start basic, I was in the Army so I'm sure it's about the same policy, you can't have electronics period till you graduate basic. Unless it's changed recently in the past four years, outside your electronics and some field classes, welcome to the stone age my friend. I remember not hearing or seeing any t.v. or music for about three weeks then suddenly seeing it and it was like a miracle. You'd be surprised how you can take even the simplest of technologies for granted.
Wow, literally -no- electronics? That's a bit too "basic" for me to cope with.
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Old 11-06-2009, 03:00 AM #11
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Default Re: Lasers in the military?

Welcome to the Air Force.

High powered pointers (read over 5 mW) will be a problem on base. Legally they will enforce the laws the same as a regular police force. So basically buy an argon or HeNe and use them responsibly as they would be legal. High powered pointers would be luck of the draw as to if you got caught but as mentioned you are subject to UCMJ action and that is up to your Commander as to what he does. Within limits. Also during Basic training no electronics Archienj7 is correct. Also some of the time your in tech school. Don't worry they will keep you busy enough so you won't really miss them.

USAF retired after 26+ years and still work Safety on base. So I've had a little experience with the military.
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