After pilot training ended and all of our friends scattered to the four winds, it has been interesting hearing how different life is in the different types of airframes. In the Air Force, each aircraft has its own quirks, but in general the lifestyle tends to be pretty similar for similar aircraft within a type (the "types" being heavies, fighters, bombers, special operations, and unmanned aerial systems).
I'm lucky to have friends in lots of different airframes (airframes is the Air Force's fancy way of saying airplanes), so I get to hear about a lot of different things. It is amazing how different the cultures are. At Einstein's pilot training base, pilots and the flying community were presented as a monolithic institution, but nothing could be further from the truth!
The differences aren't just in deployment length and frequency, either. The amount of institutionalized drinking, the types of mandatory fun, the atmosphere of the spouses groups- its all different. I love hearing stories about super formal spouses meetings at other bases (mostly because I don't have to attend them). I am glad that my husband doesn't have a roll call every single Friday night. I am envious of the exuberant, friendly welcomes that some of my friends have received from their spouses groups.
And mostly, I'm thankful for the chance to see how the rest of the Air Force lives. :-D