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Old 10-20-2006, 11:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Consider the military

I read a lot of talk about training on different websites and finally decided to chime my 2 cents in. For all of you considering spending 30K+ for training ever looked into the military as another option. I was a CFI and did my time civilian and the best thing I ever did for my career was join the AF Reserves and go to UPT. I received the best instruction money could buy, for free, and on top of it pulled around 40K my first year with per diem. After all the schools and back to the unit, it took me a year to upgrade to Aircraft Commander in the 135. Another year or two and I will have 2000+/1000 PIC all multi turbojet. And oh yeah, you make a heck of a lot more than you will even as a captain at one of those regional airlines just working a few days a week. Just wanted to present another option to those of you out there considering dropping big bucks on civilian training programs. All you got to have is a PPL and a good attitude to get a slot. GOOD LUCK
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Old 10-20-2006, 12:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I read a lot of talk about training on different websites and finally decided to chime my 2 cents in. For all of you considering spending 30K+ for training ever looked into the military as another option. I was a CFI and did my time civilian and the best thing I ever did for my career was join the AF Reserves and go to UPT. I received the best instruction money could buy, for free, and on top of it pulled around 40K my first year with per diem. After all the schools and back to the unit, it took me a year to upgrade to Aircraft Commander in the 135. Another year or two and I will have 2000+/1000 PIC all multi turbojet. And oh yeah, you make a heck of a lot more than you will even as a captain at one of those regional airlines just working a few days a week. Just wanted to present another option to those of you out there considering dropping big bucks on civilian training programs. All you got to have is a PPL and a good attitude to get a slot. GOOD LUCK
Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"
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Old 10-20-2006, 05:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My original plan was to be a pilot in the AIr Force or the Marine Corps. And I meana career officer not just do it to build time. I wanted to be a WIng Commander. Unfortunantly, I wear glasses and back in the 80's and 90's there was a very stringent vision requirement to fly in the military. It has since been relaxed but the age requirement is 27 and a half and I am 37 years old. SO that dream is dead for me, but I encourage anyone interested in pursuing that route to go for it.

I then wanted to be a navigator or Flight Officer inthe Corps If anyone knows how I can do that pleae let me know.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"
Junior? I think this "youngn" is way ahead of you in considering the responsibilities of being in the military. Serving in the Armed Services is an honorable profession, period. As far as "free flight benefits"....they ain't free. You have to earn it. I would never discourage someone from wanting to serve our country....and yes, I have "been there and done that".

Good for you 135guy! Your part of another "greatest generation".
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Old 10-22-2006, 08:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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135Guy you're right on. The military is a great place to serve. My dad served, my uncle, my grandfather and who knows beyond them. I've gone to college and gotten the hours I need and still I wonder if I should try the reserves or national guard. I feel a strong calling to service. If we don't do it, who will?
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Old 10-22-2006, 09:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"
Guard tankers don't get stuck with the sh!t deployments you refer to above, fwiw.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My original plan was to be a pilot in the AIr Force or the Marine Corps. And I meana career officer not just do it to build time. I wanted to be a WIng Commander. Unfortunantly, I wear glasses and back in the 80's and 90's there was a very stringent vision requirement to fly in the military. It has since been relaxed but the age requirement is 27 and a half and I am 37 years old. SO that dream is dead for me, but I encourage anyone interested in pursuing that route to go for it.

I then wanted to be a navigator or Flight Officer inthe Corps If anyone knows how I can do that pleae let me know.
Unfortunately, I think time has expired for you. I am retiring next summer after 22 years in the Corps. Don't take my word as gospel. There is always a hidden waiver but I think your age is to your disadvantage. Contact a Marine Corps Officer Selection Officer (OSO) and see what he/she says. Don't talk to anyone other than the OSO or his assistant but only accept the no from the OSO directly.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Guard tankers don't get stuck with the sh!t deployments you refer to above, fwiw.
"Right now" they don't, unless of course you volunteer for one, which a lot of guys are doing lately. Just wait until we get into it with another country in the future and they'll have to activate the guard.

The guard and reserves are a good alternative that allows you to experience military aviation without the additional duties there seems to be more of every day on active duty. I see threads like this all the time comparing going the military route to the civilian route. I did both and it's very hard to compare the two. I spent a few years doing the CFII thing and then joined AD. The thing that most people don't realize is that the AF is not a flying club. There are many other additional duties involved with being an officer than just flying airplanes. You will eat, sleep and poop flying for your first year and a half in UPT, but once you get out and enter the real AF, it seems as though the emphasis on flying quickly takes back burner. Granted, I am coming from the AMC side of the house. I know fighter pilots fly a lot more often (just shorter sorties).

You will get a squadron job. As a LT, you won't get anything too cosmic, but I have seen some LT's put into positions like Commanders Exec Officer (secretary), scheduler, standards/evaluations, etc... because of manning issues. As Force Shaping evolves, there are less people to do more work. As a brand new copilot, in a good month at home station, I was flying 2-3 training sorties a month. That's it. However, I was in the office everyday working a desk job when not flying. Imagine getting into something you thought was going to be a "flying career" and you're flying 15-20 hours a month tops. I've flown about 140 hours in the past 9 months in the tanker, mostly because of additional duties, beyond my control, at home station that kept me from deploying for that long. Trust me, I would have rather deployed flying 100+ hours a month. The AF only expects you to fly for 10 years (3 flying assignments). If you want to play the O-5/O-6 game, you won't be able to do it by just flying. Whether you do 2 flying assignments in a row, a staff tour and then your 3rd flying assignment as a Major or 3 flying assignments in a row and staff tours for the next 8-10 years until you retire, it's up to you, but once you meet your gate months, it gets harder, if not impossible to stay in the jet.

So again, don't look at the military as a flying alternative to the airlines just because the pay is better at first. Sure, the pay and bennies are great as an officer, especially with the tax breaks we get. As a 2Lt on flying status, based on this years pay tables and $600 a month housing allowance (just as an example), you'd be making almost $40,000 a year. With tax breaks, that's about the equivalent of $45k a year as a civilian and that doesn't even take healthcare (free) into consideration. As far as money is concerned, you'll be light years ahead financially if you go the active duty military route for the first 4-5 years. I've been on AD for almost 4 years and I'm making about as much as an 8 year XJet Captain flying monthly guarantee. That doesn't include the $6,000 pay raise I get when I make O-3.

Guard and reserves are a little different. I've heard of some guys making more money in the guard and reserves than you could on active duty, but for the most part, as a part-timer without bennies, you'll have to work another job. I can be a challenge juggling two jobs, but many do it and love the life.

I'm just playing Devil's advocate because I don't compare being an airline pilot getting min reserve with 12-15 days off a month to being in the military, which is 24/7, if need be.

Last edited by TankerDriver; 10-23-2006 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 10-23-2006, 07:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by avi8tor4life View Post
135Guy you're right on. The military is a great place to serve. My dad served, my uncle, my grandfather and who knows beyond them. I've gone to college and gotten the hours I need and still I wonder if I should try the reserves or national guard. I feel a strong calling to service. If we don't do it, who will?

The guard/reserves are an awesome option for career aviators. Get a regional job, THEN join up....

1) Military training ticket punched.
2) Pick the airplane you want/need to fly (no rotors)
3) 2 years of being paid decently (instead of regional FO pay)
4) Return to the regional, and it's time to upgrade!
5) A couple years later you can apply to all the best majors with 121 PIC and the military ticket.

All this assumes that you are OK with the concept of military service and leadership, and are a little sharper and more motivated than the average bear.
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