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Kipperskipper
06-10-2017, 08:25 PM
Hello, :)

As a young man i have experienced how valuable wisdom from people who i hold in very high regards plays out regardless of my own intuition. It is because of this i am reaching out to you folk, who have had to make the same very decisions i am confronted by in hopes i can learn from an experience .

Thank you for attention up to this point . I appreciate your time so i will be brief.

I am a high school grad as of 6/8/17 and have a few options towards my entrance into a pilot slot in military.

To my understanding an academy is the most likely way to get that pilot slot , so i would be applying to them in all scenarios.

1) Usaf enlisted. full time
-I could enter as an aircraft mec
-could use gi to pay for bachelors in aviation
-most fluid of my options allowing for aviation tec or flight slot
-get payed
- fastest way to retirement

-longest path to academy admission,pilot slot, or an officer 6-7 yr
-cannot ship off to bmt for another 6 month

2) usaf reservist 4 days mon
-could use gi for select reserve to help pay for bachelors in aviation
-college ROTC towards pilot slot.
-fastest way to be commissioned as o
-better job
-years of service still count
-more competitive academy admission

-does not count towards military retirement
-possible debt
-less benefits than nat guard
-cannot ship off to bmt for another 6 month

3) army nat guard reservist 4 days a month
-full ride in bachelors thats not aviation related
-10k cash from scholarship (getting paid to go to school)
-college ROTC towards pilot slot.
-more competitive academy admission
-years of service still count

-complicated transfer to usaf after ots
-no guarantee of transfer if i got an academy appointment
-crappy job: plumber, road paver, or carpenter
-more likely chance of deployment(9 month tour) than usaf res.

Based on that, what do you gentlemen believe the best course of action is?

is there a path i am missing or something i may not be considering?

Again, thanks for your time.Your opinion or past experience is important to me.

very respectfully,

Kipper


BeatNavy
06-11-2017, 01:40 AM
What do you want to fly? If you want to fly helos, join the army warrant officer corps straighten off the street. My stick buddy in army flight school was 18 and right off the street. That process is not without its wickets, but can be done. If you want to go to an academy, that isn't a bad way to go. Even though it was miserable, I would do it again. But it isn't always the best for flying. My ideal career path would have been to start getting some ratings in high school, enlist in the guard in a fighter unit and go to college simultaneously, try to flight instruct on the side and build some hours,, finish my degree at some point, get picked up by a regional, get a UPT slot from a fighter unit, then get a seniority number at a major, then go on mil leave for a while and do the airline/fighter thing. All that can be done by age 30. Or another cool path would be to join the army at 18 or 19, fly apaches for 8 years while working on a degree and fixed wing time on the side, get out at 26/27 years old, join a guard fighter unit, then do the airline thing after that.

FlewNavy
06-11-2017, 04:25 AM
The only reason to go to a service academy in this day and age is if you want an academy experience.

The academies pick up a handful of enlisted every year. You will likely have to spend several years applying on a very low percentage bet.

The fastest way to getting a commission and flying is to get a degree. If you have college money or a way to get a degree without significant debt...get the degree and apply for OCS.

If you need to enlist to get money- that's fine too. As soon as you get to your first duty station start taking college classes rather than chasing girls and boozing. You can likely have a degree or most of a degree completed by the end of your first enlistment - then apply for OCS.

Keep in mind the service required for mil flight training is typically 8-10 years. If you enlist and the go to an academy you will have 3-4 years enlisted time followed by the academy and then 8-10 years commitment. Total time until "free" is about 17 years and only 13 count toward "pension". If you get the degree on your own you could do it in about 5-6 years followed by 8-10 commitment after training. Total time is 15 years all count toward the tradition or new blended retirement.

If you want to be an airline pilot, in either of these cases your wouldn't be available to the airlines until about 2030 at the earliest.


Kipperskipper
06-11-2017, 07:14 AM
The only reason to go to a service academy in this day and age is if you want an academy experience.

The academies pick up a handful of enlisted every year. You will likely have to spend several years applying on a very low percentage bet.

The fastest way to getting a commission and flying is to get a degree. If you have college money or a way to get a degree without significant debt...get the degree and apply for OCS.

If you need to enlist to get money- that's fine too. As soon as you get to your first duty station start taking college classes rather than chasing girls and boozing. You can likely have a degree or most of a degree completed by the end of your first enlistment - then apply for OCS.

Keep in mind the service required for mil flight training is typically 8-10 years. If you enlist and the go to an academy you will have 3-4 years enlisted time followed by the academy and then 8-10 years commitment. Total time until "free" is about 17 years and only 13 count toward "pension". If you get the degree on your own you could do it in about 5-6 years followed by 8-10 commitment after training. Total time is 15 years all count toward the tradition or new blended retirement.

If you want to be an airline pilot, in either of these cases your wouldn't be available to the airlines until about 2030 at the earliest.


Thats was very well said flew, In each case the road is long. With enlistment i am giving up that direct shot for a commision and pilot slot. Then if i got the degree on my own i would be giving up those 4 years towards my retirement.However like you said i am also again losing these 4 years if i go to the academy from enlistment. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Kipperskipper
06-11-2017, 07:20 AM
What do you want to fly? If you want to fly helos, join the army warrant officer corps straighten off the street. My stick buddy in army flight school was 18 and right off the street. That process is not without its wickets, but can be done. If you want to go to an academy, that isn't a bad way to go. Even though it was miserable, I would do it again. But it isn't always the best for flying. My ideal career path would have been to start getting some ratings in high school, enlist in the guard in a fighter unit and go to college simultaneously, try to flight instruct on the side and build some hours,, finish my degree at some point, get picked up by a regional, get a UPT slot from a fighter unit, then get a seniority number at a major, then go on mil leave for a while and do the airline/fighter thing. All that can be done by age 30. Or another cool path would be to join the army at 18 or 19, fly apaches for 8 years while working on a degree and fixed wing time on the side, get out at 26/27 years old, join a guard fighter unit, then do the airline thing after that.


Wow what a path. Out of all the paths yours would be the most direct and i could be big time by 30. very cool, I did not look into the ang too much yet but i hear their pilots fly ALOT.:)

BeatNavy
06-11-2017, 09:00 AM
Wow what a path. Out of all the paths yours would be the most direct and i could be big time by 30. very cool, I did not look into the ang too much yet but i hear their pilots fly ALOT.:)

My route wasn't that direct. I went to a service academy, flew helos for 8 years, got out, went to a regional for a year and a half, then JetBlue. Guys 5-8 years younger than I am are getting on at legacies. But if aviation doesn't work out I have other options. My USNA/USAFA counterparts are just starting to be able to punch out of active duty and get to the airlines in their low-mid 30s. But most don't have to do the regional thing like I did.

Another thing to consider. I know a guy who went to Purdue, got his ratings/time in college, went to Mesa at age 22, upgraded in 18 months, had a little volunteer work, and got hired at delta at age 24. If I was that lucky, I would do that, then go find a guard unit and become a guard fighter pilot and keep my delta seniority. That would be better than the enlisted guard first route. Getting a legacy seniority number before going guard is optimal, but requires a lot of luck in both endeavors.

What do you want to fly?

Merle Dixon
06-11-2017, 03:36 PM
I am a T-38 instructor. We have off the street AF Reserve and Air National Guard student pilots all the time. Many of these guys/gals are college grads with a little bit of civilian pilot training. Many of them applied to numerous ANG/Reserve units and eventually got hired. So, OTS, pilot training, follow-on training, full-time orders at their squadron for 2 to 3 years for seasoning and boo-yah, you are airline hireable. STAY AWAY FROM THE ACTIVE DUTY. The post-SUPT active-duty service commitment is 10 years. Don't do it.

Flyaf05
06-11-2017, 06:11 PM
I am a T-38 instructor. We have off the street AF Reserve and Air National Guard student pilots all the time. Many of these guys/gals are college grads with a little bit of civilian pilot training. Many of them applied to numerous ANG/Reserve units and eventually got hired. So, OTS, pilot training, follow-on training, full-time orders at their squadron for 2 to 3 years for seasoning and boo-yah, you are airline hireable. STAY AWAY FROM THE ACTIVE DUTY. The post-SUPT active-duty service commitment is 10 years. Don't do it.

I agree with Merle! Go guard or reserve, use tuition assistance and/or the GI bill to finish your degree (the AF will basically give you your associates degree through the CCAF for just being in the AF), be a good dude, get an OTS/UPT slot from your unit, then you'll have a lot more options versus being locked into an active duty commitment. The sooner you can get into the airlines the better for long term QOL. Make sure you're reading all the info on baseops.net too. Good luck!

Sliceback
06-11-2017, 06:49 PM
You probably need 1,500 fighters, and 2,000 hrs heavy mil time, to be competitive. With a deployment you might get 400-500 hrs fighter a year? The other years you'll get 100-150? 500-800 hrs every three years? 300 hrs from UPT, RTU, and local qual/MR? Maybe 8-10 yrs from OTS to a competitive fighter resume?

What's the heavy annual flight hours as a reservist? 250-400? Still 8-10 years?

Here's DL's median new hire data for almost two years of hiring -

Civ. 7656 TT. 4126 PIC
MIL. 3119 2249
C/M. 4938. 2955

Havn't seen many posts on 'who's been hired' with less than 1500 pointy hrs and 2000 hrs heavy.

crewdawg
06-11-2017, 08:04 PM
Find your closest AIR National Guard squadron and enlist as a crew chief. Kick butt at your job and get your degree while serving out your enlistment. They'll pay for your schooling and you'll make extra cash between your weekend pay check and the GI BILL/other benefits. Finish college pretty much debt free. About a year out from graduating apply for pilots spots every where, while trying to get a seniority number at a regional. Get hired...prosper!

If you find out later you can't pass the medical or don't get hired, you'll only have a few years after college to finish your commitment. If that's the case, you'll have gotten to see a lot of cool places and made friends for life...on top of serving your country.

I would only go to the AD as a last resort. Also, I would avoid the AF Reserve and go to the Air Guard. We generally have more/better benefits plus there are some other protections wrt deployments.

Grumble
06-12-2017, 06:07 AM
Go to med school, become a plastic surgeon, buy your own jet/helo/boat/etc.

You're welcome.

mainlineAF
06-12-2017, 07:44 AM
Go to med school, become a plastic surgeon, buy your own jet/helo/boat/etc.



You're welcome.



Yep[emoji1369]. I've had a great ride so far and have been super lucky but if I could go back I would 100% try for med school.

I don't like the unknowns about this career (oil, terrorism, me3/NAI, pilotless, etc). If I knew my career would pan out the way it looks like that'd be different, but obviously that's impossible.

Kipperskipper
06-12-2017, 03:06 PM
Go to med school, become a plastic surgeon, buy your own jet/helo/boat/etc.

You're welcome.

:D Thanks for the laugh. i really needed that to lighten up a bit.

But in all seriousness, Thank you all for your advice and support. I got to hear some great great advice here, as well as what you guys have gone through to get where you are.

Grumble
06-12-2017, 09:06 PM
:D Thanks for the laugh. i really needed that to lighten up a bit.

But in all seriousness, Thank you all for your advice and support. I got to hear some great great advice here, as well as what you guys have gone through to get where you are.

I actually wasn't being funny. Stay away from this business, it will never love you as much as you love it. Unless you want to be a career drone pilot, the odds are not in your favor going the military route.

FlewNavy
06-13-2017, 03:14 AM
I actually wasn't being funny. Stay away from this business, it will never love you as much as you love it. Unless you want to be a career drone pilot, the odds are not in your favor going the military route.

One of my mentors says the first piece of advice he gives is "take any other job but airline pilot".... but none of us are listening...

C130driver
06-13-2017, 07:08 PM
I actually wasn't being funny. Stay away from this business, it will never love you as much as you love it. Unless you want to be a career drone pilot, the odds are not in your favor going the military route.

Are you drunk? No business will love you as much as you love it. Yet no other job pays as much for as little "work" as being an airline pilot, unless you are Kim Kardashian. Gheezus young kid has aspirations to be a pilot like you and I did when we were young. Besides, I'd hardly call flying 300agl low levels to airdrops and landing on assault strips being a drone pilot in my niche. Is it a risk going active duty, yes, but hence why we mentioned the guard.

Kid, don't listen to Grumble and don't listen to the negativity on these forums from some. Being a pilot, civilian or military is a kick ass way to earn a living. Does it come with its risks? Yes, but which career doesn't?

kme9418
06-13-2017, 07:48 PM
If you are graduating from high school this month and don't already have an appointment to a service academy, you most likely missed the boat already. Folks that are going to the academy directly after high school have already been working that process for a couple years and likely are in the top 5% (or higher) of their graduating class. There are a tiny few that get selected through other avenues.

Most direct path (with its own associated pain level)...Think about a four year college with an AFROTC program. There are over 1,300 of them either with an ROTC detachment or a cross town agreement with a college that has one.

Get your four year degree and compete for pilot training while you are doing ROTC.

Worst case, you end up with a 4 year degree, don't get a pilot slot, do four years AD as a support officer then get out. Best case, graduate, go to pilot training, but then you're stuck on AD for 10-12 years.

THEN AGAIN, the advice previously given to stay away from AD is wise. Enlist in an AIR guard unit, get college money, get your degree full time, then compete for a pilot slot.

A good resource at your stage: Go to baseops.net and click on FLIGHT TRAINING and JOINING THE MILITARY.

Grumble
06-18-2017, 07:38 AM
Are you drunk? No business will love you as much as you love it. Yet no other job pays as much for as little "work" as being an airline pilot, unless you are Kim Kardashian. Gheezus young kid has aspirations to be a pilot like you and I did when we were young. Besides, I'd hardly call flying 300agl low levels to airdrops and landing on assault strips being a drone pilot in my niche. Is it a risk going active duty, yes, but hence why we mentioned the guard.

Kid, don't listen to Grumble and don't listen to the negativity on these forums from some. Being a pilot, civilian or military is a kick ass way to earn a living. Does it come with its risks? Yes, but which career doesn't?

It worked out for us... it's a new world for those coming in. It's also easy to say come on up from the top of the mountain... forgetting how hard it was and all those who didn't make it. The betting man would put his money on about 1:20 ever making it, and it's probably worse than that.

Manage your expectations kid. Yes it an awesome job, but have a back up plan.

Sliceback
06-18-2017, 12:46 PM
It's such a terrible career even the junior guys at a major airline rarely quit. One a year? Two? If even that much?

Guys would ask "why do the furloughees come back?" It's simple, it was better than the other options.

Spike from flyi
06-25-2017, 01:09 PM
Consider something with more stability, like becoming a Carney!

Montey
07-01-2017, 06:48 PM
I was in your shoes once. I went right into the reserves after highschool, 21 now, 3 years in the service and a deployment later, I am at 50% post 9/11 that is paying for school. I do the one uta weekend a month during school, and I fly my ass off during the summer and winter as a Flying Crew Chief. On the Kc-10s at least, there's plenty of advice to gain from the aircrew. I plan on cross training into a boom-operator position, get my foot in the door, get more school paid for and hopefully get picked up as a pilot. Regardless, you have the right mentality, and you have plenty of time. The crews will tell you school is important, and as everyone said, stay away from AD. ROTC does not guarantee you a slot upon finishing school either. IMHO, you gain alot more experience and respect rising through the ranks. If I could do it over again, I would have became a boom or loadmaster to begin with.



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