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View Full Version : Military training explanation


mcclune18
08-28-2017, 02:51 PM
Hey guys,
This is my first post on this forum so please bear with me!

I am a relative newcomer to US military aviation, but I am hoping to join a military service as a pilot once I graduate from university. I am studying a Masterís degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Essentially, I am writing this post to gain information on the early training each service gives to its pilots, and which training system is considered to produce the best pilots. If possible, would anyone be able to provide me with the training phase steps of each service?

My first question is about Initial Flight Training. Does everyone (i.e. every service and PPL/non PPL holders) have to complete this phase, and what is involved? I hold a UK PPL, and I was told that if you do hold a PPL that you can progress past this phase, straight into Primary Flight training.
Despite having a PPL, I would like to complete this phase to make sure that I am using the correct techniques whilst flying, would this be possible?

Is IFT there to introduce the basics of flying (such as Effects of Controls, Straight and Level etc) so that you hit the ground running once you move on to Primary/SUPT training? Or are the basics also taught on the T6 as a recap for those coming straight in with a PPL? Is there a Primary/SUPT syllabus guide available anywhere?

As a last question, which training system (USAF/US Navy/ Marines) do you consider to produce the best pilots?

Again, please bear with my ignorance!

Many Thanks,
mcclune18


tomgoodman
08-28-2017, 04:31 PM
This should answer some of your questions. Good luck!

https://www.baseops.net/militarypilot

rickair7777
08-28-2017, 04:39 PM
If you're planning on US military aviation, you must be a US citizen. All pilots are officers, who must be citizens.

All US military branches are essentially comparable, and in fact USN, USMC, and USCG (Sea Services) all use the same training and procedures, and the USAF often mixes students with the Sea Services. Army is a bit different due to emphasis on helos, but still equivalent quality. The real difference between services is more the type of flying and location of bases.

All trainees complete the full program regardless of prior flying experience (possibly one exception for commercial pilots going the guard/reserves?).

I think most of the US services now have applicants do a little general aviation to assess their aptitude, but this is not really training as much as assessment.


Vincent Chase
08-28-2017, 05:00 PM
If you're planning on US military aviation, you must be a US citizen. All pilots are officers, who must be citizens.

All US military branches are essentially comparable, and in fact USN, USMC, and USCG (Sea Services) all use the same training and procedures, and the USAF often mixes students with the Sea Services. Army is a bit different due to emphasis on helos, but still equivalent quality. The real difference between services is more the type of flying and location of bases.

All trainees complete the full program regardless of prior flying experience (possibly one exception for commercial pilots going the guard/reserves?).

I think most of the US services now have applicants do a little general aviation to assess their aptitude, but this is not really training as much as assessment.

Everything Rickair says is true here, except the Air Force mixing students. That has gone the way of Les Aspen. A nice idea on paper, but it didn't work. It's all divorced as of 2014.

Oh and Air Force does some training in the process. Just short of PPL, but that's because the AF doesn't want to pay for PPLs for their fresh fish.

AFTrainerGuy
08-29-2017, 07:27 AM
If you're planning on US military aviation, you must be a US citizen. All pilots are officers, who must be citizens.

All US military branches are essentially comparable, and in fact USN, USMC, and USCG (Sea Services) all use the same training and procedures, and the USAF often mixes students with the Sea Services. Army is a bit different due to emphasis on helos, but still equivalent quality. The real difference between services is more the type of flying and location of bases.

All trainees complete the full program regardless of prior flying experience (possibly one exception for commercial pilots going the guard/reserves?).

I think most of the US services now have applicants do a little general aviation to assess their aptitude, but this is not really training as much as assessment.

All true except:

If you have a PPL, yes, you can skip IFT (Pueblo Co, in DA-20). All others must attend

They are fielding a new program which allows certain pilots in Guard/Reserves (not sure on discriminators, like ATP and such) to skip straight to T-1's. Buddy at AFRC pilot placement said this is starting in next few classes

mcclune18
08-29-2017, 12:12 PM
Thanks for your help guys!

As I am not a US citizen, would you have any advice on what path I should take considering I would like to serve in the US military. I know that you can get your naturalisation sped up if you're in the military, but I assume that getting the green card would be my first obstacle?

rickair7777
08-29-2017, 01:48 PM
Thanks for your help guys!

As I am not a US citizen, would you have any advice on what path I should take considering I would like to serve in the US military. I know that you can get your naturalisation sped up if you're in the military, but I assume that getting the green card would be my first obstacle?

Non-citizens (from certain countries) are allowed to enlist, but not be officers...many jobs available but not pilot. You don't need a green card, and will have a fairly automatic path to citizenship through military service.

If you're a UK/EU citizen, safe to assume that you would be allowed to enlist if you meet the standards.

galaxy flyer
08-29-2017, 01:50 PM
You can enlist, try to choose a service speciality in aviation--boomer or loadmaster maybe even engineer on KC-10 or C-5s. Yes, service as enlisted will speed up naturization, then be selected for OCS, then for UFT. Long row to hoe.

GF

C130driver
08-29-2017, 04:17 PM
They are fielding a new program which allows certain pilots in Guard/Reserves (not sure on discriminators, like ATP and such) to skip straight to T-1's. Buddy at AFRC pilot placement said this is starting in next few classes

What? Why? That's an awful idea. Yeah you may never do TP stalls or loops in your guard C-17 but the fundamental skills and discipline learned in T-6s is irreplaceable.

rickair7777
08-29-2017, 05:54 PM
What? Why? That's an awful idea. Yeah you may never do TP stalls or loops in your guard C-17 but the fundamental skills and discipline learned in T-6s is irreplaceable.

It diminishes the brand a tiny bit, but is the T-6 really necessary for an experienced turbine pilot? The AF (along with everybody else) is about to need all the pilots it can get/keep. Probably OK to have a handful of these around. Like guard babies, as long as they're immersed in the appropriate culture they'll be fine.

Gundriver64
08-30-2017, 03:19 AM
Hey guys,
This is my first post on this forum so please bear with me!

I am a relative newcomer to US military aviation, but I am hoping to join a military service as a pilot once I graduate from university. I am studying a Masterís degree in Aerospace Engineering.

Essentially, I am writing this post to gain information on the early training each service gives to its pilots, and which training system is considered to produce the best pilots. If possible, would anyone be able to provide me with the training phase steps of each service?

My first question is about Initial Flight Training. Does everyone (i.e. every service and PPL/non PPL holders) have to complete this phase, and what is involved? I hold a UK PPL, and I was told that if you do hold a PPL that you can progress past this phase, straight into Primary Flight training.
Despite having a PPL, I would like to complete this phase to make sure that I am using the correct techniques whilst flying, would this be possible?

Is IFT there to introduce the basics of flying (such as Effects of Controls, Straight and Level etc) so that you hit the ground running once you move on to Primary/SUPT training? Or are the basics also taught on the T6 as a recap for those coming straight in with a PPL? Is there a Primary/SUPT syllabus guide available anywhere?

As a last question, which training system (USAF/US Navy/ Marines) do you consider to produce the best pilots?

Again, please bear with my ignorance!

Many Thanks,
mcclune18

I think you need to focus on getting accepted into a program FIRST. The process of applying (Army, Navy, USAF, Marines, CG) is no cake walk. Plus, you will have a very long commitment after training. So, if you want a path to the airlines the military is a good process, but not a "quick" process.

joepilot
08-30-2017, 06:17 AM
It diminishes the brand a tiny bit, but is the T-6 really necessary for an experienced turbine pilot? The AF (along with everybody else) is about to need all the pilots it can get/keep. Probably OK to have a handful of these around. Like guard babies, as long as they're immersed in the appropriate culture they'll be fine.

I understand the Military's desire to save money by doing this, but I see no reason that a pilot would want to.

Take all the new airplane training you can get. Every new airplane teaches you something new, and it's kind of fun.

Joe

Tweetdrvr
08-30-2017, 06:40 AM
They are fielding a new program which allows certain pilots in Guard/Reserves (not sure on discriminators, like ATP and such) to skip straight to T-1's. Buddy at AFRC pilot placement said this is starting in next few classes

This is the money tail wagging the dog. It sounds like trying to save money and create a shorter path for certain ARC pilots. It might be ok for point A to B flying, but how much of what AMC and other MAJCOMs do in big airplanes requires a solid formation fundamental background?

Also in the wake of Colgan and Air France, look at the emphasis on stall awareness and upset recovery training the airlines are now focusing on. How many mil guys just yawn when this is covered due to having gone above and beyond in T-37/T-34/T-6 primary with all the stall/spin, aerobatics, and contact recoveries from bad maneuvers? :mad:

I would say nay to this, if were king of AETC pilot production.

OrionDriver
08-30-2017, 09:21 AM
Please do look at joining the military as an enlisted member, since you don't yet have your citizenship. Like has been stated in this thread, it will help you achieve citizenship faster.

If you'd prefer the longer route of getting your citizenship first, you run into the risk of being too old for pilot training. I think the cutoff for off the street applicants (which is what you would be) is 25, but I'm not certain. If you're already in the military as an enlisted member, the age limit is increased.

Your background can bring a lot to the table as a service member. I served with lots of members who were immigrants and they brought perspective, language and cultural skills that none of the rest of us had. Several times when we rolled into various foreign places, it was our immigrant service members who provided the most effective ice breakers when interacting with our hosts.

Start talking to a recruiter.

As for which service produces the best pilots? Well, I've met great Air Force pilots and crappy ones, same for the Navy and Marines (I was Navy). I happen to like how the Navy does training better, but that's just me and how I learn - Navy training us MUCH less structured. Overall, all the services produce excellent pilots and all have their pros and cons. If you want the snazziest uniforms though, go Marines or Navy :D

AFTrainerGuy
08-30-2017, 12:19 PM
This is the money tail wagging the dog. It sounds like trying to save money and create a shorter path for certain ARC pilots. It might be ok for point A to B flying, but how much of what AMC and other MAJCOMs do in big airplanes requires a solid formation fundamental background?

Also in the wake of Colgan and Air France, look at the emphasis on stall awareness and upset recovery training the airlines are now focusing on. How many mil guys just yawn when this is covered due to having gone above and beyond in T-37/T-34/T-6 primary with all the stall/spin, aerobatics, and contact recoveries from bad maneuvers? :mad:

I would say nay to this, if were king of AETC pilot production.


I agree 100% btw. Just sharing facts as how the program will change for 1-2% in the immediate future.

Also.. for the original poster. AFRC now has Unsponsored Reserve program. You apply to AFRC directly and they send you to UPT. Depending on how you do, the needs of the AFRC units, and a couple other factors, you will compete for openings/shortages in units nationwide for your specific assignment. Units are now going to UPT to do "mass interviews" with candidates already in pipeline. Last year they had to turn back in 22 unfilled slots due to a lack of candidates (why they cant fill them could fill a 20 page thread so I'll leave that alone). Point is, you wanna go to UPT and are qualified, you do not have to get picked up by a unit anymore.

rickair7777
08-30-2017, 02:42 PM
I agree 100% btw. Just sharing facts as how the program will change for 1-2% in the immediate future.

Also.. for the original poster. AFRC now has Unsponsored Reserve program. You apply to AFRC directly and they send you to UPT. Depending on how you do, the needs of the AFRC units, and a couple other factors, you will compete for openings/shortages in units nationwide for your specific assignment. Units are now going to UPT to do "mass interviews" with candidates already in pipeline. Last year they had to turn back in 22 unfilled slots due to a lack of candidates (why they cant fill them could fill a 20 page thread so I'll leave that alone). Point is, you wanna go to UPT and are qualified, you do not have to get picked up by a unit anymore.

Strange. A bit risky for the applicant...what if you don't get picked up by a unit you like? Force assigned to WY, WV, AK, etc? Serve out your time in the AD AF? Or do they just let you go home with some free flight time?

MilitaryAV8R
09-01-2017, 02:38 PM
Addressing the issue of US Citizenship, just looking at the Army Warrant Officer Flight Training webpage it is not listed as a requirement. If someone knows anything more please chime in.

Army Warrant Officer Pilots are already an oddity in that they do not require a degree. Also if going the Army Warrant route you WILL be a helicopter pilot first. The possibility of fixed wing comes later.

rickair7777
09-01-2017, 04:44 PM
Addressing the issue of US Citizenship, just looking at the Army Warrant Officer Flight Training webpage it is not listed as a requirement. If someone knows anything more please chime in.

Army Warrant Officer Pilots are already an oddity in that they do not require a degree. Also if going the Army Warrant route you WILL be a helicopter pilot first. The possibility of fixed wing comes later.

Pretty sure warrants have to be citizens too.

Gundriver64
09-01-2017, 05:48 PM
Addressing the issue of US Citizenship, just looking at the Army Warrant Officer Flight Training webpage it is not listed as a requirement. If someone knows anything more please chime in.

Army Warrant Officer Pilots are already an oddity in that they do not require a degree. Also if going the Army Warrant route you WILL be a helicopter pilot first. The possibility of fixed wing comes later.

Warrant Officer grades CW2-CW5 are commissioned ranks. So yes, one has to be a citizen. The WILL part of being a helo pilot first is no longer an absolute. The Army now has a fixed wing only track called "Fixed Wing for Life.

Cheers,
G

MilitaryAV8R
09-02-2017, 04:32 AM
Warrant Officer grades CW2-CW5 are commissioned ranks. So yes, one has to be a citizen. The WILL part of being a helo pilot first is no longer an absolute. The Army now has a fixed wing only track called "Fixed Wing for Life.

Cheers,
G

Strange that the US Citizenship requirement is not listed when looking up Warrant Officer Flight School requirements. But you are correct, if I look up the basic requirements of a Warrant Officer in general it is there.

As for the Fixed Wing for life, just before I got out there was a couple people that I knew got fixed wing as WO1, but as I recall they still went through IERW with no idea they would get FW before changing over. As they told the story there were also many classes that nobody got FW. They related it to getting Willie Wonka's Golden Ticket. I have been out 4 years now so things may be different.