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View Full Version : Separating at 17.5 Years


AFSoar01
03-09-2018, 08:27 PM
Hoping you guys can offer some insight: I'm a USAF heavy pilot with ~2500TT hours. I just got back in the cockpit after a long staff tour and I should have at least 100 recent hours by this fall when my ADSC is up. I'm working on my ATP and strongly considering applying to the majors for an early departure from the USAF. After separating I would transfer to the ANG to earn at least the guard retirement, and would hope to use USERRA to finish up an active duty guard retirement later, if I was hired by an airline and if that was an option with a guard unit.

Here's my question: Is being so close to retirement going to hurt my chances with hiring boards?

A friend of mine recently separated at 17 years and joined the ANG as a traditional guardsman, and he just got hired by Delta. At his interview, however, they asked about his intentions to take mil-leave at least five times (not sure that's legal), to which he responded that he did not intend to take an extended period of mil-leave. And they hired him anyway - but he has a ton of hours and has flown some very high-profile aircraft, so his results might be different than mine. Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it... At the minimum I'm thinking of trying to join our local guard unit as a traditional guardsman and trying to scrape by to 20 on whatever man-days they have available. I've deployed too much to do another long one... Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!


Gundriver64
03-10-2018, 02:50 AM
Hoping you guys can offer some insight: I'm a USAF heavy pilot with ~2500TT hours. I just got back in the cockpit after a long staff tour and I should have at least 100 recent hours by this fall when my ADSC is up. I'm working on my ATP and strongly considering applying to the majors for an early departure from the USAF. After separating I would transfer to the ANG to earn at least the guard retirement, and would hope to use USERRA to finish up an active duty guard retirement later, if I was hired by an airline and if that was an option with a guard unit.

Here's my question: Is being so close to retirement going to hurt my chances with hiring boards?

A friend of mine recently separated at 17 years and joined the ANG as a traditional guardsman, and he just got hired by Delta. At his interview, however, they asked about his intentions to take mil-leave at least five times (not sure that's legal), to which he responded that he did not intend to take an extended period of mil-leave. And they hired him anyway - but he has a ton of hours and has flown some very high-profile aircraft, so his results might be different than mine. Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it... At the minimum I'm thinking of trying to join our local guard unit as a traditional guardsman and trying to scrape by to 20 on whatever man-days they have available. I've deployed too much to do another long one... Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!

Tough one. How old are you (how close to 60)? Have you officially documented eligible deployments that might bring your Reserve retirement age down from 60? I'm pretty sure M-day IDT points aren't going to count towards 20 AFS.

AFSoar01
03-10-2018, 05:03 AM
Hey Gundriver - I'm 39. Not sure about the terminology in the guard, so maybe I misspoke. My buddies in the unit I'm thinking about tell me there is enough funding to be on almost full-time and continue working towards an active-duty retirement. This is no guarantee of course, but it looks very do-able, and there seem to be lots of folks in DC on active-duty orders through the Guard Bureau (at least there were when I was at the Pentagon), so I'm thinking that could be an option as well.


Sputnik
03-10-2018, 05:10 AM
Talk with one of the interview prep companies but I think itll be a non issue. You need to be able to answer the question at an interview, but it wont stop them from calling

SaltyDog
03-10-2018, 06:23 AM
Asking specific questions regarding possible military service in future, then not being hired opens the possibility you were in fact discriminated against which is not legal.

USERRA specifcally forbids discrimination in hiring, retention, promotion, benefit—38 U.S.C. 4311

If a possible employer is digging in on future service, this is possibly out of ignorance or military service members allowing the HR department to believe invulnerable. It could be a specific individual who is ignorant of the law. HR should watch and stop this action. If repeated it's because they get away with this behavior. The only reason to ask about potential future service is to NOT hire the individual.
If asked detailed future plans, realize they are looking for a reason not to hire you.
----------------------------------------------------------
If leaving at 17 years, yes, very close to active retirement and companies are familiar and have experienced those who return to complete active retirement. In years past, furloughs cause many to return to complete a full active duty and remain until retirement before returning to the airline. Fair enough, business decision by company, must find job....
In today's market, would opine that many carriers would look to the fact your 39 and will likely fly for somebody in a few years anyway. If a good fit, they may just run the 'risk' even if one does finish a career in the military after being hired. A minority of applicants even fit into this demographic. Most out at MSR or after 20.

TankerDriver
03-10-2018, 09:05 AM
Join a Guard or Reserve unit now and fire your apps out. Most guard and reserve units at least on the heavy side are short manned right now. Not sure if you are an airlift or a tanker guy but tankers are hurting for people.

You may be able to pick up a temp technician job or a temp AGR job to keep food on the table and fly your butt off for recency. If not some units have MPA days to go around or of course you can take a deployment or two to get your hours up.

With the amount of active-duty time that you have depending on how much time you put in at an ARC unit to do title 10 or AGR orders, you could have yourself an active-duty retirement in about six or seven years.

Sent from my SM-G930T using Tapatalk

Castle Bravo
03-10-2018, 03:45 PM
Consider staying until 20, here's why:
If you were at 10 or even 15 yrs, I'd say punch, do AGR and apply to the Big 6. But at 17.5, you can stick it out for 2 more years, and then you'll have $50K+ per year for the rest of your life, for just fogging a mirror. My Tricare, for my whole family, is freakin' $47 a MONTH. You can't beat that anywhere. Airlines charge 4, 5, 600 a month for medical. Every month. My annual Tricare bill ain't $600...
13 months prior to retirement, drop your papers, set the earliest retirement date possible, and when you hit terminal leave, you can be in your airline class. I had a buddy that was flying for SWA while on Terminal leave! Once you have a retirement date set 12 mos out, the 365 boogey man can't get you.

It's a high performance problem to have; best of luck however it breaks for you.

sherpster
03-10-2018, 05:05 PM
I'll get roasted for this but here goes. You are CRAZY to get out with less than 3 years to go. There I said it.

CLazarus
03-10-2018, 05:54 PM
13 months prior to retirement, drop your papers, set the earliest retirement date possible, and when you hit terminal leave, you can be in your airline class. I had a buddy that was flying for SWA while on Terminal leave! Once you have a retirement date set 12 mos out, the 365 boogey man can't get you.

CB is right on target, you are way too close to the check of the month club to punch now. To paraphrase a buddy of mine, "You could practically hold your breath from now until you retire". You are fortunate in that you will not need to regain flying currency when you retire either, so you will have a strong chance at going direct to a major. You can start your apps at your leisure with no time pressure and hit "submit" when your availability date is set. We've had straight nine years of economic growth and a sudden reversal could be around the corner (did somebody say "trade war"?). Having a seniority number sooner might put some extra cash in your pocket short term, but having a retirement check is a great insurance policy against a furlough or bankruptcy from now until the day you turn 65. Plus, it keeps paying out after you turn 65 too!

BrownDoubles
03-10-2018, 06:00 PM
I'll get roasted for this but here goes. You are CRAZY to get out with less than 3 years to go. There I said it.

I was thinking the same thing -- UNLESS... you a facing a staff tour for the final 2.5; that may change the game.

SaltyDog
03-10-2018, 08:10 PM
...... Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it...

I took AFSoar01 at their word. A 365 can be hard on family life and a high pressure DO job is no picnic either. Not taking one most certainly bumps the other chance. Neither seems desirable by AFSoar01.

Sometimes QOL is just that important. Fair comments, but guessing they already took the financial hit into the calculation.

sherpster
03-11-2018, 04:14 AM
Who gives up a multi million dollar pension with 2.5 years to go? Hold on brother, dont worry about the small stuff at work, make lemonade out of lemons for the next 2 years. Take care of others but ignore the big USAF crap and let everything roll off your back. You will be glad you did.

JTwift
03-11-2018, 05:23 AM
having a retirement check is a great insurance policy against a furlough or bankruptcy from now until the day you turn 65. Plus, it keeps paying out after you turn 65 too!

The retirement check is also great insurance against:

- Turns out you don't like it.

- Don't get hired by major, stuck at Regional (see above)

- Medical takes your Class I

- [insert any number of reasons]

Packrat
03-11-2018, 05:32 AM
I have to agree with the other guys...hang in there. ANG may be different, but the Navy used to require 8 years of Reserve service to get a Reserve retirement. If that's true over in blue suit land then how promotable are you to flag rank?

You can do 30 months standing on your head. In the mean time, fly as much as possible and look forward to a solid 20+ year airline career.

galaxy flyer
03-11-2018, 07:17 AM
I think it’s 6 years of your last 8 years prior to retirement have to be in the Reserves. Be careful of Title 32 man-days in the ANG- don’t count toward 20. AFRC days may or may not count, either, depending on how they are written.

GF

rickair7777
03-11-2018, 10:20 AM
I think it’s 6 years of your last 8 years prior to retirement have to be in the Reserves. Be careful of Title 32 man-days in the ANG- don’t count toward 20. AFRC days may or may not count, either, depending on how they are written.

GF

99% sure they recently got rid of the requirement to serve eight years in the reserves.

But I wouldn't bail on the AD retirement at 17 years unless you have a CJO in hand from a top tier major, and excellent health. And a wife who's a doctor or attorney.

Sqwk1200
03-11-2018, 01:33 PM
I think it’s 6 years of your last 8 years prior to retirement have to be in the Reserves. Be careful of Title 32 man-days in the ANG- don’t count toward 20. AFRC days may or may not count, either, depending on how they are written.

GF

Huh? I never heard of anything like this (6 of last 8 years for reserve retirement). But that’s how I usually learn stuff, with a ‘wtf’ moment.

Scraggly Heron
03-11-2018, 02:07 PM
I'm generally inclined to encourage people to get out; that being said, you'll have 2.5 years left *and* you're flying. If you're flying now you're in a good position, assuming the AF doen't hit you with a 365 followed by a desk until retirement. Sticking out the last couple of years is probably worth a few senoirty numbers.

The other factor is whether or not you're done with the AF. I wake up every day greatful that I'm out of the AF, regardles of anything else going on in my life. A checkride failure and a couple of speeding tickets may mean I'll never work for a legacy, but life is still better on the other side. If that's the case for you, no amount of money will make up for losing those years of your life.

SaltyDog
03-11-2018, 04:18 PM
I think it’s 6 years of your last 8 years prior to retirement have to be in the Reserves. Be careful of Title 32 man-days in the ANG- don’t count toward 20. AFRC days may or may not count, either, depending on how they are written.

GF

For old folks----like galaxy flyer and myself LOL

There is no longer a legal requirement that the last 6 years of qualifying service be served in a reserve/guard component. Simply need a qualifying year.

****However, there is a grandfathering clause in the law that requires members who attained 20 years of qualifying service before 26 April 2005 to serve their last six qualifying years in a Reserve Component.
Would almost apply to no one left serving today.*****

If one could have retired at age 41/42 as the OP, then giving up about 1 million in retired pay until next retirement gate and collect retired pay at age 60 (assuming no early qualifying retirement). So roughly would be giving up half the retirement payout over a lifetime (very rough).
Again, certain things in life aren't about the money. Again, assume the OP thought this through.
Best fortunes to AFSoar01

galaxy flyer
03-12-2018, 07:30 AM
Thanks Salty Dog for the update. Yes, I was working off aged information, but the “6 in 8” rule used be a major factor for some.

FYI to the OP. I left the Reserves as an ART exactly 2½ years prior to a full civil service retirement. The way FERS is structured it didn’t cost me anything like losing an AD pension, but still was a factor. When you can’t hack it anymore, leave IMHO. I was in a great spot, on the O-6 list, 2-star sponsor and a Wing CC headed for the AFRC/DO job. Still, leaving worked out better, new career, new adventures, happier wife.

Life’s short, there are options, just be smart about it. Be ready for a job campaign, have a unit lined up, perhaps one with an ART opening you can fill.

GF

F15andMD11
03-12-2018, 08:06 PM
...Be careful of Title 32 man-days in the ANG- don’t count toward 20... Yes they do, otherwise half the ANG would never get there. I’m one of them on Title 32 orders. Realize it will take you at least twice as long to get to 20AD in ANG as a part timer. That’s 5 more years. Unless you’re thinking you’ll just come back to full time orders. Here’s the scenario, “Oh you want orders and you’re an O-5? (Very few of those per unit, called control grade). Sorry we’re saving those for our future commanders so we can give them the bonus to keep them.”
Dude you’re only 39🙄. 60 is too far away. Get your retirement! It’s worth it for Tricare alone.
Being the DO will help time fly! Heck maybe even CC in a year.
Good luck!

hindsight2020
03-12-2018, 09:18 PM
Thanks Salty Dog for the update. Yes, I was working off aged information, but the “6 in 8” rule used be a major factor for some.

FYI to the OP. I left the Reserves as an ART exactly 2½ years prior to a full civil service retirement. The way FERS is structured it didn’t cost me anything like losing an AD pension, but still was a factor. When you can’t hack it anymore, leave IMHO. I was in a great spot, on the O-6 list, 2-star sponsor and a Wing CC headed for the AFRC/DO job. Still, leaving worked out better, new career, new adventures, happier wife.

Life’s short, there are options, just be smart about it. Be ready for a job campaign, have a unit lined up, perhaps one with an ART opening you can fill.

GF

ART jobs don't hold a candle to airline compensation though. And the retirement is atrocious compared to AD/AGR. Let's be honest here. People ART up because of 'townie', not because of money. Sure, at the Wing and above, that mobility agreement starts becoming relevant. But for those who don't have the motivation to get saluted, it's really the homesteading the reason they take the paycut. And a paycut you take, especially as a new hire these days with that ghastly 4.4% vesting fee (from 0.8% for the old FERS timers, or a cool goose egg for the CSRS ladder pullers).

But do admit, it takes all kinds. Fat chicks need pushin' too. A 1% pension is better than no pension, or worse... an airline pension :D:D

Gundriver64
03-13-2018, 03:11 AM
Yes they do, otherwise half the ANG would never get there. I’m one of them on Title 32 orders. Realize it will take you at least twice as long to get to 20AD in ANG as a part timer. That’s 5 more years. Unless you’re thinking you’ll just come back to full time orders. Here’s the scenario, “Oh you want orders and you’re an O-5? (Very few of those per unit, called control grade). Sorry we’re saving those for our future commanders so we can give them the bonus to keep them.”
Dude you’re only 39��. 60 is too far away. Get your retirement! It’s worth it for Tricare alone.
Being the DO will help time fly! Heck maybe even CC in a year.
Good luck!

I think he meant a 20 year AFS retirement. IDT points (MUTAS, M days) aren't counted as days towards 20 years active federal service. I truly wish that they were. 7300 points equates to 20 active years. Greedy congressman don't want Reservists drawing retirements prior to turning age 60.

galaxy flyer
03-13-2018, 06:12 AM
ART jobs don't hold a candle to airline compensation though. And the retirement is atrocious compared to AD/AGR. Let's be honest here. People ART up because of 'townie', not because of money. Sure, at the Wing and above, that mobility agreement starts becoming relevant. But for those who don't have the motivation to get saluted, it's really the homesteading the reason they take the paycut. And a paycut you take, especially as a new hire these days with that ghastly 4.4% vesting fee (from 0.8% for the old FERS timers, or a cool goose egg for the CSRS ladder pullers).

But do admit, it takes all kinds. Fat chicks need pushin' too. A 1% pension is better than no pension, or worse... an airline pension :D:D

All true, but in 2005, there was no airline hiring like today. The ART career “path” has been a mess for years, but the morons in Robins still are in love with it. But, it did get into a fun gig that now pays a better pension than FERS and a fatter 401k than my TSP, both max’d out.

GF

F15andMD11
03-13-2018, 06:26 AM
7300 points equates to 20 active years. Isn't 7200 points?

galaxy flyer
03-13-2018, 07:00 AM
Then, how come I couldn’t “buy back” Title 32 time for FERS? Yes, I forgot AGR troops are Title 32, but I wasn’t sure about other Title 32 time.

Never mind, it must be a FERS thing.

GF

HercDriver130
03-14-2018, 03:39 AM
Consider staying until 20, here's why:
If you were at 10 or even 15 yrs, I'd say punch, do AGR and apply to the Big 6. But at 17.5, you can stick it out for 2 more years, and then you'll have $50K+ per year for the rest of your life, for just fogging a mirror. My Tricare, for my whole family, is freakin' $47 a MONTH. You can't beat that anywhere. Airlines charge 4, 5, 600 a month for medical. Every month. My annual Tricare bill ain't $600...
13 months prior to retirement, drop your papers, set the earliest retirement date possible, and when you hit terminal leave, you can be in your airline class. I had a buddy that was flying for SWA while on Terminal leave! Once you have a retirement date set 12 mos out, the 365 boogey man can't get you.

It's a high performance problem to have; best of luck however it breaks for you.

^^^^^ This....

plus..... at just 2500 hours you really are in the very bottom of where most the legacy carriers are going to hire from ... not saying there arent exceptions... if you could bang out 500-700 more hours over the next two years.. then if you still cant get hired directly to a legacy spend a year or so at a regional or at an ACMI cargo outfit... then you will be in the sweet spot for your dream job.. AND have 40-50K coming in every year as a bonus.....

Gundriver64
03-14-2018, 03:48 AM
Then, how come I couldn’t “buy back” Title 32 time for FERS? Yes, I forgot AGR troops are Title 32, but I wasn’t sure about other Title 32 time.

Never mind, it must be a FERS thing.

GF

Reserve AGRs = Title 10
Guard AGRs = Title 32

hvydvr
03-14-2018, 06:08 AM
I'll get roasted for this but here goes. You are CRAZY to get out with less than 3 years to go. There I said it.

If he sleeps 12 hrs a day, it's only a year and a half.

ExAF
03-14-2018, 07:16 AM
I'd finish the 20 and join the check-a-month club. As others have stated that, combined with Tricare is well worth it. There are plenty of younger hires already hired or to be hired that will always prevent you from being in the very high ranges of seniority no matter when you transition. Consider that in your decision. Good luck either way.

Albief15
03-14-2018, 10:03 AM
No guarantee at all a major will hire you at 17.5. Some have, but simply math (date graduated college, etc) can telegraph your years of service to an airline even if they don't ask. With thousands of military and former military pilots on the property, they aren't clueless when it comes to AGR options, etc.

Now...I bailed at 14. But 6 years left was 2 assignments, perhaps a remote or a 365 thrown in for good measure. I "could" have gone AGR a couple years into it but chose not to (different story). With 1 tour to go...I'd strongly suggest staying, securing the retirement, and using the 2.5 years to network like crazy and get your ducks in a row. Being behind 2000 numbers at Delta or 1000 numbers at FDX might be frustrating, but 40-50k a year and the security should more than offset the loss. The danger is you bail--don't get hired--and suddenly are plugging away at a regional wondering why you did that. 10 year guy? I'd push you off the fence. 14 year guy? I would caution you about the risks, but offer some tales of folks who have done it well. 17.5 year? I'm wiping your face with a cold towel telling you to wake up and walk back into the ring for 2.5 more years...the final bell is about to ring. You can finish this fight...

SaltyDog
03-14-2018, 01:19 PM
Hoping you guys can offer some insight: ..... I'm working on my ATP and strongly considering applying to the majors for an early departure from the USAF.
Here's my question: Is being so close to retirement going to hurt my chances with hiring boards?

A friend of mine recently separated at 17 years and joined the ANG as a traditional guardsman, and he just got hired by Delta. ....... Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it... At the minimum I'm thinking of trying to join our local guard unit as a traditional guardsman and trying to scrape by to 20 on whatever man-days they have available. I've deployed too much to do another long one... Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!

the salient points.

Its fine to tell the OP to stay in, all from financial perspective. That is one element, not what they asked. They have plenty of folks saying "stay in".
I have served with folks that did that after their marriage, relationship with kids going downhill, needed to help a parent. Doing that last 365 could be a real showstopper. Divorce may have been prevented. Who knows.
Sure, the bench stock answer is brace up man or woman, stay in, at what personal costs? lose the family and then also lose real money from that...
Getting out is not a panacea, but perhaps it could recover a family situation. Don't really know the details in this case, but have witnessed enough while I was serving to know that sometimes, just sometimes, getting out may be the better course.
I'm counter flow in this discussion ;)

Albief15
03-14-2018, 03:15 PM
All excellent points, Salty, and in the end even the military is "just a job" . Its a job with a huge responsibility and liability, but when you decide to stay or go its a job--nothing more.

Certainly not worth losing a spouse or family member over. And yeah.. the threat of the 180/365 was a big part of why I got out. I was willing to take a few chances to avoid having to do that.

Junglejett
03-14-2018, 06:51 PM
If you are set on leaving AD, consider a Cat-E PIRR gig. I am 1 year out from 25 and have the best reserve gig on the planet! I do not deploy, no drill, no annual training, and I build my own schedule. Now, some of what I do is for points only but there are plenty of opportunities for paid days if you need them. I work for CAP-USAF (Civil Air Patrol-USAF). We are liaisons between the AF and the CAP. We got a ton of airline dudes that do this and retire. We also have a 100% promotion rate to O-5.

Anyway...easy gig to get to retirement.

You cannot have been passed over twice for O-4. However, if you were a former enlisted troop, we can bring you on. We brought a guy on who got passed over twice and came back as an E-5! He flew F-15s and is a SWA Captain. Weird...

AFSoar01
03-15-2018, 07:08 AM
Yes they do, otherwise half the ANG would never get there. I’m one of them on Title 32 orders. Realize it will take you at least twice as long to get to 20AD in ANG as a part timer. That’s 5 more years. Unless you’re thinking you’ll just come back to full time orders. Here’s the scenario, “Oh you want orders and you’re an O-5? (Very few of those per unit, called control grade). Sorry we’re saving those for our future commanders so we can give them the bonus to keep them.”
Dude you’re only 39🙄. 60 is too far away. Get your retirement! It’s worth it for Tricare alone.
Being the DO will help time fly! Heck maybe even CC in a year.
Good luck!
F15andMD11 - thanks for the advice. I would only leave if there was a guard or reserve unit where I could feasibly get some active duty time each year to finish up the 20 years till AD retirement. It sounds like there are some non-flying jobs out there at different AOCs or in DC that I would be happy to take, but it's hard to know just how likely active duty-orders will be, so it's a big risk. From your post it sounds like active-duty orders in the guard might be harder to come by then I thought. On the other hand I've got two friends who are traditional reservists/guardsmen who are on full-time orders right now, so it must be possible for some people. But it's a big risk.

Thanks to all of the other posters regarding the advice to stay in. It's killing me to stay in but there are lots of good reasons to suck it up, and this is a good reminder. I'm going to continue researching my guard options to have an out if that 356 comes and I can't get out of it. No kidding, last year they tried to send a field-grade pilot from my wing to Afghanistan to lead convoy operations for a year, and he punched just a I would have. If that call doesn't come I'll continue building hours and get my apps in with an availability date set to my terminal leave. Thanks to all for the good advice!

Scraggly Heron
03-15-2018, 09:17 AM
I think most people here are set on the airlines; that being said, right now the defense industry is also looking for pilots. It may be an avenue of interest for AFSoar01 or other pilots who have hit the point that they want to get out of the military regardless of the time they have remaining.

The challenge is that much like the airline industry, there are great jobs, mediocre jobs, and crappy jobs; unlike the airlines it can be hard to differentiate between them, or to know where to find the good ones. It's not for everyone, but the jobs are interesting and the starting pay can be on par with a legacy NB captain. (plan on time overseas for the highest paying jobs) Obviously this is similar to--and technically is--corporate aviation. The key differences are the types of flying and having a much more predictable schedule.

All that being said, it's not the airlines and doesn't have some of the benefits/lifestyle that you may be looking for.

tanker
03-15-2018, 09:25 AM
I've been told by many of my fellow pilots who were ANG/AFR that AD orders where very difficult for those who were approaching the 18 year AD time frame. I was told that the reason was that once a pilot hit 18 year AD he was given sanctuary which entitled that person a chance to earn AD retirement. That was something many ANG/AFR units tried to avoid.

rickair7777
03-15-2018, 09:58 AM
I've been told by many of my fellow pilots who were ANG/AFR that AD orders where very difficult for those who were approaching the 18 year AD time frame. I was told that the reason was that once a pilot hit 18 year AD he was given sanctuary which entitled that person a chance to earn AD retirement. That was something many ANG/AFR units tried to avoid.

This is true. Per title 10, once you reach 18 years of active-duty service, you MUST be allowed to remain on AD to reach 20. There's no chance about it, baring some kind of misconduct, it's guaranteed.

For this reason reserve organizations tend to prefer to not let you get there, for two reasons...

1) They have to keep you AD, even if they don't have a job for you. With the federal services they could ship you overseas of course.

2) They have to pay for "early" retirement.

Different services deal with this differently, Army guard seems to be the most generous, depending on the state.

The Navy will cut you off from any additional orders around 17 years. They need the buffer because annual training counts towards sanctuary as well as recall orders, and they cannot deny you your statutory annual training.

CLazarus
03-15-2018, 04:34 PM
Couple more thoughts -

Are you going to be a Quality of Life or Max Paycheck kind of guy? Because of my Check of the Month status, I am a QOL guy who generally works as little as possible. I drop trips regularly and sometimes take Leaves of Absence during the slow seasons. I'm home more with the family as a result, and my wife loves my job these days. When my oldest kids have flown the coop in a few years, I might pick up the flying pace... or not. Without that extra monthly income and the relatively low starting pay, you might not have much choice but to work the max out of the gate (which would be that much worse for QOL if you end up commuting).

Currency requirements - For SWA their page says "Experience should include actively flying two of the last five years". If you've just gotten back in the saddle, applying immediately after getting 100 'recent' hours may not cut the mustard. Not sure where the other majors draw the line these days, but a solid year or two of flying may be needed. With decent flying for the next year or so, I don't think it would cause any issues on your app if you got tagged for a 180/365 no-flying tour close to retirement (God forbid).

LuckyNo70
03-16-2018, 01:26 PM
AF Soar,

Yes... you can find active duty orders to finish out your 20. It will be very very difficult. Any unit that will take an O-5 is going to be looking at you with the big eye and wanting to know the story up front, that being said, many units need that upper middle management type if you are willing to do those jobs. The AF is in a bit of a pilot shortage you know.

If you have some buds that can bring you in a unit and promise you a steady state of orders, then that is one thing. Understand this, straight from many Generals mouths in AFRC, "AFRC is not in the business of giving active duty retirements" (of course these same Generals all have their active duty retirements, brilliantly played)...not that it does not happen in todays AFRC. It is more and more uncommon. In the Navy, it is now impossible. Many Navy dudes crossover to tag a few more years of active duty and finish up. Again, rare and they knew someone or the units where dying for people..i.e reapers a few years back.

If you punch at 17.5 and all the sudden the rules change in AFRC to not let folks on orders after the 18 year point, how disappointed will you be..only you can answer this. It has not happened yet, but the stopping of orders after 18 years could happen at any moment. Congress, budget cuts, continuing resolutions, ugh, it is never ending when you are looking for orders and it is a new game every fiscal year. Can you get to the finish line and be a good employee to your new employer, yes, you are 38, you have 12+ years to get 2.5 years. That is pretty easy. I know a few jobs in AFRC that are looking for good help and have an endless supply of money, that being said, you have a bird in the hand right now. PM me and I can give you contacts if you wish to talk with them. If it where me, I would stay and focus on enjoying the last few years, fly as much as possible and prepare for your next run. Being a reservist and doing two jobs does have its drawbacks. Active duty is pretty easy, even with deploying, not like you need to worry about promotion and the silliness now that you know it ends at 20.

rickair7777
03-16-2018, 03:06 PM
In the Navy, it is now impossible. Many Navy dudes crossover to tag a few more years of active duty and finish up. Again, rare and they knew someone or the units where dying for people..i.e reapers a few years back.

Almost impossible. But if you're already on orders and a senior AC flag will endorse your extension, CNRFC won't say no to that. I've seen people pull it off.

LuckyNo70
03-16-2018, 06:02 PM
Agreed Rickair,

If you are in the club with a Flag, anything is possible, proven by some of the most inept aviators that miracles can happen if you know the right folks, maybe even get promoted to 0-6+.

Most are not and most end up begging for orders to get close to 20 and then of course you have to beg from the civil service leadership to approve you to do these orders and they just love a brother or sister that is stomping on an active duty retirement while they are getting furloughed or no raises in the civil service system with one continuing resolution after another. It aint easy or fair, but hey, step up to the plate and swing the bat.

For the average guy with average connections, an active duty retirement is next to impossible without a return to active duty gig or landing in the big pot of gold at an AOC/HQ/Pentagon or actually working in a unit with a high utilization rate, hmmmm, wonder what those are?

It aint an easy road to travel AFSoar, especially at 17.5 in, but some have and made it, they probably had a four wheel drive vehicle though to handle some of the off road parts and a support team rescue them every now and then. What you driving my friend and how long you want to stay behind the wheel? Better have a spare parts store somewhere on speed dial as well. :)

While sleeping under the blanket of active duty, they are not going to rip that blanket away in the middle of the night, they may make you find a new bed for a year, but you still in the club getting closer and closer to lifetime benefits, heck in six months those benefits can not be taken from you by law. When you become a reservist, blankets are passed out based on preference and friendships, you may be good for a while, what happens when the new Wing CC or OG shows up with a different agenda and your bro passing out blankets has no more to pass out? Well, you get left in the cold waiting for the spare parts store to open up to reconfigure your ride. That can take a while...

rcb32
03-19-2018, 08:00 PM
But there are points only opportunities that will get you a couple of years.

I did my last two with online FEMA courses and duty here and there at the local Guard unit. My years were a mix of Army Guard, AD AF, Reserve AF before points only.

So no pay for two years but I get my check when I'm 60.

Of course, you could resign your commission and go enlisted since it's high 3 anyway, but few do that. I've only heard stories.

If you find a cool unit they will let you come and go at will since they're not paying you so whatever you do even if it's making coffee and cleaning up pubs, it's free to them.

Further, you can use it to escape reserve some at your airline since it's still duty.

Han Solo
03-28-2018, 01:41 PM
Knowing the USAF, in 5 minutes the pilot shortage will be over (or not) and they'll be paying pilots to retire early. No way no how would I jump at 17.5, especially if I could stay in the cockpit.

2old2fly
03-30-2018, 06:42 PM
I retired with 20 active duty. I flew airlines for 19 years and had to retire at 60. My mil retirement is my main source of income. Tricare means I don't have to pay for a Medicare supliment. 2500 hours isn't that much if you are looking at a major. A few hundred more hours won't hurt and it looks like they will still be hiring in 3 years. If they aren't you would probably be furloughed anyway. I vote stick it out.

Lilbit2lt
03-31-2018, 05:48 PM
I separated at 17.5 in Dec 17. Have started with SWA, will finish on EAD orders (full time, 3yrs) working in AFJORTC. Will have 3yr seniority with SWA and will receive my military retirement.
It is possible, just have to do a little digging and find what fits.

Waitrose
03-31-2018, 08:07 PM
This is true. Per title 10, once you reach 18 years of active-duty service, you MUST be allowed to remain on AD to reach 20. There's no chance about it, baring some kind of misconduct, it's guaranteed.

The new deal is they require you to sign a waiver stating you won’t claim sanctuary. So, you can get orders, which is nice. And, the unit doesn’t have to fear sanctuary claims.

kbay hombre
04-02-2018, 11:19 PM
Wow, I'm gone from this forum for just a little bit and I totally miss this post/thread. AFSoar, I was in your exact situation just a few years ago. I had had some crappy staff tours and was dreading the next one in the Hampton Roads area (HR is the seventh circle of hell), resented that I was virtually forced to go to grad school (which was recommended for O4 and practically required for O5 at the time) instead of flying, and was also dreading another deployment and time away from my wife/kids. By about 15 years in, everyone including me was also sick of biannual PCS moves.

The only reason I didn't jump ship was because at the time the majors weren't hiring like they are now, so I took my chances. What others have said is spot on. If you haven't been passed over twice and aren't getting forced out, STAY IN if you can. Dude, life really is greener on the other side. Being a civilian again is amazing and now is definitely a great time to try to get hired by a legacy. With that said, you're 6 months away from going on autopilot. I was lucky and made it to 18 years just barely. As someone else mentioned, if you make it to 18, you just need a pulse and to pass weigh/tape-ins to make it to 20. They literally can't throw you out short of some sort of UCMJ issue. Doesn't matter if you get passed over twice, doesn't matter if you get mediocre FITREP's/OER's or whatever the AF calls them. If you're already at 17.5, you only have 6 months to go to literally be invincible. Suck it up for 6 more months and then you're guaranteed to make it to 20.

In 2.5 years the majors may or may not be hiring like they are now. If you do 20 years active and retire as at least an O5, you're going to start making $4k+ per month immediately plus tricare. Unless you've got quintuplets and a dependa who doesn't work at all, you can live on your retirement checks until you get a job somewhere, even if the hiring situation isn't what it is now. Conversely, if you get out now with the plan that you'll get hired by a major and then go on EAD/AGR to finish out, and then the funding situation changes or something else happens and that falls through, you're going to be kicking yourself. Let's say that happens and then you have health issues and lose your civilian airline job. Then you're out with no pot to **** in and no retirement. EAD and reserve funding is never something you should rely on. Stay active, suck it up for 6 more months, then enjoy the last two years of not having to worry about promotion boards, FITREP's, etc and cruise to 20.

viking1995
04-03-2018, 08:23 AM
I would recommend getting your retirement, however you can. The small amount of time it would take to get this retirement, to me, far outweighs the seniority you would build. Cost of living raises and a pension for life is something to seriously think about.

Put it this way, I seldom hear former retired military personnel tell me they regretted staying in to get their retirement. However, I have often talk to other former military who regretted not staying in to get their 20.

C130driver
04-03-2018, 09:28 AM
Knowing the USAF, in 5 minutes the pilot shortage will be over (or not) and they'll be paying pilots to retire early. No way no how would I jump at 17.5, especially if I could stay in the cockpit.

I know many guys who stay and “stay in the cockpit” only to work some random IG job or a 365 making PowerPoints and never actually flying except once a month whilst missing out on thousands of seniority numbers and an exponentional jump in pay based on worked performed.

F4E Mx
04-04-2018, 06:48 AM
It seems like a furlough resulting from a lower seniority number would be a lot easier to take if you had the full retirement check coming in each month. If you leave early you have to consider the possibility of a sickness or injury that could result in you losing your medical. Then there is the possibility of your airline merging and the two pilot groups having to merge their seniority lists. You are leaving pretty much a sure thing to work for a company that, in all likelihood, filed for bankruptcy just to avoid promised pensions and benefits for an earlier group of employees.

Blackhawk
04-04-2018, 06:58 AM
I separated at 17.5 in Dec 17. Have started with SWA, will finish on EAD orders (full time, 3yrs) working in AFJORTC. Will have 3yr seniority with SWA and will receive my military retirement.
It is possible, just have to do a little digging and find what fits.

This. It's the best of both worlds.
Get out, get a seniority number. Then see if you can work out getting the last 2.5 years in the reserves or by being called back to active duty. You will have a seniority number at your airline that will continue to build while getting your military retirement.

Han Solo
04-06-2018, 04:49 AM
I know many guys who stay and “stay in the cockpit” only to work some random IG job or a 365 making PowerPoints and never actually flying except once a month whilst missing out on thousands of seniority numbers and an exponentional jump in pay based on worked performed.

There are exceptions to every rule of thumb, not sure why you felt the need to point out the obvious. *shrug* I was chief of XP in my last assignment and the MAJCOM chief insisted everybody take some kind of BS oath of honesty prior to doing inspections. Not sure how XP got recruited into IG but he wanted me doing inspections instead of flying. I refused to take any oaths and he found somebody else, I got to fly. Where there's a will there's a way.



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