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View Full Version : ANG vs Navy Route - Advice


RNAV2GRITZ
04-08-2018, 06:08 PM
Some background, currently a senior in college graduating in about a month, 22, PPL, GPA in the low 3's, no known health issues with the goal of becoming a pilot in the military and eventually the airlines as a possibility.

I currently have a UPT offer from a heavy unit contingent upon completion of my degree and squadron funding (which I am very thankful to have so early in the game) and am still pursuing other units for interview possibilities.

I also have an application for Navy OCS in the works and plan on applying for the board that meets in August of this year.

I understand that both of these prospective lifestyles are vastly different over the ~10 year service commitment and the possibility of getting to a major airline several years earlier with the ANG route and the projected wave of hiring over that time cannot be ignored.

However I also understand that this benefit is only so certain and can be taken away in an instant (9/11 & age 65) thus I am having a hard time weighing the ANG route so heavily for that benefit vs the active duty Navy route.

Been weighing the pro/cons about both routes and done plenty of research and talked with several family friends who took both routes and ended up at airlines, just thought I'd open up the floor to anyone who would like to share their experience and offer some insight.


Excargodog
04-08-2018, 06:55 PM
I currently have a UPT offer from a heavy unit contingent upon completion of my degree and squadron funding (which I am very thankful to have so early in the game) and am still pursuing other units for interview possibilities.

The day you start UPT your aviation career becomes pretty dang predictable. You know what and where you will be flying.p, barring the whole unit changing equipment.

Take the Navy offer and you hop in the barrel and take your chances on what and where the needs of the USN are four weeks before you put on your wings. If you really desire a Navy career, that is not a bad thing. If you are looking for an airline career, it's a little less good.

What do you really want?

AirBear
04-08-2018, 07:19 PM
If he went Navy, isn't is possible to wind up flying Rotary Wing?

The Guard sounds like a better option. At least you'll know you're getting good quality time for the airlines. You may do a lot of TDY, but no worries about dragging a family all over the world every few years.


Sliceback
04-08-2018, 07:21 PM
Check previous threads. ANG is the best deal there is.

rickair7777
04-08-2018, 07:51 PM
If he went Navy, isn't is possible to wind up flying Rotary Wing?

The Guard sounds like a better option. At least you'll know you're getting good quality time for the airlines. You may do a lot of TDY, but no worries about dragging a family all over the world every few years.

Yes, rotary wing is highly possible. But there's also a very good chance of doing a fixed-wing IP tour, which will set you up for airlines. So navy RW is not incompatible with airlines, although you may well need to do 1-2 years at a regional. I've seen this play out numerous times, it's pretty predictable these days.

So you have to decide what you want to do, at least ANG is a known quantity. Navy could go any of several ways.

Otterbox
04-08-2018, 09:25 PM
Some background, currently a senior in college graduating in about a month, 22, PPL, GPA in the low 3's, no known health issues with the goal of becoming a pilot in the military and eventually the airlines as a possibility.

I currently have a UPT offer from a heavy unit contingent upon completion of my degree and squadron funding (which I am very thankful to have so early in the game) and am still pursuing other units for interview possibilities.

I also have an application for Navy OCS in the works and plan on applying for the board that meets in August of this year.

I understand that both of these prospective lifestyles are vastly different over the ~10 year service commitment and the possibility of getting to a major airline several years earlier with the ANG route and the projected wave of hiring over that time cannot be ignored.

However I also understand that this benefit is only so certain and can be taken away in an instant (9/11 & age 65) thus I am having a hard time weighing the ANG route so heavily for that benefit vs the active duty Navy route.

Been weighing the pro/cons about both routes and done plenty of research and talked with several family friends who took both routes and ended up at airlines, just thought I'd open up the floor to anyone who would like to share their experience and offer some insight.

Guard Heavys vs AD Navy unknown. Take the Guard gig and donít look back.

HoursHore
04-09-2018, 04:42 AM
If your school is already paid for, ANG or reserves is the way to go. Only reason to suffer active duty is if you incurred some sort of commitment via a NROTC scholarship or service academy.

RckyMtHigh
04-09-2018, 07:23 PM
Youíll have one chance in your life to fly fighters off a carrier. Take the chance.

rickair7777
04-09-2018, 07:50 PM
Youíll have one chance in your life to fly fighters off a carrier. Take the chance.

I wasn't going to say it. He needs to come to that conclusion on his own.

BeatNavy
04-09-2018, 08:28 PM
Youíll have one chance in your life to live on a boat and sleep in tight quarters with a bunch of smelly dudes. Take the chance.

Fixed it for you. Jk. Kind of.

rickair7777
04-10-2018, 06:48 AM
Dos Gringos sums up the dilemma well. Caution, NSFW:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch5z3DMC3RA

adanthony13
04-11-2018, 04:42 PM
I've been part of two services so I have some exp. in this. I would go ANG route. Getting a GUARANTEED military fixed wing rating is gold. You can take that and transfer to different ANG units much easier than you think. USN could send you in too many different directions and you are tied into them for the next 10 years. Plus USN is having a really tough time keeping guys in the cockpit. You have to want to come into the active duty with an understanding that this is a calling to serve more than a chance to fly.

Excargodog
04-12-2018, 09:26 AM
https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-air-force/2018/04/11/the-militarys-stunning-fighter-pilot-shortage-one-in-four-billets-is-empty/

Air Force authorized to recall up to 1,000 retired military pilots - ABC News (http://abcnews.go.com/US/air-force-recall-1000-retired-military-pilots-address/story?id=50629597)

SaltyDog
04-12-2018, 10:50 AM
https://www.quora.com/What-are-the-differences-between-Air-Force-pilots-and-naval-aviators-specifically-in-the-context-of-fighter-jets

Humorous, not comparing heavies :) but path similar regardless of airframe

Lumberg823
04-12-2018, 03:07 PM
Having flown both...go guard without a doubt. The USN gig will come with a 10 year AD commitment, so kiss an airline career goodbye for at least that long. ANG will let you have the best of both worlds, plus the heavy time will be a sure bet at an airline interview. Like others have said, you can rock the Navy program and needs of the Navy has taken out more than a few fixed wing hopefuls. Also there is no chance of ending up on a ship as a failed student in the ANG. There are some poor souls right now haze grey and underway that washed out of the Navy pilot training track and are on ships right now with anywhere from a 4-10 year commitment depending on how far they got before washing out. Go Guard, enjoy life and never look back. My .02

Fly Safe

Excargodog
04-12-2018, 07:37 PM
And a ten year ADSC - that is, active duty service commitment - will carry you right through the coming 2022-23 peak of major airline pilot retirements. That may not be a once in a lifetime opportunity, but if itís not it is pretty damn close to it. And with the Air Force and Navy also hurting for pilots, the likelihood of you being able to separate early to go into the Navy Reserve is - to say the least - pretty iffy.

rickair7777
04-13-2018, 03:57 AM
Early out from the Navy?

"Iffy" is being generous to say the least.

RckyMtHigh
04-13-2018, 05:26 AM
He's 22 years old. Fly low and fast. Blow stuff up.

Sliceback
04-13-2018, 06:37 AM
He's 22 years old. Fly low and fast. Blow stuff up.

Exactly. In the ANG. Choose his participation level, part time or full time. Go on deployments or skip them. Major deployments canít be skipped, smaller/shorter deployments are at his choice. Some guys sign up for all of them, some guys rarely go on the voluntary deployments. Freedom of choice.

RckyMtHigh
04-13-2018, 07:52 AM
Exactly. In the ANG. Choose his participation level, part time or full time. Go on deployments or skip them. Major deployments canít be skipped, smaller/shorter deployments are at his choice. Some guys sign up for all of them, some guys rarely go on the voluntary deployments. Freedom of choice.

100% agree. But he's talking about Guard heavies or a Navy pilot slot. To me it's worth the shot to have a chance at something very few are lucky enough to do. Guard fighter vs AD fighter is a no brainer.

Excargodog
04-13-2018, 10:09 AM
He's 22 years old. Fly low and fast. Blow stuff up.



https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ0EVXaaXug

Sliceback
04-13-2018, 12:38 PM
100% agree. But he's talking about Guard heavies or a Navy pilot slot. To me it's worth the shot to have a chance at something very few are lucky enough to do. Guard fighter vs AD fighter is a no brainer.

I'm curious myself as to pursuing a heavy slot or maybe a Navy AD slot. I had that exact choice decades ago and the USAFR recruiter couldn't understand why I had no interest in pursuing a heavy job. Unless it was in the landscaping business I had no interest in going to UPT for a heavy. But some folks don't want to pull G's, suck on a mask for hours, or wrench their necks out. They think that's crazy but the guys doing it think it's great.

ANG fighter trumps AD fighter for most guys. AD can be great but you're completely at the mercy of the service. Wife's pregnant? See in you six or 9 months baby. ANG? Much different story. Someone actually stays home when the unit deploys and sometimes things can be moved around so that a expectant dad can skip the deployment.

Fighters aren't heavies and heavies aren't fighters. Either you want fighters, and pursue them and your best odds of getting one are through a ANG fighter unit, or you don't.

Post 1990 pilot deaths -

C-17 3
C-5 0
C-130 18

B-52 3
B-1 0
B-2 0

A-10 17
F-15 18
F-16 46
F-22 1

There's a reason fighter pilots die at a higher rate. And that risk is part of the lure, the flying has significant threats to it much higher than normal flying. The death rate isn't the lure rather the tasks that require the skill, and aggression, of a fighter pilot are the lure.

Packrat
04-13-2018, 12:51 PM
Yes, rotary wing is highly possible. But there's also a very good chance of doing a fixed-wing IP tour, which will set you up for airlines. .

That's what I thought when I got Helos. But, its always the "Needs of the Navy." I tried for a training command billet after my sea tour. I guess I was too good at flying H-46s because I ended up being the helicopter NATOPS guy at a shore station.

It wasn't even listed on my preference sheet. They gave me two choices...stay where I was (the West Coast FRS) or go up the road to Pt. Mugu. Fortunately, we were critically short on fixed wing guys so I got to fly a lot in the King Air.

Fixed wing transition (in the olden days) was a board review deal. Virtually none of the guys who tried it got it unless they backdoored through a station King Air program.

For the OP...if you want to end up at the airlines, go Guard in a Tanker/C-17 squadron.

Merle Dixon
04-14-2018, 09:40 AM
As others have typed, sweet Baby Jesus, go Guard. Have you pursued any ANG fighter units?

kbay hombre
04-17-2018, 01:48 PM
Seems pretty simple. Do you want a guaranteed, predictable career that will set you up to fly with any major/legacy airline you want, or do you want to roll the dice?

Getting into a guard/reserve unit flying heavies is a sure path to any airline you want in this hiring environment. You can literally predict your entire career and it's the safe bet.

If you roll the dice, you may regret it. You may get helos and by the time you get out of the Navy or go into the reserves the hiring environment could be different and you may find yourself paying for your own RTP and going to a regional for a while. Alternatively, if you roll the dice and go navy, you could be in for a lot more fun and excitement than paying your dues at a guard squadron flying C17's. Almost everything in the Navy aside from P3's/P8's can and does land on carriers. Even if you get helos, C-2's or E-2's, you can get carrier qualified. You may be hauling mail and cargo whether it's the Navy or the Air Force, but doing it off a carrier is a lot more fun.

Me, personally? I knew from the beginning I was going full time/long term career military. I like the ocean too much to get stationed in Nebraska or Oklahoma or the other majority of air force bases that are inland in the middle of nowhere for most of my 20 year career. With that said, my counterparts who went AF ROTC and then went guard a decade ago and have flown KC135's and C17's part time are laughing all the way to the bank. They're all now captains at DL, AA and UA while I'm just now getting into the civilian game.

yardstick
04-17-2018, 02:19 PM
Seems pretty simple. Do you want a guaranteed, predictable career that will set you up to fly with any major/legacy airline you want, or do you want to roll the dice?

Getting into a guard/reserve unit flying heavies is a sure path to any airline you want in this hiring environment. You can literally predict your entire career and it's the safe bet.

If you roll the dice, you may regret it. You may get helos and by the time you get out of the Navy or go into the reserves the hiring environment could be different and you may find yourself paying for your own RTP and going to a regional for a while. Alternatively, if you roll the dice and go navy, you could be in for a lot more fun and excitement than paying your dues at a guard squadron flying C17's. Almost everything in the Navy aside from P3's/P8's can and does land on carriers. Even if you get helos, C-2's or E-2's, you can get carrier qualified. You may be hauling mail and cargo whether it's the Navy or the Air Force, but doing it off a carrier is a lot more fun.

Me, personally? I knew from the beginning I was going full time/long term career military. I like the ocean too much to get stationed in Nebraska or Oklahoma or the other majority of air force bases that are inland in the middle of nowhere for most of my 20 year career. With that said, my counterparts who went AF ROTC and then went guard a decade ago and have flown KC135's and C17's part time are laughing all the way to the bank. They're all now captains at DL, AA and UA while I'm just now getting into the civilian game.

Oh you can join the navy and still get stationed in Oklahoma. Ask me how I know. However, along with the P8 community, it is the best flying the navy can offer in terms of heavy, multipiloted aircraft. Wouldnít bank on coming here though, thereís not many spots available

kbay hombre
04-17-2018, 06:46 PM
Oh you can join the navy and still get stationed in Oklahoma. Ask me how I know. However, along with the P8 community, it is the best flying the navy can offer in terms of heavy, multipiloted aircraft. Wouldnít bank on coming here though, thereís not many spots available

Yes, there is the E-6 flying at Tinker. I didn't mention this specifically because it's fairly rare. Only knew a few people in my career who went this route and they all seemed miserable (e.g., beerios at 10am every day off to avoid short call).



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