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View Full Version : Consider the military


135Guy
10-20-2006, 11:28 AM
I read a lot of talk about training on different websites and finally decided to chime my 2 cents in. For all of you considering spending 30K+ for training ever looked into the military as another option. I was a CFI and did my time civilian and the best thing I ever did for my career was join the AF Reserves and go to UPT. I received the best instruction money could buy, for free, and on top of it pulled around 40K my first year with per diem. After all the schools and back to the unit, it took me a year to upgrade to Aircraft Commander in the 135. Another year or two and I will have 2000+/1000 PIC all multi turbojet. And oh yeah, you make a heck of a lot more than you will even as a captain at one of those regional airlines just working a few days a week. Just wanted to present another option to those of you out there considering dropping big bucks on civilian training programs. All you got to have is a PPL and a good attitude to get a slot. GOOD LUCK


fludy12
10-20-2006, 12:00 PM
I read a lot of talk about training on different websites and finally decided to chime my 2 cents in. For all of you considering spending 30K+ for training ever looked into the military as another option. I was a CFI and did my time civilian and the best thing I ever did for my career was join the AF Reserves and go to UPT. I received the best instruction money could buy, for free, and on top of it pulled around 40K my first year with per diem. After all the schools and back to the unit, it took me a year to upgrade to Aircraft Commander in the 135. Another year or two and I will have 2000+/1000 PIC all multi turbojet. And oh yeah, you make a heck of a lot more than you will even as a captain at one of those regional airlines just working a few days a week. Just wanted to present another option to those of you out there considering dropping big bucks on civilian training programs. All you got to have is a PPL and a good attitude to get a slot. GOOD LUCK

Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"

N6724G
10-20-2006, 05:09 PM
My original plan was to be a pilot in the AIr Force or the Marine Corps. And I meana career officer not just do it to build time. I wanted to be a WIng Commander. Unfortunantly, I wear glasses and back in the 80's and 90's there was a very stringent vision requirement to fly in the military. It has since been relaxed but the age requirement is 27 and a half and I am 37 years old. SO that dream is dead for me, but I encourage anyone interested in pursuing that route to go for it.

I then wanted to be a navigator or Flight Officer inthe Corps If anyone knows how I can do that pleae let me know.


Scout
10-21-2006, 07:10 AM
Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"

Junior? I think this "youngn" is way ahead of you in considering the responsibilities of being in the military. Serving in the Armed Services is an honorable profession, period. As far as "free flight benefits"....they ain't free. You have to earn it. I would never discourage someone from wanting to serve our country....and yes, I have "been there and done that".

Good for you 135guy! Your part of another "greatest generation".

avi8tor4life
10-22-2006, 08:26 PM
135Guy you're right on. The military is a great place to serve. My dad served, my uncle, my grandfather and who knows beyond them. I've gone to college and gotten the hours I need and still I wonder if I should try the reserves or national guard. I feel a strong calling to service. If we don't do it, who will?

Slice
10-22-2006, 09:24 PM
Now there, junior, are you prepared for the months up-to-over a year deployments? Are you ready to serve your country beyond all the $$$ and free flight benefits you're getting? What will you do in the AF if you lose your flight status? Believe me, "just because flying's cool" should be your LAST reason for wanting to serve in the armed forces... Just a thought for the other youngn's thinking, "Ohhh, I want to be an AF pilot, too!"

Guard tankers don't get stuck with the sh!t deployments you refer to above, fwiw.

surreal1221
10-23-2006, 03:05 AM
I'm ending my term next Spring. . . it'll be the happiest day of my life.

Double D
10-23-2006, 05:18 AM
My original plan was to be a pilot in the AIr Force or the Marine Corps. And I meana career officer not just do it to build time. I wanted to be a WIng Commander. Unfortunantly, I wear glasses and back in the 80's and 90's there was a very stringent vision requirement to fly in the military. It has since been relaxed but the age requirement is 27 and a half and I am 37 years old. SO that dream is dead for me, but I encourage anyone interested in pursuing that route to go for it.

I then wanted to be a navigator or Flight Officer inthe Corps If anyone knows how I can do that pleae let me know.

Unfortunately, I think time has expired for you. I am retiring next summer after 22 years in the Corps. Don't take my word as gospel. There is always a hidden waiver but I think your age is to your disadvantage. Contact a Marine Corps Officer Selection Officer (OSO) and see what he/she says. Don't talk to anyone other than the OSO or his assistant but only accept the no from the OSO directly.

TankerDriver
10-23-2006, 07:26 AM
Guard tankers don't get stuck with the sh!t deployments you refer to above, fwiw.

"Right now" they don't, unless of course you volunteer for one, which a lot of guys are doing lately. Just wait until we get into it with another country in the future and they'll have to activate the guard.

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

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

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

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

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

rickair7777
10-23-2006, 07:45 AM
135Guy you're right on. The military is a great place to serve. My dad served, my uncle, my grandfather and who knows beyond them. I've gone to college and gotten the hours I need and still I wonder if I should try the reserves or national guard. I feel a strong calling to service. If we don't do it, who will?


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

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

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

overspeed
10-23-2006, 08:45 AM
Isn't it a minimum of 10 year commitment?

rickair7777
10-23-2006, 09:21 AM
Isn't it a minimum of 10 year commitment?


Sounds about right.

fludy12
10-23-2006, 11:45 AM
Junior? I think this "youngn" is way ahead of you in considering the responsibilities of being in the military. Serving in the Armed Services is an honorable profession, period. As far as "free flight benefits"....they ain't free. You have to earn it. I would never discourage someone from wanting to serve our country....and yes, I have "been there and done that".

Good for you 135guy! Your part of another "greatest generation".

Uh, BTDT myself, only on the Navy side, active duty for 12 years. I never said it wasn't a great and honorable way to go. You HAVE to want to serve in your heart above just wanting to be a pilot. I've seen a LOT of bitter puppies that bit off more than they could chew after flight school and found out what the real fleet is all about.

TankerDriver
10-24-2006, 03:51 AM
Isn't it a minimum of 10 year commitment?

I've heard different things. It may be 8 years now, but not 100% sure. The Air Force changes it around with the needs of the AF. If you plan to just do 10 years, I recommend building a nestegg. You can live comfortably on active duty and bank a lot of cashola. If you get out at your 10 year commitment, you will go from possibly O-4 pay (around $90k a year) to first year probation pay (about $35k a year) with a major airline. Quite a shocker if your spouse doesn't work and you've got a family to support.

fludy12
10-25-2006, 04:50 AM
I've heard different things. It may be 8 years now, but not 100% sure. The Air Force changes it around with the needs of the AF. If you plan to just do 10 years, I recommend building a nestegg. You can live comfortably on active duty and bank a lot of cashola. If you get out at your 10 year commitment, you will go from possibly O-4 pay (around $90k a year) to first year probation pay (about $35k a year) with a major airline. Quite a shocker if your spouse doesn't work and you've got a family to support.

As I recall, it's 6.5 years from the time you get winged...for Navy helicopter pilots... I was prior enlisted then turned to the dark-side (officer) via the USNA. But, one needs a four year degree to fly for the USN. Do what it takes... :)

Take advantage of those tax-free combat duty zones and hazardous duty pay. Don't spend it... Bank it...

Invest (tax-free) in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), now that it's been opened up to active duty members. Once you're in, you can set up an automatic DFAS deduction (allotment) for investment. After 12 years, I left the USN with mucho $$$ in that plan, thanks to flight bonuses/pay/growth and avoiding the "new every two" car syndrome with a reliable, well maintained old Honda. Then there's the IRA, company 401K, and the individual stock "hobby" portfolio...

Personal investments like this will not go away like an airline (or any other company) pension. Whatever pension I'm left with at age 60+ from my current company is pure gravy...like social security...

And above all... SERVE with your heart and protect our country...whether it's on foot patrol, in a tank, HUMVEE, ship, submarine, aircraft, NORAD, etc...

dutch
10-25-2006, 05:49 AM
RickAir has the correct career plan if you can swing it. I am joining the guard for all the right reasons, but getting the education and ratings are not a bad side benefit.

I have been wondering how to go from a guard baby to regional b*tch with low times.

fludy12
10-25-2006, 06:58 AM
I have been wondering how to go from a guard baby to regional b*tch with low times.


If you go from a baby to a b!tch, then you're doing it wrong.

Put in your time and you will never be a b!tch. A baby can learn...a b!tch is well, a ......

dutch
10-25-2006, 12:17 PM
How can you put in your time if your unit puts you out on the street w/ no days?

fludy12
10-25-2006, 12:29 PM
How can you put in your time if your unit puts you out on the street w/ no days?

Um, bite the bullet and go ACTIVE DUTY, maybe? :rolleyes:

Serve or serve not... It's not a part time job.

dutch
10-25-2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks for the advice fludy. I only want to serve my country half heartedly and thats why I chose the guard. I also wanted a place where I could serve my entire career, in the same frame, and with the best maintenance......who all serve half heartedly.

Actually, it is a part time job.

N6724G
10-25-2006, 07:51 PM
Thanks for the advice fludy. I only want to serve my country half heartedly and thats why I chose the guard. I also wanted a place where I could serve my entire career, in the same frame, and with the best maintenance......who all serve half heartedly.

Actually, it is a part time job.

I have been in the National Guard for 18 years. Trust me, it isnt a part time job anymore, especially if you are an officer. Ther eare meetings, taining events, and oh yeah, a major war going on wher eguard and reserve forces make up 45% of the total force. Active duty guys used to make fun of guradsmen and reserviss saying we were part tim soldiers. That was theold days. We deploy as much as they do these days.

dutch
10-26-2006, 06:14 AM
I should have used the sarcasm star (*) for the last line of my comment.

fludy12
10-27-2006, 01:02 PM
I should have used the sarcasm star (*) for the last line of my comment.

Don't worry Dutch... You came in lima charlie...

Moses37106
06-30-2007, 06:47 PM
Isn't it a minimum of 10 year commitment?


The current commitment is 10 years. I graduated UPT in 2000 as one of the last guys with an 8 year commitment.

blastoff
06-30-2007, 10:52 PM
I have been in the National Guard for 18 years. Trust me, it isnt a part time job anymore, especially if you are an officer. Ther eare meetings, taining events, and oh yeah, a major war going on wher eguard and reserve forces make up 45% of the total force. Active duty guys used to make fun of guradsmen and reserviss saying we were part tim soldiers. That was theold days. We deploy as much as they do these days.

Not so much in the Air Guard and AF Reserves. Maybe it will change, but there's a lot of apples and oranges on this thread. Air Guard isn't the same as Army Guard. The committment is 10 years...Part time. I can't even work as much as I'd like to at my unit.

HercDriver130
07-14-2007, 07:36 PM
I will say that when I got into this biz the first time in 92 after leaving the AF, I went to work for Eagle and after my years of mil training, the school house was pretty easy. Most of the guys in my class had never been in a full motion sim before and it took them a bit to get use to that.... overall I wouldnt change a thing, ( even my long lay off from aviation ) but I will say this there are BAD military pilots just like there are bad civilian trained pilots.

The hardest thing for me to get use to when i flew for eagle was that senority was everything. Coming from a military flight culture where performance was about 90% of everything....meaning slackers got left behind...upgraded slower..... to AC and IP... etc... the guys who had good hands, passed all their checks, KNEW their **** COLD and could perform... those guys moved ahead.

A10crewdawg
07-16-2007, 02:27 PM
Here's my experience so far. I've been in the reserves for 4+ years. Finished my bachelor's and master's in that time...spent last summer in the sandbox...and am getting ready to apply to the regionals as well as have an interview this week with the C-130 unit in Minneapolis. My goal here is to get hired on back home with the 130's, fly for a regional until i leave for AMS and flight training (Assuming I get a slot) and then go to training for two years, making LT pay with 4 years prior service. After that...I can either come back and upgrade to captain quickly at the airline, or keep seniority for a few months and get my feet back into the 121 environment. Either way, the military is a great option if you're up to the challenge and want to serve your country too. The military, whether guard/reserve or active duty, is a full time commitment these days with deployments expected every one and half to two years.

A10crewdawg
07-16-2007, 02:28 PM
I can also be a scheduler's best friend when I get back and try to upgrade to aircraft commander asap before going back to airline flying...which would be a great option.