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View Full Version : Civilian or Military route?


TKOwnedU5
06-02-2015, 03:04 PM
Hello everyone,

I've been browsing this site all week and finding some good information. Like most people on here, I want to be a pilot someday. I'd love to fly commercially. Here is my issue, I'm 20 years, no flight experience, no degree. I'm only a few credits shy of an associates degree. Most of my credits are aviation related because I attended a cti school for air traffic control. I stopped pursuing that side of aviation due to the FAA's hiring procedures.

I've been looking to get my ratings and licenses both through either civilian or military. There are pro's and cons to each. Which I'll try to list below.

Civilian Route.(ATP, flight schools, FBO)
Pros:
Attain ratings quickly
Quickest route into the cockpit
Train 5-7 days a week.(ATP)
Quickly land some kind of flying job

Cons:
$$Expensive$$ (50-70k)
Pay sucks starting out
nothing is paid for
not being able to work during the ATP fast track course (180 days)
I'll be in debt at a young age
Have to work for awhile to attain 1500 hours
Overhyped

Military Route. (Air Force)

Pros:
Pursuing my bachelors degree and flight training is paid for.
Travel the world at no cost to me
Make some life long friends
Housing and life insurance is paid for.
Debt free
750 hour minimum
Serving our country

Cons:
Not guaranteed a pilot slot
Could take years before I actually start flying
Need a bachelors degree before I can even apply for pilot slots
Could end of doing something I don't enjoy doing (Not flying)


That's all I could think of for right now. I would appreciate anyone's input. I would have no problems serving in the military. I WILL NOT enlist just to get my ratings and hours and get out. I would no problem retiring from the military and then flying in the civilian world.The only reason I'm uneasy to go the military route is because I'm not guaranteed a pilot slot. At my age and in my situation what should I do?


Tweetdrvr
06-02-2015, 03:27 PM
1st do more research and use the search function.

2nd with your associates degree focused on the old way to become ATC before Feds changed the game, Find an Air Guard Unit with ATC positions and get in the door that way....later down the road that might get you into a stable job as a controller with the FAA. Use Guard education benefits (not GI Bill unless you must) to get a 4 yr degree. Then chase a pilot slot in the ANG or Air Force Reserve.

I know a few prior enlisted ATC types who became mil pilots and I know a controller who was an F-4 WSO to F-4 pilot who made general.

At your age, time is on your side. You have to be in training by age 30 for the USAF/ ANG/AFRC.

Or listen to Drill and play the game, if you watched Whispers last night:D

TKOwnedU5
06-03-2015, 02:35 PM
1st do more research and use the search function.

2nd with your associates degree focused on the old way to become ATC before Feds changed the game, Find an Air Guard Unit with ATC positions and get in the door that way....later down the road that might get you into a stable job as a controller with the FAA. Use Guard education benefits (not GI Bill unless you must) to get a 4 yr degree. Then chase a pilot slot in the ANG or Air Force Reserve.

I know a few prior enlisted ATC types who became mil pilots and I know a controller who was an F-4 WSO to F-4 pilot who made general.

At your age, time is on your side. You have to be in training by age 30 for the USAF/ ANG/AFRC.

Or listen to Drill and play the game, if you watched Whispers last night:D

As I stated in my post I have been searching through this site for some time now. I found some information, but nothing in regards to my situation and my current age. In order to use the guard benefits don't I have to be deployed for at least 90 days in order for them to pay for my college?

Your idea sounds like a good one. Which branch would be most beneficial to me in regards to flight time and ratings?


Tweetdrvr
06-03-2015, 04:02 PM
Find an Air Guard Unit with ATC positions and get in the door that way....later down the road that might get you into a stable job as a controller with the FAA. Use Guard education benefits (not GI Bill unless you must) to get a 4 yr degree. Then chase a pilot slot in the ANG or Air Force Reserve.



In most states, the National Guard/Air National Guard (NOT THE AIR FORCE RESERVE) offers free tuition and books to enlisted members at in state schools. This is on top of GI Bill education benefits. I have known/met several prior enlisted loadmasters/boom operators/crew chiefs who used this to get a degree, and are holding back their post 9/11 GI Bill benefits to transfer to spouse/children later down the road.

Find an ANG unit that has ATC positions in one of the states that offers those previously mentioned education benefits, since it seems like you may have some aptitude in that career field. As an ATC person, you will make enough money during weekend drills and the extra pay days you will pick up through voluntary exercises and deployments to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly if you live like a normal college student. Any extra money that you have, use it toward continuing to fly and work on civilian ratings so that you are more competitive for a pilot slot. At least get a private, try for instrument as long as they don't get in the way of getting your degree finished.

With any luck you could have your degree complete by 23, and be in AF UPT for a ANG/AFRC pilot slot by 25. Depending on how much you flew before SUPT, you could find yourself post UPT at 26-27 years old with a degree, 200 hours of military training, 140 hours on your civilian ticket and debt free. Two years later, in a heavy unit (C-130/C-17/KC-135/KC-10) you should have enough time for the ATP. You could then wait for the upgrade to Aircraft Commander to get PIC time which may take a couple more years after that, or go for a regional job. If you choose the regional route while flying in the ANG/AFRC, you get to supplement crappy pay with military duty and then once you upgrade at either place, work more with whomever put you in the PIC position first to build that valuable time for a job with the majors. Going regionals while flying military will put 121 time on your resume and make you look better in some mystical resume scoring system that every company's computer uses to screen for interview calls. You could be at a major by 30-31 years of age and debt free with a military flying job to cushion you against the furlough and bankruptcies that are going to happen in about 15 years, because the airlines always find a way to kill the goose. Right now the goose is laying golden eggs, and even though this is a demographically driven hiring wave not based on passenger growth projections, or future planes on order, one day the music will stop. The economy will crap itself for some reason...oil prices, terrorists, etc..., then hiring will stop that day, and furloughs will begin the week after

Worst case scenario, you enlist in the ANG and become a controller and end up working as a military controller part time and get an FAA job by the time you are 25 or 26, still debt free and with a GI Bill benefit that you can transfer to your children until the government reneges on that promise when they figure out they can't afford to pay for that and keep giving welfare to the people who voted them into office.

Good luck, but remember there is no quick fix, all good things require patience. And in this industry it is all about timing and luck. And remember the military is service before self. Don't go military unless you are truly willing to serve. They will get their pound of flesh out of you and then some, and it is ok for you to get something in return i.e. education, flight training, or controller training. With an ANG unit, you should be able to get in for a specific career field (ATC) without too many recruiter shenanigans and the aptitude tests will tell you what you are qualified for and not before you even sign up for anything. You might also want to find out before you go too far down this road if you are medically qualified to be a controller or pilot.

TKOwnedU5
06-03-2015, 04:13 PM
Very thorough response, thank you! This will definitely help me with my decisions!

Tweetdrvr
06-03-2015, 05:00 PM
MODS, please merge this thread with the other one started by the OP.

I exhibited low SA by not noticing it was started by the same person.

I feel like I got suckered in by that random question generator "Psycix" on FI

jimf15e
06-04-2015, 09:34 AM
MODS, please merge this thread with the other one started by the OP.

I exhibited low SA by not noticing it was started by the same person.

I'm with ya! Like Tweetdrvr, I put quite a bit of time responding to the OP's first question posted on 24 May since he didn't bother to use the search function. I then put in even more time answering a question he sent me via PM, to which he never responded. Instead what does he do? He posts the same question again 2 weeks later.

I second the merge request, and raise you a lock request.

PRS Guitars
06-04-2015, 10:47 AM
[B]Military Route. (Air Force)


Cons:
Not guaranteed a pilot slot



False

If you get selected for OTS and a pilot slot, it is guaranteed. Of course, you'll need your degree first, and it's very competitive to get to UPT this way.

TankerDriver
06-06-2015, 06:07 AM
Go ANG or Reserves. Highly competitive, but worth it. I got an active duty OTS pilot slot back in 2002, but eventually separated to the ANG as a 1Lt and have never looked back. If you want a free degree, enlist in the guard as a boom operator or load master and get the guard to pay for it. You'll be around pilots who hire pilot candidates and have a better chance at getting picked up for AMS and UPT.