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Old 09-12-2017, 02:27 PM   #11
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I am not on scholarship with ROTC so I'm paying my way through college now, so I'm not contracted to go in the Air Force. I understand that you do not know you have a pilot slot until later on in your Junior year when you already signed the dotted line to contract in the AF. I don't want to work some odd ball job in the AF if I don't get selected for a pilot slot. I want to fly planes for a living. That's what I've always wanted to do. I love flying and very passionate about it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:19 PM   #12
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I am not on scholarship with ROTC so I'm paying my way through college now, so I'm not contracted to go in the Air Force. I understand that you do not know you have a pilot slot until later on in your Junior year when you already signed the dotted line to contract in the AF. I don't want to work some odd ball job in the AF if I don't get selected for a pilot slot. I want to fly planes for a living. That's what I've always wanted to do. I love flying and very passionate about it.
Probably best to not commit to the AF, but take as much ROTC as they'll allow. Then try for a guard or USAFR slot. Do civilian training and regional airline in parallel with college/guard.
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Old 09-12-2017, 05:27 PM   #13
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Then you've answered your question.
Get out. You don't really want to do it, you want to fly.
If you join the service, you need to want to serve. That is primary. The flying would just be gravy.
I retired after twenty-one years, and I met many, many good people in the service. They joined for country first, self second. Is that the way you are looking at your priorities?

It's ok if you don't want to serve, that's a very personal choice. It's better not to than to do it for the wrong reasons.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:03 PM   #14
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I was in army ROTC in the late 1980s. I also was a cavalry scout in the national guard (simultaneous program). At that time I wasn't a pilot. I really liked being a cav scout. I became disillusioned about becoming an officer. I witnessed too many officers use their men and units as career stepping stones. Most only cared about the appearance that the unit was effective so they could get a promotion, without actually making it effective. All officers worried about was promotion. I worried about my skill set. Don't let people on here fool you that most are in the military because they want to serve. Long story short, I finished ROTC, declined my commission and stayed enlisted.

That said, to this day I second guess myself if that was the right decision. It's the only major life decision that I second guess myself on. But, in the big span of life, there are many different paths to get to the same place. ROTC, warrant officer program, enlisted and civilian flying, whatever. You need to pick what fits your personality and circumstances. Personally, I think it's never a good thing to put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. Don't be one of these people with no fallback career/education that has to accept whatever crappy offer their airline/job extends to them. Get a good college degree/degrees. I'd probably fly in the guard or reserve if you can. Officer, WO, or maybe even something enlisted. It's a good experience and it's nice to have that to fall back on if times get tough at the airlines. As a pilot having an airline life and a military life to pass in and out of gives you a break from airline monotony without being stuck for long periods of time with non-flying duties in the military.

The other consideration is cost. I thought flight training was ungodly expensive in the early 90s. There's no way I would do it nowadays. Going the military route for flight training will save a lot of money. Some here might say then that you're going the military route for the wrong reasons, but I think it's a fair trade since all you might have to do is die a little bit for that "free" training.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:19 PM   #15
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I became disillusioned about becoming an officer. I witnessed too many officers use their men and units as career stepping stones. Most only cared about the appearance that the unit was effective so they could get a promotion, without actually making it effective. All officers worried about was promotion.
It's too bad you didn't accept that commission and see how things actually work on the other side of the fence. I'm willing to bet you would seen things differently. Are there some officers that fit your description, sure.... And MOST do not. I say this at the tail end of a 30 year military career, and as prior enlisted.
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Old 09-12-2017, 08:48 PM   #16
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Personally, I think it's never a good thing to put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify. Don't be one of these people with no fallback career/education that has to accept whatever crappy offer their airline/job extends to them.
I clipped this out of the larger post for emphasis because at present it's a regret that I'm feeling very strongly. If I was qualified to do anything else in life that allowed me to make close to what I currently make flying my flying career would have ended sometime in the past year.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:44 PM   #17
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I clipped this out of the larger post for emphasis because at present it's a regret that I'm feeling very strongly. If I was qualified to do anything else in life that allowed me to make close to what I currently make flying my flying career would have ended sometime in the past year.
If you had the experience to do something else you would know why so many people change careers to fly airplanes.

In the real world you're going to work longer hours with constant stress and pressure...at all times, not just when you're on the clock. Essentially you're always on the clock, and good luck trying to take vacation. The only upside is that when you do eventually get fired you might be able to get another job in the same pay range without starting all over in the mail room.

Aviation's not all bad...
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:13 PM   #18
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If you had the experience to do something else you would know why so many people change careers to fly airplanes.

In the real world you're going to work longer hours with constant stress and pressure...at all times, not just when you're on the clock. Essentially you're always on the clock, and good luck trying to take vacation. The only upside is that when you do eventually get fired you might be able to get another job in the same pay range without starting all over in the mail room.

Aviation's not all bad...
I worked for a living before I got paid to fly so I'm well aware of what that's like and I never said aviation was all bad. Sometimes you just end up in a situation that teaches you a lesson and the lesson I've learned over the past year and a half is that this career isn't necessarily worth the price I've had to pay to keep it.
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Old 09-13-2017, 05:55 PM   #19
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If you "love flying and very passionate about it" the last place you want to be is in the 121 world. Not that it is a bad job. On the contrary, it provides a very good quality of life and you are well compensated for it. It's just not very exciting. Go off when you're young and fly in the military. If that's not your bag, fly backcountry in Alaska, or island hop in the Caribbean, fight fires with the Forest Service, do a couple seasons of cropdusting, whatever floats your boat. You won't regret missing out on a few years of Newark hub turns. You may regret that you passed on the chance to live the adventure of flying.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:11 PM   #20
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To the OP,

If you're on the fence now and worried about possibly slugging through a commitment in a non-flying assignment, leave ROTC. Simply because that's where you'll end up. If your head/heart isn't in it 100%, you won't make it. Then you'll be at the mercy of Big Blue as a UPT washout and have absolutley no control over the next 4 to 6 yrs of your life.
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