Go Back  Airline Pilot Central Forums > Career Builder > Career Questions
Airline background checks? >

Airline background checks?

Notices
Career Questions Career advice, interview prep and gouges, job fairs, etc.

Airline background checks?

Old 03-12-2016, 01:19 AM
  #1  
New Hire
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
Default Airline background checks?

I read posts here on occasion, but this is my first time joining and posting. So, hello!

My question is pretty simple...

I'm in my 30s and interested in pursuing a career in aviation. This is something I've always wanted to do and am now in a position, financially, to see it through. There's just one issue that's causing me hesitation.

I joined the US armed forces right out of high school and made it about 6 weeks into basic training before getting booted due to fraudulent enlistment. I had failed to disclose an asthma diagnosis upon entry and ended up with this uncharacterized discharge. I don't think it's something I can fix, as I understand, and basically just have to live with that mistake.

It's never been an issue as I've never attempted to get a job where military service has come into question (i.e. law enforcement, federal job, etc.). I've never stated on an application that I served in the military -- I'm not even clear on whether or not I should put this down. Probably a question for an attorney, I suppose. Anyway, I've had criminal, driving and credit background checks performed for various jobs, all of which are clean, but the issue of service has never come up.

Further, military service or none, is just the fact that I had childhood asthma a problem in and of itself for a pilot? I've never had an asthma attack, just the diagnosis.

I'm wondering if this will be a roadblock should I attempt to get hired at a regional or larger airline. If so, would it still be worth pursuing this goal knowing that an airline job is out of the question? Maybe that part of the question isn't so simple... I'd love to fly corporate, but don't want to put all of my eggs in that basket.

Advice appreciated.
Flint77 is offline  
Old 03-12-2016, 02:07 AM
  #2  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Csy Mon's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Mar 2010
Posts: 370
Default

Most application forms ask if you have served in the millitary, if yes, Honorable Discharge?
Csy Mon is offline  
Old 03-12-2016, 07:03 AM
  #3  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 30,303
Default

1) The asthma would be an issue for your AME and FAA aeromedical to address, not the airlines. A past history of asthma as a youth is probably not going to be an issue as long as you do not currently suffer any affects from it. As far as US airlines are concerned, they mostly won't ask or care about past medical issues as long as you have an FAA 1C medical certificate.

2) General consensus in the industry is don't lie about anything. Because if they find out later (they often do) you will be fired immediately, and that will pretty much blacklist you from the entire industry.

3) Airlines will require that you account for any time as an adult when you are not in school or employed (some may only go back ten years). They'll typically want a reliable reference (other than your mom) who can confirm what you were doing during a period of unemployment.

If you tell the truth, this will be something you'll have to explain. IMO it could go either way...

You might be able to convince them that in your youthful enthusiasm to join the military that you made a mistake, learned from it, and will never go there again. You'll need to articulate that you regret doing it because you realize you might have endangered your fellow military personal in a crisis...that is very relevant to aviation medical certification.

Or they might be concerned that you were willing to lie about a medical condition and possibly endanger others just to fulfill your personal desires or needs. Unfortunately, that's a common enough theme in aviation such that any employer will be wary of something like this.

Hard to say which way it will go...the big thing you have going for you is you were young at the time, and people change as they grow up.

But I'm pretty sure you could get a regional job, not so sure about majors.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 03-13-2016, 05:27 PM
  #4  
Gets Weekends Off
 
poor pilot's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Posts: 572
Default

Tough one, airline apps question regarding Military gives you three options.
Honorable Discharge, Dishonorable, or Other(with no box or space to give details)
I assume it's a "General Discharge"

Unless you get the opportunity to explain what "other" means it could be a issue and when you get the chance to explain then the question will be why did you lie, and what else are you lying about. I'm not scolding you but thats what could happen.

Last edited by poor pilot; 03-13-2016 at 05:33 PM. Reason: Type o
poor pilot is offline  
Old 03-13-2016, 08:10 PM
  #5  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Oct 2015
Position: Gear slinger
Posts: 1,589
Default

Originally Posted by poor pilot View Post
Tough one, airline apps question regarding Military gives you three options.
Honorable Discharge, Dishonorable, or Other(with no box or space to give details)
I assume it's a "General Discharge"

Unless you get the opportunity to explain what "other" means it could be a issue and when you get the chance to explain then the question will be why did you lie, and what else are you lying about. I'm not scolding you but thats what could happen.
It's General (under honorable conditions). Would that be more of an honorable than "other"?
Otterbox is offline  
Old 03-14-2016, 08:50 AM
  #6  
Prime Minister/Moderator
 
rickair7777's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jan 2006
Position: Engines Turn Or People Swim
Posts: 30,303
Default

Originally Posted by Otterbox View Post
It's General (under honorable conditions). Would that be more of an honorable than "other"?
It depends.

In the past it was routine for single-term junior enlisted to get a General Under Honorable when their enlistment expired. At some point, DoD started giving honorables to everyone who completed their term without significant problems. Today a General Under Honorable would be given to someone with significant but minor discipline problems (ie no felonies).

Today the expectation for high-tier civilian employers (including major airlines) is that all applicants have an honorable or they are probably not going to be considered. But if your general discharge was the norm at the time, HR folks would probably be aware of that since they would be used to seeing folks older than a certain age with general discharges.

When did that paradigm shift occur? I'm thinking 15-20 years ago, but you would have to research it to be sure.

But the issue here is not so much the character of the discharge but the underlying circumstances. Again, you should be able to get a regional job, but hard to say beyond that.
rickair7777 is offline  
Old 03-14-2016, 09:36 AM
  #7  
Line Holder
 
Joined APC: Dec 2015
Posts: 68
Default

Contact the VA and try to get it changed to an honorable discharge. I've known a few guys that have done that.
my6FOh is offline  
Old 03-15-2016, 08:00 AM
  #8  
New Hire
Thread Starter
 
Joined APC: Mar 2016
Posts: 2
Default

Originally Posted by my6FOh View Post
Contact the VA and try to get it changed to an honorable discharge. I've known a few guys that have done that.
I've done a bit (minimal amount) of research on it and I don't think the VA can fix it. What I've found is that I'd have to go through the Naval Review Board, or something like that. Even then, it's apparently nearly impossible to get this sort of thing changed unless you can somehow document that the characterization was given in error. Even then, I don't think it'd be upgraded to an honorable, but maybe just an erroneous enlistment and general discharge. Maybe I should take a more serious look at this option though.

To the other responses, thank you. I would think that if I were completely open about this and actually got an interview where I had the chance to explain what happened, that's potentially a good thing. However, I can't be that optimistic. I would think any airline with a pool of very qualified applicants would simply see that I did not receive an honorable discharge when viewing my app and toss it out. Even though my discharge is classed as other than honorable, I would think most employers wouldn't want to waste their time going over the details of it.

Maybe the best bet is to actually contact the airlines and directly inquire about such a situation.
Flint77 is offline  
Old 07-29-2016, 10:38 AM
  #9  
Standing by to Stand By
 
banana380's Avatar
 
Joined APC: Jul 2016
Position: Holding
Posts: 54
Default

Thread resurrection, any update on the discharge upgrade?
banana380 is offline  
Old 07-29-2016, 10:43 PM
  #10  
Gets Weekends Off
 
Joined APC: Oct 2015
Position: Gear slinger
Posts: 1,589
Default

It's a long process (2-4 years long). Depending on the circumstances, the process first goes through two review boards to upgrade discharge. If those do not upgrade discharge and there's a 10 US Code violation, the discharge can be challenged in federal court.
Otterbox is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
LITTLEa905
Regional
3
09-21-2017 03:43 PM
dl773
Foreign
7
09-10-2012 11:26 PM
PhantomAir
Flight Schools and Training
2
06-12-2006 09:09 AM
Huxter
Hangar Talk
3
02-17-2006 02:38 AM
socal163
Major
7
02-02-2006 02:40 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread