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Old 03-09-2018, 09:27 PM   #1  
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Default Separating at 17.5 Years

Hoping you guys can offer some insight: I'm a USAF heavy pilot with ~2500TT hours. I just got back in the cockpit after a long staff tour and I should have at least 100 recent hours by this fall when my ADSC is up. I'm working on my ATP and strongly considering applying to the majors for an early departure from the USAF. After separating I would transfer to the ANG to earn at least the guard retirement, and would hope to use USERRA to finish up an active duty guard retirement later, if I was hired by an airline and if that was an option with a guard unit.

Here's my question: Is being so close to retirement going to hurt my chances with hiring boards?

A friend of mine recently separated at 17 years and joined the ANG as a traditional guardsman, and he just got hired by Delta. At his interview, however, they asked about his intentions to take mil-leave at least five times (not sure that's legal), to which he responded that he did not intend to take an extended period of mil-leave. And they hired him anyway - but he has a ton of hours and has flown some very high-profile aircraft, so his results might be different than mine. Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it... At the minimum I'm thinking of trying to join our local guard unit as a traditional guardsman and trying to scrape by to 20 on whatever man-days they have available. I've deployed too much to do another long one... Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!
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Old 03-10-2018, 03:50 AM   #2  
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Originally Posted by AFSoar01 View Post
Hoping you guys can offer some insight: I'm a USAF heavy pilot with ~2500TT hours. I just got back in the cockpit after a long staff tour and I should have at least 100 recent hours by this fall when my ADSC is up. I'm working on my ATP and strongly considering applying to the majors for an early departure from the USAF. After separating I would transfer to the ANG to earn at least the guard retirement, and would hope to use USERRA to finish up an active duty guard retirement later, if I was hired by an airline and if that was an option with a guard unit.

Here's my question: Is being so close to retirement going to hurt my chances with hiring boards?

A friend of mine recently separated at 17 years and joined the ANG as a traditional guardsman, and he just got hired by Delta. At his interview, however, they asked about his intentions to take mil-leave at least five times (not sure that's legal), to which he responded that he did not intend to take an extended period of mil-leave. And they hired him anyway - but he has a ton of hours and has flown some very high-profile aircraft, so his results might be different than mine. Separating this close is a big risk but I don't want to stay in another day if I can help it - I was on staff for so long I'm getting hot for a 365 and my organization is putting me in a high-pressure DO job even though I told them I don't want it... At the minimum I'm thinking of trying to join our local guard unit as a traditional guardsman and trying to scrape by to 20 on whatever man-days they have available. I've deployed too much to do another long one... Anyway, any advice is much appreciated!
Tough one. How old are you (how close to 60)? Have you officially documented eligible deployments that might bring your Reserve retirement age down from 60? I'm pretty sure M-day IDT points aren't going to count towards 20 AFS.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:03 AM   #3  
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Hey Gundriver - I'm 39. Not sure about the terminology in the guard, so maybe I misspoke. My buddies in the unit I'm thinking about tell me there is enough funding to be on almost full-time and continue working towards an active-duty retirement. This is no guarantee of course, but it looks very do-able, and there seem to be lots of folks in DC on active-duty orders through the Guard Bureau (at least there were when I was at the Pentagon), so I'm thinking that could be an option as well.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:10 AM   #4  
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Talk with one of the interview prep companies but I think itll be a non issue. You need to be able to answer the question at an interview, but it wont stop them from calling
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:23 AM   #5  
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Asking specific questions regarding possible military service in future, then not being hired opens the possibility you were in fact discriminated against which is not legal.

USERRA specifcally forbids discrimination in hiring, retention, promotion, benefit—38 U.S.C. 4311

If a possible employer is digging in on future service, this is possibly out of ignorance or military service members allowing the HR department to believe invulnerable. It could be a specific individual who is ignorant of the law. HR should watch and stop this action. If repeated it's because they get away with this behavior. The only reason to ask about potential future service is to NOT hire the individual.
If asked detailed future plans, realize they are looking for a reason not to hire you.
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If leaving at 17 years, yes, very close to active retirement and companies are familiar and have experienced those who return to complete active retirement. In years past, furloughs cause many to return to complete a full active duty and remain until retirement before returning to the airline. Fair enough, business decision by company, must find job....
In today's market, would opine that many carriers would look to the fact your 39 and will likely fly for somebody in a few years anyway. If a good fit, they may just run the 'risk' even if one does finish a career in the military after being hired. A minority of applicants even fit into this demographic. Most out at MSR or after 20.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:05 AM   #6  
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Join a Guard or Reserve unit now and fire your apps out. Most guard and reserve units at least on the heavy side are short manned right now. Not sure if you are an airlift or a tanker guy but tankers are hurting for people.

You may be able to pick up a temp technician job or a temp AGR job to keep food on the table and fly your butt off for recency. If not some units have MPA days to go around or of course you can take a deployment or two to get your hours up.

With the amount of active-duty time that you have depending on how much time you put in at an ARC unit to do title 10 or AGR orders, you could have yourself an active-duty retirement in about six or seven years.

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Old 03-10-2018, 04:45 PM   #7  
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Consider staying until 20, here's why:
If you were at 10 or even 15 yrs, I'd say punch, do AGR and apply to the Big 6. But at 17.5, you can stick it out for 2 more years, and then you'll have $50K+ per year for the rest of your life, for just fogging a mirror. My Tricare, for my whole family, is freakin' $47 a MONTH. You can't beat that anywhere. Airlines charge 4, 5, 600 a month for medical. Every month. My annual Tricare bill ain't $600...
13 months prior to retirement, drop your papers, set the earliest retirement date possible, and when you hit terminal leave, you can be in your airline class. I had a buddy that was flying for SWA while on Terminal leave! Once you have a retirement date set 12 mos out, the 365 boogey man can't get you.

It's a high performance problem to have; best of luck however it breaks for you.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:05 PM   #8  
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I'll get roasted for this but here goes. You are CRAZY to get out with less than 3 years to go. There I said it.
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Old 03-10-2018, 06:54 PM   #9  
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13 months prior to retirement, drop your papers, set the earliest retirement date possible, and when you hit terminal leave, you can be in your airline class. I had a buddy that was flying for SWA while on Terminal leave! Once you have a retirement date set 12 mos out, the 365 boogey man can't get you.
CB is right on target, you are way too close to the check of the month club to punch now. To paraphrase a buddy of mine, "You could practically hold your breath from now until you retire". You are fortunate in that you will not need to regain flying currency when you retire either, so you will have a strong chance at going direct to a major. You can start your apps at your leisure with no time pressure and hit "submit" when your availability date is set. We've had straight nine years of economic growth and a sudden reversal could be around the corner (did somebody say "trade war"?). Having a seniority number sooner might put some extra cash in your pocket short term, but having a retirement check is a great insurance policy against a furlough or bankruptcy from now until the day you turn 65. Plus, it keeps paying out after you turn 65 too!
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Old 03-10-2018, 07:00 PM   #10  
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I'll get roasted for this but here goes. You are CRAZY to get out with less than 3 years to go. There I said it.
I was thinking the same thing -- UNLESS... you a facing a staff tour for the final 2.5; that may change the game.
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