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Old 04-01-2018, 01:40 PM   #1  
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Default Air Force-Warrant Officer Pilots

Pilot shortage is starting to really hurt the USAF. They've upped the promotion % for Captains to Majors to 100%, used to be around 50%. Now they're considering "enlisted" (really it'd be Warrant Officers). Of course they're trying the reinvent the wheel instead of just copying the Army's model. I separated from the Air Force almost 30 years ago and they still haven't figured out how to manage their pilots.

https://www.military.com/daily-news/...-75-years.html
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:42 PM   #2  
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Is the issue filling the pipeline of new pilots...or retaining existing pilots?
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Old 04-01-2018, 01:55 PM   #3  
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Mostly to retain pilots. W/O's typically don't have collage degrees so are not as competitive for the major airlines and therefore more likely to stay in for 20 years. That's the idea anyway, but as with most their ideas it probably won't work.

The 100% promotion to Major is to encourage pilots to stay in for 20 years. Before you had to play the game, do the professional military schools, work staff jobs, etc. Now they've created a professional pilot track in all but name. But I'm sure there will still be requirements to do some staff jobs. Pilots at the squadron level are still working 50-60 hour weeks trying to do staff work plus fly.

To show how they're screwing it up (again) the last promotion board from Major to Lieutenant Colonel promoted 3% more officers in staff jobs than the ones who are flying at the squadron level and risking their lives in combat. Promotion boards just can't get over the "Officership" thing. Staff weenies can usually get higher endorsement levels on their Officer Efficency Reports since they're rubbing elbows with Generals, while the folks at the squadron level don't, unless they really stand out.
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Old 04-01-2018, 04:05 PM   #4  
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Mostly to retain pilots. W/O's typically don't have collage degrees so are not as competitive for the major airlines and therefore more likely to stay in for 20 years. That's the idea anyway, but as with most their ideas it probably won't work.
The AF LOVES to tout the education level of our service. I'm guessing if we ever got WOs (not likely), they'll likely have a degree by the time their ADSC is finished. Paying guys even less to do the same job isn't going to fix the cluster the AF has found itself in today. Their needs to be a major change in culture before this situation gets better. Alas, I predict that it will get much worse before it gets better. They reap what they sow!
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Old 04-01-2018, 04:09 PM   #5  
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Mostly to retain pilots. W/O's typically don't have collage degrees so are not as competitive for the major airlines and therefore more likely to stay in for 20 years. That's the idea anyway, but as with most their ideas it probably won't work. .
You would be surprised how many of us warrants have degrees as (just like o-grades l) it makes us more competitive for promotion.

Also, with the regional flows becoming more prevalent.. a degree is becoming irrelevant.

Also, the average warrant officer now has several additional duties and flying is starting to become secondary.




PS: it’s “college” no “collage”
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Old 04-01-2018, 06:25 PM   #6  
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Is the issue filling the pipeline of new pilots...or retaining existing pilots?
Retaining. The AF has screwed itself up so badly it can't keep pilots in. This will do nothing to change that. But hey, I was told by a GO that I am expendable and that if I didn't like my career I am free to leave, they'll press on with the dozens of pilots waiting in the wings to replace me. That's cool, I'll have a higher line number when those pilots decide to punch as well.
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Old 04-01-2018, 07:25 PM   #7  
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Doesn't help that people who did a 6 years enlistment then got out and got a degree/pilot training/etc. are "too old" to even apply. The things I would do to be a fighter/airlift pilot..
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:17 PM   #8  
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PS: it’s “college” no “collage”
Spell check has atrophied that part of my brain The fact that I'm usually watching videos on the other monitor while I type doesn't help.

I agree about the degrees, on W/O's getting them for promotion and on not needing them for the regional flow/thru down the road.

I was an Air Force pilot from 1981-89. Near the end of that time the Air Force threw out some nice retention bonus payments. And most squadron CO's screwed it up by making acceptance of the bonus with the accompanying commitment to the 14 year mark a type of "Loyalty Test". If you declined the bonus then you were on his "bad boy" list.

Of course later on the Soviet Union collapsed and some of the pilots who took the bonus were RIF'd out of the service

They really need a "Professional Pilot" career track that keeps you in the cockpit and away from most non-flying jobs and guarantees 20 years. I had no desire to command anything more than my aircraft and that wasn't the party line. I did enjoy the missions I flew, I felt like I was making a contribution. But all the other BS drove me crazy, I got out as soon as my commitment was up.
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Old 04-01-2018, 08:23 PM   #9  
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Doesn't help that people who did a 6 years enlistment then got out and got a degree/pilot training/etc. are "too old" to even apply. The things I would do to be a fighter/airlift pilot..
When I was in AFROTC we had a former Army Cobra Pilot in the program. He had 500 hours of combat time in Vietnam, shot down 3 times. He was 6 months over the age limit for Air Force Pilot Training, and they wouldn't waive that.
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:25 AM   #10  
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The USAF already has a program for enlisted to become pilots, and it works great:
OTS

My guess is that is how this issue will work out, save for a few enlisted UAV pilots.
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