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Going Backwards: Legacy to Air Guard

Old 06-29-2022, 07:08 AM
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Default Going Backwards: Legacy to Air Guard

One always hears of guys going from Mil to Airline but the other way around doesn't seem very common. Currently flying at a legacy within driving distance from an F-16 Guard unit. I am resigning my Army commission and should be fully out by the time I attend their board if invited. 31, 96 PCSM, 2,800 TT. I have been turned down in the past for younger candidates and even been told I had too much flight time. Since the AF is losing so many pilots to the airlines I was wondering if already being an airline guy with my civilian career fully established would give me an advantage or brownie points. I fully intend to pursue this and make them tell me no, just looking for advice, recommendations and opinions, thank you.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Meme In Command View Post
One always hears of guys going from Mil to Airline but the other way around doesn't seem very common. Currently flying at a legacy within driving distance from an F-16 Guard unit. I am resigning my Army commission and should be fully out by the time I attend their board if invited. 31, 96 PCSM, 2,800 TT. I have been turned down in the past for younger candidates and even been told I had too much flight time. Since the AF is losing so many pilots to the airlines I was wondering if already being an airline guy with my civilian career fully established would give me an advantage or brownie points. I fully intend to pursue this and make them tell me no, just looking for advice, recommendations and opinions, thank you.
How good of friends are you with people at the unit? You should be hanging out with them on your off days from work if you havenít already.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:31 AM
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Kind of depends on supply vs. demand and how many guard baby slots they have.

On one hand, everybody wants to do the airlines now, but OTH everybody just got a stark refresher on the old lesson that you should stay in the guard/reserve until retirement in case the airlines tank. You can do both, and most people do.

Age is working against you, so as otterbox said you need to rush with a vengeance... they need to like you, and you also need to convey that you're philosophically open to learning new tricks.

If you really want to do it, also look at USAFR. You can apply for UPT without affiliation to a specific unit, and get your aircraft and unit later. That might involve a commute obviously... you don't want to commute to both mil and airline, live in base for at least one of them.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Otterbox View Post
How good of friends are you with people at the unit? You should be hanging out with them on your off days from work if you havenít already.
That's a challenge right now, considering I am so junior I can't hold weekends off, though I am told by the recruitment POC that there's quite a few guys at the unit that work at my airline so he seemed optimistic I'd fit in during a rush weekend.
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Old 06-29-2022, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
Kind of depends on supply vs. demand and how many guard baby slots they have.

On one hand, everybody wants to do the airlines now, but OTH everybody just got a stark refresher on the old lesson that you should stay in the guard/reserve until retirement in case the airlines tank. You can do both, and most people do.

Age is working against you, so as otterbox said you need to rush with a vengeance... they need to like you, and you also need to convey that you're philosophically open to learning new tricks.

If you really want to do it, also look at USAFR. You can apply for UPT without affiliation to a specific unit, and get your aircraft and unit later. That might involve a commute obviously... you don't want to commute to both mil and airline, live in base for at least one of them.
Yeah, knowing I have to be in UPT before 33 is definitely cutting it tight. I'm hoping having already been a CO means I can skip OTS and jump straight into flight training. Unfortunately, I am very limited to this Squadron since I have been living in base and commuting to my Army unit and it has been a royal pain in my behind for 9 years. I'm only willing to try this since I'll be driving distance to both jobs if I live halfway between them.
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Old 06-29-2022, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Meme In Command View Post
Yeah, knowing I have to be in UPT before 33 is definitely cutting it tight. I'm hoping having already been a CO means I can skip OTS and jump straight into flight training. Unfortunately, I am very limited to this Squadron since I have been living in base and commuting to my Army unit and it has been a royal pain in my behind for 9 years. I'm only willing to try this since I'll be driving distance to both jobs if I live halfway between them.
You already have time in service as an officer, so OTS definitely wonít be a factor.

The issues they will be looking at are: Do they personally mesh well with you, (Turnover is very slow in a Guard unit, if they hire a dick they have to live with that mistake for a long time.), your flight experience means you will likely do very well initially in UPT. However, it doesnít necessarily translate to success in the program. You have to be willing to humbly learn things the AF way and more importantly convince this unit of that. Finally, how many years of commissioned service do you have? If you are applying as a senior captain or junior major, they may struggle to fit you into a UPT slot that typically goes to a 2lt.

My guess is that you should be very competitive at a UPT board on numbers alone. However, too much time in service or a perception that you will be resistant to training could hurt you. No guts no glory.! You wonít be hired if you donít apply.
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Old 06-29-2022, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tnkrdrvr View Post
You already have time in service as an officer, so OTS definitely wonít be a factor.
If the commission to which he was referring was that of a CWO, heíd likely have to go to OTS or AMS. Not sure of a way around that, but of course, the better person to ask would be a personnelist.
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:00 PM
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Itís been done before so itís possible. Lots of hurdles to overcome. Do you know folks there? Can you explain why you want to do this? Can you explain why they should hire you and get maybe 12 years out of you versus 20+ of an off the street hire? Can you explain why if you really want to fly fighters you didnít pursue it 10 years ago? You need really good answers to these questions. All that may sound like Iím condescending but Iím trying to help you. (Served in guard and reserve viper units and came from army helicopters so faced some of the challenges you would face)
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Old 06-29-2022, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ThumbsUp View Post
If the commission to which he was referring was that of a CWO, heíd likely have to go to OTS or AMS. Not sure of a way around that, but of course, the better person to ask would be a personnelist.
I read between the lines that he's a regular officer, maybe not aviation MOS.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by rickair7777 View Post
I read between the lines that he's a regular officer, maybe not aviation MOS.
I am Army aviation branched fixed wing commissioned officer. My only rotor time is from the flight school, which was another hurdle. No matter how many times I specified I was a fixed wing guy, AF personnel offices always got hung up on me being "the army rotor guy".
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