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New to the forum, opportunity curious

Old 05-28-2023, 01:11 PM
  #1  
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Default New to the forum, opportunity curious

Hey all, came across this forum after being talked on by a co worker and wanted to introduce myself and try to learn some stuff and ask a few questions from those that have been there done that.

BLUF: I recently was, and quite unexpectedly, passed over for Lt Col in the Air Force. Which could open up some opportunities for me next year. No negative info, no Q3s, OPRs decent, pretty "decent" progression, more combat time and air medals than is probably healthy, and all my PME complete. I suspect I lacked any staff jobs as the biggest factor, which seems to be the current atmosphere.

09' from the Zoo, and didn't get a pilot slot, so spent some time as an engineer, -15E WSO, kept working my butt off while finishing my PPL and finally got a pilot slot on AD 9 years later. Decided to take the ADSC, in exchange for the AF paying for my ratings/flight hours. Did a sucessful ops tour in U28/PC12s and decided to go to PIT for T6s, which I am just finishing up now.

So with this recent news of being a non select for O-5, I will have one more look above the zone. With promotion rates in that realm in the mid to low single digits, I doubt that it will happen. If/when this happens I may (probably) be offered continuation. However, I don't have much desire to accept that which would, in effect, release me from my UPT commitment around 5 years early.

Question is kind of looking for advice on what do to now? Easy route would be to just accept continuation and serve out the rest of my time. My heart says start shopping for reserve jobs, finish my ATP, and try my luck at getting hired by a Major. I will be at about 1600-1700 TT with a, hopefully, complete ATP. Would love to get some insight/advice from those that might have been in my position.

Cheers.
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Old 05-28-2023, 02:21 PM
  #2  
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Originally Posted by jaynick1
Hey all, came across this forum after being talked on by a co worker and wanted to introduce myself and try to learn some stuff and ask a few questions from those that have been there done that.

BLUF: I recently was, and quite unexpectedly, passed over for Lt Col in the Air Force. Which could open up some opportunities for me next year. No negative info, no Q3s, OPRs decent, pretty "decent" progression, more combat time and air medals than is probably healthy, and all my PME complete. I suspect I lacked any staff jobs as the biggest factor, which seems to be the current atmosphere.

09' from the Zoo, and didn't get a pilot slot, so spent some time as an engineer, -15E WSO, kept working my butt off while finishing my PPL and finally got a pilot slot on AD 9 years later. Decided to take the ADSC, in exchange for the AF paying for my ratings/flight hours. Did a sucessful ops tour in U28/PC12s and decided to go to PIT for T6s, which I am just finishing up now.

So with this recent news of being a non select for O-5, I will have one more look above the zone. With promotion rates in that realm in the mid to low single digits, I doubt that it will happen. If/when this happens I may (probably) be offered continuation. However, I don't have much desire to accept that which would, in effect, release me from my UPT commitment around 5 years early.

Question is kind of looking for advice on what do to now? Easy route would be to just accept continuation and serve out the rest of my time. My heart says start shopping for reserve jobs, finish my ATP, and try my luck at getting hired by a Major. I will be at about 1600-1700 TT with a, hopefully, complete ATP. Would love to get some insight/advice from those that might have been in my position.

Cheers.
U28/PC-12 time is known quality. Assuming your 1600-1700TT is actual pilot time, go get your multi engine rating and do ATP/CTP. Get hired by a regional or ULCC and be at a competing legacy in short order.
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Old 05-28-2023, 02:28 PM
  #3  
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If your risk tolerance is very low, or your family situation absolutely requires a decent income and good bennies, probably better try to stick it out in the mil. The cost of doing that is missing most of the big hiring wave.

The big risk factor you have to contemplate is having some medical problem after you leave AD but before you get 20 years in the reserves. You could not only lose your airline job (many majors have good LTD though), you could also lose your reserve gig prior to 20 and lose your pension. It would have to be something pretty bad though, you can do desk jobs in the reserves without being PQ to fly if you just need to run the clock out. Consideration is here is what degrees/skills do you have? Zoo grad in general should be able to get a decent desk job in industry regardless.

Otherwise, grab a legacy seniority number and enjoy some good QOL, very high pay, and flexibility to trade between the two. Finish up your 20 in the reserves and with your YOS you'll get a very nice bonus check starting at age 60 (plus TRICARE for your eventual airline retirement at age 65/67).

In the past maybe the big three would raise eyebrows at getting passed over, but in this climate they're just happy to have anyone with mil wings. "Flew too much, didn't do enough staff" probably won't hurt you with the airlines lol.

Your total time is a tad low, worst case you do a few months at a regional or second tier and then you'd be a shoe-in. I do mean "months".
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Old 05-29-2023, 06:08 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by Otterbox
U28/PC-12 time is known quality. Assuming your 1600-1700TT is actual pilot time, go get your multi engine rating and do ATP/CTP. Get hired by a regional or ULCC and be at a competing legacy in short order.
I have the multi rating and all the mins for an ATP so will be attacking that in short order.

Originally Posted by rickair7777
If your risk tolerance is very low, or your family situation absolutely requires a decent income and good bennies, probably better try to stick it out in the mil. The cost of doing that is missing most of the big hiring wave.

The big risk factor you have to contemplate is having some medical problem after you leave AD but before you get 20 years in the reserves. You could not only lose your airline job (many majors have good LTD though), you could also lose your reserve gig prior to 20 and lose your pension. It would have to be something pretty bad though, you can do desk jobs in the reserves without being PQ to fly if you just need to run the clock out. Consideration is here is what degrees/skills do you have? Zoo grad in general should be able to get a decent desk job in industry regardless.

Otherwise, grab a legacy seniority number and enjoy some good QOL, very high pay, and flexibility to trade between the two. Finish up your 20 in the reserves and with your YOS you'll get a very nice bonus check starting at age 60 (plus TRICARE for your eventual airline retirement at age 65/67).

In the past maybe the big three would raise eyebrows at getting passed over, but in this climate they're just happy to have anyone with mil wings. "Flew too much, didn't do enough staff" probably won't hurt you with the airlines lol.

Your total time is a tad low, worst case you do a few months at a regional or second tier and then you'd be a shoe-in. I do mean "months".
For sure, I have considered the possible negative outcomes. My family situation is pretty simple and I have enough made/saved that I can afford to be unemployed for a year or two worst case. I workout 4-6 times a week and stay pretty healthy, but you never know unfortunately. Hopefully when I finish PIT in the next couple weeks and get to Columbus I can pick some of the local reserve guys brains on the subject as well. Thanks for the responses, lots of info to get smart on a lot sooner than I was planning ha.
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Old 05-29-2023, 07:43 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by jaynick1
Thanks for the responses, lots of info to get smart on a lot sooner than I was planning ha.
I know how it feels, but I suspect you'll find that it's a blessing in disguise.
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Old 05-29-2023, 09:29 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by jaynick1
Hey all, came across this forum after being talked on by a co worker and wanted to introduce myself and try to learn some stuff and ask a few questions from those that have been there done that.

BLUF: I recently was, and quite unexpectedly, passed over for Lt Col in the Air Force. Which could open up some opportunities for me next year. No negative info, no Q3s, OPRs decent, pretty "decent" progression, more combat time and air medals than is probably healthy, and all my PME complete. I suspect I lacked any staff jobs as the biggest factor, which seems to be the current atmosphere.

09' from the Zoo, and didn't get a pilot slot, so spent some time as an engineer, -15E WSO, kept working my butt off while finishing my PPL and finally got a pilot slot on AD 9 years later. Decided to take the ADSC, in exchange for the AF paying for my ratings/flight hours. Did a sucessful ops tour in U28/PC12s and decided to go to PIT for T6s, which I am just finishing up now.

So with this recent news of being a non select for O-5, I will have one more look above the zone. With promotion rates in that realm in the mid to low single digits, I doubt that it will happen. If/when this happens I may (probably) be offered continuation. However, I don't have much desire to accept that which would, in effect, release me from my UPT commitment around 5 years early.

Question is kind of looking for advice on what do to now? Easy route would be to just accept continuation and serve out the rest of my time. My heart says start shopping for reserve jobs, finish my ATP, and try my luck at getting hired by a Major. I will be at about 1600-1700 TT with a, hopefully, complete ATP. Would love to get some insight/advice from those that might have been in my position.

Cheers.
As others have said, you should be competitive for Delta, American, United, etc. I would immediately start greasing the wheels with the Columbus reserve squadron so you have a safety net while you transition to the airlines. Additionally, explore what plan B, C, and D would be for your primary income. Sim instructor jobs for many MWS’ now pay over $200k/yr and don’t require a valid medical. In other words, you have more options than you probably realize. Knock out all the prerequisites for applying to the airlines (ATP, 1st class medical, etc) and start applying about 18 months before you think your earliest availability date would be. Also, don’t be shocked if you are offered continuation and be familiar with the implications for your UPT commitment, PCS commitment, etc. USAF knows it’s hurting for pilots and they may opt to keep passed over majors to fill out staff billets and undesirable non-flying deployments. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2023, 02:10 PM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by tnkrdrvr
As others have said, you should be competitive for Delta, American, United, etc. I would immediately start greasing the wheels with the Columbus reserve squadron so you have a safety net while you transition to the airlines. Additionally, explore what plan B, C, and D would be for your primary income. Sim instructor jobs for many MWS’ now pay over $200k/yr and don’t require a valid medical. In other words, you have more options than you probably realize. Knock out all the prerequisites for applying to the airlines (ATP, 1st class medical, etc) and start applying about 18 months before you think your earliest availability date would be. Also, don’t be shocked if you are offered continuation and be familiar with the implications for your UPT commitment, PCS commitment, etc. USAF knows it’s hurting for pilots and they may opt to keep passed over majors to fill out staff billets and undesirable non-flying deployments. Good luck!
Thanks! Hope the reserve squadron at Columbus can give some guidance on a possible transition. Didn't think about the Sim instructor gig, I have a good buddy who does the sim gig in U28s who would be a good resource. Unfortunately I think they are contracted and not GS employees if I am not mistaken so not sure how that would factor into a mil retirement.

My worry about accepting continuation and continuing on AD is pretty much exactly what you spoke of, however, with the emphasis on pilot production (not retention unironically?) I might be insulated a bit from the undesirable jobs in AETC.

If I get passed over again and don't continue the way I understand the regs and title 10, I shall separate within 6 months of the board being final. With the exception of those that took the aviation bonus, there is no mention of having to serve the rest of any ADSC's. I have seen anecdotally, and personally some folks passed over for O4 twice and were relieved of their UPT ADSC's. Again there's nothing that I can find that explicit states this, but the way the Title 10 code is written seems to be relatively clear, as long as you didn't go to med school on the AF dime or take the bonus. I won't be entitled to involuntary sep pay but oh well.

My focus right now is finishing PIT and becoming at least a halfway decent UPT instructor, but have to start planning for all the options now.

Cheers.
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Old 06-04-2023, 10:33 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jaynick1
Hey all, came across this forum after being talked on by a co worker and wanted to introduce myself and try to learn some stuff and ask a few questions from those that have been there done that.

BLUF: I recently was, and quite unexpectedly, passed over for Lt Col in the Air Force. Which could open up some opportunities for me next year. No negative info, no Q3s, OPRs decent, pretty "decent" progression, more combat time and air medals than is probably healthy, and all my PME complete. I suspect I lacked any staff jobs as the biggest factor, which seems to be the current atmosphere.

09' from the Zoo, and didn't get a pilot slot, so spent some time as an engineer, -15E WSO, kept working my butt off while finishing my PPL and finally got a pilot slot on AD 9 years later. Decided to take the ADSC, in exchange for the AF paying for my ratings/flight hours. Did a sucessful ops tour in U28/PC12s and decided to go to PIT for T6s, which I am just finishing up now.

So with this recent news of being a non select for O-5, I will have one more look above the zone. With promotion rates in that realm in the mid to low single digits, I doubt that it will happen. If/when this happens I may (probably) be offered continuation. However, I don't have much desire to accept that which would, in effect, release me from my UPT commitment around 5 years early.

Question is kind of looking for advice on what do to now? Easy route would be to just accept continuation and serve out the rest of my time. My heart says start shopping for reserve jobs, finish my ATP, and try my luck at getting hired by a Major. I will be at about 1600-1700 TT with a, hopefully, complete ATP. Would love to get some insight/advice from those that might have been in my position.

Cheers.
Lots of familiarity with this one, as I was in an almost identical boat. WSO and then UPT, passed over IPZ. You are correct—once twice passed over, continuation will be offered. If you decline continuation, any/all ADSCs are waived. Unfortunately for me at the time, my 2nd time passed over occurred in 2020, so I took the continuation. Important item to note—accepting continuation WILL lock in your existing ADSC.

Also, don’t assume you won’t make O-5 APZ. I actually ended up being selected for promotion 3APZ (after I already had a CJO and an approved separation in the system).

At the end of the day, only you can make the best decision for you and your family. Feel free to PM me if you want more details; however, as others have said, the non-selection for promotion may end up being more of a blessing than you realize. I know it’s a blow—unfortunately, our promotion system has a hard time rectifying when someone deviates from the normal “path.” Good luck to you!
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