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Old 01-13-2010, 07:25 PM   #1  
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Default I want to fly!

I have always wanted to fly and always told myself i would as a kid but then for some reason i hit highschool and the urge went away as i starting getting wrapped up in girls and sports. Needless to say i went to college got my business degree and have a good job with great benfits making 56k.

Anyway the passion has come back now and i want it more then ever. I have been doing alot of research about joining the military and would love to serve my country and become a pilot.

I am just wondering what options do i have, i understand since i have a 4 year degree i would enter the military as an officer which you have to be to fly from my understanding. What about the Guard or Reserves?

Basically i am just curious to know what my options are and i am 25 by the way and i am sure there is some sort of cut off age. I do have a great thing going for me right now career wise but I know if i dont purse this i am always going to think back and wonder what if...

Is there anyway i could still serve in some sort of reserve unit and learn to fly while keeping my civilian career?

Sorry for all the questions and i apperciate all the feed back.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:40 PM   #2  
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First, the age cutoff is usually age 28 (maybe out to thirty depending on need) and it takes a year or two to get the ball rolling so you need to decide quickly.

The Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve(?) all hire applicants off the street for pilot training. You do a couple of years on active duty for flight training, then return to your unit as a traditional (part-time) reservist. You can have a civilian job, and most do.

Navy, USMC, and USCG only hire previously rated military aviators for their reserve units.

Full-time regular active duty is becoming less popular, for a lot of reasons, but it may be easier to get an AD pilot slot than a guard/reserve slot. You will be committed to active duty for about ten years, and I would only recommend that as a first choice if your goal is to be a senior military leader someday (Colonel, General). You can do your active duty and then transition to guard/reserves after your commitment is up.

The big drawback of active duty: you do not know what airplane you will be flying until you are already in training. Nowdays this a REALLY big drawback, because some folks are getting assigned to fly UAV's instead of real airplanes. It's one thing to dream of F-16's and get assigned to cargo planes, it's another thing entirely to get assigned to play a video game.

Check out baseops.net, plenty of good gouge there on how to start applying.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #3  
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First, the age cutoff is usually age 28 (maybe out to thirty depending on need) and it takes a year or two to get the ball rolling so you need to decide quickly.

The Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Army National Guard, and Army Reserve(?) all hire applicants off the street for pilot training. You do a couple of years on active duty for flight training, then return to your unit as a traditional (part-time) reservist. You can have a civilian job, and most do.

Navy, USMC, and USCG only hire previously rated military aviators for their reserve units.

Full-time regular active duty is becoming less popular, for a lot of reasons, but it may be easier to get an AD pilot slot than a guard/reserve slot. You will be committed to active duty for about ten years, and I would only recommend that as a first choice if your goal is to be a senior military leader someday (Colonel, General). You can do your active duty and then transition to guard/reserves after your commitment is up.

The big drawback of active duty: you do not know what airplane you will be flying until you are already in training. Nowdays this a REALLY big drawback, because some folks are getting assigned to fly UAV's instead of real airplanes. It's one thing to dream of F-16's and get assigned to cargo planes, it's another thing entirely to get assigned to play a video game.

Check out baseops.net, plenty of good gouge there on how to start applying.
Can you get something in writing saying if you join you will be guaranteed a flying spot? As long as you pass your classes and physicals? So from what i understand i would join and serve 2 years of active duty where i would have to give up my current job and then after that i could return to the reserves and maintin my civilian life and fly during my 1 week a month 2 weeks a year?

Thanks for the response!
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:02 PM   #4  
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Can you get something in writing saying if you join you will be guaranteed a flying spot? As long as you pass your classes and physicals? So from what i understand i would join and serve 2 years of active duty where i would have to give up my current job and then after that i could return to the reserves and maintin my civilian life and fly during my 1 week a month 2 weeks a year?

Thanks for the response!
Make sure you ask that question when you interview with a unit. They'll love that one.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:05 PM   #5  
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Make sure you ask that question when you interview with a unit. They'll love that one.
C-17 cut me some slack man... haha i just started doing some research so i dont know anything about anything. I am just looking for the facts from all of you guys who know what your talking about.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:26 PM   #6  
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It is impossible to fly in the Reserves/Guard 1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year. That oft quoted participation requirement is the bare minimum participation in nearly every other field besides aircrew. As an aircrew member, expect anywhere from 5-10 days a month minimum participation. For more info, go to baseops.net and wantscheck.com.

Many people will say you are protected by the USERRA law when it comes to civilian employment, but quite honestly, you could have a tough time with your (non aviation) employer with all of the demands of being a military pilot. You will disappear for 2 years, and when you get back to your home unit, you will probably be expected to stay on active duty orders anywhere from 4 months to 2 years (In addition to the 2 years you were at OTS/Pilot Training) to gain experience (and upgrade to the left seat) until you are cut loose to go back to your employer, if they remember who you are. Understand that while in other career fields, you can be a part-time military member, as a Guard/Reserve Pilot with a civilian job you will essentially have 2 full time jobs.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:38 AM   #7  
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If you are lucky enough to get an ANG slot for pilot training, they will send you away to OCS (officer commissioning school), and then to pilot training. If you graduate from UPT, with a recommendation to fly the type of plane at your unit, you should be assured a flying slot. If, on the other hand, you didn't manage to graduate UPT, then you'd usually be offered the ability to just resign your commission. I don't think that any unit would actually guarantee you a flying slot, as things have a habit of changing from time to time. Good luck with your search.

JJ
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:14 AM   #8  
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Can you get something in writing saying if you join you will be guaranteed a flying spot? As long as you pass your classes and physicals?
Active duty, yes but it might be UAV's, you won't know until it's too late.

Guard I think you could safely assume that if you don't complete flight training they will let you out if you want. Reserves, not sure...they might keep you around to do office work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by covsting76 View Post
So from what i understand i would join and serve 2 years of active duty where i would have to give up my current job and then after that i could return to the reserves and maintin my civilian life and fly during my 1 week a month 2 weeks a year?
You are legally entitled to get your civilian job back after you finish training. Like others have said, it's more than two days/month two weeks/year nowdays. The actual time varies depending on unit/airframe and deployment cycles.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:23 AM   #9  
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C-17 cut me some slack man... haha i just started doing some research so i dont know anything about anything. I am just looking for the facts from all of you guys who know what your talking about.
If you "took up your slack" covsting76, you wouldn't be posing questions to anonymous figures on a web board about your future aspirations. The kind of individual that our military needs to fly our aircraft doesn't ask what the min run level of comittment is to participate. I'm roughing you up a bit, but if you were really serious about this you would aggressively find the answers to your questions and hit the bricks looking for opportunities. I have helped a number of young people get commisssioned and become pilots. None of them asked me the questions you are asking.
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Old 01-14-2010, 08:31 AM   #10  
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If you "took up your slack" covsting76, you wouldn't be posing questions to anonymous figures on a web board about your future aspirations. The kind of individual that our military needs to fly our aircraft doesn't ask what the min run level of comittment is to participate. I'm roughing you up a bit, but if you were really serious about this you would aggressively find the answers to your questions and hit the bricks looking for opportunities. I have helped a number of young people get commisssioned and become pilots. None of them asked me the questions you are asking.
Everyone has to start somewhere man. As i said i am in the begining phases of my research. I plan on talking to a recruiter soon. I know there is a lot of people where with a TON of experience so I was just looking for a little bit of knowledge.
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