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Old 10-31-2016, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default Air Reserve Technician or Bum

Hello everyone, looking for your professional opinion on a a couple of options I'm currently considering.

First a a little bio of myself. C-17 copilot (about to upgrade to AC) 1400 total time (1200 C-17). ATP holder and averaging 450+ hours a year as a reserve bum.

Was approached by our leadership at the squadron about becoming an ART. Trying to weigh the best option to get to the airlines. Do I become an ART, have a steady paycheck and get fast tracked to Instructor OR stay a bum, fly my butt off as an AC and join a regional next year to check that box? PS my wife works and pulls in a good paycheck so finances are usually pretty secure.

What do you fine gentleman think? What's the best path to the airlines?
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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You already have the mil ticket punched, so I'd think you'd be better off adding a new realm of relevant resume real estate (121), than polishing the mil apple.

But the way hiring's going just fine, either way should get you there fairly soon.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:12 PM   #3
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Food for thought.... ART vs Bum

As a bum you are accruing points toward retirement. Also, for every 90 days of MPA you are getting your retirement 90 days sooner than 60.

As a ART... not so much. most of your time in squadron is civilian. unless you plan on retiring as a ART, you get absolutely no credit for all that time in the squadron (except reserve days). I bummed like you for years and got to major (without regionals). Now, I also get my retirement at 55 and will have close to 5000 points. Best thing I ever did was bum looking back.

IMHO, If you don't need the $ and steady paycheck, I'd just keep bumming. Plus, ask yourself, why are there 200+ ART positions empty and starting in Dec, UPT grads are going to be FORCED to fill them for 4 years (a complete other discussion).
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:29 PM   #4
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Bum.

Quickest path to the airlines plus who wants to do all the BS work techs do?!
Dont even bother with the regional. Fly every trip possible as an AC. Invites to interview should start rolling in about 1-1.5 yrs after upgrade depending on how much flying you have done. We are past the point of needing to be a mil IP to get to a major.
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Old 10-31-2016, 04:01 PM   #5
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Bum and go direct to Majors in a year or so
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:40 PM   #6
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Won't being a bum require being gone from your family a ton? The big question is will you have to commute for the airline's?

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Old 10-31-2016, 10:33 PM   #7
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Why bum if you're going to skip the regionals? You can fly your butt off as an ART while getting paid $120k a year. Not sure how the C-17 world is doing for bum life, but in the tanker world, I wouldn't survive at my unit as a bum. Just not enough opportunities to make money and fly aside from spending life in the desert. I'd rather be home almost every night and have a steady paycheck until that major calls me. You can leave whenever you want (which is why they'll never FORCE people to be ART's; it's illegal). Being an ART ain't easy, but you probably wouldn't need to do it more than a few years max. I'd much rather be an ART than living the regional life. Different strokes for different folks.

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Old 11-01-2016, 12:09 AM   #8
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As a trougher, I wish being an ART would have been available to me at the time. The condition of being a trougher (bum is what the Guard calls it) is more nuanced than meets the eye. It really depends how your unit doles out the cheese, and how many mouths are trying to feed from the pot at the same time. That leads to surprisingly different outcomes for bums across the system.

Fighter vs heavy. FTU vs combat code. Non-alert vs alert. RPA majority allocation versus MPA majority allocation. It's all over the map. So you're gonna get dramatically slanted answers on here.

In other words: Being put on 30+ orders, all the way to 360 day continuous MPA/RPA is a lot different than the lost decade years of being told local-only, non-commuter sub-30 day chunks. Which in my case were I kid you not, 4 long tread-water years of 4-day orders. Worked like a whipped mule for 60% of AD for more time at work. My AROWS-R account looks like the g-d Library of Congress with that many orders. That's a BIG difference when you're getting paid no per diem, and you're taking R/C-BAH (aka Type II) in lieu of BAH type I. That's where the 60 cents on the dollar paycut comes from. Being an ART is actually a pay raise from that, and bear in mind, we all understand the dramatic paycut doing this job as an ART is for the same hours worked, versus AGR or straight up regAF status.

Btw, this idea that a bum only is expected to fly may assume facts not in evidence. For all we know, if your unit is paying ya in RPA vs MPA, they can just as well ask ya to do qweep for them if you want to get paid. At that point you might as well take the ART job, even with the healthcare TRICARE ineligibility hit. So again, the devil is in the details here.

Otherwise, neither option is going to create problems for your ability to accept a training date at an airline (you might **** off the unit by chucking back 90 days of MPA on them on 4th Qtr just because Delta gave ya an August class date and it's July already though), the way the AGR status potentially does for instance.
You don't want to be like one of my ex-squadron buds who got told no to his AGR curtailment with a Delta CJO in hand. Yikes.

The world is replete with opportunity costs. The "problem" with my advice of taking the ART is that I'm coming at it from a head of household POV. You have a sugar mama, so these nuances seem immaterial to you. All you hear is "the full timer has to do qweep; the bum only has to fly and flock off the rest of the month". I'm with tankerdriver on this one, being an ART doesn't mean you can't fly your rear off. I've known ARTs that end up no kidding troughing themselves. Getting on ridiculous LWOP stints and doing MPA/RPA like bums themselves! It would be absolute blasphemy to allow something like that to occur in the presence of hungry TRs wanting to trough; but in their absence? Absolutely happens. Hate the game not the playa type of thing. Again, nuances.

First world problems. The pot can dry from under you, but in theory the trougher (assuming not taking a de facto AGR chunk of mandays) has much better scheduling flexibility and days off shuffling ability for said paycut. Better healthcare as well under TRS imo depending on region (I find FEHB too expensive). So your call bud. With a sugar mama providing most of the lift it's kind of humblebrag for you to come ask these questions to be honest, but hey more power to ya.
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Old 11-01-2016, 02:50 AM   #9
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He's not an AC yet and IP is likely a couple years away which means that he rolls in as a GS-12... the pay will be much less than GS-13. He is better off financially bumming then as an ART for now. Bumming has been and should continue to be pretty good in the C-17 world.

I've done all 3 - Bum to ART (3.5 yrs) to TR. to this day, I remain grateful for the ART position. However, I sure do not miss the paperwork involved to fly in either civilian status or military status. I'm happy to be a f-ART!

But, there's always something to be said about the comfort of a full-time job. That's why I was happy to take the ART position. I would not put my family through the stress of the feast or famine lifestyle.
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Old 11-01-2016, 04:33 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerDriver View Post
Why bum if you're going to skip the regionals? You can fly your butt off as an ART while getting paid $120k a year. Not sure how the C-17 world is doing for bum life, but in the tanker world, I wouldn't survive at my unit as a bum. Just not enough opportunities to make money and fly aside from spending life in the desert. I'd rather be home almost every night and have a steady paycheck until that major calls me. You can leave whenever you want (which is why they'll never FORCE people to be ART's; it's illegal). Being an ART ain't easy, but you probably wouldn't need to do it more than a few years max. I'd much rather be an ART than living the regional life. Different strokes for different folks.

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good point. in the herc world, my unit specifically, the bums fly way more than the techs. generally all the "work" trips go to bums first. the easy/cake trips go to 1/2 TRs/Bums and 1/2techs. Maybe I have been spoiled because my unit pick up every trip we can get our hands on. plenty of CONUS trips to be had if you want to fly.
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