Air Force vs. Marine Aviation

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by FacFortiaEtPatere, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. FacFortiaEtPatere

    FacFortiaEtPatere Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    4
    Let me start off by saying I'm a junior in high school and I want to be a pilot (I'm most interested in the ground-attack/CAS mission), but my primary reason for joining the military is to serve and lead. For a long time I was convinced that I wanted to join the Air Force, but after talking to active duty service members and veterans I've begun to rethink my decision.

    I realised that my primary job will be a (insert branch) Officer leading soldiers/airmen/marines/sailors to accomplish the mission first and foremost, and being a pilot comes second. That said, if I commissioned as an Air Force Officer and something went awry and I didn't become a pilot, I don't think I would be satisfied with another AFSC that the AF has to offer. However, I've been looking into Marine Corps Aviation for the past few weeks; I understand that I have a much lower chance of becoming a pilot in the Marine Corps, but I believe that I would be much happier being a Marine Officer doing a job other than flying jets, than I would vice versa in the Air Force. I'm much more drawn to the Marine Corps' mission than the Air Force's.

    Knowing all this, would it be wise of me to choose the Marines? Even if I have a lesser chance of being a pilot?


    **I wasn't sure where to put this post, but since ROTC will be my commissioning source, I thought it best to file it under ROTC. Correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    Actually your chances of being a Marine aviator are probably not lower. I don't have stats to refer to, I am sure I could if I dug enough, but if you go to USNA or NROTC MO and pass the ASTB with high enough scores your chances of USMC pilot slot are very high. In NROTC MO if on scholarship you are guaranteed active duty. If not on scholarship you must get selected for advanced standing before you junior year to continue in the program. You will then apply for an aviation contract once you get into ROTC. Getting the required ASTB scores and positive endorsement from your MOI are the two keys. At USNA, if you qualify for USMC pilot and do well at Leatherneck your chances are very high of getting pilot. Most years the selection rate at USNA is in the 90% range. Not sure on NROTC MO but guessing the rate is above 75% selection rate.

    Hurricane12 is active duty Marine pilot on this board. I am a former Marine who had a ground related MOS.
     
    FacFortiaEtPatere likes this.
  3. FacFortiaEtPatere

    FacFortiaEtPatere Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    4
    Really? I was told differently. Can anyone else on the board confirm this?

    Also, what are my chances of getting fixed-wing if I score high on the ASTB and secure a pilot slot?
     
  4. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    49
    Likes Received:
    29
    Being ex-Air Force, I can't comment on the Marine Corp aviators a whole lot. I have flown/worked with several ex-marine pilots (rotor heads and fixed wing types). I have to say, they are some of the finest folks I had the pleasure of working with. For one thing, none of them were fat and/or over weight like some of my AF buds.:D
    You are absolutely correct in saying that "you are an officer first", especially in the Marines as you seem to already realize. No matter which branch of service, once you get a pilot slot, you start with a clean slate. You could have been the top dog at the academy/ROTC/OTS/OCS but all that matters no more once you hit the flight line. Quite often, you'll see "those" people who you thought were weak in school/training (before pilot training) excel in the flying world and vice versa. From my understanding, getting your choice slot (choppers or fixed wing) out of primary flight training (T-6) is based on the needs of the service and class standing. It has been known that some classes end up with all helicopters, though rare, and also the other way around. Just like everything in life, it's all about timing. Good luck and keep plugging away!
     
    FacFortiaEtPatere likes this.
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7,544
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    I strongly suspect NavyHoops is correct about chances. While this is only anecdotal, of the 6 Marines who commissioned in my son's class, 2 got aviation slots. Further that was 100% of those who wanted aviation slots. Not a large population, but...
    As NavyHoops said, Hurricane12, as an active duty aviator, can probably give you better insight.
     
    FacFortiaEtPatere likes this.
  6. FacFortiaEtPatere

    FacFortiaEtPatere Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2016
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thank you all for the insight. I will certainly shoot Hurricane12 a PM.
     
  7. Bullet

    Bullet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    99
    I think you answered your question in your original post. I'll simply say this -- the road towards becoming a mission ready pilot in any of the services is full of hazards and pit-falls. You may end up with your goal in any service, and you're just as equally at risk of having that dream crushed in each. So, you DO have to ask yourself if you would be happier in a particular service if that pilot dream does not reach fruition.

    Seems to me you already know in your heart the answer. Frankly, you,re farther along than many your age on that. The Marines are a GREAT bunch of folks, a real special breed that I've been proud to work with quite often and occasionally call "friend". Best of luck joining them.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    2,444
    'A special breed'... Now I know why my Mom always said I was special! ;)

    Marines love being Marines first and foremost.
     
    kinnem likes this.

Share This Page