Air Force vs Navy

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by dhabs, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. dhabs

    dhabs Member

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    I know this is a broad topic, but as we make our Plans B, C, And D, I have a question. Say DS does not receive an appointment to USAFA or USNA and does not receive an AFROTC or NROTC scholarship. Assuming he will still participate in one of the ROTC programs at one of the schools he's been accepted to, I'd like some more information to help him decide which program is the best fit for him. Can anyone give me information on life in the Navy and/or Air Force (after commissioning) particularly in ways they differ from each other? He would like to be a pilot, but understands those slots are limited. Thank you!
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Besides the obvious he will not be on a boat, here are a couple of things.

    This is the assumption he will be select for Summer Field Training as a rising jr., thus becomes a POC.

    As a jr. he will apply for a rated board.
    ~ AFROTC selection right now is very high,(90%+) HOWEVER, when they apply they must be willing to accept 1 of any of the 4 options.
    ~~ Pilot
    ~~ CSO (aka navigator)
    ~~ RPA
    ~~ ABM

    You don't have the option if selected to say no. IOTW you want pilot, and they select you for RPA, you can't say I'll try again for the next board, or let me go non-rated. You must take it.

    If not selected as a sr. they will send you to a non-rated board.

    Upon commissioning there usually is a 6-9+ month wait time for UPT class start date.

    If he does not have a PPL, he will go to IFS (initial flight screening) in CO. He must graduate from there to move forward. If he does they will waive IFS and he would skip this step. Some students opt even with a PPL to attend because flying civilian is different than the military, and they feel it is better to get a handle on it prior to UPT regarding what AF pilot instructors are wanting from students.

    At UPT he will stay there for his entire training period @1 yr. He will track out during the process...heavies or fighters.

    Upon winging he will now owe 11 yrs.

    He will than go to FTU, this training for his airframe. That can take another 6-9 months.

    Somewhere in there they will also go TDY for things like water survival, SERE and/or arctic survival.

    After FTU they will go to their operational squadron. They will than go through some more training tp become Mission Qualified. (MQ). Every airframe has a specific amount of time that this must incur within.

    So from commissioning to being operational in their permanent squadron you are looking at @ 3 yrs, but that includes the wait time to start UPT.

    Overseas tours vary from 2-3 yrs depending if he is single or married. single=2. Stateside tours are between 3 and 4 yrs.

    AF used to train at Whiting with the Navy for UPT, but has now ended this program because compared to the AF UPT program the Navy was taking much longer to wing them. I believe DS said it was taking 2X as long to wing out of Whiting than any other base.

    Our very close friend's DS is a USNA grad (12). He reported for UPT in July. He finished his 1st phase and is now in TX since Dec, waiting for his next phase. His Mom told me the other day, he basically plays Xbox with his roommates because they have yet to fly, and will most likely wing after our DS. DS is an AFROTC 12 grad. He is at IFS now, and his UPT date is April. AFA counterparts on the other hand will be the 1st to attend UPT, so they are now all about 6 months from winging, not 14 more months.

    I am an AF spouse, and from a personal perspective. AF is more family oriented than the Navy. I am not saying that the Navy isn't, just that due to the fact there are no sea tours, that is not part of your life. It is common though in the AF fighter community to be deployed 2x for 4-6 months each time over a 3-4 yr tour. Basically it is go, come back for 18 months, and go again.

    It is very rare for a fliers wife to give birth without her DH by her side. They typically will not send them for those deployments if she is due during that time.

    Let's face it the other branches call the AF the corporate branch with banker's hours. If they are not flying their duty day is 8-4. PT to them is lifting a beer after playing a round of golf!:rolleyes:

    Some other things. Pilots in the AF currently are offered 2 bonuses. 1st is at the 7 yr marker, and they must stay until 14. The second is at the 15 marker, and I believe they have to stay until 22.

    If he wants helo's the AF has them, but very few, so he is better off going Navy.

    Hope that helps. I am sure the Navy posters will give you their perspectives of the path within the Navy.
     
  3. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    There are so many variables that come into play when answering this question. I think it is hard to sum up in any succinct way what someone's life will be like. Even within both branches so much depends on the job your son will be doing. For example, my husband was a nuke on a sub. Because his sub did Med tours (like all fast attacks do) and his sub was a SEAL operations boat, he averaged 9 months out to sea the entire time he was on that sub. In contrast to that, we had friends in the Navy medical community that never did unaccompanied tours. We moved every few years. Yet I knew other people that lived in the same location their entire career. Is there something specific that you're concerned about? It might be easier to answer a more specific question.
     
  4. vareporter

    vareporter Member

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    And when I say 9 months out to sea, I mean 9 months out of every year. So, yep, he was gone 9 months of every year for three years straight.
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Same is true for the AF. The fewest amount of schools my kids went to were 8. Only 1 went to the same HS from start to finish, and that was because Bullet retired before he entered HS. In 21 yrs, the longest place we lived at was just under 3 yrs. In a 3 yr time span, we moved from AK to NC, NC to KS, KS to VA. Only 1 child of our 3 were conceived, born and celebrated their 1st birthday in the same home.

    This was our choice for Bullet to make rank. Another friend in the same fighter community arrived the exact same time as us in NC. Our youngest boys were both in pre-school together, our eldest were in 3rd grade. FF 8 yrs later, 3 homes later, they were still there. Their Dad decided instead of moving, he would take a remote to Korea for a yr. TWICE! Remote back to SJAFB, Remote back to SJAFB. He retired the same time as Bullet, but unlike our children, they were townies. They grew up with the kids they went to pre-school and elementary with.

    Don't get me wrong, as hard as it was for my kids to move often, it was hard on them too because their Dad was gone for a full yr. every 3 yrs. This does not include that when he came back, he would be deployed just like Bullet every 18 months.

    Neither branch has an easy life, esp. when you realize as a pilot, your DS will be no younger than 34 before he can bounce in the AF. That will mean 1/2 of his life will be military (incl. ROTC or SA). It is a big commitment. I will leave it to the Navy side to say how long their commitment is for UPT.

    I am sure he has a gut feeling which way he is leaning.

    The best advice I can give you, is for him to visit both the AFROTC and NROTC det at his #1 choice school. Have him talk to cadets/mids. He will get a better feeling.

    Let's be honest the 1st hurdle is commissioning. At least for the AF, that means success in the ROTC program. Scholarship or no scholarship you must become a POC to commission. Hating the program makes it hard to stick with ROTC after a yr.

    vareporter,

    I do agree it is career wise, but dhabs has stated he wants to be a pilot, so for me, I think the only way to give them career guidance is to assume that if all playing fields were the same and they could go rated for either service what the difference will be like.

    I totally believe that they should also have a career plan B in place. For example: Would they be happy being an Intel officer at Minot, North Dakota over an Intel officer on a carrier?

    The plus side for the Navy is they are never landlocked like Cannon, NM or Mt. Home Idaho. If he likes the warmth of the sun, and the beach, I doubt he will be jumping for joy in Fairbanks, AK for 3 yrs.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  6. ahuntedyeti

    ahuntedyeti Member

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    Which branch has a better chance to contract?
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Nobody can give you an answer to that, and IMPO nor should they.

    None of us work at Manpower HQ for either branch. Contracting without a scholarship for the AF for the class of 17, won't occur until Sept 2015. Yes, AFROTC you will know Feb 2015 if you will have the opportunity, but that is still 2 yrs from now. Plus you must graduate from SFT.

    2 yrs of unless the Hill fixes the budget (debt) equates to too many variables regarding not only the AD world, but ROTC too.

    For AFROTC 15 they are looking at a 65% projected rate for SFT regarding AS200's. However, that doesn't show what the % is when you include 100's that left after a yr. It would be wrong to say the original pool of 2015 cadets would be 65%, I would guess it is lower when you include those that have dis-enrolled.

    The idea that many of them entered ROTC as a freshman would think that they wouldn't commission 4 yrs from now is not something I bite off on readily. For whatever reason they leave.

    The better question I would ask is what is the rate that enter and commission 4 yrs later. DS's det. when he entered as a 100 had @130 cadets in his yr group. He commissioned 4 yrs later with 26. His det. in AFROTC is considered large.

    This is what I recall from my polish memory.
    130 100
    100 200 ---about 20 were ew 200's, never were in ROTC as a 100...due the math 50 or so left after 100 yr.
    70 went up for SFT
    33-35 were selected.
    26 commissioned.
    13 got rated.

    The 7 between the 33 either dis-enrolled, or when they went for their commissioning DoDMERB got DQd.
     
  8. GoBlue1984

    GoBlue1984 Member

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    Thank You!

    WOW - listening to the lives some of you have had to lead, and what you have had to sacrifice to serve our country makes me want to just say a big THANK YOU regardless of your service branch. I've had friends in the military (lived in NOVA) but seldom thought of how all that moving affected their families.

    God Bless you and your families. :thumb:
     
  9. dhabs

    dhabs Member

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    I know this is probably a stupid question, but what does this mean? What does it mean "to contract"? I should have pointed out when I started the thread that I, too, am an AF wife. My husband is a USAFA grad and was also a flight instructor there. However, he got out and joined the reserves in '98 (now active again) so it's been a really long time since we've been directly involved with the AF and we know very little about ROTC. We had a great experience in the AF and yes we did move every 2 to 3 years, but that was also the reason he got out - in time for our kids to stay in the same school until graduation. My DS has shown equal or greater interest in the Navy which is fine with us, I just want him to have enough information to make a decision on which direction to go if it becomes his decision (if appointments and scholarships fall through). Thank you to everyone who has responded! It's great to hear as much as possible about different experiences so I can pass it all on to him. This forum has been great and makes this painful waiting game a little easier! Good luck to all!
     
  10. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Contracting means in essence if they walk away after a certain time they agree to either pay back the scholarship or enlist. It would not be your child's decision.

    If they get a 4 yr. they will contract as a freshman, as soon as they pass the PFT. They can walk until the end of their freshman yr with a no harm, no foul regarding re-payment/enlistment.

    If they get a Type 7 and convert it to a Type 2 3 yr., they will not contract until their sophomore yr.

    Beware currently the AF is making them repay the loan. There are cadets that take the scholarship and find out 4 yrs later they will not commission and now owe 100K+


    Additionally, if they are not on scholarship, and are selected for SFT., when they come back after training in the fall they will sign their papers saying they will stay for at least 4 yrs. ADAF. Pilot would be 11 (again, assuming 1 yr to wing, and 10 yrs owed).

    That's the long and short of it.
     

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