Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by Packer, May 23, 2011.
How many aviation slots are typically available? How many are fixed wing versus rotary?
The Army has very few if any fixed wing.
Aviation is an extremely hard branch to get. Usually a cadet needs to be in the top 10% nationally to get an Aviation slot.
Cadets have a slightly higher chance at Aviation through the National Guard, if you choose to go this route you would not be active duty.
We are not talking about ROTC. This is the USMA forum.
For USMA, you need to be in top 30% to be SURE you'll get it. Some years it's the first branch to go out. Some years it's not. Sometimes it goes out in the 300s, sometimes in the 600s.
Fixed wing slots vary. Many classes get none. Many get them for warrants only. Some captains switch into fixed wing after the career course.
This past year it went out at 850. Some years you get lucky.
Not sure I understand what is meant. 850 slots available this past year for 1000 cadets??
What he means is that the last slot was given to the 850th ranked cadet, there is a different amount of slots each year based on the Army's needs. Look up West Point branch night it will explain everything.
GSKeziah, Got it, thanks.
So fixed wing sounds somewhat unlikely even if your in the top 1/3 of the class?
what types of army aircraft are fixed wing? i thought the army only had heli's.
Where you finish in your WP class has nothing to do with what airframe you get. That depends upon your performance at flight school and airframe availability.
The Army flies many different fixed-wing platforms. The most common is the C-12 series (Super King Air 200s/300s). Others include CASA-212 and C-23 Sherpas. There's talk of the C-29 down the road, but it's all speculation at this point.
Do not count on flying airplanes in the Army. Helicopters are for real pilots.
Don't go to West Point if you only want to be a pilot. Go if you want to be an Army officer. You will not know til cow or firstie year if you qualify to branch aviation. Your grades might be top notch, but there are other factors beyond your control.
A great point. That goes for ALL the services. There are lots of USAF captains in missile silos who thought they'd be pilots.
Couldn't agree more but nothing wrong with trying to get a feel for the odds of ones first choice.
Let's play the game you get Aviation.
Fact is not everyone who enters Aviation will exit as a pilot. There is a thing called "washing out" and "washing back".
Great to have the goal, but just like applying to the SA's, you need a back up plan, and be committed to the plan B JIC.
You enter to become an officer with the knowledge of Service before Self. You should have an ultimate goal/path. However, anyone who walked in front of you will tell you your plan can change on a dime, what won't change is commitment time owed.
Not one person is psychic enough to say get a 3.5 gpa at USMA and you will get aviation. Manpower needs play a big part in the equation. If they have an abundance in aviation with commitment owed, they may slow down the pipeline. If everyone in your yr group has 3.75 your chances drop.
Like Scout stated there are a heck of a lot of missilears that entered thinking they will exit as Fighter Pilots from the AFA. Some elected to go this route, some were forced. There are guys who went to UPT and ended up flying UAVs. It doesn't end on commissioning day...the fight to get winged lives on.
Go to become a 2nd Lt in the USA. Go with an open mind, you may get there and decide CID is your thing. Go with a goal, dream or hope.
Nobody, absolutely nobody here can give you a statistical chance for the future (5 yrs from now --- 1 yr in hs, 4 yrs at USMA) regarding chances when the DOD is on the chopping block regarding budget issues. There are just too many variables to give a feel for the odds.
Again, go to serve in any and all positions for the Army, have the goal for aviation, strive for it, but don't sell the house!
Every investment prospectus one has ever looked at has the following disclaimer: "past performance does not predict future success". We still use that past data to help make an educated guess. We would be failing to not look at history. I really think this is beating a dead horse as hopefully everyone understands at this point that there are no guarantees of any career branch.
Well, we do hate to inconvenience you with our advice.
BLUF: it varies. Some years it's as few as 80. Some years it's as many as 110. It's based on the needs of the force. Nowadays, things are fat. When the action dies down, expect that pipeline to get slower.
I appologize for coming off abrasive. It was not my intent. I do realize that what is written is to educate all readers not just the one asking the question. Sorry.
The range of number of slots plus the West Point branch night data are very helpful in painting the picture. Thank you.
The 80 slots and top 30% you have cited, would that be considered to be slow or would you expect things could get considerably slower. The last 10 years or so have probably been on the fat side. I realize this is all speculation.
I'm personally familiar with one of these people. I look at him in the mirror everyday. (I am no longer active duty)
Even though being a missileer wasn't exactly thrill-a-minute, I'd never trade the experience. Service before self and all that.
Absolutely. There's no shame in controlling weapons capable obliterating the planet.
Our dirty secret is that being a pilot isn't a thrill a minute either.
Listen to the man. Nobody IMPO can give you more insight than him when it comes to today as a WP and aviator.
A lot of people believe that being an aviator means everyday tooling around the sky having fun. They don't realize that aviator's have "desk" jobs too. They don't realize that training operationally, and training students are 2 different balls of wax. Yet, every aviator will tell you it happens.
Nobody here is trying to burst the bubble. Instead, what people are saying is to be realistic, and approach your career plan, just like you approach the SAs. You are not about to apply only to WP and no other college or SA, you are going to make sure you have a Plan B, and probably a Plan C.
You hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.
Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time I read a poster who has stated that they were going to fly, be it Army, Navy, AF or CG, I would be able to buy a Mercedes.
Every potential aviator candidate walks in saying 1 of the following:
1. Not bragging, but I know I am going to get it...always preceded or followed with the comment "not meaning to be cocky"
~~~ Hint every aviator is an ALPHA personality, yet many of them don't make the cut at flight school. (Another hurdle for aviators)
2. I can't see why I won't get it because my hs grades are superb
3. Going to an SA gives me the highest chance, so as long as I graduate I am better off than ROTC.
4. I wanted this since I was 6, 8, 10 , 12, etc. and will die before I don't get it.
I am sure I missed other reasons, but you get the gist.
Every yr that is followed with:
You know what they call a 2nd Lt aviator?
The point is bag or no bag, you are an officer first, flier second.
Have that goal, keep aiming for it. Never let anyone discourage you, even if the pipeline is closing. Just keep the other doors open too.
As I always state, anyone in the military will tell you it is 1 part you and 1 part timing. You could be the best thing since hot sliced bread regarding handling the stick, but if the pipeline is closed, it is closed.
Finally, before we get into the weeds, typically many candidates lose sight of one issue that is a big player. DodMERB. Aviators traditionally have to be the best of the best medically. Eyesight is a huge factor. You need to clear the 1st hurdle before you start looking at the next. Again, I could own a Mercedes just by the amount of candidates who got nailed on vision and never thought it would be an issue.
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