Aviation Pipeline Questions

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by terp1984, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    DS just started NROTC at a top national university and interested in becoming a pilot. After service assignment what is the sequence of events and what determines the type of aircraft he will be trained on. I have heard the SA grads do not have any advantage over NROTC - does that seem to be the consensus? Thanks
     
  2. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Unless things have changed across the services, SA grads are much more likely to receive an aviation billet than ROTC simply because the majority of aviation slots are handed out thru the SAs, especially in a per capita sense.

    Airframe assignments are given out based on OML and operational needs.
     
  3. cooper1234

    cooper1234 Member

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    I think the reason the aviation slots SA students have an advantage, is because they have their own billeting system. I attended a seminar about USNA, and if I interpreted this correctly, they have a certain amount of spots for academy students, and a certain amount for ROTC students.

    I remember I read somewhere on here that there was only 27 spots available for Specwar/Specops combined, or the NROTC, but at usna, there was also only 27.

    Also, it showed where all of the students from the class of 09 billeted to, and tere were only about 500 students total, so I'd imagine that USNA and ROTC billet separately.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Again, unless this has changed, you are correct. The SAs "billet," or "branch" as the Army calls it, prior to ROTC. Sometimes it happens at the expense of ROTC. Because so many combat arms branch slots go to USMA, ROTC is often sacrificed. For example, in 2002 the infantry branch closed out early, but WP refused to deny infantry to a young man who wanted it, so DA gave WP more infantry slots than the initial allotment called for the academy to hand out. You can guess where those slots came from.

    In my branching year, USMA received 104 aviation slots to dole out among about 1000 cadets. All of ROTC received 97 slots to divide among about 3,300 cadets.

    People don't always like it, but it's an advantage the SAs have, and rightfully so.
     
  5. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Does the AFROTC and NROTC have three times as many graduates as the AFA and USNA? While the USMA may graduate 1000 vs AROTC's 3300, I'm not sure the disparity is any where close to that in the Air Force and Navy ROTC programs. Do you know how many Pilot slots AFA grads have available compared to the AFROTC grads? How about Navy vs NROTC? A little apples to apples and oranges to oranges comparison might be of help to the OP.
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    From the Air Force Personnel report:

    "20.9% of the officers were commissioned through the Air Force Academy, 42.9% through Reserve Officer Training Corps and 19% through Officer Training School.
    The remaining 0.88% were commissioned through other sources (direct appointment, etc.)"

    Of course we know that by Title X, the total strength of the academy for each service cannot exceed the total strength of that service's ROTC. So that's why each SA provides about 20-22% of each service's annual commissioning strength.
     
  7. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Wow. Thanks for the information! Do you have a link to this Air Force Personnel report?? Is the Air Force still commissioning 19% of it's officers through OTS?
    Maybe I'm adding these numbers up incorrectly but when I add the above I get: 83.68 Where do the rest of the AF officers come from?
     
  8. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    Back to the OP

    To get back on track a bit:

    Regarding Navy (OP question) there is, as mentioned for USMA, a certain # of aviation slots for the various commissioning sources. I don't have the numbers off the top of my head to give. (Also be aware that currently they are trying to reduce the number of aviation candidates, who knows in 4yrs though)

    Once you have selected for aviation any advantage of any particular commissioning source is gone and everyone is even (minus a few medical restrictions such as not fitting into certain airframes).

    Currently the way airframes are decided is basically through grades. Your grades in Aviation Preflight Indoc (API, 6wks of bookwork) plus your grades in primary flight training (T-34's/T-6's) get put into this formula and out comes a number. Now, there are only a certain number of graduates at a time, even if you start with 30 in an API class, maybe 1 or 2 of those will graduate Primary at the same time (well maybe more, but you get the point). A short time before graduating from primary you put in your dream list, and a few days before graduating a list comes down from 'on high' saying what is available that week. Then it goes in rank order......

    So...what does this mean, basically it really comes down to pure luck of what the needs of the Navy are the week you graduate. Some weeks there are no jet billets, others there are a bunch. Some weeks there are no helo billets (well, not really, but a possibility), etc. If you just happen to have the highest scores ever and the week you graduate there aren't any billets for what you want, well, guess what, you're getting a second or third choice most likely.

    Now...currently there are around 3 tracks to select out of primary: Rotary Wing, Tailhook, and "other". If you want Jets, you select Tailhook and then head off to advanced and hope you don't end up with E2 or C2 (won't find out till later). If you want C2 for all the per diem and sweet hotels you pray you don't end up E2.

    During advanced is when you would actually select your jet platform or rotary wing platform depending on again your grades and "needs of the Navy"

    Anyway, hope that helps a bit.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I think KP hit the nail on the head when he said it all depends on the Navy's needs at that moment in time.

    It is important to understand that how many pilot slots coming down now, may be different in 3-4 yrs from now. Nobody can predict where it will be when you come up for your career assignment.

    The SA's always go first in the line. Right now it is easy to see that the AF is slowing down their pipeline because there are many AFA grads going to UPT @ 9 mos. out. 4 yrs ago when they entered that was the time frame for ROTC grads reporting to UPT.

    As kp mentioned getting your 1st pick of airframes will not be determined by commissioning source, it will be determined by how you handle the stick. I have seen SA grads graduate number 1, and I have seen ROTC grads (Bullet) graduate number 1. I have seen ROTC grads bust out and AFA grads FEB (Flight Eval Board). UPT instructors do not care at all about how you got there.

    The most important thing to realize right now is it is good to have that goal, but also have a plan B. There is no guarantee that you will get a UPT slot, no guarantee you will graduate UPT, and no guarantee that you will get your dream airframe. HOWEVER, there is one guarantee, you will serve AD in the Navy for several yrs after graduation in some capacity. Many cadets walk in wanting to fly, and never do the "what if" game, don't be one of them.
     

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