day-to-day

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by wannabe2013, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    What's the day to day life of a newly commisioned officer?
    How does it change over time and promotion?
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
    Service specific?
     
  3. zfam

    zfam Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    0
    New officer

    If you haven't already check out the thread by Bullet, Ok, I'm a Lt. Now What? That may help out and it's a good place to start.
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Great question.

    I can only speak from the view of a spouse of a flyer for the AF.

    When you go to UNT/UPT you will be a student for @ 2 yrs. Your first job is to still be a student and learn your airframe.

    LESSONS TO LEARN:
    1. STUDY...STUDY...STUDY...this is the time to realize that the aircraft is something to respect...your scores will make or break you for the future...bottom of the pack say goodbye to the 22. Also when you go to FTU a bad flight can follow you to your 1st op assignment.

    I.E. one guy in the Strike received the call sign ZERO...he got a 0 on a check...he was a WSO and pilots have issues flying when they don't trust the GIB

    2. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND RESPECT YOUR INSTRUCTORS...don't be pompous thinking you know the jet better than the guy who has flown it for yrs.

    I.E. one guy got a callsign TUNA...he tried to go head to head with an IP that had 2000 hrs operationally he had 0...Two to Na...TUNA

    3. DON'T WHINE...salutely sharply and accept the fact that you are SNACKO!


    AS YOU PROGRESS, your leadership will be constantly viewed by the hierarchy.
    1. You need to be able to juggle being the prison warden and the nice guy at the same time.

    I.E. Be the Team player and Team leader simultaneously, not an easy feat.

    2. Be aggressive in managing your own career...always look one step ahead...take the assignment that is going to get you a better assignment after that. Always give 100% to the current assignment, but realize that your performance will make a difference for your next promotion or your next assignment that might make or break you for promotion.

    I.E. Saw many people that kept taking Remotes so they could homestead and then they beatched about somebody else getting a better job that they thought they deserved, meanwhile they didn't realize that the heirarchy saw that they didn't fill particular squares because they never really expanded their abilities by taking the remote for personal reasons.


    3. PME will play a huge part in your ability to get promoted...take the courses even through correspondence at the earliest opportunity.

    I.E. Bullet was selected for ACSC(AF), but the feather in his cap was that he was 1 of 60 out of 1200+ to be selected to go to CGSC (ARMY). He was selected for 2 reasons...1 he jumped out of a perfectly good airplane for the 82nd and was ALO of the yr for 9th AF during that time (ref #2...taking assignments)...and the fact that he did ACSC by correspondence as soon as he was selected for O-4 (had it done before he pinned on)...nobody out of the 60 had not completed ACSC by correspondence, and he was told that it made a difference in being selected for in residence.


    4. ALWAYS review your records...it is like a credit report, sometimes the wrong info is put on and sometimes certain prestigious aspects are left out. They will send down your recs prior to the promotion boards, but if you don't review it and fix it then you can kiss the promotion goodbye.

    I.E. Our friend an AFA grad was passed over 2x for LTC...FORCED RETIREMENT only after being passed over the 1st time did he review his records and saw the errors...he did request an appeal, but by then it was too late. The chances of being promoted APZ is like the chance of winning the lottery.


    5. Diversify...nobody makes O-6 + without doing a joint. You can be the best in your field, but the higher you climb the more you will need to be able to understand how your sister service works.

    I.E. The Strike gives CAS for the Army, if you don't understand the Army's needs than you can't lead the Strike to perfrom at the optimal level for air to ground.


    6. EMBRACE the Pentagon...the relationships you make there can assist your career and your post military life.

    I.E. You will work for Flag officers, and your job will be very specific that contractors will jump to get you when you retire. Bullet worked for JROC (Joint Requirements Oversee Counsel) regarding the fighter weapons procurement as a O-4/O-5. 15 mos prior to his retirement, his old bosses that retired (O-6 & O-7) started recruiting him asking him to retire b/c they had a job for him. Our other friends who never went to the Pentagon b/c of the hrs demanded now work as the Strike Sim instructor...as many of you know Bullet is the go to guy in the contractor world for the 35, and his pay is more than 50% higher than their salary...their retirement pay and current salary is equivalent to what they left at, his is 1.5 times higher.


    I am sure Bullet will edit my post from his point, but as I said at the beginning of the post I was speaking from a spouse pt watching how Bullet navigated his career.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  5. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    I read that but thats more about what you need to focus on to advance and help your career...I want to know what you do when you wake up, before you go to lunch, after lunch, after dinner...all the way up to when you go to bed. What are the specific responsibilities of a pilot who just got his wings (AF or Navy), or a newly commissioned SWO, or Marine or Army Infantry...what the boring monotonous stuff is or the exciting things.
     
  6. Bullet

    Bullet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    99
    Ok, good question. I'll give you the "Ok, I just arrived at my first Ops base" perspective for those who may get lucky enough to join an AF fighter squadron. Realize this will come somewhere just before your 2-year in point, as you first had to go through pilot or nav training, all the other nit-noid training like survival school and lead-in fighter training, and have completed your transition training (usually a 8-9 month course teaching you the basic flying skills for your new aircraft).

    OK, your a brand new guy (or gal) fresh out of training, with a belly full of fire and a gleam in your eye, ready to take on the world in your shiny new aircraft. You got about 70 or 80 hours in the bird under your belt; you've learned some basic tactics and procedures, and you got that attitude of "look out, evil-do'ers, there's a new sheriff in town"! :cool: Well, guess what. You're going to walk into the squadron, and the guys (and gals) already there are going to WANT you there ready to learn. Face it, you might think you're ready to take on the entire Russian AF by yourself, but to the folks already there, we're just glad you don't trip over your flight boots on the way out to the jet. :rolleyes: We KNOW you don't know squat about how to go to war in the mighty bird you're now priveledged to fly, but we will TEACH you. You just have to be ready to learn.

    So, what does this mean to you? What will your typical day be like when you first start out? Well, we want our new aviators to FLY, A LOT! You need the experience more than I do. We want you to get more than the typical number of hours per year, which is about 230 - 250 in a fighter. So, you will probably fly three times a week, maybe four in a good week. :thumb:

    What's a typical flying day like? Well, we just don't show up at the jet, shake hands with the crew chief, jump in, lite 'er up, and go all wily-nily in the air (well, maybe that last part a little:biggrin:). Each training misson will be focused on learning objectives for that sortie. In the Strike Eagle, since we do both air-to-air and air-to-ground, it meant you have quite a few types of sorties that you had to be proficient in. Based on the squadron's training plan, we all may be doing air-or-air that week, or bomb dropping, or advanced weapons tactics, or CAS training, or whatever. You'll see your schedule posted the week before, so you know what the focus should be.
    Now, when did we show up to prepare to fly that day? It was required to be there 4 hours prior to take-off, even more if it was an "upgrade" sortie (you are graded as you learn a new qualification). So, if you had that 0830 take-off, you had to be there, ready to go, at 0430! :eek: You'll spend the first hour planning the mission: what are we supposed to do, what will the weather be like and will I have to go somewhere else, plan a route (or two, or three), plan an attack (or two, or three), load the mission information onto the computers so you can take some pre-planned info with you to transfer to the jet, etc., etc. etc. Tons of things to get done, good thing you always fly with a wingman or three.
    Now, two and a half hours before take-off, we brief the mission. Every aspect. From engine start, to taxi, to takeoff, to enroute, to getting back, to most importantly, THE MISSION. Everything briefed in excruciating detail. Why? From the hard lessons learned of those before us; you talk about it so you don't screw it up! Typical mission brief lasted one hour to 75 minutes. That gives you 15 minutes or so to hit the cranium, get dressed into you flight gear, grab a quick bean (if you want it) and meet at the Ops desk for a last "pre-mission" brief from the Ops leader running the daily flight schedule. They'll let you know what plane your flying that day, what runway is being used, any issues you need to know about, and such. So, about an hour prior to take-off, you step to your bird.
    You do your walk-around, check the forms, and strap in. At PRECISELY when you were briefed to do so, you crank the engines (Let me tell you, I LOVE the sound of four birds all starting engines at once!:thumb:) At the EXACT briefed moment, you all check in let the flight lead know you're ready to taxi and start the mission ("Chief check!" "Twoop", "Tree" "Foorwp") You'll taxi out in formation (again, another awesome sight), get to the end of the end of the runway where an arming crew will arm up the jet and do some last safety check, take the runway, and then off you go into the wild blue yonder for the mission.

    In the F-15E, our sorties lasted usually two hours, depending on the sortie type. You'll land, get back to chocks, then get over to maintenance debrief. After a half hour there, you head back to the squadron and unload all the gear.

    Think you're done then? Heck no, now comes the LOOOOONG part, and the most important part: the mission debrief. This is where the REAL learning takes place, not in theair. Debriefs typically last longer than the sortie. You'll analyze the mission tapes, look for mistakes and ways to improve, and learn how we could do things better. A brutally long, and brutally honest, session where there is no rank outside of who is the instructor and who is the student. I've seen (and done) debriefs where the young Capt chews out, in a polite manner, the O-5 for a stupid mistake ("Seriously, sir. What were you THINKING when you did this?").

    Wow, this is a long post!

    So, a typical flying day is usually 10-12 hours on just the flying part!

    But outside of flying, every squadron member had additional duties, such as work in the Tactics shop, or the Scheduling shop, or the Plans shop, or Life Support, or whatever. So, before you go home, you usually had to put in an hour or two at that as well. On days you didn't fly, we expect you in the vault studying the plane's MANY systems and Tactics, and you'll also catch up on your additional duties.

    And what additional duty does the new guy (or gal) ALWAYS get? SNACKO! That's right, we make sure you keep our bar stocked, our supply of snacks and goodies filled, our coffee supplies ready, and the popcorn machine filled at all times. You are also in charge of organizing the squadron parties and functions. Heaven help the poor snacko who let's the kegs in the bar run dry, or the snack bar run out of the Commander's favorite hot-pockets. :mad:

    So, short answer to your original question (too Late!): You'll typically work a 10 - 12 hour+ day, 5 days a week. Most weekends at home station are off, but when you're deployed, forget about that!

    And I'm spent......
     
  7. unitedstatesAFA2013

    unitedstatesAFA2013 Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    I actually want to know more about where PIMA was going with this: My dream is to fly the Strike or Strike Eagle. I want to know:

    If junior year I am found PQd, which of the following determine that I get top pick of choice of plane?:

    -Academic, military, athletic GPA (or one above the other i.e. would my chances be hurt if my GPA is 3.5 academically but 3.1 on the other two?)

    -major you take at the academy?

    -previous flight experience?

    -teacher preference?

    And once I'm found PQd (theoretically) and for some reason I am able to pick the F-15/E which bases would I be most likely sent off to? And if they take the F-15s out of commission after let's say 5 years of flying them, could I train for the F-22 or is my career pretty much over? I ask this because every plane is unique, and to fly a plane well you pretty much have to be an expert on it, so would it be better to strive for a plane like the Raptor that's sure to last a while rather than a plane that has an undetermined future?

    :biggrin:thanks
     
  8. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    :confused1:

    Time to go do some research youngin'. Hit up google with UPT, ENJJPT, and flight training. About the only thing that the Academy has that affects your aircraft is if you're sent to ENJJPT where you go the T-38 fighter or bomber track. That's reserved for the top 20 people of each class that apply for it.

    The other 500 or so people go to UPT where their flying ability, not their GPA/MPA/PEA, along with their instructors will FIRST decide which training track they will take after the T-6 (T-1 for heavies, T-38 for fighter/bombers, etc.), THEN, in each of those tracks your flying ability there will decide which particular aircraft among those you will get. Also, there are times where a UPT class may get 0 or 1 T-38 drop, so sometimes you could just be out of luck!

    Bullet will explain more stuff I can't. I would say though, based on my knowledge, you'd more likely be sent to the F-35 from the F-15E than the F-22 due to the particular missions of those aircraft.

    PS - The "Strike and the Strike Eagle" are the same thing. ;) Dunno what other aircraft you might be referring to! lol
     
  9. unitedstatesAFA2013

    unitedstatesAFA2013 Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    383
    Likes Received:
    0
    Shoot I meant Eagle and Strike Eagle. I get dyslexic, sorry lol:rolleyes: (And I believe the first one is just pilot,the latter is pilot and weapons systems officer and those extra fuel tanks that mess with the aerodynamics. I've always believed this and It would surprise me if I was wrong:eek:)

    I've always wanted to go on Google and be like bam bam bam and find out everything I needed to know but I never knew where to start regarding this.

    Okay, so if I wanted to hit ENJJPT then my cumulative grades would affect me? In order to be one of those top 20 I would need top GPA, etc?

    Alright so I'im number 499 of those 500 people. To eventually go from F-15/F15-E (and you're saying it is best to go Strike since it is most compatible with the 35?) to the F-35 I'm guessing I would need to be a top flyer?

    Anyway, I just kind of want to know the gist of it...something to keep in the horizon to ponder during beast to keep me going. Right now, I'm still worrying about even getting in! haha:frown:
     
  10. 2012Cadet

    2012Cadet Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    0
    Army
     
  11. wannabe2013

    wannabe2013 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marine Corps?
    Anything Navy? (i.e. life on a ship or shore duty...)
     
  12. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    Read the paragraph at the bottom of Bullet's post about additional duties. My husband joked as an LT that he was the ADO - additional duties officer. Did you ever see the MASH episode where all the officers suddenly have additional duties, like trash, payroll, etc? Well that's actually a normal part of your duties. He was Army and was a platoon leader. So he started his day with PT with his soldiers. Every day was busy. His first assignment after Language School (DLI) was as a Security Officer for the detachment. Later, he moved on to be XO of the battery. He often worked in the battalion operations division, planning training and ensuring that everyone in the unit met standards. He was never bored or underworked. Expect long hours. Amount of time in the field will depend on your branch. He would be gone about one week a month. We had friends who were out for weeks at a time.

    Granted, our experience was over 20 years ago, but somehow I suspect that new LTs will always be the ADOs. :wink:
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  13. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,756
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    We call is SLJOs...


    Sh@tty Little Jobs Officer.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,756
    Likes Received:
    1,005
    I will hit life on a ship soon....I just need to find time for a big post.
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    ONE big difference day to day for Army VS AF...they do PT!

    Bullet and I were married for 4 yrs when he took his Jump ALO with the 82nd...the 1st morning in the TLFs, Bullet gets up at 5 and kisses me goodby...I asked where are you going? PT he replied...I closed my eyes he left and then for the next 8 hrs until her returned I racked my brain trying to figure out what did PT stand for?:shake:

    Swear that is a true story...AF doesn't do PT...I know what BFM, GBU, TLA, DLA, TDY, FW, FS, AETC, ACC, DITY PCS, SOS, PME, OPR, PME and many other acronyms, could speak in full sentences using acronyms, but had not a clue about PT...AF still does not do PT in the flyers world.

    So for an Army person what is your equivalent name for SNACKO or SLJO?
     
  16. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Messages:
    359
    Likes Received:
    0
    After being retired for nearly 3 years, my husband still gets up and does PT in the wee hours. Go figure! If he doesn't get his run in every weekday, it definitely spoils his day. :shake:

    As for SNACKO, you're assuming that those Army folks actually keep such stocks around. That's what vending machines are for. :yllol:

    Of course, my husband discovered that keeping candy on his desk for visitors was a great way to ensure that people stopped by his office and he was always kept informed.
     
  17. Bullet

    Bullet Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    994
    Likes Received:
    99
    HEY! Pima's a fibber. Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

    I did PT. We just spelt it differently than the Army / Navy / Marines / CG.
    In the AF, it's spelled G-O-L-F. Followed by "stretching exercises" in the clubhouse when we finished ("and lift that glass and sip, and lift that glass and sip, and lift...)
     
  18. DiLa

    DiLa Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am really enjoying these last few post, lovely husband and wife team..!! Pima and Bullet you really make my day, always bringing a smile to my face. This last post has got to be the funniest I read. Love the "lift that glass and sip". You two must really be a joy to be around. I say affectionately.:wink: Read it to my husband, former Marine, and he belly roared! LOVE IT!!:biggrin:
     
  19. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    The sad thing is that is true...I pretty sure that was the only PT he did for 20 yrs in the AF...let's remember your physical test in the AF is riding a stationary bike and checking your heart rate. The amazing thing is the fitter the guys were the more often they failed...couldn't get the heart rate up enough.

    A typical day in our home is me laughing, shaking my head and trying to say at the same time you are such an a**:eek: Add in our children who have Dad's quick wit one liners and there is always some kind of laughter.

    My favorite one liner from all times for Bullet was when we were camping once and somebody asked him if you could find anything in your parents attic what would be...he replied...ADOPTION PAPERS (his folks not only look like the parents on Everybody loves Raymond, but act like them too)

    Back on topic.
     
  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    I just realized it is Mustache Month...Bullet always looked like he had dirt on his lip even at the age of 40!
     

Share This Page