Failing pilot's training?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by mav1971kit, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. mav1971kit

    mav1971kit Member

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    Hi again.

    So, lets just say that I'm a soon-to-be naval aviator who was selected for fighter pilot's training. In the event that I wash out of training, am I just diverted into another type of aircraft? Or am I barred from becoming a pilot at all?
     
  2. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    All of my friends who washed out of flight training prior to earning their wings were moved to other service assignments such as SWO. Once you earn your wings, things could possibly be different, but there has to be something compelling like developing a medical issue that would prevent you from something like an ejection seat to be moved to another airframe.
     
  3. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    As always, needs of the Navy rule. Depending on Navy officer manning levels and requirements in any given year, some who either voluntarily or involuntarily roll out of the flight pipeline are released from their service obligation, completely. As noted, some years, there are opportunities to go into other officer communities. It's not predictable and not controllable, just one of life's twists.
     
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball Member

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    Is Air Force training the same if you flunk out?
     
  5. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    In the AF, depending upon the needs of the AF, we have had "SUPT non-graduates" discharged from the service. Sometimes they are moved to a different career field but not always.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  6. Rocko

    Rocko Member

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    If they are discharged from service are there any obligations? It just seems odd to me that the Air Force would spend 4 years and a bunch of money educating a cadet and then just let them go because they fail UPT. Considering around half of the cadets (I'm just speaking Academy terms) choose not to be pilots why not just divert them to a non-pilot officer position (Which they could have chosen to begin with)?

    I'd think that with the fact you can be discharged for failing UPT and now incorporating the RPO, CSO etc. into the rated slots that they could deter many cadets from wanting to go rated. I thought they wanted more pilots, not less. Is this still the "Ready, shoot, aim" concept of the military I was in many years ago? :)
     
  7. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I know of one 2LT at UPT who was sent to a non-rated field after hooking the 89 (but who had a STEM degree). Another, whom I believe was an early DOR, was separated and I believe there was some talk about repayment though I don't know the ultimate disposition of this.
     
  8. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Navy has been in a pattern of this for years as mentioned. Some years they are released and other years they are moved to other career fields. Same goes for Nukes who don't make it. It is all based on needs of the service. It's all a numbers game. And when they are released they have no payback or obligation. We get a handful of these guys each year in our alumni association group. We try to really help them out as much as possible.
     
  9. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Thank DOPMA for the ability/requirement to separate officers with no obligation to serve in another community/branch, even after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The 1980 Defense Officer Personnel Management Act set standardized officer management policies, and set ceilings on numbers of officers in each pay grade. Thus, in a time of "force-shaping," a favored euphemism, or when too many officers have not attrited/separated and stayed in so that there is excess above desired end strength levels at certain ranks, there is the option to release without obligation and not reassign.

    DOPMA also impacts how many officers can be promoted at any given rank. It also affects how many mids/cadets get taken in through all the commissioning pipelines. And a whole bunch of other stuff.

    It's always tough to see a motivated junior officer, willing to serve, be told "no room at ANY inn."
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    In the Coast Guard it's not the kiss of death. I had a classmate who went to flight school after his first tour on a cutter. He did well on the academic side of the school but had a lot of trouble with a certain skill. It was enough trouble that he wasn't able to graduate. Instead he went to a big cutter as a 1LT, and then to a buoytender as the XO and now he's finishing up grad school at an Ivy before he teachers at CGA. He had more underway time than any LT I knew (that wasn't prior-service). That was three afloat tours basically back-to-back-to-back. In no time he had his permanent cuttermans pin and he had more salt than most of our classmates (or even officers a few years ahead of us).

    Of course, in a mid-season transfer there are less billet options, so it isn't always rosy. But in the situations I've witnessed in the Coast Guard, it's just an extra move for the officer involved.
     
  11. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    DOPMA does not apply to HLS-owned USCGA! ;)
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Haha, I think I was writing my post as you posted your DOPMA one.
     
  13. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    It depends...

    If you are a good officer who just couldn't make the flying thing work, leadership will usually try to transfer you to another career field. I know several student pilots who failed out and then became research scientists/engineers. I know of another person who (apparently) decided not to be a pilot and failed out of the academic portion of Initial Flight Screening. (As a background, that was strange enough to get multiple people to say, "Why'd he do a stupid thing like that?") He was not retained.

    However, a few years ago, the AF let people go AND charged them for their education. One person dropped on request, and was charged in the neighborhood of $130K for his remaining commitment from the academy.

    So, in the end, it depends on the circumstances of your not graduating, what your leadership thinks is best, and how Big Air Force feels about their manning numbers and training slots available.
     
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  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Not to divert this thread, but I am curious.

    ™ I'm a soon to be naval aviator who was selected for fighter pilot's training"

    Just curious has UPT changed? Do they now state to UPT students they will be fighter pilots when selectee prior to commissioninhg?? Or have you winged with a fighter airframe and your concern is busting the airframe schoolhouse?

    In the AF you are not elected fighters, even out of USAFA. You are selected for pilot training and fight for their fighters during your training as a UPT student.

    Upon winging out of UPT you know what airframe you will fly, but nobody in the AF walks in with a fighter slot....caveat, Guard/Reserves do know, but not AD.

    Just curious.
     
  15. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    No, not in Naval Aviation. It's similar to the Air Force, where they have drop night later in Flight School. I think the OP was giving a hypothetical situation and is not familiar with the terms.
     
  16. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Thanks for the clarification.

    Many times I look at it from a lurker or new poster point of view.

    In the AF the big hurdle is winging. Once you hot the school house for the airframe, chances of busting are slim to none. It is no longer weeding out. It is now get you through because for a year you proved yourself.
     
  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Not sure about now, but when I was active duty plenty busted up to winging. I never met anyone post winging get busted besides idiots who did dumb stuff. I remember we had a Capt in my unit who was a former F/A pilot who told us he lost his wings because he was 'too good.' Yeah that must of been it! 3 months later he went to court martial and was on house arrest or whatever it was. I had bring him meals while on duty. Yeah he was special. He was the only pilot I knew personally who was grounded for non-medical reasons post winging.
     
  18. FallenAngel77

    FallenAngel77 Member

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    Having experienced this (hence the name FallenAngel), the answer is or was "it depends." Granted my experience was almost 35 years ago, but things still appear to be relatively the same. I was attrited from advanced jet. I was not given the alternative of switching to helicopters. For Marines, prop pipeline as a separate line to winging was just starting. I was made an Infantry Officer and still say it is one of the best things that ever happened to me. (As an aside, it still bothers me to have gotten so close to my wings but not received them. I do, however, still cherish my carrier qualification certificate from landing on the Lady Lex in T-2s). I know at least one Marine who was given a shot at helos, although his problems occurred in basic jets. Now that I think of it I do not know any Marines that were switched to helos from advanced jet. Of course, there are not many of us that made it that far, only to get attrited in advanced jet. Usually, it occurs much earlier. I knew several naval officers who were switched to prop pipeline from both basic and advanced jet. As far as when you learn your air frame, it was not until shortly (one or two weeks) before receiving your wings. While not impossible, it would be unlikely that you would get this far and get attrited. Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015

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