More pilot slots at Navy?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by USAFA83GradWife, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    My DD has gotten appointments at both USAFA and USNA. She came back from Navy's CVW and said she was told that Navy offers more fighter pilot opportunities than Air Force. Is this true? That seems very counter-intuitive. She said that she was told that Air Force was going drones and reducing the number of actual pilots.

    DD was leaning heavily toward USAFA until she heard this. Now the balance has tipped the other way.

    Can anyone confirm this information?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  2. DevilDog

    DevilDog Member

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    Ther is a reason it is called the Air Force. Just about every person in the class of 2014 that requested a pilot slot got one. I am not sure if USNA can say the same.
     
  3. Fly Navy

    Fly Navy New Member

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    I may be biased

    Actually, the service with the most aircraft is the Army. We (Navy) are always looking for pilots and the chances in our service are probably equal to the Air Force. Every week is different.
    Best of luck to your DD in her quest to serve our Country. Either Academy is a great start.
     
  4. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Haha. Maybe I should have specified fixed wing?

    I should add that I will be proud of DD whether she picks USNA or USAFA. Both are great choices and provide awesome opportunities. I just want her to have all the information before making a decision that will affect her the rest of her life.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  5. WMcCollum

    WMcCollum Member

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    As for the drone statement, there was a thread here a month or two ago that had the usafa class of 2014 assignments, and the number of kids going to fly drones was very low, maybe even single digits.
     
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    The Air Force has more F-16s than the Navy has fighters, according to wikipedia numbers.

    If you are basing things off numbers of fighters, the Air Force wins easily.
     
  7. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Coastie here. This question has been asked before on these forums and if I remember correctly it was along the lines of "If you want to fly fighters, you have a better shot in the Navy because of percentage numbers". The Air Force has LOTS of planes, most of the people will end up flying cargos/transports like the C-17 or C-130 (great platforms btw), while only a few will fly jets. The Navy has less cargo planes per aviator...

    Congrats to your daughter on her choices! And if she wants to fly something with a gun on it she can always try and branch USMC Aviation out of Navy
     
  8. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Except that I'd read there was going to be a severe fighter pilot shortage within 8 years ... some 700 fighter pilots short. Currently there are 200 fighter pilots slots open. Air Force is offering huge retention bonuses upwards of $225K. That's why I'm really confused by what Navy told her.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...ortage-offers-retention-bonuses-up-to-225000/
     
  9. jackson1989

    jackson1989 Member

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    We heard this same line when my son applied. Now he is one of the 2014 cadets with a pilot slot. I can't really speak for what Navy has or doesn't have, but if she wants to fly then I think USAFA is a great choice! My son has also commented that every pilot in the AF he has ever met loves their airframe.
     
  10. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    Clarification

    I want to be very clear, since this was brought up on a cross-post:

    My DD wants to server her country. Flying will not make or break that commitment. To her, being a pilot is icing on the cake and her #1 career choice. She also thinks serving on a ship might be pretty awesome, too. But you've got to have all the information before deciding where your heart takes you.
     
  11. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    I'm sure there was some degree of "recruiting" in what Navy told her. I also believe there are better chances to fly in Air Force. OTOH, AF has those big cargo air frames, Navy not so much, but they do have their equivalents. There are an awful lot of variables involved here. Can she get a pilot slot? Which air frames, based on her size and seating height, will she fit? How difficult will she find it to land on a tossing postage stamp compared to a long stable runway? Another question to consider is, regardless of over-all odds, how many (and what percentages) of women get that opportunity?

    You can figure the odds all you want but ultimately it's a dice throw. She has a chance to get her number one dream in either service. That's why I mentioned backup plans earlier. Ultimately following her heart will play a big role although you're correct that you want to gather as much data as you can before making that decision. Ultimately though it will come down to what's in her heart. If she's happy in her choice she is far more likely to thrive and do well - winning that pilot slot.

    Just basing a decision based on flying and the odds of achieving that, I'd have to say USAFA would be the way to go... from someone who is partial to Navy. Would she be happy there if she didn't get a pilot slot?
     
  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    If Bullet saw this thread he'd be able to spout off numbers for the F35. The AF is buying a lot more than the Navy.

    The fact is there are a lot of heavies too, and that is the chance she will have to take.

    I have to add, recruiters will always find the best possible way to shine. We typically accept it as fact without understanding what the impact will be for us personally. You need to look not at the number, but the statistical chance of it happening for you.
    ~ Yes, the AF will have tons more 35s than the Navy, but statistically the chances of getting a 35 is not going to be all that high compared to a heavy.

    Also understand the pilot bonus is two different programs. The AF is offering the lump 225k currently to fighter pilots to stay until 19 years. The heavies are still on the old bonus system. The amount comes out the same, but the real difference is the commitment length. What fighter guy is going to bail at 19 yrs ? Thus, in the end the AF can keep experienced fighter pilots for 20 years if they take the bonus for the same cost as heavies if they stay to twenty. Many guys back in the late 90's were bolting as soon as their bonus commitment was up, and I think that is why they are making it a 10 year commitment.
     
  13. tjdrive

    tjdrive Member

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    I also want to fly fighters, but here's how I look at it:

    Flying is flying. Sure, the fighters may seem more fun, but have you ever seen a C-17 yank and bank? It's pretty impressive. There are a lot of pilot slots in the Air Force. I'd be ecstatic if I got fighters, but I'd be happy with nearly anything (except drones).


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Just talked to Bullet about how many 35s the AF has ordered compared to the Navy and Marines. I said it was a lot more. In numbers the AF will have 3 times as many 35s than those two combined.

    Remember the AF is the smallest of the big 3.

    That should sum up how much the AF believes that they will still be flying fixed airframes for the next 40 years. It also should illustrate if she wants fighters that the AF is the way to go from a statistical perspective. If they are looking at numbers, well than again, they need to produce @1000 more fixed wing airframes to make up just the amount of 35s in their inventory, that does not include heavies.

    I am not anti-Navy, our cousin flew for the Navy. Just saying do the math. I have said getting a 35 will be hard compared to the amount of heavies, and the next gen fighters are being purchased at a 3 to 1 ratio for the smallest branch. Have not even touched upon the fact that the AF has 22s too.

    Finally, our friends DS went to USNA, Dad was AFA grad. He was academically high ranking. They worried that he would not get a UPT slot because many were being offered subs. He did get UPT. Commissioned at the same time as our DS. He reported July, started UPT within days. He is tracked for fighters, but will wing after our DS. DS will know his airframe in March. Started classes last April. UPT for the Navy is not a year, it is closer to two. See pressure cooker/raimius blog. It is also a reason the AF no longer sends students to Whiting. It was taking too long.
     
  15. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Pensacola has been backed up for about a year now. There are plenty of guys on our side of the house who graduated in 2013 who have been waiting around to start because of the delays. I'm sure the budget has something to do with it but from what I've heard the Navy refuses to start a class until they have a certain amount of Navy SNA's. The result? CG and USMC guys waiting around...
     
  16. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    I replied to the whole "which service gives you a better chance of getting to fly a fighter before. Bottom line answer: it's about the same.

    WWW.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=34656

    It really comes down to which culture you would prefer to be a part of.
     
  17. Rage_14

    Rage_14 Member

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    Pensacola NAS is being used for CSO school now. I've heard USN isn't even flying down there now.
     
  18. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    NFO training is at NAS Pensacola, SNA Primary is at either NAS Whiting Field (~45 minutes away) or Corpus Christi Texas with further deviation for Advanced. SNFOs and SNAs all start at Pensacola for IFS and API before going separate ways


    Edited to add: To clarify what Sam's saying...both Coasties and Marines are limited to the number they can have in each starting class at each stage of training: IFS, API, and Primary (not sure about advanced, but the numbers are smaller so I don't think it matters as much). The Coasties generally get screwed over more than the Marines. So, for example, I waited three-plus months before starting API and have had over a month of waiting between each stage. The Navy kids in my Primary class reported to Pensacola about the same time I started API (early July) and started as soon as they were done checking in with at most a week or two of waiting at any point. The Coasties wait six months plus before starting. Of course, this varies based on the ebb and flow of what's going on, but non-Navy is generally not a priority for school seats.
     
  19. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    You are not given a fighter, you earn one by your performance, aptitude, attitude.

    If you are a top performer, you will get your choice. If you are at the bottom, you will have no choice.

    The question needs to be, what do you want to do if you don't get a pilot slot at all?

    How about if you had a choice of no pilot slot at all, or flying airlift?

    I would not like shipboard life...a few days would be fun, but not an entire cruise...but the folks I know from the navy enjoyed being in the navy.

    Btw, navy heavies are land based...the small acft ( fighters etc) are ship based.
     

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