Navy? A better choice for fighters than AF?

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by flyguy 96, Apr 5, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi. I plan to become a fighter pilot. I'm going either to the USAF or Navy ROTC since they have the most. However, I'm in a dilemma. Which branch has the best chance of fighters? I heard it was the navy because they have a higher percentage fighters than the AF, therefore they are composed of more fighters, but USAF has more, but they include more varieties of other aircraft such as heavies and RPA. I thought about how people thought of Air Force whenever they think of flying, therefore they would be more competitive. I was reading a thread that discussed a similar topic and it mentioned how he USAF is purchasing over 1 thousand F35s and more than the other services. However, I think there's a kick to that because newer pilots out of UPT won't be track selecting to them yet, the f16c and f15c pilots will all transition into them, making no difference in numbers of fighters the USAF has. Although the USAF has the most aircraft, only 60 percent of those are active duty, and 40 percent are the reserves. I also heard the navy gets helo drafts. I looked on the CNATRA website and figured out that I would have to be the top 10 percent in primary flight training. I also saw the some of what they learn in navy flight school. I love aerospace stuff so what naval aviators learn doesn't look hard at all(I'm familiar with those things from games such as Microsoft FSX), it's just the competition and being at the top of the class. However, there seems no way to predict my performance against others in navy primary flight training in the future because I'll never know who I am up against. I plan to have my private pilot license and instrument rating before I graduate college. I also plan to major in aerospace engineering. There are too many factors that seem to make it be that the chances are equal in both services. What are your suggestions? If I want to fly fighters, should I just go the Air National guard way there and apply to fighter units? Thanks.

    CNATRA's website
    http://www.cnatra.navy.mil/training_pilot.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  2. skismuggs

    skismuggs Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Messages:
    239
    Likes Received:
    137
    1 dont usually comment on this section but i dont understand this part. if navy has for example 50/100 fighters (50%) and air force has 200/500 (40%) fighters, air force still has 150 actual fighters more than navy right? so isnt it safe to say that you will have a better chance of landing an actual fighter aircraft with all other things (class rank, upt etc results) equal? your post seems to already be slanted towards navy and you might have already answered your question. maybe i am making this too simple than it actually is. good luck.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    There are so many variables in this whole thing that you simply need to pick the service that is best for you. What happens if your eye sight fails? What happens if you don't get a flight spot? You could get to flight school and they might have no fighter spots for your class, what happens then? This happened to one of my closest friend. He had 1000s of flight hours by the time we graduated and finished first in his class, no jet spots. He flew C-2s. This is rare, but it can happen. I had many friends who at Navy flight school had 1 fighter spot. And please never mention video games equaling an understanding! Yes pilots use it for some training but sitting in the confines of your home without amy military flight training just does not equal an understanding. My friends who were dropped from flight school did not drop because of a lack of knowledge or intelligence, they simply didn't have a 'good stick' which is a totally different beast altogether. Friends of mine who are known to have a 'good stick' in the flight community actually had little to no flight training. Most of them it was sort of natural.

    Remember in AFTOTC you have to get selected for Field Training to continue in the program. So that is another it. If you earn a NROTC scholarship you are guaranteed active duty. If you aren't scholarship then you must achieve advance standing. These are just a few ifs. You can numbers game this all day. Bottom line is to pick the service best for you and continue down the path towards aviation. But a million things can and do happen along the way, so what happens if you any of the million things do happen and you aren't a fighter pilot?
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Something they also need to look at is the rate of washing out in UPT. For example, it USAF has a 25% wash out rate, and gives only 25% to fighters, from a pool of 100, about 20 will get fighters. Now if USN has a washout rate of 33% and 30% get fighters the chances are the exact same of @20 out of 100.

    Bullet will tell you that the AF is purchasing @1000 more F35s than the Navy.

    If I am reading your post correctly you are yet in college, so let's assume you will be the class of 2020. On a great day you wouldn't wing until 2021. The AF intends to drop their 1st batch of F35s out of UPT in 2017. By the time you come along 35s will be dropping at a very steady rate.
    ~ Hill AFB goes operational within the next year. Luke school house just passed their 1000 training sortie.

    Secondly,yes they typically xtrain pilots first, but now also remember that in the AF to make rank, pilots need to step out of the cockpit. The young 03 that gets to xtrain in 2018 (assume after their first tour) . arrives at their 1st 35 op tour 2019. By the time that tour is over....right about the time you would wing out of UPT the AF could be looking at him going to in residence school as an O4 or his original pilot commitment being up and leaving to go to the Airlines. Either way they need to refill that position to maintain C status.
    ~ Look at Stealths DS, he is a prime example. He winged in 2013 with a 16. He can walk in 2021 even if he gets a 35 in 2016 or 17.
    ~~ When Bullet converted into the Strike Eagle there were no Lt. arriving at Elmendorf. By the time we left 3 years later they were aariving at a steady base and it was very rare to see anyone coming in from the xtraining path.

    As far as ANG works, the system is different. It is more like a job interview. They look to see if you are a fit for their unit. They might not have any openings when you want to apply. What will you do if you have to wait for years? Will you be able to afford to fly around the country for the interview at each fighter unit?

    Right now as Navyhoops stated, your concern should be more about clearing the first hurdles. That would be for AFROTC SFT. Selection rates have varied from 90% to 60% to 83% over the past 3 years. No SFT = no commissioning. Than it is the rated board. This year they picked up@400 for pilot. I don't know how many NROTC picked up for their rated board.

    Have plan B in place of what if? What if the Navy says we need you to be a submariner even if you ask to go rated? There is a poster here that this happened to her DS this year. What if the AF says your rated board scores placed you into the RPA pile? Which branch would be more desirable to you if you were psychic and knew that there would be no fighters? If you immediately say SWO than go Navy. Don't worry about the chances.

    I also agree with Navyhoops regarding the medical aspect. Just because you pass the DoDMERB exam does not mean you will pass the FAA FC1 physical. They could waive you for AD, but not for rated, thus you would still serve. Which branch do you want than?
     
    flyguy 96 and cb7893 like this.
  5. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,063
    Likes Received:
    379
    Pima,

    Assuming your facts are correct and I do, your post is an example of the value of this forum.

    Concise yet thorough and right to the point.
     
    MotoMan, flyguy 96 and d22 like this.
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Bullet (my DH) works on the 35 at the Pentagon. He basically can tell you the proposed dates,those that are not classified, for everything from the AF side. I asked him this a.m. how many 35s are on the AF books currently compared to Navy. He said it is over a 1000.

    I asked him when the first UPT drop be, and he said it is expected to be in 2017.

    I knew about Luke sorties because the AF publicly announced it in the news thus week.

    The way conversions typically work will be the initial cadre. They are trained and become the IPs They than start converting squadrons over. Hill is expected to be up and running this year. That means come 2019 those first squadron members will be moving on, and again many will be offered jobs anywhere from Weapons school to ACSC and some will be separating to go and fly for airlines. They will need new young officers to come in.
    ~ Not everyone will be selected to convert, even if they have the experience because they still need to keep some flying until the new airframe is fully transitioned from an op perspective.
    ~~ The 111 didn't get boneyarded until probably 97 or so. Cannon was the last base to mothball.
    ~~ additionally don't assume it will be just 16 pilots. The strike had guys from the 4, 111, 15 and 10s convert over. Many were from the 4 and 111s because the strike was their replacement.
    ~~ If you look at even RPAs now, the problem they are facing is in part due to the rank of many officers (conversion).

    The most important thing really is you can be the best in your class, but like Navy stated if there are no 35s in the drop than you won't go 35.
    ~ DS winged from Laughlin last year. There were no 16s. 1 22 and 1 15E. The same weekend Columbus winged. No 22, but they had a 16.

    If you truly want fighters than be the very best throughout AFROTC, including a high score on the AFOQT, and PCSM. This will make you competitive for ENJJPT. The rule of thumb is everyone gets a fighter/bomber out of the drop no matter how low in the rank you are.. However, a B52is a bomber, and an AC130 drops there too.

    I am not sure if the Navy has a UPT schoolhouse like that.

    I would also investigate how they work UPT. Do they waive IFS if the student has their PPL? Do they get points for the rated board if they have any flight hours like they do for AF selection?

    Again, it is great to have goals, but keep your eye on the immediate goal. For AFROTC cadets, even scholarship, it is not commissioning, but SFT.
    ~ NROTC students on scholarship get to pass go on this aspect as sophomores. They know that they will commission as long as they follow the requirements.

    That is a hard decision if awarded both AFROTC and NROTC scholarships. Do you take the AFROTC scholarship believing you have a higher chance years down the pike or do you take the NROTC scholarship knowing that you are guaranteed commissioning.

    OBTW, the reason my DS and Bullet went AF was a running joke for them. They liked knowing when they took off the runway was going to be exactly where they left it when they returned! I liked the idea that they weren't searching for a stamp size object (carrier) on a football field.(ocean).
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  7. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    Navy has IFS which is like pre training. It can be skipped with certain items such as PPL or certain flight hours. I believe UPT for the AF is what API is for the Navy. For Naval Aviation info check out airwarriors.com. Similar type forum to this site focused on Naval Aviation. Lots of good information there. The general rule for aviation is there are are roughly the same number of spots for USNA as ROTC grads for flight spots. For 2015 looks like 243 for USNA which means ROTC had about the same.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  8. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Navyhoops,

    Are you saying API is their UPT or it is their ENJJPT program?

    That is interesting regarding numbers. I believe if my calculations are correct the AF wings about 1200 a year to the Navy's 500.
    ~ 3 UPT bases (Columbus, Laughlin and Vance) that wing about 325 each and around 175-200 out of ENJJPT.
    ~~ Caveat I don't know how many are ANG total, but assume 10%. Bringing the total to let's say 1100 overall, and around 800 the other3 bases.

    Now if you go from that number and uses the avg UPT class wings @25% to fighters, exluding ENJPPT, than 200 would get fighters from the 3 and @ 150 would from ENJJPT.

    That would mean @350 in total annually.

    This brings it back to why you shouldn't look at only the stats per se. If the Navy only drops 100 out of the 450, the odds now are more favorable for AF since they have 30% rate.

    I would also look at the wash out rate too. For the AF it is @15-20% for IFS. Than those that move onto UPT have a 25% wash out rate at UPT. If the Navy's rate is the same, and 450 start at IFS, by the time they get to UPT the class is starting with @335. By drop night they would be down to 250.
    ~ Back to the stat issue than yes now the Navy is better statistically because it is closer to 40% compared to 30%.

    In the end if anyone eally wants to play the stat game, just looking at the big picture isn't enough. Look at all of the stats from the minute you start the path.

    FWIW flyguy, I will say this ...,the majority of AF posters your age say the exact same thing on this forum. They want fighters or rotors.
    Very few say heavies, unless they already have the long term goal to go airlines. That being said, when they get their airframe, and go ops they will swear on their 1st born that their airframe is the absolute best and mission essential in the AF. It is different when you get in and live the mission. Your views change because you have more exposure to those missions.
    ~ Flieger flew both the 16 and The 135. He will defend both airframes as the best.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  9. Physicsguru

    Physicsguru Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    196
    Likes Received:
    74
    I'm reminded of when I was in NROTC, we had a guy who was die hard F-14 wannabie. His father worked at Pt Mugu so he was even able to get simulator time there. He graduated near the top of his class in ROTC, got to Pensacola, and got the NAMI whammy (eyesight not 20/20). Didn't slow him down a lick...ended up becoming an F-14 back seater. Unfortunately, the Tomcats were decommissioned and he transistioned to EA-6B.

    But!...he was able to cross train and got designated a Naval Aviator. Eventually he ended up the CO of a Test/Eval squadron and got loads of flight time on different platforms.

    But back to the point...yes, both Navy and AF fly fighters. The airmanship is pretty much the same (well, except for the controlled crash at the end), though there is some differences in procedures. As was said earlier, though, outside circumstances may affect your aircraft slot. When I was at VT-10 (basic NFO), jet slots were available for any one who wanted, but patrol was highly selective.

    So my advice: don't choose the program based on the aircraft, but on the service itself. After that, just do the best you can! Good luck.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  10. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you very much!
     
  11. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    W
    What would be a better thing to major in for ENJJPT?
     
  12. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    The Navy publishes that they get 40/40/20 % from USNA/ROTC/OCS. Also this doesn't include NFO numbers, just pilot that I mentioned earlier. Guessing the % is similar for NFO. I think there were 79 spots for NFO for Navy last year from USNA. Also this does not include Marine numbers either. USMC had 89 pilots and 5 NFO from USNA. I believe NROTC MO follows this trend also. So there are more to the numbers.

    Have to research the other questions unless someone else chimes in.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    OBTW for AFROTC they had a total of 800+....…BUT...,
    391 went Pilot, the others went CSO(Navy RIO), RPA and SBM, plus alternates.

    So if we are doing stats only. There was for the class of 16, less than a 50% chance to get pilot.

    Now for my DSs year group they had a 95% national rate for pilot.

    Again, nobody here can see what the needs of either branch will be in a few years. The class of 16 AFROTC never saw the selection rate of 60% after the class before them had a 93% rate. Many AFROTC 200s lived in fear this year that the rate would be the same, only to see it rise.
    ~~~ Now here is the stat issue again. The % rate for SFT changed, but the number really hasn't. They still push through between 2100-2300 cadets. Think about it. Adding even 200 more cadets would not drop the rate 35% unless the original pool was much larger.
    ~ Those cadets had no control over one thing....their year group, which was impacted all because of manpower needs by the branch. Born one year earlier or one year later and their path might have been different.
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  14. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  15. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    I also heard it is also about tming and luck. I heard that in a few years, there will be a military pilot shortage.
     
  16. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ok. So basically I would have to be the top 10 percent of all 200+ people in my class in flight school?
     
  17. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,093
    Likes Received:
    2,453
    You are right, there are waves to all this. So much of it is about timing. Right now in the Navy there is not an RPA track, by the time you get there, it could happen. No one knows. I know tons of pilots to include my best friend who is an 18 guy. Has been in flying billets his whole career until his last one. Flight school, IP, fleet tour, Blue Angel, fleet tour, school tour. Was selected for CO and declined. I have another buddy who never wanted to touch a desk on the Navy side. He had 20 years of flying tours with no desk time. But he never made 0-5 and was happy with that. It's good you are looking at things. But remember there is so much more to this. Remember life happens too. Marriages, kids, likes/dislikes, quality of life. These things might not matter at 17 but they will mean a lot at 22, 24 and beyond. Do your research but honestly pick a service that you happiest in. There are so many ifs and you need to be happy if one of those ifs happen.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,809
    Likes Received:
    956
    Flyguy,

    You can't look at your major as an issue.

    Here's why...

    Just like the Navy there are critical majors for manning. IE if you decide to major in EE for a scholarship or SFT, the AF may say we need you more as an EE than a pilot when it comes to the rated board.
    ~ Many posters would refer this to as gaming.
    ~~ IOWS even if your scores are higher than a nontech major, HQ might take the nontech because they need you to work in your major.

    You major in something you have no real desire from an academic aspect, your cgpa may not be high enough.
    ~ ENJJPT is very competitive.
    ~~ I don't know if it has changed, but it use to be you were picked up for UPT as a 300. The fall of your 400 year ENJPPT would announce their list.
    ~~ You will compete against USAFA candidates too for ENJJPT selection.

    Now here is where I say your major matters. TEST PILOT SCHOOL
    ~ They basically always will go an engineering major for that board...and...YES there are TP for heavies too.
    ~~ That being said, AGAIN, you have many hurdles to clear before that is even a glimpse in your eye.
    ~~~ SFT, IFS, UPT, and Command support for TPS,
     
    flyguy 96 likes this.
  19. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess the National Guard way there is the best way because if I don't get into a fighter unit,I can remain on enlisted status while going to the airlines since ANG is part-time. It would be somewhat of a win/win situation since I ouldn't have to worry about going AD for an obligation with RPA's. Thanks!
     
  20. flyguy 96

    flyguy 96 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    0
    What if I major in basket weaving or aviation science(Both are very easy majors)? Or I major in Russian studies, which I think is better because my overall goal is to become an astronaut so I am focused on test pilot school but I want to test fly new fighters. I came up with another pan. I will major in Russian studies first in college while I'm in AFROTC. That major is really easy compared to aerospace engineering, so my GPA will be higher( I expect it to be really low with engineering which is another problem). If I make SFT, and my GPA is high while studying Russian culture, I have a chance to make ENJJPT? If I do go to ENJJPT, I will later transition after hopefully flying fighters to the ANG after my commitment so tat I can go back to school and then get my aerospace engineering degree. Is this a good plan? Or will the ENJJPT board look at people differently than those with the harder engineering degrees? I have heard that they consider engineering majors more desirable because they know a lot about aircraft. But I also heard that majors don't matter when applying to the ENJJPT board.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page