Occupation after AROTC

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by armyman736, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. armyman736

    armyman736 Member

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    I am wanting to become a helicopter pilot If I were to attend and graduate from ROTC. What are my chances of getting this job and what are the qualifications. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. gojack

    gojack ....

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    "Branching" the process that the Army uses to assign new officers to specific branches is fairly complex.

    Simplified Version: All new Lt's are placed on a National Order of Merit List.
    The top candidates get to pick their branch first.

    Army Aviation is always one (if not thee) most popular Branch.

    So If you want to be an CO and fly, you had better be in the top 20% of your ROTC class (as a rule of thumb)
    * If you choose the CO/pilot route, and stay in the Army, you will eventually/inevitably be promoted out of flying.

    HOWEVER

    If all you want to do is fly, WO's Warrant Officers do the vast majority of the flying - NOT CO's (Commissioned Officers)
    Warrant Officers go through Basic Training then go on to Warrant Officer Candidate School (WOCS) Then Flight School - No College required.

    Army Warrant Officer Qualifications from GoArmy.com
    Requirements
    Applicants for the Warrant Officer Candidate School/Warrant Officer Flight Training program/ Technical Specialties must:

    * Have a high school diploma.
    * Be at least 18 years of age at the time of Regular Army enlistment and not have passed your 33rd birthday when the board convenes (age waiver will not be considered). High school seniors may also apply.
    * Be a citizen of the United States.
    * Score 90 or higher on the revised Flight Aptitude Selection Test (FAST). FAST test results are valid indefinitely as long as verifiable official records exist. No waivers are available for failure to meet the minimum FAST score.
    * Earn a minimum of 110 General Technical (GT) score on the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) (nonwaivable as well). The GT score is one component of the ASVAB results.
    * Meet the Active Duty Army's screening height and weight standards.
    * Take a complete physical exam at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) and meet entry medical fitness standards as determined by military medical authorities no more than eighteen months prior to the date of application. Must also undergo a Class 1A Flight Physical Examination in addition to the one conducted at the MEPS and have results approved by Flight Surgeons at Fort Rucker, Alabama, prior to the selection board. The Flight Physical must also be less than 18 months old.


    A little reading material for you:
    AFAST
    Link
    Link
    Link
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  3. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

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    I maybe be wrong but I think I read the Army use warrant officers to pilot choppers. If that is the case your chances would be very low to none existent.


    *edit, beat me to it gojack.
     
  4. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Officers and Warrent Officers fly helicopters. Warrants probably have more opportunities to fly. Aviation is alway one of the hardest branches to get. Want to know how to get aviation. Find the easiest major you can, because you are going to need to get very good grades (grades are 40% of your OML ranking). Spend all the time you are not studying working out in the gym or doing ROTC things. If you rank in the top 10% and are otherwise qualified (pass the AFAST and flight physical) you'll get aviation as a branch. But I would tell you that if you don't score in the top 10% you will still have an obligation to accept a commission and be an Officer in the Army in your assigned branch.
     
  5. FloridaDad

    FloridaDad Member

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    Would doing something like Aeronautical Science at ERAU and graduating with a commercial pilot license increase you chances?
     
  6. -Bull-

    -Bull- Member

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    Your major has pretty much 0 effect on your branch. It may look pretty on a resume, but to the Army, the numbers on the OML is what matters.
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    To dispel a few myths...

    1. Officers and Warrant Officers both fly. Some warrant officers will fly much more than their commissioned counterparts. Some will fly appreciably less. It's a matter of what role each is playing in the unit. Warrants officers have roles beyond the cockpit, and there are many who struggle to meet their flying hour minimums in the same way that an overworked primary staff captain might.

    2. Officers and Warrant Officers both have the same flying hour minimums. Warrants are not, by regulation, required or guaranteed to get more flight time.

    3. Whether or not you get "promoted out" of flying is a matter of the direction your career takes. GEN Cody was a current & qualified AH-64D aviator as the division commander for the 101st Airborne. There is no rank where one stops flying arbitrarily.

    As a commissioned officer, the qualifications to be an aviator are simple: A passing AFAST score, and a satisfactory flight physical.
     
  8. armyman736

    armyman736 Member

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    Thanks for all of your help. I have one more question though. If I graduate and do not go into flight school right away, could I eventually get into aviation?
     
  9. justin777

    justin777 Member

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    I have a question.... I was looking at the possible occupations and i was wondering out of the 15 choices or so, what are the least popular occupation choices to most cadets? I was hoping do go into either the medical corps/services, chaplain, or civil affairs. so really I am also wondering where those branches fare in the line of the popularity among cadets?
     
  10. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Armyman first. If you don't get Aviation there is next to no chance of you getting into Aviation down the road. Without a lot of explaination, it's just not done, unless you transition out of active duty, and go into the Guard or Reserves. Then you might be able to rebranch.

    Justin...all of the branches you are interested in are not basic branches, so unless you request an ed delay and get into medical school you won't enter the medical corp. Unless you take a basic branch and subsequently request transfer to the Chaplain Corp when you go to seminary you won't be a chaplain, and Civil Affairs is a Functional area that you will go into sometime around the 4 year mark, after you have served in one of the basic branches as a Lieutenant.

    I think I posted a rant on one of the other threads about entering our corporation as a mid level manager. You probably aren't going to be doing what you think you will be doing, or necessarily what you think you want to be doing. Please don't run away from the opportunity just because we can't guarantee you anything other than a gold bar. Whether you are a platoon leader, or the infantry branched supply officer, or the signal branches personnel officer you will be leading soldiers and doing the day to day business of the US Army.

    Hope that helps.
     
  11. leapyear

    leapyear Member

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    I find Clarkson's advice above to be typically valuable and insightful, but I'm sorry that things are the way they are. My son very much wants to branch Aviation if Army ROTC is the path he ultimately takes, but he has wanted to major in Engineering since he was 12. I find it incredible that the Army fails to appreciate the difference between a Criminal Justice major with a 3.9 (like me) and an Engineering major with a 3.0. Hence Clarkson's advice to aspiring aviators to "find the easiest major possible" in order to assure the maximum GPA points in the OML calculation. Realistic, yes. But in my opinion, a waste of a college education and an invitation by the Army to take the path of least resistance rather than encouraging its future leaders to truly challenge themselves and reject the easy means to an end. In my opinion the Navy and Air Force appear to have a much better appreciation for the technical majors in their future officer ranks. I fear the Army is missing out by discouraging their best and brightest from achieving their maximum academic potential.
     
  12. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Didn't I read somewhere on this forum they were going to start adding a couple tenths of a point to the GPAs of certain majors in a couple of years? Not that it eliminates all of the differential from non-STEM majors (which tend to have slightly higher overall GPAs), but it does acknowledge the value of taking a course of study that has little room for fudging the results.

    No disrespect to non-STEM majors (goaliegirl is one) is intended. We do have to remember that there is a balance of skills necessary both in the military and within the indivdual. An engineer who does not write well will not be as able to serve his/her country (trust me there are plenty of reports to file), nor will a literature specialist who struggles with spatial problem solving.
     
  13. leapyear

    leapyear Member

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    goaliedad, I absolutely agree that there is a place for officers of all interests and majors. When I was on active duty, most of us had no idea what our fellow officers majored in. I just regret that in the ROTC world, GPA alone, regardless of the difficulty of the major, has such a significant impact on the cadet's ability to branch into their primary field of interest, participate in training opportunities, etc. Those who desire to tackle the significantly harder classes required for a degree in engineering or the hard sciences should not, in my opinion, by discouraged from doing so, because I think the Army benefits from their education. The Army must recognize this to some degree, since to the best of my knowledge there is not an abundance of social science majors offered at West Point. Also, in my observation (and yours can certainly be different,) those of us who majored in crim justice, poly sci, sociology, etc. did not have GPAs "slightly higher" than our heartier classmates seeking an engineering, chemistry, or biology degree; they were significantly higher on average. Just doesn't seem equitable or logical to me.
     
  14. kevster

    kevster Member

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    leapyear, you make a great point but AFROTC is really not too different than what AROTC appears to be doing. We were told at indoc that this was the first year that tech majors would be receiving "very very slight boost" in their GPA. Our commandant of cadets even said that he was incredibly surprised that the AF was doing this. After discussing this with the other cadets I found that not everyone was pleased to hear this.

    Like goaliedad said both types of students offer different "skills." One of my best friends is an EE major and I am always AMAZED at how smart he is when I look over his tests. However, after taking a look at one of his History papers its quite evident where his skill set is.

    In your example of a 3.9 CJ major vs a 3.0 engineering major I would still give the nod to the C.J. major. Undoubtedly a 3.0 tech major is still a very impressive accomplishment but I still think that a CJ student who applies himself and aces his "easy" courses should get ranked higher (now I will concede that I am a non-tech major so take this FWIW :shake:).

    But in the end I have no qualms with the system as long as the military is getting the best candidates. :thumb:
     
  15. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Personally, I think the Army has the right mix of majors for its mission which is far more diversified than AF or Navy where there is far more technical knowledge required for the hardware they operate.

    And if someone really wants to fly rotor and do ROTC, they should apply to the University of North Dakota where they will do the training while in college.

    http://www.rotc.com/university-of-north-dakota/

    There are some things they cadet has to do to get in the program, but it pretty much gets you to the goal once you are in.
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    A few things need to be kept in mind here...

    1. You can get outstanding grades in any major.

    2. Not all of those with high GPAs will qualify for aviation. The flight physical is rigorous and there are many, many folks who are brilliant and high on the OML who are disqualified for medical reasons.

    3. It is possible to get into aviation from another branch, but the opportunities are extremely limited. In my career course class we had two branch transfer captains--one from armor and one from engineers. One of my former colleagues is in charge of branch transfer packets for intra-Army transfers at HRC right now. Believe me when I say that it's nothing you should count on.
     
  17. clarksonarmy

    clarksonarmy Recruiting Operations Officer at Clarkson Army

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    Great points all...One of our last cadets who branched aviation was a 3.9 GPA in areonautical engineering at Clarkson (which is insane). She was also an ESPN academic all american Women's basketball player, and our Battalion Commander. She was a freak of nature to say the least. And she attended the summer aviation internship at UND. I guess I should have phrased it, that you should find the major that you will enjoy and excel at. They have been talking for years now about how to weigh the different majors, and they keep telling us that they want STEMs, but they also want culturally aware officers, and they want....

    Here is another path to aviation that most don't think about, but I think Scout will back me up on this. I believe the Medical Services branch gets some med evac pilot slots. Although Med Services isn't the easiest branch to get either, this may be another way to get an opportunity to fly. If all else fails just ask for the 101st and get the opportunity to ride around in them.

    Again, my bottom line is that this is a great organization to hire into. Whether you get to work in the department you originally thought you would, you will still be an officer, and I think as you progress through the ranks you will find jobs and challenges that thrill you to death, and others that make you wonder what you were thinking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  18. Crusader 6

    Crusader 6 Member

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    Goaliedad, I was interested in UND's AROTC helicopter flight program, but I did some research and talked to an officer from the program that discouraged me from pursuing them. Apparently your first semester is basically your application to get into the flight program, and they only take ~15 people (this figure changes year to year). I hated the idea that if I didn't make it into the program, then I'm stuck in freaking North Dakota. I decided for Oregon State University instead, makes more sense since I'll be in state and they have a good ROTC program.

    EDIT: The officer didn't try to discourage me, but what he revealed about how the program works made me change my mind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2011
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yes. All commissioned officers who fly MEDEVAC are Medical Service officers, not aviation officers.
     
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

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    Crusader,

    Thanks for giving a little more detail as to UND's program. I did mention that "once you get in" you are going to get your goal. The details should be investigated by all applicants (just like the whole ROTC program). However, it is a clear and early decision that allows you to move on with your life (you can transfer out minus your ROTC scholarship if you have one) if you decide that UND is not for you and you don't get the helo slot.

    In your case, the crapshoot for a helo slot wasn't worth the risk of losing your home-state environment during the 4 years of college. That is a good choice for your objectives. If you are still interested in helo, it looks like clarksonarmy and scoutpilot have identified other avenues to the goal.

    This forum is great for bringing out these options most folks don't know exist.
     

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