Pilot Slot Question

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by recon4ds, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. recon4ds

    recon4ds Member

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    If a Cadet is not given the opportunity to participate in the Soaring Program, the Jump Program (Wings of Blue/Wings of Green), or the Powered Flight Program and they do not have an Engineering major, are their chances of getting a Pilot slot diminished? If their chances are diminished, what alternative programs/clubs would be recommended to improve their chances for a Pilot slot? Or, does their situation (given the above scenario) dictate that they are very unlikely to achieve a Pilot slot. Thank you.
     
  2. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    No effect on getting a pilot slot. Be in the top 75% of the class and it's virtually a guarantee.
     
  3. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Agreed, though it'll be interesting to see what effect, if any, the all in system will have...

    http://www.usafa.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123404324
     
  4. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    AFROTC has been doing this for years, and so has OCS. Our DS will wing as a pilot in two weeks. He was non tech. Meanwhile his friend that was tech got CSO.

    It came down to the fact that DS had a higher AFOQT score, a higher TBAS and more flight hours. His cgpa was also higher, even after the bump they give for engineering majors compared to no bump for non-techs.

    Actually, it was not just one friend that was tech that got CSO. He had another friend a year later that also got CSO.

    I doubt a lot of CSO/ABM/RPAs are going to be given to AFA cadets, I would think that the only ones that might get them are those that are at the bottom of the list.

    I have not seen how many out of AFROTC15 got CSO/ABM/RPA, but it would be a tell to see if less pilot slots were given out to the 300s because than the AFA cadets might not see any change, and the AF is just doing this as a cover all their bases. In years past, AFROTC was handing out about 95% pilot as long as the cadet met certain STDs. It appears that this year from the posts I have seen more RPAs were handed out than in years past.
     
  5. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    http://www.serviceacademyforums.com/showthread.php?t=36614
    The Following was posted on a Parents Group facebook page.

    "..What is changing for the Class of 2015 and beyond is the process to become a rated officer (pilot, Combat System Officer, Air Battle Manager and Remotely Piloted Aircraft). The Academy, as well as ROTC, now has an 'all in' approach to the rated jobs. What does that mean? When a cadet, your cadet, volunteers for a rated AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code, or job), they volunteer for all four AFSCS: Pilot, CSO, ABM and RPA. So, a cadet may be offered RPA vice pilot or they may be picked as a CSO or ABM. If they don't like that, they will have an opportunity to opt out of that AFSC choice if they want. They then enter the non-rated pool along with all the other cadets and they have up to 6 choices for jobs. They may not get their first choice but chances are good they'll get one of their top 6. How are these choices made? It's complicated but cadets are ranked on a Board Order of Merit that takes into account their GPA, military and physical fitness scores, evaluations from their AOCs and the like. For rated assignments, tests for aviation are included as well as any flying experience. My advice for you to give to your cadet -- always do your best. If you want to fly, enroll in as many airmanship programs as you can. I hope I didn't muddle this up too much. And we'll continue to have about 50% of our grads go to the rated community. David K. Cannon, Director of Communication, US Air Force Academy"

    NOTE: During the last decade or more there have generally been enough pilot slots for all the USAFA grads that wanted one and were physically qualified for them. About half the class. None of us know (and I suspect either does USAFA) exactly what impact (if any) this new method will have on the number of pilot slots (not just rated) awarded. Don't forget that the "new" quartile system will also impact rated selection.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  6. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Let's say some young stud wants to be a fighter pilot but gets RPA. Is that his new career path or can he at some time in the future change to the fighter community? And if so, how does he do that?
     
  7. Dad

    Dad Member

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    Needs of AF > studliness. Looks like you get 1 shot a rated slot and you put in your preferences, but AF picks it for you. Not sure about down the road, but in a downsizing era it does not look too promising for the AF to spend big $ twice for training and retraining again... it could happen; just not very likely.
     
  8. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    According to Dave K. Cannon, Director of Communication, US Air Force Academy on a USAFA Parents Facebook page: "When a cadet, your cadet, volunteers for a rated AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code, or job), they volunteer for all four AFSCS: Pilot, CSO, ABM and RPA. So, a cadet may be offered RPA vice pilot or they may be picked as a CSO or ABM. If they don't like that, they will have an opportunity to opt out of that AFSC choice if they want. They then enter the non-rated pool along with all the other cadets and they have up to 6 choices for jobs."
    ___________

    An additional concern might be how/when the cadets that decide they don't want their rated AFSCs (RPA for instance) can competed with the cadets choosing non-rated AFSCs (the non-rated pool). Unlike AFROTC the rated slots will be announced at the same time as the non-rated. Will the cadets that choose NOT to accept their rated slot.....get the left over non-rated AFSCs?
    ____________

    The following was posted by a parent that is an officer in one of the USAFA Parent's Clubs and was also posted on Facebook:

    "I discussed this with one of the grand poo bahs at the academy recently because these questions are being asked by our parents. These measures are not really going to apply so much for rated slots for 2015, though they will be considered, the AFOQT will only be a minor factor because the Academy knows that 2015 never prepped for the AFOQT and the ROTC cadets did, TBAS - does become a factor, because while it is possible to prep for the AFOQT (and the ROTC cadets do so), it is not possible to prep for TBAS - you either have those traits or you don't. At the end of the day the PSCM score - a composite of Order of Merit, TBAS, and AFOQT will become the basis of rated slots beginning with 2016 - who will prep for AFOQT and also have mandatory powered flight if they want to be considered as a pilot, Nav, etc.

    The really interesting aspect of this for 2015 is how they will use the quartile system in giving assignments."

    FWIW: I believe I've read a couple of times on this board that if you turn down any rated AFSC....you will never (during your AF career) be able to pursue a rated slot. Maybe someone else can confirm this.
     
  9. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Wow. My sympathies to all the cadets who thought that the best way to become a pilot and officer was to go to the Air Force Academy. That is grim.
     
  10. USAFA83GradWife

    USAFA83GradWife Member

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    I don't think this means that this still isn't the best way to become a pilot and officer. I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.
     
  11. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Hopefully none of my posts led you to this conclusion. While the method for selecting pilots will change the odds are still very good.

    The projected rated slots for the Class of 2015 is 455. I read somewhere that of that 455, 422 were supposedly pilot slots. The other 33 were RPA, CSO and ABM. The current class size is 878 (as of Feb 28, 2014)...and will likely get smaller by May 2015. Unless there is another commissioning source in any branch that provides it's grads with almost a 50% chance at a pilot slot, then I think USAFA might still be the best way to become a pilot and officer.
     
  12. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Ah, those statistics are a little better (except for the 33). Otherwise it reads that a hopeful has a 75% chance of NOT being a pilot. Of those 422 slots do all lead directly to advanced training in an airframe and on directly to a squadron? Or does a number get wings but no seat and are assigned other jobs?
     
  13. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    After graduation and leave, the 422 (those without a PPL) will head for IFS (Initial Flight Screening).
    http://www.baseops.net/militarypilot/usaf_ift.html
    Those that pass that course (and the cadets that already have a PPL) will then (eventually) be sent to UPT (Undergraduate Pilot Training).
    After that training they will Track Select. Depending on which track the UPT grads request (and which track they are selected for), they will be sent to additional training for fighters, bombers, helicopters, tankers/cargo planes ect. After successfully completing THAT, I believe they will be assigned to a squadron. Hopefully someone can jump in here and correct any steps that I've either missed or didn't explain well.

    Bottom line....being awarded a pilot slot is only the beginning of a lengthy (and expensive) process that will not result in wings for all those selected.
     
  14. buffalo

    buffalo USAFA 2013

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    Currently all those that complete UPT and earn wings will go to a follow on airframe or FAIP. I don't think UPT graduates in recent history have had to worry about flying a desk as a follow on assignment (maybe a predator though...), but some of our more senior posters are probably more qualified to answer that.
     
  15. Spud

    Spud BGO

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    Sorry, I could not find "FAIP" in the acronyms list. What does it stand for? Thanks.
     
  16. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    First Assignment Instructor Pilot. Basically your first flying job after graduation is to be an instructor for about 3 years. There are usually 1-2 T-6 FAIPs per drop, 1-2 T-38 FAIPs a year (at Vance at least), and I'm not sure how many T-1 FAIPs there are a year.

    After your FAIP tour, you're assigned to another aircraft.
     
  17. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I haven't seen any UPT grads being sent to RPAs for a while, other than people from Guard units who knew that was their assignment from the start. A lot of RPA slots are being filled by pilots who are losing their airframe (ie: Herk E models, etc).

    The FAIP slots in a given class vary, and where they drop in the class can be very different. In Son #1's UPT class he had two FAIP slots, one T-6A and one T-38. Both went very high in the class. The T-6A FAIP slot went as the #1 T-1 pick because that guy's wife was 7 months pregnant and he wanted to stay in one place for a while longer because of that. The T-38 slot went fairly high also because the guy was not quite high enough for a fighter so he took the T-38 FAIP hoping to get a fighter after. Other classes the FAIP slots drop at the bottom of the class if there are other planes available that people want.

    Son's FTU class at Luke had 3 former FAIPs, 6 guys from ENJJPT, 4 from the other three UPT bases, and one Guard guy. So, there were nearly as many former FAIPS as there were guys from regular UPT.

    Stealth_81
     
  18. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    +1 Stealth.

    The RPA students no longer to UPT, they are not giving them out for drop nights. They now go to San Antonio for training.

    When Bullet went through FTU, he had FAIPs in his class. For a few years FAIPs really weren't being dropped because they had enough grey beards to fill the IP roles at UPT. (Grey bears are guys that go to UPT as their last assignment). This was really popular in the late 90s because they were taking that assignment knowing they were going to retire after that assignment and did not want to be deployed. After 9/11 and airlines no longer hiring they were no longer requesting UPT, plus the AF wanted to keep them OP, they rejig it again to giving out FAIP assignments.

    JMPO, and looking back from history, it would not shock me with the predicted pilot shortage that grey beards will be volunteering again and the need for FAIPs will be reduced.
    ~~~ Better to have a 16 yr pilot than someone straight out of UPT training new students (no flaming...mpo). Plus better to have the newly winged get more years operational when you know they owe 9 instead of getting maybe 5 since they will have to be students at FTU.

    As far as some of the things being posted here about the chances, etc. I have a couple of things to throw into the equation.

    1. The AF knows that commercial airlines are going to be hiring at an insane rate for the next 5 yrs because since 2001 they have not been hiring.
    ~~~ Commercial airlines mandate retirement at 62 (?). If the bulk were last hired in 01, and the majority joined at 42 (20 ys ADAF) that means right now many are 55. The exodus is going to be huge before even the 15 grads have finished their 1st op tour.
    ~~~ Hence why you may see fewer FAIPS in the future,, PLUS more pilot slots being given

    2. The AF is bringing on line in the next 5 years a lot of 35s, even with the conversion of 16s to 35s you still need to add in point 1, airlines, into the equation.

    3. You are also going to loose those that will leave as soon as their pilot commitment is over. See point 1

    Again, jmpo, but I don't see the numbers for pilot dropping by a lot. I can see longer casual status occurring prior to UPT.

    As far as AFROTC, I have to say as an AFROTC grad parent, DS was told carry at least a 3.2, medically qualified, strong PFT, AFOQT and TBAS you will get a pilot slot.
    ~ DS's class had 100%
    ~ if you read through the AFROTC threads from last year too, nationally it was @95%.
    ~~~~ I don't know about this year.

    To me the real reason to go to the AFA is for the following reasons:
    1. You want to live the AFA lifestyle
    2. You have investigated the mandated AFA curriculum
    3. Probably the most important. Commissioning. AFROTC will go ADAF, but they are still part of the Reserves


    Going because you believe it is your best chance for UPT means nothing except you get to go to UPT. Making it through UPT is different. It is not just academics it is also about handling the stick, thus why PCSM2.0 was created.

    That all being said, I think AFA grads at UPT have an edge over ROTC and OCS. The academic pressure, the ability to fly in college is an edge compared to those without the opportunity. Flip side, in two short weeks my DS will wing, he will be going heavies, and after 6 years I will meet fencer at the winging. Her DS, AF grad, is also going heavies.
    ~Point being the slate is wiped clean when you arrive at UPT, and it all comes down to the number dropped for track night. 1 more and you go fighters, one less and you go heavies.
    ~~~~Ask flieger or Bullet about the mid 90s when no fighters dropped at all.

    Just saying, and now toss it in the circular filing cabinet.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  19. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Congrats Pima and Fencer and also to your sons!
     
  20. aggie83

    aggie83 Member

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    Pima - What is your son's first choice in heavies to fly?
     

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