Question to Pilots

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by ps92, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. ps92

    ps92 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know there are a few pilots on here from a few different branches. I'm curious about your life stories; how did you get to the point where you are today? Did you go to the academy, ROTC, OCS? Do you choose which type of aircraft you choose or is it assigned to you?

    Say I were to do Army or Air Force ROTC, if I branch aviation what are the chances of me actually flying (with respect to each branch)? I have heard it is largely warrant officers that fly. I know you have to work hard to be high enough on the OML to branch aviation, but could I get stuck as a flight tech when I really want to go to flight school?

    Basically: I want to fly, what do I have to do?
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    The AFROTC AFSC board for 2012 just came out. In the AFROTC world you get your career path as a jr in college.

    For our DS's det 10 out of 10 got rated slots....6 UPT, 2 CSO (WSOs) and 2 ABM. For VT (nick4060) they had 11 get rated, and I believe it was 9 UPT and 2 CSOs. Again 100%

    The OML will matter, but if you can fill those squares, including gpa, medical, ROTC rating, AFOQT and PFT at a good level than chances are good.

    Attending an SA will always increase your chances big time over ROTC. USMA and AFA are the way to go if you want your best shots. The problem is not everyone is molded to live an SA life.

    Alot also goes into the equation, the big part of that equation is manpower needs. I am assuming you are 17/18, thus you are 4 yrs out from when this will become an issue. Nobody here can tell you what the UPT pipeline will look like at that moment. Nobody here is in manpower for the Army or the AF. What they need for 2012 may be more or less than for 2015/16 when you hit the pipeline. Not one cadet back in 08 predicted that the AF would be going through force shape re-structuring in 11 when they signed their scholarship papers. Nobody last yr could have predicted that the AFA would reduce their incoming classes for 15,16 and 17 to the predicted levels that have been announced. AGAIN, none of us work for manpower aka MPC.

    All anyone can say is what our DS was told back in 08 from his det CC...from historical data if everything remains the same, your chances are good if you...

    1. GPA 3.2+
    2. Medically qualified
    3. PFT over 96
    4. AFOQT in the 90's
    5. TBAS score
    6. Rank top 1/3 at SFT
    7. Involved in the det.

    He told him if he had that he would have a 95% chance of UPT. The only one that didn't get UPT as 1st pick, got CSO because he had PRK, thus medical issue. Hence, it turned out 100% of them got 1st pick that met all of the stats the CC stated to him 3 yrs ago.

    Good luck.

    OBTW, the real question for you should be do you want FW or RW. Scout loves his RW. I am sure he would hate to be flying a C-130. Bullet who flew the 15E and jumped with the 82nd never liked jumping out of RW airframes...you know that silly little thing called ejection seat made him like FW more.

    It is all about where your adrenaline rush leans towards.

    Finally, for the AF flight techs, the guys that work on the plane are enlisted. The officers in charge of Maintenance are not flight techs.

    You should also know that the door never closes for the AF re:flying until you past that 27 1/2 yr marker. There is a lot of time even if you don't get it originally.

    There is another thread here going about 1000 flight hours for NASA. Col. Mike Goode went up with NASA as a mission specialist to repair the Hubble, he is the guy the news footage showed around the world. He originally was an engineer with the AF (Notre Dame AFROTC grad), converted to WSO as an O3. He never gave up on his dream.

    Take the time and decide what you want to fly, from there attack the path. Best wishes and hopes.

    OBTW I think there are amazing things for both RW and FW. Anyone around either of them knows what they do is awesome and scary.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    Before everyone else chimes in with it: joining the military with the knowledge that ONLY flying will make you happy is a guaranteed way to be disappointed. Joining to serve and HOPING to fly is a good approach.

    As a commissioned officer in the Army you can fly through USMA or ROTC, which is to say aviators come from both commissioning sources. Your chances are slightly better through USMA, numerically speaking.

    I highly encourage you to look through the Army Aviation thread in the USMA forum. Below is an excerpt from it, which I posted in answer to the "only warrant officers fly" myth. Also, in the army the "flight techs" are enlisted. Officers are aviators.

    Excerpt:


    Army aviation is different from other military aviation branches in that all commissioned aviators will hold command positions. Your job will never be to "just fly." You will be a platoon leader, company commander, and possibly even get a second command if you're good.

    You will lead your soldiers and officers, manage the maintenance workflow of your aircraft (more on that if folks are curious), create and implement an aircrew training program, execute the commander's flying hour program, and train your platoon or company on your mission-essential tasks for wartime. Oh, and you'll be expected to be as competent as your best warrant officer in the cockpit, if not more so.

    Will some warrant officers fly more than you will? Yes. Instructor pilots and maintenance test pilots will for sure. They outfly all the other warrant officers. But everyone must meet their semi-annual minimums. You can't just be put on a shelf. As a PL, you'll fly quite a lot, especially if you're deployed. Heck, I still logged 3-4 flights a week after I moved up to being a Battle Captain. I flew enough hours as a PL to meet the senior aviator badge requirements (just waiting on time, now).

    So, the idea that warrants do all the flying and you will not is an outright myth, mostly perpetuated by well-meaning but clueless non-aviators. There will be times when you don't fly. But there will also be times when the thought of another hour in the cockpit makes you sick.

    Aviation is a very rewarding field, especially in the Army. You will have a chance to fly with the best helicopter crews on the planet. You will have the opportunity to lead outstanding Soldiers. You will have the chance to be part of the "close fight" in a way that many others will never experience. And they pay you extra to do it.

    Why branch anything else? Remember, kids...any dummy can carry a rucksack and a rifle. There's no entrance exam for the infantry.
     
  4. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    PS: anyone can fly an airplane. Airplanes want to fly. 12 year olds fly across the country in airplanes. Ever seen one do it in a helicopter? :wink:
     
  5. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    I do agree with scout on this:

    I always say you know what they call a 1st Lt pilot in the AF or Army?

    LT!

    You join to wear the uniform, not the bag.

    Dreams/goals are great, but to be a successful officer and get promoted you will need to step away from the aircraft. Again, I won't speak for the Army, but I can tell you to make O5/6 from a statistical position and lead an AF squadron, you will need to be well rounded, which means PME, and if you want to make Gen., you will do a chair force assignment.

    That is why wearing that uniform be it green or blue matters the most in this process.

    I also agree with:
    This is true...at a young age, all you want is to fly every single day, and when you aren't flying you are ticked mainly because you have no other job, but to learn to fly the airframe. When you get older, you will also have other duties besides flying, (AF...flight commander, Weapons Chief, Scheduling, ADO, DO, CC,etc) and than you will be actually thinking about get me down because I have 30 emails to respond to, a brief to write and 9 OPRs due by Friday...on top of the debrief for this double turn (which would take about 2-3 HOURS!), and meanwhile my kid is playing football for division championships and I am missing it.

    Scout: because I admire and respect you so much I will leave that last post alone!
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2011
  6. ps92

    ps92 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    How can you be a PL as an aviator? I guess I'm not exactly an expert on the hierarchy and inner-workings of rankings in aviation. If your job is to fly a tanker to refuel, or fly fighters and drop bombs, then what kind of platoon will you be leading?
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    I'm talking Army aviation, boss. I can't speak for the Air Force.
     
  8. ps92

    ps92 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm considering Army aviation as well, could you share for that branch? I'd like to understand more about the job of an aviator before I sign any contract.
     
  9. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    As I stated in my first response, please read the Army Aviation thread in the USMA forum. A simple search for "army aviation" will bring it up.
     
  10. ps92

    ps92 Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Will do. Many thanks to you scout and pima.. All very useful information.
     
  11. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    Anytime. PM if you have questions.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,747
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Is it true pilots have to kiss their co-pilot or, in the event there is no co-pilot, their wingman, every time they land? :confused:
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Messages:
    12,795
    Likes Received:
    930
    In the AF world you become an IP or IWSO or INAV. I= Instructor.

    Like Scout said it is about how many hours you have, but for the AF the command must put you up for I anything. You can have 1000 hrs, but they may not put you into the I program before the other guy/gal with 500 hrs. The hrs are an exaggerated number.

    In the AF the I has no impact re: your desk job. You could be an FCC and not be an I. Granted that is rarer than rare, but FCC is your job when you are not flying. I is your position when flying.

    The I program has many steps, and many rides, where you get "checked out". You don't just walk in after amt of C or X hours and get omnious dominous you are now an IP.

    I think for you, go with your heart and decide what you want to fly. I understand that at this age you probably have never flown either, yet impo, there has to be one way you tilt more than the other.

    Look at their missions.

    I am sure Scout will agree with me, don't take AF because you expect to get the 22, and don't take Army because you want the Cobra.

    You will be really distraught if you do get UPT for either and wash out, but yet you still owe 4 yrs to the branch in whatever branch of that branch they send you to...for all you know it could be Accounting and Finance or Mission Support.

    Go to the branch that you want to wear their uniform...I have to say, I am not a fan of the Army Dress uniform, but I do think they look so cool in their cavalry cover.

    I personally like the look of blues!::wink:

    I also like as a spouse that when Bullet went anywhere, I could send him with a shopping list.:shake:
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    Definitely don't join the Army to fly the Cobra....it was retired in 1997!

    The old Snakedrivers are still lamenting its death...


    As for the uniforms, I have to disagree...

    Army blues:

    [​IMG]

    Air Force russian suits...I mean blues :wink:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,295
    Likes Received:
    129
    Clearly, based on the army picture, they don't value being able to see in front of them more than 2 steps! (Maybe three, I'll give them some credit).

    Reminds me of the female wheel caps at USAFA. Their bill is more vertical than the male ones so all the girls, if wearing the cap right, had to watch the feet in front of them and hope nothing higher was in their path! :D
     
  16. Boozebin

    Boozebin Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    647
    Likes Received:
    313
    I got to admit the picture comparison made me laugh Scout :yllol:… It reminded me of those weight loss pictures you see…

    In the before picture you have the woman wearing ugly clothes, not smiling, no make-up, their hair pulled back. Basically like they just woke up … :thumbdown:

    And the you have the after shot of them all tan, their hair done up smiling, make-up done, etc….:thumb:

    That’s like your picture… Army guys at an event showing their best with a beautiful background :thumb: and the AF guys in a white background posing picture…:thumbdown:

    I still like my AF Blue though!!!
     
  17. bugsy

    bugsy Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    202
    Likes Received:
    0
    Only the Eagle pilots, now dont tell any of my Spad or Vampire breathren that I just said that.

    ---------------

    Both uniforms above look sharp, its the bar coded officers that I dont get. Maybe my iphone has an app for that.
     
  18. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    Bar coded officers?
     
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2010
    Messages:
    4,272
    Likes Received:
    605
    It's my favorite airline uniform too.
     
  20. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Messages:
    2,236
    Likes Received:
    272
    Navy sleeve ranks?
     

Share This Page