RPA to Pilot

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by Arnold86, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Arnold86

    Arnold86 New Member

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    Last week rated slots released and I got an RPA slot. I am very happy and excited about this but after doing some research I realize this is probably the least desirable rated slot. I was wondering if anyone had some information about the supplemental pilot board, for example can you get more flight hours to improve your chances and retake the AFOQT? Also, is it possible to drop down to a CSO slot from RPA? I appreciate and answers you can give me.
     
  2. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I don't know about AFROTC, but I know that you can't if you were OCS. Our friends DS got CSO, wanted pilot. Was told either take it or leave it, they would not allow him to re-board again.

    I know in our DS det. They had a cadet picked up as an RPA pilot about two months before commissioning, but he was given an alt. slot his 300 year from the board. Somebody obviously fell out and he was picked up.

    From what I have been told the fall board is even harder to get pilot because there are fewer slots available. Remember, the OCS board meets in July and January for rated. Again, our friends DS was told when he got CSO from the July board it was because they had very few pilot slots left for that year group and the majority were given CSO or RPA.

    I also don't know about switching to CSO, I would talk to your CoC. Just my assumption, but it might be hard because I know some UPT students if they wash out are given the chance to go to UNT.

    OBTW, our friend is at Creech, he enjoys his job. When he wants to fly he does it on weekends. The idea that he isn't sent on TDY and deployments constantly is something he considered a perk.. If you go UPT or CSO, some planes are constantly deployed. For some heavy pilots they could be gone up to 200 days a year.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  3. Arnold86

    Arnold86 New Member

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    I got my slot through ROTC. The thing is I want to get deployed and being RPA it doesn't look like you get the chance to do that very often. I will have to talk to my cadre about this stuff but I'd rather be RPA than nothing.
     
  4. Powers45

    Powers45 Member

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    Just remember you can still reject the slot if you really do not want it and then go for a non-rated categorization your 400 year (they will not remove you from ROTC and a chance at commissioning). Then again, if you do so, you cannot apply to get a rated categorization again in your career. Do talk to your cadre ASAP, as I think that you have only around a 2 week window to accept or decline the slot!
     
  5. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    RPA pilots deploy quite frequently. RPA pilots take turns deploying much like regular AF pilots do. The pilots who are sitting at Creech, or Cannon do not do the take-offs and landings of the RPAs.

    The Launch and Recovery units in-theater have pilots who do ground ops and launch/recovery of the RPAs. The in-theater pilot gets the bird off the ground and then hands over control to the remote pilot to do the mission. Once they return to base, the Launch and Recovery pilot takes back the control and lands the aircraft.

    From what I have seen and heard it is about a 2 to 1 ratio where you are at the home base for 8 months and deployed for 4 months in a year. Some people volunteer for the Launch and Recovery unit more frequently.

    Stealth_81
     
  6. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Deployments are not all they are cracked up to be. Sleeping in tents/trailers, sand everywhere, no real escape for months on end, missing holidays, etc.
    ~~~ I get the gung ho attitude, but I think you have created an illusion.

    JMPO as a spouse that watched her DH and our friends go from the I can't wait to be deployed to...I'm being deployed again. One of our friends said it the best...I filled that square and I will be happy to never fill it again.

    The only negative I see about the RPA life is from a PCS POV. Bullet and I loved moving every few years. Didn't love the packing and unpacking, but loved living in new places. The Strike had 4 bases when we entered, and he x-trained from the 111. Basically if he never stepped out of the jet he could have never done a duplicate PCS. Whereas, for the RPAs you could see yourself rotating between two bases unless you step out or strain (PME in residence, Pentagon}

    Haven't been at OMG NO AlAMOGORDO for decades, but as a city girl I am not sure it would not drive me stir crazy even today.

    You also need to understand, that if they give you a CSO slot and you still want to parlay it into a pilot slot, you probably will have to wait a couple more years compared to an RPA pilot. UNT is @1 yr, than you do land and water, and FTU for your airframe. It takes can take 2 years just to get to your Operational base, plus add on getting MQ. You will than need to make a name for yourself at the base. Assume 6-9 months. That can put you at 3+ years if everything is aligned.
    ~~~ You are ROTC, talk to the CoC says about the pipelines. Our friend went to IFS in Oct. He was suppose to starts UNT in Dec. It was pushed back to Jan., than to Feb. He was casual for 4 months.
     

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