Soaring or Jump?

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by AVT, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    So it's that time when 4* make their summer preferences.

    I at all costs want to graduate USAFA with Jump wings, and I am not interested in Wings of Green / Blue. How difficult is it to secure a spot Firstie year?

    Also, I am very interested in becoming a Soaring IP, how rigorous is the selection?

    Finally, I am taking UAS in the Spring after Recognition, is it possible to be both a UAS IP and Soaring IP?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    2 things:

    1. I don't think you'll find the time to be an instructor in 2 areas.

    2. Because of football, my son wasn't allowed to do jump his first year. He did soaring his 2nd year, and this year (His firstie year and getting ready to graduate), he just finished jump and got his wings. So he has both sets of wings.

    His classes made it difficult to get this done earlier. Like many others he was averaging 8-9 classes a semester. Including organic chemistry and similar. But if you want to jump and soar bad enough, like he did, you can definitely do it. And being an IP is definitely doable. Being an IP or instructor anything in more than one area will be quite difficult because of time constraints.
     
  3. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I don't know of many that ever had 8, much less 9 a semester since both require special permission (at least during my time).
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    This semester he has 8 classes and 1 TA. Guess that doesn't really count as a class, but it does occupy 1 period.
     
  5. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    TA?
     
  6. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yeah, I only knew one person who was taking 8. Most people were seriously loaded with 7.
    (Assuming you mean academic classes. PE classes aren't full semester, so I don't count those.)
     
  7. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    That's what I call it. "teacher's assistant". He helps the instructor teach a lower level statistics course. He actually teaches one class a week and helps the instructor and/or tutors the students the rest of the time.

    Raimius; when I looked at the schedule, I counted classes. I believe a PE class was in there too. That probably doesn't count like a regular class.

    My main point with the OP was that trying to be an Instructor Pilot in 2 fields would be really difficult with as much time is required of a cadet each day.
     
  8. Romad

    Romad Member

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    As the son of a Master Parachutist with over 500 jumps, whose best buddies were my 19 and 20 year old Paratroops when he was young, = my son had BETTER get his jump wings...


    :mad:
     
  9. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son got soaring as his first summer assignment, even though jump was his first choice. He was able to schedule both jump and powered flight as a Firstie and get his wings for all three. I don't think that it is difficult to get a spot in one of the programs as a Firstie as long as you plan ahead and leave room in your schedule.

    Stealth_81
     
  10. HNeedle

    HNeedle Member

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    If you want to be a soaring IP, you've got to take soaring either the summer after your freshman year or the fall of your 3* year. I believe they select more IPs from the summer than they will in the fall, namely because more people take it in the summer. Usually you'll go through upgrade (to be an IP) in the fall of your 3* year, and start teaching in the Spring of 3* year.

    I wanted my jump wings as bad as the next person, but not giving myself the chance to be a soaring IP is one of my regrets here as a firstie. It takes a TON of time, and sometimes you're down there just sittin around not doin anything. It isn't really easy, but it is extremely rewarding. Getting to fly every day on the air force's dollar? One of my good friends is on the cross-country team (sailplane racing team) and routinely makes flights (in a glider) from USAFA, over pike's peak, up towards denver, and back for hours at a time. Others are on the acrobatic team (acro) and get to perform at a few parades and competitions.

    Bottom line: if you want to be an IP and are willing to take the time commitment and sacrificing weekends/ every other afternoon from 12-6pm for a semester/ other random times, DO IT. You can get your jump wings firstie year.
     
  11. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    Yeah, if you want to be a Soaring IP, make sure you have good grades, try to get Soaring over the summer, and be a decent person at interviews. Summer soaring students can upgrade over the fall or spring semester, depending on when they are selected, and the summer weather usually allows people to get more flights/solo (having soloed is a big plus item for selection).

    I was not able to go for SIP due to being on probation at the time. Don't do that!
     
  12. AVT

    AVT USAFA 2015

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    Thank you everyone for your information; I truly appreciate it!

    Does anyone have any insight what it is like being a UAS IP?
    I will be taking the Basic UAS class this Spring.
     
  13. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

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    Don't you guys have to take those jump wings off when you commission though? I was always under that impression because that's what USCGA cadets are supposed to do when they commission.
     
  14. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    The soaring wings come off. They don't mean anything on active duty. But completion of jump is the same as other accomplishments. You get to continue wearing the parachute. At least that's what I've been told by a few graduates and firsties.
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Jump wings, in the AF, are often called the "frat badge." Outside the small SF community and the occasional officer like Bullet who was with the Army for a bit, the majority wearing them attained them at USAFA in jump. Look at profiles for people like MGen Desjardins who have their wings from back before 1980! Yes, we keep it.

    CC, I won't derail this thread, I will simply say that when you describe your son's course load and some other things, I get more confused every time as it doesn't match with what I know about USAFA. EX: TAs don't exist as you describe which is a point of pride when USAFA advertises them self. Please make sure you are accurately describing the functions of DF if you use examples.
     
  16. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    All I can tell you is that he's assisting/teaching a sophomore Statistics course. The same course he took 2 years ago. Matter of fact, during Parent's Weekend, I was in the class while the instructor had him doing one on one with a group of students. There weren't any other C1C's in this class. (I'm pretty sure it was a 2nd year course). Again, the same course he took 2 years earlier. Now, maybe it's not called teacher assistant. Maybe it's something else. Maybe it's part of his Behavioral Science major. I know he doesn't take any of the GR's/Finals and that he does sometimes teach the class. If you know of a more accurate terminology for what he's doing, excellent. Like I said previously, "I" describe it as TA. Maybe the academy calls it something different.
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Again, not going to derail this thread discussing.
     
  18. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    Can't tell you the number of times guys in my squadron would ask me out of the blue: "What year did you graduate from the academy, Bullet?"

    The first few times had me confused, and I would simply tell them that I did not have the privilege to attend that fine establishment (That's my story on how I said I didn't attend, and I'm sticking to it! :biggrin:). I would then ask why they asked. Inevitably, they would point out the fact that I was wearing jump wings on my name tag. They usually only knew AFA grads who wore them, and most would only wear them with their service dress, and not on their flight suit name tag. When I explained to them how I got mine at Benning, and had over 40 static jumps (25 of them mass tacs), they quickly figured out why I was proud and determined to wear my jump wings.

    Long story short: what Hornet said.... :shake:
     
  19. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yep...

    Many's the time I've been asked: "Oh you jumped? What year did you graduate from USAFA?"

    To which I'd say: "Class of 1983 BUT this is NOT a frat pin, these are AIRBORNE wings!" :biggrin:
    (and then usually have a mental image of a black hat hollering something like: USAF LEG...to the PIT!)

    And as its a military qualification, you wear it forever.

    Okay...the USPA wings on my helmet bag...they're different...mucho freefall and airwork. But that's another story of my insane youth! :eek:

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     

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