USNA --> Marine Pilot

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by PaddyyD, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. PaddyyD

    PaddyyD Member

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    Hey,

    I'm am applying at USNA to attend school there next year and my #1 choice at this point is to be a marine fixed-wing pilot. I heard that everyone who comes out of the naval academy commissioned in the marines for aviation have to do a deployment as a ground/infantry officer first. Is this mostly true or false?

    thanks
     
  2. goldfarb1

    goldfarb1 Candidate

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    False. All Marine officers go through TBS, a 6-month course on platoon infantry tactics. That's probably where that statement stemmed from.
     
  3. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    When the Marine Corp Commandant met with the Class of 2010 Marine Aviation Select's prior to commissioning, it was stated that as long as there is still a backup at flight school, once they finished TBS, they may be sent to infantry officers school, language school etc. At that time there was a 36 week back up in Pensacola for API. That has since been reduced to about a month. Those who started TBS in June are already in the pipeline for one of those schools. Do not know about Fox Company. Golf Company's has not yet had any official word and will probably not hear for a while since they arrived at TBS Sept 7 and are only 3 weeks into TBS.

    Do not set your sights on Fixed Wing - just set them on Aviation. When you get your service selection it will be Marine Corps with an Aviation contract, no specific platform. You will not have any say in the platform until the end of Primary Flight School and even then you really only have a choice if there are fixed wing spots available for your primary class and if you finish #1 in your primary class. Any thing under #1 and you are really subject to the needs of the Navy/Marines. If you are wondering why this is it is done so that one platform is not "ability" heavy - i.e. so that all of the top students are not all placed for fixed wing but are spread between fixed and rotary. So if #1 picks fixed wing, then it is most likely that #2 is getting helo's... it help is if your primary class has a good split of LT's that want helos and fixed wing.
     
  4. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    I believe procedures have changed. There is no longer Marine Air and Marine Ground. You choose Marine option first, then it's decided (by who and how, I don't know) whether you fly or not. Don't know if this started with 2010 or new for 2011. Hope we hear from someone "in the know".
     
  5. Profmom2

    Profmom2 Member

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    The USNA Class of 2010 were awarded either Marine Aviation or Marine Ground. My son a 2010 graduate was awarded at Service Selection night a Marine Aviation Contract. When I spoke to him last night he said that nothing has changed and the Class of 2011 was able to designate Marine Aviation, Marine ground etc on their selection list. He did say that it was getting tougher to specify Marines if you did not go to Leatherneck firstie summer, although still possible. He did not go to Leatherneck so had to do all of the Marine screeners at the Academy.

    All of the Air Contracts (all 90) for this year did come from the Academy so what you are saying may only be for OCSC or ROTC.
     
  6. PaddyyD

    PaddyyD Member

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    oh ok, thanks for explaining it to me
     
  7. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    In my opinion a bad precedence. Hopefully, it is only a very short term 'fix' for a temporary backlog in P'cola.
     
  8. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    The academy has been getting "tricky" with the service selection process over the past 10 years. The number of those "selecting" Marine Corps has sky-rocketed, and I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with this little bit of "bait and switch" tactic.

    "So, you want to be a Marine pilot, huh? Well, just select 'Marine Corps' on your preference card and we'll see what happens."

    "Awww, too bad, all the aviation slots are taken. Welcome to the Marine Corps! Ooo-rah!"

    I believe they have a similar thing going on with Navy Air. You cannot separately select Navy Pilot and Naval Flight Officer (not a pilot). You can only select "Naval Aviation" and they decide whether you're going to be manipulating the controls of an aircraft or not.

    Soon, the service selection preference card is going to look something like this:

    ___ I want to be a Naval Officer
    ___ I want to be a Marine Corps Officer*
    ___ I decline my commission (enclosed is a check for $400,000)

    * will not be considered a valid choice unless it is #1.

    You have to rank them #1, #2, and #3 - and even that will be subject to the "needs of the Navy."

    This is not your father's service selection any longer.
     
  9. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Pilots?

    You can be in Marine Corps aviation and not be a pilot, just as you can get selected for Naval aviation and end up as a Naval Flight Officer (not a pilot).

    Perhaps my source of information was incorrect. I was told all Marine Corps pilot slots went to USNA grads in 2010.
     
  10. CurrentMid

    CurrentMid Member

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    I have a signed contract for Marine Aviation. My certificate states that I have been accepted for service in the USMC Aviation Community. I signed a document that stated that I was guaranteed that community as long as I passed all of the aviation screening. As explained to us during our first two weeks at TBS while still in Mike Company, our contract is for us to loose not for the Marine Corps to take away. It is a guaranteed contract as long as we pass TBS, the Aviation Physical and the Aviation swimming test. (Which is bogus but you do what you have to do....)

    We, as in Aviation Contracts, can decide to give up our contract but those coming to TBS without one can not select aviation at the end on TBS. Also stated during our Aviation brief in Mike Company. There are a few ROTC, OCS and a group from PLC, however we were briefed that the far majority came from USNA at least for my TBS Company. There are 100 Aviation contracts in Golf Company, we have the most compared to Echo and Fox. The far majority of the USNA Aviation Contracts are in Golf Company. I must disagree with tpg as it is hardly rare to get an Aviation contract coming from USNA - quite the opposite. At the brief during USNA Commissioning week to the Marine families they did say that there were 90 out of the 257 Marines with guaranteed Aviation contracts. NFO for the Marine Corp has gone away and you only have an Aviation designation. (That is mostly due to the platforms that the Marines will be flying will not have 2 seats for jets)

    Even the article published in the Navy Times lists the career choices as USMC Ground, USMC Pilot, Navy Pilot, Naval Flight Officer, Surface Warfare Officer.... If I use tpg's logic that we have to serve regardless (as do ROTC Scholarship etc) Then all anyone should have been able to select was USN or USMC and let the Navy and Corps place us as they see fit. Well it doesn't happen that way. We were given choices. Even those who were drafted to the Submarines interview did have a chance to to say they would not be happy in that community during their interview.

    Even those going SWO were able to select subcategories.
    The majority of Marine Corps Officers do come from PLC but that does not equate to the majority of aviation contracts coming from that commissioning course.
     
  11. CurrentMid

    CurrentMid Member

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    I do not recall seeing that verbiage nor do any of my roommates at TBS

    We are now spread out. Based on OOM we chose our TBS start Date. There are USNA grads in Echo, Fox, Golf and I believe there are still 2LT's on TAD at the Academy that will be starting later this fall. Many of us that chose Golf were higher up in OOM.

    I can not tell you for sure when the numbers started to go up however I believe the goal is for 25% to go USMC and have heard that the number is going up. Class of 2011 is requiring Leatherneck although as with most things USNA there will always be exceptions. Our class had 257 out of 1033 graduates go Marines.

    If you have a ground contract (and actually an aviation one too) you pick you MOS at TBS, that being said if you have already been accepted into the Aviation Community (which is what our contracts state) we can continue down that course or we can choose to release our contract and opt for another selection. As I understand from our briefs, the only way you can select Aviation at TBS is if a contract is being given up thus opening up a spot. Otherwise aviation is already closed. There are those who do well at TBS and decide to forgo aviation inorder to go infantry.

    FYI Navy Service Selection:
    Some communities have screener and interviews which you go through second class year or very early fall firstie year. Within the first weeks of school firstie year we had to submit 10 ,in order of preference, communities that we would like to join. The only stipulation in the past has been that subs had to appear some where on your list. We did not have to have both USMC ground and USMC Aviation on your list - I did not. I had USMC Pilot first followed by Navy Pilot followed by some of the SWO subcommunities. As I did not go through SEAL screening, I could not put that on the list, however could have EOD and Nuc on the list. In November on service selection day we found out our communities. Then came the sub draft which those who did well in the sciences and math approx 100 were drafted. We were allowed to state our feelings at that time and then they interviewed about half to fill about 25 spots. Women were asked, but no female was forced to go subs.

    Then in March we had ship selection night where for the SWO Communities they picked their Ships based on OOM. We also were able to pick start dates for Pensacola, Nuc school, TBS, SEAL training etc.

    Somewhere we were told or also heard that all of the Aviation Contracts came from USNA, I was also under that impression until arriving - bad gouge as there are certainly other commissioning source 2LT's with aviation contracts.

    If we all want to really get a bit nit picky - no one has a guarantee for Aviation until you are winged. I know of a guy who was OCS and flunked out of IFS, never made it to API or primary. They rolled him out and was not given another USMC choice.
     
  12. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    100% of all sub personnel are not volunteers?
     
  13. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    Unless it's changed from my year, you can say no, it just moves you down to your next selection choice (which could be 3 or 4). Plus subs was one of your choices, so you still "volunteered."
     
  14. MakeItHappen

    MakeItHappen Member

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    Class of 2007 had 213 Marines commissioned.
    Class of 2008 had 233 Marines commissioned.
    Class of 2009 had 273 Marines commissioned.:thumb:
     
  15. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    So....the Navy requires you to "volunteer" for subs and then they claim all sub personnel are volunteers?
     
  16. Memphis9489

    Memphis9489 Parent

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    Well, that's true for every community - isn't it? You're not really a Surface Warfare Officer until you're SWO-qualified. You're not really a submariner until you successfully complete Nuc Power School. Hell, for that matter, you can't really go on toward being a doctor until you finish med school.

    So, obviously, you can't get your wings until you successfully complete Flight School. The first step is getting to Flight School - and you can't do that unless they allow you to attend. The issue at hand is getting that Flight School slot. What you do with it from there is totally up to you.

    I have talked with many flight school instructors and they tell me that how "easy" it is to get to the finish line (i.e. winging) has a lot to do with how bad they need pilots. If they have plenty of pilots and the line is long behind you, they have very little tolerance for sub par performance. You do not have to stumble too many times before your training is terminated and you are given the boot. On the other hand, if they are desperate for pilots, there are lots of second, third, and fourth chances for "missteps" in the training. I'm guessing that they are probably in the latter phase.

    I've once heard flight school described as follows: It's like taking your driver's test every day of your life - sometimes twice a day.

    I recall being more elated getting my wings than actually graduating from the academy.
     
  17. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Just saw where the class of 2010 had 267 to go USMC including, 145 (M)/29 (F) for pilot and 2 (M) for NFO and since these numbers were published prior to commencing TBS, they are indeed being able to contract aviation. I think the 25% is a temporary Congressional waiver from the normal 15% due to the war and started about 4 or 5 years ago.

    Two observations come to mind: The overall requirement for 65% of all grads to be technical majors is not reflective of this increase. We all know that we don't want the Marines being too smart.

    Secondly, with Leatherneck now 'mandatory', I think the authorized USNA billets is less than 200. So probably there will not be 25% of the graduates available next spriong who have attended.

    Talked with a member of the USNA Submarine Selection Board the other day. It is humorous that their 'pointing out the advantages of a submarine career' is interpreted by the midshipmen as being 'drafted'. Different perspectives of the difference in seniority, I guess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  18. SteveHolt243

    SteveHolt243 Member

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    For the members of my class who got drafted, it was not simply "pointing out the advantages." Classmates were given interviews and essentially told that if they didn't pass the interview, they would get something even lower on their selection sheet (never mind that by being qualified for subs they were probably qualified for whatever their first choice was as well). This could have changed in the past few years, but to claim that the selection board was "pointing out the advantages" to qualified mids seems a bit misleading.
     
  19. Mongo

    Mongo Banned

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    Simply paraphrasing what the member told me.
     
  20. Whistle Pig

    Whistle Pig Banned

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    Indeed. My guess is many Mids under torpedo fire ...might even say "laughable,":shake: i.e. if it were funny. Needs of Navy always trump one's preference hand. Conversely, even Navy knows that total abuse and/or ignoring collective "preferences" risk mass 5-and-dive exodus ...and/or ultimate imbalancing the applecart.

    It's a wire-walking exercise for both the lions ...and the lion-tamers.:eek:More art form than engineering. And ultimately, intitially for the Navy to know and the Mids to find out.

    btw, re: the comment about selecting Navy Aviation as pref, not so this year. Pilot and NFO were separate selections.
     

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