Where Are They Now?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by Stealth_81, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    I am starting this thread for a couple of reasons.

    First, I have gotten PM's from people asking about my son and what he is doing/has done since he graduated. Secondly, with the waiting that goes on this time of year I thought it might give everyone something to read so they have an idea about the future. I realized that many of our newer people might not know the background of some of the long time posters so this could be a way to find out who to ask questions about each branch.

    So, here are the questions aimed at the graduates and parents of graduates on this forum:

    What are you graduates (or your child who is a graduate) of a Service Academy or ROTC doing now? When did you graduate? What is your MOS, ASFC, Billet, Branch, etc. Where have you been stationed since graduation and for how long? How often have you been gone on deployments? Keep in mind that details of deployments should be general, not specific dates or activities.

    Anyone is free to post. If you have questions about someone's post, those questions are most welcome. I would like this to be a social thread as well as being informative. I plan on posting myself, but I will need some time.

    Stealth_81
     
  2. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    My twin sons entered USAFA in June, 2008 in the class of 2012 ("Hap!" "Never Falter, Never Fail {not to be confused with "Epic Falter, Epic Fail} ).

    Twin A: Went to Laughlin (with PIMA's son!) and is now a pilot, flying a C130J Super Herc!! His wife is a 2013 grad and they expect their first child in May. They own a nice house near Dyess AFB. He has been in Brazil this past fall and was to go to "the Sandbox" in January but has had his orders changed and will still be away, but not to... there.

    Twin B: had his UPT at Vance, is married (to his sister's college roommate), has a son 14 months and another child due in March. He flies a C5M Super Galaxy and has been to every continent except Antarctica (I think - I'm not privvy to all his info). He LOVES flying that huge plane, and it is GIGANTIC. He is out of Dover AFB. His base housing is nicer than any house we have ever lived in! Beautiful!

    Note: both sons fly their airframe of choice, they didn't "settle" for the heavies, they requested them. Both sons also say that going to USAFA was the best decision!

    Will be happy to answer any questions I can
     
  3. Padre101

    Padre101 Parent

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    Thanks for doing this. Gives us a great "down the road" view.
     
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  4. ddiamond

    ddiamond Member

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    Sure that both sons think their airframe is the best choice! Must make for interesting Thanksgiving discussions. Impressive planes both!
     
  5. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    Well, I am sneaking some lunch right now so I'll chime in.

    I'll start with the older son. DS graduated and commissioned through Army ROTC May 2012, branched Aviation and left for Ft. Rucker flight school and AVBOLC 12 days after graduation. Flight school took 16 months, he did very well and was high enough on the Flight School OML to have his pick of airframes and was very happy to choose the OH-58 Kiowa ( that would prove to have issues very soon) He was lucky enough to get his first pick of assignments, Wheeler Air Field in Hawaii. He was able to participate in RIMPAC, but before that did what most new 2LTs do, a lot of paperwork before getting his PL slot, planning the golf tournament was a highlight Haha. Lived on the North Shore and loved it, spent time at NTS and went to Alaska for about 45 days to help provide air support for training there while Alaska's squadron was in Korea. DS later went to Korea for a 9 month rotation, enjoyed it but was glad when it was done, moved back to Hawaii and now he and his roommates live on the 31st floor of a highrise on the beach in Honolulu, tough life.

    Now for the part of having an issue with the Kiowas. As most know the Army is retiring the Kiowa, all of the Kiowas in Hawaii were shipped out while they were in Korea so now that they are back they have nothing to fly. The Board is meeting in March to select LT's for transition to a new airframe. Last spring DS put in a packet for Civil Affairs, was accepted and is scheduled to go to the Selection Course early this Spring, after the Transition Board. Now the tricky part, since he was accepted to go to CA Selection, CA is now his Temp. control branch so AV does not even have him on their list right now which means he will not be seen this upcoming board for a transition, If he were to drop the CA packet he could take his chances with the board but they are only taking a max 30% off the top which his branch manager says he is close but maybe not close enough for the first round. Plus if he drops the CA packet he would be past the time he could apply again and that path would be closed for him.

    His choice is to go to Selection and go CA if he is selected, while he has liked AV he says this is a new challenge he would like to to be a part of.

    DS#1 has enjoyed his time so far, not to say there have not been times of ranting and frustration but overall it's been a good experience, he was able to travel a bit from Korea, got to Vietnam, a couple other Islands, and even got to go skiing while there. Spent a couple weeks in Europe visiting his girlfriend when he got back from Korea, overall, life has been good.

    I only went into such detail so those that are just starting this journey will understand that things do not always work out as you plan, there can be a lot of twists and turns. Keep an open mind and always keep your options open.

    Now for younger Son, DS#2.

    DS2 graduated and commissioned Army ROTC May 2015, branched Aviation, his AV BOLC and Flight School doesn't start until Dec. 27th so he has had some time on his hands. He moved back to his college town to hang out with friends and got a job at a local Building Supply Co. Stayed there until just before Thanksgiving and is now at home getting ready to go. The movers come in a week or so to pack up all his stuff, he decided to buy and collect most of his furniture prior to leaving and have them move it all. As I did with my older son, I will be driving with him for the road trip from our corner of the PNW to Alabama to share the driving, we'll leave around the 20th and have Christmas on the road somewhere around Texas or Louisiana, Woo Hoo.

    Well that about covers it, hope that gives some of the new applicants a view of what their future might be. Good luck to all of you and continued wishes to those that are continuing to serve.
     
  6. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Well I don't have much to say, nonetheless I think it will be valuable to give folks a sense of what starting a career as a Marine officer is like.

    DS attended OCS the summer of '14 between junior and senior years. All Marine officers go through some flavor of OCS, the only difference being the number of weeks based on how much training they have already had.

    He commissioned upon graduation in May 2015. He was slated to go AD mid September so he had to find a summer job (as most will). He was fortunate to find a job as a bartender and tour leader at a local craft brewery which was a perfect fit for him. When leading a tour he always introduced himself as the Marine Corp's newest 2ndLt.

    DS had big vacation plans for August when, in late July, his report date changed from mid-September to mid-August. Not a big deal though as he was eager to go do "big boy stuff". Like all Marine Officers he is attending his first School known as The Basic School in Quantico VA for a period of six months. Besides studying additional leadership stuff and administrative subjects, they also study weapons systems, platoon level tactics, do sand table exercise which helps illustrate some of the things learned in the classroom, and then several field exercises where they get to do it all themselves. Oh yeah, a lot of hiking under full combat load too! Upon graduation he will have the basic skills to lead an infantry platoon. Those who will actually lead an infantry platoon go on to the the Advanced Infantry Officers course to develop those skills further.

    Unlike the other services, where you learn your MOS during your senior year, Marines do not learn theirs until near the end of TBS. DS is continuing to refine his list of preferences in preparation for this exercise. Like all other services his preference will be considered but the current needs of the Marine Corps are paramount.

    Hopefully this will be helpful to some Mom or Dad of a Marine Option midshipman, because we know the kids won't communicate this in any meaningful way for at least the first two years of college. :D
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Our DS commissioned in May 2012. He went casual status at Laughlin in Oct that year. Started UPT with fencers DS in April of 2013 and our DS too got a C130J in March of 2014.
    ~ Between SERE and water survival he got married to his college sweetheart...an AF brat just like he was!

    After UPT him and his new bride moved to Little Rock for @ 6 months for the 130 schoolhouse. Upon completing that school they moved on to Dyess, just like fencer's DS, but to a different squadron than Fencers.

    He has done several TDYs, basically home for 3 weeks, gone for a week. Probably the hardest TDY, was being selected to copilot the 130 flyby over Arlington. It was his squadron that lost the C130 a few months back.

    He will be deployed this spring until early fall.
     
  8. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Our son graduated from USAFA in 2011. He took his 60 days of leave and then reported to Laughlin AFB in Del Rio, TX. He sat casual status, working in the base command post (12 hour night shift!) until January 2012 when he started UPT. I will say that he had no problem with the city of Del Rio. Many people say they dislike the area, but he loves to hunt and fish and he was able to do both while there. The city itself is small, but there are things to do.

    He graduated first in his class from UPT in February 2013 with a seat in an F-16. He spent the next three months doing a bunch of TDYs for SERE, IFF, Water Survival, etc. He then reported to Luke AFB in Arizona for F-16 FTU and he bought his first house there. FTU lasted 9 months and at the end of it there was another rack and stack for follow-on base choice. Son graduated 3rd in his class of 14 so he had a fairly high pick and was planning on taking a spot in Korea to get an overseas tour under his belt.

    However, when the base choices came out there was an unusual base on the list. Homestead ARB near Miami is a Reserve base with a Reserve wing of F-16s. Many of you have heard about the fighter pilot shortage, and one of the main causes of that is the lack of availability of the AD wings to absorb and train new pilots and still maintain enough experience in the unit. The AF has what is called TFI, or Total Force Integration, and this spot at Homestead is a part of that. The Reserve unit takes one or two brand new AD pilots each year and brings them into the Reserve squadron for their first tour. It takes advantage of the vast experience of the instructor pilots in the Reserve unit, and also the availability of airframes to get the new pilots the hours that they need. Once these new pilots get the experience and "seasoning" by flying often they then go out to the AD wings for their next tour as flight leads which takes the pressure off the AD wings to train them. Our son took this spot immediately and he has loved it. He bought a second house in the South Miami area and he rents his house in Arizona out to another pilot who is an IP at Luke. He has gotten many more hours in the jet than his classmates from Luke who went to regular AD units. The downside to this assignment is that the young AD guys get used to fill a lot of short-notice TDY spots that the regular Reservists avoid. One example is that there were two F-16s that were left in Spain by a unit that was coming back from the Gulf because of mechanical issues. The AF needed two pilots to fly commercial to Spain and bring them back. For our son these trips are a great way to build more hours and get experience since he is still single. He also is the go-to guy to fly jets to Utah to drop them off or pick them up from depot maintenance. In his time there he has also participated in Red Flag-Alaska and did 3-week TDY to Nellis to fly red air opposition for the weapons school students there. Son is now a 4-ship flight lead and is going to be starting his IP upgrade training soon.

    Son has done one very short deployment to a combat zone earlier this year and is scheduled for another longer combat tour coming up. This Spring he will find out his follow-on assignment after Homestead. He is looking at either a 1-year remote tour to Korea or transitioning to the F-35. There are plusses and minuses to both and he is weighing them along with a couple of other possibilities. He is just glad to be able to keep flying. We just hope he keeps buying houses in nice warm places like Phoenix and Miami so that we have places to go after retirement!

    Stealth_81
     
  9. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    I forgot to mention that initially, Twin B was send to Whiting Field NAS near Pensacola for training "the Navy Way," in some type of exchange program. When he opened that envelope, he was both shocked and dismayed, until we sent him pictures of ... Pensacola. Oh My Gosh did he change his tune!!

    Well, reported as required in July and rented a 2 bedroom duplex and was put on casual, which was to last until December. He made a lot of popcorn. Fished, hunted, swam in that gorgeous ocean. Then, the first week in November, the AF and Navy canceled their exchange program and he got the news he was to go to Vance in Enid, OK. So, he packs up the pickup, drives overnight from FLA to OK, and settles in.

    He began flight training in December, and then got married in July.

    He won an award at his UPT graduation: he missed only THREE questions on the exams, 3 of 845. Yeah, his dad practically had to buy a new shirt from those popping buttons!
     
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  10. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt Member

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    My DS graduated and was commissioned a USMC 2LT in May 2015. He attended school with a 4-year NROTC scholarship. He is one month behind kinnem's son at The Basic School (TBS) and kinnem's post (#6 above) is dead on.

    I wanted to comment on what appears to be a common experience of many of the posters thus far: changing reporting dates. My DS wanted to go to TBS right after graduation and get started right away. He requested this in his initial paperwork. When assignments came out he was slated to go in September. A couple months later he was advised he had been moved back until October. Then in July, he was told he had been moved back to September. Many of his colleagues experienced the same up/ back changes. Its a fact of life in the Military and many folks see it right out of the gate.
     
  11. terp1984

    terp1984 Member

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    DS commissioned in May of 2014 and had a report date for NPS in Charleston. in late august. He worked at the nrotc unit prior to the report date. Power school was very challenging but he graduated with distinction(top 30%) being one of the very few non engineers. After NPS graduation he moved to Saratoga Springs NY to begin nuclear prototype but there was a backlog so DS and 2 other nucs went to Europe and backpacked for 3 weeks and 5 countries. DS is currently in prototype and goes to Groton Conn. in the end of January for SOBC(Sub Officer Basic Course) for 10 weeks. He has been assigned to a fast attack sub out of Pearl Harbor with a report date in April. With the Hawaii COLA, BAh and O-2 the nucs are just shy of 100k. Not bad for a 24 yo and no time to spend it. Its almost 2 years after graduation before the 1st deployment so certainly extensive training.
     
  12. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    It's pretty grim when Whiting is considered a prime locale...
     
  13. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    It was the beach at Pensacola that was the draw. Milton, Florida is not exactly paradise, it's true. On the other hand, it's not Del Rio, TX.
     
  14. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    So, my son went to the schoolhouse in Little Rock at approx the same time as PIMA's. Since he and his wife had JUST been married when he reported (he got home from his honeymoon on Sunday and reported to the Schoolhouse, sans wife, on Monday, he rented a studio apartment near the base. It is where he first became acquainted with.... the cockroach.

    I know, how gross is that, right?
     
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  15. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Graduated and commissioned this past May. Had a fantastic time beep bopping around on graduation leave this summer before reporting for flight school where I'm at now. Hoping to get out to my first duty station by late 2016-early 2017 but will have no idea what that is until next year sometime. It's been nice being on the other side of the Academy.
     
  16. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    It is undeniable that four years of AROTC, followed by IBOLC and the rigors of Ranger School will instill maturity and discipline in a person. I can tell you that while my son was undergoing these experiences, I matured quite a bit.

    My son had coasted to a near complete stop toward the end of high school, particularly the last two years. I wondered if Cadet Command had offered him a scholarship as an experiment. But sometime in his first year in college he set a goal of commissioning into active duty as an infantry officer. He realized he would have to lift his performance across the board to achieve this. I'm not sure what sparked him. It may have been motivational conversations he had with a greying non-com who was part of the battalion cadre. It could have been curiosity at seeing fellow cadets dashing like maniacs across the campus who, it turned out, were practicing for Ranger Challenge. In any case he learned to use his time effectively, never cutting a class, never skipping PT, and seldom missing a party on the weekend. His hard work produced benefits. He was granted the opportunity to attend Airborne School one summer, and he had amazing experiences another summer in CULP. To my astonishment he got so many A's - in fact nothing but A's - that I had to meet a promise I had made and buy him a car - a beater, to be sure, but a car nonetheless.

    Tomorrow I am heading to Fort Benning to drive the beater home, deo volente, inshallah, and most important some luck with the transmission. As for my son, he and his new bride organized their first PCS and got on a plane today flying OCONUS to his post. I have a new set of acronyms to learn.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
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  17. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Over these past few years, I have really enjoyed hearing about your DS's progress, appreciated the info/advice and been eager to share what little I have to share.

    DS received a 4 yr AROTC scholarship and graduated/commissioned in May 2015. DW, I and everyone who knew him were somewhat shocked at his decision. I can't say he knew what he was getting into, but show me one 18 yr. boy who does. I distinctly remember a call we received about two months in from his Cadet Battalion Commander, an MS-IV prior enlisted. When he introduced himself, I immediately thought, "Okay. What did DS do?" When the DW arrived home a little later, I told that I received the call. She said, "Okay. What did he do?" I am happy to report that the call was very complimentary and is the reason I came to this forum in the first place. I wanted to know how common those calls were. DS rose to the challenges of ROTC and college with a difficult major. He participated in Project Go, studying Russian in Kiev in the interim between the Orange Revolution and the Maidan.

    He was smarter than all of us and maybe even too smart for himself. He is exactly where he wants to be in terms of branch (Signal) and first Duty Station (Kuwait). He is currently at S-BOLC (Signal-Basic Officer Leadership Course for you non-Army folks) and will deploy early next year.

    We always were confident that he would be successful at whatever he put his mind to, but I worried a bit about how he would get along with Delahanty's grey haired non-coms who have seen it all. It turned out just fine, which really made the first salute from his favorite "grey haired non-com" such a special moment for me at his commissioning.

    Finally, a word of suggestion to those newly minted O-1's and parents in a similar situation as as mine. If you are looking at getting a car and have a relatively short time before an overseas deployment consider a lease. DS picked up on an existing lease (he was actually paid to take it over) and can turn it back over to the car co. upon deployment without penalty. No sales tax and the registration doesn't expire until after he deploys. He was able to get something better than a beater and can simply turn the keys over at the nearest dealership. This probably should be a sticky.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  18. Voyager20

    Voyager20 Member

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    Truly enjoying this thread - what a great idea! I have been on and off for several years and recall many of the stories; however, I do like the summaries, since my memory was fading a bit. There are times that I feel that there was a lot more activity back in 2010-2012 then now - seems like folks move quickly off to the Facebook world.

    Thank you to each of you for the Bios...it is educational to see the courses and decisions of various branches and commissioning paths.
     
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  19. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Having grown up doing summer vacations in Destin, FL and the NC Outer Banks, I prefer the OB but a huge :thumb: to the Redneck Riviera. Some of the most beautiful sand in the world.
     
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  20. fencersmother

    fencersmother Founding Member

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    He loved it there - fishing, hunting pretty much every day. Milton, though, is not exactly paradise.
     
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