Which Route to Air Force Pilot Spot..

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by James_1995, May 1, 2016.

  1. James_1995

    James_1995 New Member

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    I am a senior in high school and I have always been very interested in becoming an officer in the military. Secondly, I have always dreamed of becoming a pilot. I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations on which way to go? I have researched AFROTC, ANG, and the reserves for getting a flight spot and I am confused on which program to choose. I like how with the guard/reserves you can fly for an airline and the military concurrently at the same time. Anyone's advice and information is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Zero

    Zero Member

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    Honestly you need to decide which life you want. All three are vastly different, though ANG and reserves are closer than AD. If you want to fly for an airline as your primary job than reserves is probably the way to go. If you want to be in the full military than AD. ANG is an interview process and reserves is sort of a mix. I would say reserves is probably easiest to get a slot. AD or ANG depending on the unit the hardest.
     
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  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Okay here is the real wake up call at least when you are talking about airlines. It is highly unlikely that you will be picked up for any airline, except a puddle jumper because you won't have a multi-engine rating. If you do that on your own dime you are talking thousands upon thousands of dollars just to get the multi engine rating. In the end you still won't have those hours right out of the gate to flt for the big boys compared to someone that went and did the traditional route (ADAF). Yes, the airlines will be hiring at a significant rate for the next 5-10 years, but remember that many are leaving ADAF to do exactly what you are thinking about...Guard/Reserve and fly airlines. Thus, if they have a choice to take the guy/gal that did 10 yrs ADAF with thousands of hours in flight time and you straight out of UPT (guard/Reserve will send you there) don't you think that the big airline carriers are going to the person with 9 yrs and thousands of hours? thus, that puts you in the puddle hopper and paying for the ATP rating.

    Secondly, when it comes to Guard units you will have to apply to each individual unit. Not every unit will always have an opening for an O1. On top of that if you become a puddle hopper for the airlines between the part time guard pay and the low airline pay you will not be making a lot.
    ~ Many reasons ADAF pilots will stay until retirement is because even when they enter the airlines as a right seater they know that for the 1st 5 years their paycheck is going to be low, and thus they stay until retirement so they can take that AF retirement paycheck and live with the low airline pay.
    ~~ I am sure airline pay has increased since my closest friend joined SouthWest Airlines, but I remember his starting salary was less than 40K, so let's say it is now at 50K. That was for a major airline carrier. Get hired on by American, and you get American Eagle (their puddle jumper) expect it to be way below that amount. Even with Guard pay, and you owe any student loans, plus a car, and of course a crash pad on top of your home, it is going to be financially tight.

    I would strongly suggest you go and LURK on www.baseops.net they have a guard/Reserve forum, it will be an eye opener on how different the process is, in essence you are guaranteed a certain airframe IF hired. Basically it is a true interview process just like any corporation. Whereas, ADAF there is no interview process once you are in the ROTC program, but no guarantee of anything, EXCEPT, you will owe time, and of course ADAF (AFROTC/OCS route) will require 9 years from winging....10 years in total. Decide to stay and if you decide to take the bonus instead of bolting at 10 yrs you will get about $225K bonus on top of your base pay. It is 50% up front and the remainder will be spread across the commitment years owed for taking the bonus.

    Now for AFROTC you have some hurdles too.
    1. Summer Field Training
    ~ You must be selected as a sophomore from the national selection board to attend SFT. If not selected than your chances are incredibly high that they will disenroll you from AFROTC=no commissioning=no UPT
    ~~ Honestly, 3.0 (tech)/3.3 (non-tech) cgpa, strong AFOQT and PFA you should be fine.
    2. Rated board
    ~ junior year you will again meet a national selection board, but now it is for rated. Your flight time/hours will give you a bump in selection. You will now take the Test Basic Aviation Skills (TBAS). You will be required to rate all 4 rated options from high to low. You might want pilot and they can drop CSO on you.
    ~~ IOWS you can't be guaranteed that you will get Pilot, but you can be guaranteed that currently via AFROTC you will serve ADAF upon commissioning.
    3. UPT...RPAs dropping
    ~ Yes, you can get Pilot, but with the RPA world losing at a high rate, you don't know if in 5 years from now when you are at UPT HQ AFROTC might do to your class/year what they did this past year...every UPT base, except ENJJPT dropped 2 RPA pilots for the FY of 16. That means even if you get Pilot out of AFROTC, rank at the bottom of your class you will go RPA.

    Honestly, my DH served 21 yrs ADAF (F15E WSO) and no way would we have said go the Guard/Reserve path to our DS if he thought that he would do the airlines right off the bat. Here's why:
    1. Financially it is impo unrealistic at your age.
    ~ You are not going to get hired on by any airline just because you have a PPL (pilot license) which already will cost @4-5K on a good day. You would need that multi-engine rating which is insanely expensive. Basically you need to get the ppl, and than your multi-engine rating which means thousands more. On top of that than you have to pay for your Air Transport Pilot quals. More $$$
    ~~ I can't see how you can do all of those flight hours while in college, none the less pay for college and the flight hours needed unless the folks are well off money wise.

    Where do you stand in flight hours currently? Are you close to your PPL? If not, and you want to go that Guard/Reserve path, I would say you are already behind the power curve.

    2. Old enough to remember the late 90s. Airlines were hiring left and right. Friends were diving at an insane rate. Guess what happened? Sadly, 9/11/2001.
    ~ Right now the airlines are hiring again at an insane rate. Why? Simple, due to FAA laws there is an age limit for pilots. Once 9/11 occurred the airlines not only stopped hiring, but laid off/furloughed their pilots. None of them that entered in 2000 expected the airlines to nose-dive, none of them saw 9/11 occurring, but they were laid off or furloughed.
    ~~ The airlines now have pilots that are ageing out and they need to hire at a high rate. Your problem is that currently the AF bonus acceptance rate is insanely low. They are jumping to the airlines and accepting the fact that there will be lean years. In 5 years from now who knows where the airlines will be from a hiring aspect.

    See above regarding puddle jumpers. If the carriers have filled that loss than that leaves you competing against someone like fencer's DSs and my DS. ADAF officers that leave after 10 years with thousands upon thousands of hours in multi engine experience around the world (including hot spots), yours is pay as you go. They can walk at 2023, but can give notice in 2022 to the AF. Again, why should SWA, United, Delta, etc. hire you to be a right seater over you when it is a flat out paycheck/line number.
    ~ Guard/Reserve is different because their rank will have and impact from a job aspect. Yet, see above...not every unit will have an opening.

    I am going to assume you did not get an AFROTC scholarship. Enroll in AFROTC as a freshmen. Next year revisit this issue. Maybe ADAF is not for you, but at that point, be honest and get that multi-engine rating.

    Finally the truly dirty little secret in the corporate world, which includes Guard units and airlines...NETWORKING.
    ~ Let's say you pay for your PPL and ATP, to get that foot in the door for the airlines you will want someone that knows you.
    ~ Same is true for Guard and Reserve. You want someone to vouch for you if it comes down to 1 opening, and 3 fighting for that slot/ everybody with the same quals.

    As unfair as that might seem, that is the truth when it comes to the "real world" employment opportunities...it is not necessarily what you know, but who you know too. Do you have those type of connections to get an interview for either Guard/Reserve and Airlines?

    Our very closest friend is a SWA pilot(left seater) and when DS winged, he flat out said ....Can't wait until I see you in a SWA uniform! Another one of our common friends said ...nope he will be in United!
    ~ DS responded: Can You ALL stop and let me get through C130 school house first! I just winged!
    ~~ IOWS, because of networking he has commercial pilots that will place their name on the line for him from an employment aspect...and that happened because of ADAF connections.
    ~~~ NETWORKING
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  4. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    There is a lot of information in Pima's post. You should read it thoroughly and ask questions if you don't understand.

    One big thing to remember is that you won't even be able to apply to a Guard or Reserve unit until you have a bachelors degree, so you are a minimum of 4 years from starting to apply. Typically those units are very picky in their hiring, and some people spend years applying to units until they are picked up or get too old to keep applying. There are just not that many available pilot slots in the Guard or Reserve and many times they hire from within the unit itself from their own members who want to become a pilot. My son is an AD pilot who flies with a Reserve Wing, and they have only hired 3 new Reservist pilots in the last 3 years. Once you do get a slot, it may be a year or two before you start training, depending on when they can get you into the line. After one year of UPT, you will be on full-time orders for 2.5-3 years for "seasoning" in the airframe so that you can become a mission-ready pilot. Only then would you move to the traditional Guardsman or Reservist pilot who holds another job outside of the unit. So, if you add that all up, say 4 years for undergrad, 2 years to get hired, one year waiting to start, one year at UPT, and 3 years for seasoning, it could be 10-11 years from now before you are looking at getting an airline job. It is a long road.

    Stealth_81
     
  5. James_1995

    James_1995 New Member

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    Thank you so much for all your information and help! I have already started to look into AFROTC, so I will continue to pursue this. Once again, thank you for your immense amount of knowledge!
     
  6. James_1995

    James_1995 New Member

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    Thank you! There is definitely a lot to think about!
     
  7. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    This thread is going to get interesting.:biglaugh:
    Let's not beat around the bush, shall we? People who succeed in the flying world go in with an attitude of "failure is not an option", as with most things in life. Officer before pilot yada yada yada....all true and it's a known fact but Uncle Sam needs good sticks and not a bunch of brown nosers! You need to be willing to give your nut or two for those shiny pilot wings or your heart is not in the right place IMHO; do or die, you know what I mean?!?!
    If you want to fly military metal (composite these days) and eventually fly for the airlines, ANG/AFRes is the way to go. If you go active duty, you'll owe Uncle Sam a minimum of 10 years after you get your wings and he'll figure out a way to keep you in longer. ANG/AFRes will be the fastest track to the airlines without a doubt. I wish someone had told me about the guard/reserve when I was young. Getting picked up by a guard/reserve unit for a SUPT slot is not easy but doable. Each unit has allocations for "off the street" hires. As a minimum, you need to have a 4 year degree, pass the flying class I physical (or whatever they call it these days), and be a U.S. citizen. There are many other variables (ie. AFOQT scores, GPA, type of degree, previous flight time-if any, etc.) but these are the three basic requirements. The biggest factor, from my personal experience, is likability; are you going to be a good fit for the unit? Every unit has a different personality but if you are a "good" dude/dudette in general, it shouldn't be a problem. Think of it as rushing for a fraternity, if you will. The best thing to do is figure out what sort of airframe you would like to fly (ie. fighters, tankers, transport) and make contact with the appropriate unit(s). If there is a local unit where you live, that is even better since they love to hire local boys & girls. For many of the fighter units, it's a requirement for their pilots live within a certain radius of the base. Heavy units are more lenient and usually do not have those requirements. Another way to get your foot in the door is to enlist in the unit while attending college. After you get your degree, you have a good chance of getting a pilot slot through them as long as you haven't stepped on any toes. Remember, most units are a good 'ol boy network.
    There are some drawbacks of going the ANG/reserve route. After you successfully complete SUPT, RTU, survival training, etc., you will come back to the unit and get mission qualified. Depending on the type of airframe, you will be on full time orders (just like active duty) until you are fully mission ready. Don't quote me on this but I believe it can be up to a year, again depends on the airframe. After this period, you will be released back to civilian status and part time reservist. There are ways to become a full time reservist but that's a whole new thread, so there are opportunities in a guard/reserves. From this point on, you can elect to do the minimum to just stay current or do more. Of course, this depends on the funding/availability of missions, war time/peace time, unit manning, etc. In general, when times are good, you can make a okay living as a "guard/reserve bum" and fly a lot more than your active duty counterpart, especially if you are in a heavy unit (tankers and transports). Imagine that...you can actually be a pilot! As a part timer, you will have to do so many days a year but in general, they want you to fly at least 8 days a month. Again, each unit is different. The major drawback, though, is that you now have to look for a full time job to put food on the table and to have access to benefits such as medical care and insurance. If you are single or your significant other has a job, you can make it financially as reserve/guard bum. If your goal is to get on with the airlines, guard/reserve bumming is a great way to build flight time. One of the best part of being in the guard/reserve is that you can actually just be a pilot and not get inundated with the bs additional duties like an active duty guy. We'll talk more about that later.
    As for flying for the airlines...most guard/reserve pilots are airline pilots. Networking is huge when it comes to getting on with the airlines. As long as you are not a tool, these guys will help you with an airline gig. All of the desirable airlines (legacy, major, and FedEx/UPS) require you to have an ATP which requires 1,500 hours. The regional airlines require that too but there are ways to get around that. I'll just leave it at that for now. Getting hired by the majors is not like it used to be. Used to be that ex-military pilots with around 3,000+ hours (1,500+ if single seat/fighter) would go straight to the major airlines but now it's not unheard of to see many folks start at a regional, spend a year or two to build "airline experience" and then get picked up by the majors. Yes, many pilots leaving active duty end up at a regional too. Times are changing, that's for sure! A typical "guard/reserve baby" (someone who became a pilot through the guard/reserve) will build flight hours in the guard/reserve, fly for a regional airline to build flight time and airline experience (Part 121) while upgrading to captain ASAP to build turbine PIC time, then get picked up by a major airline. With a bit of luck and hard work, you can be at a major airline in 6-8 years after getting your wings, especially if you fly heavies. It will take a bit more time for the fighter folks since they will not accrue as many hours as someone flying heavies.
    Now let's look at the active duty option. After getting your wings, you owe 10 years as mentioned above. The pros of going active duty are: you will have a secure job for the next 10 years-the bennies, insurance, full health care for the family, ability to live overseas, make life long friends, etc. Now the cons... since you are an officer before a pilot, you will be asked (forced) into endless and meaningless additional duties to the point where you will not be able to fly until the paperwork gets done. You will easily spend 12 hour days doing bs work and flying will be the carrot on a stick. Flying will be feast or famine and back stabbing will become fair game. You will have multiple deployments to the sand box and elsewhere and there will be more than enough non-flying deployments to maintain a low morale. As Pima have mentioned, go checkout the discussions in baseops.net and see for yourself because I don't want to burst anyone's bubble. Just look at the last VSP (voluntary separation program) acceptance rates and judge for yourself.
    If everything works out perfectly, you may be able to separate at the 10 year point but it rarely works out that way. The Air Force is pretty good about giving you a staff tour (non flying assignment) or a UAV tour after 2 flying tours, which is at about your 7 year point, all in the name of being "promotable". This basically screws you out of a chance of getting on with the airlines because you will not be current, meaning you have to have flown x number of hours in the last 12 months to be current. The airlines will not even look at you unless they are absolutely desperate for pilots. It's not a good spot to be in.
    The biggest question to ask yourself is, are you going to be happy if you can't fly in the Air Force? Are you sure when you say that you just want to serve? Only you know what you want. If you are dead set on flying and that's all you want to do, the guard/reserve is the best path to your goal if you can get it to work. If you want the "military" experience and you just want to serve, go on active duty and take your best shot. I know which path I would take.
    As always, I wish you luck and success. Nothing is ever easy and there will always be something but it's about the ride, isn't it?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  8. noketchup

    noketchup Member

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    I met a KC135 pilot who is ADAF, who said if he would do it again, he would go ANG for all of the aforementioned reasons above. Nice guy, one of the only pilots Ive met that seemed to give out an uncensored view on things. Other good piece of advice was to pick the lifestyle, not the airframe (i.e. don't choose fighters {if you can} unless you want to work with a bunch of competitive **EDITED** and have 8-hour post-op briefs).

    **EDITED**
     
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  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Never knew Bullet to do an 8 hr debrief in F15E, even when he double turned, maybe 2 -3 hrs, but no way in Hades was it 8 hrs. If he had an 11 a.m. take off, he would leave at 8 and be home by 5 for dinner. Sorry, but that is a complete BS line. It takes about 2-3 hrs to step to the jet, that includes the brief, suiting up (g suit),getting to the flight line, kicking the tires. 1 1/2 -2 hr flight. landing, checking out the jet again, getting back to the squadron, going to life support (g suit) and than a 1 1/2- 2 hr debrief. So, yep, it is 8 hrs total. Not 8 hrs debriefing.
    ~ Now maybe he was talking tongue and cheek. Fighter world is different...they like to hang at the squadron bar at the end of the day. Not saying it is about drinking, it is about just hanging out and shooting **EDITED**!

    Are many of them type A personalities? Yes, but I would say my DS (C130J) pilot is a competitive **EDITED** too! Pretty sure his wife, my DIL would agree he could be a competitive **EDITED**

    I don't how you can pick the lifestyle over the airframe. Let's be honest every pilot will swear that their airframe is the best and the most important from a mission perspective. In this day and age of flying, they all are deployed each and every tour, on top of short TDYs here and there. Iows they basically are home for the same amount of time each year it just how it is broken up. I.E. fencer has a C5 and C130J pilot. The C5 pilot does a lot of in and outs (short tdys) throughout the year --- home 2 weeks, gone 3 weeks, home 3 weeks gone 2 weeks type, while the C130 will do a long deployment (4 months) with sporadic a week out TDY every month when not deployed.

    Additionally the way UPT works is a rack and stack system. You put down your dream sheet and the lower in the class you stack out the less choices will be there for you. There is a limited number of airframes dropping...i.e. 2 130Js, 2 C5s, 1 C17 dropped, but there were 14 heavy track pilots in his class. That meant if all of them placed those on their sheet, 9 were left with getting something they didn't want.
    ~Right now every UPT base, except ENJJPT is dropping 2 RPAs. Nobody in the class is going to ask for RPA, because if they wanted RPA they would have asked to go RPA and not UPT, but 2 will get them because they racked/stacked out that way. I don't know of anyone at Laughlin that would put down FAIP, but still someone will get a FAIP. You can't just say I want this airframe and expect to get that airframe. That is not how the system works. Thus, looking at the lifestyle as a factor in your decision is not feasible because like always...service before self.
    ~ Yes, my DS got his 1st choice, but had he graduated lower he could have been given something that was not on his list. I recall him saying the night before that he would be happy with anything as long as it did not start with the letters E or K. See above regarding even heavy drivers are competitive.

    Yes that KC pilot is right about UPT, it is down right grueling. If you have not read Raimius's blog yet, and want to go UPT, read it now. If you are a parent reading this thread, read it. I don't know if he still has it as his signature line, but if he doesn't pm. him and ask to send it to you. The 1st few pages are about USAFA life, and then it goes into UPT. It is the most honest report of what your life will be like as a UPT student.
    ~ As a student if you think studying for finals week is hell, well think about living finals week for 54 weeks straight, that is UPT. You get up at 6 a.m., go to class, sim/fly, get home at 5 or 6. Eat dinner, and chair fly/study until 11. Repeat everyday. Saturday is your down day and by noon on Sunday you are back at studying again for Monday.
    ~~ Oh and that pressure cooker does not end when you wing. Heck it won't end for at least another year or so. You will go to your airframe schoolhouse and start the process over again. Sure, at the school house the pressure is less because you don't have that I screw up I will be washed out, but now you also know that they are still grading me and how I do there will be reported to my 1st base. Silly thing called records! Than once at your 1st op base you will have to become mission qualified (MQ) and checked out. Once you do that you will want to upgrade to IP or left seater as quick as possible. Let's not even go down the rabbit hole of applying for WIC (Weapons School)

    So you see impo, all of them are competitive and it started back at UPT, unless of course you just want to get your wings, do your time and leave to become a bus driver in the sky. Nobody slam me for that comment because I am pretty positive my DS will be one one day! Just saying even in the heavy world there is competition as fierce as it is in the fighter world.
     
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  10. noketchup

    noketchup Member

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    I'm just going off of what he said, Pima. I still personally want to fly fighters :D
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That is why I said to go to baseops.net the rate is insane! My guess is they are going to up again some type of pay...maybe it will now be flight pay instead of the bonus.

    With that being said the thing is this kid is a senior in HS. At the rate ADAF pilots are dropping to go commercial by the time they wing in 2021-22 the airlines and guard/reserve units might have enough pilots and their chances will be slim from a hiring aspect.
    ~ They have a number that they need to fill. If the VSP stays at that rate the airlines will have the pick of the litter and in 6 years from now it can be 2005-2015 all over again...competitive.
    ~~ Let's be brutally honest, pilots are being thrown 250K to stay until 19 years and still not biting at a high enough rate to stop the blood.

    I can't speak for fighters and every heavy, but the RPA aspect is hitting some heavy communities. It is no longer dropping after a 2nd ops tour. It is dropping after the 1st ops tour. That means they can walk at 10. I.E. I know for the 130J they are put on the VML at the 2 year point. They will go at their 3 yr flying marker, do 3 years and get back in the airframe by 7. Can leave at 10.
    ~ I 1000% agree that a big down side for ADAF is timing. Don't assume you can walk on that day because Big Blue is smarter than you think, they will move you and that means if you accept it you owe them more time.
    ~~ Anyone that knows the AF knows it is really easy to bring you out to 20 even if you entered with the idea of diving at the 1st opportunity. Life tends to get in the way...mtg, car pmts., babies, etc, and that check is now your safety net...the quarter of a million dollars is a sweetener, especially since you get 50% up front when you are looking at bills.
     
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  12. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Well if you want to fly fighters than be prepared to fight tooth and nail every hour of everyday at UPT. Learn how to dust yourself off when they say you are a piece of crap! That is UPT. No coddling. It is a mental game for a year. F up yesterdays flight, you now have that target on your back for the next flight.

    I am not going to sugar coat anything. I agree that year is a kick in your body, not once, not twice, but more than you can count. They will constantly tell you that your sheaattt stinks! If you think that the stress of getting an SFT slot or rated was high, OMG amp it up 1000 times for UPT while you watch your peers wash out and know you need to be the top 25% of the class to track fighters. Getting a rated slot out of AFROTC is easy...what is the rate 90%+. Getting your wings is a whole different world.
    ~ DS got engaged at UPT, asked a friend that also commissioned from his det. to be a groomsmen. His friend washed out 4 weeks prior to winging...talk about awkward...his wedding was 4 weeks after winging. 13 cadets from his class went UPT. 5 winged.
     
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  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Where is the bow down emocon when you want it?

    I can say from my friends that did go Guard, that is the truest statement ever made!

    Beware if you go to baseops.net they are hard core...lurk before you post. On baseops, unlike here, there is such a thing as a silly question. It is an AF flying forum and ROE is big to them.
    ~ Hint if you don't know what ROE means, than that is why you should lurk 1st.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  14. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator Moderator Founding Member

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    Son's FTU class washed out one at IFF and one during FTU. His class started at fifteen and graduated thirteen, so it is definitely possible to wash out of advanced training. He also said the pressure ramps up a lot from UPT because you are now competing against the #1 or #2 grad from each UPT class (plus several FAIPS) and the point margin separating the top ones gets very thin.

    Stealth_81
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Bullet actually was the President for an FEB at SJAFB. They washed him out of the F15E schoolhouse. Bullet was doubled crewed at the 111 schoolhouse. He was a WSO, and the class had too many pilots, so he flew with both of them, hence doubled crew. Both pilots were USAFA grads, 1 was a FAIP. The non-FAIP was sent to the FEB at the school house.

    That crap happens.

    Stealth, I just did not want to rain on the parade because right now impo they have to clear the 1st hurdle...UPT. Once in the system they will get it.
     
  16. noketchup

    noketchup Member

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    I had an F15C pilot tell me most of the guys in his B-course washed out. Ive just accepted that every step will be an even stronger kick in the pants than the one before it :bang:
     
  17. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    James_95

    I hope you really start to understand that any path you take is not easy. You will fight for that ROTC pilot slot, you will fight for the Guard/Reserve job, you will fight for your wings.

    Anyway you roll it that fight will not end at least for 7 years.

    Risks are risks...AFROTC you owe time ADAF. Guard/Reserve you need them to take you on in their unit. How do you feel about living in Utah, but the only Guard unit that takes you is Maine? Are you willing to move and accept a puddle jumper slot with insanely low pay and on call?
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
  18. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    I've seen this movie before! Brings back both good and bad memories.
    My best friend in UPT washed out 2 weeks before graduation, which was well after drop night. It was totally f'd up, to put it lightly! It put the nail in the coffin and we buried the class morale with it that day. I was on his wing during his last ride (89 ride); it was a T-38 formation sortie. When it was all said and done, we lost over 1/3 of our class; it was brutal to say the least. Another 1/4 did not get a cockpit right away. Timing is indeed everything! Fast forward 6 years... it took an act of congress to wash out of UPT-witnessed it first hand during my AETC tour.
    The good news....I was engaged before UPT and was married 4 weeks after getting my wings! Sound similar, Pima? :)
    I can only speak for myself but key to success in pilot training is to try and stay relaxed. Most of the stress is self induced, IMO. No doubt, UPT is an extremely stressful environment but if you can cut through the bs, you can see what's important and what's not. For me, working out was my stress reliever. Back then, I enjoyed lifting weights and I spent a lot of my off time at the gym. Maintain your cool while accomplishing the mission...that's the key to success. Secondly, staying ahead of the game is key to reducing stress. This equates to having a plan and executing it. Have a strict study plan, chair fly until you can dream it, and stay focused on those shiny silver wings! Also, enjoy your time off. Go out and blow off some steam! Lastly, you have it or you don't. This is just me talking and many may argue so take it with a grain of salt. Being able to put it all together and making it happen while your helmet is on fire is not for everyone. I call it multi tasking with precision in a small confined area, moving at 300-600 MPH.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2016
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  19. 6KDogwhistle

    6KDogwhistle Member

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    That's not the rule but an exception. Washout rates may be high at times but in general, the odd are in your favor. Remember, failure is not an option! As my momma always used to say, "someone has to be that person, so why not you!".
     
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  20. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    88 or 89 the worst numbers for any IFT/UPT student.

    I also agree with 6K...it really is the minority that wash out of the schoolhouse.
    ~ Caveat the 35 just dropped and those that got it were told they are going to have fight again for the 35. Please don't divert this into a 35 thread. Just saying that those that got the 35 out of UPT are not guaranteed they will go 35 ops.
     

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