Why you should be an Army Aviator

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by scoutpilot, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    A little video fun from the good ol' days when we owned the skies of the greater Baghdad area... :biggrin:

    Guns Guns Guns
     
  2. HeloPilot_2015

    HeloPilot_2015 USMA Class of 2015

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    Sign me up!
     
  3. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Bonus points if you can pick out your favorite Scoutpilot in that video :biggrin:
     
  4. condor17

    condor17 Class of 2015

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    scoutpilot,
    my brother wants to be an Army aviator...do you recommend becoming a commissioned officer or warrent officer?
     
  5. jake s

    jake s USMA Cadet

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    My dad and I were thinking the same thing when we watched the video :shake: Great video Scoutpilot!
     
  6. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Yeah but you've met me...no bonus points for you! As an aside, I ate at Maggiano's last night. Hope you're well!
     
  7. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    What are his goals? If he wants to just be Peter Pilot, he probably ought to join the Air Force. Army Aviation is a very different creature. We're not the "Air Force of the Army" like some people think. The purpose of Army Aviation is not to rack up flight time. If that's his goal, he should know how it works.

    As a platoon leader and company commander, you will fly more than some warrants. As an assistant S-3, you'll likely fly less.

    Here's the thing to remember, though...everyone gets so wrapped up about flight time as though it's all that matters in aviation. It's not. But beyond that, your time at a desk comes in every branch. Infantry captains are not all leading men over the hill, nor is every Armor officer on a tank every day. Being out of the cockpit isn't fun, but stepping into a staff role and away from the minute-to-minute action is something that happens in every branch.

    When an officer flies he usually serves as the air mission commander. He's commanding the flight and the fight the same way an infantry PL would command the actions of his platoon on the ground.

    Aviation is a maneuver element...the most mobile and lethal maneuver element the Army possesses. One team or platoon of aircraft can provide timely and accurate reconnaissance and gun/rocket/missile fires over an entire battlespace...literally thousands of sq km. No ground element can match that kind of speed and freedom to see and influence the fight. As such, aviation elements require smart and capable leadership. As the platoon leader, that's exactly what you'll do. If you're in a 58D or 64D, you'll be in the copilot seat of the trail aircraft, talking to everybody and their brother about what's going on, commanding the flight, and acting as the gunner for your aircraft. There's a lot going on in your ears and in your seat, and you'll be working hard to keep up.

    Many of you are interested in aviation, and I love to see that. But I should take the opportunity to remind you that it's not a sunday drive. It's not all flightsuits and aviator sunglasses and hollywood callsigns and motorcycle rides to a Kenny Loggins soundtrack (Top Gun reference...anyone? Bueller?)

    Folks both in the Army and outside the Army get the idea that being a helicopter pilot is all glamour. It isn't. It's a demanding job whether you're in garrison or in the sky over Iraq/Afghanistan. I don't know many infantrymen who show up for work on a Friday morning to have a CW4 hand them a 3-page test with 100%-or-fail standard which requires verbatim answers. If they do, I'll eat crow.

    Aviation
    is not a job for the weak or spastic. About the time that rounds are punching holes in the skin of the aircraft, and your infantry brethren on the ground who are taking accurate and sustained belt-fed fire from an unseen location are really asking you to do them a solid and find/finish the bastard, and your copilot has lost sight of the other aircraft, and there's a young soldier on the ground badly in need of a MEDEVAC, and the TOC is trying to drop mortars through your flightpath in support those infantrymen, and you're low on fuel, and it's dark, and your lead ship's gun is jammed, and everybody needs their problem to be your first priority because you're the only thing smokin' as far as air assets in the entire battlespace at that moment. Every last bit of that information is being piped into your ears over 4 radio nets, which are squealing and squelching from the omnipresent IED jammers all over the battlespace. That's when you hear the voice of one of your best warrant officers, who's flying in the lead ship, break through the din and ask in a calm but obviously concerned way, "What are we doing, boss?" That's when you have to swallow a big reality pill, find your voice, and be not just another aviator, but an aviation officer. You have to take everything you know, bounce it off everything you don't know, and make a command decision.

    Do you get low and find the enemy with a little "recon by sacrifice"?

    Do you break station?

    Do you suppress in the general direction?

    Do you get that MEDEVAC on the ground now and tell the joes they're going to have to deal with that incoming fire themselves?

    Leadership is what being an commissioned officer is about. And those are the decisions you'll make.
     
  8. Idzak

    Idzak Member

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    Thanks.
     
  9. HeloPilot_2015

    HeloPilot_2015 USMA Class of 2015

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    ^Agreed. Thanks for the insight, Scout.
     
  10. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Ha! Thats too easy. SP, you're at 2:07.

    And great, meaningful post...your top gun comment made me laugh hard.
     
  11. Ken2012

    Ken2012 Prospective

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    I'm thinking the one at 0:38-0:39.. gazing over the horizon. :biggrin:
     
  12. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    Am I? :biggrin:
     
  13. Chockstock

    Chockstock "Forever One Team"

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    Who else could it be???:biggrin:
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    I'll play nice. That's not me...but he was my IAW roommate in 1999 and a fellow grad.
     

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