Best ROTC route for becoming a fighter pilot? (AFROTC VS NROTC)

Mumble

New Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2019
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1
Hi,
I plan on doing ROTC and really have my heart set on fighters, so I'm wondering if NROTC is a better choice to ensure a fighter slot because of the limited number of heavies the navy has? My understanding after talking with a family friend was that doing AFROTC will increase my chances of flying any plane but NROTC will increase my chance of flying fighters because the navy does not fly as many other planes. Is this true and do you have any general advice for the pilot track through ROTC?
Greatly appreciate any responses.
 

Pima

10-Year Member
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Nov 28, 2007
Messages
13,977
Leave all of that alone. You will not fly 5 days a week, You will have a non-flying job. So which do you want...Navy at sea or AF landlocked?

The AF has more pointy nose jets than the Navy, but still they are in the minority. The Navy has more helos. so the other question is if you can't get a jet that starts with the letter F, would you rather fly a Helo in the Navy or a heavy in the AF?

I do not know if you are a rising sr in HS or a rising freshmen in college as a walk on. Either way NROTC and AFROTC have gateway yrs. while you are in college.

I notice that this is your 1st post here. I mean this with kindness, but I suggest you use the search button.
There are a ton of AFROTC threads regarding UPT and selection process. You can also search baseops.net to see the latest UPT drops.
You need to want to serve that branch 1st and foremost because, at least for the AF you can't walk away until you are @34.
 

Physicsguru

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Jun 10, 2011
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374
I'm going to piggy-back on what Pima said and look for service first, then aircraft. Also, in the Navy there are a share of multi-engine land based as well (see C-130, EP-3, P-8, E-6). Not to mention the extra accessory on Navy aircraft that gets a *lot* of use. That extra step of trying to catch a wire is a challenge to even the best pilots.

In NROTC the first hoop to go through is warfare selection. While most do get their first choice, others end up with second or even third choice. For example, my first choice was subs, but ended up going Naval Flight Officer. What would you do if you don't get aviation? What if you get surface warfare? What if you do get aviation, but your eyes aren't qualified, or if you don't get TacAir?

Look into service culture, where the bases are, etc. There's a lot of things that go into service selection. In my own experience, I was looking at Army v. Navy, and chose Navy because I didn't want to spend time in the field. I never looked back after that decision.

Both are good options, so wherever you land, you'll enjoy it.
 

goirish1

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Joined
Apr 8, 2013
Messages
151
Speaking for Navy, even if you do get aviation, you need to score a minimum of 50 in Primary to list jets as your first choice and even a 50 doesn't guarantee you a jet slot. It depends on the needs of the Navy at the time of selection. I know SNAs who scored over 50 who got helos. My DS recently went through selection...he actually put helos as first choice...class of 25...only 2 got jets who had scores near 60. The majority of the class put P8s..only 2 got that...everyone else went helos. My DS went in thinking jets but before putting down his top 3, he did extensive research, talked to current pilots, and thought helos would give him the best opportunities based on need. So many young kids mesmerized at being the next Top Gun, but the slots are limited and it's not as easy as saying you're going to be a fighter pilot some day...best of luck, but I did want to share the reality of selection...a lot is out of your control other than doing the best you can in flight school.
 

Humey

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Jun 21, 2016
Messages
1,615
You have to start with the premise that the AF has more fixed wings than the Navy. More than likely if you are in the AF, you will fly a fixed wing. On the other hand, while a good numbers of fixed wings in the Navy are fighters, you have a smaller chance of flying a fixed wing in the Navy. So when figuring which way you want to go, you have to think about it in terms of best and worst posssible results. In the Air Force its going to be fighter/transport and in the Navy its going to be Fighter/Helo. Which negative result would you be happier with.
 

FMHS-79

Parent
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Feb 18, 2017
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You have to start with the premise that the AF has more fixed wings than the Navy. More than likely if you are in the AF, you will fly a fixed wing. On the other hand, while a good numbers of fixed wings in the Navy are fighters, you have a smaller chance of flying a fixed wing in the Navy. So when figuring which way you want to go, you have to think about it in terms of best and worst possible results. In the Air Force its going to be fighter/transport and in the Navy its going to be Fighter/Helo. Which negative result would you be happier with.

In addition, as @Pima indicated above, make sure you look at the options should you not secure a pilot slot - which branch of service has career and lifestyle options that better align with your skills and interests?
 
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