Pilot/EOD Service Selection

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by terp1984, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. terp1984

    terp1984 5-Year Member

    Oct 18, 2009
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    DS is getting closer to service select time and originally was going to put pilot as 1st choice. Now he is showing alot of interest in EOD. He has done very well in nrotc and will be competitive for the small number (18) EOD slots. My concern is how is the employment market post navy in this type of field. Its obvious as a pilot commercial is an option and seems to be developing a shortage of pilots but what percent of the pilots actually fly when they leave the service. Who knows, he may put in 20 years and this may never be an issue but being the concerned parent and business owner we look at things differently. Any input appreciated.
  2. bsherman92

    bsherman92 5-Year Member

    Feb 6, 2011
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    There is very little correlation between his Navy officer billet and a civilian career if he's going in as an Unrestricted Line Officer. It's relatively the same story for Restricted Line Officers and Limited Duty Officers (LDO), with exceptions... One of the many "engineering titles" within the restricted line duties may serve him well upon discharge (Nuclear Power School Instructors, Naval Reactor Engineer, Engineering Duty Officers, Aerospace Engineering Duty Officers, Meteorology/Oceanography Officers, Information Warfare Officers, Cyber Warfare Engineers, etc). These are highly specialized, technical positions and are given the title of Restricted Line because they only hold command billets in their specialized fields, so you can see they MIGHT translate well into a civilian career. Mind you, that's a big "if;" most of these positions are exclusive to the United States Navy and the real civilian industry that corresponds (roughly) to these titles doesn't work the same way. Staff Corps officers hold most of the professional positions: doctors, dentists, chaplains, lawyers, etc... These officers pretty much know where they're headed after they leave.

    This is much the same issue within any branch of the military. What post-Army career fits best for an 11B? Security guard? Private Military Contractor? Some of the best case scenarios I've seen are medical staff who go on to continue within medicine when they leave. For example, AIT (MOS school) and A-school for an Army 68W and a Navy Hospital Corpsman, respectively, leave them a few credits short of an EMT certification in most states (maybe even grant them with the certification while in job school. I'm not sure). Much of the key to ensuring a good post-military career is writing the right kind of résumé. Instead of explicitly stating that you were a Surface Warfare Officer for four years, you should explain how the multiple command billets you held and your leadership responsibilities contribute well to your candidacy for employment. There are exceptions out there. The recent director of that cop movie, End of Watch, was a Navy veteran... I remember reading an article about an Intelligence Officer from the Navy who works in Washington now... Various success stories here and there. Most of the success has little to do (at least directly) with their former military job titles and careers, although some really do branch off to work within the same field (most of them Federal employees, a few within the FBI, etc). Police precincts love to employ veterans. It's a general rule that you shouldn't go into the military expecting it to prepare you for a stable civilian career.

    If your son really does go into aviation and contemplates flying for a commercial airline, that's great. Otherwise, it's hard to predict how his Navy career will determine his post-discharge career. I'd say his most important and logical step after leaving is to utilize his GI Bill (given he's eligible) to enroll back in school and work towards his next degree (probably a Master's given the fact he's going in with a Bachelor's). Good luck!
  3. Aglahad

    Aglahad 5-Year Member

    Aug 25, 2011
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    My father worked as a civilian in the Navy nuke program and he always told me that engineering duty officers and nuke guys all had lucrative careers when they got out. Many were hitting six figures in the 1980s.

    Not really related, but the EMT-B from 68W AIT isn't really worth much in the civilian world (most jobs I have seen are $12-15 or less an hour) unless you obtain that EMT-P/Paramedic which I believe is only common with 18D SF guys and is generally a 2 year program.
  4. wulaw

    wulaw Member

    Oct 31, 2012
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    Go EOD

    Being a military officer isn't a "trade," and military officer training isn't "trade school." It's not about learning a hard skill that will employ you for the rest of your life, it's about the soft skills - how to work under pressure, how to work with people you don't necessarily like or who come from a very different background, how to lead people who were your peers yesterday. Those are the things you get from being an officer, and I'll tell you from personal experience, those are the most valuable skills of all. Tell your son to go EOD if that's what he's passionate about. As an Army Corps of Engineers officer (who later transferred to the JAG Corps and who now runs a financial services company with thousands of employees, so that shows you that careers aren't linear anymore), defusing mines scared the living s#%$ out of me, so if I got a resume across my desk from an EOD officer, I'd know it was someone who wouldn't flinch from corporate bulls%$#.

    Thanks for letting me spout off. I went to college on a 4-year Army ROTC scholarship that I needed, and for a long time, I HATED it. But that soft stuff I learned sunk in, and slowly I figured things out. I stayed in 13 years active and reserve (mostly reserve), and when my civilian career became so consuming that I couldn't manage both, it was tough for me to leave. But I attribute most of my success to the things I learned in the Army, and I bet someday your son will too. My son is a MIDN in NROTC now completely by his own choice, and I couldn't be happier - and if he wants to go EOD, I pray that he got his mothers hands! Best of luck to you - your son really can't go wrong.
  5. Pima

    Pima 5-Year Member

    Nov 28, 2007
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    One thing I would say is when it comes to career fields afterwards it is like anything else, supply and demand, with that being said none of us own a crystal ball.

    Our close friend left the AF at the 13 yr marker Mar. 2001. Went and flew United. 9/11 happened and furloughing occurred, he managed to stay in for about 2-3 yrs because of his line number was high enough up, but eventually he was furloughed and hired on with puddle hoppers. In 09 he had enough and the AF brought him back on as a UAV pilot at his O4 rank. He was a yr older than Bullet, and now entering back in a yr after Bullet retired. It is to this day his biggest regret that he left the AF. He will be 55 when he retires, where if he stayed he would have been 43 (was am AFA Prepster). You just don't know. Just because pilots appear to be a safer 2nd career option does not mean it will be.

    I would think as an EOD from a job security perspective he would be picked up in a second. I am not even coming from the position of working for the police. There are companies out there that create these devices and your DS would be one of a select few that have practical experience with their product, be it robotics, safety suits, or the device itself. That is before you even start discussing government GS positions, I am just talking defense industry.

    Bullet was picked up 1 yr before he signed his retirement papers because very few people had his experience in fighters, weapons, and Pentagon speak. They searched him out because like the EOD world, it is a very small community as you rise up the ranks. As you get higher they keep an eye out for you...it really is not just what you know, but who you know.

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