Rated positions

SF_DAD

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Sep 12, 2020
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Does anyone have data regarding selection (job drops) for the different rated positions such as Pilot, CSO, ABM, and RPA. Pilot is commonly referenced, but what about the others?
 
See AA784Driver 's post on Page 3 of 2024 Drops. I can't read the image but maybe you can.
 
I can tell you last year from my sons graduating class of 2023 it was this.
Pilot #396
CSO #5
ABM #4
RPA #12
 
That's a difficult question to answer because the "needs of the Air Force" changes every year.

For instance, there were 20 CSO slots for 2024 compared to 5 in 2023.
 
396 pilot positions assigned? How many offered?
How many cadets requested a pilot slot?
 
396 pilot positions assigned? How many offered?
How many cadets requested a pilot slot?
From what my son told me last year USAFA did not fill all their pilot slots. So they had 396 but guessing they were probably allowed about 450 but that is strictly a guess on my part.
 
396 pilot positions assigned? How many offered?
How many cadets requested a pilot slot?
Around 20-30% at USAFA did not get their requested pilot slots—even cadets with PPLs and instructor pilots for the Academy's soaring program. Some were devastated.
 
Are you 100 percent positive that no Soaring IP got pilot that wanted it? That has NEVER happened before in all the years? Or, is this hearsay?
 
Apparently, General Clark was concerned about the pilot slots being seriously depleted. He communicated this in writing with all cadets.
 
Are you 100 percent positive that no Soaring IP got pilot that wanted it? That has NEVER happened before in all the years? Or, is this hearsay?
Most did get it, a couple didn’t for various reasons. Very small percentage though.
 
From what my son told me last year USAFA did not fill all their pilot slots. So they had 396 but guessing they were probably allowed about 450 but that is strictly a guess on my part.
I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that only 396 Cadets wanted to go to Pilot training. That would be I'm guessing less than half the class. What is scaring them off? The 10-year commitment?

Were the majority there simply for the free education and then it's five and dive?
 
I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that only 396 Cadets wanted to go to Pilot training. That would be I'm guessing less than half the class. What is scaring them off? The 10-year commitment?

Were the majority there simply for the free education and then it's five and dive?
Believe it or not, not everyone that goes to the Academy wants to be a pilot. The class graduated 917 total. The Space Force took almost 100 cadets which is becoming a sought out job and highly competitive now. Also, not everyone that wanted pilot can medically qualify when it comes down to getting a slot. I will say the 10 year commitment is a grand hurdle being that is doesn’t start ticking at graduation. It starts from when you get your wings and with the backlog in pilot training that could be another year before you even start your training.
 
Believe it or not, not everyone that goes to the Academy wants to be a pilot. The class graduated 917 total. The Space Force took almost 100 cadets which is becoming a sought out job and highly competitive now. Also, not everyone that wanted pilot can medically qualify when it comes down to getting a slot. I will say the 10 year commitment is a grand hurdle being that is doesn’t start ticking at graduation. It starts from when you get your wings and with the backlog in pilot training that could be another year before you even start your training.
Thanks for the reply, I'm very aware though of how many graduates cyber and space are drawing from each class. These are great and highly important career fields.

I guess I am a little jaundiced as a Congressional interviewer and former graduate because sometimes it's very hard to weed out those that are looking for the free education as opposed to being career officers. Some interviewees will say just about anything to get a nomination . In my day most decided on usafa because it was the surest way of getting into pilot training.

So now, numbers wise, we are looking at only 3 to 500 students each year out of the entire country that were qualified for appointments and also wanted to be Pilots.

Doesn't that seem a little odd? I'm just trying to understand I guess the demographic of today's youth.

Again in my day, five, 10, 15 year commitment, it didn't matter we just wanted to go become Air Force pilots.
 
there simply for the free education and then it's five and dive?
This is an oxymoronic statement.

As the parent of a cadet who is not going pilot, but who intends to render enemy satellites and systems (including aircraft) non-functional, I'd suggest that there are many, many ways for selfless young men and women to serve the mission of USAFA.
 
This is an oxymoronic statement.

As the parent of a cadet who is not going pilot, but who intends to render enemy satellites and systems (including aircraft) non-functional, I'd suggest that there are many, many ways for selfless young men and women to serve the mission of USAFA.
Don't be defensive. You completely missed my point, read my post again. I am very aware of US AF/SF career professionals that are not pilots. I was merely pointing out that there are a number of interviewees that are just looking for a free education.

I would challenge anyone here to do all of the interviews I have done over the years and be able to definitively say this student is telling the truth and that student is not. It is impossible.

And yes I have had interviewees say they wanted to be AF Pilots yet could not name a single operational Air Force aircraft.
 
Don't be defensive. You completely missed my point, read my post again. I am very aware of US AF/SF career professionals that are not pilots. I was merely pointing out that there are a number of interviewees that are just looking for a free education.

I would challenge anyone here to do all of the interviews I have done over the years and be able to definitively say this student is telling the truth and that student is not. It is impossible.

And yes I have had interviewees say they wanted to be AF Pilots yet could not name a single operational Air Force aircraft.
FWIW @Stormbird , I didn't read your post to be divisive or putting down anyone who not interested in or not going to serve in a pilot role after commissioning/ earning wings. I will say being the parent of a new mil officer (navy) who is down in Pensacola flying and eventually to earn his wings, that the 10 year after wings commitment is for those dreaming to fly not a big deterrent to a dream job. Most who want to fly/ love aviation will I think not pause to make the sacrifice.

I'm curious about interest in a longer career vs five and dive for those who were perhaps academically talented but in that window where they wouldn't qualify for financial aid but family didn't have a great deal of $ to support their education. I do see candidates who until coached flat-out say "for the free education" on why they want to attend a SA or train in ROTC. Inflation has tightened a lot of household belts - maybe there is an impact showing here on less people being willing to make a 12 or more with delay commitment. IDK, but appreciate your raising a good discussion point. I don't see anything incongruous about stating those wishing to avoid longer service commitments may steer away from aviation - 5 years vs 12+ is a difference - it is a bigger commitment.

I'm not sure how many cadets had pilot on their preference sheet but did not get it, or were as others noted wanted to be a pilto but were DQ'd for a pilot slot after a more in-depth class 1 flight physical. I do recommend, as we did for my DS in HS that anyone who can afford it pay for a class 1 flight physical completed by a team who often does these exams for the military before they commit to serve. Better to know up-front if you or your DD/ DS/ Dwhatever won't be able to fly for any reason. Things can change, but some DQs are already, like the alien waiting to pop-out in Aliens - already there - whether or not they have yet been discovered or not.

There were some posts noting that perhaps those ranked higher but not highest (maybe ranks 201-299, some other tiers like 400-499 would be culled for serving in key but non-aviation positions (serving the needs of the AF over pure preference). Maybe that had some impact on the lower numbers ending up in aviation? Not sure.

Anyhoo, just thought I'd sanity check how your post read and share a couple of thoughts.
 
I have another theory if indeed there is a decline in the number of cadets trying for pilot slots. As the AF pilot shortage continues, there are less pilots available to fill “outside of flying” roles. One of the slots that less pilots are filling is the Cadet Squadron AOC role. One of my oldest son’s strongest influence to continue his quest for his pilot slot was his AOC who was an A-10 pilot. If there aren’t many pilots mentoring and influencing the cadets as they consider career choices, I can see it leading to a decline in pilot numbers.
 
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