Just a few responses.
1. ROTC grads that ask for a rated slot have historically close to a 95% chance of receiving a rated slot.
~ The thing for AFROTC is that you need to be selected for SFT as a sophomore. Scholarships are considered blind for that board. IOWS they don't put any weight into the equation. So it is kind of like NROTC kids without a scholarship competing for their spot their sophomore yr. They both have that make or break year, but just in a different way.
~~ Basically if you keep your nose clean, carry a 3.0 (tech) or 3.4 (non-tech) and have a couple of hours flight time you will get pilot. If somewhere along the path you decide to try for the USAFA route, than as long as you commission from USAFA and are medically qual'd you will get UPT. You can be the bottom of the barrel or what I believe the Navy calls the anchor in the class and still you can get UPT. I don't believe that is true for the Navy.
~~ When my DS commissioned in 12, 13 of the 28 requested UPT. 13 requested pilot. 12 got it. The one that didn't was because their eyesight did not meet the FAA FC1 physical requirements. They went UNT (nav). In essence 100% rate. Nobody that asked for pilot and was medically qual'd did not get a pilot slot. 1 was considered to short for ejection seat, but passed the FAA FC1, so she entered knowing that she would go heavies, but still got a pilot slot.
2. As far as the pointy noses go for the AF. IF you wing you have @25% chance of getting one. Additionally, if you add in ENJJPT than your odds go up overall to about 35-40% chance. ENJJPT only hands out jets. However, competing for an ENJJPT slot is very competitive. They only wing about @200 people per year compared to the other 3 UPT bases that each wing about 300 per year.
~ If you look on baseops.net you will see a thread called track night. AF UPT bases wing about every 3 weeks, and on average @25% go T-38 track which is the pointy nose.
~~ My DS's class had 25% go Fighter. The number 1 in the class got F22. The rest were all 16's 15s and 15Es. No A10s in his class.
~~~ The AF has already started dropping F35s out of UPT. I don't know if the Navy is doing that currently.
~~~~ Does the Navy have the equivalent to ENJJPT for UPT?
~~~~~What is their wash out rate at UPT overall?
3. One thing that I will say that I like better for AF than Navy is how UPT works. My DS started and finished with all of the same people. It created friendships and bonds. Winging for them is a HUGGGGEEEE thing. It is a 3 day event that culminates with a black tie ball. This includes welcome cocktail party, base tour, simulator rides, and the big graduation ceremony where the pilots walk across the stage. Assignment night is also HUUUGGGE. It is a big party @ 1 month prior to winging where they find out their airframe.
~ My friends DS that winged Navy shocked me when she said it is really no biggie, basically they just do the pin on. No ball, no cocktail parties, no tours, etc. She also said that it was weird because nobody that started with her DS winged with him. The reason why is how they do that start stop aspect. (this would be the part where in the AF you track after the T-6 stage into either the 38s or the 1s.) There is no start stop for the AF, you all move on together. The only ones that don't either wash out or wash back to the next class.
~~ My friend was an AF pilot and his DS opted to go Navy.
4. Believe it or not, I know a ton of friends that homesteaded in the AF. Of course that is a career killer. The AF frowns upon homesteading. The way they do this is they will volunteer for a 1 yr. remote with a follow on back to their station. One of my friends that now has a DS serving as a navigator in the AF, never moved from the time her DS was in 2nd grade to the time her DH retired. The DS already graduated from HS when his Dad retired. Yep, 10 years in one place.
~ Also for the AF, typically you will spend your career going between specific bases if you stay in that airframe. For example, the F15E is at 3 bases. Seymour, Lakenheath and Mt. Home. Thus, you bounce back and forth between these bases, and since Seymour is both Operational and FTU, you usually bounce between Lakenheath and Seymour. You also can PCA at Seymour by bouncing from 1 of the 2 FTU squadrons and 1 of the 2 Op. squadrons. IE your career can look like this. FTU (PCS) to Seymour as an O2 with a 1st tour Op. to Lakenheath (3 yrs) come back to Seymour as an IP at 1 of the FTU squadrons, than after 3-4 yrs. PCA over to one of the Op squadrons at Seymour for another 3-4 yrs. Thus, a total of @ 6-8 yrs. in lovely (sarcasm) Goldsboro. Than do what our friends did because you are hot on the Remote list and go to Korea for a yr. with a follow on back to Seymour FTU as an IP again. Repeat with the OP tour. Basically except for that 1 yr remote, you have done @15 yrs at 1 base.
~~ My DS (C130J) will basically have the same options between bouncing between Dyess, Little Rock and if he is lucky for overseas, Ramstein. Ramstein is rare, so basically he will go back and forth between 1 of 2 bases if he stays in that airframe. Little Rock is like Seymour, training squadrons and Op squadrons, thus they can bounce between the squadrons.
The fact is that most airframes have only a few bases they bounce to and from over their career. Bullet decided he wanted to do a lot of bouncing from a career aspect. Yet, in the last decade of his career, 4 moves. (Seymour, CGSC, Pentagon, Seymour) we spent over 6 of those 10 at Seymour. It was really our choice. Had he not gone to CGSC, we probably would have been like our friends bounce between the 335th (OP) and the 333rd (FTU) with a remote, and spent all 10 years at Seymour.
5. I disagree with you regarding flying is your only job until you hit O4. That is a pure fallacy. It is true until you become Operational which is @ your 2 yr. flying marker. 1 yr UPT, 6 months FTU, 6 months MQing at your 1st Op base. Once operational, they will assign you a desk job, be it in scheduling, weapons/tactics, life support or Snack O. You only will fly about 2 days a week. The rest of those days you are flying a desk.
~ If you want to make O4 than you need to fly a desk while you also are flying. IE you start in your squadron in the tactics shop, do well and than you fly the desk in the wing tactics shop. That helps you make O4.
~~ Of course there are times that you will really fly alot, such as upgrading to IP, preparing for deployment, on deployment or going to WIC (Top Gun for Navy), but that is a very small amount of time from a long term aspect. Overall, expect 2 days a week on average.
The thing is for the AF they owe 9 years from winging, and now they are losing pilots at an insanely high rate. Pointy nose pilots are being offered @250K at their 8 yr marker (after winging or 9 yrs in) if they stay until 19 yrs. They can get 50% up front (125K before taxes) and the remaining 125K is dispersed annually over the remaining 10 years, or @12.5K per year, plus at that time they are getting @10K in flight pay. Yet, still they are finding out that statistically they are not getting enough to bite on it for them to stop the mass exodus to the airlines.
~ I don't know what the Navy is doing for retention, but my guess is that, like the AF, they are bleeding too. Bullet and I fly out to see our DS 2x a yr. We both do the same thing everytime the plane lands...guess if they were AF or Navy prior to becoming a bus driver in the sky. Navy pilots tend to hit the runway as soon as they can (carrier landing) and taxi for a long time down the runway. AF guy/gals tend to use up the runway before landing and taxi for a shorter amount of time because they never had to land on a moving runway that is shorter.
All in all, I have to say that you can't go into this world asking which branch do I have a better chance of getting a pointy nose jet because you know what they call an O1 pilot? Ensign or Lt. Smith, not Pilot Smith. You will be an officer 1st and pilot 2nd. Sooooo many enter UPT with that dream of a pointy nose jet, but after 50 weeks of wake up at 5, academics, sim, flying, go home, eat dinner, chair fly until 11, repeat 5 days a week, and start studying at noon on Sunday all they really want is to wing. Once they wing, be it heavy or pointy nose they will swear their airframe is the best and most important airframe in the inventory.
~ My Bullet and my DS taunt each other. Bullet being that pointy nose guy, and DS being a heavy they see things differently. IE DS drops those guys out of his perfectly good airplane that call in the air strikes that he would respond to during his missions. DS gives a lift to the maintainers and Intel members for their deployments, plus if they need spare parts, guess who delivers them to those remote spots (see my avatar). Bullet will in turn respond by saying that if the pointy nose doesn't keep the air space safe than they couldn't do their mission. It really becomes which came 1st the chicken or the egg?
Thus, in the end you have to answer 1 question and 1 question alone. Which branch will I be happier in IF I don't wing. Leave the airframe out of the question. Only place into the equation if you have to fly a desk as an Intel officer or Maintenance would you rather be at sea or landlocked?
~ Like Sled, my DS and my DH had absolutely no desire to be on a boat 6 months out of 18 months, they were fine with being landlocked.
I will also say that for me, if I wanted to go down this path as a military member and not a dependent, I would choose the Navy. I would much rather be on a boat for 6 months seeing interesting ports than being landlocked at a desk. Not saying that I did not love every single assignment, because I did, just saying if I was 23 and did not wing, with no dependents, it would be Navy all the way.
~ That also being said, my DS met his wife when he was 20. Married at 24. 1st baby is due at the ripe old age of 26, he still owes 6 more years. Never in his mind when he entered ROTC at 18 did he think 8 years later he would be a Dad. That changes things. It is no longer just about you. It is about those you love that are left behind, and that changes your perspective about everything, including staying in for the 20.
~~ DS owes many more years. 2023 is when he can walk. His wife is going crazy because he is a cheap wad right now. I have to constantly say to her, he is looking at long term for you guys. Airlines don't pay a lot in the beginning, the more you save, the more you will be able to live off your savings while he starts with the airlines without hurting you guys financially...IOWS you can stil stay at home with the kids. He has yet to decide if he is going to stay and take the bonus or walk. It is all going to come down to the future. Deployments, PCSing, time away from the family, and quality of life. He is too young right now to make that choice.
I will also say that the AF is the Prima Donna of every branch. Not flying and you do bankers hours. They truly believe that for retention purposes a happy family, will increase retention....not the if they wanted you to have a family they would issue you one. Granted Grand Forks might not make the spouse thrilled, but if it means you are home a lot that takes the sting out of being at Grand Forks.
OBTW oldsalt, Randolph is amazing, but that assignment is elusive overall just like Eglin, Hickham, Elmendorf, Ramstein, etc. etc. Don't expect to get it in your career. Expect the Hell Rio assignment 1st. Somebody has to take 1 for the team. Bullet jumped out of perfectly good airplanes with the 82nd to get that Elmendorf assignment. Basically, you have to make a deal with the Devil for the most cases to get that great base.