Military pilots, looking for info for my son

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by Country Flier, Apr 16, 2021.

  1. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,981
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    Where were you and this information when I was looking to get into an aviation unit:) If I had known the above information I might have tried a lot harder to transfer to the local Air Guard Unit.
    As it was the Army paid for most of my Instrument Rating, and a bunch of my education expenses. I was fortunate enough to figure out the odds of a flight spot in Army ROTC were low enough I probably wouldn't be flying and as a commissioned officer even if I got an aviation slot, it would probably would not be what I wanted to do. So I went and got my CFI(I) ratings and started instructing, I choice I have never regretted. Sometimes wish I had stayed in another 10 years for the retirement, but getting out (so I could instruct more on the weekends) when I did I likely missed a few scenic trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  2. Bug H

    Bug H Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2020
    Messages:
    12
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Bug H
    I can speak to USN/USMC aviation training. It's very competitive, but also very rewarding.

    Each year, 10k-12k applications are received. Of those, about 1.2-1.4K are selected to begin training. From that, 4 out of 5 complete the program and earn gold wings. Approx 250 Primary phase grads (T-6B Texan II) are selected for follow-on Advanced training in the T-45 Goshawk to fly strike/fighters. Although the minimum jet score to graduate Primary is to be in the top 50%. However, there are so many officers in the pipeline now that only the top 20% of Primary graduates are able to select the jet pipeline. About 50% are sent to fly rotary wing. It is about a four year journey from commissioning to a grey Navy jet with ten years commitment upon winging (about 2-3 years in), and the job entails substantially more than just flying.

    To succeed there has to be an obvious fire in the belly. A carrier fighter pilot is still a Naval Officer (Leader) first - aviator second. A normal day for a junior officer (any platform) will entail Division Officer tasks as well as mission planning and flying. You are frequently gone a lot as well as get accustomed to moving every few years. Many assignments do not involve flying.

    I do not say this to discourage OP's son applying. I want to assist with some expectation management if he is considering Naval Aviation. Having just wrapped up a career, I can think of no greater opportunity for a young person to engage with their full industry. Best wishes to the OP!
     
  3. rookie1255

    rookie1255 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    rookie1255
    Army helicopter pilot, probably one of the easiest ways to get in. Downsides-dealing with army crap and not just flying, 10 year service obligation that starts after flight school. This used to not be an issue for folks who knew they were going to stay in for 20 and retire, but the new retirement benefits are now garbage.

    Pros-Easiest way to get in, Army is desperate for pilots. The training is good and rotorcraft training is more expensive so it's nice to have all those ratings paid for. Should your son want to do fixed wing while an Army pilot, he'll also get $4000 in annual tuition assistance to be able to use for flight training on the fixed wing side. Plus since the ratings will be add ons there'll be reduced minimum times (30 hrs for private, 15 for instrument, etc).
     
  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    12,618
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    I wouldn’t recommend Army for the commissioned route. That is unless he wants to spend most of his time doing supply, operations, admin or platoon leader nonsense. Additional duties with those jobs with the never ending inventories, PPT classes, counseling statements, sensitivity training, etc, etc. You might get to fly once a month.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t even recommend the warrant route these days. Used to be a “flying club” but now it’s mostly additional duty BS. I’ve heard from several friends that are still in that say I got out at the right time and they can’t wait to retire. It’s gone from a war fighting force to let’s see how much busy work we can create because we don’t have the $$$ to fly.

    Plus, the other branches have some esprit de corps. I used to go to Marine F-18 squadrons for quarterly ATC briefs. Their office areas where like going to a military aviation museum. Plaques, posters, models, personalized briefing room chairs. They exuded confidence and stood out from other Marines just by their appearance.

    The Army doesn’t like stand outs or individuals. That’s why they took one piece flight suits away. Army Aviation, other than 160th and Flight Concepts is about “Big Army”mediocrity and dealing with tons of red tape. The Army is governed by a hierarchy that’s composed of ground pounder generals. Generals that want money and attention diverted to tanks, APCs, arty etc and not aviation. It’s really ironic though because the past 2 decades of warfare have been dominated by Army Aviation. Every major operation has required the use of rotor wing assets. “Artillery, the king of battle.” My a$$.
     
    EvilEagle likes this.
  5. Warlock

    Warlock Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    1,185
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Warlock
    Army Aviation is hated by everyone but Company grade and below infantry...and General Officers and their Aids looking for a ride...trying to put it nicely but as posted before would be my last pick if I had a redo...can’t believe it’s now ten year commitment for the Army as well as it was only four years when I started.
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  6. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    11,112
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    Neighbor's kid just got his wings, going to Virginia for F18 training. Smart kid, went to the academy, near the top, if not at the top of his class. 4 years at the academy, and coming up on I believe his 3rd year of flight training. He's very motivated, every time I see him, I tell him he's living my dream, I was told when I was his age I couldn't be a pilot because of glasses.
     
  7. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    186
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CapellaXS
    Is the OP or his wife a Canadian citizen? If so don’t leave out the Canadian Forces. They are absolutely desperate for ANYONE. This includes Aviators. They don’t have an age limit nor really care about height or weight that much (just have to pass the physical assessments).