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Military Commitment? Worth It?  
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 1560 times:
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Hello All!

I haven't talked to a recruiter yet, cause those guys seem like car salesman when they are trying to get you to sign up, give information, etc...

I have a PPL, and would like to fly one of these days for a legacy. I know I got time on my side, but is it worth the the commitment to sign up and get hours necessary to fly for a big carrier?

I'm pretty sure I'd go OCS after completion of my college degree (1 yr), but would I still be required to sign a contract for mulitiple years with Army or AirForce?

All opinions and suggestions welcome.

My first post on the site!  Smile

Thanks in AAdvance.

PS. Politics would not play a part in my decision to serve my country.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1547 times:

Welcome to A-Net.

Let me first say congratulations on your choice to enter the US Military. It is a great profession. I enjoyed it, and found it rewarding in most all instances. (cue ignorant post from PacificJourney)

I certainly can't discuss issues relating to your PPL and what you need to do as far as obtaining hours to fly "big jets", other than to say - the Army isn't necessarily where you want to go if that is your ultimate goal. It simply doesn't have any big jets. Perhaps the Air Force (much as it pains me to say it) might be your best alternative.

Either way, you will have a multi-year committment to the military. You might count on 4-6 years at least.

Once again welcome aboard. Strap in, hold on. CAT is ugly in here occasionally . . .


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1538 times:
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ANCFlyer.

Thanks for the information. I've read a lot about Air Force guys that fly the Galaxies, Globemasters, Hercules, and Starlifters. It looks pretty doable.

Is it necessary to get hours in those types of a/c to apply towards a resume submission to a commercial carrier, or would flying an F15 or A10 be alright?

I'm just looking for the quickest way to earn the necessary hours, plus I sorta wanna fly some sorties over Iraq!!!

 crazy 


User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1529 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 2):
Is it necessary to get hours in those types of a/c to apply towards a resume submission to a commercial carrier, or would flying an F15 or A10 be alright?

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 1):
I certainly can't discuss issues relating to your PPL and what you need to do as far as obtaining hours to fly "big jets", other than to say

 wink 

Some military aviator will come along with that answer to the question I'm sure. I simply don't have it . . .

Now if you wanna know something about a tank - I'm your man.   

[Edited 2005-12-04 21:55:08]

User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1524 times:
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I think I found a pic of you blowing a hole in something during Desert Storm!



User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21555 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1517 times:

It should be said that if you're considering going into the miltary for the sole purpose of becoming a commerical pilot, you may want to think elsewhere - you might end up being miserable for a number of years (I think the Air Force's minimum is 8 years due to the need to earn back the sheer cost of training you), and there are other ways to get to the cockpit. However, if that's what you want to do, all the more power to you.

It is a big commitment, so take time to read the fine print and consider the available alternatives. Make sure that you will actually get a chance to fly - I've heard some people say that this is no sure thing. There are plenty of people here who can answer your questions.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 6, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1502 times:
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FX...welcome to Anet.

Don't join just to get a job in the civil sector later.

The military is going to require more from you than you may want to give if all you're thinking about is getting a free education from them and then an airline job later.

If you want to serve, sacrifice, and put yourself possibly in danger then go talk to a recruiter and some current pilots to see what it's all about. Other than that take Mir's advice and look into a pilot training program in the civilian sector. ERAU is a decent choice.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 7, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 1502 times:
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Mir.

My grandfather was a World War II fighter pilot in the South Pacific. He flew 49 missions, got shot down, and came back and flew another 28. I've had a passion for serving my country (hopefully as a combat pilot) for as long as I can remember!

If I wanted to get hours the civilian route, having endless amounts of cash to use for rental time isn't an issue.

 Smile


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21555 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1494 times:

I'll be honest - I considered the Air Force for a brief period of time (imagine that!). The idea of flying a C-5 or C-17 (or even better, a G-IV - I forget the military designation  Smile ). I also wanted to be an astronaut, and the Air Force was the only way that that was going to work out. But, alas, my vision sucks, so it would not have been at all productive as I'd be stuck on the ground.

FXRamper, it sounds like you want to do it, but still think it over and get as much information as you can before you sign the dotted line (as you should with all decisions with that amount of commitment involved).

And welcome to A.net, by the way!  wave 

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11447 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1493 times:
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Quoting FXramper (Reply 8):
I've had a passion for serving my country (hopefully as a combat pilot) for as long as I can remember!

If that's the case then definitely go see a recruiter.

Good luck.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1488 times:

FXRamper -

Welcome to anet. First, I think it is awesome that you have a good idea what you want to do with your life and that you are considering your avenues of approach very seriously.

Flying for the military can be extremely rewarding, not to mention you're given control of multi-million dollar equipment! ANCFlyer is correct, the Army has a FEW fix-winged aircraft, none of them jets. The Army's airpower is solely the helicopter. You get plenty of flight time as a helo pilot, and some kick ass missions - but if it is the heavies you want, the AF is the place.

I know you wouldn't have much trouble getting into OCS for the Army, but I don't know how the USAF works. I agree that there are other options outside the military, but I think it is safe to say that flying for the military is the most stable and reliable method of building hours. Starting off in a small airline company or regional transport can be a hit or miss - success or failure. Will your job be there in two months? Will you be able to make ends meet with the less than stellar pay?

The military doesn't pay GREAT, but well enough to live comfortably. Officer life is not too shabby. However, like everything else in life, there is no guarantee that you will fly. If you failed out of flight school, or you fail to meet minimum health requirements, your slot on the flight schedule may be compromised.

I am not sure the recruiters are the best people to look for advice from. I would try and get in contact with current AF pilots and get their take on the issue. But if rotary flight interests you, there a few Army guys here to help out.

Good luck and hope this helped

-UH60


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 11, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1483 times:
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Quoting DL021 (Reply 10):
If that's the case then definitely go see a recruiter.

Good luck.

I'm gonna try the online deal, chatting with a recruiter, less invasive!

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):
FXRamper, it sounds like you want to do it, but still think it over and get as much information as you can before you sign the dotted line (as you should with all decisions with that amount of commitment involved).

I hear some people complaining about signing away all their rights, I'll check the fine print!  Smile


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 12, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1479 times:
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Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 11):
Flying for the military can be extremely rewarding, not to mention you're given control of multi-million dollar equipment! ANCFlyer is correct, the Army has a FEW fix-winged aircraft, none of them jets. The Army's airpower is solely the helicopter. You get plenty of flight time as a helo pilot, and some kick ass missions - but if it is the heavies you want, the AF is the place.

I'd consider Marines, if they would let me fly the Warthog! I think I'd have a better foundation for a post military career as a pilot if I was flying cargo planes for the Air Force though.

Are there any members on this site that currently fly a/c for the Air Force or Reserve?


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 1471 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 13):

I'd consider Marines, if they would let me fly the Warthog! I think I'd have a better foundation for a post military career as a pilot if I was flying cargo planes for the Air Force though.

I am fairly sure only the USAF flies the A-10, while the Marines operate the AV-8s, F-18s and some A-6s (I'm not sure on this one - still?). Anyway the bulk of fixed wing flying is conducted with the USAF and USN. I also wonder just how much stock is put into they type of aircraft you flew when you interview with a commercial airline. Granted having time in a C-17 makes you more familar with flying a heavy... but flying the F-15 doesn't make you a slouch.

Either way, the military life kicks ass. I'm bias to it, but I can't imagine NOT doing this.

-UH60


User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5385 posts, RR: 53
Reply 14, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1450 times:

Quoting UH60FtRucker (Reply 14):
I am fairly sure only the USAF flies the A-10, while the Marines operate the AV-8s, F-18s and some A-6s (I'm not sure on this one - still?).

Only the USAF and USAFR flie the A-10. Marines don't and haven't flown the A-6 since they were all (both Navy and USMC) retired back in 1997.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 15, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 1434 times:
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Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 15):
No one signs away their rights in the military.

I totally agree. I just read all the articles about unhappy soliders and the anti-war protesters. Remember, to get in the military, you have to volunteer folks, there is no draft. I understand everyone currently serving in the active or reserves got their by choice.

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 16):
Only the USAF and USAFR flie the A-10.

That is good to know!!! The teaser trailer of Jarhead showing the low flyby of the two A10s is a great promotional clip for the Air Force. Makes me wanna sign up as soon as I graduate.

I am still considering military life though. My boss at FX has told me there are great oppurtunities for me with the company in operations that would allow me to travel as much as a pilot, it not more.


User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20497 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1426 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 8):
having endless amounts of cash to use for rental time isn't an issue.

You come sit by me. Oh, and welcome to a.net.  Smile



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 17, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1417 times:
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Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 20):
You come sit by me. Oh, and welcome to a.net.

Aerowesty, thanks so much for the welcome.  Smile

As stupid as it sounds of me, I'd really like to achieve my goal as a pilot by earning hours in the military, instead of cashing in on generious wealthy relatives, and probably taking just as long being a CFI to get necessary hours.

We'll see though, would be a damn shame for me to get shot down and killed!

 Sad


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 18, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1411 times:
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Can someone confirm the time necessary to commit to the Air Force for pilot training. The chat program on the Air Force website was off hours when I tried to log on.

Is it 4, 6, 7, or 8 yrs minimum?

I know I read somewhere that they've changed policies because pilots were getting their hours and then bailing out of military life to cash in on big money positions with domestic carriers.

Thanks.


User currently offlineUH60FtRucker From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1401 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 23):
Can someone confirm the time necessary to commit to the Air Force for pilot training. The chat program on the Air Force website was off hours when I tried to log on.

For the Air Force MOS (military ocupational speciality) 11A2 - Airlift Pilot, the following commitment is made:

"Navigators will incur a six-year service commitment from the date of award of aeronautical rating (completion of Specialized Undergraduate Navigator Training), and pilots incur a 10-year service commitment from the date of award of aeronautical rating (completion of Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training)."

-UH60


User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 20, posted (8 years 8 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 1397 times:
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UH60,

If I'm reading your information correct, I'd have to commit for 10 years for pilot programs in the military?

Wow, that is like three more years than I had thought.  Confused

Bummers.


User currently offlineWoodreau From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 1031 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1349 times:

As a pilot in the military service, you are a COMMISSIONED officer. You are not on a contract, you are on a commission. Your term of service is "at the pleasure of the President." Your commission does not expire like an enlisted service contract. Instead it stays in force until the President releases you. You can resign your commission, but the President still has to accept your resignation and release you.

You do incur a service obligation, which in UH-60's post is a 10 year service obligation after the date of award of your aeronautical rating. - e.g. your service obligation doesn't start until you finish flight school.

So your question should be:
How long does it take to finish flight school?
and
What is the active duty requirement out of that 10 year service obligation?

You may find that all 10 years of your service commitment must be served in active duty, or you may find (making up numbers here - that 6 years minimum must be served on active duty)

When I was commissioned in the Navy everyone had a minimum 8 year service obligation, but how you served those 8 years depended on what you ended up doing. Some were able to do 4 years active duty and "get out" and play civilian, but because they had not completed the 8 year service obligation, they had to accept reserve commissions (still on tether to the military) in the Navy reserve for 4 more years until they were able to resign the reserve commission, and be totally free of any military obligation.

Lastly, don't take this the wrong way. If your only reason to fly in the military is to "build time" for a civilian flying job then don't do it in the military. You are an officer and a leader first. You do your airmen, sailors, soldiers, and Marines a disservice if all you are doing is "building time" to get out. Your enlisted guys are very good at what they do. They deserve a leader to keep the BS from rolling downhill that keeps them from doing their job properly.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 18):
pilots were getting their hours and then bailing out of military life to cash in on big money positions with domestic carriers.

You haven't been keeping up with the airline industry these days have you?
I left the military (not a pilot) to fly in the airlines, and I'm still wondering where the big money is. If I am lucky I'll make a little bit more than my flight instructor this year.

Just my $0.02.

[Edited 2005-12-05 15:20:20]


Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 22, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1334 times:

Quoting FXramper (Reply 18):
then bailing out of military life to cash in on big money positions with domestic carriers.

Probably not going to happen.

Only a couple of airlines still paying good wages and they are fighting for their survival. Frankly, you would probably come to the end of your working life with more money by staying in the military.

Tale of two brothers: One spent 26 years in the Air Force as an enlisted man, and another 20 years for the Air Force as a civil servant. The other spent seven years in the Army as an officer and dual-rated pilot, then got out and eventually went to a major airline.

The one who stayed in the military has a pension amounting to four times as much as the one who retired from the airlines. He owns a paid-off custom house on twenty five acres with an ocean view. The one who went to the airlines has an almost-paid for house on a couple of acres. The rest of their assets are commensurate with these things.

Staying in Government service was a far better move, financially.

Add to that, the military committment after more than a year getting into, and completing pilot training puts you downhill to a military retirement. They have engineered the rules specifically to discourage what you are talking about doing.

Whatever you do, good luck.



Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 23, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1319 times:

Why in the blazing hell haven't you people educated this man to the wonders of Naval Aviation? Damn, I'm out of town for a week and everyone forgets about Navy. I see how it is.....  Big grin

Quoting FXramper (Thread starter):
I'm pretty sure I'd go OCS after completion of my college degree (1 yr), but would I still be required to sign a contract for mulitiple years with Army or AirForce?

If you want some specifics, email me and we'll get more in-depth.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 2):
Is it necessary to get hours in those types of a/c to apply towards a resume submission to a commercial carrier, or would flying an F15 or A10 be alright?

ANCFlyer, DL021 and others have said it perfectly....if your only goal is to fly commercially, the military is not for you. You won't get past OCS with that because you have to have a desire to be in the military first, then fly second. Email me and we'll talk more about the options available.



Crye me a river
User currently offlineFXramper From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 7247 posts, RR: 85
Reply 24, posted (8 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1316 times:
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Quoting SlamClick (Reply 22):
Staying in Government service was a far better move, financially.

Are military pensions really that good? After say 20-25 yrs service?

ANCFlyer, can you give me an example of a pension afte 20 yrs service?

Quoting Usnseallt82 (Reply 23):
ANCFlyer, DL021 and others have said it perfectly....if your only goal is to fly commercially, the military is not for you. You won't get past OCS with that because you have to have a desire to be in the military first, then fly second. Email me and we'll talk more about the options available.

As I stated before, my grandfather flew in World War II as a combat pilot in the South Pacific, and I also had an uncle that flew two tours in Vietnam. I've always wanted to serve my country, flying a plane would be icing on the cake.

Thanks for all advise.


25 Post contains links ANCFlyer : Sure - http://www.dod.mil/dfas/ Everything you ever wanted to know about Active Duty Pay, Retired Pay and related items. I can tell you when I retire
26 SlamClick : No. But that is not what I wrote. The brother in question spent 26 years on active duty, retired as an E-8. (turned down E-9 as it is not in his care
27 AndrewUber : Getting IN to the military is one thing. Getting OUT will be a completely different ballgame. Don't take anyone's word that you can simply walk away o
28 Post contains images FXramper : KICK ASS!!!
29 GRZ-AIR : If you fly for the military, don't forget that your job is SOLDIER, then PILOT!
30 UH60FtRucker : I think everyone has been on point thus far - it's not something you should do because you think it will give you a foot in the door with the airline
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