i thought the Army was all about getting the most $$ out of their pilot....why not make the term like 20 yrs, or is that a stupid idea?
No, they like experience but they don't want to pay for you to reach a 20 yr retirement. That's why they've proposed a 401K type program for future retirements. Personnel costs are bleeding the DOD of funds.
Right now, the Army, like other branches are in a draw down period. You might have heard stories in the last few years about officers getting forced out. Some were flat out given notice that they'd be kicked out when they returned from deployment. A "pink slip" if you will.
It's just not Army forcing pilots out either. Along the way, some found out the Army wasn't for them. I had many friends who did their 6, got the training, and went on to fly civilian. Some get double pass over for promotion and got forced out. Some people get medically disqualified and are forced out. Some went on to inter-service transfers to fly for other branches. Some have personal or family problems and get out or transfer to a different MOS. Of course you even have a few that perish doing the business. Lost 2 just in my graduating class alone to crashes.
That's what I mean by navigating a minefield. It's a long, tedious, frustrating process but also an incredible feeling of relief and accomplishment when it's over.