The Army would be better off fixing the problems in aviation than attempting to bribe warrant officers to stay in.
This. Warrants weren't necessarily concerned with not getting a bonus.
Until a bonus was rumored.
And then, when it was revealed, it was revealed to be a slap in the face.
It has been asked a few times WHY most of the AD aviators say if they were to do it again, they would go Guard/Reserves. Ill break it down.
Whether Active, Guard, or Reserve, minimums are minimums. You'll fly X number of hours every 6 months based on airframe/job position. And they are the SAME minimums for all 3.
Because of funding, most pilots, unless you are an IP, deployed, or in Korea, can expect to make their minimums and MAYBE a little extra if they spend a lot of time in the field or NTC/JRTC/etc. There are exceptions. Some pilots will get lucky and fly a ton, and some will be very unlucky and not be able to meet minimums for reasons outside their control. But as a whole, you can expect to make minimums and not much more.
But wait, if Active Duty barely flies minimums, and the Guard has to meet the same minimums, how is it possible that part time pilots fly as much as Active Duty pilots!? WHAT ELSE do active duty pilots do to fill all that extra time??
See, Guard/Reserve pilots come to drill, they fly, and they go home. And they get to come in at other times to fly, and then go home. If they aren't flying, the longest amount of time they HAVE to sit around is a long weekend. And then they go home. Until its time to fly again.....(Catching the drift?)
Active Duty pilots will work 40 hour weeks, as they should, to earn the pay they earn. But in that 40 hour work week (and lets be real, its not 40, its closer to 50-60), how much of that time is dedicated to flying? If you guessed less than 5, you're correct. If you guessed less than 3, you're even more correct. The other 35-37 hours are filled with jobs that have nothing to do with aviation. Additional Duties. SHARP Training. EO Training. Details. 350-1 courses. Organized PT. Change of Command Ceremonies. Org Days. Suicide Prevention training. Inventories.
Don't get me wrong, I love being an active duty pilot. But I am also realistic. I had the fortune of going to Korea, and then PCSing to a unit immediately turning around to Afghanistan. I'm getting to do my job every day. I've gotten a decent amount of hours and a lot of experience. But I am not the norm. Most of my peers are barely making minimums. I know that the years between this and my next deployment are going to be dreadful. But I also make a LOT of money for a non-college grad former infantryman. I'm fine with my situation. But I understand why almost everyone else is not.
Short version: In the guard, even though it is a part time job, Flying is your primary task and everything else is secondary, and you get to have a predictable schedule and life. In Active Duty, flying is an additional duty and you will spend more time on non-flying jobs than you will with your family or loved ones.
It was also asked, "How do we fix Army Aviation?"
This is too big of a question to answer in the time I'm willing to devote to a forum post, but the simple answer is that we need to stop treating flying as an additional duty. Not just for the morale of the pilots, but for their safety and for the combat effectiveness of our formation. We are only a competent fighting force because of 16 years of deployments. Without that training down range, flying minimums is nowhere near sufficient to develop aviators. The recent rashes of aviation accidents across all 4 branches is evidence enough to me the we are not allocating the time or resources to properly train our pilots. And as morale continues to erode, experienced pilots who should be transferring their knowledge to junior pilots are getting out instead, creating an experience gap that is also dangerous.
My evil master plan - transfer 5 or 6 D/E Company soldiers into line companies to cover down on additional duties. They will get treated better than they do in D/E Co, and it is absolutely absurd that Aviation line companies do not have HQ elements to handle training room, supply etc.
Part 2 - A realistic flight pay scale that reflects the current job market and skill set, not the same dollar amounts that were introduced in the 90s. Annual bonuses like the air force.
Part 3 - Increase home station training hours , double minimums for all air frames and remove emphasis on field training exercises like NTC or JRTC unless spooling up for a deployment. The same training value can be had at training areas using Infantry and Armor units living right next door. Increase predictability for family life and better develop the relationship with Ground/Air units.
Part 4 - Remove the "don't get promoted two years in a row and you are out of the Army" silliness. Just because a pilot isn't suited to be a CW3 or CW4 doesn't mean they can't be a good pilot. Some guys just aren't suited for the extra pay and responsibility. They can still shake a stick and kill bad guys. Keep them in.
Ok so i did go into my plan anyway. Oh well