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Downsides of Army Aviation?


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#21 John Denver

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 17:49

Thanks to everyone for their input. Sorry I haven't been able to respond, started up a new job. I have been thinking a lot about the replies I got and running through my head what it would really look like if I got picked up for warrant given the information here.

Do a bit of reading and searching around this website.  I averaged ~16 hours a month during my 9 years in the Army, generally flying about 3-4 hours per mission.  I'll let you do the math on how often you'll be in the air.


That's pretty crazy how little flight time that is. I shudder to what the average flight time of a commissioned officer is since they fly less than warrants. How long was your duty day in comparison to those flight hours? I take it that some time must have been devoted to mission planning/debrief, but aside from that was the rest of the time filled with collateral duties?

JD, why not stay ANG and find a UPT slot in a system you are already familiar with? I was reading age waivers are typically a go now.  I was AD Navy and came over with 2 wars going on and the Army needing guys. The only bonus then was for select AH-64 tracks and a buddy tried to convince me to convert! I was able to watch the transition from always being gone to deployed "garrison" and as mentioned the "old school" WO ways. I'm grateful to have had those guys as my mentors early on, mustaches and all.
 
If you set on going Army, look at RC or ArNG units verse going active given many of the reasons listed above. I was able to work with them as an active guy and they always seemed happy, flew a lot more than I did, and didn't have to move all the time. I even tried to go back Navy and called an AFRC unit that had slots, but no age waivers.


I tried going for ANG UPT but could not get hired on. Age waivers might be a long shot but that is a possibility. As far as Army reserve/NG, last time I checked you had to be already enlisted with the unit to submit a warrant packet with them, unless something changed in the last couple of years. I enlisted in my Air Guard unit in hopes of getting on with them, but that did not happen and I would be hesitant to repeat that with the Army. Although the time to pursue a more lucrative civilian flying career while still flying in the Army would be a sweet deal if I was able to pull it off.

Also the Rucker to Drum to Irwin sounds like a nightmare SBuzzKill! That pcs combo is something I do fear about going active duty.

As far as bussing trays in the mess hall, my ANG unit had us take them to a dishwashing station ourselves lol.

Hidden figures f*cked my life. I'm not even sure I got a single one right lmao. It was like the most impossible shape to recognize, and it didn't change the whole time I was taking the test, like on the practice test they have easy ones like a house. Mine was a house that was engulfed in flames with a giant dragon running out of the garage. sh*t was insane. The figure it was hidden in looked like a thousand lines to me. I felt stupid.- luofynerd


#22 mike0331

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Posted 02 May 2018 - 18:04

You do not need to be enlisted to get on with an ARNG unit via the warrant route. Different states have different policies. Some initial "no" states turn out to be flexible when you get talking to the right people.

 

Mike



#23 John Denver

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 13:12

You do not need to be enlisted to get on with an ARNG unit via the warrant route. Different states have different policies. Some initial "no" states turn out to be flexible when you get talking to the right people.
 
Mike


That is good to know, I didn't realize things had changed. The unit aviation strength manager would seem like a "right person" to talk to, any other recommendations on the right people to talk to?

BuzzKill mentioned that he averaged only about 16 hours a month throughout his career. During non-flying time, are you stuck doing staff duties? What does your schedule look like?

Hidden figures f*cked my life. I'm not even sure I got a single one right lmao. It was like the most impossible shape to recognize, and it didn't change the whole time I was taking the test, like on the practice test they have easy ones like a house. Mine was a house that was engulfed in flames with a giant dragon running out of the garage. sh*t was insane. The figure it was hidden in looked like a thousand lines to me. I felt stupid.- luofynerd


#24 mike0331

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Posted 13 May 2018 - 16:06

Depends on the state... ultimately the decision is going to come from the commanding officer of the state's aviation unit. Usually the "proper" way to get an inquiry to them is through the state's warrant officer strength manager. Any recruiter should be able to put you in touch with the WOSM. I boarded for one state that didn't advertise that they took street to seat pilots (bearing in mind I'm prior service and don't need to go to boot camp) but once I inquired let me submit a packet. I ultimately got selected and am awaiting a school slot in my home state because while they didn't even entertain packets from non-members a year earlier, once they saw I had a complete packet and their needs changed they were able to make an exception. The WOSM in my state is also incredibly helpful and knows all the right people. 

 

I am still waiting on school slots, so I'm not a pilot. From what I can tell, the warrant officer aviators in the guard pretty much fly, and that's it. They do track certain directions, IE maintenance and test, instructor, tacops, or multiple combinations of those. That said, they seem to pretty much come in, fly, and leave. As far as hours go I think it depends on the state and somewhat on the individual. A friend of mine is going to break 300 hours this year, but he's on the higher side. In addition to AT and drill weekends, additional hours are logged on what are called "AFTPs," These are 4 hour "chunks" some period of which is spent flying. My state has over 70 available per pilot per year. There are also opportunities to go on orders for various missions, and usually numerous deployment opportunities as well. 

 

 

Mike



#25 SBuzzkill

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Posted 14 May 2018 - 11:10

That's pretty crazy how little flight time that is. I shudder to what the average flight time of a commissioned officer is since they fly less than warrants. How long was your duty day in comparison to those flight hours? I take it that some time must have been devoted to mission planning/debrief, but aside from that was the rest of the time filled with collateral duties?

 

Unless Army Aviation makes a lot of changes you're going to spend most of your time doing stuff unrelated to flying.  Warrant Officers run most of the administrative side of a unit.  It's a full time job.  I spent lots of 12+ hour days doing nothing but my additional duties or helping other people with theirs.



#26 niner5

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 15:00

 

Unless Army Aviation makes a lot of changes you're going to spend most of your time doing stuff unrelated to flying.  Warrant Officers run most of the administrative side of a unit.  It's a full time job.  I spent lots of 12+ hour days doing nothing but my additional duties or helping other people with theirs.

 

Could you provide an example of some additional duties for warrant officer pilots?



#27 Thedude

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 16:12

Could you provide an example of some additional duties for warrant officer pilots?


Property book officer
arms room officer
cbrn officer
hazmat officer
hazcom officer
voter assistance officer
key control officer
physical security officer
information security officer
casualty assistance officer
casualty notification officer
nvg custodian
laser/radiation officer
unit movement officer
equal opportunity officer
sharp officer
publications officer
flight ops oic
comsec officer

Those are just off the top of my head, I’m sure I missed plenty.
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#28 Lindsey

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 18:07

ALSE officer (ALSO)
Hearing conservation officer

Plus more we both forgot

#29 BM1

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 19:01

How could the fridge not make the list?

Fridge fund.
Plaque fund.
Field sanitation.

The other day my Lt asked if ive thought about a follow on assignment for my oer, I told him id like to be a pilot first.
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#30 Snakedriver77

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 20:19

Seriously, you guys are complaining about keeping track of NVGs, keepingba fridge stocked, and the whereabouts of keys?

You guys should be thankful to not be flying as an Officer in the other branches.

#31 BM1

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 00:49

Yep totally am, because all these side gigs keep me from being proficient and as good at my job as i feel I can be. The sharp memos I write wont get me killed but there is more importance placed on it than me learning my profession tells me that the focus in this particular organization is wrong. 3 fatalities so far of people whom I met/recognized during my time at flight school and Ive only been out a little over a year. For the ones that were pilot error it makes me sad to think that they put that kind of focus on things that dont make us better at the job and if they had would some of those crashed been avoidable? I'm heading for the door the first opportunity I can. Besides the Army is full of rapists and drug addicts about to off themselves at any given moment according to my training schedule, who'd wanna stay in an organization like that! I dont know if the other branches flying positions have more or less issues, but I know for a fact the civilian world doesnt.
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#32 kona4breakfast

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 01:30

That's pretty crazy how little flight time that is. I shudder to what the average flight time of a commissioned officer is since they fly less than warrants. How long was your duty day in comparison to those flight hours? I take it that some time must have been devoted to mission planning/debrief, but aside from that was the rest of the time filled with collateral duties?

 

I was commissioned on AD for 10 years and didn't see the inside of a cockpit for 6 years and 6 months straight. I got out with around 800 hours; I have twice that after 5 years as a part-time warrant officer in the guard. FYSA, we have flight school slots we can't fill because we don't have qualified candidates.


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I told my mom I wanted to be a pilot when I grew up.  She told me I couldn't do both.

#33 StockTrader

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 05:34

Seriously, you guys are complaining about keeping track of NVGs, keepingba fridge stocked, and the whereabouts of keys?

You guys should be thankful to not be flying as an Officer in the other branches.


Ill gladly take those lol. But when I am doing additional duties that literally have their own MOS it can get tiring. I see it as paying my dues and hoping to be in good enough graces to get the track I want. However, when you have a pilot trying to figure out the intracasies of g-army and how to ship a humvee across the world because of a directive...you begin to wonder what happened
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#34 mike0331

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 08:20

 

I was commissioned on AD for 10 years and didn't see the inside of a cockpit for 6 years and 6 months straight. I got out with around 800 hours; I have twice that after 5 years as a part-time warrant officer in the guard. FYSA, we have flight school slots we can't fill because we don't have qualified candidates.

 

I've heard similar from quite a few other Guard aviators. Seems to be military aviation's best kept secret. 



#35 niner5

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 09:32

 

I was commissioned on AD for 10 years and didn't see the inside of a cockpit for 6 years and 6 months straight. I got out with around 800 hours; I have twice that after 5 years as a part-time warrant officer in the guard. FYSA, we have flight school slots we can't fill because we don't have qualified candidates.

 

Do you have to be an AD Warrant Officer pilot first? Or can you go to WOFT under a National Guard contract?


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#36 mike0331

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 10:22

You can go straight guard WOFT. It's up to the individual state in practice how they want to do it. Some states will take people right off the street, others will take them from within the guard, others will look at everything case by case. For example I was recently accepted in my State which typically would only select from within the national guard. I had a completed packet and was prior service so they made an exception. 

 

Mike



#37 SBuzzkill

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Posted 17 May 2018 - 17:32

Seriously, you guys are complaining about keeping track of NVGs, keepingba fridge stocked, and the whereabouts of keys?

You guys should be thankful to not be flying as an Officer in the other branches.

 

I didn't see anyone complaining about that.  I did see them on a list of potential additional duties, though none of those examples are time consuming and are not considered "big" additional duties.  And yes, most of us are glad to not be Officers in other branches.



#38 Fox 21 Alpha

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Posted 18 May 2018 - 21:44

Lindsey's packet (http://helicopterfor...light-training/) has a section where she talks about collateral duties and some of the daily routine for active duty. I'm sure it still mostly applies even though its from a few years ago.

 

I watched some 160th guys do some training on the back of my ship (I'm deployed with the Navy right now) and I was able to talk to two of the pilots real quick. FWIW, they both said flying was as fun as it looks and totally worth it hahaha



#39 mike0331

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Posted 19 May 2018 - 05:49

I've never met anyone who's said "flying is meh." I have met many people who said the extra duties drove them out, though I'm thinking of two Marine aviators in particular who said they flew a desk more than anything. 

 

Mike



#40 niner5

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:28

Do any of you know if it is possible to get a guaranteed aviation contract through OCS, prior to attending? I was accepted to WOFT, but since my basic date isn't for so long I have started to explore the idea of OCS. My recruiter doesn't seem to think so, but he has been wrong on a lot of questions I have asked him in the past.

 

I have a 4 year degree and meet all of the requirements to be an officer, so I am starting to think OCS would be a better fit for me. That being said, I am about to finish my PPL so it would be foolish of me to go to OCS without a guaranteed flight school slot.

 

I am also 22 years old, which from what I understand is traditionally the age people become 2lts. Sorry if some (or all) of this sounds naive, but I literally know 2 people in the entire military - both of whom are Marines. I understand that a lot of WOs have 4 year degrees as well, but I want to make sure that I am making the best decision for a career that will, at the very least, last about 8-9 years. 

 

Thanks


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