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How is the Army flight culture?


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#1 Fresnel

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Posted 23 October 2018 - 10:32

Hey everyone. Recently selected here and first time poster.

 

I was curious as to what the culture is like among Army aviators? Is everyone usually pretty close or tight knit with other aviators are do you stick more with people in the generally aviation field such as mechanics? Are aviators generally nerdy or more "frat bro" types? 

 

Just curious as to what to expect when I start meeting up with you guys!



#2 jaswhee

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Posted 24 October 2018 - 22:12

Honestly it's no different from college. You're going to have groups of people who "click" based on common hobbies and interests. Not everyone is an "alpha" either. Sure, strong personalities but in the end it's not going to be any different from anything you've experienced before.

 

Best of luck.



#3 Pluto

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 12:56

We are all bros. Just not the crazy drunk kind. They are very serious about partying on the job. Because it's a matter of national security.

 

I heard a story on how they kidnapped there captain. And threw him into the back of a van with a bag over his head. Then interrogated him like they where in Alquida. Everyone thought it was hilarious. But he did not think it was very funny. So he reported them, and they got kicked out. And now have a felony conviction on there record for kidnapping.

 

So the moral of the story is, enjoy your self. But don't do anything illegal. And focus on your missions first.



#4 SBuzzkill

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Posted 25 October 2018 - 13:59

That's a tough question because it varies so much.  I think jaswhee gave a good answer.

 

I'll describe 4 different periods of my short career in the Army.

 

The first was flight school.  My friends were mostly made in WOCS and were not in my class.  We were all in our 20s, enjoyed partying, and did some "out of the box" stuff while we were at Fort Rucker.  We all had common interests like snowboarding, cars, or flying.  Some of the guys just liked partying, and we also had friends in the Air Force who would hang out with us.  Those were the folks I hung out with the most.  In contrast my IERW class was mostly filled with prior service folks who went to flight school for the career opportunity and because they wanted to fly.  I did not hang out with them.

 

The next experience was the group of guys in my first troop when I got to it.  They were just off deployment, type-A, very aggressive, and played a ton of pranks on each other.  I got a little bit of sh*t flung my way as the new guy but knew my place and really enjoyed my first years in the troop.  We worked hard and partied harder.  But there was a lot of anger in the troop coming out of their deployment and a toxic environment, and that sometimes reared its head when you weren't expecting it.

 

After that was the same troop (different group) but at the end of my time in it.  We were the odd-balls, the guys who all had skateboards and an old couch in the parking lot to sit in while we drank beer and grilled.  Guys who were repelling off the walls of our barracks and rock climbed on the weekend.  Went exploring, loved flying together, hated the other troop with all the drama.  Very tight knit and really a big family.  No matter what we were doing or where we were, we knew how to make it a good time.  It's cliche but a family is the best way I can describe it.  This was my favorite group of people I spent time in the Army with.

 

Then there was my last unit.  We worked a lot and were TDA so we didn't deploy.  It was much more of a formal work environment and the relationships reflected that.  We had BBQs, drank beer, played games, and joked around with each other.  But there wasn't that camaraderie that you get from a unit that spends deployments together.  It was the closest job I'd had to civilian life where we show up, do our job, then go home.  But the culture reflected that and I'd say there was more "professional drama" there than I saw anywhere else.  People questioning decisions, angling for the next position, trashing other people's ability, etc.  I still met some great friends though and really enjoyed my time in that unit.  But it wasn't the family atmosphere that I had before, not matter how hard leadership tried to make it that way.

 

You'll see when you get there but the culture in every unit only lasts as long as the people you are in it with stick around.  You'll go back to visit 6 months after leaving and not recognize the place.  There were times of transition as folks PCSd in and out, that I'd sit in the corner with my one buddy left and talk about how we hoped our new folks were as good as the last.


Edited by SBuzzkill, 25 October 2018 - 14:04.


#5 itsbigfootguys

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 22:10

Oh man this varies so much, as Buzzkill mentions

 

If you do Korea, you will likely bro out a bunch. We did partying right in Korea. There was an officers mess, all the guys would go out for drinks after work, and we all did things together on the weekends. But, most guys are unaccompanied, and pretty much the only people to hang with are military or families. It kinda forces unit cohesion. 

 

My experience stateside has been wildly different. Other than cross country flights and hail and farewells, dudes very rarely hang out outside of work. Everyone has their own life, families, interests outside the military. Ironically its the commissioned officers who hang out together outside of work, the warrants kind of do their own thing. It is not like the infantry was, where you only hung out with your platoon and got in fights with anyone who wasn't 11B or in your unit. 

 

Even on deployment, we would hang out on duty but as soon as that 14 hour duty day was over, everyone vanished. I don't think anyone even worked out together regularly. 






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