I'm currently a freshman in college majoring in aviation. As part of the degree, I will get all my ratings up to CFI/CFII/MEI and I have already completed my private pilot's license. My goal after college is to get a pilot slot in the Army National Guard.
I've looked into the ANG a lot, but I am more interested in flying helicopters.
Here are my questions:
1. How much more competitive will I be if I already have all my civilian ratings (fixed wing)?
2. I realize a bachelor's degree is not required, however, how much of an added advantage is it?
3. Is the process for rushing units and getting a flight slot the same as the ANG?
4. Is it more competitive to get a flight slot in the Air National Guard or the Army National Guard?
5. How is being a warrant officer in the Army compared to being an officer in the air force?
6. How many days a month do pilots work in the Army National Guard? How much of the work is flying?
7. How often are deployments and how long are they?
8. Is the Army National Guard a good job to have along with the airlines likes the Air National Guard?
1. As others have said, could help but won't hurt. It shows you have an interest in aviation and an aptitude to fly. Have you ever been in/flown a helicopter? If not, I'd take a discovery flight in one at some point before signing on any dotted lines to ensure it's something you'd enjoy doing for the next 6 years.
2. Not required to become a Warrant Officer, but it will eventually be in order to progress in your career. Having it from the get-go will definitely give you a leg up.
3. Not familiar with the ANG application process and I went the ROTC route, but knowing people in the unit will definitely be a must in order to get a flight school slot. As said above, each state may have their own method to go street-to-seat, or none at all.
4. Apples to oranges. Both are hurting for pilots. I wouldn't say one is "harder" to get per say, just different. This will also be state dependent. I went to flight school with Guard guys who literally had a flight school slot dropped in their lap and others who had to work years to get one.
5. Stateside with your unit will probably not be a noticeable difference. TDY and any schools/deployments you will probably have a better time as a ANG pilot the ARNG pilot.
6. You'll have semi-annual minimums you have to maintain, which are airframe specific. However, it is on you to meet them. No one is going to tell you when to be at the facility to fly. We have guys who fly 1-2 times a week and others who fly once a month. This is on top of drill, AT, and deployments. Like the airlines, living near your base makes life easier.
7. Typically 9 months plus 1-2 months on either side for mob/de-mob. Frequency is going to vary by state and airframe.
8. Yes. By graduating from Rucker you are eligible for the R-ATP at 750 hours. Army pilots (to include full-time Guard technicians) are leaving in droves to go fly for the airlines. Guard flying on the side will also help subsidize the low pay for the first couple of years.