Jump to content


Frasca VRForum468Helicopter AcademyVOLO_VRHome200TigerTugs
Photo
- - - - -

Best route to become a army aviator

information pilots woft enlisted

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 confusedcitizen

confusedcitizen

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts

Posted 04 January 2019 - 20:17

Okay this question has been asked to many times for me not to receive clear guidance, but I'm hoping some of you intelligent people can help me out. Here's my situation. I am a 19 years old with interest of becoming a pilot. I have read Street to Seat is an option along with OCS. Unfortunately I do not have enough resources to put me through college to make me a competitive candidate whatsoever. I have talked to a recruiter about becoming a 15T AD in hopes that I can receive LORS and to be able to work with WO's. My question is if this is a good plan. I figured if I decide not to pursue a pilot slot in the Army, I could use my experience turning wrenches for the Army and get certified as an A&P through the FAA (Backup Plan). Any help would be much appreciated.



#2 tangowhiskey

tangowhiskey

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 11:00

A lot of people are going to tell you to just put in a packet. But honestly with that process taking upwards of 6 months, and with a high school graduate probably having a pretty bad resume, there is nothing wrong with being a tango first. I'm a tango with hundreds of flight hours and I joined with the same idea. My resume was bad and I even had a degree. A high school graduate with nothing is not competitive, even right now. Internally, depending on how hard you actually work, you could have the opportunities and network to have a great packet. It's going to take a while though. I find out this board, but I've been enlisted over 2 years. Not as long as a lot of people around here but I joined with the idea that I'm becoming a crewchief and dropping a packet as soon as I am competitive. You will probably lose all interest in it when you find out that the army is terrible. But if you don't give up and work your ass off you will get the credibility. Now work your ass off probably means something totally different. I reguarly work 14 hour days on a flight line. I had to do a ton of extra sh*t on my own initiative to get to this position where people were willing to help and my resume said more than "I'm in the army please accept me." My sp, mtps, and one ip were all tangos. 4 out of like the 16 we have. It's common. But you can't give up cause dudes like you saying they want to drop a packet are a dime a dozen.

#3 zaurus

zaurus

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 138 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 January 2019 - 13:22

What's interesting in the WOFT selection process is the following. Statistically, it's less difficult in being selected as a civilian vs serving on active duty. There are MORE competitive active duty applicants for WOFT than street to seat civilians applying. Since the Army has a requirement in selecting civilians (street to seat) applicants, their selection percentage is higher overall than serving soldiers.

 

Street to seat applicants only COMPETE amongst themselves. While the soldiers compete with their contemporaries. There are TWO separate selection boards. It is, what it is.

 

Army recruiters very rarely promote the WOFT Street to Seat program for whatever reason. Perhaps less work for them if you enlist vs applying for the WOFT program. They have a difficult time in meeting mission, meeting recruiting numbers.



#4 Thedude

Thedude

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 13:26

If you have the time and aren’t hurting for a job do a WOFT packet as a civilian and see what happens in six months to a year. If you don’t get selected then enlist if you want to at that point.

#5 Tesla

Tesla

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 237 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 13:37

As someone who attended WOCS at the ripe old age of 18, I'm going to say I probably have experience that directly relates to what you're asking. I'll provide a more informative post when I get to my computer tonight, stay tuned.

 

EDIT:

 

Sometimes I look back fondly on a conversation I had with the E7 who was the chief of the recruiting station I used. This was back between my junior and senior year of high school. He made some comment along the lines of "You know your chances are low, right? We'll go with it, but your chances would be better if you enlisted."  

 

Understandably, most people don't understand how the program works, and just assume that because you're young and inexperienced, your packet is weak. That can not be farther from the truth, and it almost makes me angry seeing people recommend enlisting over applying as a civilian. For instance, here's the Active Duty selection rate for my board a few years ago. 

 

26% selection rate for active duty
49 selected out of a total of 187 applicants.

 

What was the selection rate for my group of civilians? 

 

100%

36 selected out of a total of 36 applicants.

 

Why is this? It's because the Army has certain quota's for both. This means they don't compete with each other. What's the end state? You're both WO1's at flight school. The problem with Enlisting is you are flushing your chance of acceptance down the drain. You're now competing with that E6 from a Ranger Battalion who has 11 years in service. Regardless of how much the Army needs pilots, the percentage is still low for someone who's already in service. 

 

Here were the stats for my specific packet. 

 

Age: 18

GT: 113

SIFT: 55

APFT: 253 

Civilian Education: Graduated High School in May.

Flight Physical: Complete and stamped (no waiver)

Flight Experience: no flight experience 

LOR's: CW5 CWOB, two retired Army O4's, AF O3 Pilot, Two high school teachers/coaches.

 

I had horrible grades in high school, and it showed, but I was able to leverage that by participating in multiple extracurricular activities, and doing a lot of community service. I knew no one in the military, and decided to cold call the CWOB to my nearest base. The point to this is that there is a way to make your packet stronger if you are generally concerned about it. 

 

If you truly want to fly, then drop a packet now. If you want to turn wrenches, then enlist. You're not getting anything greater out of life by doing both. The Instructor Pilot is going to ask you about the hydraulic system regardless of whether you used to be a crew chief or not. 

 

With your age, you have something valuable to give that others can not, and that's time. You're able to give the Army and other...organizations so much more time compared to the guy becoming a pilot eight years from retirement. Imagine being a 33 year old CW4, or joining the airlines and making captain pay ten years longer then everyone else. 

 

​I could keep rambling, but I'll leave it at this. If you truly want to be an Army Aviator, drop your packet now. 


  • Brickle and Mitch4600 like this

#6 tangowhiskey

tangowhiskey

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 18:29

As someone who attended WOCS at the ripe old age of 18, I'm going to say I probably have experience that directly relates to what you're asking. I'll provide a more informative post when I get to my computer tonight, stay tuned.
 
EDIT:
 
Sometimes I look back fondly on a conversation I had with the E7 who was the chief of the recruiting station I used. This was back between my junior and senior year of high school. He made some comment along the lines of "You know your chances are low, right? We'll go with it, but your chances would be better if you enlisted."  
 
Understandably, most people don't understand how the program works, and just assume that because you're young and inexperienced, your packet is weak. That can not be farther from the truth, and it almost makes me angry seeing people recommend enlisting over applying as a civilian. For instance, here's the Active Duty selection rate for my board a few years ago. 
 
26% selection rate for active duty
49 selected out of a total of 187 applicants.

 
What was the selection rate for my group of civilians? 
 
100%
36 selected out of a total of 36 applicants.
 
Why is this? It's because the Army has certain quota's for both. This means they don't compete with each other. What's the end state? You're both WO1's at flight school. The problem with Enlisting is you are flushing your chance of acceptance down the drain. You're now competing with that E6 from a Ranger Battalion who has 11 years in service. Regardless of how much the Army needs pilots, the percentage is still low for someone who's already in service. 
 
Here were the stats for my specific packet. 
 
Age: 18

GT: 113

SIFT: 55

APFT: 253 

Civilian Education: Graduated High School in May.

Flight Physical: Complete and stamped (no waiver)

Flight Experience: no flight experience 

LOR's: CW5 CWOB, two retired Army O4's, AF O3 Pilot, Two high school teachers/coaches.

 
I had horrible grades in high school, and it showed, but I was able to leverage that by participating in multiple extracurricular activities, and doing a lot of community service. I knew no one in the military, and decided to cold call the CWOB to my nearest base. The point to this is that there is a way to make your packet stronger if you are generally concerned about it. 
 
If you truly want to fly, then drop a packet now. If you want to turn wrenches, then enlist. You're not getting anything greater out of life by doing both. The Instructor Pilot is going to ask you about the hydraulic system regardless of whether you used to be a crew chief or not. 
 
With your age, you have something valuable to give that others can not, and that's time. You're able to give the Army and other...organizations so much more time compared to the guy becoming a pilot eight years from retirement. Imagine being a 33 year old CW4, or joining the airlines and making captain pay ten years longer then everyone else. 
 
​I could keep rambling, but I'll leave it at this. If you truly want to be an Army Aviator, drop your packet now. 

This is not remotely the situation currently. There have been about 68 slots for every board the last 2 years. There have been 20 street slots. Last board was 20/48 and 68/~150. They have also adjusted to prefer e4 and e5. 20% of last board was e4.
  • Mitch4600 likes this

#7 Tesla

Tesla

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 237 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 22:37

This is not remotely the situation currently. There have been about 68 slots for every board the last 2 years. There have been 20 street slots. Last board was 20/48 and 68/~150. They have also adjusted to prefer e4 and e5. 20% of last board was e4.

 

 

Honest question, do you understand how trends work? Two boards of low acceptance don't take away from the high acceptance over the past three years. You're also looking at the math in a weird way. "about 68 slots over two years" doesn't make sense, because 82 and 45 disagree with you. It's better to say that there was an average of 65 accepted applicants over each AD board. However it's not fair to try and put a top end number of 150, considering non-select data isn't available from January 2018. 

 

With that said, what exactly is the point you're trying to make? 

 

It's certainly not quicker to join the military and drop a packet. It's certainly not easier, considering the extra amount of time, steps, and signatures required. 

 

I would argue that any potential benefits to enlisting first are negated by profit earning potential and career progression over the long term. It's just inefficient to enlist when this person has the ability to avoid it and start flying helicopters at the age of 20.

 

I know plenty of Tango's that say they want/plan on dropping a packet. I only know one that has made serious steps with it. They are literally a "dime a dozen." 



#8 tangowhiskey

tangowhiskey

    COM Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 32 posts

Posted 05 January 2019 - 22:50

 
 
Honest question, do you understand how trends work? Two boards of low acceptance don't take away from the high acceptance over the past three years. You're also looking at the math in a weird way. "about 68 slots over two years" doesn't make sense, because 82 and 45 disagree with you. It's better to say that there was an average of 65 accepted applicants over each AD board. However it's not fair to try and put a top end number of 150, considering non-select data isn't available from January 2018. 
 
With that said, what exactly is the point you're trying to make? 
 
It's certainly not quicker to join the military and drop a packet. It's certainly not easier, considering the extra amount of time, steps, and signatures required. 
 
I would argue that any potential benefits to enlisting first are negated by profit earning potential and career progression over the long term. It's just inefficient to enlist when this person has the ability to avoid it and start flying helicopters at the age of 20.
 
I know plenty of Tango's that say they want/plan on dropping a packet. I only know one that has made serious steps with it. They are literally a "dime a dozen." 

The point is it's not a 100% acceptance for street to seat, and it also is not a terrible active acceptance rate. They are much more similar nowadays. People with college degrees are being turned down right now. I think trying with nothing more than a high school diploma and is currently a waste of time. You are also applying against people that got out of the military as a civilian. It is possible to be completely non competitive, sinking a year into an application with no hope is a waste.

#9 BM1

BM1

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 05 January 2019 - 23:56

All the guys who have been there say do the packet first and do not enlist. All the ones with a "plan" say otherwise. Listen to the guys getting accepted. You have nothing to lose. Acceptance rates are high on both sides but honestly nothing you learn as a tango is going to give you an edge that will actually matter. The only thing youve demonstrated is that a recruiter sold you a lie and you bought it. Yes youll know more about the helicopter, but it will not help enough to give up two years or more of your life as you wait to put in a packet. I second the fact that most tangoes talk of putring in packets.....and dont. The army has usually burned them pretty well and they would rather ETS, of which I dont blame them at all.
  • mike0331 likes this

#10 flanker

flanker

    ATP Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 53 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 January 2019 - 00:57

I was street to seat and all I can say is put in the packet and see what happens. Can't get in if you don't try. Biggest hurdle is to put in the packet. I took me 1.5 years of paperwork. 

 

Now, if you really do want to join this aviation sh*t show I suggest you do it through the guard so you don't go insane. 



#11 BM1

BM1

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 January 2019 - 02:39

+1 for that. Butguard rarely if ever does street to seat. Reserves I believe still does. Cant wait to get to the guard.

#12 Thedude

Thedude

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 15:26

 
I would argue that any potential benefits to enlisting first are negated by profit earning potential and career progression over the long term. It's just inefficient to enlist when this person has the ability to avoid it and start flying helicopters at the age of 20.
 


It’s not all about the money. It takes a lot longer to make a street to seat guy a decent warrant officer than it does a prior enlisted guy. Not only do you have to teach a guy off the street how to fly and operate the helicopter once they get to the unit, you also have to teach them how to even be in the Army. The Army would be better off requiring all officers (warrant and RLO) to have been a prior enlisted E5.

#13 StockTrader

StockTrader

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 812 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Interests:Trucks, Baseball, Helicopters
  • Company working for:CW2, US Army, 64 Driver

Posted 06 January 2019 - 17:44

Its not all about the money. It takes a lot longer to make a street to seat guy a decent warrant officer than it does a prior enlisted guy. Not only do you have to teach a guy off the street how to fly and operate the helicopter once they get to the unit, you also have to teach them how to even be in the Army. The Army would be better off requiring all officers (warrant and RLO) to have been a prior enlisted E5.


I would beg to differ on that. I know people on both ends of the spectrum as far as being good warrant officers. Both street to seat and prior enlisted. Its very individual dependent.
  • ByteFlighter and Brickle like this

#14 Thedude

Thedude

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 18:07

I would beg to differ on that. I know people on both ends of the spectrum as far as being good warrant officers. Both street to seat and prior enlisted. Its very individual dependent.


You’re right, I’ve had completely useless douchebags who were prior enlisted and stellar street to seat guys but in my opinion the advantage strongly leans towards the prior service side.

#15 ByteFlighter

ByteFlighter

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 240 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Wiregrass
  • Company working for:The Big Green Weenie

Posted 06 January 2019 - 18:42

You’re right, I’ve had completely useless douchebags who were prior enlisted and stellar street to seat guys but in my opinion the advantage strongly leans towards the prior service side.

 

The only Prior enlisted I've seen that were exceptional WOs and even better Pilots were the ones that didn't play this "Prior service members make better candidates" game. They used their prior experience as an opportunity to mentor the street to seat candidates in the Army way.

 

There are plenty PS that attend WOCS with the "Why are you here when I had to serve 6+ years to get accepted" mentality.

 

This debate isn't helpful to potential candidates or actual candidates. Everyone pins on the same grade at graduation.

 

By the way, here are my biases : I was a street to seat guy for what its worth...



#16 Thedude

Thedude

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 262 posts

Posted 06 January 2019 - 18:50

I don't treat you guys any different, my life depends on all of us being good at our job. These are just my observations and opinions which we all know are worth pretty much nothing in respect to how the Army handles its recruiting.
  • ByteFlighter likes this

#17 ByteFlighter

ByteFlighter

    VR Veteran Poster

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 240 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:The Wiregrass
  • Company working for:The Big Green Weenie

Posted 06 January 2019 - 19:07

I don't treat you guys any different, my life depends on all of us being good at our job. These are just my observations and opinions which we all know are worth pretty much nothing in respect to how the Army handles its recruiting.

I'm with ya.



#18 Micah4

Micah4

    Student Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 06 January 2019 - 22:44

If your goal is to be a military helicopter pilot then youve got quite a few options. Every branch, including the coast guard, flies helicopters and planes. What you need to decide is how soon you want to be in a pilot seat because you have a lot of options with various pros/ cons. Your first option is street to seat warrant officer for the Army. Like others have said, it doesnt hurt to apply and that could be your fastest route to flying. However, I would suggest applying to all the military academies. USA, USAF, USN, and USCG all have military academies which you can go to for college if youre accepted. Its also free because you then commit to service once you graduate. They all have flying programs and most military pilots are actually selected from the academy. The downside is 4 years of college at a military academy before being able to fly. The upside is youll come out with a degree and be paid as a commissioned officer $$$ If you dont get excepted for WO street to seat or the academy then I would look into enlisting. Enlisting certainly isnt bad depending who you talk to but it can make for a much longer route to becoming a pilot. Hope this helps you decide, good luck!
  • Micah4 likes this





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: information, pilots, woft, enlisted

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users



PrecisionVRForumHome200MaunaLoaVRHome200HeliHelmets-VR HomeSpectrum_VRHome200Genesys VR Forum 200BLR 200Guidance Home 200LakeSuperior200FreeFlight_Home200