Greetings everyone; this is my first post, but I've been a lurker for a while. I have a few general questions which I haven't been able to find definitive answers to through my time spent combing the forum. I just graduated college with a bachelors in math, and I'm in the final stages of building a civilian WOFT packet; recently, however, I've been considering not applying for WOFT right now, but instead signing up for an 18x contract. My 5 year plan if I did that would be to re-apply for WOFT after hopefully serving a term in SF. If I didn't make it (not something I'd plan on but I'm trying to be pragmatic), I'd still apply for WOFT from within the Army.
Now the questions. I'm not looking for definite answers, I'm just trying to gauge what the general consensus is.
I have a 54 of the SIFT; is this score not going to be that great in 2-5 years when the Army probably won't be looking for pilots as much as it is now? I saw from the stats thread that in 2014 the average was in the low 60's.
54 is a respectable score, the average is 50. I was picked up with a 47
Is the military WOFT acceptance rate generally lower than the civilian side? I've heard rumors of this.
You will 100% NOT get selected if you don't apply, and I guarantee you'll hate yourself for not applying.
Would I be putting a black mark on my record if I stopped my WOFT packet now? I only have to enter the LOR's, finish the flight phys., and a few other things.
No you would not, but you're wasting valuable time putting the packet together. You're already halfway done. Why not continue the process? You can always enlist if things dont work out in your favor. And by the sound of things, it seems like you're not 100% dedicated to becoming a pilot. I'm a firm believer the packet process in and of itself is a form of selection. Most people dont really want it because they dont want to complete the packet.
If I didn't make SF (again, just covering my worst case scenario), I'd be a brand new E4 with a degree. Am I correct in assuming that this isn't really a great position from which to submit a WOFT packet?
I'm not going to sugar coat this part. You will be infantry and you will hate your f*cking life. (Dont excuse my language, its absolutely necessary). Also IF you get selected, that by no means guarantees you graduating from the SFQC. There are plenty of factors in the Q that can get you cut from the course. Sure you're not an idiot and can ruck/carry heavy things, congrats you were selected. Now you're in Small Unit Tactics, oh you can't lead a patrol? Sorry dude, you're removed for standards. Your entire class hates you because you messed up while in a leadership position and the whole class had to suffer? Sorry dude you peered low and getting removed from the course. Oh you got hurt during land navigation? Sorry man, heal up in the regular army and reapply in 12 months. Oh man you got MRSA (a form of staph infection) in Robin Sage (the culminating exercise)? Sorry man, here's a Z-pack and a route to the 82nd. There's so many factors when it comes to SFQC. I cannot place enough emphasis on this. I'm not trying to scare you or deter you, I'm simply stating the facts and giving real world examples of what has happened to both myself and close friends of mine. Then once you're removed from the course you'll be up for worldwide assignment (needs of the Army) as an infantryman.
Applying for WOFT from AD, you need to show leadership potential. Unless the planets align in your favor, from the infantry side, I dont think you can really quantify and qualify clean sweeps, police calls, and sweeping the motorpool as leadership as a brand new SPC in the infantry. Again, not trying to deter you, I'm just simply stating the facts. So, no, you would not be in the greatest position to apply for WOFT at that time. Sure with a few more years under your belt would put you in a better position.
That's it, thank you for your help! If there are any threads I should have found have some answers, please let me know and I will go read them.
BLUF: If you want to go SF, do it. But that needs to have 100% of your focus. You need to go in with a "I'm going to die or graduate" mindset throughout the entire course. And if on the cause you dont get selected, you have to be at peace with serving in the Army for a few more years to gain leadership experience to reapply for WOFT. Otherwise, given your current situation I would continue with the civilian WOFT route. If you dont get selected then you can always enlist as an 18X or whatever "cool/highspeed" MOS recruiters are trying to throw at you. They're always filling those 18X slots regardless of what recruiters say.