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Showing content with the highest reputation on 03/15/2021 in all areas

  1. Thank you for the stories, and I seriously hope this thread takes off. Though the ten year ADSO didn't change my mind on what I wanted to do, all these posts about it definitely have me worried about what to expect for my potential future. Stories like the ones you shared make me feel excited again about the prospect of flying for the Army, even if it only makes a small percent of everything you do as a WO and aviator.
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  2. Well I'll chime in with some MI fixed wing perspective. 1. Flight time. You live to deploy. You fly while deployed. The bulk of your hours usually come when you are deployed. When you're back home, you'll probably fly between 100% and 150% of your minimums. That equates to somewhere around 150 hours a year. Or like The Dude said, about 3 hours of flying a week. This need to deploy/high op tempo can stress a family out bad. Between all the TDY's, training exercises, gunnery, field work, and actual deployments, a lot of time is spent away from home. This obviously has a direct statistical correlation to divorce rates. Get your whole life ripped out from under you a time or two and you're bound to be bitter about it. 2. The other 40+ hours of your week. Well, this is going to vary wildly. It depends on your command climate, your air-frame, your fellow aviators/friends, your mission, your additional duty, how well you are liked, and what duty station you get, etc. I am pretty much in S6 for life. I love it. I wholeheartedly look forward to going in to work every day. I like the split between 2-3 flights a week and the rest spent dealing with tech issues and the rest of comm life. Other people see their additional duties as a means to an end, or a necessary evil in order to enjoy flying. Yeah, if I got stuck in ALSE, or TACOPS, or S1, I would definitely not enjoy it as much. Oh, and with all the rules, regulations, and additional craziness that the Army does, it definitely sucks some of the fun/relaxation/exhilaration out of the flying you do get to do. 3. Why warrants are so salty. Well, I have many theories on this, and they all apply some of the time in certain cases. Warrants were most often prior service of some kind. Many of them wanted forever to fly but a lot of them saw it as a means to stay in the military but instead of doing whatever crappy job they had before, they could serve out the remainder of their time doing something potentially fun (aka flying). They also like the idea that warrants are supposed to be able to get away with way more than a typical soldier should be able to. (It's every E4's dream to be able to skip PT, formations, etc at will, and have no adverse consequences). The reality is that there are two types of warrants, there are aviation warrants, and then there are tech warrants. Tech warrants are rare. They have a very specific skill set. A CW2 typically will only work with captains (O3's) and above. Company commanders, BN XO's, BN CDRs. A CW3 pretty much only deals with/reports to MAJ's and above (and is at a brigade level). CW4 forget about it if you aren't an O5. Combine that rarity with how that command structure works, and warrants get to do whatever they damn well please because everyone knows they know their lane inside and out and you don't want to piss them off. That is what most branches think warrants are. But then we have this little (fairly large) side of it that is aviation. You have 1LT's giving orders/being platoon leaders for CW2's and CW3's. 1SG's that key in on that and don't give aviators the same level of clout that they would as a tech warrant. You often have as many warrants in a flight company as you do lower enlisted (we have more). That 1LT who has no idea what they're doing is writing your OER as a CW3 with 14 years in the Army. That same LT is blowing up your phone because you aren't at PT or some dumb training meeting. Aviation warrants want to think they're tech warrants, but we aren't. We try oh so hard, but we are viewed in my opinion in many cases as flying privates. This makes a great deal of us salty as hell. 4. Next we have the pay issue (this applies much more to fixed wing than rotary, but it still applies to them as well). Warrant's get paid dirt compared to their commissioned counterparts. An equivalent time in grade CW3 and a CPT with the same amount of time in service, well, that CPT makes about 30k more a year when all is said and done. This happens, yet warrants are rooked/conned into doing many of the same jobs/same responsibilities as their commissioned counterparts. Warrants occasionally serve as platoon leaders, XO's, BN S1's, S6's, deputy commanders and even commanders of forward footprints. They want us to go to the same useless types of advanced courses that don't really give much college credit or hold any weight if you're trying to complete a bachelors degree (which all aviation warrants want if they want to eventually be airline pilots). Yes we are the only ones that qualify for the bonus, but that bonus barely brings us up to what our commissioned counterparts make normally, and we have to sign our lives away for 3 years. So, that explains that portion. 5. Ah yes, the degree portion. So, I'm going to get some nasty-grams and some hate for this, but here I go anyway. Warrants are cheap labor for aviation. The only way the Army can get away with this and still keep pilot applicants flooding in is the lack of a degree requirement. At the end of the day that's the only real difference, because the Air force has command track officers and technical track officers that only do flying related stuff. The Army could do the same thing, it would just cost a lot of money. Now for the part that will get me the hate mail. Aviation warrants as I've said are typically prior service. Most of the aviation warrants I've met that aren't street to seat have been in the military since they were 18-20 years old. They don't have an appreciation for how the real world works. They never went to a real college (no online BS doesn't count, you don't get exposed to new people, experiences, you bullshit your way though 50 forums and do some tests and poof there's a degree). They've never had to pay for civilian insurance, they've never had to worry about losing their job next week, they've never had to work in a group project with an LGBTQ Hindu snake whisperer, or worry about getting a raise, or stress about moving expenses (I get it, it can still be stressful but the military greatly reduces that with $$$), and they genuinely don't appreciate how shitty being a regional airline pilot actually is. They suffer from a severe, chronic case of grass is greener syndrome. This portion of their negativity you will just have to learn to get past or take lightly. The other things I've mentioned are valid complaints, but the lack of perspective is just something you'll have to deal with as a warrant officer in aviation. -The positives. I can't speak for my rotor-head brethren, but I can speak for MI fixed wing. We have tons of training opportunities, tuition assistance, the best education program offered in the world (GI Bill), spouse education benefits, bush pilot school, upset recovery, airborne, air assault, whatever dumb school you can think of, if you spin it right and talk to the right person, you can get it! You'll meet some of the best people and friends you could ever hope to find in the seat next to you, on deployments, sleeping in tents (or hotels ). You'll literally get millions of dollars of training, new life experiences, benefits, friends and a hell of an adrenaline rush. Your results may vary, everyone's journey is different. You could fly your 60 over a nude beach and have everyone cheer. You could get shot in the ass and have a nasty case of PTSD every time you sit down on the shitter and here a pop. You might fly a general in the back that writes you an LOR to a sweet gig at Boeing. You may get divorced after you walk in on your wife cheating on you with your best friend. Or you may go to experimental test pilot school and end up in NASA's astronaut program. There's probably a statistically relevant chance that you will have a negative experience in the Army as an aviator. The green weenie doesn't discriminate, but you can sure armor up with a positive attitude and good choices to at least lessen its wrath. Take the opportunity kid. Make the most of it. Give it what you have and don't let the negative nancy's beat you down. Just know it won't all be roses and rip its. PM me if you have any questions.
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