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SBuzzkill

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SBuzzkill last won the day on December 2 2021

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  1. Try posting this down in the military section. It gets more traffic from folks who might be able to answer your question. If you get too many crickets here, r/Armyaviation over on Reddit is usually quick to answer.
  2. Yes, I had a vision waiver on my Class 1. Took about a month to hear back from Rucker but they passed me. Don’t self eliminate because you think you can’t qualify.
  3. IIRC technique makes a huge difference. Relaxing your eyes vs straining and trying to focus on the circles. Maybe try offsetting your focal point a little bit from the circles and see what it gets you (looking above or below them).
  4. With the same timing that I was offered the Apache? No, I would have left no matter what they were offering me. I had a new baby, an airline job offer, and an opportunity to move home. Easy choice. If I would have been allowed a fixed wing transition or CH-47 on the original go around? I don't know, but I can tell you I have no regrets about anything I have done. NTC... I'm not sure. Are you trying to get there as a UH-60 pilot or UH-72 pilot? OC? In context of the OC job. You're on the rotation schedule, so life is very predictable throughout the year. You know when you're going to have days off and when you're going to work 12 months in advance. You will be home every night or day, depending on which shift you're on. The one exception is being assigned bunker duty during live fire. A few nights in a bunk bed every few months. No big deal. You'll work for 3 straight weeks, no day off. Then you'll get a couple long weekends with easy work weeks and start all over. While I was there the mentality between rotations was show up, do whatever work you have, and get out of there as soon as you're done. The unit was small, and we didn't deal with stuff regular units had to. There was no range qualifications, very few formation runs, no endless classes, none of that. Just rotations, recovery, and preparing for the next rotation. We'd have a BBQ on every training day 14, as soon as the end of the rotation was announced and the birds were buttoned up. Families would come out, food would be on the table, and we'd hang out until dark celebrating. The flying was challenging. Flying solo NVG in red illumination, aircraft everywhere, ROZs and gun target lines during live fire with only a paper map and lat/long GPS, winds and turbulence in the mountains, dust landings, pinnacles, ridge lines you can't see in the dark, fast moving weather, confined areas, etc. It was not a place I would want to be a new aviator in, in fact some of the nights at NTC surpassed even Afghanistan in stress and difficulty. VERY different place than JRTC. But for all the crappy nights there were great days. The flying area is excellent, so much variety and everything is fair game. That's about all I can think to say about the flying without being asked more specific questions. When it comes to life outside of work it is what you make of it. You're going to want to live on post, because it's a 30 minute drive into the desert after leaving Barstow. There wasn't anything special about the base when it came to amenities, but I really enjoyed living there. The house I lived in was relatively nice and very close to the commissary. Plenty of long weekends to get off base and go visit some of the great destinations around SoCal.
  5. My experience in a CAB ended in 2016 when I left to be an OC at the National Training Center, so my perspective is a little out of date. It may or may not be useful to you. My worst year in the Army was the year after deployment. It was 2014 and the Kiowa retirement had been announced, initial transition offers had been made and I didn't make the list. In fact the majority of mid-grade untracked W2s ended up with nothing, no transition, no guidance, no nothing. Just keep doing your job and we'll figure it out later. After the transition list was finalized our community was immediately stripped of our most junior warrant officers as well as our most senior. They were sent to transition courses and ended up in different airframes. The workload on the unit did not decrease, rather those duties got assigned to any untracked aviator who still remained. The divestment worked like this: A unit would turn their aircraft in to the boneyard, do a 9 month rotation in Korea, and come back as either a reflagged Apache unit or simply *poof* the unit was gone. Those with transitions would head to their new units and to Rucker, those without transitions would _________. Throughout the year and a half leading up to our rotation we got a new commander, were pushed hard into transitioning from COIN to near-peer decisive action, and were getting work piled on us left and right. Coupled with the "you're going away, who cares" attitude from the rest of the brigade, morale was pretty low. I decided that year to transition out of the Army, that I wouldn't try to get promoted and retire. I wasn't in a hurry to leave but the writing was on the wall that the Army wasn't in my future. Once I relieved myself of the pressure to compete for OERs, PME, and advancement opportunities life became much better. I turned down a track I didn't want, WOAC, etc. I focused on being a pilot in command, air mission commander, and doing my part in the unit as well as I could. It took about a year for my attitude to improve back to the level I was before all the punches to in the gut, but I got it back. As the units rotated through Korea the "leftovers" were sent to the next unit, and eventually we got back to being fully manned. This time with relatively experienced aviators as all the newest folks had already left the community. By the time we made it to Korea we had the best group of aviators I think the unit ever had. It was a really great time. Eventually I got in touch with my HRC manager and asked him what he was doing with us after we got back. I told him as long as he could keep me flying I'd stick around. Thus, I ended up at NTC. It was a fantastic assignment, and I stayed in the Army as long as I possibly could before being forced out. I was eventually offered an Apache transition, but like I said earlier, I had committed to transitioning out. It was my way of having some control over things, and to be honest after 9 years I was looking forward to doing something a little bit more laid back. The point of all this rambling is that the Army throws curveballs at you. If you would have talked to me during 2014 you would have heard from the most miserable guy I have ever been. It's really easy to fall into the "grass is greener" trap. But I got through it, and I had the best few years of my career afterward.
  6. Keep up with your logbook and triple check your CAFRS closeouts. I got lazy one year and lost a couple hundred hours of flight time because of it. Make sure you are clear with your HRC manager what your intentions are and what assignments you would like. You may or may not get it, but they don't know what you don't tell them. Keep an eye on their web page as well, often time there are oddball assignments posted there that you might be interested in. Take your EPs and IIMC training seriously. You will be faced with emergencies, and there's no telling which ones or when they will happen. Know them well, because the heat of the moment is the wrong time to be trying to recall EPs or floundering through an IIMC recovery. The most routine flights can end up being killers. Start working on your ARMS stuff as soon as you inherit an additional duty that needs it. Square that sh*t away and you wont have to work long hours in the weeks leading up to an inspection trying to catch everything up. Just about everything you will do has an applicable regulation or FM. Don't wait to "be trained" on something, just go start finding answers and asking questions. In line with the above, if you're giving someone an answer make sure to show them the source. If you can't recall where it came from, sit down and find it with them. It will sharpen you as well as give you credibility. That's the whole game as a Warrant Officer, and if you're an O-grade it will help build trust with the WOs you are leading. Lastly, enjoy where you're at. You worked hard to get there and you're doing something few people get to do. You wont be doing it forever and it's easy to lose sight of that when morale is low. A few years down the road you're going to forget most of the small stuff so try and focus on the big picture. Edit: As far as gear goes, best way to feel warm on a cold night is to keep the back of your neck covered.
  7. APC is a cesspool full of disgruntled morons. There’s some good stuff on there but you gotta have the knowledge to root through the BS to find it, so it’s best to just stay away from there for now.
  8. I’ve really enjoyed airline flying. It’s the least stressful job I’ve had. Show up, fly the trip, go home. Commuting, living in base, schedule, destinations, etc. All that stuff is dependent on the airline you’re flying for. I fly a turboprop for a regional airline in the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful scenery, challenging flying, and interesting overnights. I can bid a schedule to get weekends off, I can sit airport reserve and be home every night, I can bid to a different base to commute and fly more, or I can sit at home on reserve working in the yard and make my neighbors wonder what I do for a living. I’m gone a couple nights a week. Sometimes 3 nights. But when I’m home I’m 100% home. No popping into the office, no phone calls interrupting my day, nothing. I have zero interaction with management unless I need something from them. Big kid rules. Travel benefits open the world up to you. My wife and I popped down for a night in San Francisco a few months ago, flew free to Hawaii, are taking the kids to Florida on discounted rates, my parents have flown free on my benefits, I can jump-seat just about anywhere, and get cheap fares internationally. You’re not stuck with the airlines. There’s plenty of other jobs in airplanes all over the country that you will quickly be qualified to do. I can’t compare it to the helicopter industry as I was never a part of it. 1,700 hours took me 9 years of Army flying and wasn’t enough to get me a job near home, so I took the airline job that did get me home. Everyone has a different experience in aviation. Perspective matters, and what I love about the job other people hate. There’s no knowing if something is right for you until you’re actually doing the job.
  9. I edited my initial response after I decided I didn’t want to go down that road on this forum. There are plenty of other more appropriate places to talk about COVID opinions.
  10. *f*cks over aviators to cut cost at any opportunity* We CaNt fIgUrE OuT wHy We HaVe a RetEntIon pRoblEm.
  11. Tours will get you there quick judging by my friends’ experiences. One went to Papillon and one to Maverick. Both of them flew their butts off and one is now flying firefighting helicopters after doing some utility stuff and the other went into an AGR job after getting bored flying civilian stuff. They started out leaving the Army with around 1800 hours, but that’s a small gap to make up for you. I assume you have some good instrument time?
  12. In the long run, over the course of their time in the Army, WOs will outfly RLOs. Not always, but enough that it’s a good general statement. How much is the variable that depends on a ton of things and is tougher to answer. In my unit, company officers generally kept up with warrant officers to within a couple hundred hours of each other. The staff officers fell behind by about half the amount of hours. It really depended on the priorities for that particular RLO. Some folks who really wanted to fly found a way, and probably worked twice as much to tackle their leadership duties on top of it. Others tipped the scale to one side or the other. I can say without a doubt the quality of aviator did not depend on rank or even experience level.
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