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Everything posted by UH60L-IP

  1. I'm pretty close to the eligibility requirements for the Master wings and had one of my Guard unit admin guys take notice of my records, then asking me if I wanted to submit for my Senior wings. I was eligible for those years back. Meh, don't care unless it comes with a pay raise.
  2. If you go the Guard route, talk to the unit you plan on joining. They must know ahead of time that you are only enlisting in order to put a packet together. It will save you much trouble later. Remember, you are likely filling a slot that they actually need filled with a worker. Many units are not keen on you arriving and believing that you will soon be leaving for WOCS only to have to fill that slot again. But if the unit you are working with knows of, and approves of, your plan it will work out better for you. If you think you are going to enlist in the Guard and show up to your unit one day saying, "I'm here to go to flight school," expect to be laughed at. That's not how it works. But again, if everyone knows the deal ahead of time you can indeed be fast tracked to putting your packet together. If your goal is to go to flight school, I would certainly make it an aviation field that you enlist in. While refueling might be a faster track, I'm a Guard pilot and never see a refueler (other than perhaps at the FARP during annual training). I see crew chiefs every day I am at the facility. If I was looking to get into the unit, I'd be a 15T long before I was a refueler. Saving yourself some time in AIT may not save you time in the end. I'd write a letter for one of my crew chiefs that I see all the time before I wrote one for a refueler that I rarely see. All that being said, warrant aviation and commissioned engineers are two entirely different things. They are not exactly a "fallback" for one another. You need to pick the route you want to take. You can't worry about things you can't affect. Pick the route you want and do that.
  3. I think you are going to be quite disappointed. You may not realize it (most don't until they are out) but the job you are doing in the Army is very much to make mission (not just to earn someone else a bullet point). But to that issue, in the civilian world you will also have plenty to complain about, including doing work for a reason that you cannot determine for an end that you cannot understand. You will always be a cog in the system. The system generally does not justify why you are needed. You are paid to perform a service, not understand why. Just like in the Army. I am an Army contract pilot. Some of the things we do are perplexing to me. However, my paycheck clears every two weeks so I do the job that they ask me to do, just the way they ask me to do it. They certainly pay me to think, but they don't pay me to think about things that are not in my lane and therefore simply become complaining. I've spent a long time as a civilian, active duty, guard, and Army civilian. Your pleasure must come from other things, not the warm feeling you get from doing a job where there is no B.S., because that job does not exist. Last word, it is my belief that you will earn much more in the long term utilizing the skills you already have than working towards your helicopter ratings. The time you spend learning a skill that does not pay well for a long time is probably better used on a well paying career you are already skilled at. You will be climbing the income ladder earlier and, therefore, even if you technically topped out more as a pilot later, dollar for dollar you earn more doing what you do now.
  4. Oh great. I'm a full time civilian pilot, a National Guardsman, and a part-time police officer. I better run down to the courthouse on Monday to file my divorce paperwork before she does.
  5. OP, thanks for putting that out there for others. I'm not in your same boat, so I'll give a bit of advice for perhaps those a bit further along in their careers. Early last year I easily met the qualifications for most jobs you might find posted/not posted (hours, NVG, night unaided, actual instrument, turbine, twin, etc.). I applied for exactly three postions, phone interviewed for all three, personal interviewed for two (politely declined personal interview for the third). I attended what I felt was a professional interview for a respectable air ambulance company. I arrived early, dressed sharply, and had records in hand. Had a long tour of the facility, helicopter, entire operation, etc. I met with the lead pilot and area manager. They made a call and put me on speaker to talk to another regional manager (hiring authority). I spent a couple of hours at the facility in total. I was quite impressed with the operation and believed that I would receive an offer. However, I also knew that I was going to attend another job interview in less than 72 hours with an equally reputable company (but not air ambulance). I had told them this at the time I was invited to the interview so they knew that ahead of time. All considered, I felt that it would be a better fit simply because of location and family concerns. I was very clear with the first company that I would not entertain an offer (if received) until at least considering the second company with whom I had committed to the interview. I received an offer from the first company the next day. I reaffirmed my obligation and they respected it. The offer remained open for 3 days. Immediately after my interview with the second company I was offered the position, which I accepted. I called back the first company. The manager was more than considerate of my decision based upon my forthrightness and honesty. Further, he provided me with his personal cell phone number and told me to give him a call should I ever see an opening in a location that I would consider. While I don't have any plans to leave my current company I don't think that the obligation to be professional ends simply when you more than meet any written requirements for a job. Honesty, integrity, and the value of one's word will be remembered as equally as the poor attitude or lack of professionalism displayed. Finally, I have had the opportunity to recommend people I know for positions within the company that I currently work. I will also not hesitate to recommend against persons I don't think should work here. In the end, I know how hard it is to get that first "real" job (I started as a civilian prior to military and going back civilian). Just because more people answer the phone and return messages when you have the hours doesn't mean your attitude should be any different.
  6. Nothing at all wrong with that question, assuming you answer it professionally. Here is my personal reason for having gone warrant instead of RLO. While I appreciate the leadership role that RLOs have, I understand that their flight duties are secondary to their command roles. We certainly need good leaders, especially ones that know and understand aviation. I also understand that warrant officers are leaders, but generally more in a mentorship, training, and advisory role. I don't mind supervising others, and feel I have been successful at it, but I prefer training and mentoring others to perform a task directly related to supporting the commander, not being the commander. For me, that happens to be flying helicopters. For my personality, it simply happens to be a better fit. Now don't steal that.....unless you mean it. But it's a legitimate answer to a legitimate question. And yes, warrant officers do fly more than RLOs. It is actually fairly equal in the first few years of service, but after the first few years the career paths tend to diverge. Warrant officers are more likely to remain in flying roles, though not always. Many, many, Army aviators fly more than their civilian counterparts. Civilians tend to fly more in the beginning (if they are successful as a CFI and then that first tour gig, etc). But civilian flying also tapers off quite rapidly, especially if one chooses to go the air ambulance route - which seems to be where many would like to go. I started as a civilian, went military, and am now back to civilian (also Guard). I have more hours than most of the people I started civilian aviation training with (or that were training at the same time). If you get deployed as a new aviator you can rack up 500-700 hours in a year. You'll also get a lot if you go to Korea on a tour. If you get a tour at Rucker after either of those, you're looking at another 300-500 hours per year for another 3 years. Instructors at line units also fly a lot. The funny thing about hours. You fight for hours to get to a certain number. Then you get that certain number and you don't care so much. But then you end up flying more than you did when you cared about it. I fly 70-80 hours per month right now. I'm happy to do it but I don't need it anymore and wouldn't care if it was half that. Yes, new Army aviators sometimes find themselves fighting for flight time. That is not across the board. Some of it is luck of the draw. But it is not unusual to see a CW2 with 2000 hours. Personally (and I've flown both civilian and military), I feel that 2000 hours in twin engine turbine aircraft, with plenty of time in actual instrument condition, and plenty of NVG time is worth more than 1000 hours of CFI time, 1000 tour or gulf time, and perhaps an NVG course for the first air ambulance job. That went way past your original question, but there's not shame in an honest answer as to why you'd rather be a warrant than an RLO. How about this, "Hey, my passion is flying. I am not necessarily passionate about being the commander in charge. I am willing to sacrifice a little in pay to focus on what I am passionate about. That is supporting the troops by manipulating the controls."
  7. Flown a lot of sling loads. First I've heard of keying the FM. It's not a standard nor a procedure in the ATM for the task. Sounds like it's out of the FM 3-04."Insert Instructor Name Here" manual.
  8. Recently transitioned active duty IP to Guard guy here. Different states of course vary, so your experience may vary, but here's my take on it from having recently done it. It is easier to transition from active duty directly to the Guard than from complete separation to the Guard. My paperwork was in order, I was able to hand carry my flight records, physicals up to date, I offered the gaining unit recency of flight, etc. It was much easier to make contacts through AKO, walk into personnel, and things like that. Further, my gaining unit was able to call to my current unit and get an immediate recommendation. My OERs were current, no lingering questions, nothing. I met with the right people literally while wearing my active duty uniform. Paperwork can already be a nightmare when it is current and easy (easier) to get to. I can only imagine had there been a break in service. On the flip side, I know of not just one or two, but several people, that would very much like to get into the Guard (guys I know here where I'm at and guys I went to flight school with) but that are right now full fledged civilians. It is hard for them to get a call back, they are having a very difficult time getting CAFRS info from active duty, and they basically are having to start over as if a civilian. They have much more of a challenge getting into the unit than I did, and I only made the transition fairly easily because I knew the right people or had the capability on active duty of getting in touch with the right people. My advice is that if you are planning on continuing your service in the Guard, don't delay. As for turning down Apaches, my belief is that it's not an issue that would concern the job or possibility of getting a Guard slot. I know of a couple of Kiowa guys that were pretty much in your same boat. They found their Guard unit and had the Guard pay for their Blackhawk (and in one case C-12) course. It still saves the Guard a ton of money while getting a good amount of experience in return (a lot cheaper than sending a WOC to flight school). While perhaps debatable, being a CW2 is actually a benefit (the Guard promotions are different and being passed over active duty isn't an issue - assuming it's because of the Kiowa issue and not because you were a dirtbag). It's easier to find a job for a CW2 than a CW3 and you give the perception that you've still got some good years left to give the Guard. Again, much of this may vary by state but I think the overall experience is likely similar to others. If I were you (and I'm not) I would turn down the Apaches and find a Guard home without delay. The civilian jobs will be there (assumes you have sufficient hours). No kidding, I turned down 3 actual written job offers to accept the job I took. I left active duty on a Sunday, did my Guard swear in on Monday, and started my civilian job on Tuesday.
  9. When I was going through flight school they'd always say, "Welcome home." For months I wondered how they knew I lived on post since the address wasn't on my CaC card.
  10. I am aware of at least one that was commissioned USMC - a Captain. He was a student in my section when I was an active duty IP section leader. It's been about 2 years since he came through. As I recall, he couldn't have had much of a break in service, if any. I do believe he was a CW2 going through flight school, though I can't be certain. And sorry, I don't recall the name. He was not my student and as a section leader I oversaw a lot of students. I know that's not much help other than affirmation that it is possible.
  11. Nothing to judge. Army aviation is full of former Marines, myself included. The conditional release should not be difficult to get. I can think of several people who have done what you are planning on doing.
  12. My comment was somewhat tongue in cheek. Active duty has its issues. National Guard has its issues. As for the National Guard, there are bound to be some full time vs part time issues. Full timers might argue that they should get courses first because they serve full time regardless of rank, position, how long they've been there, etc. Weekenders might argue that they should get priority on flights during drill weekend because full timers can fly more easily during the week. There's all kinds of things. As kona said, it's the same, just different. I actually like my Guard unit. I am glad that they are open to someone transitioning from active duty providing input from a different standpoint. That is great and it's obvious they want to improve. I can also see that there will be some difficulty getting slots as full timers look to be first in line. In the end, I can see both sides. I shouldn't be held back in my career progression but they can make another argument that seems justifiable. Should the SP be the most experienced guy, or should it go to a junior IP because he is always there? As a part timer in the Guard I look at it this way. I'm enjoying myself. While I'd like to attend schools and get promotions in a timely manner, it's not my main source of income and unlike active duty, I don't necessarily have to do all kinds of things to get promoted. I don't even have to get promoted and I won't get kicked out. I can just be good at my job and be happy with that. Rant over but we can only control what we can control. Do your best in either an active duty or guard unit. It'll either work out or you'll find somewhere else to go. But while you're there, do a good job regardless of the reward.
  13. I was trying to figure out which Guard unit he was talking about. Then I realized..... he's talking about all of them.
  14. Had a brand new WO1 walk into the company area at 0800 hours. I was sitting there drinking coffee with other pilots like a good warrant officer. Apparently this guy had put on the wrong top and failed to look in the mirror on his way out the door. He had zero patches on his uniform. No name tape, no rank, no unit patch, nothing. He was properly introduced to the company commander and SP without delay. Everything you think might have been said and done after that did in fact occur.
  15. You will not solo, in any form, in the UH-72. There will always be an IP at one set of the controls while in flight school.
  16. It is 2017, not 1964. The AI is the master instrument. As such, you should rely upon it. I've got two glass PFDs and a back-up gyro horizon, none of which is dependent upon the other. I see no reason why it should not be relied upon. Even teaching partial panel is pretty much pointless in this century. Now, if were talking about a R22 or R44 trainer (which will never touch a cloud) you might be on to something. Any modern helicopter going into the clouds, use the AI. That's the job of the AI. I've taught instruments for 9 years.
  17. A few hours and a private pilot's license is not likely to sway the selection board. So if you do it, do it for personal reasons. If you have little else to set you apart from others in the process and you think this will put you over the top, that might make sense as well. Personally, way back when I went through the process I was right at the age cutoff, was rather average, and it was a little more competitive. However, I was a helicopter CFII with a thousand hours. I am almost certain that without it I would not have been selected. That is a unique position to be in, though, and may not be relevant right now, especially when you will not be building up a lot of hours. If you are going to do it, there are worse things you could spend your money on. I'd go with the fixed wing for cost and value of flying recreationally if you choose. I do agree that the value will be not in the stick time so much as the introduction to aeronautics, i.e. airspace, charts, radio communication, etc. Some of that you can teach yourself so, again, do it for personal reasons or if you truly need it to set yourself apart.
  18. Speaking of sick, I think you need to go to sick call. I believe you have whatever Hillary's got. Take her with you.
  19. I'll take an oppositional view to other posters. Choosing not to go to college right now does not strip you of one single opportunity. Nothing will have passed you by in the next 4 years regardless of the route you take, unless you screw up. Screw college right now. If you don't like high school, college is really going to suck. Your grades will likely be poor and you'll be deeper in debt with an academic record that gets you nowhere. That being said, you better ACE high school if you want to stand any chance of going straight to WOFT. My teachers in high school all advocated for college. They only pushed students that were headed to college. I was clear that I was going into the military. I held the viewpoint that they didn't give a crap about me because I wasn't an academic. I was literally told that I was throwing my life away and would never amount to anything. I didn't care - not because I didn't want to but because they were not teaching to my goals - and they didn't care about me either. My grades suffered for it and I can honestly say that I was one of the smartest students in the classroom. Looking back, I was absolutely right and they were poor teachers that only focused on those that held their beliefs and continued on a path they advocated for. Fast forward and I excelled in the military. My first two promotions were meritorious. I chose to go to college at night and on the weekends and did quite well. I worked hard and made myself a success. Fast forward to now and I'm getting paid a good amount of money to fly multi-million dollar aircraft as a government contractor and extra to boot as a Guard pilot. On the rare occasion I go back home I look at the people that were supposed to be a success doing jobs that are mediocre while paying off college debt that has nothing to do with their career. I'm pretty sure I've had more success than 95% of the college bound students from my class all those years ago. I am not knocking college. I believe in education and I am educated. But I do believe that it is but one route to your goals. If you don't want to go to college right now, don't friggin' go. If you don't make the cut for WOFT, enlisting may very well be the best thing you could do for yourself. It may very well be a heck of a lot better than paying to go to a place that you don't want to go and therefore don't commit to. Best of luck.
  20. Right now would be a good start. It's probably going to take you awhile to find a recruiter even willing to work with you. At your age I can guarantee that pretty much every recruiter you talk to will be pushing you for an enlistment. It will take a special recruiter to work with a true high school to flight school candidate. That being said, you better be prepared to truly stand out as a 18 year old looking to become a warrant officer. What have you done? School, college, other academics, etc. It is possible to be selected right out of high school but you will face challenges in terms of a recruiter, convincing the right people that you deserve outstanding LORs, etc. I would start now.
  21. Because it's a job and a means to an end. Flying is great. It's a great office with a window view. I realize it's something that very few get to do. I enjoy every day at work. In the end, it's still work. The fact is that it pays quite well (I'm a civilian contractor and a Guard guy). That allows me to live in a nice house, pay the bills without worry, save for the kids' college, and know I'll live comfortably now and well into the future. Very few, if any, pilots are so in love with flying after a few thousand hours that they just have to do it every day. Very few jump out of bed at 3:30am with never a desire to hit the snooze button. If I was independently wealthy I'd definitely not work but still fly for fun, just not every day. Nothing wrong with the Army being a means to your end goal of being a NASA astronaut. To be honest, I'm not convinced Army aviation would be your fastest track there, or even a likely one by any stretch. I've heard of one guy going that route, but that's kind of legendary. There's faster routes for a guy like yourself.
  22. No. I do not get along well with liberals, so Washington is out. Alabama is my home now.
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