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itsbigfootguys

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Everything posted by itsbigfootguys

  1. I had a labral repair but seeing as it didn't stop me from joining the infantry, the flight surgeon didn't even request a waiver I was just approved. It's mostly a non issue, other than the fact the new pt test has no alternate events and a few of them could strain a shoulder injury like that. That's a problem that will work itself out in time. For now, you'll be fine. If you can pass the diagnostic entrance pt test you'll be good
  2. I am pretty sure that if the docs graded this objectively, I would fail it every single time. The first 3 or 4 aren't too bad but the rest tend to go like this: "Middle" Awkward pause "Left" "Try again" "Right, definitely right" So, sweat not. Once you get that first physical done, you're in the club
  3. This depends on your airframe mostly, but also the unit you are assigned to. Home time is not home time. The typical aviation battalion can expect at least 1-2 CTC rotations in a year. If you are attack that also means 2-3 gunneries a year. if your battalion is super motivated, you'll do field exercises in conjunction. I got home from Afghanistan, was home for about 2 months, then was at a gunnery for 2 weeks, was home two weeks, back out to a gunnery again for 2 weeks, home for a month, gone to JRTC for a month, then we were home for about 2 months before another gunnery, a SOF exercise, another SOF exercise and another gunnery. All told the average pilot in our company was gone 5 months out of this year away from station on training, in a "dwell" period. Attack aviation is way undermanned and in demand at CTC rotations and other combined training events. There are training exercises overseas, with foreign governments, etc etc. I've found I am busier and away from home way more than I was as a grunt. A year on a year off is way better than the current Optempo/quality of life, at least in attack aviation. It is worth it though if you can survive to PC and track. If you want a home life and predictability - go guard/reserve
  4. This completely depends on your unit, down to the company level. I have seen call signs but they rarely stick. I have seen names on aircraft, but there's not much to it. It wasn't earned or the result of anything other than how many pilots we had in the company. Bottom line, the Army doesn't treat us like pilots, so unless we're actively preparing for or conducting a flight, we don't even act like pilots
  5. Oh man this varies so much, as Buzzkill mentions If you do Korea, you will likely bro out a bunch. We did partying right in Korea. There was an officers mess, all the guys would go out for drinks after work, and we all did things together on the weekends. But, most guys are unaccompanied, and pretty much the only people to hang with are military or families. It kinda forces unit cohesion. My experience stateside has been wildly different. Other than cross country flights and hail and farewells, dudes very rarely hang out outside of work. Everyone has their own life, families, interests outside the military. Ironically its the commissioned officers who hang out together outside of work, the warrants kind of do their own thing. It is not like the infantry was, where you only hung out with your platoon and got in fights with anyone who wasn't 11B or in your unit. Even on deployment, we would hang out on duty but as soon as that 14 hour duty day was over, everyone vanished. I don't think anyone even worked out together regularly.
  6. You certainly don't have to go to Fort Campbell. Fort Rucker is much closer, and Savannah is as well, though there may not be a flight surgeon at Savannah right now. My recommendation is locate the number of the hospital at Fort Rucker, call the appointment line, and make an appointment for a Class 1 flight physical for entry into WOCS. Use your internet skills, find the numbers (they are all available on the Rucker website) and make your appointment. It will be a long freaking day, but they should be able to schedule both your part 1 and part 2 on the same day. I believe on a Thursday.
  7. You're absolutely right, and I know how much the CH community has suffered as a result of ground units being desperate to train. We all want to train and be better at our jobs, but like you said, we bear the brunt. That infantry brigade my go to CTC once a year, but their build up to that event is literally the only training they will do for that year. I spent 90% of my time as a grunt doing nothing at all. We either need more pilots, more aircraft, or more realistically, ground units that aren't on the patch chart just need to chill on the CTC rotations. Most of what a ground unit does at CTC can be done at home station, commanders just like to go to CTCs because it looks good on OERs and requires minimal planning from their staff. We could do CTC style training at home station, but it would require a lot of work from staff officers who are busy making red blocks on powerpoint turn green
  8. I would very much agree with this. We're burning the candle on both ends. Our leaders have become so accustomed to the success of SOF, they think you can still do everything with very little personnel, but they seem to miss the enormous price tag that comes with SOF units. Either pump massive amounts of money to fund and train a small force extremely well, or fun and train a much larger force. But were trying to minimally fund a train a small force and expect it to do the job of a much larger force. The math just doesn't work. Fund the warfighter and send him to war. Or don't send him to war.
  9. So, just to be clear, I am not arguing against the field and CTC rotations. However, the frequency of them is totally unnecessary. 90% of the training done at those rotations can be done at a home station, if the time at home station was devoted to training instead of maintaining 350-1 currency. CTC rotations have their place, and that place is certifying units to be ready for war. Home station training should be preparation for CTC, which should be preparation for war. Our BN is scheduled for 3 CTC rotations in FY18, immediately after a combat rotation. It's a bit much.
  10. Envoy/PSAs promotional materials will better explain it all, but essentially, your friend was right. And he was also wrong. You will take an initial pay cut. You will slave to make hours for 6 months to a year, and then work for very little money for a bit. But within a year or so of getting your ATP, you will be making about what you were making in the Army, if not more. I think 3 years or so was the timeframe i recall for moving up to American. Its a formula. You will make less initially. It will be hard, very similar to the Army in terms of being away from family, working for little pay and reward. The difference is, after several years doing the dirty work at envoy, you'll be rewarded with a career that is guaranteed to end up in the six digit area. In the Army, your reward is the privilege of quitting that job and keeping half your salary as a pension. Retire from the airlines, and you will be set for life. So, if you're willing to suck it up for a little bit, you'll end up in a much better situation. Whereas in the Army, you're going to suck it up anyway, and you'll end up in pretty much the same situation. For guys on the fence, the opportunity is extremely hard to pass up .I think a lot of guys don't realize how difficult it will be initially, but most do, and have weighed the reward to be worth the hassle
  11. I want to outline this the way the OP asked it. I chose Apaches. Outside of the basic functions of a helicopter - what is something that you get to experience driving your bird that you wouldn't get on any other bird? This one is simple. The Apache is a weapon system, and while it sounds silly or harsh to say, killing people is your job. I know lots of UH/CH door gunners with some sweet kills, but if you're killing people from a lift aircraft, you're trying to make a bad day go away. If you're killing people from an Apache, you're serving your purpose in life. You might also be trying to make a bad day go away, but the Apache is an offensive weapon system. I was fortunate to deploy during a more permissive ROE than the last couple years, and getting to drop buildings with hellfires, call in engagements with other aircraft, work directly with the ground force to kill ISIS and take ground from the enemy, has been very rewarding. The Apache is the only conventional Army aircraft where you will be an active participant in the fighting of war. The lift aircraft have a great mission, but they are the transportation to and from the battlefield. The Apache is part of the battlefield. I was an infantryman in a previous life, and fighting wars from the sky is why i became a pilot. I love my job, and the AH job is dramatically different than the UH/CH job. Not necessarily better (its my opinion that it is, but hey, I get to be biased), but different. I personally get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Do you have any regrets now that you've gotten involved deeper, or did reality align similarly with what you were told to expect from each airframe during WOFT? I have zero regrets. However, what I have experienced in the Apache community is not at all what I was told to expect from cadre and fellow students during WOCS and Flight School. I won't address each rumor individually, but there was a lot of Apache hating throughout WOCS and Flight School. Things like, we're all douchebags (only at least half of us, definitely not all of us....), we don't have a stateside mission so we never fly (quite the opposite), Apache experience is useless in the civilian sector (very much not true), and we're broke all the time (OK, we do break a lot, but our OR rate is comparable to lift aircraft, especially considering how many more hours we put on our aircraft. We are broken more, but we fly more, so it is a fair tradeoff). Fortunately, I knew my share of Apache pilots and maintainers, and I knew which rumors to believe, and which ones to accept as likely true. I just shut up and let everyone else buy into the rumors, and come selection day, I picked Apaches with not much competition. Now, had I been forced to fly UH or CH, I would have been just fine. I would have been wishing I could fly guns, but there's nothing wrong with the lift mission or the pilots flying it. Every community has their jerks and stupidity. A lot of you wrote why you wanted to be an army aviator - now that you are, is it all that you hoped it to be? I knew what to expect, and its about what I expected. I thought the quality of life would be a LITTLE better, but its still far above the infantry life. And I can now date the hot lieutenants. I have already addressed all the silliness of being an Army aviator in the G1 thread, I can't possibly do it again. Is there any specific BS that is aviation or airframe specific that you have to put up with? Probably the most silliness in the AH community is based on ROE and Gunnery. As an attack pilot, even in a war zone where people are trying to kill you, you are expected to be both a legal expert and a killer. Sometimes being one means you aren't the other. There have been many times I have seen the enemy clear as day doing something I should absolutely kill them for. But ROE can be restrictive, and even if its a situation where you CAN shoot, if the AMC says you're not shooting, you won't shoot. A pensive or non aggressive AMC can be frustrating sometimes, but sometimes that hesitation keeps you off the general's carpet. Being an expert in ROE and utilizing tactical patience is simply a part of the job that isn't going away unless we go to total war....which Id rather not do anyway. Gunnery is a task in stupidity, as nothing you do really prepares you for combat. Like WOCS, it is a game, and you just gotta play the game to keep being a pilot. It could get better, and it might, but its also one of those things you just deal with.
  12. I think what the Army is failing to realize is that right now, guys outsider their ADSO, even up to 18 years TIS, are more likely to take an airline gig that stay in for retirement. The money and quality of life is just far superior. Sure, they may miss out on Army retirement. But most are eligible for VA benefits for disability, and the retirement they'll get from the airlines is at least twice what they'd be getting from the army anyway. The bad side of using smart people to fly your helicopters is that they are smart enough to know when they can make more money and be treated better somewhere else. I think you hit the nail on the head about patriotism, and someone at lunch mentioned the same thing. 90% of us would agree that patriotism was a PART of why we signed up for the Army. It played a part. The decision to re-enlist is not necessarily a patriotism decision. People have families, career opportunities, and most people feel their patriotic duty has been served and want to do other things. The decision to spend your entire adult life in the military is not about patriotism, but more about how you want to spend your adult life. If you want to continue to serve your country, that is admirable, but no one should be berated for choosing to do something else after serving their country for 8 years active duty. Also, if a real war broke out and American security was genuinely at risk, I think a lot of people would be more convinced to stick around. For now, the training war isn't really enough to sell people on patriotism.
  13. This was the conversation we were having in our unit before the bonuses were even announced. We knew unless it was HUGE money, it was only going to pad the pockets of those already planning to stay in. The Army needed to catch all those dudes on the fence about calling Envoy. They are foolishly assuming that guys with 15 years TIS would rather suck it up and make their 20, rather than start over in the airlines. Unfortunately for the Army, that's very much not true, and it is about to be a very painful lesson
  14. This. Warrants weren't necessarily concerned with not getting a bonus. Until a bonus was rumored. And then, when it was revealed, it was revealed to be a slap in the face. It has been asked a few times WHY most of the AD aviators say if they were to do it again, they would go Guard/Reserves. Ill break it down. Whether Active, Guard, or Reserve, minimums are minimums. You'll fly X number of hours every 6 months based on airframe/job position. And they are the SAME minimums for all 3. Because of funding, most pilots, unless you are an IP, deployed, or in Korea, can expect to make their minimums and MAYBE a little extra if they spend a lot of time in the field or NTC/JRTC/etc. There are exceptions. Some pilots will get lucky and fly a ton, and some will be very unlucky and not be able to meet minimums for reasons outside their control. But as a whole, you can expect to make minimums and not much more. But wait, if Active Duty barely flies minimums, and the Guard has to meet the same minimums, how is it possible that part time pilots fly as much as Active Duty pilots!? WHAT ELSE do active duty pilots do to fill all that extra time?? See, Guard/Reserve pilots come to drill, they fly, and they go home. And they get to come in at other times to fly, and then go home. If they aren't flying, the longest amount of time they HAVE to sit around is a long weekend. And then they go home. Until its time to fly again.....(Catching the drift?) Active Duty pilots will work 40 hour weeks, as they should, to earn the pay they earn. But in that 40 hour work week (and lets be real, its not 40, its closer to 50-60), how much of that time is dedicated to flying? If you guessed less than 5, you're correct. If you guessed less than 3, you're even more correct. The other 35-37 hours are filled with jobs that have nothing to do with aviation. Additional Duties. SHARP Training. EO Training. Details. 350-1 courses. Organized PT. Change of Command Ceremonies. Org Days. Suicide Prevention training. Inventories. Don't get me wrong, I love being an active duty pilot. But I am also realistic. I had the fortune of going to Korea, and then PCSing to a unit immediately turning around to Afghanistan. I'm getting to do my job every day. I've gotten a decent amount of hours and a lot of experience. But I am not the norm. Most of my peers are barely making minimums. I know that the years between this and my next deployment are going to be dreadful. But I also make a LOT of money for a non-college grad former infantryman. I'm fine with my situation. But I understand why almost everyone else is not. Short version: In the guard, even though it is a part time job, Flying is your primary task and everything else is secondary, and you get to have a predictable schedule and life. In Active Duty, flying is an additional duty and you will spend more time on non-flying jobs than you will with your family or loved ones. It was also asked, "How do we fix Army Aviation?" This is too big of a question to answer in the time I'm willing to devote to a forum post, but the simple answer is that we need to stop treating flying as an additional duty. Not just for the morale of the pilots, but for their safety and for the combat effectiveness of our formation. We are only a competent fighting force because of 16 years of deployments. Without that training down range, flying minimums is nowhere near sufficient to develop aviators. The recent rashes of aviation accidents across all 4 branches is evidence enough to me the we are not allocating the time or resources to properly train our pilots. And as morale continues to erode, experienced pilots who should be transferring their knowledge to junior pilots are getting out instead, creating an experience gap that is also dangerous. My evil master plan - transfer 5 or 6 D/E Company soldiers into line companies to cover down on additional duties. They will get treated better than they do in D/E Co, and it is absolutely absurd that Aviation line companies do not have HQ elements to handle training room, supply etc. Part 2 - A realistic flight pay scale that reflects the current job market and skill set, not the same dollar amounts that were introduced in the 90s. Annual bonuses like the air force. Part 3 - Increase home station training hours , double minimums for all air frames and remove emphasis on field training exercises like NTC or JRTC unless spooling up for a deployment. The same training value can be had at training areas using Infantry and Armor units living right next door. Increase predictability for family life and better develop the relationship with Ground/Air units. Part 4 - Remove the "don't get promoted two years in a row and you are out of the Army" silliness. Just because a pilot isn't suited to be a CW3 or CW4 doesn't mean they can't be a good pilot. Some guys just aren't suited for the extra pay and responsibility. They can still shake a stick and kill bad guys. Keep them in. Ok so i did go into my plan anyway. Oh well
  15. What you should be doing is practicing folding your t-shirts, making your bed, and hanging your uniforms in wall lockers. And cadence And PRT And saying "Im gonna be a pilot" a thousand times a day to justify the stupidity Morale/Coin/Sign/Photographer are all great additional duties Dont do anything with an S in front of it. Get good at perfect pushups Quit caffeine and tobacco now Sew everything onto your uniforms Turn everything for alterations Master your raking skills
  16. It is graded to standard, but a very conservative interpretation of the standard. Not on the level of ranger school or anything, but you will break the plane, you will fully extend. Those super fast half pushups won't fly. I didnt think it was absurdly strict, but for some guys who have gotten by for years with non-standard pushups, it was tough to do the minimum to the standard. Do a pushup exactly as you are instructed to in BCT, and as per the regs. If you do that, you will be fine. The guys who aren't fine have been pushing the boundaries or straight up ignoring the standard for years. And just remember a lot of the admin rules. Don't rest on your back for setups, sit all the way up, 90 degree leg angle, etc etc. WOCS is all about details, so they're looking for you to pay attention to them.
  17. 1- Pay for the laundry service 2- Turn in EVERYTHING in your ASU for alterations 3 - sew on your nametape/US Army 4 - Get comfortable boots 5 - Shut up and color. Its a game. Play the game, don't try to cheat the game or find a shortcut 6 - Get very good at perfect pushups and setups. Be ok with doing much less than what you usually do for your initial PT test, but ensure that every one of your pushups in particular are perfect until your required minimum 7 - Your reputation in your peer group starts the day you show up to WOCS. Be professional and treat everyone with respect until they prove they do not deserve it. And then, fake it. WOCS and Flight School is no time for drama - drama will get you kicked out faster than you realize
  18. This is some of the most valuable WOCS advice that I am very glad I followed. Think smarter not harder.
  19. Command dependent honestly. As mentioned above, they'll happily send your ass to a two-four week course so they can give you an additional duty someone else wants to get rid of. I feel like you're referencing more like Ranger, Airborne, Air Assault, Pathfinder, etc. You might be able to get Air Assault if you go to Campbell or beg for it when they do their "on site" Air Assault course. But those usually go to enlisted, and they fight tooth and nail for them. Pathfinder you might be able to sell, but it depends on the unit. I know of zero warrants going to Ranger school, but I also know of zero that would ever want to. I have heard of some getting Airborne, but basically falling into it on accident or knowing someone who hooked them up. If you show up to your unit and tell them you want to go to Airborne school they're going to laugh and give you your date and time for UMO/HAZMAT/SHARP/EO Id just be prepared to never go to a badge producing course, but to become qualified in all sorts of menial classes. Obvious exceptions being if you assess and are accepted into regiment or other high speed organizations.
  20. The 64E is faster than the 64D (I can't speak for 64D's with 701-D Power enabled). Exact airspeeds aren't really important. Unless the UH/CH is severely overloaded, the 64s always are slower than the lift aircraft. Im flying 64Es in Afghanistan right now, and we do some mixed missions with 64Ds. We generally have to slow down a little bit so they can keep up with us, and lift aircraft generally have to slow down so we can keep up. the 64Es ARE able to keep up with the preferred cruising speed of the 60s, but barely. Which is an improvement. UH/CH aren't "escorting themselves because the Apaches can't keep up". They're flying without an escort because there aren't enough Apaches to go around, and the places they are flying are generally low enough risk that its not necessary. Flying from Fob to fob doesn't justify an armed escort. If the risk is high enough, they will have an escort, and they'll fly slow enough so the escort can keep up. I have never heard of an escort being cancelled because the apaches are too slow.
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