Jump to content

Any National Guard Pilots here?


Recommended Posts

After spending 5 years enlisted in the Navy, I'm about to separate in August. While I was enlisted, I earned my B.S. from Embry-Riddle and managed to get my Commercial ASEL Instrument and all the helicopter ratings through CFII. As I'm about to transition to the civilian world, I am looking into the possibilities of becoming a Army National Guard Warrant Officer Aviator so I can still serve my country, but live in my home state and have a civilian flying job. Does anyone here have any experience flying for the National Guard? I would definitely appreciate some insite before I go talk to a recruiter. Thanks...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like you have great qualifications, and right now is a good time to be going for a slot in the guard. I wouldn't expect that to stay true in another year or two. If you're coming to one of our states, I'm sure we can help you out a lot. If not, I'm sure we can give you plenty of advice & assistance.

 

Are there any questions at this point you need answered?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would be interested in serving in Michigan or at least somewhere in the Midwest where I'm a little closer to home.

 

Just out of curiousity, approximately how many hours do you fly monthly or yearly with the Guard? And does your Guard sevice ever seem to conflict with your civilian job?

 

Thanks for the help so far and I'll probably end up giving the recruiter a call later this week...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I flew on active duty in the Army for 7.5 years and joined the Guard after a break in service. During the break in service I tried to join an Army Reserve unit and stopped the process after a great deal of frustration. I have been in the guard now for a year and like Rob L, I have had a blast so far. It has it's own flavor apart from active duty and the Reserves. When I tried to join the reserves I was out on my own with no support from the unit. In the guard I had a great deal of help.

 

I am on active duty orders now so I have been on 'Mil Leave' from my job since June and if possible I will stay on orders or get a technician job (GS level) at the unit when these orders end.

 

My civilian employer has been absolutely great about supporting my service in the Guard. There is a good deal of support from most civilians these days. I sat down behind a closed door a few months before I joined just to let him know what I was planning on doing. I made a point to ask how I could lessen the impact on the company. Even though I knew I'd be protected by federal law I had to show support to my boss as much as possible. He gave me some requests (all they really can do) and I followed them to a 'T' until I went on full time orders. If you work for a small company it can be hard for them to plan for your absences so as much lead time as possible is best. There is a federal regulation that protects you from adverse actions by your employer due to Guard service. Here is a link to the USERRA . I HIGHLY suggest that you download it and read it thoroughly. It's only 29 pages and stipulates what protections you get and what you don't.

 

My flight time has varied from very little per month to alot depending on the unit taskings. I am expecting to have very little in the coming years as the budget will most likely dry up. The strategy that has helped me attain more flight time (both on active duty and in the Guard) is to always be available when there were flights occurring. Sounds intuitive but I have watched some languish due to inflexibility with their schedule. During my RL progression I always asked the IP's for a training flight and moved my schedule to theirs. Also, I was ALWAYS prepared for the flights when they did come. Any sign of laziness or attitude can spell doom.

 

What type of work are you planning on doing when you get out? CFII/RH? Are you looking to the Guard for flight time? If your state is not deploying soon and you want to deploy for flight time, you may be able to join a unit about to go to the box. Just a suggestion.

Edited by BillyBob
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We get pretty consistent & about as much flight time as we want. There's basically 72AFTPs (4hr blocks) per year, plus maybe a flight during drill & any state missions (for us that's just flyovers for events).

 

A lot of folks go to blackhawks thinking they're get more hours because of the state mission. And they do fly a lot during hurricanes & fires, when we (apaches) don't, but then we fly a crap ton deployed & they don't. I got 2 guys that went to flight school together, one on 60s & one on 64s, and the Apache guy has almost double the hours of the blackhawk guy.

 

So, which ever route you go there's a fair amount of flight time. Obviously as Bob said, there's a lot you can do in terms of flexibility & doing your part to help that out.

 

As far as civilian jobs, that's complicated. Obviously being a pilot in the guard/reserve is a lot more than one wknd a month. So, you really need a job that has either flexible hours, very open to working with you (usually large companies), or a non-traditional schedule (airlines/etc). Probably half our guys fly offshore (oil/gas rigs), couple airline guys, fair amount of tech/AGR, and everyone else work traditional non-flying jobs.

 

So anyway, I'm in Texas. I can tell you we're wide open for slots in the Apache BN, little tighter on 60s & 47s, but still available. We got WO slots only, no commissioned slots for the foreseeable future. I talked to someone a while back (I think on here) that was looking at Michigan & said they had two slots that were already filled. I don't know if that's accurate or what the deal is in other states in the area.

 

I can tell you though that we strongly want our folks to live in the area. That comes back to the flight time issue. It's real hard for people to commute in from a couple hundred miles away then sometimes a flight gets canceled for weather or maint. Whereas you live close by, you can call over & catch a flight a lot of times. I think most units are going to expect the same thing of an applicant, so you may need to relocate if it comes down to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

jeff,

 

You definitely sound like you really hooked yourself up while in the Navy, that's awesome. I think Rob is right, you need to look at what state you want to live in, and check out their specific unit. while many of the units operate the same, sometimes their pilot selection will vary. They MAY want you to enlist into the state (or the AV unit) first before they will look at you, to see what you are like, to see if they would want to send you. I would contact that state prior to you getting out of the Navy... We also, in the Guard, have a 'try 1' deal, where you do 1 years service in the national guard, it takes care of your IRR time, and you can check out the unit, see if you like it. During which, you should be able to put a packet together, and meet pilots, crews, etc... The only problem with that is... You will have to re-enlist before you go to WOCS, because your enlistment MUST go through your time at Rucker, not a big deal, more of a formality than anything. Once you graduate from Rucker, all that goes away anyways.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

HOOAH HOOAH my Squid brother (I can call you that as I'm prior Marine)... I read where FLHooker mentioned the try-one to you... I'd say go for it, I'm on a try-one right now, and I was actually lucky enough to get a shortfall to 15T school, while I finish my packet for WOFT. The try-one is a good deal but be forewarned.. being prior Navy they may schedule you for Warrior training... I think its like a 2 week or maybe a month long course... There were a few Navy guys in my gateway to the guard class that were surprised they had to attend... While the guard may not offer the official "WOFT" program that Regular/Reserve Army does in writing... there are ways around everything... if that state is hurting for aviators and they like what they see, they'll go above and beyond to get you in the right direction...in the Guard we take care of each other...Seriously. ;)

 

Whatever you decide.. good luck! and go Chin-Hawks (47/60)!!! HOOAH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

HA. I haven't heard that one before...

 

Whats up sir! long time no talk! I had to coin a phrase for those us Tango's/Union's that have a mutual respect for each others frames... the more i find out about the 47's the more I start wondering... hummm to be or not to be UH-60???

 

FLHooker/other posters..., need your .02, while I absolutely LOVE the Guard- HOOAH 29th CAB! I'm starting to debate leaning more toward 153 on the active side of the house- primarily for the experience and hour building, not to mention some of the other opportunites the AD bubbas get... While I don't mind AD, I remember why I got out in 2002...But damn I love my civilian job and hate to leave, but Aviation is whats important...(been scratching the head all week on this..) What to do, what to do , what to do....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha, you called me sir. That doesn't happen, plus, I'm chad.

 

This is a big debate. I will speak from my experience, and my class... only. I was the high time guy for the first.. um, let's say.. a year out of flight school, 1st from my class to make PC, etc because i had the time to dedicate... however, since then, alot of my fellow classmates have deployed, and i have not. On the other hand, I'm still flying a bunch, and don't have to worry about having PCS, etc... I will say, however, that to fly a bunch on the Guard side and still make your civilian employer happy is a hard task.

 

It all comes down to you. Where you want to live, what you want to do. Just because you are on AD, or in the Guard, doesn't promise more hours... it's a roll of the dice. You know you don't have to make that decision while you are still at Rucker, right? You can turn AD after flight school... You will piss off your state, but you can do it. OR, you can do what I did... get an AGR job (AD in the Guard).

 

 

 

CHAD

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ha, you called me sir. That doesn't happen, plus, I'm chad.

 

... it's a roll of the dice. You know you don't have to make that decision while you are still at Rucker, right? You can turn AD after flight school... You will piss off your state, but you can do it. OR, you can do what I did... get an AGR job (AD in the Guard).

 

 

 

CHAD

 

Chad, my apologies.. I forgot you work for a living! You're exactly right... its a MAJOR crap shoot, and the more I think about it... I can always go AD from the guard side, but not the other way around...I'm with an Assault unit that stays pretty busy on drill weekends as well as with state missions... not to mention we have a deplyoment coming up sometime in '10/'11- I didnt know you could go AGR as a pilot... thats something I'll have to look further into, I know we have a ton of AGR/Tech mechanic positions but I didnt inquire about pilot positions... I think I'll continue down the current path of sticking with the Guard HOOAH!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...