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Army National Guard Pilots...


Zona25
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Hey Guys,

 

Just had some questions and looking for some answers from sources aside from Guard recruiters...

 

I have my PPL Helicopter and 4 year college degree... I'm looking to try and go Guard route but from what I've heard you have to be a member before you can submit a packet for WOFT. I've talked to some recruiters and they've told me that if I enlist -(I'd go to basic, and attend my AIT job training,) when I come back he said I would be eligible to put in a packet and "most likely be a sure bet immediately." He mentioned that I do still have to go to an AIT training so if I do not complete the WOCS or WOFT school the state can still get some use out of me with my original job...

 

My questions- Are there any Guard pilots on here that have had this experience? If so, is this trustworthy info I'm being told?

 

- He told me the demand for WO in the Guard is pretty high right now, is this true?

 

- If I join a guard in one state, is it pretty much impossible to transfer to another state a few years down the road?

 

- Lastly, he mentioned, if I do apply and get into WOFT after getting back from AIT, my original contract would be voided and I would sign another one for the flight path. Does that mean flight training is part of my commitment? I've heard in active duty Army, your commitment doesn't start until after graduating flight school.

 

I appreciate any help and insight you guy might have. Thanks!

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I'm about to go to boards for the Army Guard, so I have a little bit of insight for you.

 

- Demand for WO pilots and competition will vary from state to state and from year to year. Chances are that when a board is meeting, the unit might not even know how many slots are available yet. So take any "high demand" statements with a big grain of salt.

 

- Also be wary of any statements like you'll be "a sure bet". You seem like you have a good resume, but the boards are more than just flight experience and education. You have to pass the flight physical, the background check, recommendation letters, and the PT test. There are many factors. I'm not trying to discourage you, but just know that even with your experienc you'll need hard work and perseverence.

 

- To put it bluntly, Guard to Guard transfers within the first enlistment are kind of a bitch move. If a unit recruits you, sends you to 2 years of training, and then you get back and start requesting a transfer to another state, you've just wasted a lot of time. Yes, you'd still be an asset to the military as a whole, but you wouldn't be helping your state out. Guard to Guard transfers are very possible, but it will depend on your commander signing off on the paperwork. Don't apply for one state with the intention of jumping ship. I wouldn't be surprised if you were asked questions about this in your interview. A Guard unit wants someone who will stay around for a while. They only get so many training slots!

 

- From what I know, the committment starts at the end of school. Also, you don't get any bonus money until you graduate from school.

 

Good luck on packet and process. I'm already an Air Force guy, and I'm just trying to switch branches, so it is slightly different for me. One point I need to stress is that you need to be prepared for the consequences of enlisting. If you sign up with the Army, you are committed. If your packet gets rejected, or you have some medical disqualification (you could get injured; you never know), then you'll be enlisted in the Army and working whatever MOS you went to school for.

 

Be sure to have a backup plan. I absolutely love the military, even just on the enlisted side. Just make sure you pick a career that you like and will enjoy if the pilot thing falls through. Try to enjoy the military experience--even if it isn't flying helicopters. By being a positive troop and hard worker, you'll add volumes to your resume and set yourself up for a better career.

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you can try kiowapilots.com also. There's a lot of good info on there. Make sure you search the threads first before asking any questions though, otherwise they'll give you a lot of sh*t for it.

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Zona,

Looks as though you've gotten pretty standard information. That's generally how it's done when it comes to flying for the Guard. It's rare for someone to join the Guard and directly go to WOCS after basic and flight school, but it can be done. That's all dependent on the unit and usually you need someone in the Guard/unit to help push things along.

 

The demand for WO's in the Guard is going to depend on the unit and state. What start are you from and plan enlisting with? In general, there isn't a huge issue when it comes to transfering to another state. People in the Guard generally understand that civilian life/careers can change. The problem is if you got accepted for WOFT with a unit in one state, and then soon after getting back from flight school, up and left for another state. The unit/state that sent you to flight school paid the bill, and you'd most likely be burning some bridges if you left like that. Although, its another thing if you had to leave a few years down the road.

 

Your 6-year commitment to the Guard starts just the same as it does for Active Duty. It starts once you complete flight school.

 

Enlisting in the guard isn't a bad way to start out. You can sort of "try out" the Guard, and be sure it's something you like and want to do. Even more important is to join the unit you'd eventually like to fly for. That way those in the unit can get to know you, your character and your work ethic. You could easily show up and work hard and they'd be that much more encouraging and helpful about you going to flight school. The big questions for someone applying for WOFT, that comes from the unit they apply through are "Is this guy/gal going to be able to make it through flight school?" "Are they going to be committed to the unit and stick around?" "Are they going to be someone that I would want to fly with on the battlefield?"

 

Something to think about. Keep those questions coming, and most importantly keep us updated on your developments and progress.

 

 

- Jeremy

Edited by BlackHwk27
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While there are many honest, helpful recruiters, they all have quotas. Do NOT rely on your basic National Guard recruiter to provide you accurate information. I've done extensive research into the Colorado National Guard myself, and the enlisted recruiters were all telling me the same thing - enlist, put in my packet, and it's "a sure thing" that I'd get picked up.

 

I managed to get a hold of the state's warrant officer accession recruiter, and she gave me the unbiased, straight-up facts about National Guard WOFT program. In short, it was a whole different story I was getting. I asked her about availability of WOFT slots, what they look for in applicants, and what the projection is for future demand.

 

In short, she said they were overmanned on warrant officers at the moment, but 3 to 4 years out she predicted a number of older pilots would retire and leave the Guard; she said the attrition rate has been very low due to what she believes is the state of the economy. Also, she said that in Colorado, they require all soldiers to serve for one year with their unit before they allow them to go before an aviation board. Finally, she said having prior flight experience is a big help in getting selected for WOFT.

 

I know it varies from state to state, and I've even heard of deals being arranged where upon completion of AIT, soldiers return to their unit and get boarded immediately. Like everyone mentioned before me, it varies state to state.

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