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a few questions for WO heli pilots

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I am looking for information for my husband in order to weigh options pretty much. Information and knowledge are the best ways to make a decision and I want to do as much research on it as possible. Right now it's easier for me to do the leg work and post on forum boards then it is for him and I am sure he will have further in depth questions but I am getting the ball rolling persay. So for a current service member (AF helicopter maintenance crew chief on H-60's ) who is needing to start thinking about the future and trying to look at the options and what they entail I am hoping you guys can shed some light on the subject. There is renlist in the current position, try and apply WOFT as a helicopter pilot, or go back to the civilian world. The one we don't know enough on of course would be the WO option which is something my husband has alot of interest in. Our kids are included in his concerns (kids do that to you); so what I was wondering is if people could share what typical deployment schedules are like or even better personal experience with the deployment schedules. How long are deployments? How long are the stretches of time between deployments? If you have kids what are your personal experiences with the deployments? Do you feel like you are missing out on too much and regret going WO? Don't get me wrong I understand it's the military and deploying is part of it I am just trying to see how different exactly the deployment schedules would be versus what they are for him now. He loves helicopters, and really wants to fly, but he has to make an informed decision about whether or not he would be happy in the job and deployments weigh in on a morale factor. I don't really know what his idea of too much or too long would be but that is for him to decide but since that is a part of the consideration I want to be pretty informed of how long is correct typically and not be way off either over or under. Also any other information about the life as a WO pilot that should be considered. Perks or disadvantages whatever you can or want to share I am more then glad to hear about. I appreciate the time any of you take to reply and thank you.

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Guest Stearmann4



First off, for the time being, WOFT is extremely competitive. The Army took a large number of WO pilots the last 3 years and has made the acceptance criteria pretty stringent to relieve the backlog of students waiting to graduate from flight school.


That said, the Army is nothing like the AF, and the quality of life might be slightly shocking to an AF family. However, the Army makes only one promise: you will fly helicopters, and they follow through on their committment. Anything beyond that is pure chance.


You'll likely spend about 2 years at Ft Rucker and then proceeed to your first unit. Where that is and what your husband will fly are again, based on aptitude and the "Needs of the Army". Sometimes the Army's needs coincide with your wants, but more often they don't. Again, they just promised silver wings, nothing more.


The face of the war is changing, but you can be pretty sure your husband will deploy for 9 - 12 months shortly after inprocessing his first unit. Who know what deployments will look like in 3-5 years.


It's up to you guys to decide what your family can handle.





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