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Hey Guys,

 

So I have no clue how I missed this site in my months of searching information on how to become an army aviator but all I have to say is thank god!

 

First of all, I especially want to thank Lindsey for all the information she has put up here!(you are incredible) And of course to everyone else!

 

Reading up on everything I do have a few questions on what route is best for me and also on some basic things.

 

1) Can anyone volunteer to do an abbreviations page? If there is one, maybe sticky it or something? It is the most difficult thing to try and understand all of them when you are just starting out.

 

2) For all these tests (i.e the AFAST and ASVAB) can someone just link the sites on Amazon or something where I can buy the study guide? When I look online I find more than ten different ones. I know you can get them online but I would rather just buy some har dcopies for some hardcore studying

 

3) For the MEPS and Class1A physical. Is there anything else than we should be aware of other than mainly our vision? What else do they test that may be important. Personally, I am going to have to get my vision fixed doing PRK but should that be my only worry?

 

4) Does a ¾ length photo mean from the knees up?

 

5) For LORS, what if we can’t get anything military? To be honest I have no military affiliation (U.S) and maybe it would be nice to list for people what else could be used?

 

6) How do you know how the board rates you? Do they give you back the score to your face? To me it seems that everyone is getting 75/75 from the board and that seems a little odd for something that claims to be ridiculously selective

 

7) Oh and also, these acceptance numbers, are they per state or is this nationwide? 14/34 or whatever per month really seems to fall way short of even the 150 people quota or whatever it is. (though I have seen sites list 1500 per year).

 

Now more on my personal situation, this may end up being a little long but maybe in the long run it will help others as well. ( I will write more personally about myself later on.)

 

My family is not one to support the military in any form. So I will make it clear that it is likely I will have to go through the cheapest of routes as they have dropped all support of me once I stated that I want to join up.

 

WOFT – I have done some college already (though my grades weren’t great until I Transferred to Embry Riddle where I have a 4.0) and I know that the weak point to my application will be my grades. How do I explain the reasoning for my grades being so poor?( People can vouch than i am a smart son of a gun.) Do I do this in my essay or on a side note to my transcripts? I plan to counter this by studying for a period of time for those three tests (including the physical) and trying to come as close to perfecting them as possible. Will this be O.K?

 

Also I have no money to get the PRK done on my own unless I go to some friends who offered to help. Will the army supply a cheaper rate for this or something even if I do not enlist off the bat? One thing that has not been clarified is whether or not you have to enlist for this application?

 

As far as my LOR’s go, I can get one from the head of a hospital, the chief police commissioner of Jamaica, Maybe the Priminister of Jamaica and a pediatrician. My old boss really wants to write one for me but I think he was dishonorably discharged, so I am not too sure about that. Maybe some of you guys here could write one if I kept up on the site? Any of you in Florida?

 

ROTC – I originally wanted to join ROTC (my junior year) especially since it would give me the money to finish up college, but have decided against it as it does not guarantee me flight time even if I become an aviator. Has anyone on this site gone through the ROTC route? If so how was it? I am also very worried about the ranking system of ROTC. Would joining my junior year automatically give me a disadvantage to members who have been there for the whole four years?

 

OCS – This is seeming like the best option for me especially due to money however it seems like no one on here has gone that route (or at least very few of you). If I went this route I would really want to be a Helo Mechanic as I think it would be an advantage to know your helicopter inside and out even before you learnt about flying it.

 

It seems as if the majority of people who have gone through OCS were in other parts of the military, so I am just wondering if anyone has any information on that. How long would I have to wait to apply through OCS?

 

If I enlisted as a helicopter mechanic, how long would it be until I would be deployed if I asked for the fastest track out of here (simply because I want to be able to fly ASAP, even if it is five years from now.) I really do not want to get stuck as an enlistee as even when I went into the recruiting station the recruiter was trying to put me into all different positions apparently due to my build (it was weird as a Marine recruiter even came in and tried to talk to me about the Marines. Note that at that point i was playing D1 soccer and did five minute miles for two miles on a workout test the recruiter put me on. ) I am just really afraid of putting myself in a situation that will not get me to helicopters.

 

Maybe you guys can even recommend other military positions. To me it doesn’t matter as long as it would get me to being a pilot and doesn’t involve constant patrols. I have such a desire to serve for the U.S and take down some terrorists but the only thing that scares the Jesus out of me is the thought of being dismembered or burnt by an I.E.D and not dying (basically, I would like to minimize my chances). I have no problem shooting anyone but another problem I hear about is about soldiers who go and get shot at and never ever see who is shooting at them. For some reason I think that would just plain piss me off, so again I would rather not put myself in that position.

 

Again, thank you so much to whomever answers!

If you want to get to know more about me or my situation, simply ask!

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Okay. This is going to be a long response. First, welcome to the site. It's a great resource and there are some very friendly and knowledgeable (more so than I) people on here who can help you a lot.

 

However, let me say one thing before I get started:

 

You need to do research. The only reason I apparently seem so helpful and well-informed is because I have researched the sh*t out of this process, and this career. By NO MEANS do I know everything, or even close to it, but I have put an incredible amount of time and sweat into contacting people, reading for hours on end, and tracking down regulations.

 

I want to ask you to do the same.

 

I will give you pointers, even links, even some answers, but there is a lot in your post that you can find by simply going back through the threads in this section of the forum and reading. Yes, it will take you several hours, but if you want it bad enough, you'll do it.

 

Hopefully I don't come off as grouchy, but I have received a fair amount of PMs from people asking me very basic questions that they could find the answers to on Google or searching through these forums. I ignore these PMs. I just don't have the time. You seem to have a somewhat decent grasp of things, and have written a very thorough post, so I will attempt to put forth a helpful response.

 

That all being said, do not be afraid to ask questions!! I just ask that you do some research first, is all! :)

 

Here goes nothin':

 

Hey Guys,

 

So I have no clue how I missed this site in my months of searching information on how to become an army aviator but all I have to say is thank god!

 

First of all, I especially want to thank Lindsey for all the information she has put up here!(you are incredible) And of course to everyone else!

 

 

No problem. Like I said, welcome to the site.

 

Reading up on everything I do have a few questions on what route is best for me and also on some basic things.

 

1) Can anyone volunteer to do an abbreviations page? If there is one, maybe sticky it or something? It is the most difficult thing to try and understand all of them when you are just starting out.

 

Perhaps it would be best if you asked which abbreviations you are having issues with. I understand the confusion, but many of the abbreviations used in the process can be "decoded" through a google search. :)

 

2) For all these tests (i.e the AFAST and ASVAB) can someone just link the sites on Amazon or something where I can buy the study guide? When I look online I find more than ten different ones. I know you can get them online but I would rather just buy some har dcopies for some hardcore studying.

 

AFAST: ARCO's Military Flight Aptitude Tests. As long as you get the ARCO one and not Barron's you'll be good.

ASVAB: ASVAB for Dummies.

 

Oh, also for the AFAST: Get the FAA's Rotorcraft Flying Handbook.

 

I don't really think I need to link them to Amazon. Just search the titles I gave you.

 

 

3) For the MEPS and Class1A physical. Is there anything else than we should be aware of other than mainly our vision? What else do they test that may be important. Personally, I am going to have to get my vision fixed doing PRK but should that be my only worry?

 

 

Yes. There are lots of things, but not many you can really 'control.' Hell, you didn't used to be able to fix your vision, so we're damn lucky. Anyway, the regulations for the Class 1A Flight Physical (the one you need to be an Army Aviator) is AR 40-501. I have it bookmarked, so here you go:

 

http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r40_501.pdf

 

Please note that I am not certain if that is the newest edition.

 

 

4) Does a ¾ length photo mean from the knees up?

 

 

Not sure, haven't taken mine yet. Ask your recruiter if no one else chimes in here.

 

 

5) For LORS, what if we can’t get anything military? To be honest I have no military affiliation (U.S) and maybe it would be nice to list for people what else could be used?

 

 

This is where searching these forums is helpful. There are many instances of people being selected without a LOR from a military officer. That said, it probably doesn't hurt to network and reach out. The general rule is anyone who knows you well and holds some sort of position of authority will work. That can be your boss, a college professor, a police officer you know well, etc.

 

 

6) How do you know how the board rates you? Do they give you back the score to your face? To me it seems that everyone is getting 75/75 from the board and that seems a little odd for something that claims to be ridiculously selective

 

 

I'll leave this for someone who has done a board interview to answer. However, my theory about the high board ratings that you're reading about is that most people who are on these forums posting that information are a little bit more prepared, simply for the fact that they are on here inquiring about the board interview process, as you are. Go back and read previous threads. There are a LOT.

 

 

7) Oh and also, these acceptance numbers, are they per state or is this nationwide? 14/34 or whatever per month really seems to fall way short of even the 150 people quota or whatever it is. (though I have seen sites list 1500 per year).

 

 

It's easy to get hung up on the numbers. Heck, I still do sometimes. One thing that you must know, is that they are not really predictable. They change all the time. One month they'll select almost everyone, the next month almost no one will get selected. You've just got to focus on yourself and put together the best packet YOU can, and not really worry about everyone else (except for asking advice on how to improve your own).

 

 

Now more on my personal situation, this may end up being a little long but maybe in the long run it will help others as well. ( I will write more personally about myself later on.)

 

My family is not one to support the military in any form. So I will make it clear that it is likely I will have to go through the cheapest of routes as they have dropped all support of me once I stated that I want to join up.

 

 

My family is also...err...not very happy about my career choice, to say the least. But guess what? It's my life, not theirs. My path, not theirs. Keep them informed with your plans, be patient, and (the hardest thing) understand that they may never really come around and be okay with it. Don't push them away, no matter how hard that might seem. Most likely, they are just worried, and they are worried because they love you. That's not so bad, is it?

 

 

WOFT – I have done some college already (though my grades weren’t great until I Transferred to Embry Riddle where I have a 4.0) and I know that the weak point to my application will be my grades. How do I explain the reasoning for my grades being so poor?( People can vouch than i am a smart son of a gun.) Do I do this in my essay or on a side note to my transcripts? I plan to counter this by studying for a period of time for those three tests (including the physical) and trying to come as close to perfecting them as possible. Will this be O.K?

 

 

My grades are not great either. However, I studied my ass off for the ASVAB and the AFAST, and ended up with good scores. My personal opinion: be prepared to have a good explanation at your board interview, but don't bring it up unless asked. Do your best to make the rest of your packet shine. No one is perfect.

 

Also I have no money to get the PRK done on my own unless I go to some friends who offered to help. Will the army supply a cheaper rate for this or something even if I do not enlist off the bat? One thing that has not been clarified is whether or not you have to enlist for this application?

 

 

Not the best idea, but there are several financing options for PRK/LASIK. Ask the Eye Surgery center you are considering about their options. And please, for God's sake - DO YOUR RESEARCH HERE. These are your eyes - you only get one shot. Don't, don't don't go to the cheapest place - go to the best. If anything is worth that amount of money, it's PRK/LASIK. I had it done. Believe me.

 

 

As far as my LOR’s go, I can get one from the head of a hospital, the chief police commissioner of Jamaica, Maybe the Priminister of Jamaica and a pediatrician. My old boss really wants to write one for me but I think he was dishonorably discharged, so I am not too sure about that. Maybe some of you guys here could write one if I kept up on the site? Any of you in Florida?

 

 

So far it seems you have some good options for LORs. As far as asking people here on the forums for LORs...that's for them to comment on. Don't take it casually though - prepare a good resume and treat them with the utmost respect. They deserve it, LOR or not.

 

 

ROTC – I originally wanted to join ROTC (my junior year) especially since it would give me the money to finish up college, but have decided against it as it does not guarantee me flight time even if I become an aviator. Has anyone on this site gone through the ROTC route? If so how was it? I am also very worried about the ranking system of ROTC. Would joining my junior year automatically give me a disadvantage to members who have been there for the whole four years?

 

 

I haven't researched ROTC a whole lot, so I'll leave this one for someone else. It doesn't hurt to contact your college's ROTC department and ask them these questions too.

 

 

OCS – This is seeming like the best option for me especially due to money however it seems like no one on here has gone that route (or at least very few of you). If I went this route I would really want to be a Helo Mechanic as I think it would be an advantage to know your helicopter inside and out even before you learnt about flying it.

 

It seems as if the majority of people who have gone through OCS were in other parts of the military, so I am just wondering if anyone has any information on that. How long would I have to wait to apply through OCS?

 

 

Okay. OCS is Officer Candidate School. Officers, first off, are not mechanics. Go to www.armyocs.com for the best and most up-to-date information about OCS. The general OCS process is you apply (very similar to a WOFT packet), and if selected, you go to BCT (Basic Combat Training), then OCS for 12 weeks. Near the end of OCS, you will be ranked on an Order of Merit List (OML), based on your academic and PT scores, and choose your branch based on that. Research what those branches are (Aviation, Ordnance, Infantry, etc.). One thing you should know is that it is EXTREMELY difficult to get branched Aviation at OCS. There simply are not that many slots (seems like lately it has been anywhere from 0-3 slots per a class of over 100, and there are no guarantees). Go to www.armyocs.com and find the section where it discusses Aviation branching. Read read read.

 

If you want to be a helicopter mechanic, that is as an enlisted Soldier, not an Officer.

 

If I enlisted as a helicopter mechanic, how long would it be until I would be deployed if I asked for the fastest track out of here (simply because I want to be able to fly ASAP, even if it is five years from now.) I really do not want to get stuck as an enlistee as even when I went into the recruiting station the recruiter was trying to put me into all different positions apparently due to my build (it was weird as a Marine recruiter even came in and tried to talk to me about the Marines. Note that at that point i was playing D1 soccer and did five minute miles for two miles on a workout test the recruiter put me on. ) I am just really afraid of putting myself in a situation that will not get me to helicopters.

 

Maybe you guys can even recommend other military positions. To me it doesn’t matter as long as it would get me to being a pilot and doesn’t involve constant patrols. I have such a desire to serve for the U.S and take down some terrorists but the only thing that scares the Jesus out of me is the thought of being dismembered or burnt by an I.E.D and not dying (basically, I would like to minimize my chances). I have no problem shooting anyone but another problem I hear about is about soldiers who go and get shot at and never ever see who is shooting at them. For some reason I think that would just plain piss me off, so again I would rather not put myself in that position.

 

Make no mistake -- you're joining the Army. Even if you are not an Infantry soldier patrolling Afghanistan, you could get blown up. You could be a supply guy driving a truck to give another base or outpost some supplies, and get blown up. You could be a helicopter pilot and be brought down by an RPG. You could be doing the "safest" job in the Army, get deployed, and get killed or dismembered, as you put it, by rockets landing inside the wire.

 

I don't say this to discourage you, but it's a reality check. Being an Army Aviator is not exactly a safe job. Give yourself another gut check. If it's truly what you want, go full-steam ahead. If not, hey, all the more props to you for realizing it before you are waist-deep.

 

Again, thank you so much to whomever answers!

If you want to get to know more about me or my situation, simply ask!

 

Sorry this was so lengthy, and I know I repeated my mantra of "research, research, research" many times.

 

If this is what you want, put some hours of work into it. Many hours. I could tell you everything you need, but that wouldn't help prepare you for anything. I wish you the best, and please, don't hesitate to ask me anything.

 

Best regards,

Lindsey

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Oh, and here's a "guide" I created for WOFT applicants who were a bit unfamiliar with the process:

 

http://helicopterforum.verticalreference.com/helicopterforum/index.php?/topic/13468-warrant-officer-flight-training/

 

Hopefully an admin will sticky it, eventually.

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Thanks a lot!

 

On the OCS thing. Ill definably do some research. I just assumed that it was a process from going enlisted to specialty. My recruiter said something about possibly being a pilot though being a mechanic so i figured that was it.

 

I also saw that link :) just was asking questions that weren't answered on it! (i think it is stickied)

 

And also, i have no problem serving or being blown up or whatever. As serving is something i have the desire and love to do. I however think it would bite me if i ended up doing something like that when i was told that is exactly what i wouldn't be doing. One of the few army people i some what know (friend of a relative) is currently in a sticky situation where he is "lucky" enough to ride in those civilian transport trucks when he was told he would never really have to leave the base.... so who knows?

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Yessir. That company belongs to my mom (A travel agency/ Tour operator) and i came home on a break from college so my loans don't catch up on me in this economy and also to learn some new parts of the family business. You can be a citizen resident and be out of the country, you just have to return i think for something like 2 weeks every three to six months.

 

Your profile says that you live in Jamaica and work for a Jamaica-based company...

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I am a resident. Been a resident for long enough to get my citizenship however, so that isn't a worry.

 

Do you realize that to become an Army Aviator, you need a Secret Security Clearance, and you *must* be a US Citizen in order to be eligible for one?

 

I was under the impression it was a fairly extensive process to obtain a citizenship. If not complicated, I thought it took a bit of time. You might want to hop on that.

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Yeah, i know that. I am working on my citizenship right now actually. I am returning to the U.S within the next couple of weeks (either California or Florida, that's why i asked about if it matters what state you are in.)

 

Two of my family members already became citizens and it took them a month. It really is supposed to be a long process but you would be surprised how fast that can change when the gov't realizes you have a pretty tax dollar to pay and when you go through the right people.

 

Do you realize that to become an Army Aviator, you need a Secret Security Clearance, and you *must* be a US Citizen in order to be eligible for one?

 

I was under the impression it was a fairly extensive process to obtain a citizenship. If not complicated, I thought it took a bit of time. You might want to hop on that.

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Yeah, i know that. I am working on my citizenship right now actually. I am returning to the U.S within the next couple of weeks (either California or Florida, that's why i asked about if it matters what state you are in.)

 

Two of my family members already became citizens and it took them a month. It really is supposed to be a long process but you would be surprised how fast that can change when the gov't realizes you have a pretty tax dollar to pay and when you go through the right people.

 

Roger. We were just making you realized that was a requirement. ;)

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You can be a citizen resident and be out of the country, you just have to return i think for something like 2 weeks every three to six months.

 

You think? Something like?

 

If I were you, I would do some real research and make sure you understand exactly what the residency requirements are. You must also understand the difference between "residence" and "physical presence."

 

You have a noble goal - best of luck to you!

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On the topic of ROTC: Everyone that goes through ROTC ends up at the same rank of 2nd Lieutenant. The branch selection process is much the same as OCS; your gpa, pt score, and other factors go together in an accessions packet, and you are branched. Starting ROTC as a Junior or a freshman makes no difference, if you can handle taking the military science 1-2 classes side by side junior year, and then the 3-4 classes your senior year. You will also have to go to LDAC at the end of your junior year, possibly without the knowledge of that level 3 class. This can all be explained by the PMS (Professor of Military Science) for the Army at your school.

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Ah thanks a lot! My main concern is if your previous GPA matters as far as ROTC goes, but ill ask the PMS as you said.

 

Oh and i did get my citizenship application in today. They told me it should only take me about 3 months (perfect as i plan my first application in January). My only worry is if everyone applies during New Years as their new, "New years resolution" haha. I'll look up to see if i can gather stats for each month from this website and try to make my own little survey.

 

Sorry for asking so much questions in advance and making myself look like a complete fool! I finally have my own little Word all you need to know sheet (now i see what you all mean about the effort).

 

 

On the topic of ROTC: Everyone that goes through ROTC ends up at the same rank of 2nd Lieutenant. The branch selection process is much the same as OCS; your gpa, pt score, and other factors go together in an accessions packet, and you are branched. Starting ROTC as a Junior or a freshman makes no difference, if you can handle taking the military science 1-2 classes side by side junior year, and then the 3-4 classes your senior year. You will also have to go to LDAC at the end of your junior year, possibly without the knowledge of that level 3 class. This can all be explained by the PMS (Professor of Military Science) for the Army at your school.

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Ah thanks a lot! My main concern is if your previous GPA matters as far as ROTC goes, but ill ask the PMS as you said.

 

Oh and i did get my citizenship application in today. They told me it should only take me about 3 months (perfect as i plan my first application in January). My only worry is if everyone applies during New Years as their new, "New years resolution" haha. I'll look up to see if i can gather stats for each month from this website and try to make my own little survey.

 

Sorry for asking so much questions in advance and making myself look like a complete fool! I finally have my own little Word all you need to know sheet (now i see what you all mean about the effort).

 

If you not applying for your citizenship until Jan 2011 you will not be able to qualify for an ROTC Scholarship. You must meet all of the requirements below prior to applying. The application deadline is early in the year, so you'll need to act quickly. The list below is only a small sample of what's required to qualify.

 

The two-year scholarship is available for those who have two academic years of college remaining.

Requirements

 

* Be a U.S. citizen

* Be between the ages of 17 and 26

* Have a high school GPA of at least 2.50

* Have a high school diploma or equivalent

* Score a minimum of 920 on the SAT (math/verbal) or 19 on the ACT (excluding the required writing test scores)

* Meet physical standards

* Agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard)

 

Your Commitment

 

* Serve full time in the Army for four years

* Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career

Edited by helistar
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I already applied for citizenship and am getting it in January (So i am told at least however usually when things are expedited you do get it on time.)

 

My GPA for high school is way above that so i have no worries there. Though i am thinking about ROTC I would rather do the Warrant Officer path, so i am going to try that first before going ROTC.

 

Just a heads up. Usually when you transfer you are put back a little because or PRE-REQ's and because some schools just don't accept another school's credits. I technically am a senior, but it is surprising how you can change that by suddenly changing your Major and so on. (I.e I can say i don't want to major in Physics anymore and switch to Communication which would put be back.) Ill ask the Military Sciences person to get more information though. The ROTC isn't really too big of a deal to me though. I am looking at other paths first.

 

 

If you not applying for your citizenship until Jan 2011 you will not be able to qualify for an ROTC Scholarship. You must meet all of the requirements below prior to applying. The application deadline is early in the year, so you'll need to act quickly. The list below is only a small sample of what's required to qualify.

 

The two-year scholarship is available for those who have two academic years of college remaining.

Requirements

 

* Be a U.S. citizen

* Be between the ages of 17 and 26

* Have a high school GPA of at least 2.50

* Have a high school diploma or equivalent

* Score a minimum of 920 on the SAT (math/verbal) or 19 on the ACT (excluding the required writing test scores)

* Meet physical standards

* Agree to accept a commission and serve in the Army on Active Duty or in a Reserve Component (Army Reserve or Army National Guard)

 

Your Commitment

 

* Serve full time in the Army for four years

* Selected Cadets may choose to serve part time in the Army Reserve or Army National Guard while pursuing a civilian career

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