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UND Helicopter School Army Scholarship

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All,

 

I've heard that the UND AROTC detachment has a scholarship that pays for your helicopter flight classes at UND, and guarantees a slot flying RW in the Army upon commissioning.

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UND grads will do flight training at school, and commission as 2LTs. They show up to Rucker and go to BOLC, SERE, Aeromed, a couple of classes here and there. They take a checkride for "primary", a checkride for instruments, and then go to the whole BWS program with the rest of us. Their OML points are all screwed up compared to ours, and URS (primary, instrument, and bws flight instructing contractors) treat them like crap.

 

Its up to you if you want to be a LT. UND is a nice way to pretty much guarantee AV branch.

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Bunch of crotchety old bastards who think you have to go through their hazing process in order to be a good pilot.

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Unfortunately, this program is being phased out this year. Trying to find a link, but it is a result of the budget cuts.

 

Sorry guys.

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All,

 

I've heard that the UND AROTC detachment has a scholarship that pays for your helicopter flight classes at UND, and guarantees a slot flying RW in the Army upon commissioning.

 

Can anyone confirm or deny and/or provide more details? I'm starting school in June at a school in Southern Illinois. My goal is to fly helos in the Army, and the aforementioned program is something I'm very interested in.

 

Then you won't want to go in as a commissioned officer. Look into the Warrant Officer program, that'll be your best bet. Commissioned officers deal with command oriented tasks first, and fly second, and usually it's not a lot of flying. Warrant Officer aviators' primary function is to fly helicopters. They still technically play the role as an officer and leader, but they don't deal with command oriented tasks like commissioned officers do. If you're ok with that, then by all means good luck. But like you said, if your goal is to strictly fly for the Army, you should really look into the Warrant Officer program.

 

Edit: Lindsey beat me to it. I was going to say I think the Government cancelled the program last year or is going to this year as part of the budget cuts across the military.

Edited by RagMan

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Edit: Lindsey beat me to it. I was going to say I think the Government cancelled the program last year or is going to this year as part of the budget cuts across the military.

 

You got ninja'd!

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Thanks all.

 

I'm aware of the differences in flight time between WO and O pilots. Was just interested in learning more about this program. I'm already committed to the first two years at my school, and would like to get my bachelors before going in, but getting in to the cockpit is more important to me right now as I'm only getting older.

 

I've also heard that it is possible to complete 4 years of ROTC and go in as a WO, rather than a 2LT. Is this something I can realistically pursue? A current DUSTOFF Major told me this, but he said it's difficult to get your detachment on board with your goals, as they want to commission as many 2LT's as possible.

 

akscott has given me a lot of info about being a WO already, just looking to expand my knowledge.

 

The mission is the most important thing to me vs command and promotion, etc etc. Just want to make that fact known.

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Or, You could try out for the Marines, get a guaranteed pilot spot, and should you make it through OCS, a commission as an unrestricted line officer. The rest is up to your performance.

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Coast Guard :)

 

Seems like he is looking for a guaranteed flight spot. Coast Guard doesn't have it. Blue 21 is extremely rare/nonexistent nowadays.

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I heard that the guaranteed pilot slot doesn't exist anymore?

 

Navy and Marines will both give you a spot assuming you get selected. Right now it seems to be pretty competitive with the job market and everything. Typically, unless you came out of the Academy, most USCG dudes have done tours in their fleet before heading to flight school. One of my good friends applied 5 times before getting selected. That and most of their pilots are DCAs and what not from other services. Mainly former Army.

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Seems like he is looking for a guaranteed flight spot. Coast Guard doesn't have it. Blue 21 is extremely rare/nonexistent nowadays.

 

Just looking to prepare myself to be competitive for selection.

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Then you won't want to go in as a commissioned officer. Look into the Warrant Officer program, that'll be your best bet. Commissioned officers deal with command oriented tasks first, and fly second, and usually it's not a lot of flying. Warrant Officer aviators' primary function is to fly helicopters. They still technically play the role as an officer and leader, but they don't deal with command oriented tasks like commissioned officers do. If you're ok with that, then by all means good luck. But like you said, if your goal is to strictly fly for the Army, you should really look into the Warrant Officer program.

 

Ragman, I know you mean well but it isn't black and white like that. It isn't the whole story and it isn't true.

 

Going the commissioned route is a fantastic, rewarding career that involves just as much flying (and sometimes more) as WO's in the early years. Typically as an RLO, your first 2 or 3 years are spent at the company level - as a platoon leader. A flight platoon leader commands WO's and fly's right beside them on missions. Of course, some LT's get assigned away from line units, but it is not permanent and not usually for their first assignment after flight school.

 

In my career (which was many years ago so take it with a grain of salt), I stayed at the company level right through my junior Capatin years. Platoon Leader - Detachment Commander - Company Commander. I flew all the missions my WO's did. The only difference between them and me was that I was in Command.

 

There is nothing like conducting a recon with 6 helicopters from the front seat of your own bird. Directing your WO's on one radio, talking to the ground commander on another, talking to artillery on a third, while simultaneously navigating and flying - all by the age of 23. It's one of the toughest jobs in the Army - and definitely one of the best.

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Well from the only flight company I ever got to experience in the Army, our command officers never flew that much. At one point during 06' in Iraq, we did have a really awesome Captain take command of our unit mid-deployment. That guy was on the ball, not only flight wise, but command wise. He made sure he flew enough though :) (one of the perks of being in command!)

 

It's probably a hit or miss with the commissioned officer route. One of our Captains ended up as a UAV company commander in 08'; Wasn't something he ever expected, then again I don't think he cared much about flying, so it probably wasn't a big issue for him.

 

Just let it be known.

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Thanks for the insight all. I have some thinking to do.

 

Hope to see you all out there some day.

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Well from the only flight company I ever got to experience in the Army, our command officers never flew that much. At one point during 06' in Iraq, we did have a really awesome Captain take command of our unit mid-deployment. That guy was on the ball, not only flight wise, but command wise. He made sure he flew enough though :) (one of the perks of being in command!)

 

It's probably a hit or miss with the commissioned officer route. One of our Captains ended up as a UAV company commander in 08'; Wasn't something he ever expected, then again I don't think he cared much about flying, so it probably wasn't a big issue for him.

 

Just let it be known.

 

Like you said, some guys are on the ball, and some aren't. Same goes for WO's.

 

You can lead a horse to water...

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On almost a daily basis at Rucker, I hear RLOs saying they wish they went the warrant officer route instead of West Point/ROTC/OCS from the standpoint of becoming 'subject matter experts' in aviation. It ultimately boils down to what your career goals are -- commissioned officers have an entirely different career trajectory than warrants do. Both are great, it's just what you want to do long-term.

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Over the course of my career, I knew a number WO's who became RLO's - and a number of RLO's who became WO's. Heck, I did it myself.

 

Your career is what you make of it. If you aren't happy with your situation, change it.

 

That said, I'm not saying that pursuing a career as a WO isn't worthwhile. I'm simply pointing out that deciding between WO and RLO isn't as black and white as some might believe.

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Sigh.... I'm torn

 

Both routes have their perks to me.

 

I can either do two years at SIU, including ROTC, get my PPL, and apply to WOFT from there.

 

OR

 

Do the full four years, get into the SMP program at Ft Knox (Apache Reserve unit), and Commission into the Reserves.

 

OR

 

Try to branch Aviation upon graduation/Commissioning.

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On almost a daily basis at Rucker, I hear RLOs saying they wish they went the warrant officer route instead of West Point/ROTC/OCS from the standpoint of becoming 'subject matter experts' in aviation. It ultimately boils down to what your career goals are -- commissioned officers have an entirely different career trajectory than warrants do. Both are great, it's just what you want to do long-term.

 

They're not even out of flight school and they're already bitching about their career choices. :lol: That's leadership right there.

Edited by SBuzzkill
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Whichever choice you make, I highly recommend sticking it out for the four-year degree either way. Although WO's are not formally required to have college (YET), getting promoted to CW3 is becoming increasingly difficult without school, 4 will be tough without a Bachelor's, and every 5 I've spoken to at Rucker has earned a graduate degree of some kind.

 

There is talk of college (the four-year kind) being mandatory for Warrants in the future. And every TAC and instructor you have will hammer the need for civilian education to death. If you've got the opportunity to get it out of the way now, do so before you're also facing the demands of Army duty on your time.

 

~V

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Well if I do end up going WO, I was planning on finishing up my bachelors once I'm in the cockpit (hopefully), and having uncle sam pay for it.

 

But with the possibility of Iran in the future, I don't know if that will be possible if I'm operational by then.

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