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What's life like as an Army Pilot???


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My name is Trevor Fox, and I am 26 years old. I live in Portland, OR and have a wife of 3 years and a 16 month old daughter. When I was 18 I looked into the military (mostly the Air Force), but decided against it at that time. I worked for 8 years at Target, much of that time in management, and currently work at Chase Bank. In 2008, I moved from Spokane, WA to Oregon to pursue a career as a helicopter pilot. I worked hard and got my PPL and COM licenses and about 200 hours in R22s. I got most of the way through my CFI, and then quit temporarily because my wife was pregnant with our daughter, and I couldn't support a family on CFI pay. Now, I'm working full time and pursuing a degree in Software Engineering. Recently, I've been looking in to the military again for all of the benefits it provides, including paying for school.

 

I read an article awhile ago about what life is like as an Army Pilot, but that was just one person's view. I would like input from ANYONE that is currently or has been in the Army (although I think that newer information is obviosly the most accurate.) Also, I have some questions...

 

1) How long and how oftern are deployments these days for Army Pilots?

 

2) What is the schedule like for an Army pilot that isn't deployed. Will I be able to go home to my family every night?

 

3) Is there anyone on here that is an Army pilot that also has a family that could share some insight? Like I said, I have a wife and a very young daughter, and I would like some input from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

 

The biggest thing that is holding me back from WOFT right now is the amount of time that I'd be away from my family. I understand that deployments are a part of the Military, but I also know that deployments are shorter and less frequent in different branches and MOSs. Thank you for any input!

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1) How long and how oftern are deployments these days for Army Pilots?

 

9 months

 

2) What is the schedule like for an Army pilot that isn't deployed. Will I be able to go home to my family every night?

 

You will and you wont. Most of the time you will be home but there are periodic training you will have to do away from your family. There's also stuff like picking up aircraft from reset and TDY for schools. For the most part however, you will be home.

 

3) Is there anyone on here that is an Army pilot that also has a family that could share some insight? Like I said, I have a wife and a very young daughter, and I would like some input from anyone who has been in a similar situation.

 

Your family will have to be able to function without you. Your wife will have to be flexible and understand that your schedule is not fixed and you may find out on Friday that you have to catch a plane on Monday to be somewhere and do something. It can be difficult to plan far ahead for things, but it's not impossible. There will be times you wont be able to communicate at all with your family for an extended period of time. That said, it's a close knit community and everyone is willing to help out.

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If you're just getting started on the application process now, I wouldn't expect the current operating environment to exist by the time you're ready to deploy. Deployments are 9 months now, but they've been 12-15 months for the last decade, and 6 months before that. A few years from now we could be looking at a peacetime Army, a new short war that will only require a few units for 3-6 month deployments, or another long term occupation requiring 12 month deployments again. Who knows. Even with no operational requirements though you can expect to be gone for 2-3 months per year for training deployments.

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Having just come from flight school in Alabama, I would say that if you and your family isn't into the Army 100%, then it may not be for you. If you are willing to do anything to be an Army aviator and you have a supportive wife, then you have a good chance of making it. That being said, the flying hours are not like on the civilian side. I have 50 less hours than you after two years of flight training (albeit turbine time). The war is winding down and we all want to be deployed to get combat experience, but not that many get to go. This is even after losing two friends last year from OCS in Afghanistan (they were Infantry). I had one month from getting selected for flight school to dropping everything and moving down to Alabama. My buddy had three weeks. We were stressed but happy to go. Look up SERE C school and see if that motivates you or not...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Look up SERE C school and see if that motivates you or not...

 

Wow...I didn't know about the SERE-C School. It sounds INTENSE!!!

 

I went and talked with a recruiter today to get the process started, and I'm really excited to actually be doing it. But it seems like a lot of work to get the packet together. I'm going to start another thread to post about my progress, and any questions I have along the way. Thank you for all your help!

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