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Why do/did you want to be an army aviator?


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So I'm still a solid 5 months from submitting my packet but I'm trying to get the gears turning on the Why I Want To Be An Army Aviator essay. I figured if I write it now I can look at it every month until submission, find things to change, and enhance it. I am pretty sure I'm going to base a lot of it on my aviation bloodline (grandfather was a B-24 pilot, father was a career pilot, brother is a pilot, etc.) and my desire to work in public service (prior military service, internship at the White House etc.) and of course my indescribable love of flying the most ludicrous machine on the planet.

 

Really was just wondering what some of you guys wrote and genuinely what makes everyone here want to put so much effort and time into becoming an Army Aviator. It can be really difficult to articulate why you like something that you love so much so I think we all could really benefit off of seeing what motivates us.

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Search the forum for "essay" and you will find a couple posts with some background from others. Since you have plenty of time I will make a suggestion, find someone to proofread your essay and give you feedback. If you are in touch with a current or recently retired WO pilot, see if they would be willing to do it.

 

In general, the advice I got was that demonstrating why I want to be a soldier, officer and pilot in that order. Examples that demonstrate your reason for why are key as well. Good luck!

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I'm applying largely because the best people I've known in my life have all been military people and I would love to become part of a group I already think so highly of.

 

Then there's the whole helicopters-are-cool thing and serving my country. Put the three together and you get Army aviation!

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Well, I "wanted" to be an Army aviator years ago when I thought that the idea of being an Army pilot and flying in the military was going to be a great experience. I was extremely excited about it coming up through high school. I made my way into the Army as an H-60 flight mechanic and eventually crewed helicopters for 6 years. Well along the way, I found out just how much fun flying in the the military wasn't. Sure there were some good times, and even great times, but I eventually realized that after being in 6 years, if I was going to go Warrant, I was going to be in until retirement (given another 8 years for Warrant service would have put me at 14 years, another 6 would get me retirement after that.) I had already seen my fair share of deployments to both theaters which were the funnest flying times of my Army career, aside from my deployment to the Bahamas (OPBAT baby!). I'd done numerous patterns around the airfields at Ft. Campbell, numerous routes around the base reservation, and put up with enough of the Armys crap. I found myself at the end of 2009 coming back from my Afghan deployment with 0 interest to further pursue my desire to be an Army pilot, so I made preparations to depart the military and further my flying passion on the civilian side. That was two years ago.

 

Fast forward to today and I'm one class away from earning my Associates degree in aviation. I'm a commercial helicopter pilot with an instrument rating, and I'm two weeks away from taking my Certified Flight Instructor checkride. Theres an extremely good possibility that there will be a utility job waiting for me once I complete my CFI certification, at which point I can continue the next big step in my professional flying career. Should that not be the case, I will pursue the wonderful life of a flight instructor!

 

I'm extremely happy where I'm at and the choices I've made at this point in my life. I don't regret anything. The military was a hell of a time; Met some of the best damn people I will ever meet in my life; Saw some really interesting places! Had some really amazing times, and learned a lot of really neat things.

 

Ultimately the military style wasn't for me. I was barely able to put up with it, and I'm glad I decided not to go any further than I did. You can factor in that the Army damaged my outlook on being an Army aviator during my 6 years as an enlisted soldier. I have had a few buddies that went enlisted --> warrant and all have been extremely happy that they did. Difference of night and day is what they say. Had I gone the Warrant route, I'd still be playing the military game just with more rank. Well, I didn't want to play the military game anymore.

 

It was a phase of my life, and one that I believe helped me get where I'm at today.

 

Safe flying!

 

Edit: This is probably out of the scope of what the OP was looking for, but what the hay!

Edited by RagMan
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My dad when through Ft. Rucker in the late 1970s and flew UH-1s, HH-3s and MH-53s before transitioning to fixed wing aircraft in the USAF. He always said flying helicopters was the best flying he ever did. How he is a 747 Captain and still talks about the helo days. My great uncle Jackie was a P-47 pilot in WW2 and was killed in Sept 1944. I never met him but he's had a profound effect on my life. My grandfather (Jackies brother) was drafted in 1943 and was an tank gunner in WWII...he went on to serve 34 years in the military, my grandpa got his pilots license in the mid 1990's in honor of his brother. Those are my hero's I think about them everyday. I want to be an Army Aviator like he was. To me it's a tangible connection to the past.

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My Grandfather and father both did multiple tours in Vietnam as dustoff pilots, and I grew up around pilots, but I never wanted to fly personally. It wasn't until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan kicked off, and I saw first hand the effect air assets have on the battlefield, both lift and attack birds, that I decided to make the move from enlisted to warrant. Best career decision I could of made. I know 100% for a fact that I have saved lives just from taking the power levers to fly and going out and doing my job. I'm not a person who "enjoys" flying. I don't lust for the moment the wheels leave the ground and I "soar" off into the clouds, in my opinion that is all overrated. What I do enjoy is going out and supporting the ground guys, knowing that possibly I had a hand in them returning to the FOB that night. That's why I am a military aviator.

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Because I like ending my days with branches in the skids, twigs in the pitot, dirt on the chin bubble, empty mags in the cockpit, jet fumes in my nostrils, a ringing in my ears, windburn on my chin, whiskey in my belly, and a sexy woman in my bed.

 

Amen

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Because I like ending my days with branches in the skids, twigs in the pitot, dirt on the chin bubble, empty mags in the cockpit, jet fumes in my nostrils, a ringing in my ears, windburn on my chin, whiskey in my belly, and a sexy woman in my bed.

 

So when I turn in my packet with that written as my 'Why I Want To Be An Army Aviator" essay they'll just throw WO1 rank and wings on me on the spot, right? Haha

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I would say that I dropped my packet because as an enlisted crew chief on UH-60's i got tired of sitting in the back doing fuel checks and wanted to be doing what the guys up front did. I loved turning wrenches but now after getting my wings I would never go back. I didn't know how much I didn't know about the blackhawk as a crewchief and having a maintenance background really made me want to learn even more so I already have on foot on the MTP door.

 

Where else will you get to do what you love, work with your friends everyday, be able to sign out a 12 million dollar aircraft, all while getting a paycheck to do it.

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  • 3 months later...

I've been in Washington, D.C. this week on vacation. Today, among other things, I visited the Vietnam War Memorial and located the name of MAJ Charles Kelly, DUSTOFF legend. Shot through the heart after refusing to leave a hot LZ until he had wounded soldiers safely on board. Perhaps you've heard the quote, "I'll leave when I have your wounded." He is that man.

 

http://www.dustoff.org/hall-of-fame/Citations/kelly-citation.htm

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