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Joining NG to pay for private training?


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After much discussion with those local to me and discussing with my family and significant others, I am turning to you guys hoping for some first hand experience and opinions..

 

My long term goal being civilian Utility/ Firefighting work.

 

 

I am currently enrolled in a local A&P program and have been flying when I have the money to work toward my Commercial.. The NG stopped by one in one of their UH-60s and let us climb around and check out the bird as we are all aspiring A&Ps..

 

5 days later, I have taken my ASVAB, scored well and am still unsure about enlisting..

 

I never saw myself as an armed forces person, but the National Guard is a appealing to me as a homeland security and local work vs active duty, In addition as a way to pay for my current schooling and repay federal education loans that I could use to pay for my civilian flying.

 

Currently there is a few 15T positions available locally and that I could be locked into as soon as I enlisted. I trust my recruiter, but I am just looking for some more affirmation before I make a long term decision..

 

I am currently paying out of pocket for my A&P school and have about 10k in federal loans from previous schooling.. So I would be eligible for the SLRP up to 50k guaranteed the moment I enlist? I know that my loans have to be Title IV, which applies to my current loan and would apply to the educational loans I would take out to fly.. The SLRP is guaranteed up to my 50k limit correct?

 

 

There is also the option of building a packet and applying for flight school. I know it is extremely competitive, but the possibility of flying for the NG as well as having them pay for my Civilian training is something that could be a benefit on the Resume for civilian work later on..

 

As I said, the military was never something I ever considered and now I am overwhelmed. I am trying to keep a cool head and research everything before I commit to anything..

 

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I think your idea is excellent. You're 50 grand in debt and you can nullify that by accepting a 15t job in your chosen field. It's very common for NG mechanics to work full time as civilian or federal employees in the same hanger as their unit. How far from your A&P are you?

 

I spent 9 years as a 15u before putting in a warrant application. I also used tuition assistance for a degree and the FAA MOS conversion table to test for my A&P without going to a school for it. The benefits are there. Your job prospects just out of an A&P school with no prior experience aren't that great anyway. 12.50 at a FBO with all that liability? No thanks bro.

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I am a year from having my A&P complete. My issues isn't with paying my current 10k loan or even my current tuition. I can pay for my school out of pocket with hard work at multiple jobs. I just wanted to make sure that if I enlisted, I could take out more to pay for my flying and that my SLRP would pay for that down the road..

 

 

I am just looking for others that have similar experience, as I can find lots of people who were in the Army or Navy.. But no one I have talked to has been a mechanic in the guard or has used the service to pay for civilian training.

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Well it has to be a part 141 school that has a degree producing/linked program for you to have 100% paid. Also you need to have your Private certificate already. The rules and situations are confusing so you're going to want to do your own research. There are other methods that pay different percentages.

 

Edit: I don't think student loan debt you incur after joining is covered. In theory you could accumulate more before signing a contract and that may be covered. It's a gamble though. Good luck and make sure whatever information you go with is in writing from a credible source (ie: not something you see on a forum or what you get verbally from a recruiter).

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You're recruiter should be able to answer all of your questions about slrp. I'm a ng mechanic as we speak. Doing my woft packet. What are your concerns? If you want to pay for flight school, the guard can HELP but not necessarily pay 100 percent. It's possible though. You can either do a part 141 school with a degree program and use federal and state tuition assistance for it or you can just do a part 141 school with no degree and use your GI bill which you'll get after the first couple years of your contract. You will have a 6 year contract for anything aviation.

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Not saying that you can't become a "armed forces person" but make sure you are doing it for the right reasons as it comes across as if you may just be considering it as an easy avenue to achieving your dreams, which it is not.

 

The Guard can be beneficial financially in helping you to achieve your goals but the National Guard is very much the military. You may find yourself in a far off land before you know it. That may be before you even put in your warrant packet. If you are not comfortable going to war as an enlisted wrench turner and possibly putting your schooling on hold in the hopes of getting picked up as a warrant (which is nowhere near guaranteed), don't do it. Likewise, you will have a substantial commitment if you do get picked up as an aviation warrant. As an aviation warrant in the Guard, you will be required to do much more than the 1 weekend per month and 2 weeks per year. Finally, being Guard doesn't guarantee a lot of hours so it can still take time (likely years) to build up that time for the job you are really looking for.

 

The National Guard is by no way an easy way to an end. They don't just give you the money without something substantial in return. Basically, if you really aren't a "military guy" make sure you have the mindset to become one. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. But if you go through with it, it can be very rewarding.

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No.....

 

Chia pets, and dancing babies are cute.

 

Armed forces persons are serious business! :blink:

 

Serious choices, serious life plan bro. You have a good head on your shoulders for taking time to consider your options.

 

1) you said you trust your recruiter? Please stop doing that.... And get them to write out their promises. If they say they cant write it out and sign it...its not going to happen like they said. That is seriously no joke. You came to the right place to get it straight, but you need to get some guys who arent jokers to pipe up on the aviation side of things. ... Dang enlisted kids.... Lol.

 

2) I second Uh60 on your mindset of joining. Please know your butt will be in harms way before the ink is dry on your contract, and that smile is off your face. As a military person, oops armed forces person, you are first and foremost a soldier, second you are your chosen job. This can and latly has sent units out of the country and your school is held off while you work.

 

3) Congratulations are in order for considering serving! It is no light decision, I wish more people would think it over like you have. It is a great option, do it while your young, the next ten years of your life do go by so damn fast, and the life experience that you have during these ten make up so much of who we ultimatly become. Chase that dream and it will be with you a long time.

Edited by WolftalonID
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Let's get all the armed forces persons down in formation for 0630 PT.

 

Your first mistake was asking pilots to wake up early in the morning Second was asking us to do PT. You have much to learn...

 

To the Original poster.

 

I am asking you to do some soul searching prior to signing the papers on joining the National Guard, Army or any Military Service. Yes, they will pay for education, yest they will help with vocational schools i.e. A&P and yes they will send you to flight school. If your ultimate goal is to fly civillan, logging, firefighting ect.. Will you be ok deploying for a year? To Combat? or to a place like Kuwait?. Where you will fly bare minimums for a year. Mabye you will deploy to Kosovo for a year.

 

As WolfTalon said, Don't listen to everything the recruiter says, ask pilots and crewchief that are in the guard. Do some research and run some contingencies in your mind before you decide if this is truly what you want.

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I actually joined the guard to help pay for school as well, and where I ended up is nothing like where i thought I would be. My brother was a 15U (chinook crewchief). When I enlisted i thought i wanted to be a cav scout, and then my brother talked to me and set me straight about going into aviation.

 

I joined as a sheetmetal mechanic, took a semester off for basic and ait and then finished my degree. I used the GI bill and tuition assistance so my last 3 years were free and I was getting $600/mo while going to school. About six weeks after graduating i was hired full time as a sheetmetal mechanic as the AASF where i drilled. They sent me to numerous schools and reclassed me to a 15T. After 2 years i dropped a packet and got accepted. While at flight school I went to the FAA to get signed off for testing and took an A&P prep course. I had my A&P 10 days later.

 

After flight school i came back and was going through progression. I was selected to go to the C-12 transition course on a short fall, which i graduated from a few months ago. I then volunteered for a C-12 VIP deployment to kuwait.

 

Long story short I joined the guard to get help with school and I thought aviation would be cool, 8 1/2 years later I'm dual aircraft qualified and have a Commercial RW instrument, FW MEL, and A&P and haven't spent a dime out of pocket.

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Electron- Thanks for that. Good to hear someone speak so positively other than my recruiter obviously. That is what I like to hear.

 

I am still thinking about all the options and talking to anyone that I can. I worry about the local 15T positions closing up if I wait too long, but I also absolutely want to be 100 positive in my choice before commuting anything.

 

 

Also here is my rough plan as to how I would do things.

 

I am currently enrolled in my A&P program at a local college and paying everything out of pocket by working 2 jobs on top of school. I would continue going to school for another year to get my A&P certificate. But since I am also enrolled in school, I qualify for title IV federal loans. Using the guards loan repayment program, I could take out my 50k in federal loans, and every year, the guard will repay 15% of the loans (up to 50k) with a 6 year commitment.

 

As of right now, I am much more concerned with getting my civilian ratings and getting started on my career that way, and having the guard pay for those loans, rather than trying to fly for the guard. That said, if I get in, and decide I like it, I could put in a packet and if I got accepted to a flight school, then I could be a Pilot in the guard as well as having my civilian ratings. I just know that hours build much slower in the service than they do on the civilian side.

 

Also there are some really nice benefits and the idea of helping my country locally instead of overseas is an idea that I really like. But I am also not absolutely opposed to getting deployed, I wouldn't choose to, but if my country needed me, than I would be willing.

 

 

Thanks again for the help you guys, and anything else anyone wants to add is always welcome, you can never have too many opinions or too many connections when it comes to big decisions like this.

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Also here is my rough plan as to how I would do things.

 

I am currently enrolled in my A&P program at a local college and paying everything out of pocket by working 2 jobs on top of school. I would continue going to school for another year to get my A&P certificate. But since I am also enrolled in school, I qualify for title IV federal loans. Using the guards loan repayment program, I could take out my 50k in federal loans, and every year, the guard will repay 15% of the loans (up to 50k) with a 6 year commitment.

 

This is called SLRP. Don't put all your chips in on this with the budget being the way it is. This is only available to certain MOS/09S. That being said, I don't know what the need is in your state, hopefully it fair in your favor.

As of right now, I am much more concerned with getting my civilian ratings and getting started on my career that way, and having the guard pay for those loans, rather than trying to fly for the guard. That said, if I get in, and decide I like it, I could put in a packet and if I got accepted to a flight school, then I could be a Pilot in the guard as well as having my civilian ratings. I just know that hours build much slower in the service than they do on the civilian side.

 

Senior leadership will smell this and shoot your packet down in a heartbeat. With guard flight slots being slashed FY14 you will need to set yourself apart from others applying. Many states can only send 1 candidate a year this year.

 

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Justine - The way I understood the SLRP was that with my MOS, the SLRP would be written into my contract to be guaranteed up to the 50k.. I have no problem walking if the 15t position isn't available and they try to push a different MOS on me or the SLRP isn't available. As other have said, I want everything down in writing before I fully commit.

 

 

And as I mentioned, I don't necessarily want to fly for the guard. If I never flew for them and wrenched for the 6 years, but they paid off my student loans, I would be happy. The possibility of getting into flight school is just there should I want to pursue it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hopefully I will be living the life like electron soon. I still have quite a few years left, I'm a junior in high school. I plan to join the guard and become a 15t and get sent to flight school. That's the plan anyway, hopefully it works out as well as it did you guys.

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