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mike0331

Another ARNG thread (Input from New Englanders would be great)

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To those that fly NG -

 

Since you can not fly consistently, do you ever feel rusty after a few weeks out of the cockpit? I know you graduate from flight school being proficient, but I've noticed with flying myself that if you take an extended break that whenever you get back in the saddle it takes an hour or two for it to feel natural again.

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You can definitely tell when junior M-day guys haven't been able to fly consistently, which is most of them. It helps to get a deployment in, and with that heavy dose of repetitive flying they aren't nearly as rusty after long breaks when they are back stateside.

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What do you guys mean by "M-day" and so fourth?

Also unrelated tidbit. Printed a PDF of a vision chart, my left eye is weaker than my right as it has been for years, but I can still read the 20/20 line with it, and about 50% of the 20/15 line. Right eye reads down to 20/10 and some of 20/5. I still think I am going to go to a civilian eye doc and make sure everything checks out of my health insurance through my school covers it.

Mike

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M Day means you are a regular weekend a month driller.

 

AGR is a active orders full time position.

 

There's also full time civilian slots for IP and MTP.

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Are the IPs and MTPs on GS pay scale and not AGR? Are they something that only comes available once in a blue moon, or can one expect an opening every few years? Also, if they are not AGR, are they still afforded the opportunity to deploy with their Guard unit?

 

Mike

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This is why you need to talk to your potential units, and not the recruiters. If you had been, you'd have known what M-day was. The question you asked here is the most pressing one you need to ask those units if you have any intention whatsoever of full-time guard work.

 

If you want to track open positions, search the job listings they post. AK has a DMVA site for AGR positions and USAJOBS for the Federal Technician jobs. You'll see on USAJOBS that the Techs are on a GS pay scale. You'll also see why you should look into the Air Guard, unfortunately. Here: https://www.usajobs.gov/Search/?keyword=pilot&Location=ma&AutoCompleteSelected=

 

I will tell you the likelihood of getting an AGR is very slim, unless you want to be an officer and make the guard your career. In my state, the AGR jobs are reserved for leadership billets, one or two senior pilots (State Standardization Pilot), and the bush sites where we can't even hire guys as Fed Techs and keep them.

 

There are a fair number of Federal Technicians; most of the full-time is GS, however they are also difficult positions to get. As a brand new part timer, you'll be at the back of the line for those. FWIW, I'm an M-day Instructor Pilot and there's been exactly one IP job at my facility that has come open in the past 3 years.

 

If there's a deployment, everyone is afforded the opportunity to go, don't worry. If my rumor mill is accurate, a large chunk of the Mass Guard retired when they got their 2nd deployment order to Kuwait. Poor bastards.

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Planning on setting up the meet and greets for potential units after finals wrap-up, and those will probably be for late winter/early spring. Also meeting with a regular recruiter just to get more info.

 

I was just curious on the permanent positions for informations sake. Right now my plan is to have a civilian career and fly for the Guard, just interested in knowing what options are out there. If I were sure I wanted to do it full time, and toss the benefits that come with Guard aside (staying near home, having the option of predominantly non-military employment, etc), I'd definitely be looking exclusively towards regular army.

I've thought a little bit about the air guard as I had a friend in undergrad who was a loadmaster on C-5s and got great travel opportunities, but I like army culture a bit more coming from the USMC... and I'm mainly interested in rotary wing, which my local Air Guard unit does not have.

Mike

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Just an update, 2 recruiters have said they won't send me up for a SIFT or Flight Phys until I am at least within a few months from graduation, I was honest with the first one and the second at another location knew I had already talked to the station by me. To clarify, I was asking regular army recruiters as the guard won't touch this until I'm committed by way of being in the actual guard.

 

I reached out to the ROTC department at my school and they said they can only administer the SIFT to current cadets. I am going to try the ROTC department at my alma mater and see if they can/will do it. I've also had a friend who is civilian personnel at a local AFB check with the testing center, but they don't administer the SIFT there either.

 

My current plan is to keep trying to find a place that will send me up for the SIFT and hopefully a flight physical by this summer. I need to enlist in a guard unit to put my packet in, and if I don't do so by September I won't keep my rank from the USMC. I am planning to do a meet and greet at the Unit I am favoring in this spring. I was also supposed to get a tour of another unit where an acquaintance is a pilot, but they had some inspection coming up so he had to reschedule. Tentative plan remains join the unit with a hand shake deal to schedule MOS school as late as possible (about 20 months out I am told) and immediately prepare my packet, and get the ball rolling so I am accepted prior to the 20 months mark, but after I sit for the Bar exam the following July.

 

Just thought I'd keep an update going in case it is helpful to anyone else.

 

Mike

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27, I'll graduate from law school at 28. 6 years USMCR, about 1.5 years active duty between training and deployment. I've been told this means the age cutoff for me is 35 in "army years," which gives me plenty of time.

 

All that said, I miss the military, so I really want to get back on a solid path to making this all happen. Also since it's likely I'll have to spend some time "enlisted" in the guard prior to going the WO route, I really don't want to go from being an Sergeant in the USMC, and NCO int the USMC for my last almost 3 years in, to being a specialist... which is why I'm trying to get back in before I hit 3 years out.

 

Mike

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Just spoke with the person in charge of recruiting for my undergrads ROTC. He seemed to think he could get me in for the SIFT. He was more helpful and knowledgable than the ROTC unit at my current school. He said he's going to research the army regs but he thinks it will be fine (from all I have found it should be OK), and he'll talk to the proctor who is in next week and trying to figure something out. So crossing my fingers that I can just do that. It's an hour and a half drive but I have some friends out there I need to visit anyway.

 

Mike

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Just an update. The ROTC office at my undergrad said they will administer the SIFT to me, so I just need to set up a time. Kind of annoyed my current school won't do it, but oh well. Just curious how much time you guys think I need to study. I have already skimmed over the FAA helicopter handbook, the SIFT study guide, and the art and science of flying helicopters, and I've taken a lesson in an R44 (and plan to take a few more). I plan to thoroughly go through all these books prior to the test, which should take me about 3 weeks. Does that sound adequate? My big worry is getting to deep into the school semester and not having adequate time to study.

 

Just to recap in case someone stumbles upon this thread in the future looking for the same type of help. I am no longer in the IRR so I am a civilian. The national guard won't administer the test until I'm in, and the regular recruiters won't do it unless I'm basically committed and close to "read to go."

 

I'm confident I could pass it right now, but I'd like to put myself as close to an 80 as possible.

 

Thanks guys

 

Mike

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Here's the periodic update guys. Taking the SIFT sometime next week with the proctor at a local ROTC unit. I am then meeting with a recruiter and WOSM for the NH NG later in the week. Hopefully figuring out a way to set up the flight physical and come up with a plan from that point forward.

Mike

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Here's the periodic update guys. Taking the SIFT sometime next week with the proctor at a local ROTC unit. I am then meeting with a recruiter and WOSM for the NH NG later in the week. Hopefully figuring out a way to set up the flight physical and come up with a plan from that point forward.

 

Mike

Good luck! Study hard

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I'm just glad I was able to get a date for next week.... School is about to kick into high gear after spring break.

I finished the FAA rotory wing manual a few weeks back. Going through the SIFT study guide again now. I need to re-learn some math, and also go back over circuits, resistance, voltage drop at resistors, etc. I used to know science stuff... so it's in there somewhere. I feel I have a pretty solid grasp on helicopters and aviation though, at least as much as anyone can from reading a few books and watching a bunch of youtube videos.

How much in-depth knowledge of each army airframe should I have? Empty and gross weight, what weapon systems an Apache can be armed with, etc, or just the roles and noteable facts, IE the Chinook is the fastest?

I think by the time I sit for the test, the only area that I expect to trip me up is hidden figures. I'm decent at it, but it's the only thing I'm not confident I can train myself to do with total accuracy.

Mike

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I'm just glad I was able to get a date for next week.... School is about to kick into high gear after spring break.

 

I finished the FAA rotory wing manual a few weeks back. Going through the SIFT study guide again now. I need to re-learn some math, and also go back over circuits, resistance, voltage drop at resistors, etc. I used to know science stuff... so it's in there somewhere. I feel I have a pretty solid grasp on helicopters and aviation though, at least as much as anyone can from reading a few books and watching a bunch of youtube videos.

 

How much in-depth knowledge of each army airframe should I have? Empty and gross weight, what weapon systems an Apache can be armed with, etc, or just the roles and noteable facts, IE the Chinook is the fastest?

 

I think by the time I sit for the test, the only area that I expect to trip me up is hidden figures. I'm decent at it, but it's the only thing I'm not confident I can train myself to do with total accuracy.

Mike

 

Focus on the higher level topics when it comes to the aviation section.Chapters 1-4 of the FAA Helicopter Flying Handbook, and go over the different aircraft in the inventory of the United States Army. Understand their names, identifiers, roles, and general construction. Example being:

 

Q: Which of the following is a tandem rotor helicopter?

a) AH-64

B) OH-58

c) CH-47

d) UH-60

 

The test has a strong focus on aerodynamics, and being able to define terminology scrounging rotary wing flight.

 

Get points where you can. The aviation, math, and reading sub-tests are easy points based on my experience. The hidden figures, simple drawings, and spatial apperception sub-tests will require focus and a strategy. The mechanical comprehension and math skills sections are where you should spend the bulk of your time studying.

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Im good on spacial aperception and simple drawings. Hidden figures seems to be hit or miss but Ill keep going over them. I'll re-review chapters 1-4 and also start digging back into math this weekend. My mechanical knowledge is good, my conceptual electrical knowledge is good but I need to brush up on EIR equations and application.

 

Ill be pissed if I don't score at least in the high 70s... I'll let you all know how I do of course.

 

Mike

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Officially scheduled to take it from 9-12 at a local college ROTC department on Thursday. This is good as I took a practice ASTB in it's entirety the other day (offered online) and realized I need to brush back up on pulling algebra out of word problems, so this will give me some time the next few days to go over that as well as some of the other stuff. I can't believe I actually knew calculus at one point, those days are definitely long gone. I will be meeting with the recruiter/WOSM on Friday.

I also got a full eye workup done at the VA today just to make sure there would be no surprises. Vision is good. As I expected, my left eye is slightly weaker but they still said 20/15 with no need for corrective lenses. I also went over the color blindness stuff, had them dilate my pupils and look at my retinas, etc. Not sure if the flight physical is that extensive, but I figured it was free, so why not.

Mike

 

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The vision portion of the flight physical is very extensive. Your eyes will be dilated.

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I'm glad I got this done then. They thought they saw a retinoschisis in my left eye (which I guess is waiver-able if its not progressive and doesn't cause vision loss) but they looked into it further and turned out to be nothing. So if this shows up again, I'll at least be familiar with it. The VA is also giving me an EKG tomorrow AM. Again, hoping to avoid any surprises since I might not be able to have a military flight physical performed until after committing to the guard.

Mike

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Just got back from taking the SIFT. It took a little over 2 hours. I felt pretty good on the shapes, although they were a little harder than in the study book. I think I got through all of them. I also got through 28/50 of the hidden figures, I may have missed one or two. I also felt pretty good about the aviation knowledge, I think there were 2 or 3 I wasn't certain on, including a question about airspace. The math section lasted about 20 minutes, I got blindsided by a couple of the questions. I should have brushed up on Logs, but other than that I think I did fine. The mechanical section had some questions I had zero idea on that were definitely in physics major territory.

All in all I pulled off a 75, which I guess I'm happy with. I definitely spent too much of my spring break studying for it, so I'm happy to get all the books put away now. I'll let you guys know how the meeting with the recruiter and WOSM goes.

And I guess to clarify for anyone who finds this thread in the future, college ROTC departments CAN administer the sift to a civilian or prior service member. Bring some proof of social security number and ID with you. I had to call a couple ROTC units to find one willing to do so.

Mike

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So I met with the recruiter and WOSM for one of the State's I'm looking at today. The recruiter called their flight surgeon while I was in the office, and he said he couldn't give the flight physical to anyone who was not currently a member. She is next going to try calling some regular army recruiters and see if they have any connections as far as getting me a flight physical. She also said if I come up with anything, to let her know and we'll make it happen. Does anyone have any knowledge on getting a flight physical for the guard prior to enlistment? I know some others have done it... so I know it's possible. Also, if I get a class 1 flight physical, but don't make it down to Rucker for over 18 months, when they redo the flight physical is it the full physical again, or is maintaining a class 1 less of a process than getting it initially?

It seems that the way they would like me to do it is to do a meet and greet at the unit as a civilian and talk with the members who sit on the state board prior to enlisting. From there I would enlist and go up for the next board the state runs, which I guess are Winter/Summer. So if I enlisted this summer, it would probably be next winter, though it would depend on dates and scheduling. They said they selected two this winter and they have about an 18 month wait for flight school slots at this point. For my planning purposes, if I were selected next winter, or even this summer, 18 months would be fine. This would be one of the things covered on a meet and greet I presume.

 

As far as enlistment options it seems I have 2 as a Sergeant that would get me in at that unit: 15T and 92F, so Repairer or Petroleum Supply. If I enlisted as a 15T, I would delay my MOS school until what we all agreed would hopefully be beyond when I was picked up for WOCS. Worst case, I would go to the school AFTER having completed law school next summer (2018). I was told as long as I conclude the training within 24 months I can push it out as far as I need to. I would OJT as a 15T until that point. They also said that there is a re-class school for 15T that is only 8 weeks long. The other option, 92F, has a re-class school that can be broken up into two two-week segments, so essentially 2 ATs. The downside is 92F would be less useful to me as far as my end goal goes, and frankly I have no interest in the MOS. If I get forced to deploy as a 15T, I would be much happier than as a 92F. Interested to hear your thoughts on pushing the MOS school out as well as the 92F option.

Thanks all

Mike

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So the latest is MEPS denied me and I need a waiver from the National Guard Bureau. I have a combined 30% rating for a back strain, knee strain, and tinnitus. The back and knee are better, and my hearing is in the normal range. I sent up my MEPS paperwork with my full comp/pen evaluation from 5 years ago along with paperwork from a sports med doctor saying my back and knee were 100%. The imaging report on the comp/pen screening showed nothing, which is noted in the report. Looking at the MEPS guidelines, I'm pretty sure there is no reason they had to DQ me, but my recruiter said the CMO pretty much just does what they want. Hopefully the waiver is pretty straight forward.

 

So that's the latest. I imagine I may need a waiver from aeromed as well, but I can't do the flight phys until I'm in the guard. I already had all the eye stuff done (the guard doc outsources it) and that is 100%. So just more waiting.

 

Mike

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Just an update: NGB Granted a waiver, I'll be going up to MEPS in a month or so (after finals).

 

Mike

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Just an update: NGB Granted a waiver, I'll be going up to MEPS in a month or so (after finals).

 

Mike

Congratulations, Mike. I'm guessing you don't have to do Basic. From a guy who graduated yesterday, I hate you for that.

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