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Guys/Gals,

 

After 30 years I'm finally hanging it up, turned down W5 to retire May 31st. I'm not sure how I avoided it, but I'm not the fat, gray, grouchy SWO yet, and retiring on a crest hopefully will keep that intact. My wife said to retire as Brett Favre with the Packers, not Brett Favre with the Jets.."

 

I've been frequenting VR and all variations of it since I was a W2, written about 17 LORs, all of which have been selected to WOFT. I've also been on several selection boards.

 

Unbeknownst to many of you on here, I've voted on your applications and often shook my head while doing so. My one point of guidance would be to keep that in mind when you post. I couldn't indicate outright what I looked for as aboard member, but I've subtly posted multiple pages of guidance on essays, interviews, resumes, the standards and what works as a no-fail technique for your applications, and that hasn't changed.

 

My oldest son is out there as an AH-64 Company Commander in AK(CPT Nik Steele) so say hi if you get the chance. I've also got another one who will hopefully be hitting WOC school in a year or so.

 

Of my 30 years, 12 as a SEAL and the rest as an aviator, I've had the most fun flying. Its what you make of it, if you think it sucks, it's temporary, you're your own change agent.

 

Rock On,

 

Mike-

 

 

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Thanks Mike! We will miss you here. You have left tons of valuable information for us and are very likely the reason a lot of the people here were picked up for WOFT.

 

I am about to start my journey and I hope I can make it as far as you did. Like you said, it is what you make it.

 

As one final question on your way out; do you have any tips to make your home / family life better while you are in? This is a big concern of mine going in and will be one of the primary reasons for staying in or getting out.

 

Thanks again!

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Congrats! Enjoyed listening to you on the Mentors for Military podcast the other day! They put out a great show.

 

Thanks for the ongoing advice on this forum. It was very helpful it setting up my packet, preparing for the board, and writing my essay.

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I think youre making a wise decision to get out while youre still on top, Im happy you made that choice.

 

Your numerous posts on WOFT essays helped guide me as I drafted my own. I have no doubt that this played a role - however small - in my FQ-S designation. We really appreciate the time you have put in here Mike, I will continue to do my best to pay it forward to the new applicants.

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A shame you won't be able to help select more applicants, and that you also may not continue offering advice to us newbies (?), but as you said, you posted multiple pages of guidance, so it's on us to use it wisely.

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

Are you perhaps helping in evaluating the May board packets? :ph34r:

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Mike,

 

Thanks for all you have done for this community. This forum was a huge help to me during my application. Your guidance and advice was a huge part of that.

 

Fast forward three years and I still try and contribute. I hope to have helped someone the way you have helped many of us.

 

Enjoy your retirement and God bless.

 

Doug

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Best of luck Sir! Thank you for the knowledge you have spread to many aspiring aviators over the years. Enjoy your retirement. I hope there will be many more of us who can continue to carry the torch.

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Mike,

 

Outstanding career and well deserved retirement. I didn't realize until I watched the USMA video interview we probably crossed paths in both the Navy and Army, or least close. Former SAR guy with squashed F-14 pilot dreams that switched to WO. Probably the only the "what if" after constant harassment from a few buds was not accessing for SOAR, choosing to go fixed-wing instead. I can't think of a better mentor for future Army aviators or those that want to pursue rewarding yet challenging career fields serving their country in the special operations community.

 

Trying to build tailwheel time and network in the warbird community, hope to see you at an air show soon.

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Mike,

 

Outstanding career and well deserved retirement. I didn't realize until I watched the USMA video interview we probably crossed paths in both the Navy and Army, or least close. Former SAR guy with squashed F-14 pilot dreams that switched to WO. Probably the only the "what if" after constant harassment from a few buds was not accessing for SOAR, choosing to go fixed-wing instead. I can't think of a better mentor for future Army aviators or those that want to pursue rewarding yet challenging career fields serving their country in the special operations community.

 

Trying to build tailwheel time and network in the warbird community, hope to see you at an air show soon.

 

T/W is my bread and butter now flying a P-51 and B-24..

 

Mike-

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  • 2 weeks later...

Awesome, I spent as many Saturdays as my wife would let me with the CF Houston guys in 2015/2016, first ride ever in a helicopter was in the UH-1E they have. Really looking forward to finding another museum to volunteer at now that I made in back to the U.S. I'll keep an eye out for when the tour comes through Alabama and see If I can come out.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Collings, it's a great group of folks.

 

They have their facility a town over from me. They do a pretty epic WWII reenactment every year with allied and axis camps and all sorts of armor, pyro, etc. They usually have a Fieseler Storch floating around as well. Last year they opened this insane tank museum. Life goals I guess.

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