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Hi all, this is a first post and user in this forum. Hopefully someone with experience in Aviation and Army recruiting will see this.

I am a Dad, former Army myself. Sorry guys, not Aviation. I was OCS, MI, Mech Infantry, Cold War, Fulda Gap.

My 17-year-old son has just finished high school and wants to join the Army with a 15T or 15U MOS. Since I am still his guardian, I want to take advantage of my right, on his behalf, to pick this forum's brains on how to help him.

My kid's short term goals are learn the airframe, become a crew chief and fly a lot. He's leaning a little towards Blackhawks but he thinks Chinooks are cool too. Medium-term, the idea is qualify for educational assistance and do university/college and a technical degree.  Long-term is military pilot although he's on the fence fixed-wing or rotary. With luck he'll take the ASVAB in August.

He's overall an average student but definitely stronger on technical subjects like math and computers. He's into cars and sports (swims competatively). Good kid, not a pothead, not a criminal. He doesn't want to go to college right now, he wants to do something real.

My evaluation as his Father and a former serviceman is that he would perform and enjoy himself better in a field/real mission environment, and worse in a garrison/office environment. He's pretty good at avoiding work especially if it's in a classroom or unsupervised, but as I recall the Army has a lot of practice dealing with that.

His ASVAB practice scores are below the cut off for 15T/15U. But not by much. The recruiter is saying his practice scores are good enough to qualify for aviation MOS like 15W (UAV operator) or 15X (Apache Avionics Repairer). This was a couple of months ago and he's been working his way through an ASVAB practice book since then. The way I read the score cut offs you need a Mechanical Maintenance (MM) score of 104 or better to qualify for 15T/15U, and 102 to qualify for 15W/15X.  

Here is a possible wild card: Although he's overall low-to-mid average on ASVAB scores, my kid scores off the charts on Assembling Objects (AO). He goes through the section in about half the time necessary and unless he bubbles in the wrong space gets everything right. 

So now the questions:

- If when crunch day comes and my boy doesn't score high enough to rate 15T/15U, what MOS would you recommend as as alternatives? He would prefer to stay within the Aviation but the reality is he might not get that, and the more information we have on alternatives the better. If the non-flying Aviation MOS aren't particularly challenging, then maybe he should think some kind of combat arms (although his Mother sure wouldn't be thrilled about that).

- I've dug around in the internet a lot and I can't figure out what effect, if any,  the AO score has on MOS qualification for a new recruit. As a civilian looking at the recruitment process from the outside, if a kid came in and scored ho-hum on his ASVAB, but blew away AO, then a rational recruitment process would somehow take that into account and try and push the kid into an MOS high AO scores show potential for, which is basically complicated mechanical and technical tasks. But this is the Army and I wouldn't be surprised if the only point to the AO section is to give the recruiter information about what direction to steer a potential recruit, and nothing more. Anyone out there know for sure?

-   From where I sit my kid's score on the practice ASVAB for MM, about 102, and what he needs to qualify for 15T/15U, about 104, looks like not very much, only two points. My basic question here is, true or false? More generally, I guess there is some kind of scoring curve working. Maybe MOSes the Army is pushing hard to fill (looks to me anything involving UAVs, for instance) allow the recruiter to accept lower scores than the official minimal cut off. Maybe MOSes where there are a lot of people trying to get into them, and that has to include 15T/15U, the Army allows recuiters to pick and choose, effectively raising the actual minimum MM score above the theoretical 104 minumum. Anyone able to make this less guesswork, I'd really appreciate your input.

- Am I getting normal service standard from our recruiter, and if not, what should I do? We are living in East Europe for my USG job and we are communicating with an SFC recruiter in Wiesbaden, now for about five months. This guy's email response is slow and usually only after I call him. Information is pretty limited and I get very little feeling the guy is particularly interested in putting out any more than the minimum effort. I get that a 17-year-old recruit with ho hum ASVAB practice scores living outside Germany wouldn't be a big priority, and I also get that recruiting overall has to be badly confused with the pandemic and travel bans. But I have to consider the possibility that this recruiter for whatever reason isn't behind my kid's recruitment process, like he should be. I have no way of knowing one way or another so if anyone can help me become better informed, again, much appreciated.

- Finally, thanks to whomever decided to read this far, and a request. As my boy moves into the early months of service life, hopefully in Aviation, I have no doubt whatsoever that I am going to have more parent-type questions. For sure I am going to hear something about an SOP or a supervisor or the work the Army is making my kid do, and I am going to start wondering whether that's normal or a red flag. 

 If anyone out there wants to volunteer to be a mentor for a Dad looking at his son becoming a third generation military member, I would really appreciate it.

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Yeah the title didn’t make sense at all. 

First off I’ll address the recruiter part. A recruiter’s mission per doctrine (unless it changed again) is to recruit the best qualified applicants for service at the needs of the Army.  The key take away is what the Army needs comes first and anything the applicant wants is a distant second.  For a long time, jobs were not discussed because the goal was to have a applicant join the Army and what they did wasn’t supposed to affect that, but in the real world that doesn’t work and the Army finally caught on.  Him being slow to respond could be any number of things including being a short timer or maybe he just isn’t a good recruiter.   

Next the scores, if you look online you can find the formula that shows what part of the test is what score and how they go together.  As to the taking people with a lower score then required. The recruiter has nothing to do with that. Your talking about a USAREC or G1 Army exception to policy which are extremely rare, think beard waiver for a Sikh. 

Job wise if he wants to be in aviation and can’t get a slot I wouldn’t pick combat arms unless it’s something he’s  committed to. Having been a 11B before I started flying it’s not something to pick as a back up.  

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- Because he has a hard time doing things on his own, he probably won’t take the time to study for the ASVAB unless he really wants this. A huge majority of kids don’t study. That being said, If my daughter was in this scenario, I’d make sure she studies (helicopter dad). Don’t let him take the ASVAB if he’s not ready. If he does not qualify for the job, it makes things very complicated. Goarmy.com, type ASVAB in the search, click understand your scores. It’ll show the breakdown of line scores. Another point is if he wants to fly, he NEEDS a 110 GT minimum. The link will help with what sections contribute to that score. 

- Last I checked, not one Army MOS used AO as a factor to determine eligibility. When I retook my ASVAB I chose “A” for every answer in that section. 

- 15T and 15U are just popular MOSs, so when they hit the system, they fly off pretty quick. JH11B said everything I would, so I won’t reiterate. 

-Some recruiters care more than others. As mentioned earlier, a lot of applicants get told to loose 15 lbs, get these medical docs, or study for 2 weeks and they hardly ever do. It shows the recruiter, that kid is not serious. That’s why I recommend holding his hand through the process. Or, he’s just swamped with people that are ready to join “right now”. That’s how Usarec works. “Don’t drag on with wishy washy people when you have qualified applicants that can go to meps time yesterday”. Who knows. Either way, call him during work hours if that’s the only way to talk to him. 

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