Being hired with not-so great military history

tonyracer24

New Member
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum. I have a PPL with about 160 hours. I had a question about airline hiring (or really any pilot hiring for that matter) while having a not-so perfect history.

At one point in my life decided to join the US Air Force. So for context, when I was a child I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder because I was a very picky eater and did not want to open my food variety very much. I was put on medication, I started eating better, everything was looking good, doctor cleared me, all was well, the end. This whole thing only lasted for about 2 years. Fast forward about 12 years or so, I joined the Air Force. I told the recruiter about this history but at MEPS I forgot to mention it (yes I truly forgot, it was not intentional). I told the recruiter afterwards about this but was told to not worry about it. Because of how long ago and insignificant this childhood diagnosis was in my life, I actually forgot all about it for years up until I joined the military. About 5 months in I ended up disclosing it and because MEPS didn't know about it, I was separated with an Entry-Level Separation (it is not a discharge, it's completely neutral, like never being in the military in the first place) with the narrative reason on my DD-214 being Fraudulent Entry.

So here's my question: With having this military history, can I reasonably get hired as an airline pilot, or any commercial pilot? Is it realistic? I really want to do this, but I'm hesitant on going back to flight school out of fear of not getting hired, especially while having student loan debt. I really don't want to be discriminated against. Sure I made a mistake, but haven't we all? I'm a good person all around, always got good grades, financially responsible, no legal or traffic history, never tried drugs, I don't smoke, I don't even drink. This is really the only thing I have that doesn't sound all that great. This is a genuine concern of mine and I feel like I'm at a major disadvantage. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Yes, the FAA already knows of this childhood diagnosis and it hasn't been an issue whatsoever.
 

amichael

Well-Known Member
I'm no expert but I think as long as you can hold a first class medical, you'll have no problem being a professional pilot. You'll just need to be prepared to explain that period of your life to the interviewer.

Do you have a 4 year college degree?
 

tonyracer24

New Member
I'm no expert but I think as long as you can hold a first class medical, you'll have no problem being a professional pilot. You'll just need to be prepared to explain that period of your life to the interviewer.

Do you have a 4 year college degree?
I don't have a degree just yet, I was looking to finish through an online college after flight school. That's another question I wanted to ask. If I get my degree and everything else looks fine, would I have a shot at the majors or would this military thing hold me back? Would this one thing be a deal-breaker when it comes to me getting hired or not?
 

mwflyer

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone, I am new to the forum. I have a PPL with about 160 hours. I had a question about airline hiring (or really any pilot hiring for that matter) while having a not-so perfect history.

At one point in my life decided to join the US Air Force. So for context, when I was a child I was diagnosed with a general anxiety disorder because I was a very picky eater and did not want to open my food variety very much. I was put on medication, I started eating better, everything was looking good, doctor cleared me, all was well, the end. This whole thing only lasted for about 2 years. Fast forward about 12 years or so, I joined the Air Force. I told the recruiter about this history but at MEPS I forgot to mention it (yes I truly forgot, it was not intentional). I told the recruiter afterwards about this but was told to not worry about it. Because of how long ago and insignificant this childhood diagnosis was in my life, I actually forgot all about it for years up until I joined the military. About 5 months in I ended up disclosing it and because MEPS didn't know about it, I was separated with an Entry-Level Separation (it is not a discharge, it's completely neutral, like never being in the military in the first place) with the narrative reason on my DD-214 being Fraudulent Entry.

So here's my question: With having this military history, can I reasonably get hired as an airline pilot, or any commercial pilot? Is it realistic? I really want to do this, but I'm hesitant on going back to flight school out of fear of not getting hired, especially while having student loan debt. I really don't want to be discriminated against. Sure I made a mistake, but haven't we all? I'm a good person all around, always got good grades, financially responsible, no legal or traffic history, never tried drugs, I don't smoke, I don't even drink. This is really the only thing I have that doesn't sound all that great. This is a genuine concern of mine and I feel like I'm at a major disadvantage. Any input will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Yes, the FAA already knows of this childhood diagnosis and it hasn't been an issue whatsoever.
This may be a silly question, but do you even need to disclose your time in the military? You said it was completely neutral, like you weren’t even in.
 

Flyinthrew

Well-Known Member
I say this as a guy who served both enlisted and officer for over 20 years. You didn't do anything wrong. You broke no laws. You were not found guilty of violating the UCMJ at any trial or NJP. It won't matter to the vast majority of employers.

I went to the Airlineapps website...There is a page for military experience. You are going to put your service dates there, and for status you're going to check Other. There is no place to explain Other. They'll look at your stuff and it MAY generate an interview question, but by the time you're at that point you will have practiced your answer. You can also attempt to explain it in your employment history.

There is not a place for military experience at all on the American Airlines app for military service other than work history, and even then it may not show up if it's outside of 10 years.

The thing I would be interested in if I were you, since I presume you were not found guilty at court martial of violating Article 83 of the UCMJ, would be having my damn DD-214 corrected. The words "fraudulent enlistment" mean something.
 

tonyracer24

New Member
I say this as a guy who served both enlisted and officer for over 20 years. You didn't do anything wrong. You broke no laws. You were not found guilty of violating the UCMJ at any trial or NJP. It won't matter to the vast majority of employers.

I went to the Airlineapps website...There is a page for military experience. You are going to put your service dates there, and for status you're going to check Other. There is no place to explain Other. They'll look at your stuff and it MAY generate an interview question, but by the time you're at that point you will have practiced your answer. You can also attempt to explain it in your employment history.

There is not a place for military experience at all on the American Airlines app for military service other than work history, and even then it may not show up if it's outside of 10 years.

The thing I would be interested in if I were you, since I presume you were not found guilty at court martial of violating Article 83 of the UCMJ, would be having my damn DD-214 corrected. The words "fraudulent enlistment" mean something.
Wow that really lifts my spirits a lot hearing that from someone who knows about the military, thank you for all the info. It has already been 2 years since this whole thing happened and I'm guessing this will be at least 5 to 7 years in the past by the time I'm even able to interview for an airline. I talked to the ADC at Lackland before I was sent home (I was still at Lackland after basic because my tech school was there too, aircrew) and they told me there actually is a difference between Fraudulent Entry and Fraudulent Enlistment. My DD-214 says Fraudulent Entry, was never court martialed, etc. They also told me if I wanted to I could just not bring it up on apps, but I feel like leaving it out would end bad for me if they find out later. I just didn't want this to be something that would be an automatic no-go.
 

tonyracer24

New Member
This may be a silly question, but do you even need to disclose your time in the military? You said it was completely neutral, like you weren’t even in.
I would love to do that but at the very least they would still wonder about the 5 month gap in my resume. Also I feel like it would come back bad for me if I say I was never in the military then later find out I was. There's a website now where all you need is a name and birthday and any military service that person has will show up, so just not bringing it up doesn't really seem wise.
 

JustinS

Well-Known Member
Wow that really lifts my spirits a lot hearing that from someone who knows about the military, thank you for all the info. It has already been 2 years since this whole thing happened and I'm guessing this will be at least 5 to 7 years in the past by the time I'm even able to interview for an airline. I talked to the ADC at Lackland before I was sent home (I was still at Lackland after basic because my tech school was there too, aircrew) and they told me there actually is a difference between Fraudulent Entry and Fraudulent Enlistment. My DD-214 says Fraudulent Entry, was never court martialed, etc. They also told me if I wanted to I could just not bring it up on apps, but I feel like leaving it out would end bad for me if they find out later. I just didn't want this to be something that would be an automatic no-go.
If you disclose this appropriately and fully on your job application then they’ll already know when you go in for the interview, and you can explain if they ask for more information. Then you’re fully disclosed and don’t have to worry about it. I would definitely seek out some professional advice if I were you though (as it seems you want to) in order to make sure it’s presented in a way on your job application that doesn’t prevent your application from being pulled for an interview invite. Probably a few application review services would be a good way to get it looking good. Also having close friends and close professional colleagues you trust to review your application I think would be a huge benefit to you as well.

Nobody is perfect, but airlines want to hire honesty and integrity. There’s no reason why you couldn’t get an interview. Of course what will weigh more heavily on your application is your background, and experience to date. So hopefully you have stuff that makes up for that part you’re asking us about.
 

Old Pete

Cockpit Authoritarian
I would be surprised if having “Fraudulent Entry” on your DD-214 didn’t cause some problems with certain employers. But I don’t really know. Good luck.
 

Autothrust Blue

Commander Air Group, BSG-75
The thing I would be interested in if I were you, since I presume you were not found guilty at court martial of violating Article 83 of the UCMJ, would be having my damn DD-214 corrected. The words "fraudulent enlistment" mean something.
I was going to say, being a layman in all things warheads-on-foreheads and related matters, isn't that a specific court-martial offense and not something that can just be tossed around lightly?
 

tonyracer24

New Member
If you disclose this appropriately and fully on your job application then they’ll already know when you go in for the interview, and you can explain if they ask for more information. Then you’re fully disclosed and don’t have to worry about it. I would definitely seek out some professional advice if I were you though (as it seems you want to) in order to make sure it’s presented in a way on your job application that doesn’t prevent your application from being pulled for an interview invite. Probably a few application review services would be a good way to get it looking good. Also having close friends and close professional colleagues you trust to review your application I think would be a huge benefit to you as well.

Nobody is perfect, but airlines want to hire honesty and integrity. There’s no reason why you couldn’t get an interview. Of course what will weigh more heavily on your application is your background, and experience to date. So hopefully you have stuff that makes up for that part you’re asking us about.
Thanks for all the info. I was mainly concerned with having this be something that would prevent me from getting an interview and being hired, like seeing this in my history and getting cold feet about hiring me. Also what kind of professional advice should I try to seek out? I would love to, but not sure exactly where to look or who to try to get in touch with. I want to make as sure as possible that this is something I can reasonably do given that history. What I'm trying to avoid is going into massive flight school debt and then never getting hired.

Also what specifically do you mean by background and experience? Besides for my short time in the Air Force, I don't really have any professional work history as I've been a student for most of my time after high school, and working whenever I wasn't. I have work history, just not any professional work history.
 

Dacuj

Well-Known Member
As others have said, just be honest when asked. I don't see any reason that your app would get tossed. You might only have to explain when asked at an interview.

I don't personally have military service but I have a military background and I've never shied away from talking about it.
 

future pilot

Well-Known Member
I know nothing about the military side of this. However i will add, you may want to have a consultation with an AME prior to applying for your 1st class medical. The FAA may make you jump through a few additional hoops due to your anxiety diagnosis. A good AME can help walk you through what/if anything you may need to do before applying.
 

tonyracer24

New Member
I know nothing about the military side of this. However i will add, you may want to have a consultation with an AME prior to applying for your 1st class medical. The FAA may make you jump through a few additional hoops due to your anxiety diagnosis. A good AME can help walk you through what/if anything you may need to do before applying.
The FAA has known about it for well over a decade and it never caused an issue or got my medical deferred. I'm actually in the process of getting my 1st class right now and they never said anything about it.
 

jtrain609

Antisocial Monster
As others have said, just be honest when asked. I don't see any reason that your app would get tossed. You might only have to explain when asked at an interview.

I don't personally have military service but I have a military background and I've never shied away from talking about it.
What does this even mean?
 
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