Getting out of the Marine Corps

Embark

New Member
Hey everyone this is going to be my first post on these boards and I am still a little bit new at this so bear with me.


My enlistment in the Corps will be up in about 9 months or so( taking in to account my terminal leave I have saved up). I have been looking into making a career out of aviation. I have been researching this for the past couple of months and I am somewhat torn between what my common sense tells me and what my heart tells me to do.

My Biggest fear about getting into this is that I am going to jump in and not be able to hack it. I want to go to ATP and get my PPLand do their Airline Career Pilot Program. But that is going to cost me $42,000 dollars that I do not have. So my only option is take out loans for the money. So say I manage to get the loans and pay for the schooling. I make it through the classes and get all my licenses 6 or so months later.

That leaves me with a wife and kid, $42,000 dollars in debt with the option of either trying to work for ATP (getting paid $1,000 dollars a month and having to leave her back at home with the kid staying at her families) or trying to move back to cincinnati and find a job as a CFI at one of the local schools.

Either way I do this I still have a wife who still wants to finish her college degree and a kid who is going to need to be taken care of.

I know that in the long run that making it to the majors is going to be nice but getting there is the biggest obstacle I have ever seen. I just don't want to fail because it isnt just me that I have to take into consideration. I have no idea if I am going to be able to pay my bills and this large debt i am racking up if I try this.

So if anyone has been in this position before please help me out with some advice.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Any desire to do Marine Corps reserve to keep some extra cash inflow, or their deployment rate just as bad as active duty these days?
 

Embark

New Member
I don't think I would make enough money in the reserves to make a difference. They do their one weekend a month deal and only make a minimal amount of money for their weekends. But then again I am not an expert on the reserves. I have done enough deployments in my first four years. I would be worried that I get activated again and have to go back to Iraq.
 

JGriffis

New Member
Also don't give up if it is your dream! You may find that that 42k doesn't hurt as much as you think carrying it out over 15-20 years. A lot of people are 80-100k in the hole when they finish, so do choose your schools carefully! When I first started I was just like you, I wanted to go to ATP and do it all, Private included. Then I started flying at my local FBO while finishing my undergrad, best move I ever made. Then I got myself familiar with aviation, became a safe and good pilot, and now I think i'm much more able to fit myself with such a decision. Now, after getting my private, i'm trying to find places to go finish up my ratings and time...still a difficult task, but I feel i'm much more qualified to make the decision! Good luck!
 

JGriffis

New Member
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I don't think I would make enough money in the reserves to make a difference. They do their one weekend a month deal and only make a minimal amount of money for their weekends. But then again I am not an expert on the reserves. I have done enough deployments in my first four years. I would be worried that I get activated again and have to go back to Iraq.

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Any extra little bit of money helps a ton!
 

Embark

New Member
Yes I have VA benefits. The Montgomery GI bill doesn't cover ATP inc (www.allatps.com) schooling. Even if it did it only covers up to a little over $1,100 dollars a month. I thought I might try to use my GI bill to cover the costs of some online classes at my local college once I got my Licenses and was working as a CFI. I have checked at some colleges and with credits awarded for my military experience and my Aviation Schooling that I would be more than halfway to a Bacholars degree.
 

Cruise

Well-Known Member
check out the program at Ari-Ben Aviator. Very similar to ATP program....in my opinion, better....but to each, his own.

The website is flyaviator

The VA program is very good. As such, there are many veterans in program right now. Of which, I am one.....although, I'm not using VA bennies.....been out to long.

Also, you should check out the Ari-Ben threads in the flight training section of jetcareers
 

zmiller

New Member
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The Montgomery GI bill doesn't cover ATP inc (www.allatps.com) schooling.

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My Biggest fear about getting into this is that I am going to jump in and not be able to hack it. I want to go to ATP and get my PPLand do their Airline Career Pilot Program. But that is going to cost me $42,000 dollars that I do not have. So my only option is take out loans for the money. So say I manage to get the loans and pay for the schooling. I make it through the classes and get all my licenses 6 or so months later.

That leaves me with a wife and kid, $42,000 dollars in debt with the option of either trying to work for ATP (getting paid $1,000 dollars a month and having to leave her back at home with the kid staying at her families) or trying to move back to cincinnati and find a job as a CFI at one of the local schools.


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Have you thought about starting off by getting your private at a VA-compliant part 141 school? I understand the attraction of getting everything out of the way in five months, but it seems to me that going to ATP has a couple pretty strong disadvantages. Taking out a big loan right from the beginning with zero time does seem like a big risk (especially with a family), and ATP will require that. Combine that increased risk with not being able to use the benefits you earned, and ATP seems like it might not be such a great deal...

I also think (admittedly based on observation from a distance and hearsay) that ATP works really well for some people and not so well for others. Again, I think it's a lot more of a gamble than taking it a little slower at a more traditionally-structured school.

It seems to me that you could maximize your benefits and minimize your risk by getting your private at a VA-approved 141 school, then continuing 141 for the rest of your ratings once you're sure this is what you want to do. It wouldn't be as quick as ATP, but you could probably hold a part-time job and still get through ratings at a good pace. There are quite a few folks at my flight school using VA benefits (and quite a few finishing online degrees as well). I bet you could make this route work pretty well for you. ATP could potentially put you at an airline in two years, but I guess it all depends on how much you want to risk.

-Zach
 

Eastcoastguy

New Member
Embark make sure you contribute the extra 600 bucks to the kicker before you EAS. I did and raised my G.I. Bill a couple hundred bucks a month. Also being a Veteran you will recieve grants for tuition. I have been going to school for over a year, and have only had to buy books. Another bonus is the V.A. workstudy program while you are in school.
 

danielsexton

Well-Known Member
Why not enroll at a college or university with a aviation program, that way you can use your GI bill, Stafford loans, etc and still learn to fly and guess what, when you graduate not only do you have your ratings you have a piece of paper that says you have a bachelors degree! (Which is something you will need if you ever want to work for a major.) I was in ORD last month waiting for 6 hours on a UAL flight to ATL and met a guy who was interviewing with Air Wis (UAL Xpress) who went to Auburn University. Well since I live in Auburn I started talking to him more and found out that after graduating shortly after 9/11 with a string a ratings (can’t remember them all it was very late) including his ATP he went to work for a Cargo outfit ATL, and built up more time and “real world experience” and was now upgrading to a regional. I am not sure what school cost him but surely it was less than college + flight school, kind of killing 2 birds with one stone and saving money at the same time. Just my .02
 

UIPilot45X

Well-Known Member
My current student just got out of the air force. She was a load master on a C-130. She enrolled in the flight program here at the University of Illinois and the government is paying for everything. Even if she fails a flight course/checkride the government pays for the flight time for her to finish it. I would suggest that going to a Univerisity, whichever one that may be is probably the best decision. You're gonna need to get a college degree anyway, might as well kill two birds with one stone. Just my opinion though, good luck to you and your family. Also, if you already have some college credit it would take you less time to finish, not to mention you could stay over the summers to catch up or whatever.
 

Grabo172

Well-Known Member
You should be able to use your GI Bill for everything over your pirvate as long as you fill out your paperwork correctly. If the school/FBO you go to isn't VA approved yet, it just takes talking to the manager and contacting the VA to get the ball rolling to get them approved.

I am still active duty navy and while on my last shore tour, I used my GI Bill for my Instrument, Commercial, and CFI. They pay 60% back ( you have to pay upfront somehow, I did it through student loans because I was also doing a degree program at Schenectady County Community Colloege in NY) on all your flight time expenses (Plane and Instruction).

But I do Recommend a degree program somewhere. Lots of schools out there (I'm personnaly biased toward SCCC and UVSC becasue that's where I'm going)

Have fun as a civilian, and I'll join you in 2007 (after 15 years)
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Hey everyone this is going to be my first post on these boards and I am still a little bit new at this so bear with me.


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Oohrah, DevilDog!

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My enlistment in the Corps will be up in about 9 months or so( taking in to account my terminal leave I have saved up). I have been looking into making a career out of aviation. I have been researching this for the past couple of months and I am somewhat torn between what my common sense tells me and what my heart tells me to do.


[/ QUOTE ]

I know exactly how you feel. I reached the end of my active service in Feb of 2001, and after 8 years of service, my heart and my common sense weren't even speaking the same language.

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My Biggest fear about getting into this is that I am going to jump in and not be able to hack it.


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Hey, if you can hack it in the Corps for 4 years without killing yourself, killing anybody around you, getting more than 3 NJP's or spending time in the brig, you can make it in aviation. Let me be real with you, Marine to Marine. There are alot of non-hackers in this field. They whine, they bi^&h, they get their feelings hurt......trust me, you've got it.

[ QUOTE ]

I want to go to ATP and get my PPLand do their Airline Career Pilot Program. But that is going to cost me $42,000 dollars that I do not have.


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As danielsexton said before, why not go to a four year school and knock out your degree AND your flying at the same time, while using both your GI Bill and Federal Stafford loans (which means reaaalllyyyyy low interest rate)? After 4 years in school, I'll be looking at about $25,000 in student loan debt (at about 4%), and I've only worked for about 1 year of my college experience. I've flown, partied, kept my grades up, traveled, rented movies, traveled, bought gadgets....you get the point. Between the G.I. Bill, a good cheap state school, and low-interest student loans, you can make it happen relatively well. If you're interested, I can make you a great breakdown of how to make the G.I. Bill work for you.

Have you made the extra $600 contribution yet? Do it, and do it soon. That works out to $150 more money each month, for 36 months. That works out to like $5400 over the course of your education. I don't know about you, but that's one hell of an investment.

[ QUOTE ]

So my only option is take out loans for the money. So say I manage to get the loans and pay for the schooling. I make it through the classes and get all my licenses 6 or so months later.

That leaves me with a wife and kid, $42,000 dollars in debt with the option of either trying to work for ATP (getting paid $1,000 dollars a month and having to leave her back at home with the kid staying at her families) or trying to move back to cincinnati and find a job as a CFI at one of the local schools.


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Now, maybe I'm just an optimist, but that sure in the hell beats being a part of the 26th MEU, waiting to get off of the Nassau so that you can go home to Tarawa Terrace to see your family again - hoping that you can pick up Staff Sergeant, knowing damn well that the chances are against you...well, you get the point.

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Either way I do this I still have a wife who still wants to finish her college degree and a kid who is going to need to be taken care of.


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With some good careful planning and some discipline, you'll be able to do it. And you might even be able to get her through school at the same time. Lot's of financial aid out there. You're a member of the military, married with a child. After your first year, you can get a wholllleeee lot of financial aid!!!

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I know that in the long run that making it to the majors is going to be nice but getting there is the biggest obstacle I have ever seen. I just don't want to fail because it isnt just me that I have to take into consideration. I have no idea if I am going to be able to pay my bills and this large debt i am racking up if I try this.


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Like I said, go the University route, and this becomes a moot point. Unlike a career education load from Sallie Mae, et al., the federal government is pretty good about a borrower being broke. If you don't make enough money to pay, they'll work with you!! You can just start paying when you make enough money!! Really, something to think about...You're going to need the degree anyway, right?

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So if anyone has been in this position before please help me out with some advice.

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Anything you need, and questions - just let me know! Remember, you're not alone. I go to MTSU, and there are Marines everywhere. One of my best friends, Shane, goes to school with me. We served together for about 4 years, and he left the Corps (early) on a school cut. Left Jacksonville and came back to TN. I got out 6 months later, went to school in NC at a two year school. Finished there, transferred to MTSU, and Shane and I are in school together. (On a side note, Shane is graduating in May, and will be commissioned as a 2nd LT the day he graduates. It truely is a full circle...). I've got about 6 or 8 Marines that I BS around with every day. It's a big world out there, but you can do it!!!!

Semper Fi, Marine.

Lloyd
 

Embark

New Member
Well with 4 years in the Marine Corps and all the flight training I would have if I went somewhere like ATP inc. I will have a lot of stuff that transfers to credits. So I thought I could use my GI bill to pay for Schooling at night or Distance education. As long as it is a regionally acredited university I am pretty sure that a degree is a degree. I mean I am not going to an Ivy League school. So the curriculum is more important than the name of the school.

I even thought of getting my PPL from the airport in Palm Springs and then trying out somewhere like ATP whenever I got to the end of my enlistment. That way I use my terminal leave so I can still get paid while I am in school. Then I would have all my certs so if I didnt want to work for them I could move back home and work as a CFI somewhere local and go to school at night or on the internet or something.

JUST A THOUGHT
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
You should be able to use your GI Bill for everything over your pirvate as long as you fill out your paperwork correctly. If the school/FBO you go to isn't VA approved yet, it just takes talking to the manager and contacting the VA to get the ball rolling to get them approved.

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Ummm, who told you that? That's not quite so. If the school is 141, then it can be done (if the school is even interested). If the school is strictly part 61, ain't happenin'!
 

fsiflyer

Well-Known Member
Hoorah devil dog,
As a former Marine myself I commend you on completing your tour of duty. Like it was said before, if you could hack the corps. you can hack aviation. Stick in it and don't quit. Times will be be tough but you and your family can get through it. I would really look hard into a college program and instruct. I attended flight safety personally and it was great for me but I am heavily in debt now. Stick it out and you will do just fine and don't forget your new aviation brothers that can always help you out by pointing you to the right course...but only you can make the decisions on which course to take. Good luck...Semper Fi.
 

tonyw

Well-Known Member
I don't know if you'd consider changing services, but the Air Force reserve will pay some money for your ratings beyond the private.

MikeD might be able to give you more insight into that one. I was going to sign up but the recruiter never put any effort into trying to get me in as an officer and kept on selling me on why it was better to be enlisted. One look at the pay scale told me that he was wrong!
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
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. . .the recruiter never put any effort into trying to get me in as an officer and kept on selling me on why it was better to be enlisted.

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Because he gets nothing for officer candidates!!!
 
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