Trying to fly for the military

SatelliteBeachPilot

Well-Known Member
I am a 300tt, 150 multi, commercial rated pilot with my CFI, CFII, MEI, looking to possibly join the Air Force or Air National Gaurd. I also have a Bachelor's Degree from UCF in Business Administration.

My question is, do my hours I have now mean anything to the Air Force and the ratings I hold?

Is there anyway to get a guarantee that I will have a flying job?

Any help is appreciated, I didn't want to call a recruiter until I had some more information. Thanks!
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
My question is, do my hours I have now mean anything to the Air Force and the ratings I hold?
Acording to some people I've talked to, having your certs might help you get selected. However it's just one of several factors. You will still start from square one with millitary flight school. There have been students at UPT with previous experiance who have flunked out, so previous experiance can sometimes be a handicap.
 

Zondaracer

Well-Known Member
Your hours play a small role. When applying for a pilot slot in the Air Force, you will have to take the TBAS and the AFOQT, two different standardized tests. Then they will take your flight hours, and put the three criteria in a secret formula. You will get a score out of 100 that is factored into your overall pilot application package, this score is called the PCSM.

Does getting a 100 mean you will become a pilot? No, they look at other factors as well, especially in the Guard. Does getting a low score mean that you won't become a pilot? Not necessarily, I have known people who had a score of 6 and still got a pilot slot. They look at you as an overall person.

How do hours help? Well, if you do ok on the AFOQT and TBAS, with 0 hours you may have a score of 50. If you add hours, 1-10 hours may boost your score to a 71. 11-40 may boost it up to 81. 40-100 may boost it to 85. 101-150 may boost it to 87, and 200+ hours may boost your score to a 91. This is not 100% accurate, since the formula is a secret to me.

Now, in AFROTC, this score only accounted for 15% of your overall pilot package, so to speak. I don't think they care about the score at the academy, and I don't know about OTS/Guard slots. If you go to wantscheck.com, you will see that people post their PCSM score, but also their GPA and other information. I know in the guard, the interview is an extremely important factor. I have known people who got hired at guard units and didn't know anybody, but these people applied, went to the interview, and blew the panel away. Most of the times, you need to know somebody from inside, but they are always looking for the most qualified candidate.

So yes, hours do count, but not that much. Sometimes, it is the fact that you took the initiative to start flight training on your own is enough to show a genuine interest. What is important to remember, is don't walk in and think you are some sierra hotel pilot because you've got an instructor certificate. The ratings themselves won't do so much for your application, to my knowledge. If and once you get to go to UPT, don't advertise your ratings. They will expect you to learn "the Air Force way" and treat you as if you have never flown before. You will even be required to do the 20 hour IFS (introductory flight screening) which is in a Diamond Eclispse, regardless of what rating or how many hours you hold.

Best of luck
 

SatelliteBeachPilot

Well-Known Member
^thanks for the info.

I'm friends with a retired General who was also an Astronaut on a Gemini mission and 2 Apollo's, he's a neighbor of mine. I can get a letter of recommendation from him, maybe that will help as well?
 

brett529

New Member
^I'm friends with a retired General who was also an Astronaut on a Gemini mission and 2 Apollo's, he's a neighbor of mine. I can get a letter of recommendation from him, maybe that will help as well?
Yes. You will need to get five letters of recommendation for your OTS package. It's especially helpful if these letters are from current or retired military personnel.

Also, check out www.airforceots.com. Lots of great info there.
 

Zondaracer

Well-Known Member
Definitely get letters of recommendation. Three/five if you need a number. And think about who the audience is.... other officers/pilots.
 

skydog

New Member
I am a 300tt, 150 multi, commercial rated pilot with my CFI, CFII, MEI, looking to possibly join the Air Force or Air National Gaurd. I also have a Bachelor's Degree from UCF in Business Administration.

My question is, do my hours I have now mean anything to the Air Force and the ratings I hold?

Is there anyway to get a guarantee that I will have a flying job?

Any help is appreciated, I didn't want to call a recruiter until I had some more information. Thanks!
If you couldn't get a flying job, would you still join? If not, then don't join. The military is about service, not self-service.

Also, have you thought whether or not you have the ability to take another's life? I mean REALLY thought about it?
 

Zondaracer

Well-Known Member
:yeahthat: the only way to get a guaranteed pilot slot is through the Guard, but you still have to make it through UPT. If you don't cut it, you will have to find a new job. I believe that through OTS, you don't do the flight medical until after OTS, so you could go in with a pilot slot and be grounded, which happens. You have to be prepared to do something else just in case, and yes it really could be underground with no windows in a frozen land.
 

SatelliteBeachPilot

Well-Known Member
^To give you an honest answer, if I couldn't get a job flying, then no I would not join. You can call me selfish but flying is my dream and I am trying to find the best way to facilitate it, what better way then by also serving my country? As far as service, there are still plenty of things you can do outside of the military to serve your country.

As for taking another's life, yes I absolutely could, given the circumstances of being in combat and protecting my fellow Americans.
 

Hacker15e

Dunning–Kruger Observer
^To give you an honest answer, if I couldn't get a job flying, then no I would not join. You can call me selfish but flying is my dream and I am trying to find the best way to facilitate it
Then I recommend you steer clear of the military. There's a reason they call it "the service"....it's not Burger King where you can "have it your way".
 

Velocipede

New Member
Then I recommend you steer clear of the military. There's a reason they call it "the service"....it's not Burger King where you can "have it your way".
I agree. If you can't honestly say you would serve if you bust out of flight school, keep looking elsewhere.

Remember, in the military, the mission is not flying. Airplanes are weapons systems used to deliver ordinance or logistics. You fly to accomplish the mission. And you spend a immense amount of time learning the mission.

The guys who are the LEAST successful in the military are the guys who are just in it for the flying.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
^To give you an honest answer, if I couldn't get a job flying, then no I would not join.
That's fine, but there you have your answer.

I see no problem with saying "I want to join the millitary and hopefully get a pilot slot." However you need to be fully prepared for the 50% (or better) chance that you won't be flying anything much less a F-15. If you wouldn't be OK on a serving on a submarine because your eyesight wasn't quite good enough, then don't apply. The Navy sub comunity is largely composed of type As who happen ot have bad eyesight.
 

Velocipede

New Member
Mech is correct. Over half of my AOCS class never made it past NAMI. NPQed.

For those of you who are acronym impaired:

AOCS - Aviation Officer Candidate School
NPQ - Not Physically Qualified
NAMI - Naval Aviation Medical Institute

Then there were the guys who couldn't swim, pass the dunkers or the obstacle course.

And of course, the guys who flunked out of the academic program.

So, even when I went through and they were hurting for candidates, about 1 in 3 or 4 actually made it to the flight line. And of those the Navy mandated a 12% washout rate.
 

mjg407

Well-Known Member
Well, I've been on the waterboard, in the jet dunker and the helo dunker. The helo dunker was by far the worst.
Helo Dunker, Blind Folded and having to use the main exit, the worst. 3 things that I don't find pleasant by themselves mixed together....:mad:
 

rmepilot

New Member
Slightly off topic, but for those who want to fly for the military, dunker training sucks!!! Just one step away from waterboarding if you ask me. ;)
I can't agree more. After 3 visits to the Helo dunker (Oceania, NasJax and Pensacola), I never want to go back. Personally, I had more issues with HEEDS training and the "chair" than the dunker itself.

Also, I have less concern for my safety flying low level through Taliban strong holds, than I did flying off shore, zero-illum in a single engine helicopter. :panic:
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
I can't agree more. After 3 visits to the Helo dunker (Oceania, NasJax and Pensacola), I never want to go back. Personally, I had more issues with HEEDS training and the "chair" than the dunker itself.
As a scuba diver, HEEDs wasn't a problem for me. Being dunked upside down in the water while blindfolded and strapped into a cargo helicopter mockup - that sucked!

Also, I have less concern for my safety flying low level through Taliban strong holds, than I did flying off shore, zero-illum in a single engine helicopter. :panic:
F-that!! What are you doing that for? You in the 160th?
 
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