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JS last won the day on May 6 2016

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About JS

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  • Birthday 05/08/1977

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  1. Yeah, I agree that hitting the lotto and having the big 3 all in the same city is totally ideal, but definitely easier said than done. Who wants to live right in NYC, Detroit, or Atlanta anyway (kidding if you are from there). But I try to do my best. Currently 2 hours from the airport, 4 hours from the unit (working on getting into a closer unit), and in town with most family/friends. It's like trying to maximize a math equation with 3 variables, and aside from looking for a closer Guard unit, there's not much I can do as far as moving without taking a QOL loss in some other way. But if you can maximize at least one or two parameters (like living in domicile, or close), than at least do what you can.
  2. I thought it was a decent program, then again, I'm kind of book nerdy like that and enjoy discussing war and politics with other smart people. I went in 2015 before we had our contract and while I was on first-year pay working weekends and holidays. It was more than a little bump in both pay and QOL to go to ACSC vs endure first 1 and year 1.5 pay and seniority for me. Also, it helped that i lived somewhat locally to Montgomery and didn't have to move the family the family there. Now, I would not even contemplate war college or anything long like that because it would definitely be a cut in pay and QOL at this point. But ACSC worked for me at the time.
  3. Really good, comprehensive summary. I have heard bits and pieces of what you said above, but that's a great report. I have had more than one jumpseater shoot the shit with me about the above issues, and yes, it depends on the contract, relative movement, etc. Seems the SW guys (and cargo FedEx/UPS) guys are real happy with their lives and their company. I had a few United guys complement Delta on how well Delta actually wants to run an airline. So, yeah, I personally would prioritize if the company had a base near home (the wife's home, that is). Non-commuting is a life changer. 2nd, I would try for an "old" company with the quickest retirements coming - AA, then United. Third I would look at some of the other things like pay, QOL, etc.
  4. I got selected for ACSC in res and took off for that only after about 8 months out of training at DAL. I got a call from the chief pilot congratulating me on selection for command and staff and how it was a big deal to be going to such a prestigious school. Got back, requaled, finished probation and haven't looked back (nor gotten any other calls or dirty looks about taking leave during my first year).
  5. Along those lines, is there some kind of published list of do no go countries for U.S. military? A friend keeps telling me how great Ukraine is and how much they love American's. Great exchange rate too apparently.
  6. Hey, does anyone have any insight on traveling to Russia/China while on airline duty and also holding a U.S. clearance? Seems we would not be able to travel to those places on our own vacation, so flying there on an assigned trip with the airline would generate the same paperwork/clearance suspicions as a vacation visit, right? Is there a process, or do guys just refuse to fly there with the airline? New to international. Thanks.
  7. JS

    Gun Talk

    Yeah, I think I put a $100 Holsun red dot on it, and I love it. I also love the front MLOC - I found a $15 dollar bipod on amazon that is amazing quality for the price. Figured I would experiment with bipods/red dots on this thing before altering my AR15s too much. This thing looks, feels and operates a lot like the real thing - minus the lighter weight and lack of any kickback, it makes a great AR-15 trainer gun for 5 cents per round. I think I tried the Federal copper tips, Federal "semi auto" rounds, that cheap thunderbolt crap, and a few CCIs. Goes without saying that 22s are finicky on ammo, but that tactical CCI round was money. http://www.cci-ammunition.com/products/detail.aspx?use=1&loadNo=0956
  8. JS

    Gun Talk

    ^^This is a very fun gun - probably my favorite gun to shoot. And yes, my 8 and 9 year olds have been shooting it too, as well as my wife (who is supposedly afraid of the AR-15.) My 15/22 was having a FTE or two every single magazine. I finally settled in on that special CCI "tactial" 40 grain ammo, which is specifically designed for this gun. It looks very similar to the 40gr mini-mags, which is the only ammo that cleanly feeds my Savage 64 without jamming. But I actually emailed CCI and asked the difference - they said the 40gr "tactical" has a slightly shorter nose compared to the standard 40gr mini-mag, thus optimized for the feed mechanism on the S&W 15/22. Also, my gunsmith said these guns take a large amount of rounds to properly break in, due to the polymer parts having small burrs, etc. Not sure how true this is, but after about 500 rounds - some with federal and some with CCI - mine doesn't jam any more and it is a ton of fun to shoot. Suppressor should be here in about 2-3 more months to make it the ultimate backyard toy.
  9. Man, that's a loaded question with lots of twists and turns for lots of different circumstances as far as your goals at the airline and military and finances. I am an IMA in the Reserves, so I usually do my military in two, 2-weeek chunks per year, with a few single days peppered throughout the rest of the year for readiness items. On my first trip I lose a little money but I make a little money on the second trip due to knocking out so many double-drill periods in a row (narrowbody pay). I assume I would really lose money either way if I were widebody and definitely if captain. And, of course there are the guys who just fly their full schedule at the airline and work the drill and a few flying days in addition to the airline, as opposed to dropping an airline trip. So they make more money, but work a lot more. Day for day, even at year 2 narrowbody pay, you still lose money for each day of a trip that you drop to be replaced with a military day. Other factors to incentivize people to stay in the military, other than total maximization of finances at the airline: - camaraderie is basically nil at the airline, so the Reserves keeps up a network of regular friends to shoot the shit with - military flying breaks up the boredom of airline flying - ^^^as mentioned, retirement pay and healthcare - having a good backup plan is a good idea. I had 4 friends hired in 2000 who were very grateful that they had the military to fall back on for full time jobs while furloughed - healthcare costs are relatively high (at least at Delta) compared to the guys buying into Tricare Reserve Select. I think the civilians pay about $400-600 more in premiums per month, and from the horror stories I have heard, they pay anywhere from $2K-$10K more out of pocket then a typical TRS medical plan reserve guy does.
  10. ^^^Probably the most important factor for me too. I cringe when I hear about how guys had to leave the house 6AM just to commute in for a 2PM sign in when I can leave the house after sending the kids to school, doing a few hours of office/house work, having lunch with the wife, and then heading in to work for day 1. Same thing on the back end going home - I'm always home for dinner, but the guys who sign out at 3PM might have a hard time making dinner at home depending on flights, etc.
  11. Good post, man. I had heard SW had a "fun" culture but never really understood any of the specific details as to why. Thanks.
  12. No. There have been plenty of people hired at the majors with no PIC/signing for the aircraft time.
  13. I can give you my three cents: I know a few people "in management" and have talked to them on a few occasions, so I know they notice the blatant military abuse. One time I went to the chief pilot because my boss emailed me about working an exercise that caused me to drop a trip that was close to a holiday. I thought it looked fishy, so I just brought it to his attention just to sort of clear the air. He said, even without the email, that it was no big deal. He went on to give me a few examples of things that are "noticed by management" and are a big deal such as _____________ (fill in the blanks with the blatant military abuse well documented in the previous several dozen pages of this post - flying TPs while on airline sick leave, dropping holiday trips to do a single drill makeup on the Friday of a holiday, etc). It is easily noticed and tracked by management from what I have seen.
  14. JS

    Gun Talk

    Maybe we need a "tool talk" thread too. Funny you say that about Harbor Freight, because a very good friend and his dad own a fairly decent sized mechanics shop and they have a decent number of HF tools. The dad's advice: anything heavy with metal - shop crane, jack stands, etc - or tools not used every day like impact sockets and special crows feet wrenches, they will buy HF tools. He was actually ripping apart a customers engine with that new $99 12V Earthquake ratchet from HF. The lifetime warranty on things like wrenches and sockets make it a no-brainer, even for two pros like them, as long as you are not exchanging stuff every week because it breaks.
  15. JS

    Gun Talk

    Yeah, that's what I meant - when the FFL writes down the serial number in his log. Not really registering, but I assume this is why people want to make their own 80% untraceable AR?
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