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  1. Thank you all for the sharing your experiences and providing your advice. You guys made it clear that I need to speak up about my condition and advocate for my health without the fear of MEB. I’ll keep you guys updated.
  2. Hello, I fly a jet equipped with an ejection seat. During a deployment, I started developing neck, back, and hamstring pain. I notified my flight doc and she attributed my pain to muscle soreness and suggested I wait to see if it heals on its own. Two months later, I woke up with excruciating pain. MRI results concluded that a cervical disc tore and my nerves are being “severely” pinched (annular tear, spinal stenosis, cervical radiculopathy are the medical terms). My lumbar spine has the same condition at a “moderate” level (which explains the hamstring pain). In addition, my pectoral and tricep muscles are not responding and are atrophying. The flight doc suggested immediate surgery, but I declined. I can’t prove that the ejection seat caused this, but I don’t have any other explanation. Consequently, I was placed on a full profile for 6 weeks. My profile has since expired, and I haven’t flown yet. As long as I don’t aggravate my neck or back, I’m not in pain anymore. However, I don’t want to reherniate my spine again. I haven’t followed up with my flight doc yet, and I have an appointment with an neurologist off-base for a second opinion. Could someone please share their insight to what this might mean for my flying career? Could I advocate that I no longer fly ejection seat aircraft (cross-flow) to prevent further damage to my spine? If I speak up, could I be MEB’d? What questions should I ask my neurologist and flight doc? I understand the best answer is to talk to my flight doc, but I really value this board’s knowledge and experiences and wanted to hear your guy’s opinion first. Thank you!
  3. Why do you say “they certainly won’t get any more coming in to the active duty squadrons in the foreseeable future”? I’ve heard recent rumors about T-38s trained MAF ACs/IPs requesting to teach T-38s being denied...
  4. Ant-man, To answer your question, leadership is already aware of your situation. You could raise your concerns again during the next all-call coming up, but expect to learn nothing new. In my limited perspective, they still don’t have a gameplan to fix the manning restructure. The short term impact of your situation is you’ll complete MQT and upgrade to AC/SML significantly later than your peers in other airframes. However, since the whole B-1 community is affected, it won’t affect your AF career early on. Don’t worry too much about flying for the airlines now, but acknowledge if B-1 production doesn’t improve significantly for the remaining duration of your ADSC, you’ll be less competitive for the major airlines. To mitigate that, you can volunteer to fly white jets and/or fly for a regional for a bit once you separate.
  5. I've read Jason's articles regarding Airline vs. Military pay on aviationbull.com. I was wondering, does it make financial sense to stay in the reserves if you're flying for a major airline? Would the time spent being a traditional reservist be better spent taking an extra trip a month for an airline?
  6. Question: With a continued decrease in the number of pilots coming up for promotion each year (due to the pilot shortage), will it be less competitive to promote to O-5 and above? Or does the promotion rate roughly remain the same?
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