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VigilanteNav

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About VigilanteNav

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  1. As a current ROTC Det CC (Guard VLPAD'r), here's what I know about the process. First of all, you will need to get "hired" by the ANG unit before ROTC will give you the EA (Enrollment Authorization) that officially designates you as going to the ANG upon commissioning. You can't apply to the ANG in general. So, if you are hoping to join the ANG unit you currently belong to (or did) and they want you, that is a good start. As of the last briefing I got on this program (a couple weeks ago), the ANG gets 15 total EAs a year. Since the program in its current form is new and not well publicized, those 15 slots are not being fully utilized. So, you should have a decent shot at getting one (unless there has been a rush on them in the last couple weeks). From what I understand of the situation, the individual ANG units may have no idea about this program so you may need to educate them on it (PM me if you want ideas on that part). Knowing how up to speed the Guard Bureau is (A1 specifically), they might be giving out bad poop to the units so don't settle for some response like "we checked with the Bureau and they said the program doesn't exist (AKA, I'm too lazy to get off facebook and make a phone call)"...I once got promoted way earlier than I probably should have by not taking the first no for an answer and making a few calls. Good luck and I'd like to see this work too!
  2. Drone Pilots: We Don’t Get No Respect

    Seems to me that if you concur that there is really no solution (that is actually going to be executed beyond what the current "get well plan" see below) on the capes side then you have to lower the commitments side. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/uas/2017/06/06/air-force-rpa-get-well-plan-on-track/ So, CSAF needs to say the AF can only do 55 CAPs (pick a number lower than 60) and other entities need to pick up more if the total commitments cannot be lowered? As far as the other entities are concerned, is any other partner country getting into the RPA (with strike capes) biz? Canada, UK? (I am not a RPA bubba so just throwing my outside view 2 cents in)
  3. Drone Pilots: We Don’t Get No Respect

    Herkbum, I take it you are former Herk Driver turned RPA Driver? I'm a former Herk Nav turned ROTC Det CC and we just sent three new Lts to the RPA pipeline so I'm interested in the prospects for them. In reading the article you posted I thought of the old stories of the usage of Herks in the Desert. Remember taking a pallet of Stars and Stripes (or insert other very useful item here) from point A to point B only to have another Herk take that same pallet from point B back to point A. All in the name of ensuring the Combatant CC didn't lose any of their current assets due to lack of mission reqs. Any of this going on in the RPA world in the AOR....or, are all the missions very legit and required at this ops tempo? I have no knowledge of what is actual going on over there in this world so just throwing out the question.
  4. Roth IRA???

    In reviewing this whole thread, I didn't see anyone mention that you can now choose the ROTH TSP option for any TSP contributions. I will be upfront that I am a firm believer in ROTH IRAs (I chose that option as soon as it was first available around '97) and therefore jumped on the ROTH TSP option as soon as I saw it. <<CAVEAT: I am not a tax professional and am purely stating my opinions based on my own research and view of the world...your individual situation is not the same as mine and results will vary.>> I am gladly giving up any tax savings now to reap the tax free withdrawals when I'm retired (*tax free withdrawal of the gains too). Granted there are nasty articles out there now and again about how Congress could change the laws and go after our IRA accounts at some point but I choose to believe that won't happen and if it does I will meet you in DC with a pitchfork in hand. So, if you are a ROTH believer like I am then go to your TSP account and choose the ROTH option for future contributions. If I were a brand spanking new AF member in 2018, I would elect to contribute a minimum of 5% of my base pay to TSP to take advantage of the full matching under BRS (you are only auto-enrolled at 3% of base pay so you are "losing" out on free money if you do nothing) and I would designate it all as ROTH (see above for my take on the ROTH). Another comment to those unfamiliar with ROTH vs. Traditional retirement accounts is that I believe (quick google search on the topic can confirm) we are in a period in history where our effective Federal Tax rate is as low as ever (post 1940) (and that was before the recent Tax Cut Bill passed). So, would you rather pay taxes now at historically low rates or 20-30 years in the future when who knows what the rates will be (I might put some money on them being higher)? Another "fun" exercise you can do is start predicting your retirement income and what will be taxed or not taxed. For example, Soc Security payments (taxed), Military Retirement Pay (taxed), Traditional IRA/TSP withdrawals (taxed), etc. I bet you will be like ...hmmm, how could I get some retirement income that isn't being taxed. ROTH! There is also a "back door ROTH" contribution option out there. I have researched it but not executed on that. I probably would have to consult with a tax professional to ensure I did it correctly. On the "where to invest it" side of things, for the non-TSP accounts, a good book to read by novice investors (or like me...investors who have tried to beat the market and failed) is "The Intelligent Investor" by Benjamin Graham. Warren Buffett calls it "By far the best book on investing ever written". So, I would be way out of my league to try to provide any better recommendation of the book. I got the revised addition by Jason Zweig that provides up to date comments on each of the chapters to apply to current day investing (original edition was written in the '70s). It is on my iBooks so I can refer to it when I feel like doing some risky investing (AMZN, TSLA, Bitcoin...get my drift?). Cutting to the chase...previous thread comments on using Vanguard and other such low cost investing options are spot on. Take a look at www.betterment.com as well for hands off investing (robo advising) at low cost. Final comments/thread hijack if you will, if anyone really wants to ramp up their savings and even retire "early", I really recommend Mr. Money Mustache's site (I found it through another Baseops Forum post)... https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/ Few things I'm executing on per the advice from the website...I'm renting a house that is well below my BAH (I'm on a three year VLPAD EAD tour so no reason to buy where I'm at), I'm renting out the house I own at my previous location for well over my monthly mortgage payment, I can walk or bike to my office and do most of the time, I rarely eat out (thank you to my wonderful wife for all the amazing meals!), and paying myself first (IRAs, TSP, and now an early retirement fund).
  5. AD to Guard

    I can't weigh in on whether or not you should get the DD214 but I feel fairly positive you should not have to go to OTS again. There is a program right now that ROTC graduates can go straight into the Guard (just need sponsorship from an ANG unit). So, basically similar to what you are doing (albeit with a "break in service"). Being a long time Guardsman, never settle for "Guard Bureau is saying". Sometimes you just need to find the right person to ask. PM me if you are still getting road blocked. I know some peeps at the Bureau. Cheers!
  6. I recommend contacting the units (start at their Recruiting office first) you would like to join and finding out if they have an upcoming board. They are likely unaware of this program so you'll have to explain it. They also may be only be considering candidates with their degrees in hand. But, you may be able to convince them to take a look at you and this program with the right attitude and credentials. The pilots in the unit might not care but the recruiting office should be happy as it will save the unit an OTS slot. If one (or ten) unit(s) says no, don't let it stop you. Many future Guard and Reserve Pilots interview at many units before finding the right fit.
  7. Where do you want to live/what type of airframe do you want to fly?
  8. The Congressman is back yo

    As an ANG C-130H nav, there are definitely training events that could be reduced/eliminated from a pilot's current readiness requirements to allow them to maintain a fully mission ready status with less days required at their unit (given the current real world ops requirements). Additionally, it would be an outright boon to morale and retention to eliminate the Afghan Air Advisor mission (or contract it out if it will continue). If not entirely familiar with this, let me know and I can elaborate. It could decimate the instructor force in the ANG the longer it goes. Guys will go to the desert for 60 or 120 days with their units but there are not many who will go for 180 to fly as Afghan Air Force crew members.
  9. Herk future in AFRC/ANG

    Rebooting this thread with the recent release of the FY2017 Force Structure Changes... http://www.afrc.af.mil/News/tabid/5048/Article/655595/af-officials-announce-fy-2017-budget-force-structure-changes.aspx Of note on the MAF side, Charlotte and Elmo (Guard) and Pittsburgh (AFRC) go from Herks to Budas. And Baltimore gets Herks in FY20 when the Hawgs go to the boneyard (maybe). Of course, until this all changes again.
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