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About Stoker

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  1. Don't know a ton about the unsponsored route, but at the AFRC board that selected me they picked up like 33/36 sponsored applicants and 3/6 unsponsored. So your odds are reduced a fair bit. And some boards just don't accept unsponsored candidates at all. I failed depth perception at MEPS as well. I was sent by my recruiter to the nearest base for a full eye workup with the med group, which I passed. I think that's a waiverable thing though, same for hearing at that level (if you're at 30 then I think you're only 5 away from passing). Ask in the medical questions forum (after searching, of course). You probably do need a PPL to go unsponsored. You probably don't need one to get sponsored by a heavy squadron. The Guard B-1 squadron is hiring people with ~20 hours, heavy squadrons are telling people with 0 hours to get a few and come back next board. If you have the money, get it, it'll save you six weeks at IFT and at least as many more waiting around to go and then waiting for UPT to start after you get back. I would only enlist if your long term life plans are fulfilled by you enlisting. Doing so as a stepping stone to becoming a pilot is a high-risk, low-reward gamble (as there's a good chance you're unhappy, and a small chance you improve your odds of going to UPT).
  2. "Unsponsored boards" are a Reserve thing, every Active Duty board is unsponsored. The Reserve unsponsored board is not going to be helpful with a waiver, you need a squadron that likes/needs you in your corner pushing the paperwork forward (plus, the unsponsored boards come and go depending on needs of the Reserve). Fighters would seem unlikely for you. From what I've seen they are much less likely to do age waivers, and most require a PPL at minimum. Going enlisted ANG and hoping to get picked up for UPT isn't the worst idea ever, it's slightly better than invading Russia in the winter. Really, though, it's a big "risk" (depending on how negative you'd view spending your time enlisted) for not a huge increase in likelihood of being picked up for UPT (as you'd now definitely need a waiver, and one for being 32 or 33, not just 30). My advice is that you should apply for Reserve heavy squadrons. They're hiring tons of people right now and your scores are competitive for them. Given how the Reserves have streamlined the process post squadron hire (AFRC boards every six weeks instead of six months, surplus of dedicated Reserve spots at OTS/UPT), you would have a good chance of getting to UPT before your 30th birthday and thus not require a waiver. That's barring any screwups with your medical at MEPS/FC1, neither of which are guaranteed. For comparison, my time between hire and UPT was 14 months, and that was with four months of delays for medical shenanigans and three months of waiting on the AFRC board.
  3. Stoker

    Leaving family behind for UPT?

    Not quite. If you're AD with dependents and come to UPT unaccompanied, you lose your BAH if you live in government quarters. So you have to find a house to split, and roommates, at your UPT base, and you only get BAH for the base you're assigned to, not where your family lives. This can be a pretty significant $$$ difference versus the Guard and Reserve folks living in the dorms for free and collecting BAH for their spouse living in Miami, say.
  4. Stoker

    Leaving family behind for UPT?

    It's not uncommon here. Two people in my class are in that situation (no kids though). Guard you should get BAH for your wife's house, and be able to live in the dorms free. So there's that.
  5. Stoker

    Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

    If you mean the shortened course, we're in Week 4 of academics.
  6. Stoker

    OTS/ OCS chances and questions

    You can apply, your chances are significantly reduced. Most fighter squadrons and some tanker/transport squadrons require a PPL to apply. Hours also factor significantly into your PCSM score, so it hurts you on both ends. That said, people with no / few hours have been hired, it just means you need to be likeable and your resume be good on everything else.
  7. Stoker

    OTS/ OCS chances and questions

    The whole "you can't apply for two services/components at the same time" thing has a grain of truth, your paperwork can't process through MEPS for two at the same time, so if you get that far along and are still working both ends you can get held up.
  8. Stoker

    An article on a Blended Retirement System quirk

    It's worth noting that the $18,500 limit is for your contributions, not overall contributions. So you can contribute $18,500 over the course of the year, and still get whatever match you're due from the gov't (provided you are contributing at least 5% per paycheck).
  9. Stoker

    Depth Perception DQ and Waiver info

    I failed it at MEPS as well, couldn't get past line B either. My Reserve recruiter had me drive to the nearest base for an appointment with the med group, where I did basically every eye test you'll end up doing at the FC1. Was able to pass depth perception there due to having more time with it, less stress, and an examiner who gave me some tips (wiggling your head and trusting your gut got me a long way through it). After passing there, I was back on track to my FC1. Don't sweat it, I stressed too much about it but you'll get through eventually.
  10. Stoker

    PRK and LASIK Information

    Absolutely. Tons of people show up to FC1 (or even UPT) and are issued glasses for the first time, and continue no problem. The whole "you must have perfect natural vision to be an Air Force pilot" myth has led countless applicants to self-disqualify. Don't make the same mistake.
  11. Stoker

    PRK and LASIK Information

    I think it means you'll need glasses.
  12. Stoker

    PRK and LASIK Information

    Still? Lasik / PRK aren't really disqualifying provided you meet the pre-op limits, and the surgery is successful and without complications. The waiver process seems pretty much pro forma at this point.
  13. Stoker

    Blended Retirement System Puzzle

    Slightly off topic, but have any recent hires had issues with opting in to the BRS? I thought I'd be automatically opted in since my first paycheck came in January, but apparently I have to choose to opt in because I swore in in 2017. But there's no BRS opt-in button for me on MyPay. Base finance is no help because I'm Reserve, Reserve squadron just keeps telling me to call DFAS, DFAS says I have to call AFPC, and everyone I've managed to get on the phone at AFPC says it's not their problem.
  14. Stoker

    Syria strikes underway

    Any speculation on the calculus of Assad actually using the weapons? Seems like he's contained the rebel groups quite well, and has the upper hand in the conflict. Why do something that risks inviting more direct US involvement? We've already made clear that we're more or less OK with him killing people, as long as it's with conventional weapons. So why use chemical weapons to achieve what appears to be a marginal military advantage?