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  1. I don't recommend enlisting with the primary intent of becoming a pilot. Enlisting *can* help give you an edge on the hiring boards; however, there are a lot of other pieces to the puzzle to consider. There are a lot of *what ifs* to mull over as well. Say, you enlist and later on down the road become medically DQ'd from ever flying--seen that happen a number of times--are you prepared to accept that potential reality? You also need to understand once you enlist and graduate technical training, the USAF will have influence over your life. Even in the Guard/Reserve. Your personal career goals and what the Air Force needs from you may not always align. I'd know. I've done it. And it poses unique challenges to securing a UPT slot or reaching other professional goals. Unless you're totally committed to doing an enlisted job with the understanding you may simply never get selected, become medically DQ'd, rect...don't enlist. Lots of guys and gals get hired off the street. The off-the-street applicants who get selected typically already have significant aviation experience (not always, but more often that not in my observation). Most also have pretty impressive resumes. The last fighter unit I interviewed with had over 100 applications for two slots. 19 were selected to interview. Two hired with two alternates put on standby. The 19 selected, save me and one other prior-E guy, all had impressive aviation creds: CFIs, regional FOs, air ambulance drivers, ect. And most had STEM degrees with excellent grades/scores to boot. We had a NASA guy, several engineers of various other flavors, a high-speed attorney, a CPA that had more money than God (gathered from small talk). If your goal is to fly, focus on flying and school. Take some PPL lessons to ensure you have both a passion and aptitude for flying. Then maybe consider looking into part 141/university flight programs. Really hit the books hard and keep your grades up. Yeah, I know, loans suck...but if want to fly in the ANG/ARC, make flying and school paramount. I'm not saying all this to discourage you. Just understand you're stepping into a really competitive arena. You're young and have time, but I recommend going straight for the kill and bee-lining it to what you want from life: AF Pilot Wings.
  2. It's organizationally dependent. Most (if not all) of the airlines carrying pax don't care. Airlines carrying boxes are a different story. (I think UPS specifically uses the hiring stipulation you're referring to.) Generally speaking though, that 1000 or so hours of Turbine time PIC you'll log from a UPT tour won't hurt your application. No matter who you're trying to fly for.
  3. Active duty. I interviewed with several Guard and Reserve units in my late 20s. Age never really appeared to be the issue. I just wasn't competitive enough with my civilian flight time/creds. I was a lowly PPL with 110 hours and some instrument training often competing against dudes/dudettes who were corporate pilots, air-ambulance drivers, crop-dusters, seasoned regional airline FOs, etc. The breadth of aviation and life experience I encountered at the last fighter unit I rushed/interviewed with was absolutely insane (and motivating). The unit is paying for your UPT slot so hiring boards want to send the people they think have the best shot at graduating. I totally get it. I just started the game a little late in life. I was about to throw in the towel but a buddy of mine (a pilot in the reserves) suggested I talk to an active duty recruiter. I did. And the rest is history. FWIW, I'd argue the Army isn't necessarily a mistake. But if you're not interested in helos, or Army aviation's mission, then that's just not route for you. Just keep focusing on getting hired somewhere with the Air Force. I'd even consider talking to an active duty recruiter. You're in the right place by the way. I send aspiring pilots/pilot candidates to this forum all the time. As I'm sure you're figuring out, there's a wealth of knowledge here.
  4. I got hired at 28 (almost 29) with similar numbers. I didn't start UPT until 30 due to complications/delays in acquiring a needed waiver. It can be done. If flying for the USAF is your goal, stay the course. Keep trying. Your question resonates with me as I asked myself the same question. I also started looking into the Army's WOFT program in the event I didn't picked up by the Air Force. (I have two friends who are Apache drivers, one current (a WO) and one former (was commissioned). They like/liked it, so I figured that was a viable alternative.) That said, if you end up going Army, I will echo others on this board: go WO. If you want to focus on flying, WOFT is where it's at.
  5. I am in currently in UPT, or was, rather. I am currently on med-hold. I was originally diagnosed with Shoulder Impingement Syndrome because I had significant loss of ROM in my right arm. Several months of pretty intense PT and two injections failed to yield adequate restoration of ROM. An Army surgeon later diagnosed the cause of my SIS due to "Adhesive Capsulitus" or what's more commonly known as Frozen Shoulder. I was referred for and received surgery 1 Feb. Post surgical findings indicated significant scar tissue build up and bone spurs (for some reason the bone spurs were never reported on my MRI). All of that was stuff was removed. I'm five weeks out of surgery and my pain levels and ROM have improved noticeably but are not yet satisfactory to the PT or Surgeon (or me, for that matter), but I still have two months of PT. And the docs are already considering the possibility of sending me back to the table for a second Manipulation under Anesthesia (MUA) if my ROM doesn't continue to progress as required (no cutting/scoping this time, just manipulation). They're suspecting a slight relapse whereby the capsule is tightening again, just not nearly as much. They said this isn't unheard of, but my surgeon specifically told me yesterday to be prepared for the possibility of some permanent loss of ROM. My flight doc said full ROM is a requirement for aircrew, and if I don't regain full ROM, there is a high likelihood I will not be able to return to the flight line. He made clear I wouldn't be separated, but would most likely face reclassification. Does that check? If I do end up with minimal loss of ROM but can make the case that it is sufficient to perform my duties safely, do you all think AETC might entertain a waiver/ETP? I am just trying to maintain realistic expectations about my career because I've gotten a lot varied feedback from all the parties involved thus far. I really appreciate the insight. Thank you.
  6. Had an interesting conversation with an IP who has a friend "in the 'know'". This is basically third-hand information, so I apologize in advance if something was lost in translation if you happen to have more detailed intel. He mentioned the Air Force is "considering" standing up a program whereby recently separated military aviators who graduated from Air Force UPT or Naval Primary would be recruited to continue federal service as a civilian T-6 IP? Interestingly enough, he also mentioned that under the auspices of this program, "highly-qualified" civilian accessions 'might' be eligible too. The criteria for direct civilian IP accessions isn't set in stone, but he said they'd have to be college graduates (and their aeronautical credentials awarded from a part 141 university flight program), in possession of a certain number of flight hours (1000 hours, I think?), be a CFI-I, be able to pass and hold an FC-1 and successfully complete PIT. Additionally, the non-mil civilian IP candidates would go through an "extended and more rigorous" syllabus while attending PIT. No mention of whether or not non-mil accessions would complete UPT prior to PIT? I would assume so? Finally, I heard the airlines might somehow (potentially) have a stake in such a program. Again, no details provided to me on the why or how. Also no mention or indication that this hypothetical program would be replicated in T-1s or T-38s. I understand that this is obviously another attempt at fixing something that isn't broken, and sidestepping the actual issues of pilot retention, but I am curious...has anyone else heard anything of this sort? Other than this one conversation I can find no details anywhere to corroborate. As far as I can tell, it's vaporware. Again, just curious. Thanks, gents, and happy flying.

    Gun Talk

    Whiteman allows carry and conceal. I'm not sure about carrying in buildings though. The policy went to effect right after I left.
  8. "Though your commitment is 10 years so maybe getting jaded now isn't the best idea =P" I definitely didn't mean to come off as jaded. Just a little surprised. And like Nunya said, it really doesn't matter. One of the duties I had in my civilian job involved trend analysis--just noticing a trend, that's all. Was curious to see if anyone else had experienced something similar or if I'm simply reading too much into it. I'd say it's safe to say that everyone in my class is here because the Air Force offers a very unique mission set and type of flying you can't do anywhere else. Thanks for the input!
  9. Since starting UPT I've noticed a pretty steady berating of the airline industry by the staff. Just about every briefing I attended as an APT'er or now while in Phase 1 has included shots fired at the airlines--specifically, the pilots themselves. Everyone from my flight commander on up has said something at some point: airline pilots are "puppets" or "bus drivers", military pilots are "much better trained in all aspects of flying" and if you wanted to fly for the airlines, "you wouldn't have come here". We have a lot of guard/reserve guys in our class and most, if not all of them, have said they're planning to head to the airlines when eligible. But none of them have been disrespectful or boasted about it. All of the active duty appear focused on getting the airframe they want--not career goals a decade or more away. I'm the oldest AD student in my class and have lofty goals of maybe working for the majors after my UPT commitment is satisfied, but I understand that's a ways off and dependent on a lot of variables (many of which are unknowns at this point). That said, we [the students] are not starting off conversations with the staff by saying "Hi, I'm Lt so and so, and I'm just here to use the USAF as a stepping stone to SWA". It's not like that at all from what I have observed and I am just wondering what prompted all of this lecturing about the airlines? Admittedly, I expected the occasional comparison or jab. However, this is habitual. Almost scripted? Any other UPT studs or recent grads on here pick up on any of this? Gray Beards/Veterans, was it like this 10-15 years ago when you started pilot training? If this is a recent phenomenon, do you think it's connected to the Air Force's pilot exodus?
  10. That's actually pretty cool. I didn't realize it was even possible to work that few days per month at an airline? I take it that your example is cited from personal experience?
  11. How would someone with active duty and reserve service accurately calculate their TAFMS time? Prior to commissioning, I served four years on active duty and five years in the reserve component. When I in-processed at Laughlin about three months ago, I discovered what I thought to be a discrepancy on the DD-214 issued to me prior to departing OTS. It reads that I have 7.5 years of TAFMS. I brought it up with the MPF here and they started a CMS case. That case made its way to AFPC and they confirmed that I have accumulated 7.5 years of TAFMS. I did complete two long formal training schools and a few sets of lengthy orders while in the reserve, but those points only add up to about 18 months of active duty time (normal UTA/AT time not included). I'm just trying to make sure everything is accurate before letting this go. If something is wrong I'd rather address it now and not deal with a potentially larger headache later on. (Like thinking I'm getting close to retirement toward the end of my active duty UPT commitment only be told "SURPRISE, you actually have X numbers of years remaining".) I've gotten several different answers with regard to this issue and was wondering if any of you have more information about this situation? Suggestions for additional resources, publications, etc I might be able to consult? Second question: Is pay for prior-enlisted officers calculated from TAFMS? The USAF says I have 7.5 years of "active duty service". If that is accurate, shouldn't I be receiving pay as an 0-1E with over six years of service? (Right now I'm being paid as an 0-1E with four years of active duty service.) I haven't raised this issue with Finance yet, because I honestly don't know what's correct and what isn't at this point. Thanks in advance for any guidance provided!
  12. I have heard the same with regard to 15 year ADSCs for UPT commitments. Eight on AD with seven years in the ARC? What guarantee would there be of finding a home with a reserve unit? Would that be on you? Or AFPC? What guarantees might transitioning personnel have for actually being released to the ARC once their eight year ADSCs were fulfilled? Would that scope of language be built into the initial service commitment contracts I wonder? If not, and such a policy were implemented, I see a whole lot of future conversations going something like this: Pilot: My eight year ADSC is nearly up, boss. I'm about to start the separation process and transition to the reserve.... Boss: Hey, yeah, so about that. We couldn't find you a home in the reserve/guard. Sorry, man. Guess you're stuck here with the rest of us in general population... In any event, I'd say you and ihtfp06 are probably right. Unfortunately.
  13. Duck, If management loses this game of Russian Roulette, which I'm somewhat inclined to believe is inevitable, what happens? Do you personally think Big Blue might actually resort to more dramatic methods of pilot retention...such as Stop Loss? I mean, how much worse does it have to get before some sort of action needs to be taken? This is madness.
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