I have a quick question about flying for the regionals before joining the Air Force Reserves. I am coming out of the University of North Dakota as a CFII here pretty soon and the regionals are offering some pretty healthy sign-on bonuses and pay packages as well as cadet programs. Looks tasty to me, but I have always wanted to go the Air Force Reserves route. That's my main career goal is to become a heavy guy in the Reserves.
Would it be a bad move to get my feet wet in the regionals as a line pilot before applying to the Air Force Reserves and going through UPT? Do units look unfavorably upon regional pilots?
I talked with a reserve pilot and he said it may be a bad idea because the unit wants you to dedicate a year out of UPT to upgrade to aircraft commander. They want their return on investment. I have no problem doing this but a regional might be fighting for my time coming out of OTS/UPT/SERE.
I want to make myself look extremely favorable to a board. I have all the boxes checked; flight hours, GPA, AFOQT, TBAS, PCSM... just this one piece I'm unsure about. I'm thinking it would be better to start my career at a regional and make some money while I'm jumping through all the hoops to join a reserve unit. Thanks in advance for any responses.