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About Erthwerm

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  • Birthday August 2

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    flying, marksmanship, lifting, cars, hockey, football,

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  1. Joe Rogan just had James Lindsay on his podcast again today and talked about how the woke culture has started to spread and the "epigenetics" of it, if you will. I found it a pretty scholarly dissection of the climate.
  2. There certainly are a lot of us 33+ applicants around. Best of luck to you. Your scores are incredible and your flight hours will only help you. Do you have any volunteer experience? The boards are really big on serving the community (no surprise there). If you don't, maybe you can get some experience? I know hospitals are always looking for volunteers. It's not glamorous at all, but it certainly helps.
  3. I used it and it boosted my score ~20 points. I highly recommend it.
  4. It stands for the National Guard Bureau, which is the federal instrument responsible for the administration of the United States National Guard.
  5. If I'm ever lucky enough to get offered a pilot slot I'll of course always remain respectful, but I'd find it a little embarrassing that an NCO would be forced to step away from his/her primary duty of molding the junior enlisted to un-ass me. Maybe that's because I'm a bit older and I've spent time as an enlisted dude, but I'd just feel like my leaders weren't, themselves, personally invested in my growth as an officer and leader of men and women to the point where they appoint a non-commissioned officer to counsel my online behavior.
  6. In the Army, an NCO (even a SNCO) probably wouldn't counsel a commissioned officer unless it was a case of a 1SG (First Sgt) running a company with a CPT as the company comander, SFC mentoring the 2LT who acts as the Platoon Commander, or CSM working together with the LTC, who would be running the Battalion. It's darn near unheard of for an NCO to counsel/guide a commissioned officer on anything peripheral to their military occupation (even EO/SHARP stuff.) Is it common in the Air Force for an NCO to counsel an officer on stuff like this? Wouldn't even an informal counseling come from somebody who's higher ranking and not an NCO? It seems to me like your DO or whoever was your commander was a p*$$y who couldn't step up to do his/her job like an adult so they had the SNCO do it for them.
  7. Ah, you're right, I accidentally quoted you quoting Brawnie. Again, you're right. I suppose a more elaborate way of illustrating my point is this: the government pays military members and then covers all of the associated living costs and then pays contractors to do that work while relegating SMs to do other work for which they're either unqualified or is not in their wheelhouses. I can't tell you the number of walls I've painted as an infantryman, and I'm not sure how the DFACs work in TFOT or downrange, but I know in a lot of BCT posts in the Army, all of our chow was made by contractors, not cooks, who could've used the practice, let me tell you. And look at how many contractors were used in convoys to deliver protected items during GWOT, it's insane. Those tasks could've been performed by infantrymen/cavalry dudes, or even SOF. BTW, I love your username. Were you ever in Batt or associated with them?
  8. @brawnie I'm not an officer or a pilot (currently an enlisted grunt in the USAR in the midst of applying to ANG/AFRES units), but I'd like to address some of what you said, if I can. Admins, if you feel I ought to know my place, please let me know. I think most of us work in the "socialist paradise," as you put it, as a sacrifice because at the end of the day, we have to sacrifice certain things (where we live, how long we have to work, whether we sleep in a cot or a hole in the ground, if we get shot at, etc) in order to protect the constitution and the citizens it protects. For the most part, even in the civilian world, once you're in your job is also secure (barring any large screw-ups.) In the civilian world, your healthcare is also pretty much paid for and I've never worked a job that didn't have a pretty good PPO for a meager sum ever month (<$20). Depending on your organization, budgets can operate exactly like the military. The military doesn't really manufacture anything, it just uses things manufactured by contractors (for the most part,) so the whole socialist portion is a little misleading. Realistically, a government is only socialist when it owns the means of production, which is not the case here. Yes, we have certain safety nets, but given the fact that a 19 year old can have his ass shot off at a moment's notice in a far-off land with no creature comforts, I'd say that's a fair trade. With my civilian job, I have almost 8 weeks of paid vacation saved up. Some companies have no cap to their PTO. The military's main purpose is not to generate a profit, because it's not a business and therefore doesn't produce anything. The military (as far as I understand with my limited experience) exists to protect the United States of America and her interests. You can't really put a price on that. As for it not being a meritocracy, I really can't speak for the Air Force. I have seen some really crappy soldiers advance in rank and some really great ones also advance in rank. And vice-versa. It's very difficult to gauge ROI because because how do you effectively judge the necessity of a weapon until you absolutely need to use it? I think it's like owning a firearm: I have a fairly expensive rifle that I've spent many hours and dollars zeroing and turning into a hell of a tack-driver and killing machine at distance. I hope I never have to use it, but if I ever do, I would judge the ROI by the sole criterion that it eliminated the threat. If there's never a threat to eliminate, well, then I have to eat that cost, but what alternative do I really have? Now, to your credit, the military is rife with admin bloat and tons of money wasted on contractors who do things service members are trained to do and should be doing. I don't know how the USAF works, but in my short tenure in the Army, my pay has been messed up, my Enlisted Record Brief is still jacked up no matter how many times I go to S-1 and give them copies of my "I love me book." So in a lot of senses, it is kind of like a communist government. Once again, sorry if I've stepped on any toes or spoken out of turn. Admins, please let me know if I'm in the wrong place by posting here and I'll happily edit/remove this post.
  9. Hey all, Adding another score update to this. Previous PCSM score from 2010 (yes you read that right): 70 Retook the TBAS this morning and my updated PCSM score: 89. My 201+ PCSM score is a hypothetical 99. I'm pushing through with an instrument rating and expect to push my PCSM score to a 95 when I cross the 80 hour mark by September (currently sitting at 47 hours) which is when I expect most units to start accepting applications again. If I have enough time, I'm going to try and push through to get about 100 hours, which'll push me to a 98 PCSM. Here's what worked for me. I recently started flying again and increased flight 10 hours for my flight review, and I studied 45-60 minutes every day for about 7-8 weeks. I'm married and work a full-time job during the day, so even though it was a challenge to stay motivated, I told myself that if I got offered a UPT slot, this would be my life for at least a year and that getting into this habit now can only help me in the future. My advice is to just really study. There are some pretty good study materials if you know where to look. I don't want to get gigged by any folks from the AFPC in case they read this, so I won't go any further, but just look around online for TBAS preparation materials. Spend at least a couple of hours a week doing focused study. Find a flight sim, get some cheap Rudder Pedals and a Joystick, and work on your coordination. Yes, you'll have to shell out a little bit of money, but honestly what's a couple hundred bucks when you're talking about accomplishing a goal most will never recognize? All in all, I think I spent about $180 on software and hardware for test prep. Additionally, come up with a system to quickly orient yourself on the Directional Orientation portion. Once again, I'm not going to elaborate for risk of giving it away, but there are patterns you can establish for yourself. The absolute worst scenario into which you can put yourself is trying to figure out where North is when the UAV is pointing to the Southwest and you're supposed to find the East target when the taking the test. Prepare yourself as best you can to always know at least where North is and to understand the other cardinal directions in relation. As far as how to prepare for the multitasking portion, I don't really have any advice other than be prepared to really focus. Get good at 3 digit addition/subtraction. Realize that you're not truly multitasking, but quickly serial-tasking. That way, you'll feel less overwhelmed. Also, if I can increase my score by nearly twenty points with focused study for a couple months, literally anybody can. Really commit to putting in the work and investing in yourself and you can increase your scores, too.
  10. Hi all, I retook the TBAS this morning and scored an 89. I'm currently working on my instrument rating, I'll be finishing it up by the end of the summer, and by the time it's finished will be at a 95 PCSM score. At this point, I've reached my limit for times I can take the TBAS and I'll have to settle for a 95 PCSM when I apply to units. That said, I feel like all my ducks are in a row, my scores are competitive and my military experience should help me gain access to some interviews. On the networking front, I'll be visiting my home state's (Hawaii) units. I still know some of the pilots in the fighter squadron out here and have some connections to the heavy units. I'll be rushing some heavy units in California and Washington and am trying to line up a visit to the ORANG this coming fall. Thanks for abiding me these updates. I hope the summer is treating you all well, so far. Kindly, Erthwerm
  11. Just as a thread bump, I've gotten in touch with a flight school and with all the money I've saved, I'm going to start pursuing an instrument rating and I'll be recording the flights for my own edification and to put on YouTube. I figure any unit to which I apply might google me and if I have some videos of me flying (my local flight school is based in class B airspace) they'll get an opportunity to see my comfort level and personality. Additionally, I'm going to get some more time flying aerobatic with a friend of mine. I also scheduled a re-take of the TBAS and have been studying for about an hour every day for it. I'll update this thread with my updated hours and PCSM whenever I can.
  12. I rushed back in (unsuccessfully) 2011 and I know back then they wanted guys who were from the area. One of the biggest issues with getting people from out of state is that Hawaii (I live here) is very different than every other state, culturally, and it's almost like another country. Add to that, a very high cost of living, and unless you're financially prepared for that and with a career that pays well, it can make moving and living here difficult. I'm not sure if they have a lot of opening for AGR slots, but it's never a bad idea to assume that after seasoning you're going to be a traditional guardsman. Guard-bumming can happen, I'm sure, but it's best to have a reliable income source, especially with COVID. You don't want to lose a security clearance because you went in debt.
  13. Thanks for the help, all. Do you think having a link for a video on my submitted applications would be a good addition?
  14. @FDNYOldGuy Thanks! Some follow on questions: I know the Guard has boards for slots. Is the AF Reserve different in that regard? You mention sending my packet ASAP, that's the reason I ask. Luckily I already have most of my packet built, and an active security clearance. The only thing I'm waiting on is a recommendation letter. Possibly more hours, but I'll get back up in the air in the next week. Going along with point 1, did you "rush" your hiring unit at all? There are a couple of Mobility units in the areas I'd like to live (west coast), but am currently in Honolulu. Most of the Reserve fighter units are in places my wife doesn't want to live. I'm really only applying to the Hawaii ANG (they fly the KC-135, C-17, and F-22) because I live here and the Oregon ANG (F-15) because my wife and I love Portland. I'd imagine competition is stiff, but I'm still going to visit those units. Did you just call Wright Patterson for your FC1? Thanks for your help. Best of luck in training and hopefully I'll see you around.
  15. You could talk to the ESGR (800-336-4590) and see what your USERRA protections may be. At-will employment or not, there’s certainly evidence to suggest they let you go because of your military status. Under USERRA, you have 5 years of protections. Just like with applying to units, talk to the ESGR and see what they say. If you don’t ask, you’re surely not going to get any help. Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app
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