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FDNYOldGuy

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FDNYOldGuy last won the day on October 19 2018

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  1. If you're Reserves, I'd doubt that you'll have that much of a break. They like to keep you on solid orders from start to finish with no more than 30 days break in training (causes them more paperwork?). Got a buddy in OTS right now, leaves for IFT 2 days after OTS graduation, then right to SERE, then immediate PCS to UPT. Don't think he's got more than 4 days break between any of the different training pieces. I had some longer stretches between OTS-SERE-UPT, but still nothing more than 30 days. You're also not "owned" by your unit until you're spit out at the other end of the pipeline post-FTU, so you won't be going to drill with them. You might, if anything, go to your UPT base and get a casual job. Guard will give you longer breaks between training pieces, but I haven't heard of anyone in the Reserves having 3+ months. Then again, maybe the shortage of slots has changed things up?
  2. First Assignment Instructor Pilot. Basically, you graduate pilot training with wings and, instead of getting sent to a MWS/another base, you get sent to Pilot Instructor Training (PIT) and come back to instruct T6s. Usually T6s and usually at the base you just left UPT from, but there are exceptions. Only been for AD folks, but brought up as a potential for Unsponsored Reservists.Yet to see it happen, though. The active orders for 4 years is roughly encompassing all training from OTS through unit seasoning in your aircraft. 2-3 years is more likely for mobility and tankers, with the up to 4 years likely being for the more in-depth fighter training/seasoning.
  3. I haven’t heard of that out of the gate. There was talk of allowing Unsponsored folks to FAIP, which would obviously be 3-4 years of AD orders, but I haven’t heard of it panning out. You could come back full time as an IP under the Reserves (~15% of IPs are Reservists), but that would take time in service and time with an MWS/unit before happening. More likely, if you didn’t get picked up by a unit by UPT completion, you’d just get shuttled to a unit that was undermanned by the 340th. You’re going to be pretty desirable to a unit while at UPT and will likely get hired by someone, unless you’re really jamming up in the interview process.
  4. 🥃 Is the link supposed to be direct for him? It’s not populating the info fields for “in memory of” or putting his name anywhere on the page that’s coming up for me when I click it. Certainly no issue just donating to the cause, but I’d love to have it go in his memory, if I can.
  5. Of course, dude! It really is a great community and I strongly recommend giving it a shot. If you just want to be a part of it, no matter the airframe, it certainly isn't an impossible goal. If you're 100% set on "fighters or nothing," then you are going to have quite an uphill battle. Again, nothing is impossible until you've heard the last "No."
  6. Eh, this is certainly true for a great candidate being able to accomplish anything, but it is even further along to age being a big issue. Having been here now, there is something to the old-dog-new-tricks concerns they have about older folks in UPT; especially in the fighter track. The pressure to perform, put time in, and pick it up quickly is very real in the 38 track and it starts in T6s from day 1. A young candidate is going to be way more moldable, have much more free time to study and focus solely on the program, and just flat out have more brain space available to cram in GK than an older person that has a ton of other life/job/etc. taking up space in there already, in most cases. I have quite a few points to that I think back it up, but in the vein of brevity (not my strong suit), UPT is a young person's game. Multiple IPs said the same to me in their teaching experience: The old folks seem to struggle in the beginning, but come on strong later when it all starts to get put together. But, that's not conducive to the T38 track. You've gotta hit the ground running in T6s, catch on quick, and be top-performing from the beginning to give them the confidence you're going to succeed down the road. Of course, if you've been picked up by a fighter unit and have a guaranteed 38 slot, the pressure to earn that slot competing with others is removed, but the pressure to perform perfectly isn't. And that continues throughout fighter career which, again, can be harder for older folks to be okay with. Again, it's not the case 100% of the time, but it's what .02 is from my short run in this world.
  7. The 37 year-old mentioned above checking in. Let me start by saying I’m certainly not one to listen to being told things are impossible, or else I wouldn’t be where I am now. Even more so, I don’t wanna piss on anyone’s dreams. You never know til you try. That said, the advice above is as solid as it gets and you should take a long hard look at what you want. Is flying for the military what’s important, or flying fighters all you want? You’ve got an extremely high goal and are standing in a less than perfect position. Your age is a huge hurdle for fighters. While you don’t need a waiver this instant being < 33, that timeline of a year or two is solid and the cap is age at UPT start, so you’ll have to get a waiver. Guard/Reserve fighter units are REALLY not likely to do waivers and active duty doesn’t do them at all, AFAIK. Your AFOQT scores are likely too low for fighters and your TBAS won’t likely be high enough with the lower Pilot/Nav scores and no flight hours. The GPA and possession charge aren’t going to make it any easier, either. @EvilEagle is a legend and his word might as well be gospels. Especially with his love of V-Twins from that bike list...although I’m biased and had a few sport twins in my past; including a TL. Again, I’m not one to take or believe “it can’t be done,” but he’s very right in the time, effort, and money it will take to even see if it’s possible. If your goal is to fly mil, time spent chasing fighters and battling 50 other people for 1 slot could be better used working on rushing heavy units. Anyway, I wish you the best, dude. Nothing is impossible and, if you want it bad enough, put in the work and see what happens. It ain’t over until you’ve heard (and accepted) the last “No.”
  8. Exactly what was said above, with a further caveat: you get to start the clock on your TSP matches. Your only option will be blended retirement, which involves getting a match on your TSP contributions. The kinda shit part is Uncle Sam won’t start matching (up to 5%) until you’ve been making your own contributions for 2 years. Well, guess how long your guaranteed full-time active training time for OTS/SERE/UPT/PIQ/Seasoning is? About two years... So, earlier you can start contributing, means you can hopefully catch some of the tail end of your full time orders and get a few more Spacebucks out of Uncle Sam. Just make sure you start putting into your TSP when you get your first checks/MyPay setup for drill weekends and you can get ahead of the game a bit. It’s not a crazy amount of money, but it’s a little something extra.
  9. You won’t drill with the 340th or your gaining unit as a Reservist before UPT; the 340th doesn’t have drills for UPT pipeline and won’t let you drill with your home unit. You’ll just be on DEP, basically. You’ll swear in, but you won’t be doing anything until you leave for your first piece of the pipeline. Your sponsoring unit has no control over you until you head to your PIQ/FTU. 340th handles your school/travel, pay, leave, orders, etc., so your home unit is just waiting for you to pop out at the other end with some wings.
  10. Totally feasible; especially for heavies. I got waivered off the street at 36 (technically 37, by the time I started UPT). It’s all in how hard you’re willing to hustle to get there, but a lot of my hustle was in getting the stuff that was needed (test scores, medical, recruiting paperwork, etc.) done before/right after getting hired. Get your AFOQT and TBAS done (when you’re ready to test); sooner the better. If you get 80s-90s on Pilot, Nav, and PCSM, you’ll get a lot more attention from recruiters and units. You said you needed a medical waiver, which is another huge hurdle and something that might give units pause, so get rolling on going to MEPS and, if it’s possible, try to get an FC1 out of the way to ensure those med waivers don’t hold you back. You’ll have to have that before you go to a UPT board and that takes time. Get a solid packet together and get working with a recruiter if you’re looking at Reserves options. A single Reserves recruiter can handle any Reserves unit you’re interested in; Guard will have individual recruiters for each unit, which makes things tougher (but still doable; just more duplication of efforts). It’s all based on your hustle and anything is possible until you’ve heard ”Yes” or your final “No.” Keep networking, keep digging for what you can do next to help your cause, and don’t let any “No” answers dissuade you from trying more options. Part of it all is proving how bad you want it and putting in your own legwork and being persistent will go a long way to showing you’re serious. Good luck!
  11. Here now, if you have any questions...
  12. Still not mandatory unless it just recently changed. I didn't go and had a PPL and know there was another stud that wanted to go (even with a PPL) but wasn't allowed to. I had heard that they might have changed it to you'll have to go to IFT even with a PPL if you haven't flown in 2(3?) years, but I don't have a solid line on that.
  13. There is a Reserve FTS here at Vance; The 5th FTS. We've had a couple guys fly with us in T6s and they aren't tied to specifically to us Reservists; they've flown with everyone in our class regardless of status. Wiki says the 5th instructs in 1s and 38s, too. Our Reserves LNO (officer who wrangles us Reservists at each UPT base), is attached to the 340th and also a 38 IP here. Not sure if he only flies with 340th 38 studs or not. Like @matmacwc said, these folks have been MWS trained and came back years later to instruct. It should be less than 30 days. I went to Inpro and was headed to OTS in 24 days from leaving Randolph and there were folks in our Inpro group that went to the class that started a week earlier than me, so definitely didn't have a 30 day wait. They try to keep a 30 day limit for breaks in training with the Reserves, so it's highly likely you'll be sent to SERE or IFT between OTS and UPT start. Some of my group went directly to SERE from OTS (seriously, the Monday after OTS graduation), others (myself included) PCS'd to UPT right after OTS then left for SERE a week or so after getting here, and others went to IFT and will hit SERE after UPT. YMMV, but that was the gist for our batch. Only a few folks that had already been to SERE or had a PPL and didn't have to go to IFT started right up with UPT after OTS. Their goal seems to be to keep training rolling over paying us to sit in a casual job, so they'll fit in what training they can.
  14. For the Reserves, you can work with an officer recruiter to get you through the initial million forms of paperwork, get you scheduled for MEPS/TBAS/AFOQT (this will take a LOT of pushing on your part, but they can do it), and they can also have you apply for an Unsponsored slot. Unsponsored means you're picked up by the Reserves as a whole to go through pilot training and you just hustle to find a Reserves unit to sponsor you. If you don't get sponsored by the time you're done with UPT, they send you to whatever unit they need manning at. You can also start doing what others above have said and making contacts at units to set up your interviews. But, unless you're hired by the unit (unlikely if you don't have AFOQT/TBAS scores), you're still going to have to get ahold of the officer recruiter to get those things booked and done. Guard is completely different and each unit runs its own recruiter, so working with one unit's recruiter won't do you a lot of good if you're trying to get hired by another. And, as others said, they're more focused on enlisted folks, so they might not be able to help as much. Active is a different beast and I don't know anything about it, but there's good advice already in this thread about only applying for what you want and don't let them push you into a position you don't want. The whole process can take about 2 years (especially for Active and Guard), so get the ball rolling ASAP if you want to do it. Good luck!
  15. You can definitely make it, if you have the drive, can market yourself well, and a unit wants to help push the waiver on their end. I'm here at 37. What @N730 said, is right, though: if you don't want pilot very badly, it's a WHOLE LOT of work and, if you're not completely dedicated, the workload might deter you. And, 100% it is harder to do when you're older. I've got my wife and 1 year old kiddo here with me and juggling all of it is not easy; twice as hard if you're trying to compare yourself to kids in their early-mid 20s that are likely better at studying and don't have any other obligations that take study time. But, it's completely doable. I was insanely lucky/put in a whole lot of hustle to get from hired to UPT (means 2 months of OTS and, in my case, a month of SERE in there, too) in less than a year. That's very quick and most of the time it takes closer to 2 years; especially if you get picked up by a Guard unit. Their timeline is quite a bit longer than Reserves, it seems. Lastly, your Pilot/Nav scores are a bit on the low side. I had the same quant as yours, so they're not really gonna care about that (maybe break your chops a bit), but I had 89 Pilot and 91 Nav. You need that TBAS ASAP, too, and if you can get in the 80s or higher, you might be okay. All that said, time is not your friend and you need to start applying ASAP. Put together a packet, have folks on here look through it and offer input (I can try to take a look, too, but time is definitely not something I get much of these days in the thick of T6s), and start sending it out to units that have open hirings. Apply to every airframe you'd be willing to fly and be persistent. Fighters are probably too much of a long shot for you, but there might be some heavy units that'll give you a look. Bottom line is you never know until you try and you're never out until the last place tells you, "No." I still have quite a few moments where I laugh and can't believe I'm actually here. But, I put in a lot of work, marketed myself as best I could, and got lucky along the way. If I can, anyone can. So, get moving! Good luck!
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