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About Catman

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  1. With that kind of background and an interest in RPAs, units will go head over heels for you. You oughta be waiverable, but I have no knowledge or experience in the RPA realm, so don't quote me. I think the vast majority of pilot postings are DSG, but there oughta be full-time positions available at your base through technician/AGR routes. The opportunities are generally... fly RPAs. There are a lot of contracting positions for RPA pilots, and I've heard they pay quite handsomely. Only speculation, but from my experience, it seems that big Air Force does a lot of contracting when they need to bridge a gap that they are working on bridging. So you could have a lucrative career contracting for a few years and then it suddenly goes *poof*. Again, no direct experience, but generally, DoD doesn't like to drop huge stacks on contractors when it can drop small stacks on military members.
  2. It's not great, but it's damn good. A re-test maaaaaybe would be worth it, but it's not a huge concern.
  3. You might benefit slightly from a TBAS retake depending on how you felt about your performance on the first one, i.e. if you know how you could have squeezed some more points out. Otherwise, forget it, you're pretty solid on that front. Good that you're already commissioned, got your PPL, and have graduate work in progress. Might want to diversify your LORs a bit. ANG, after all, is a lot of civilian folks with a military side-gig, so knowing that you are civilian-capable is important. Unless the content of each one is very distinct, it is not going to mean much more than a single LOR would.
  4. Catman

    Please rate my chances!

    I love how cocky this sounds. When they ask for your weaknesses, there are multiple things they're trying to get out of it. One thing, though, is that they do not want your weakness being something that affects how good of a pilot, officer, and wingman you are. So come up with something that you're weak in that you can either overcome easily or something that would not affect your work whatsoever. And don't come up with a weakness that's actually a strength unless you can reeeeally mask it. If you say "Sometimes I just can't stop working", that's obviously you trying to play up your strengths again.
  5. You should make your own thread.
  6. Well, I wish I could have told you to enlist a few years ago. It would've paid for a good chunk of school and it would have taught you quite a bit, but there's a reason the ANG is "the best kept secret in the military". Not everyone knows it exists and fewer know how cool it is. That's all in the past, there's no way to go back now. I'm with you on this. Enlisting *now* while you're pushing for a commission is not worth your time. Some bases are backed up quite a bit on training -- my base has dozens of folks waiting for training dates and some have been waiting for over a year. It's insane. What I suggest is sticking to what you're doing now but finding *every* opportunity to show your face to the ANG unit, whether on or off-base. ANG units host or participate in all sorts of volunteer events, stuff like 5Ks, etc... and if you can figure out where the pilots are going to be, you can show your face at these events. An important note if you choose to do this: you're pretending to be "pretty much part of the Wing" not "pretty much part of the Fighter Squadron". If you're familiar with what Student Flight is on an ANG base, you're pretty much pretending to be one of them. Also see if you can't get your medical stuff out of the way ASAP. First class medical, who cares. The military is super crazy about weird medical tidbits. I knew a guy who had an inhaler prescribed to him as a kid. The inhaler did not help the symptoms he was feeling, so he stopped using it, and he grew out of it after about a year. It took almost an entire year to convince the medical folks that he's in tip-top shape and the inhaler had no impact on him.
  7. Catman

    Chances and Recommendations (ANG)

    I spent a couple weeks getting my uniform squared away (huge ribbon rack change -- we wear blues pretty much once every other year) and didn't notice a glaring issue until the morning of the board. Without going into detail, think "What's the worst thing my tailor could do to my dress blues?". Attention to detail and whatnot, I completely understand, it's my fault in the end. I considered changing into a regular suit, but I thought that would be a cop-out since I would imagine they would rather hire SSgt ___ than Mr. ___. Probably a dumb move, I shot myself in the foot with that one. But some of the other folks there were absolutely outstanding. For anonymity's sake on their part, I'm going to change the details, but imagine if a decorated Army Ranger showed up to your board. I was hoping for more dopey folks to show up 😏. A lot of advice coming from airline pilot family and their colleagues who fly/flew in the ANG. I did not do enough talking to pilots in my unit, though. I did talk to a few including an O-6 in the unit, but it turned out those folks were completely uninvolved in the hiring process. The Peoria, IL ANG unit flying C-130s is pretty desperate from what I've heard. Details are fuzzy, but something along the lines of: their unit hired 3 folks during their last UPT board, and they all failed medical, so there's a huge gap in their manning. Feedback other than the above uniform thing was mostly that my 5-10 year plan was not solidified enough. They wanted me to talk about becoming a SME, an Instructor, a Wingman, and that sort of thing. My issue is that I don't fly fighter jets yet, so I can pretend to know what those roles entail, but without actually being directly involved, it's all playing pretend. To me, it's pointless: I'm going to end up where my talents, my desires, and the squadron's needs intersect. I don't have the talents yet, my desires will not be fleshed out until I'm flying these things, and the squadron's needs are not defined. Obviously, that stance is not what they're looking for -- can anyone attest to what the right stance is and why? CUT IT OUT.
  8. Catman

    Chances and Recommendations (ANG)

    I'll stop wearing socks then. Sorry, my macho vocabulary is weak in the morning. The F-15 makes me feel some type of way. I can feel it in my pluuuums. We fly F-16s now, and we're slated for F-35s. I'm pretty much doxxing myself at this point, haha! The board that I did not get chosen for was the last board they were having for F-16s; the next one will be set up for straight F-35s. I know fighter guys fly airliners, but I've heard some folks say they have to spend a lot more time flying regionals. I want to get international and heavy relatively quickly. My attitude on tankers is somewhat skewed because of the awkward conversation in this video. I know the guy talking ain't a pilot, but man does he make it a difficult conversation haha! They definitely do set you up for airliner life, though, with the multiple engines, turbine power, CRM, and whatnot.
  9. Heyo, I'm an ANG Staff Sergeant working in Communications. Here are my numbers: Major: Computer Engineering (Minor: Leadership, University known for good engineering school) AFOQT: Pilot: 96 Nav: 96 Acad: 98 Verbal: 94 Quant: 96 PCSM: 83 w/ 55 Hours (likely 87 w/ 61+ after my PPL checkride) 97 w/ 201+ Flight Hours: 55 now, likely 61+ by interview time (Pipers mostly) Age: 24, about to be 25 LORs: Squadron CC from deployment, Flight CC from home station, Professor from capstone course in college Civilian Career: 3 months on a semiconductor company internship, 6 months at a healthcare software company Military Career: Pretty normal ANG gig. Honor Grad and Distinguished Grad during training, earned an AFAM at home station and an AFCM on deployment. I think I have good odds. I'm having a hard time with a couple things though: Airframe: I'm trying to go airlines at some point. When folks hear that, they suggest going cargo/refuelers. I wouldn't mind cargo, but refuelers don't do much for me. However, the original motivation to fly for the military has always been the fighters. The F35 is such an impressive pinnacle of hardware and software, the F15 rocks my socks off, and the F16, well..., who doesn't want to ride the rocket? What about A-10s? I love the Hawgs; I'm just apprehensive because I fear that some Attack Wings might switch to RPAs. Maybe my fears are unwarranted. Additionally, for fighters, the boards are harder (didn't get selected on one F16 board so far), so the time it takes to fly (assuming you eventually make it) is longer, and the fighters don't get nearly the same hours as cargo. Interviews: Working in this civi job takes up so much of my time that I don't know how I'm possibly going to tour and interview at enough bases to fly what I want to fly. Some of the folks I met at the last board I went to did not seem to have much of a problem making the time. Should I be looking for a career change to something simpler so I can get serious on these boards? My ANG unit has positions that work 4 long-days per week and their days-off is AFAIK better than what I'm getting at my current job. I am hoping some of those sentiments sound familiar to some of you and, if so, how you worked/are working past them. Thanks!
  10. Catman

    Tentative rating of where I stand

    I'd say you have a better than average shot. But, yeah, make your own thread for that if you want more replies. I'd try to boost that guy up. At the very least before your retake, I would recommend a discovery ride to get yourself acquainted with the controls more.
  11. It was sort of voluntary, sort of non-voluntary. I did not see a tasking and volunteer for it, but rather, my unit was given X involuntary taskings and they sent out a survey gauging interest in the taskings. So in essence, by expressing great interest in deploying (read: your life and family would not be in shambles if you deployed) they knew who they could give these already-involuntary taskings to. I signed up, regretted it immediately afterwards, then un-regretted it when I got my assignment, then regretted it when I found out what the job entailed, then un-regretted it after I got used to it. Fun times. But, yeah, it was a difference of formally volunteering for a Voluntary versus "pretty much volunteering" for an Involuntary.
  12. Yup. That's the standard for when ANG deploys folks individually. I volunteered for a deployment a while back and received my orders only to find out that I had been "involuntarily mobilized".
  13. Catman

    What is a good PCSM?

    I was talking to a pilot at my base about my score, and I also had a 79 with 33 hours with 97 in the 200+ column. When I said "79", he said something like "I'm not sure how good that is, but what did you get for your 200+?".