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Chances of getting a tailhook / jet slot in Navy Flight School

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Hi there, I was wondering what the chances are for a Marine Corps Aviator to get a jet / tailhook slot during Primary Flight Training in Naval Flight School. Does anyone know how exactly Marine Corps / Navy select their slots. I know the Air Force has one drop night where everyone gets T-38 or T-1, but I'm unsure how Naval Flight School works.

I found so much info about AFROTC and how exactly flight school works in the AF, but there isin't that much information about Naval Flight School, especially about how selection works.

I know that with every UPT class there are at least a few T-38 drops available. So if you want one, you can really work hard to get it. But I'm a little worried that with the Marine Corps, there may not even be jet drops, but I have no idea and there is honestly no information available. So if anyone can help me out, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks guys.

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They navy/marines drops are based entirely on your MASS score (its basically every sortie, test, anything graded you ever did), and its a moving average based on the people the month prior that dropped. The marines have a minimum baseline score you have to get to get jets usually. If everyone the month prior to you sucked it drags the scores down you could get tailhook or it could go the other way and everyone was shithot and did really well you could possibly not get it even if you did really well.

That's the quick and dirty as it was explained to me by my DoN classmates at Vance. I think BolterKing is a navy guy, he might have more detailed info for you.

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What I've seen at Whiting is the Marines are the least predictable. Sometimes they have jets for all my friends. They even had a "jet draft" last year and non-vol'd some Marines into jets. Other times everyone is going helos, like it or not. C-130s are usually rare. You've also got Ospreys in the mix.

Navy is a little more like AF in that most drops have at least a couple jets. The score you're ranked by is called "NSS" and it's PFM. Don't waste brain cells trying to figure it out - you'll just fail with a headache.

Either way, USMC or USN, there're no classes like in the AF. When you finish, you select the next week. It's all luck and timing for who you're up against. If it's a rock star week, good luck. If it's not, your odds of getting your first choice are better. There may or may not be some manipulation to get good students what they want, but that's above your pay grade anyway, so don't even try to game it.

In the end, across all services, it's the job of your primary instructors to try to match you where you fit best. Choose a service for its mission and lifestyle, not for the odds of getting a T-38 or T-45.

Edited by nunya

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What I've seen at Whiting is the Marines are the least predictable. Sometimes they have jets for all my friends. They even had a "jet draft" last year and non-vol'd some Marines into jets. Other times everyone is going helos, like it or not. C-130s are usually rare. You've also got Ospreys in the mix.

Navy is a little more like AF in that most drops have at least a couple jets. The score you're ranked by is called "NSS" and it's PFM. Don't waste brain cells trying to figure it out - you'll just fail with a headache.

Either way, USMC or USN, there're no classes like in the AF. When you finish, you select the next week. It's all luck and timing for who you're up against. If it's a rock star week, good luck. If it's not, your odds of getting your first choice are better. There may or may not be some manipulation to get good students what they want, but that's above your pay grade anyway, so don't even try to game it.

In the end, across all services, it's the job of your primary instructors to try to match you where you fit best. Choose a service for its mission and lifestyle, not for the odds of getting a T-38 or T-45.

Ideally, I would go Navy. But that isin't an option because my school does not have NROTC and BDCP is closed. So instead I chose to do the Marine PLC program. I really like the Marine Corps too. It's really the idea of getting deployed on a ship that got me into the Navy, and since the Marines offer the same, I'm cool with either of the 2 branches.

What exactly is a jet draft? If there was one last year in 2012, then could anyone predict when the next one might be?

Can you also tell me a little bit about Navy Primary Flight School. I hear it is go at your own pace, but I'm not exactly sure what that means? Are you put into a class like at UPT or do SNAs get picked up whenever slots open?

They navy/marines drops are based entirely on your MASS score (its basically every sortie, test, anything graded you ever did), and its a moving average based on the people the month prior that dropped. The marines have a minimum baseline score you have to get to get jets usually. If everyone the month prior to you sucked it drags the scores down you could get tailhook or it could go the other way and everyone was shithot and did really well you could possibly not get it even if you did really well.

That's the quick and dirty as it was explained to me by my DoN classmates at Vance. I think BolterKing is a navy guy, he might have more detailed info for you.

Can you tell me how to contact BolterKing? Thanks for the help.

Edited by Starboard

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Checkout airwarriors.com for USN & USMC gouge. I don't have any knowledge I made the mistake of "Flying Army!"

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If you want more info about PLC and what happens beyond, shoot me a PM.

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Can you tell me how to contact BolterKing? Thanks for the help.

pm him

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What exactly is a jet draft? If there was one last year in 2012, then could anyone predict when the next one might be?
Jet draft was just what the Marines called the trend of jet non-vols. They were "drafted" into jets whether they wanted it or not, especially if they were a strong student in a weak selection week. Nobody knows when it will or won't happen - manning decisions are reactionary by nature.
Can you also tell me a little bit about Navy Primary Flight School. I hear it is go at your own pace, but I'm not exactly sure what that means? Are you put into a class like at UPT or do SNAs get picked up whenever slots open?
It's not go at your own pace at all. You might take longer to get through, but it's at the pace dictated by the squadron, weather, your own pass rate, etc. Some Whiting students were finishing in 4 months, others 6+. In the end, UPT is a factory for all services. Our job is to train you and move you along. You get no say in the pace. You start in classes for ground school and for admin purposes (i.e. Chain of Command), but those quickly disintegrate and you'll finish on your own, maybe weeks earlier or later than your ground school class mates. Edited by nunya

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Jet draft was just what the Marines called the trend of jet non-vols. They were "drafted" into jets whether they wanted it or not, especially if they were a strong student in a weak selection week. Nobody knows when it will or won't happen - manning decisions are reactionary by nature.It's not go at your own pace at all. You might take longer to get through, but it's at the pace dictated by the squadron, weather, your own pass rate, etc. Some Whiting students were finishing in 4 months, others 6+. In the end, UPT is a factory for all services. Our job is to train you and move you along. You get no say in the pace. You start in classes for ground school and for admin purposes (i.e. Chain of Command), but those quickly disintegrate and you'll finish on your own, maybe weeks earlier or later than your ground school class mates.

I see. So we could have a helo, osprey, or herc draft and get no say whatsoever in our selection? Even if a student worked really hard and had a good NSS score, and the IP decided that fixed wing was best for him, then would the student still get assigned to helos if there was a helo draft?

Thanks for the explanation of flight school, from what I understand, it is supposed to be 22 weeks (primary) but often the locations of Whiting and Corpus delay the training and make it longer. Due to weather, etc. Where as in AF UPT, they just make you do double so that you can finish at a set date, no pushing things back right?

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I see. So we could have a helo, osprey, or herc draft and get no say whatsoever in our selection? Even if a student worked really hard and had a good NSS score, and the IP decided that fixed wing was best for him, then would the student still get assigned to helos if there was a helo draft?

Yep. Welcome to the military, where your desires are tertiary at best.

Thanks for the explanation of flight school, from what I understand, it is supposed to be 22 weeks (primary) but often the locations of Whiting and Corpus delay the training and make it longer. Due to weather, etc. Where as in AF UPT, they just make you do double so that you can finish at a set date, no pushing things back right?

I heard Whiting was going to a set completion date model, too, but don't know for sure if that's happened.

Good luck man. And don't ask these kind of questions when you get to training. You'd be way out of your student lane. Learn your FTI, NATOPS, and FWOP and leave everything else to the instructors. You have no real control anyway, so don't even think about it.

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Yep. Welcome to the military, where your desires are tertiary at best.

I heard Whiting was going to a set completion date model, too, but don't know for sure if that's happened.

Good luck man. And don't ask these kind of questions when you get to training. You'd be way out of your student lane. Learn your FTI, NATOPS, and FWOP and leave everything else to the instructors. You have no real control anyway, so don't even think about it.

Thank you for the advice.

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First: Do not go to Airwarriors and ask the "What are my chances" question. That has been asked so many times by so many folks that it's now something you can get hammered for.

Second: If you do your very best and get an awesome NSS, you'll have done all you can do. If there are jets available for selection you'll have a fighting chance. You have to get at least a 50 NSS to select tailhook. You'll hear alot of BS about different bases finish faster/guarantee jets/ etc. It's all just that: BS.

Third: No matter what you get you'll love it. I somehow managed to end up flying the only heavy aircraft in the Navy inventory and I love every second (of the flying).

Good luck.

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It's really the idea of getting deployed on a ship that got me into the Navy, and since the Marines offer the same, I'm cool with either of the 2 branches.

Ship life sucks. I've been working with a bunch of Navy and Marine aviators out here and they can't stand living on a boat. The USMC LNOs dread heading back to the boat when the MEU heads out. Interestingly enough, USMC KC-130s are quite difficult to get into.

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First: Do not go to Airwarriors and ask the "What are my chances" question. That has been asked so many times by so many folks that it's now something you can get hammered for.

It's all in how you ask the question.

It sounds more analytical if you word it "What percent get tailhook aviation?", or something along those lines, and they will be good with that.

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