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For SA, I've noticed a lot of advice given on asking the squadron you interviewed at but not selected advice on a debrief and advice. Take everything with a grain of salt. The same things I did at one interview to get picked up was met with resistance at another squadron. For example, I was told that "I don't fit into fighter culture, maybe you should join the Marine Corps instead." Don't get discouraged and keep going. It's not going to get any easier from here on out, but if you grind hard and really mesh well with a squadron, then your chances will be pretty high. Good luck all!

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I’ve applied to 3 units. All heavies. No response on the first. Interviews were scheduled 3 days after deadline so I figure they had the people they wanted to interview already. TBNT on the second. Same story. Interviews scheduled 2 days after deadline. Figure they had their people picked as well. Third unit I applied to after contacting their POC. Wasn’t listed anywhere. Applied. Got an interview invite the next day via Zoom. Waiting to hear back on callbacks for in person interviews. I’m not entirely sure that everyone that applied got a Zoom interview. Even if they did, I’m happy that I at least got the opportunity to interview and tell my story and explain why I want to be a pilot in the ANG. I will definitely apply with them again if I don’t get an in person this time. I’ll definitely apply with the second unit that gave me a TBNT. I may expect too much but there’s just something about not getting any feedback that makes me not want to reapply with the first unit.

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Honestly I have been feeling the same way, definitely very frustrated. I feel like if I were a unit I would at least interview if not hire me. Active duty TSgt Flight Engineer with 750 hours on my airframe, I have my PPL, I have not amazing but decent scores on AFOQT/PCSM and GPA, already have a flight physical, and a TS clearance....yet not even an interview out of the 6 units i have applied to. I guess still keep at it, but im close to biting the bullet and submitting an AD application. 

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Keep in mind that I'm 33 years old, so it'll likely be inherently more difficult to get an interview, but let me offer my 2 cents:

I've been at this game since I was 22 years old coming out of college...that's right, going into year eleven of this game in some form or fashion. I've applied to all of the following:

  • 2009 - 2010: Air Force Active Duty (2x; non-select, then board cancellation)
  • 2010 - 2013: 13 different ANG/AFRC units (12x non-select; 1 interview, 1 selection by a KC-135 unit...had to eventually relinquish my slot due to some tough family stuff that would have certainly interfered with successful UPT completion and more)
  • 2013 - June 2020: Get the personal life situation in order, while everyday thinking about applying as soon as things were. And they are now.
  • June 2020 - Present: 6 applications submitted (2 outright rejections due to age, 3 I've never heard back from, 1 that still has the chance to interview)

I'm old, but have decent numbers: 96 Pilot, 87 PCSM (97 with 201+ hours), ~60 flight hours (post-solo) and on-track to finish my PPL this Fall, assuming CA wildfire issues don't keep grounding my flights.

At my age, I've come to learn to learn two things:

1. Patience isn't just a virtue, it's the ardent protector of sanity.

While life is indeed short and years certainly do go by fast, unless you're already in age waiver territory chances are you've got several years to make this happen. I know we'd all like to be picked up on Application #1, but man, patience is key. We're all pursuing a career that is as cool and as fulfilling as it gets, and part of that career is the process: Enjoy it! Don't let impatient steal the happiness that's found in all of this! I know it seems like, if after 13 applications it hasn't happened that it may never happen, but I promise you: keep at it, improve in someway every month, quarter, etc., and simply don't stop pushing. It will work out. Be patient, and let the math (i.e. # of apps submitted over time) work in your favor. Eventually, even after years of applying, there's gonna be a unit that's gonna be like, "Ya know, this is the 3rd year in a row this guy has applied, he's visited several times, and wow, he's now got his PPL, instrument rating, and his PCSM just hit 99. Let's get him in here to interview."

2. Be yourself. ALWAYS.

And when you get that interview, come more prepared to this interview than you have anything else in your life, and be yourself. Take it from someone who's done it: pretending to be anybody else but yourself is incredibly difficult, a cancer to the soul, and I have no doubt squadrons can see it coming from around the corner. My granddad used to say, "I can tell by the way that joker walks what he had for breakfast," and I'm sure these hiring boards are no different. I highly doubt you'll secure a pilot slot simply saying everything the board wants to hear, and if you do, you're likely to be eventually be weeded out, one way or another. So be yourself--and always strive to be your best self, but that's a different topic--and take comfort in knowing that, whether or not it worked out, it did or didn't based on you being you. There's solace to take in that, I promise.

Eventually, it will work out. And in the off-chance it doesn't, and, somehow, it's become official that being an ANG or AFRC pilot wasn't in the cards for you, you'll be able to look yourself in the mirror knowing you didn't sucker out, and you'll likely have some awesome civilian flying and ratings to sustain your love of aviation as you move into the next phase of life.

Best of luck to all, and as many others have said, don't stop improving, and don't stop applying!

Edited by GreenArc
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Agreed!! Such a great group of people to share this process with!! What’s the oldest person you’ve all known to be picked up by a fighter unit? Going to keep trying even into waiver territory but I know fighters are more age critical. I’m currently 28. Thanks!

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7 hours ago, Dangerzone said:

I’ve found it difficult to make connections, what’s your approach—try and communicate with the chief pilot and ask to come out for a visit? But in a covid environment just try and give him/her a call and build a relationship that way? 
I’ve just been sending out apps and hoping for the best, does not seem to be the winning approach. 

Definitely visit if you have the means to. I know it's a big time and financial burden but I'd pick 1-2 unit that you are really really interested in to go visit. Once you meet them in person and talk to them, you'll get a feel for the vibe and then decide how you want to stay in touch. It doesn't necessarily have to be the chief pilot or whomever, just someone you thought you vibed well with. Visit more than once if you can! If you don't feel like you vibed with anyone there, maybe it's not a great fit culture/personality wise for you. With that said, you definitely don't want to come off being fake.

If you're qualified/check all the boxes on paper, sending out apps isn't actually that bad of a strategy - it just takes more time to get some traction. So, depending on your age and whatever circumstances, just keep sending apps (not sure when you started applying, but I imagine spring time hiring boards will kick into gear again. As someone said, what's happening at the airlines now probably aren't affecting boards too much since hired to operational takes like 3 years) and something is gonna stick, I promise. 

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2 hours ago, Checksix said:

Agreed!! Such a great group of people to share this process with!! What’s the oldest person you’ve all known to be picked up by a fighter unit? Going to keep trying even into waiver territory but I know fighters are more age critical. I’m currently 28. Thanks!

Not sure about the oldest I've heard of getting picked up, but I'm 31 and I have a first-round phone interview with one tomorrow. It's been hard, like real hard since turning 30. I've lost count of how many have told me no because of my age. But obviously it can be done if even one is willing to talk to me.

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I’m also 30. Decent scores. Not great. Am I happy with them? No. Are they competitive? I think so. Basically here’s where I’m at with it. I started super late. I just realized 28 1/2 was changed to 33 in the past 4 months. Based on what I’ve read, and I’ve done a lot of reading, realistically I have roughly a year left. I then find myself in the same position where age again becomes a significant issue. It’s been a lifelong dream I thought was gone because of age. I look at it as blessing that I even have the opportunity to submit application packages. It’s a blessing I even had the ability to get my PPL and have 120 flight hours. If a unit looks through 50, 60, 70, in one case 120+ apps and deems me worthy of an interview. That’s amazing. If that unit chooses me for the slot out of all those apps. That’s a blessing. If I submit 25 packages and never get an in person interview then it wasn’t meant to be. I have a good job, a very supportive fiancé that’s supported me chasing this dream, and a beautiful, happy, and healthy 1 year old daughter. I’m still a lucky guy. I’m still blessed to be so lucky. Do I have the burning desire to serve my country and fly the best aircraft in the world? I absolutely do. If I fail to realize that dream I at least chased it. The best way I knew how. Based on the conversations I’ve had with people I’ve met here the people that caused that dream to fall through deserved to live that dream as much if not more than I did and I’m nothing but happy for them.

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I'm genuinely thrilled by how supportive people are here. It's good to know that anytime I don't get selected for a pilot slot it's probably going to someone who really deserves it more. I hope you all get picked up in good time!

I had the good fortune of interviewing with two fighter units. At one of them the pilot candidate selected from the year before was present, and he explained he was in his 30's (I didn't catch his exact age), so the older guys here definitely have time still. I got a no from both units, but some good feedback and encouragement to keep applying in the future.

Don't forget everyone that the fiscal year ends on September 30th, so there could be some more opportunities opening up in the near future as budgets get allocated. Keep applying, and best of luck to you all!

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Heard back from the 709th out of Dover on Tuesday with an offer to interview.

For reference: 98 AFOQT Pilot, 99 PCSM. ATP rated.

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3 hours ago, CavGuy said:

still nothing from the 709th for me.

Yeah me too. Has anyone heard from 357 or 166?

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7 hours ago, Fat Tony said:

Yeah me too. Has anyone heard from 357 or 166?

166th ARS? Invites went out last week.

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For those of you who are having a hard time getting the interview, I strongly advise you consider BogiDope consulting. The guys on there are a wealth of information. I thought I had solid cover letter/resume before, but after working with them, its a night and day difference, and I would honestly cringe at the thought of having to submit my old documents. No one ever said this would be cheap. The BogiDope stuff is pricey (at least to me), but my documents are really strong now. Just sent everything into AZ ANG, so I guess I will find out if the price tag was worth it lol. 

I will also say that nice polished documents can only make up for low qualifications to a point. So make sure you keep flying, retake afoqt/tbas if you need to. 

On another note, for those of you still in the running for the 457th, what are those guys doing over there lol.

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37 minutes ago, CavGuy said:

166th ARS? Invites went out last week.

Ok thanks. I Figured, but wanted to be sure. 

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10 hours ago, Fat Tony said:

Yeah me too. Has anyone heard from 357 or 166?

The 357th is sending out invites next week 

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1 hour ago, pilotcrum said:

The 357th is sending out invites next week 

I never saw that job posting advertised. Where did you find it? 

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40 minutes ago, Dangerzone said:

I never saw that job posting advertised. Where did you find it? 

It was on bogidope

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Last sanity check question:

For the AZ F-16 Apps, for the Form 369, are you basically just signing where it says “I hereby consent to release from your files the information requested below?, as that’s the only place it notes “To be completed by applicant.”

Or are you filling out the top portion too? It says to be filled out out by the Recruiting Service, but feels a bit odd shipping this having just been signed?

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Last sanity check question:
For the AZ F-16 Apps, for the Form 369, are you basically just signing where it says “I hereby consent to release from your files the information requested below?, as that’s the only place it notes “To be completed by applicant.”
Or are you filling out the top portion too? It says to be filled out out by the Recruiting Service, but feels a bit odd shipping this having just been signed?


Fill out only the applicant portion 🤙🏻
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21 minutes ago, JabroniWizard said:

 


Fill out only the applicant portion 🤙🏻

 

Thank you so much for confirming; just the signature it is! 🤙

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On 9/9/2020 at 6:05 PM, Desk Jobs Suck said:

For example, I was told that "I don't fit into fighter culture, maybe you should join the Marine Corps instead." 

The guy who said that realizes the Marine Corps also has a fighter community right?  

image.png.dce96bc9975d642048d51d90b7176107.png

But ok getting (sorta) serious to second what Desk Jobs said just shoot for what makes you happy and develop some thicker skin.  

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On 9/10/2020 at 11:56 AM, markf12 said:

On another note, for those of you still in the running for the 457th, what are those guys doing over there lol.

The latest update ~a week ago said the issues are above the hiring board process so possibly still working through COVID issues. 

On another another note...for the JAX phone interviews, has anyone gotten a call about scheduling their phone interview yet? Just making sure i'm not missing anything

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