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Duck    852

I'll throw in my 2 cents. Been married to my wife (1st and only) for 10 years. Got married a year before UPT. I was very upfront and honest that I wouldn't have a whole lot of time besides Saturday and half a day Sunday, until I was done with UPT. She actively supported me because she knew it was my dream and she wanted me to be happy. 10 years later, we have been through countless deployments, TDYs and short notice interruptions to our life. She's been a single parent for probably the majority of our youngest kid's life with me being on the road.

I think you need to be upfront and honest. Paint her a realistic picture. If she is a keeper, she will stick through it with you. However I have never once put my "career" in front of her. That's not saying that she has always been happy or that it's all been easy and yes there are some things that you just have to do as part of the job.

If you have messed up priorities expect to not have the same family you started with when you retire/separate. I've seen it all too many times. Most of those guys leave with a lot of bitterness and regret. The Air Force will one day be done with you, but your family should be with you forever.

You have chosen a tough life. Rewarding but tough. Not just on you, but your wife and your kids never forget that.

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Ulysses    2

There really is some great wisdom here, I appreciate y'all's responses to the OP's question. I'm in a relevant situation, I guess. My girlfriend of over a year is probably the closest thing to The One™, assuming such a thing could even exist, as I'm ever gonna find. I'm in my fourth year of AFROTC and waiting on EAD, IFT, and UPT dates, which I'll realistically be given sometime in January. I love this girl and know I wanna pop the question eventually, but I'm worried that getting married before UPT might be jumping the gun and potentially make training itself difficult. On the other hand, she doesn't think she'd want to wait around for UPT to end, which I can't entirely blame her for.

So I'd love some advice on the whole "being married during UPT" bit. How many of y'all have done it? Did you have some bros who did it? Was your/their performance during UPT affected by the fact that you had a spouse there?

I'm just a bit worried that if something happened domestically that caused me to e.g. hook a checkride or what have you, and it could be perceived as "her fault," I'd resent her for years. As much as I want to be married, I wanna fly fighters more right now. Maybe I should feel bad about that. Maybe not.

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1 minute ago, Ulysses said:

There really is some great wisdom here, I appreciate y'all's responses to the OP's question. I'm in a relevant situation, I guess. My girlfriend of over a year is probably the closest thing to The One™, assuming such a thing could even exist, as I'm ever gonna find. I'm in my fourth year of AFROTC and waiting on EAD, IFT, and UPT dates, which I'll realistically be given sometime in January. I love this girl and know I wanna pop the question eventually, but I'm worried that getting married before UPT might be jumping the gun and potentially make training itself difficult. On the other hand, she doesn't think she'd want to wait around for UPT to end, which I can't entirely blame her for.

So I'd love some advice on the whole "being married during UPT" bit. How many of y'all have done it? Did you have some bros who did it? Was your/their performance during UPT affected by the fact that you had a spouse there?

I'm just a bit worried that if something happened domestically that caused me to e.g. hook a checkride or what have you, and it could be perceived as "her fault," I'd resent her for years. As much as I want to be married, I wanna fly fighters more right now. Maybe I should feel bad about that. Maybe not.

I have yet to go through UPT (waiting on dates), but I asked my brother and cousin about it who both graduated about a year ago. I just got married as well, so I was especially curious before I got married whether I should wait or not. My brother got married about 6 months before UPT, and he said that was the best decision he has made. He said as long as she realizes how busy you will be, it is better to have her there with you rather than not. My cousin decided to wait until after UPT to get married (got married about 4 months after UPT), and he said it was more difficult with long distance and more time consuming than marriage has been so far for him. He said if he could do it over again, than he would get married beforehand. However, they are both guard tanker guys (what I got hired as also), so deployments are much shorter (30-60 day tours) and their now wives realized that after UPT things would cool down much more. 

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Ulysses    2
7 minutes ago, Ang135futurepilot said:

My brother got married about 6 months before UPT, and he said that was the best decision he has made. He said as long as she realizes how busy you will be, it is better to have her there with you rather than not. 

My CC actually kinda mentioned this, so it's nice to hear it reinforced. He himself was single at the time of his own UPT, but he said it can actually be great having someone there who at the end of a hard day still (at least, in theory) loves you unconditionally.

7 minutes ago, Ang135futurepilot said:

My cousin decided to wait until after UPT to get married (got married about 4 months after UPT), and he said it was more difficult with long distance and more time consuming than marriage has been so far for him. He said if he could do it over again, than he would get married beforehand.

The other thing I'm worried about, yeah. While I'm hesitant to get married during UPT, I'm certainly not looking to dump her altogether. Overall, a long-distance relationship or especially an engagement might be more time-consuming, draining, and potentially career-damaging than just going ahead and getting married.

Thanks a lot for the perspective man, this is good stuff to hear. So far she's pretty on-board with the expectations of necessary time commitment to UPT and is aware of the potentially taxing nature of fighter deployments. God bless her heart for that.

What about you personally? Any fears or apprehensions regarding the overlap of UPT and marital bliss?

Edited by Ulysses

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HossHarris    525

Go and see the world. Maybe she's the one. But maybe you've never been more than 4 hours away from your house and you don't know what you're missing. 

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2 hours ago, Ulysses said:

My CC actually kinda mentioned this, so it's nice to hear it reinforced. He himself was single at the time of his own UPT, but he said it can actually be great having someone there who at the end of a hard day still (at least, in theory) loves you unconditionally.

The other thing I'm worried about, yeah. While I'm hesitant to get married during UPT, I'm certainly not looking to dump her altogether. Overall, a long-distance relationship or especially an engagement might be more time-consuming, draining, and potentially career-damaging than just going ahead and getting married.

Thanks a lot for the perspective man, this is good stuff to hear. So far she's pretty on-board with the expectations of necessary time commitment to UPT and is aware of the potentially taxing nature of fighter deployments. God bless her heart for that.

What about you personally? Any fears or apprehensions regarding the overlap of UPT and marital bliss?

Not necessarily, I have made sure she knows how busy I am going to be during UPT. She knows that she will basically be the second priority if I need to study or something. She will also be busy with grad school online, so that helps too. My brother went through at Laughlin and they had a really good group for the wives in his class and they often did stuff together and hung out a fair amount. I can't imagine trying to plan a wedding during UPT (based on how busy I have seen my brother) or trying to do long distance. Just seems like more work to me. 

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bb17    96

Good topic. Seems a lot of the input here is geared towards AD. I know UPT is going to be hard regardless, but would your advice change at all for a Reservist going through the program to be a tanker pilot? And by that, I mean not having the pressure of trying to edge out the competition to get that fighter slot. 

 

I am going to UPT in the near future a couple hours from home. My wife will stay in our current house and works full time, is pretty independent, working on a masters degree, and is 100% supportive. Also we've been married 8 years so being preoccupied for a couple years probably isn't going to adversely impact the same way as a new couple. 

 

I'd like to visit home on weekends more often than not since it is such a short trip, although UPT is the priority. 

 

Does this sound pretty workable or am I being totally naive? 

 

 Also I would appreciate any input on what to expect in terms of additional pay, such as housing allowance, separation pay, or whatever else would be provided if I live in the dorms and still have a wife in a house out of town. 

 

Edited by bb17
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Ulysses    2
28 minutes ago, HossHarris said:

Go and see the world. Maybe she's the one. But maybe you've never been more than 4 hours away from your house and you don't know what you're missing. 

You make a good point, and this sort of thing isn't something I don't consider. I did recently do two months straight study abroad with a DoD language program in Central Asia and still love her, so I'd like to think that's at least indicative of how we'd deal successfully with deployment.

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sqwatch    404
She actively supported me because she knew it was my dream and she wanted me to be happy.



Not to mention it's what pays the bills (for most of us).



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ViperStud    229

The difference between girlfriend and wife is as significant as the difference between having her accompany you or expect you to fly/drive a few hours to see her. On one end of the spectrum is the wife accompanying you to UPT and at the other end of the spectrum there's the girlfriend (not even fiancé) expecting you to do the bulk of the travel in a long-distance relationship. Let's just label those two ends of the spectrum as good and bad, respectively. I saw lots of good examples flourish in UPT.  If you know she's THE keeper, she probably needs a ring. If you're not willing to do that, you've already answered your own question but just haven't yet come to grips with that answer. 

I'm with Hoss. I know a lot of divorced dudes, but none that (after seeing the world for far more than a 2-month abroad program) pine for the one that got away - especially one they weren't willing to commit to at the time when it mattered most. 

The amount of emotional and personal growth/change that takes place from college graduation to becoming a flight lead or AC is an order of magnitude greater than any growing up you did in college. There are many stories of college sweethearts that last forever, but if you want to maximize your chances for marriage success - wait until that maturation process runs its course. 

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HossHarris    525
5 hours ago, Ulysses said:

You make a good point, and this sort of thing isn't something I don't consider. I did recently do two months straight study abroad with a DoD language program in Central Asia and still love her, so I'd like to think that's at least indicative of how we'd deal successfully with deployment.

Not everyone catches the yellow fever. 

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YoungnDumb    24

I'll be honest, my now wife and I were long distance during UPT and it was awesome.  Yea it sucked she wasn't there but at the same time I never had to explain why I was showing back up to the house at 4 am drunk and smelling like a strip club.  And speaking as a current IP, she may say that she understands and is okay with you studying all the time but I'll be honest, neither you nor her really know what you're getting into or just how much its about to upset your world.  I've dealt with an insane number of pissed off wives who complain about their husband studying all the time or complaining that they're gone 12 hours a day and come home exhausted.   I waited to get married until post-UPT which was great.  Knew where we were gonna live, knew what the wife was gonna do, and had a slightly better idea/understanding of what we were getting into.  So IMHO it's not all bad leaving her behind, it's one-two years, if she really is the one she'll be fine with it.

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sqwatch    404
Go and see the world. Maybe she's the one. But maybe you've never been more than 4 hours away from your house and you don't know what you're missing. 

The concept of "the one" is on the same shelf as Rapunzel and tooth fairies, and watching a bunch of military aviators try to play the role of "dear Abby" is on the fringes of my comfort level- much like when bqzip's mom asked for a glass-bottom-boat.

Does this kid want to be a pilot? Does he know he will study more in one year if UPT than he did in 4 (or five in my case) years of college? Or is he worried about some chick getting her feelings hurt because he has to prioritize his one shot at flying for the military over Sunday morning trips to bed bath and beyond? Is she willing to make the effort to visit so he can keep from washing out thus being sent to be a finance officer that fvcks up my BAH?

Kids these days. Get off my lawn.

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Chida    44

Hmm not everyone catches yellow fever. That's true. For those that don't even allow it, I ask you: Why? I'll leave my suppositions unsaid, for now.


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FUSEPLUG    219
7 hours ago, sqwatch said:

The concept of "the one" is on the same shelf as Rapunzel and tooth fairies, and watching a bunch of military aviators try to play the role of "dear Abby" is on the fringes of my comfort level...

I was starting to get uncomfortable myself.  So in hopes of derailing this thread, here goes...

Screw the Air Force. Leadership sucks. Go to the airlines, the grass is greener. FU Chang. C Model drivers are homos. DD-214 blanket. Et cetera, et cetera.

That's better.  The Baseops I know and love.  

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Vprdrvr69    109
On September 6, 2016 at 0:53 PM, alphadeltaIII said:

I am currently awaiting dates for OCS and UPT and I have a question that I have had a hard time finding an answer to. How feasible is it to make a visit home on weekends from upt? My reason for asking is because I currently have a girlfriend, but she will not be able to move with me because she is still in school. I know that this depends on what base I get selected for, but I am really keeping my fingers crossed for Columbus ( I live in Georgia). I also have a Piper Comanche that I was thinking I may could take with me and keep at one of the local airports and use it to fly back to Georgia some weekends which would only take about 2 hours(From Columbus). I know that I wouldn't be able to go back to see her every weekend, but I was hoping that I could at least make the trip once a month. Is this even possible? And are students allowed to take leave on the weekends? Any help would be appreciated.

Alpha,

There is some great advice and pros/ cons posted for you here in this thread. I'm just going to pile-on to share my take and opinion since I wasted 20 minuted trying to remember my login password. These are very important decisions that you will need to make and you really should give it very serious consideration.

Like others have said, if she is The One, you probably need to put a ring on it. The difference between GF and wife in the military is huge. If she is The One, she deserves to be treated as such especially as you guys enter the military and UPT training. Don't leave her out of this incredible part of your life together. If she is The One, she needs to be prepared to move or drop her school and accompany you. This will become the norm and be one of many sacrifices that she will make. If she is The One, then both of you will be better served by being married and supporting each other though the challenge of UPT and beyond. If she is The One, UPT will be just Chapter One. You can't read a great book and skip the first chapter. Determining whether she truly is The One is obviously the difficult decision that you need to make. If she is The One, then UPT, FTU, your first assignment, your many TDYs/ deployments, you last assignment, the missed Xmas'- birthdays- anniversary's- births- etc, your follow on career, your retirement, and happily ever after's will all be separate chapters in this book of life together. Embrace it...together.

While an aspiring young fighter jock can only focus on the near rocks...some of the crusty old dudes here will give you valuable perspective on the far rocks. The comaraderie, experiences, and stories that you will gain from the USAF as a pilot are invaluable. Likewise, the USAF will F¥CK you over repeatedly due to its own bureaucratic ineptitude and failed policies. You will embrace your military service for the rest of your life. Your stories will be a source of pride. Your experiences will be your treasures that you will share repeatedly and joyfully. But, the USAF will very likely be a shorter part of your life than you can imagine now at your young life of about 22 years. I promise that your family is undoubtedly far more valuable than the USAF could ever hope to be. u Chang.

This forum has centuries of experience amongst its users. If it wasn't for Hacker and his early internet blog (Road to Wings- pre Bops) I might not be here. You'll get all sorts of perspectives and stories and they each bring such value. There is no right or wrong answer for your situation; the right answer is the one that you decide and act upon, after thorough careful considerations.

Here's my story in a shell- My wife and I met when we were too young to drive. After high school, our sporadic younger flings became serious and we took our relationship to a commited level. I felt that she could be The One and acted on it. Together, we spent the next 8 years beginning a life together starting with absolutely nothing but each other. I worked on cars putting myself through college and flight school. My wife and I were a team and she stood by my side, while everyone else mocked my dreams. With toddler age children, I finished college and flight school  while working full time and supporting my young family. I poured everything that I had into my OCS (OTS to be correct) package and prayed that I did well enough to be accepted. Thankfully, I knew that if I was not accepted, I had my family and passion to succeed in life however that deck was dealt.

I was accepted and obviously my family continued to support me through OTS/ UPT. I absolutely couldn't imagine not having them by my side through training. The hardest challenge that I faced was being away from my family for OTS. UPT was not a problem especially with the support structure that my family provided me. Having young kids allowed me to occasionally disconnect from UPT and training to enjoy life a little bit. That mental break is crucially important. With their support and understanding of my studies, I did very well and finished at the top of my class. I went on to fly fighters and did well.

Sadly, I spent many fighter TDYs partying like a young single fighter pilot and I regret that to this day. Why? Because the fighter jet came and went. Guess what stuck with me through thick and thin? Yep. I also saw many fly-by-night marriages that lasted a year or two at best. The military isn't going to take you to great locales...your hometown with your hometown HS sweetheart may be better than some would lead to believe.

Fast forward a decade and some... The USAF is lost and spatially D'd. After hundreds of days deployed over non-stop bursts and being sick of the politically correct, social experiment that has become the US military, I punched out of AD. While I cherish my experiences, friendships, and stories, this was such a wise move for both my career and family. 

Remember the book of life that I spoke of? I'm barely into Chapter 7 now. I left AD and worked for a crazy outfit building crazy airplanes for a while while prioritizing my family. After realizing that my book might end abruptly, I decided that an airline career was a wise choice. 15 years ago I was the most determined wannabe fighter jock in the world. Now I'm a much wiser airline pilot and my family couldn't be happier. I couldn't be happier. I love my wife and she loves me. My kids love me and I would do anything in the world for them. I just took one to college and couldn't be prouder of the young man that my wife, errr.... we raised. I now spend so much time with each and every one of them. So much time. I look forward to every day not because I want to fly to Hawaii or DC, but because of the time that I can spend with those that really matter to me. Aside from a few disturbed weekends here and there, the USAF is nothing but great stories and memories about a time gone by.

So...embrace your future. It's amazing and you should be thrilled. You should be proud. If this GF is serious, and you are too, don't exclude her because of cold feet or indecision. If you want to be a fighter pilot then learn now how to be decisive. My story is just one of many. Use the info that you have. And now I'm that I'm out of beer...

 

 

 

 

Edited by Vprdrvr69
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Jughead    168
On 9/6/2016 at 0:53 PM, alphadeltaIII said:

I also have a Piper Comanche that I was thinking I may could take with me and keep at one of the local airports and use it to fly back to Georgia some weekends which would only take about 2 hours(From Columbus).


Since no one else has commented on this, it seems likely that things may have changed since I went through UPT 100 years ago; but....

When I went through, we were explicitly prohibited from outside flying, and it didn't matter if you had never flown before or commanded the last Space Shuttle mission, or anywhere in between.  You probably want to know the status of that before putting any irrevocable planes in place.

 

Yes, I realize any such prohibition is likely unenforceable if push comes to shove.  Consider, however, the BS that the AF wraps around "high risk" activities (among which it lists GA flying), and which AETC enhances.  As a student in a program that will determine the shape of your entire professional life yet to come and which will likely be the toughest undertaking you have yet experienced...  do you really want to get in that fight?

 

Again, my information may be woefully out of date, but, I'd check if I were you....

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Jaded    387

I remember flying with my buddies once in pilot training out of the Sheppard FBO if I remember right. I don't remember that rule existing 10 years ago.

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schokie    57

Too lazy to look it up, but I remember someone quoting the reg in a different thread recently. I believe it just forbids you from gaining a new certificate or endorsement, not from exercising privileges you already have. So you can't go work on your instrument rating or get a head start on that ATP, but nothing other than aforementioned AETC discouragement prevents you from using your previously earned PPL. 

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M2    1,164
On 11/7/2016 at 4:23 PM, schokie said:

Too lazy to look it up, but I remember someone quoting the reg in a different thread recently. I believe it just forbids you from gaining a new certificate or endorsement, not from exercising privileges you already have. So you can't go work on your instrument rating or get a head start on that ATP, but nothing other than aforementioned AETC discouragement prevents you from using your previously earned PPL. 

See Dapper Dan Man's post...

 

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BFM this    310
On 11/7/2016 at 3:42 PM, Jughead said:


Since no one else has commented on this, it seems likely that things may have changed since I went through UPT 100 years ago; but....

When I went through, we were explicitly prohibited from outside flying, and it didn't matter if you had never flown before or commanded the last Space Shuttle mission, or anywhere in between.  You probably want to know the status of that before putting any irrevocable planes in place.

Ten years ago, and these rules will sway back and forth with the winds at AETC bases, but...

I did some light flying at the local glider club and FBO while at UPT.  Just did the hazardous activities worksheet, got the counseling from my flight commander to not do anything stupid,...beyond that it wasn't treated any different than riding my motorcycle or boating with friends.  ymmv

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