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MountainSlicker

Chances at an ANG Fighter Squadron

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Howdy, 

First off, this is my first post but I am frequenter lurker of the forums. I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can from these forums as possible but I have come to a crossroads and would greatly appreciate some advice from folks within the military. I am a civilian pilot with a little over 300 hours,  I'm a CFI and CFII with my commercial-multi who works out of the Bend, OR airport. I am about a year out from finishing my Bachelor's of Applied Science in Technology and Management (I understand this is a somewhat useless degree) and have an Associate's Degree in Aviation. I've maintained a fairly consistent 3.7 GPA throughout my studies while working two jobs to pay for school and flying. While I was doing my flight training I was working line for an FBO out of Bend and working as an EMT for a medical transport company based out of Redmond. My previous career was in wildland fire working for the Prineville Hotshots but I made a switch because I love flying more than I like setting stuff on fire (Which is a big love of mine). Healthwise I just turned 23, I have no health issues to my knowledge, I do wear glasses (20/30 left eye and 20/40 right eye) but am currently looking into a LASIK consultation. I admitted to smoking weed once when i Was 18 on a pre-approval form because honesty is a big deal to me. I don't have a criminal background, I don't even have a speeding ticket. Other than the vision and the pot I can't see a big reason for an immediate dequal. 

While working at the Bend airport as line service and now as a flight instructor I've had the chance to meet a lot of really awesome pilots/people associated with aviation. Some of these guys were from the Klamath Falls ANG. I got asked why the hell I hadn't applied for the military and I didn't really have a great answer. I've always wanted to serve my country, I've always wanted  to fly for the military, and I've always been draw by the challenge of military aviation. So, I went and visited the base and got the chance to meet the squadron. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I've now been talking to two recruiters: an enlisted recruiter and an officer recruiter for the guard. I got into contact with the guy in charge of creating the packages to be sent over for UPT. It seems to be the consensus from them is that I should enlist to become acquainted with the squadron and then see if I can get a slot. While I would be more than happy with enlisting if it betters my chances at getting a seat in an F-15 I just want to understand the whole picture. Is there any harm in submitting a package directly to the hiring board and trying to see if I can get a slot that way? I have plans to contact the Lt. Col. who was in charge of the hiring board in 2016 and to make continual visit to the squadron down in Klamath. I guess my question is what should my next step be? Would it be okay to continue my visits, submit a package, see how it goes and if it doesn't work out then try enlistment? In your opinions what are my chances of even getting an interview? I'm not opposed to other guard bases but I really like Klamath's mission. I thoroughly enjoy being a flight instructor and I think being an instructor pilot for the military would be an even more enjoyable opportunity. 

Anyway, I appreciate anyone who reads this and I'll take any and all advice you guys have to offer. 

Edited by MountainSlicker
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Somewhat similar boat to you. I am 20 and looking at ANG wings.

1. Study for and take the AFOQT and TBAS ASAP. You can retake the AFOQT after 1 year so you want to get your first one done as soon as you feel ready. You have a lot more hours than me so your PCSM (combined AFOQT and TBAS) score should come out to be pretty good. Either contact the ANG wing about this or a local AFROTC detachment. I did mine both at the AFROTC detachment at my college and they were very helpful.

2. If you want PRK/LASIK, try to get that done soon too. I had mine done in May and I have to wait 6 months to apply to make sure the surgery went okay. Also check the medical section on the forum to find out the details to see if you even need it. If you are 20/30 and 20/40 without the glasses on, you don't. If you do need it, make sure you get the appropriate form and go over it with your doctor so that everything is documented before/during/after the surgery.

3. As long as you didn't admit to smoking marijuana like 100 times, you'll be fine. An AD recruiter told me they are getting easier and easier on marijuana rules every year and you can admit to smoking something like 20 times now before it matters. This is AD though. An ANG wing may personally care more.

I don't know about enlisting before trying to apply to a UPT board. Really depends on the specific ANG wing. Some wings only hire from within. Try getting in contact with other wings with airframes/locations you are interested in and seeing if you can visit. You can then decide where you feel you would like it/fit best and if it would be worth it for you to enlist to try to increase your chances.

Edited by Zulu
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Zulu, 

Thank you for the reply. I'll definitely get on the AFOQT and TBAS.

Interesting, they were telling me PRK/LASIK or no fighter for me. I'll take a look at the medical section of the forums though. 

Nope, I didn't and I haven't. It was only once and I had just graduated high school; I was dumb and wanted to try. Didn't ever think it would bite me in the as at the time. 

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1 hour ago, MountainSlicker said:

Interesting, they were telling me PRK/LASIK or no fighter for me.

Nonsense.

1 hour ago, Zulu said:

I don't know about enlisting before trying to apply to a UPT board. Really depends on the specific ANG wing. Some wings only hire from within

To add to this, the only units I saw hire from the street on my journey did so in addition to from within. (Small, anecdotal sample)

Study for the AFOQT & TBAS as if you only have one shot at it.

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Klamath definitely hires off the street, so don't feel like you have to enlist to have a shot. Both in 2015 and 2016 a civilian was hired. However, if you're dead set on joining only that particular unit, it may not be harmful since you're only 23.  In my opinion, you should also do research on other units, because you may find missions you like even better than purely instructing. Keep in mind you will do upgrades and have the potential to be an IP any place you go (albeit not teaching someone how to initially fly the F-15 - more so for the mission side of things).

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18 minutes ago, Sit On Acorns said:

Nonsense.

To add to this, the only units I saw hire from the street on my journey did so in addition to from within. (Small, anecdotal sample)

Study for the AFOQT & TBAS as if you only have one shot at it.

Good to know. Yeah my vision isn't horrible and I only recently got glasses in the last six months. 

Will do, I've got a few prep books in my Amazon cart right now. 

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13 minutes ago, cagg011 said:

Klamath definitely hires off the street, so don't feel like you have to enlist to have a shot. Both in 2015 and 2016 a civilian was hired. However, if you're dead set on joining only that particular unit, it may not be harmful since you're only 23.  In my opinion, you should also do research on other units, because you may find missions you like even better than purely instructing. Keep in mind you will do upgrades and have the potential to be an IP any place you go (albeit not teaching someone how to initially fly the F-15 - more so for the mission side of things).

Okay, good to know. I'm not dead set on it. I'm open to anything in the western half of the United States that have fighters. I'll definitely take a look at different units. Good to know, I'm fairly ignorant on the whole progression of military pilots and the different options but I'll do some more research. Thank you. 

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17 minutes ago, Sit On Acorns said:

http://access.afpc.af.mil/pcsmdmz//AFOQTPrepMaterials.html

That website is God over anything in the books, FYI. ESPECIALLY on the table reading, don’t use the books for that.

Will do. Thanks again, this has all been super useful. It has been hard to figure out where to start from the outside looking in but this helps a lot with that. 

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If your intentions are to fly , I would be careful of taking the gamble and enlist "hoping" to get hired. All 3 guys that got hired with my unit, including my self, were off the street. We interviewed along side current enlisted folks and came out ahead. In my opinion if you have a competitive package and seem like a good dude they will hire the best fit. 

If you do well on your AFOQT and TBAS you will have a pretty competitive package, the rest is up to  you being a good fit with the unit.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Heavywanabe said:

If your intentions are to fly , I would be careful of taking the gamble and enlist "hoping" to get hired. All 3 guys that got hired with my unit, including my self, were off the street. We interviewed along side current enlisted folks and came out ahead. In my opinion if you have a competitive package and seem like a good dude they will hire the best fit. 

If you do well on your AFOQT and TBAS you will have a pretty competitive package, the rest is up to  you being a good fit with the unit.

 

 

That is good to hear. Yeah I am a little hesitant to enlist because in all reality I really just want to fly. 

I know it varies from person to person but about how long did you study for the AFOQT?

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They say give about 30 days to study. Focus the most on the sections that count towards the pilot and nav scores, because that is what gets looked at and goes into the PCSM formula.

I didn't buy any books as most the info is available online. I also took a bunch of timed practice test, the hardest part is the time limits they give you. You being a CFI will help a bunch on the aviation knowledge and instrument reading, Its very basic and anyone that went through a ppl ground course should be able to get all of them correct.  

In all honesty I only studied about 2 hours everyday for a week then went and took it. I ended up getting a 94 for pilot, did pretty bad on the other sections but still got above the min required to be bale to apply for a pilot slot. 

 

 

 

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If you still have any math classes left in school, my best advice is to schedule your AFOQT directly after taking that class while the information is still fresh. That's the easiest way to knock out two birds with one stone IMO. Good luck!

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Howdy, 

First off, this is my first post but I am frequenter lurker of the forums. I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can from these forums as possible but I have come to a crossroads and would greatly appreciate some advice from folks within the military. I am a civilian pilot with a little over 300 hours,  I'm a CFI and CFII with my commercial-multi who works out of the Bend, OR airport. I am about a year out from finishing my Bachelor's of Applied Science in Technology and Management (I understand this is a somewhat useless degree) and have an Associate's Degree in Aviation. I've maintained a fairly consistent 3.7 GPA throughout my studies while working two jobs to pay for school and flying. While I was doing my flight training I was working line for an FBO out of Bend and working as an EMT for a medical transport company based out of Redmond. My previous career was in wildland fire working for the Prineville Hotshots but I made a switch because I love flying more than I like setting stuff on fire (Which is a big love of mine). Healthwise I just turned 23, I have no health issues to my knowledge, I do wear glasses (20/30 left eye and 20/40 right eye) but am currently looking into a LASIK consultation. I admitted to smoking weed once when i Was 18 on a pre-approval form because honesty is a big deal to me. I don't have a criminal background, I don't even have a speeding ticket. Other than the vision and the pot I can't see a big reason for an immediate dequal. 

While working at the Bend airport as line service and now as a flight instructor I've had the chance to meet a lot of really awesome pilots/people associated with aviation. Some of these guys were from the Klamath Falls ANG. I got asked why the hell I hadn't applied for the military and I didn't really have a great answer. I've always wanted to serve my country, I've always wanted  to fly for the military, and I've always been draw by the challenge of military aviation. So, I went and visited the base and got the chance to meet the squadron. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I've now been talking to two recruiters: an enlisted recruiter and an officer recruiter for the guard. I got into contact with the guy in charge of creating the packages to be sent over for UPT. It seems to be the consensus from them is that I should enlist to become acquainted with the squadron and then see if I can get a slot. While I would be more than happy with enlisting if it betters my chances at getting a seat in an F-15 I just want to understand the whole picture. Is there any harm in submitting a package directly to the hiring board and trying to see if I can get a slot that way? I have plans to contact the Lt. Col. who was in charge of the hiring board in 2016 and to make continual visit to the squadron down in Klamath. I guess my question is what should my next step be? Would it be okay to continue my visits, submit a package, see how it goes and if it doesn't work out then try enlistment? In your opinions what are my chances of even getting an interview? I'm not opposed to other guard bases but I really like Klamath's mission. I thoroughly enjoy being a flight instructor and I think being an instructor pilot for the military would be an even more enjoyable opportunity. 

Anyway, I appreciate anyone who reads this and I'll take any and all advice you guys have to offer. 



Don't get LASIK. You don't need it. As long as you are better than -3.0 diopters either eye it's no factor. 20/40 is good to go.

Apply to more than one place. Especially if you are intent on fighters. Most folks I know applied to 20+ who got picked up.

If I were you I'd take the AFOQT and start putting applications out.

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On 7/28/2017 at 9:22 AM, Heavywanabe said:

They say give about 30 days to study. Focus the most on the sections that count towards the pilot and nav scores, because that is what gets looked at and goes into the PCSM formula.

I didn't buy any books as most the info is available online. I also took a bunch of timed practice test, the hardest part is the time limits they give you. You being a CFI will help a bunch on the aviation knowledge and instrument reading, Its very basic and anyone that went through a ppl ground course should be able to get all of them correct.  

In all honesty I only studied about 2 hours everyday for a week then went and took it. I ended up getting a 94 for pilot, did pretty bad on the other sections but still got above the min required to be bale to apply for a pilot slot. 

 

 

 

Okay understood, thank you. So, just to clarify scores on quantitative,  verbal, and academic are not weighed as heavily when determining your final PCSM score?  This is assuming you meet the minimum scores to qualify for a pilot slot of course. 

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On 7/28/2017 at 10:13 AM, BEEPBEEPIMINAJEEP said:

If you still have any math classes left in school, my best advice is to schedule your AFOQT directly after taking that class while the information is still fresh. That's the easiest way to knock out two birds with one stone IMO. Good luck!

I don't have any left but I will definitely study up on math. Thank you for the advice! 

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On 7/31/2017 at 1:15 PM, PilotPitts said:

Don't get LASIK. You don't need it. As long as you are better than -3.0 diopters either eye it's no factor. 20/40 is good to go.

Apply to more than one place. Especially if you are intent on fighters. Most folks I know applied to 20+ who got picked up.

If I were you I'd take the AFOQT and start putting applications ou

Good to know, I'll broaden my horizons to other units and get the AFOQT done. 

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27 minutes ago, MountainSlicker said:

Okay understood, thank you. So, just to clarify scores on quantitative,  verbal, and academic are not weighed as heavily when determining your final PCSM score?  This is assuming you meet the minimum scores to qualify for a pilot slot of course. 

PCSM score is calculated solely by AFOQT Pilot score, TBAS performance (you won't see raw scores for that), and flight time.

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1 minute ago, mb1685 said:

PCSM score is calculated solely by AFOQT Pilot score, TBAS performance (you won't see raw scores for that), and flight time.

Okay awesome, thanks again. 

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8 hours ago, MountainSlicker said:

Okay understood, thank you. So, just to clarify scores on quantitative,  verbal, and academic are not weighed as heavily when determining your final PCSM score?  This is assuming you meet the minimum scores to qualify for a pilot slot of course. 

The Pilot portion of the AFOQT is without a doubt the most important part of that test for someone looking to get a Pilot slot because it has a large effect on your PCSM, but definitely don't neglect the other portions. My scores were as follows:

90s/80s/60s/70s/40s (didn't take a single math class in college and yeah.. math is not my subject) 

The reason I mention this is directly related to your question - I interviewed with a fighter unit and one of their questions was something to the effect of "so you have some test scores that are pretty good and some others that are not so good - why should we feel confident that you'll be able to pass the academic portions of UPT?"

Study for the test every night (or as much as realistically able) for a month and time yourself. The content of the test is not that hard, but the time limits make it difficult. If it hasn't been mentioned here yet, never leave a question blank - you don't lose points for wrong answers so leaving answers unfilled is leaving a 20% shot at a right answer on the table.

Good luck

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On 8/3/2017 at 7:49 PM, rti35 said:

The Pilot portion of the AFOQT is without a doubt the most important part of that test for someone looking to get a Pilot slot because it has a large effect on your PCSM, but definitely don't neglect the other portions. My scores were as follows:

90s/80s/60s/70s/40s (didn't take a single math class in college and yeah.. math is not my subject) 

The reason I mention this is directly related to your question - I interviewed with a fighter unit and one of their questions was something to the effect of "so you have some test scores that are pretty good and some others that are not so good - why should we feel confident that you'll be able to pass the academic portions of UPT?"

Study for the test every night (or as much as realistically able) for a month and time yourself. The content of the test is not that hard, but the time limits make it difficult. If it hasn't been mentioned here yet, never leave a question blank - you don't lose points for wrong answers so leaving answers unfilled is leaving a 20% shot at a right answer on the table.

Good luck

Thats a great point, you're expected to be an officer first, pilot second so the whole picture is important. Math isn't really my strong suit either so I'm gonna have my work cut out for me. Thank you for sharing your experience. 

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On 7/27/2017 at 2:22 PM, MountainSlicker said:

Howdy, 

First off, this is my first post but I am frequenter lurker of the forums. I try to absorb as much knowledge as I can from these forums as possible but I have come to a crossroads and would greatly appreciate some advice from folks within the military. I am a civilian pilot with a little over 300 hours,  I'm a CFI and CFII with my commercial-multi who works out of the Bend, OR airport. I am about a year out from finishing my Bachelor's of Applied Science in Technology and Management (I understand this is a somewhat useless degree) and have an Associate's Degree in Aviation. I've maintained a fairly consistent 3.7 GPA throughout my studies while working two jobs to pay for school and flying. While I was doing my flight training I was working line for an FBO out of Bend and working as an EMT for a medical transport company based out of Redmond. My previous career was in wildland fire working for the Prineville Hotshots but I made a switch because I love flying more than I like setting stuff on fire (Which is a big love of mine). Healthwise I just turned 23, I have no health issues to my knowledge, I do wear glasses (20/30 left eye and 20/40 right eye) but am currently looking into a LASIK consultation. I admitted to smoking weed once when i Was 18 on a pre-approval form because honesty is a big deal to me. I don't have a criminal background, I don't even have a speeding ticket. Other than the vision and the pot I can't see a big reason for an immediate dequal. 

While working at the Bend airport as line service and now as a flight instructor I've had the chance to meet a lot of really awesome pilots/people associated with aviation. Some of these guys were from the Klamath Falls ANG. I got asked why the hell I hadn't applied for the military and I didn't really have a great answer. I've always wanted to serve my country, I've always wanted  to fly for the military, and I've always been draw by the challenge of military aviation. So, I went and visited the base and got the chance to meet the squadron. Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. I've now been talking to two recruiters: an enlisted recruiter and an officer recruiter for the guard. I got into contact with the guy in charge of creating the packages to be sent over for UPT. It seems to be the consensus from them is that I should enlist to become acquainted with the squadron and then see if I can get a slot. While I would be more than happy with enlisting if it betters my chances at getting a seat in an F-15 I just want to understand the whole picture. Is there any harm in submitting a package directly to the hiring board and trying to see if I can get a slot that way? I have plans to contact the Lt. Col. who was in charge of the hiring board in 2016 and to make continual visit to the squadron down in Klamath. I guess my question is what should my next step be? Would it be okay to continue my visits, submit a package, see how it goes and if it doesn't work out then try enlistment? In your opinions what are my chances of even getting an interview? I'm not opposed to other guard bases but I really like Klamath's mission. I thoroughly enjoy being a flight instructor and I think being an instructor pilot for the military would be an even more enjoyable opportunity. 

Anyway, I appreciate anyone who reads this and I'll take any and all advice you guys have to offer. 

I know they hired 4 in 2017 (2 for Portland, 2 for Klamath). 1 civilian guy from the area and 3 other guys from around the country. Highest flight hours I believe was around 3000 with the lowest around 60. So you can definitely get picked up there being a civilian as I think other people have mentioned. Enlisting with the unit just shows you want it that much more. Next step would be to keep getting flight hours, finish school and take the AFOQT (not in that order necessarily). With those scores/connections/hours you have a good chance for an interview. The only thing that's contingent on would be your AFOQT/PCSM scores to come. If you want fighters, throw your package out to any fighter unit you would consider living at (some guys don't even do that if you're an airline pilot). I met guys in the circuit that had been submitting packages at fighter wings for 2+yrs. Just keep rushing different units and especially the one you are in close geographic proximity to. Good luck man!

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If you get hired by an RTU unit (like Klamath) you'll get sent out to another unit until you are ready to be an instructor (usually at least 5 years after training).  

 

Enlisting is fine, but if you are a strong candidate it will only slow down your process.  Study for the tests - ALL the scores count!  With 40's and 50's you probably won't get an interview with us; too many people with 90+'s across the board.  I don't know any units that don't hire off the street - keep rushing and study!

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Hi I have a similar question.  I recently took the AFOQT and TBAS and just recently got my scores back.  I am wondering if I will be a competitive applicant for any unit.  I would love to fly fighters, but I am open to anything and anywhere.  I would love to fly C-130s as well.  I received a high Pilot score and a relatively high PCSM score, but the rest of my scores aren't the best.  I'm wondering if my current PCSM, AFOQT, GPA, and flight hours would be strong enough to be considered as an off the street hire at any unit.  Do you think I should retake the AFOQT?  Is it possible to get more flight hours and recalculate the PCSM without retaking the TBAS?  Thanks!

Scores/Application Overview:

GPA: 3.70

Flight hours: 74.3

PCSM: 85

Pilot: 95

Nav: 67

Acad: 62

Verbal: 66

Quant: 56

 

 

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6 hours ago, ZenBrendan said:

Hi I have a similar question.  I recently took the AFOQT and TBAS and just recently got my scores back.  I am wondering if I will be a competitive applicant for any unit.  I would love to fly fighters, but I am open to anything and anywhere.  I would love to fly C-130s as well.  I received a high Pilot score and a relatively high PCSM score, but the rest of my scores aren't the best.  I'm wondering if my current PCSM, AFOQT, GPA, and flight hours would be strong enough to be considered as an off the street hire at any unit.  Do you think I should retake the AFOQT?  Is it possible to get more flight hours and recalculate the PCSM without retaking the TBAS?  Thanks!

Scores/Application Overview:

GPA: 3.70

Flight hours: 74.3

PCSM: 85

Pilot: 95

Nav: 67

Acad: 62

Verbal: 66

Quant: 56

 

 

I personally wouldn't retake the AFOQT because of the risk of impact to the pilot score (which affects your PCSM). Start applying to units and see if you get any nibbles. If you don't, retake the AFOQT. Some of this would also hinge on how old you are.

As for the PCSM, yes you can easily just update your flight hours through their website. I hear it only takes a day or two. I would focus on getting more flight hours.

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