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Minor clarification, the T-6's are flying all the weekends right now as they try to catch up from the OBOGS shenanigans.  Ghost a class and preserve everyones weekends/sanity?  Nope, gotta preserve everyone's "only AETC Wg w/100% on time grad" OPR bullet.

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I don't follow this that closely but I've been spending the last few days at an Aerospace and Defense conference. The talk today about commercial aircraft is pretty aggressive over the next 4-5 years. At a strategic level the availability of pilots to fill all these aircraft deliveries and ATC to manage the traffic growth are seen as big risks. I don't track the hiring boards but it sounds like barring a major economic downturn the AF is going to face even more competition for retention for years to come.

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The ubiquitous “mandatory pilot retirement” chart doesn’t begin to come down from its ~5 year plateau until 2025. So yes, the AF probably should have started looking at this yesterday.

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How do the different majors look at/feel about mil leave IRT timing of indoc/training?  Part of me is starting to think it'd be a loss to not get the foot in the door now, but on the other hand I'm not ready to be a part timer, at least for the foreseeable future.  Meaning, I don't want to go fly the line for a year, then drop orders, preferably would do it far earlier than that.  Is that a pipe dream?  Depend on the company?  The alternative is shitcan the idea, but then I'll likely be 40-something and wishing I'd done it earlier (get a line # that is).

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If you fully intend to bail before you even get off probation, I think you're not ready to switch. Guys do it, the companies can't stop you, but IMHO it's sketchy and makes it harder for those that follow you.

Edit: I say they can't stop you but that's only true to an extent.  Urban legend has stories of D firing guys that dropped long term mil right after indoc.  You sign something before class saying you have no long term mil orders planned for 90 days or something.

Edited by nunya
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7 hours ago, brabus said:

How do the different majors look at/feel about mil leave IRT timing of indoc/training?  Part of me is starting to think it'd be a loss to not get the foot in the door now, but on the other hand I'm not ready to be a part timer, at least for the foreseeable future.  Meaning, I don't want to go fly the line for a year, then drop orders, preferably would do it far earlier than that.  Is that a pipe dream?  Depend on the company?  The alternative is shitcan the idea, but then I'll likely be 40-something and wishing I'd done it earlier (get a line # that is).

How long would the orders be?

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1 hour ago, nunya said:

If you fully intend to bail before you even get off probation, I think you're not ready to switch. Guys do it, the companies can't stop you, but IMHO it's sketchy and makes it harder for those that follow you.

Edit: I say they can't stop you but that's only true to an extent.  Urban legend has stories of D firing guys that dropped long term mil right after indoc.  You sign something before class saying you have no long term mil orders planned for 90 days or something.

All rumor...

Per USERRA, you can't be fired for going on mil leave. 

There is nothing wrong with dropping mil leave while on probation but I agree with nunya, I wouldn't recommend dropping mil leave right after indoc because all that does is highlight you during a time that you don't want to be highlighted...

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Orders for ~3 years. Makes sense what you guys are saying. Seems like a company would benefit by spending very little on a guy to lock him in down the road, i.e. another body on the books which isn't going to a competitor.

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But you're another body that filled a seat in indoc that could have gone to somebody that would produce for them, and now they're paying into your 401K for 3 years for 0 return on their investment. I'm not arguing for the company, but the dude that could have been in your seat might be your bro that just retired and needs that job.

Edited by nunya

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13 minutes ago, brabus said:

Orders for ~3 years. Makes sense what you guys are saying. Seems like a company would benefit by spending very little on a guy to lock him in down the road, i.e. another body on the books which isn't going to a competitor.

Most airline hiring departments aren't thinking that far ahead. You get a class date during indoc and they're expecting you to fill that pipeline to solve their manning problems.

 

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I know several guys who got hired at the 16+ year point, got through probation as quickly as possible, then took long term orders to get to 20.  It has worked out brilliantly for them.  In addition to securing their line number early, they got through probation quickly by flying their asses off, then got to 20 years active service since the AF is so desperate for pilots.  The bonus is that they've been collecting profit sharing checks every Feb, paid as if they flew the average line value every month they were on mil leave.

Not exactly what USERRA was intended for but fully legal.  

 

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I know a guy at our company that finished indoc/training/100 hrs (consolidation) and the took mil leave (deployment, I think) while in the probationary year.  It just pushed back the end date of probation (need to have a year of work with us), which he later met.  So if you did mil leave after training, you could be on probation the entire time on mil leave.  When you return years later, there are risks such as requal and check, relearning the airline ways, etc.  Get through probation and then take mil leave is safest.

Now any airline worth their profits will adjust aimpoint when a dude drops mil leave (since they know the duration) and hire appropriately. 

Out

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2 hours ago, Tank said:

Per USERRA, you can't be fired for going on mil leave. 

Not calling out Tank, but a word of caution.  USERRA is not the get out of jail free card that many profess it to be.  There are requirements placed on the member (i.e. advance notice) and if the company can prove that you didn't comply with those requirements, you don't have a legal leg to stand on.  

I'm not a stranger to mil leave.  I dropped probably half of my trips in my probationary year.  Nobody said a word to me, and they won't to you either as long as you're honest about it.  Don't be a douche, don't try to cheat the protections that are in place for us, and you'll love your new airline life.

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2 hours ago, brabus said:

Orders for ~3 years. Makes sense what you guys are saying. Seems like a company would benefit by spending very little on a guy to lock him in down the road, i.e. another body on the books which isn't going to a competitor.

you really think this is a mutually beneficial idea? you should tell them during the interview that for the low low price of initial training, annual profit sharing, 401K contributions, and benefits, you'll commit to flying for them three years from now. yeah that'd be a great deal... for one of you. they'd likely prefer that you moved on to screw a competitor.

 sure guys do it all the time, but it's not the intent of USERRA, and it's deceitful.

edit: apologies for the harsh tone, but this sort of thing does upset both retired and non-military line pilots.

Edited by torqued

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4 hours ago, torqued said:

you really think this is a mutually beneficial idea? you should tell them during the interview that for the low low price of initial training, annual profit sharing, 401K contributions, and benefits, you'll commit to flying for them three years from now. yeah that'd be a great deal... for one of you. they'd likely prefer that you moved on to screw a competitor.

 sure guys do it all the time, but it's not the intent of USERRA, and it's deceitful.

edit: apologies for the harsh tone, but this sort of thing does upset both retired and non-military line pilots.

We all work within the laws/rules that benefit ourselves the most, don't like it, change the law or  make different life choices.  People get butthurt for all different reasons, but that is their problem.

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1 hour ago, matmacwc said:

We all work within the laws/rules that benefit ourselves the most, don't like it, change the law or  make different life choices.  People get butthurt for all different reasons, but that is their problem.

cmon, man. were talking about planning to exploit a technicality in a law with a design and intent to protect people who are required to perform periodic legitimate military service.  it sure as shit wasn't designed for people to skip work for three years immediately after being hired for the sole purpose of enriching themselves. how is this not completely obvious? the fact that integrity (especially among military officers) should extend a least a little bit beyond what the law allows you to get away with shouldn't be something that needs to be typed on a forum post.

it happens. people can scam the system all the time. but let's have a little intellectual honesty here, admit that's it's harmful, and not encourage more military folks to do it lest we poison the well.

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cmon, man. were talking about planning to exploit a technicality in a law with a design and intent to protect people who are required to perform periodic legitimate military service.  it sure as shit wasn't designed for people to skip work for three years immediately after being hired for the sole purpose of enriching themselves. how is this not completely obvious? the fact that integrity (especially among military officers) should extend a least a little bit beyond what the law allows you to get away with shouldn't be something that needs to be typed on a forum post.
it happens. people can scam the system all the time. but let's have a little intellectual honesty here, admit that's it's harmful, and not encourage more military folks to do it lest we poison the well.

1). It’s not even remotely a “technicality”.
2). What exactly is “periodic legitimate military service?” One weekend a month and 2 weeks a year? Only Deployments? What about volunteer mob vs invol?

If “periodic service” is all the law intends, then why is 5 years the limit?

Is serving as a desperately needed FTU IP during time of pilot production crisis “legitimate service?” What about a CMR pilot serving as Full time support in a squadron that’s wheezing to fill FTS spots? Or what about someone on the staff, which is otherwise manned at 12% with 11Fs right now? Is that service “legitimate?” It is it just a self serving boondoggle?

Pretty much every job—flying or staff, deployed or home station is desperately needed right now. You can argue style points about dropping mil leave on probation or right after, but at the end of the day it matters not that much. Other that that the pilot would be in some level of jeopardy going through training one more time while still on probation. If you suck.

Airlines don’t like it if you drop mil leave at all. But they also accept it as reality
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24 minutes ago, Danny Noonin said:


1). It’s not even remotely a “technicality”.
2). What exactly is “periodic legitimate military service?” One weekend a month and 2 weeks a year? Only Deployments? What about volunteer mob vs invol?

If “periodic service” is all the law intends, then why is 5 years the limit?

Is serving as a desperately needed FTU IP during time of pilot production crisis “legitimate service?” What about a CMR pilot serving as Full time support in a squadron that’s wheezing to fill FTS spots? Or what about someone on the staff, which is otherwise manned at 12% with 11Fs right now? Is that service “legitimate?” It is it just a self serving boondoggle?

Pretty much every job—flying or staff, deployed or home station is desperately needed right now. You can argue style points about dropping mil leave on probation or right after, but at the end of the day it matters not that much. Other that that the pilot would be in some level of jeopardy going through training one more time while still on probation. If you suck.

Airlines don’t like it if you drop mil leave at all. But they also accept it as reality

There's a difference though between stepping up from part time to fill a full time job when a need arises, versus planning and pre-coordinating your 3 year orders before even getting hired at an airline.  Heck, I know a guy (I think we both do) who never even got off AGR orders!  Before starting INDOC he had already worked out his leave schedule to get through training and then dropped 'orders' to finish up his AGR tour for 3 more years.  Can't imagine that was what USERRA was designed to protect.

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danny, we're discussing a plan to get hired, a plan to not work at that job, and a plan to receive financial, seniority, and quality of life benefits for three years... from the company he plans not to work at. i cannot believe anyone has any trouble whatsoever in comprehending there's a problem with this.

we can argue all day about what the right amount of USERRA military service is, but in this case, we're talking............ zero productivity, zero contribution to the company that hired you to do at least something for the benefits you're being given. the expectation is that youll be compensated for either full-time or part-time work, not zero-time work.

if you're working a full time guard or reserve gig and you know there's a need for your service, full-time, for the next three years and you intend to fulfill it,  then the obvious and correct thing to do would be to work that position and when the times up, find your airline job.

in this instance, he says he's not ready to be a part-timer, doesn't want to put in a full year of probation, and just wants to get his foot in the door. are you really trying to rationalize that?

 

 

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Can't imagine that was what USERRA was designed to protect.

Of course it’s not. It’s likely illegal. And he very likely might get fired when he turns in his orders to the company and they show him on mil AGR orders during the dates of indoc. And if he’s still in the military at that point (part time) could also be subject to discipline on that end too.

Turns out it matters not in the eyes of USERRA whether you “plan” to drop mil leave or if you are forced to. Both are legally protected.

BUT...buyer beware. Doing things to bring a spotlight on yourself during probation (like dropping mil leave right after indoc) might not be the wisest move, even if perfectly legal. You’re protected by USERRA for your mil service. But when you return, you are a still a probationary employee that can be fired for virtually any reason legally. And dudes have been. If you don’t act in good faith to the company, don’t expect any slack when you sign in late, miss a commute, struggle in training, are involved in an incident, etc. Not that one minor thing would mean you’re fired. But it could. Probation is a risky time to play obvious games with mil leave.
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4 minutes ago, Danny Noonin said:


Of course it’s not. It’s likely illegal. And he very likely might get fired when he turns in his orders to the company and they show him on mil AGR orders during the dates of indoc. And if he’s still in the military at that point (part time) could also be subject to discipline on that end too.

Turns out it matters not in the eyes of USERRA whether you “plan” to drop mil leave or if you are forced to. Both are legally protected.

BUT...buyer beware. Doing things to bring a spotlight on yourself during probation (like dropping mil leave right after indoc) might not be the wisest move, even if perfectly legal. You’re protected by USERRA for your mil service. But when you return, you are a still a probationary employee that can be fired for virtually any reason legally. And dudes have been. If you don’t act in good faith to the company, don’t expect any slack when you sign in late, miss a commute, struggle in training, are involved in an incident, etc. Not that one minor thing would mean you’re fired. But it could. Probation is a risky time to play obvious games with mil leave.

cant disagree with you here. just because it's legal doesn't mean it's smart.

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7 minutes ago, Danny Noonin said:


Of course it’s not. It’s likely illegal. And he very likely might get fired when he turns in his orders to the company and they show him on mil AGR orders during the dates of indoc. And if he’s still in the military at that point (part time) could also be subject to discipline on that end too.

Turns out it matters not in the eyes of USERRA whether you “plan” to drop mil leave or if you are forced to. Both are legally protected.

BUT...buyer beware. Doing things to bring a spotlight on yourself during probation (like dropping mil leave right after indoc) might not be the wisest move, even if perfectly legal. You’re protected by USERRA for your mil service. But when you return, you are a still a probationary employee that can be fired for virtually any reason legally. And dudes have been. If you don’t act in good faith to the company, don’t expect any slack when you sign in late, miss a commute, struggle in training, are involved in an incident, etc. Not that one minor thing would mean you’re fired. But it could. Probation is a risky time to play obvious games with mil leave.

Yep, agree.  That dude is walking a dangerous line.  And while it happened, that was perhaps an extreme example.  But, there are plenty of others who pre-coordinated long term orders with their units before even starting INDOC then went part time just long enough to get the seniority number (and annual profit sharing checks), maybe finish training or IOE, and then went right back to work full time for big blue for years on pre-planned orders with no intention of working for the airline until reaching 20 years active service. Legal?  Perhaps.  Certainly doesn't help the bros trying to do the right thing though.  

 

 

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