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Sparkle

Dream Sheet Advice

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Hello folks, I'm a T-38 stud and my dream sheet is due next Friday. I wanted to ask for advice from some of the seasoned dudes around here who have experience doing the mission and know the ins and outs of combat aviation and what it really means to be an operational fighter pilot. There are a few things I know with absolute clarity: 1) I want to be a fighter pilot, period, dot , the end. 2) I want to have a kinetic impact on whoever it is we fight, i.e. rain hate on bad guys. 3) There is an incredible amount that I don't know that I don't know. Given those conditions, I want to ask the question, if you had to go back and talk to your ~24 yr old self about to fill out your dream sheet, what advice would you offer  to best accomplish those goals knowing what you know now about the reality of fighter aviation. Thank you for helping out in advance!

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Step 1, single seat. Step 2, list fighters keeping step 1 in mind. Step 3, list AFSOC over big wing ISR, MAF, etc. Step 4, consider how bad you want fighters and if listing FAIP ahead of AFSOC is worth it for a second chance at fighters three-ish years from now. 

You will get biased answers no matter what because we all generally love what we do, even if for some it wasn't their first choice out of UPT. Nothing wrong with that, just be aware.

Edited by brabus
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Step 5, change your handle to something other than “Sparkle”

Otherwise, what Brabus says if you want fighters specifically. You will rain hate in fighters, AFSOC, or bombers. It will just end up being luck and timing

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Relax and enjoy it. Soak it all up. You’ll love whatever you get (with exceptions)

+1 for AFSOC. I wanted fighters but had non to pick from so I picked AFSOC over t-6 FAIP. You can pick the FAIP route but I saw a lot of my buddies delay the fighter dream, FAIP, only to get a buff 3 years later. 

That being said it’s hard to leave AFSOC once you’re in. 

Edited by BashiChuni

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

You can pick the FAIP route but I saw a lot of my buddies delay the fighter dream, FAIP, only to get a buff 3 years later. 

Most of them deserved it.

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Is this actually a question, or just nerves? If you truly want fighters that badly, put them first, with FAIP second. Don't look back. You'll love anything you get, and no advice from anyone is going to tell you how to feel.

That being said, should you get FAIP'd, realize that it's only another 3 years to wait, where I'm sure your desire to fly fighters has been far longer. Meanwhile, you'll be getting paid to gather flight time, experience, and cross-country "friends".

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ShavedDogsAss nailed it.  If you really want fighters, list them first, FAIP second, then everything else (would recommend B-1's then AFSOC).  In the end man it's your choice.  You mentioned wanting to rain hate, go A-10, F-15E, F-16 or some variation of that.  If that's what you really want then go for it.

I'll speak to the FAIP thing as well.  I just finished up my FAIP tour and am headed off to the Viper (f*ck yea).  Like you all I ever wanted to do was fly fighters.  So when it came dreamsheet time it wasn't a question of what I wanted, it was where to put it.  Basically my list went fighters (including ADAIR), -38 FAIP, -6 FAIP, B-1, AFSOC, everything else.  Ended up getting FAIP'ed and loved it.  Did it get old doing TP Stalls for the 6900th time?  Absolutely.  Did volunteering and doing all sorts of queepy stupid crap suck?  Yup.  But it kept the dream alive, and in the end I finally got what I wanted.  Some FAIPs don't get what they wanted.  Good friend of mine didn't.  Unfortunately it happens, but if being a fighter pilot is really what you want, then having a second shot at it should be right up there on your list.

If being a fighter pilot is secondary to raining hate, then put FAIP lower on the list and put bombers/AFSOC higher.

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If you wanna fly fighters, put fighters first and always.

If you want kills, put AC-130s.

It's not a dick measuring contest though.  Once you get past a certain level of knowing "I've killed XX dudes and their things", it's just keeping score.  You may not enjoy the flying of endless left turns nearly as much as fighter flying.

That having been said, with my bias, I advise 1) Fighters, 2) AC-130s (or AFSOC in general: switching tribes is way easier than you'd expect after 3-4 years), 3) FAIP to keep the dream alive, 4) Bombers.

 

Here's some heresy, not so much for you as for other studs: If you want to kill bad guys who matter, KCVS MQ-9s are where it's at.  The price you pay is obvious.  Your call.

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You get one chance to fly a fighter (maybe two if you remain as a FAIP). If that's really what is important to you, then put every single fighter airframe at the top of your list. If putting bombs on target is a secondary consideration, rank them appropriately. Follow up with FAIP, B-1s, and AC-130s.

If your primary concern is getting into the fight now, and flying a jet that puts metal on meat, then strike eagle, hawg, viper, bone, spooky is how I would suggest rolling your top 5. All have and will continue to make big contributions to the current fight; 4/5 have a direct role in the mixed force strike package during a wider conflict.

1 hour ago, FlyinGrunt said:

Here's some heresy, not so much for you as for other studs: If you want to kill bad guys who matter, KCVS MQ-9s are where it's at.  The price you pay is obvious.  Your call.

^ This if racking up confirmed kills is your vector.

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7 minutes ago, matmacwc said:

You haven't said how you think you did, what were your check ride scores compared to your classmates.

Don't you know, that doesn't matter these days. Fighters for everybody...until the Viper pipeline starts sucking hind teet again and the BUFF gotta get their tributes. Rinse and repeat. Timing and luck muchacho....

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Timing is everything and there is no justice.  You could get fighters and spend your first decade doing theater security where you basically do the same training as if you were at home.  Or you could get the Buff and level an ISIS city a month out of the B-Course.  Plenty of both have happened.  Put down what you want to do, don't play any games, enjoy where you end up, and don't look back.

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For all the newbies watching this thread, find yourself an IP in the know on the U-28 as well if you’re looking for a sweet mission. If you’re wanting to fly a Raptor so you can show all those jerks from high school how cool you are now, then by all means go that direction. If you’re truly wanting to kill terrorists for God, Mom, and Apple Pie, give it a look. 

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I think smokin's post is spot on. Pick the mission that appeals to you, not what "seems" to be the current leader in the stacking bodies game, because the latter is very much time/luck based, could change at any moment, can even be squadron based and not MDS based, etc. I had a sq/cc who was a C-model dude, said when he was casual in an A-10 sq he naturally liked the idea of the Hawg, but at the time they weren't doing shit and everyone thought the next likely thing was shooting the Iraqi AF down, so he went after Eagles. Well, guess how that worked out in terms of going to war. 

Of course I think you should list all the fighters first based on my biased love for those missions, but I have worked closely with the gunships and U-28s, great communities that do awesome work. Certainly worth an immediate "second" to fighters on the dream sheet in your case 

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21 minutes ago, brabus said:

I think smokin's post is spot on. Pick the mission that appeals to you...

Of course I think you should list all the fighters first based on my biased love for those missions, but I have worked closely with the gunships and U-28s, great communities that do awesome work. Certainly worth an immediate "second" to fighters on the dream sheet in your case 

Alternatively, if you enjoy being frustrated an excruciating amount by bureaucracy, and past-peak on the curve of diminishing returns for group dynamics, AFGSC may be for you!

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Was in exactly your shoes quite a few years ago. I was adamant that I wanted fighters and A-G was my top choice.  Mudhen top choice. Had top pick out of UPT and the deck had all of the cards to play EXCEPT for the -15E. Went Viper and loved it like a wet dream. Then TAMI rolled around- over a decade later, I'm still pulling that bitch outta my ass (no sts). I went U-28's when they were brand new. Any one of my deployments exceeded what I may have ever accomplished in my -16 career... and I did 8 of those deployments. The rotes were tough and many sorrowful memories are embedded with the war stories. War is a bitch. I did other AFSOC stuff afterward and am now enjoying my afterlife as an airline dude "living the dream."

Every single airline pairing that I go on begins with "where'd you come from" followed by a short tale of how cool the Viper was to fly. After those few minutes, the next four days are spent telling stories about early life of the U-28 and those real memories that I'll share for a lifetime. I never lose my audience with those stories. The U-28 and AFSOC influenced me in ways that I never imagined, and that I fought against (being a too- cool SSFP). They opened up opportunities when I left the usaf. Looking back,  things always make more sense. At the time, I thought leaving the jet was the end of the world.

Chase your dreams kid. If you want the pointy nose fighter and have the stats to make it happen, then pick the one that fits the mission you want to tell stories about from UPT ADSC expiration date through airline retirement. All of the "what's wrong with the usaf bullshit" absolutely applies to ACC in every weapon system. AFSOC a bit less but it's still there. If you want to seriously take part in helping the dipshit mohammed worshipping suicide bomber goat f&kking a$$hole meet his 69 virgins them don't hesitate to put AFSOC at the top. You will execute bad guys in that command. That's a promise.

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Well, you are probably only going to get the opertunity to fly fighters once. That being said, don’t take the book for face value. As others have said, if you want to do work, AFSOC is the place to be. I know 1Lt 18x bros that have more kills in the last year than entire fighter squadrons have in the last 16. I wanted to be a fighter dude, ended up in T-1s. I wanted AFSOC, ended up in AFSOC MQ-9s. I took my lickings and moved on with smile on my face, but privately I wasn’t to happy. But I embraced it with open arms and I was, and still am absolutely amazed at what this “plane” does. Don’t let a assignment that’s at the top of your list crush ya. Embrace it. I eventually did, and it’s paid dividends for me. Assignment night is like being a spoiled 16yr old and going car shopping with your parents. You can tell them what you want, but they are paying for it so they are going to give you what they choose. You can be a spoiled brat and cry about it, or take your car and move on. Turns out my car wasn’t cool or fast, but it was roomy, had a big back seat to park with the ladies, and had a good trade in value. 

 

Does is answer any any of your questions? Probably not, but give whatever your assignment is a chance if it’s not a pointy nose with afterburner, you might be pleasantly surprised. And drones probably aren’t a option for ya, so it could be worse. 

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this is the most caring and nurturing thread I've seen on base ops without any inter airframe bickering etc etc...I hate it.

  

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4 hours ago, DEVIL said:

this is the most caring and nurturing thread I've seen on base ops without any inter airframe bickering etc etc...I hate it.

  

Don’t go C-17s, very difficult finding the right runway and the gear handle.  Better?

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