Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Airman8403

How Do You Let Go?

Recommended Posts

This post probably won't contribute much to anyone but I need to get it off my chest and I'm here... so why not? I joined the Air Force at 19 years old in 2003. After 18 months, I was separated under "Force Shaping Phase II" (I was RIF'd) in 2004 at 20 years old. During those 18 months on AD, I worked on C130H models as a GAC troop and dreamed of one day flying for Big Blue. After my separation, I joined the Air National Guard so I could stay a part of the family and started plugging away at my undergrad degree so I could apply to OTS while thinking, incorrectly, that my time in service would count against my age and that I'd be able to apply to fly after graduating. Supporting a wife and 2 kids, it took me until 2013 to graduate with my B.S. in Physics at the age of 29. After racking up 50 hours in Cessna prop jobs and taking the AFOQT, scoring high across the board (94P/93N/91AA/93V/81Q), I headed to the OTS recruiter, excited to apply for that long awaited rated slot... only to be told that I was too old. I still wanted (and want) to serve so I applied for what I qualified for and was picked up as a Space Operations Officer. I'm out at Randolph right now for a training TDY as a 33 year old 1st Lt with nearly 15 year of TIS, only 8 of which is active, and it's killing me to see the T-38s and hear the constant thunder of students earning their wings, knowing that in the eyes of the Air Force I am just too old to ever join that world. So how does one let go of a long held dream? I have no idea. I'll say this to anyone who's considering pursuing this path. DON'T wait. Time is not your friend. The pain of regret for not seizing the opportunity to fly when I could will haunt me for the rest of my life. Good luck to each of you. Make the best of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Airman8403 said:

This post probably won't contribute much to anyone but I need to get it off my chest and I'm here... so why not? I joined the Air Force at 19 years old in 2003. After 18 months, I was separated under "Force Shaping Phase II" (I was RIF'd) in 2004 at 20 years old. During those 18 months on AD, I worked on C130H models as a GAC troop and dreamed of one day flying for Big Blue. After my separation, I joined the Air National Guard so I could stay a part of the family and started plugging away at my undergrad degree so I could apply to OTS while thinking, incorrectly, that my time in service would count against my age and that I'd be able to apply to fly after graduating. Supporting a wife and 2 kids, it took me until 2013 to graduate with my B.S. in Physics at the age of 29. After racking up 50 hours in Cessna prop jobs and taking the AFOQT, scoring high across the board (94P/93N/91AA/93V/81Q), I headed to the OTS recruiter, excited to apply for that long awaited rated slot... only to be told that I was too old. I still wanted (and want) to serve so I applied for what I qualified for and was picked up as a Space Operations Officer. I'm out at Randolph right now for a training TDY as a 33 year old 1st Lt with nearly 15 year of TIS, only 8 of which is active, and it's killing me to see the T-38s and hear the constant thunder of students earning their wings, knowing that in the eyes of the Air Force I am just too old to ever join that world. So how does one let go of a long held dream? I have no idea. I'll say this to anyone who's considering pursuing this path. DON'T wait. Time is not your friend. The pain of regret for not seizing the opportunity to fly when I could will haunt me for the rest of my life. Good luck to each of you. Make the best of it.

Being a pilot isn't all banging chicks and pulling g's. Your career path is just as solid, reconcile with yourself and move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A few suggestions:

1) Isn't it possible to get a waiver for pretty much anything?  Maybe the AF isn't currently giving out age waivers for active duty, but I bet they have in the past.  One of the best pieces of advice I have ever heard to is to never take no from someone who can't tell you yes.  Try to get a hard "No." about the age waiver from someone high up before moving on.  Some of the AF recruiters I have interacted with were very incompetent and wouldn't do anything to help their applicants.

2)  You're a little old but not way too old.  I know the guard units can get age waivers for their UPT hires.  Apply to ever guard unit thats hiring and see if you can get picked up.

3) Get your license and fly on your own.  I have heard some military pilots say they enjoy flying on their as much or more than flying for the AF since they get to do what they want. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knew someone that went to UPT at 35. Apply to every guard unit there is when you can. In the mean time, finish all your ratings. If big blue never lets you fly then take those ratings and pursue a civilian career in flying, if you want. Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×