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Pilot Shortage Deepens, USAF is SCREWED.

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I also took the extended bonus out to 20.5 years.  I had an awesome job crushing enemies, doing well at it, my family was happy, and I thought it could continue. My last three years have been awful, I was at an irrelevant non-flying staff job & it was very disheartening professionally. I inadvertently brought my unhappiness home and my family, to my shame, was affected by my foul mood and lack of professional satisfaction. I knew I was rolling the dice by taking the bonus, but I rolled snake eyes and it was worse than anticipated.  

Not everyone who stays in the service past their commitment is a Kool-Aid drinking careerist.   However, if I could make the choice over again I would have left the service and not taken the bonus. And I will certainly leave when my commitment is up because I just can’t stay in an organization that doesn’t care about its people or its mission..... and by not caring for the people doing the mission, the Air Force has shown me they don't care about the mission. For those who leave when their commitment is up, I salute you brothers and wish you the best. For those who stay, I salute you as well and hope that you will be gainfully employed by commanders who care about you.  

 

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3 hours ago, Lifer said:

I took the 9 year bonus to 20.5 years. So far the AF has treated me better than most. Seen some cool things and been stationed at some cool locations and flew the first 13 years and now in a pretty good staff gig. I guess time will tell how the next 6 years will be. Worst case or maybe best case I get passed over for O-5 and get out and go to the guard/reserves and get an airline gig. In the meantime I don’t mind making $150,000 a year plus retirement if I stay in to 20. 

I'm an ANG technician.  GS-13.  $114,000 as tech plus 28,000 tech bonus, plus 24,000 DSG, plus 12,000 sitting alert.  No commitment, no 365's, no 179's.  Come home every night.  Don't sign the bonus, go Guard.

Edited by Magnum
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7 hours ago, Dogs-N-Guns said:

I stayed. I am two years late to rate, finished my 96 gate month, so flight pay is good until a month after I hit 20 years even if I don't fly again. I got released to get my PhD in applied physics right around the time they reduced the crew ratio in the C-17. Became bonus eligible 5 months after I graduated with my degree, so the 5 yr PhD ADSC is running concurrently with my bonus ADSC. I have 2.5 years left on my teaching payback tour. Then only on more assignment between me an retirement. I'm preparing for the worst, but hoping for the best. I miss flying, but as long as it's treated as an additional duty (especially for FGOs), I'm not interested in returning.

I’d say you are doing it right.

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I'm an ANG technician.  GS-13.  $114,000 as tech plus 28,000 tech bonus, plus 24,000 DSG, plus 12,000 sitting alert.  No commitment, no 365's, no 179's.  Come home every night.  Don't sign the bonus, go Guard.


At what unit do you sit alert and come home every night? Let’s not church it up.

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1 hour ago, sqwatch said:

 


At what unit do you sit alert and come home every night? Let’s not church it up.

 

Somebody must be sitting alert......overnight.

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Getting into the check-of-the-month club makes a lot of follow on decisions much much easier. 

Recommend. 

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19 hours ago, Merle Dixon said:

... Via my little microcosm of active duty AF SUPT world, no one is sticking around, no one.

YMMV, but I know a good amount of O-5 through O-7s that at one time claimed they were getting out... some were disingenuous, many more really weren't as decided as they presented, and some just had major changes in life.  Some are pessimistic and are concerned of another 911 and layoffs... all depends on your crystal ball.  That being said, the more examples of positive outcomes for folks to look at does not bode well for the AF.  But there will always be a regression to a mean, there will be layoffs at some point...

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YMMV, but I know a good amount of O-5 through O-7s that at one time claimed they were getting out... some were disingenuous, many more really weren't as decided as they presented, and some just had major changes in life.  Some are pessimistic and are concerned of another 911 and layoffs... all depends on your crystal ball.  That being said, the more examples of positive outcomes for folks to look at does not bode well for the AF.  But there will always be a regression to a mean, there will be layoffs at some point...


To your point, I’ve seen AFRC guys who stayed way past 20 YOS mil due to the radiation burns from the post-9/11 furlough years. Can’t fault them a bit for keeping two jobs, not being sure how the airline side of things would eventually turn out.

I also don’t fault guys for the often hated phrase “keeping doors open”. But simple things like doing (dumb) PME can keep the promotion opportunities open for many years, particularly on the AFRC side. Having done Active Duty for over a decade, I enjoy the relatively low bar set in AFRC for progression. A pulse and PME is all that’s required for O-5. Masters and PME for O-6.

One the flip side of that, I also don’t fault an ARC baby who got hired at an airline in his/her first 10 years on mil service, starts making great money and having amazing time at home, and finds the inherent stupidity of PME insatiable, retiring as an O-4 with a smile.

Different strokes for different folks. In my AFRC unit, I fly with farmers, police officers, firefighters, teachers, dentists, airline pilots, you name it. My family’s best plan has literally nothing to do your family’s best plan. The ARC does a much better job of embracing that mentality than anything I experienced on AD (i.e. everyone should be a CSAF in training).
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Serious question:  On average how much would a brand new 2 Lt on flying status make per month/year? I had a young guy who really wants to fly ask me this and I figure this would be a good place to ask.

Yes, he's aware of the "challenges" of being an air force pilot (drones, non-flying jobs, queep, etc...) and the AD vs. Guard situation.   

Edited by Stitch
Spelling is hard...

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you can google all that (exact) info pretty easily...base O-1 pay, local BAH, flight pay

Edited by Day Man
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Stitch,

I'd have him check out the following site. For a married O-2 at Vance AFB the annual salary showed like $55K without flight pay. 

http://militarypay.defense.gov/Calculators/RMC-Calculator/

And for reference at 12 years in as a major with flight pay you make about $120K. Often at that point you're either paid to leave or offered a bonus which is currently around $25K to $35K a year to stay in which can vary from around 5 to 9 years depending the Air Force's needs. 

Edited by Lifer

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Stitch,  sounds like the young man in question should dump the current wife and find a more attractive one that supports his dreams of living dangerously.  Alternatively, keep current wife and allow her to maintain the fiction that he makes only 650$ a month.  It’s all technique.  Good luck!

Edited by tac airlifter
COA 2 added.
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On 5/13/2018 at 5:50 AM, HossHarris said:

Getting into the check-of-the-month club makes a lot of follow on decisions much much easier. 

Recommend. 

True, but having a low seniority number at a legacy airline makes life much easier too. Every time I see a guy break down the math of staying vs. going, they always come out much farther ahead by getting out ASAP.

Like investing, you go with the risk you can tolerate.

 

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1 minute ago, joe1234 said:

True, but having a low seniority number at a legacy airline makes life much easier too. Every time I see a guy break down the math of staying vs. going, they always come out much farther ahead by getting out ASAP.

Like investing, you go with the risk you can tolerate.

 

Your retirement check will never be furloughed, fired, lose it’s medical, or merged with another company.....

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Just now, HossHarris said:

Your retirement check will never be furloughed, fired, lose it’s medical, or merged with another company.....

You sure about that?

But also, it won't get you in the left seat of a widebody making 350k+/year for 10+ years.

Again, some people can stomach the risk and some can't. Do what's best for you and yours.

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31 minutes ago, HossHarris said:

Your retirement check will never be furloughed, fired, lose it’s medical, or merged with another company.....

Just reduced by the amount your VA payment is, for most people.

 

Most of you didn't know that one did ya.

Edited by matmacwc

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1 hour ago, tac airlifter said:

Stitch,  sounds like the young man in question should dump the current wife and find a more attractive one that supports his dreams of living dangerously.  Alternatively, keep current wife and allow her to maintain the fiction that he makes only 650$ a month.  It’s all technique.  Good luck!

That's what allotments are for, right?

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1 hour ago, matmacwc said:

Just reduced by the amount your VA payment is, for most people.

 

Most of you didn't know that one did ya.

Taxes. 

At 50% or more you get both. 

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56 minutes ago, HossHarris said:

Taxes. 

At 50% or more you get both. 

With 20 years.

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3 hours ago, joe1234 said:

True, but having a low seniority number at a legacy airline makes life much easier too. Every time I see a guy break down the math of staying vs. going, they always come out much farther ahead by getting out ASAP.

Like investing, you go with the risk you can tolerate.

 

Seniority is everything at an airline as long as you are actually working.  I remember a bunch of guys back in the late 90's crunching the numbers in the squadron and the math then, like now, clearly said GET OUT NOW!!!  Many did, most were promptly hired, almost all were quickly furloughed, and were then begging for a job.  At any time, anything can happen to dramatically change the landscape.  In 1998, you COULD NOT LOSE by going to an airline!  The math ALWAYS came out ahead by getting out ASAP...until there wasn't a job.

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I don’t know if the airlines were facing the same mandatory retirement numbers for the next 10+ years in 1999.....

maybe they were. Old timers?

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

I don’t know if the airlines were facing the same mandatory retirement numbers for the next 10+ years in 1999.....

maybe they were. Old timers?

Valid point.  But at Delta at least, we have been steadily hiring WAY more per year than even our peak year will see in retirements.  

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