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RE2012USAF

ENJJPT or UPT for AFSOC?

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 First of all, I graduate from USAFA in 2019 to establish some context that I will be putting in AFSC preferences in August and not long after that competing for ENJJPT.

For the last two years I have been playing mental ping pong trying to figure out whether or not I want to apply for ENJJPT or just elect to go to UPT. I have narrowed down the aircraft that I want to fly in my head eliminating fighters (I think). I have a strong desire to fly in AFSOC, specifically the MC-130 but if not, I would take any platform to be part of that community. If I didn't fall into AFSOC I think I would then place the A-10 as a second choice and then slick C-130's.

What I am wondering is what is my best bet? Will having a T-38 background in ENJJPT make me more competitive for an AFSOC platform or will I merely be competing against better pilots which will hinder my chances of dropping something in AFSOC? 

I am curious to hear thoughts across the board as to why one may be better than the other. I would also like to know what I can do in order to increase my chances of getting a foot in the door in the AFSOC community aside from getting lucky with timing and drops in a few years.

Thanks guys! 

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A guaranteed T-38 slot makes you universally assignable in theory.

The T-1 closes doors.

 

Edit:

ENJJPT from USAFA is solely about grades, it has nothing to do with pilot skill.

Edited by LookieRookie
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1 hour ago, LookieRookie said:

ENJJPT from USAFA is solely about grades, it has nothing to do with pilot skill.

Not to be contentious, but that isn't the case. They do a decent job of summing up your overall ability, to heavily include performance in airmanship programs. If it were grades alone I wouldn't have been selected.

 

OP, I would say try to go ENJJPT in all cases unless you are dead set on going to AMC. All 38 drops cater to the needs of ACC, AFSOC, and AMC, in that order (I forget where GSC goes in that order). You get a different syllabus with more exposure to different types of flying which is if nothing else, quite enjoyable and could possibly help you make a more educated decision when filling out a dream sheet. Also, given the reduced frequency of drops here, if you're a strong swimmer they may give more consideration to getting you what you want, not a guarantee, but a greater likelihood. I also wouldn't be intimidated by the "stronger competition", unless you have 0 prior aviation experience. Feel free to send me a pm if you have further ENJJPT/38 related questions. 

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1 hour ago, BashiChuni said:

What squad in the academy are you in?

Talon 12

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Go to ENJJPT for the aforementioned reasons of being universally assignable in a T-38. 

Not to shoot holes in your plan, but why do you want AFSOC? The espirit de corps of SOF? The reason I ask is because the 4 AFSOC assets are very different in their missions. I always tell guys to pick based on mission. If you want to haul trash and refuel helos, go MC-130. If you want to shoot a lot of bad guys and have a stroke herding cats, go AC-130. If you want to be viewed as an annoyance to leadership and loved by your user, go U-28. If you want to sit around, maintenance cancel, and get worshipped, go CV-22.

TL;DR: Pick based on mission, not MAJCOM.

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2 hours ago, Sparkle said:

 (I forget where GSC goes in that order).  

GSC is about on the order of getting your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and the wretched refuse of your teeming shore for priority. 

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4 hours ago, RE2012USAF said:

 First of all, I graduate from USAFA in 2019 to establish some context that I will be putting in AFSC preferences in August and not long after that competing for ENJJPT.

For the last two years I have been playing mental ping pong trying to figure out whether or not I want to apply for ENJJPT or just elect to go to UPT. I have narrowed down the aircraft that I want to fly in my head eliminating fighters (I think). I have a strong desire to fly in AFSOC, specifically the MC-130 but if not, I would take any platform to be part of that community. If I didn't fall into AFSOC I think I would then place the A-10 as a second choice and then slick C-130's.

What I am wondering is what is my best bet? Will having a T-38 background in ENJJPT make me more competitive for an AFSOC platform or will I merely be competing against better pilots which will hinder my chances of dropping something in AFSOC? 

I am curious to hear thoughts across the board as to why one may be better than the other. I would also like to know what I can do in order to increase my chances of getting a foot in the door in the AFSOC community aside from getting lucky with timing and drops in a few years.

Thanks guys! 

what was second of all? i might have missed that

wasting two years in college playing mental ping pong and not banging hot chicks is going to be one of your life regrets.

i think you're over thinking it. one step at a time and enjoy the journey along the way (cliche i know)...there are so many variables that are beyond your control right now.

enjoy the hell out of your last year of college

+1 to danger's advice about picking the mission you want.

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2 hours ago, Sparkle said:

Not to be contentious, but that isn't the case. They do a decent job of summing up your overall ability, to heavily include performance in airmanship programs. If it were grades alone I wouldn't have been selected.

 

OP, I would say try to go ENJJPT in all cases unless you are dead set on going to AMC. All 38 drops cater to the needs of ACC, AFSOC, and AMC, in that order (I forget where GSC goes in that order). You get a different syllabus with more exposure to different types of flying which is if nothing else, quite enjoyable and could possibly help you make a more educated decision when filling out a dream sheet. Also, given the reduced frequency of drops here, if you're a strong swimmer they may give more consideration to getting you what you want, not a guarantee, but a greater likelihood. I also wouldn't be intimidated by the "stronger competition", unless you have 0 prior aviation experience. Feel free to send me a pm if you have further ENJJPT/38 related questions. 

I would agree. The way it works here now is that it is OPA based which means our miltiary performance also plays a huge role. Not just academics. Also, Airmanship is factored in hevaily which makes any of the teams very competitive when their package is put up to the board. 

I have about 35 hours in a C172 that I got about 3 years ago but I'm slotted for Powered Flight this summer. I guess I just wonder if at the end of the day: is a lower ranked stud at ENJJPT going to still have a higher consideration for their choice of airframe over someone at UPT or are these factors not dependant? And is it true that IP's are able to reach out to other pilot training bases and make "swaps" for airframes that their studs want? Is it better to be T-38's at ENJJPT or T-38's from UPT? Or indifferent?

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7 minutes ago, RE2012USAF said:

And is it true that IP's are able to reach out to other pilot training bases and make "swaps" for airframes that their studs want? 

This is true, but other bases don't always play ball and if there isn't an AFSOC asset in the drop then they can't exactly trade for one. 

I've seen several dudes get told, "Go -38s you're universally assignable." They were all disappointed. I don't care if you're #1, if there isn't one in the drop and your flt/cc can't trade some other non-fighter with the T-1 side (who most likely won't play ball) you have a 96.9% chance your flt/cc calls afpc and tells them he needs a non fighter/bomber and they hand him a wide body ISR because ACC owns you. 

If you go to the UPT side and you still want AFSOC after formation in the T-6 then go T-1s. Your chances will be much better than going T-38s.

I can't speak to the ENJJPT side. 

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1 hour ago, Danger41 said:

Not to shoot holes in your plan, but why do you want AFSOC? The espirit de corps of SOF? The reason I ask is because the 4 AFSOC assets are very different in their missions. I always tell guys to pick based on mission. If you want to haul trash and refuel helos, go MC-130. If you want to shoot a lot of bad guys and have a stroke herding cats, go AC-130. If you want to be viewed as an annoyance to leadership and loved by your user, go U-28. If you want to sit around, maintenance cancel, and get worshipped, go CV-22.

TL;DR: Pick based on mission, not MAJCOM.

Honestly I want AFSOC because of the community. I like the idea of being a silent professional and not needing to tell everyone how much better my life is than everyone elses. I tend to like the personalities of the aviators a lot more in AFSOC and their values (in general) seem to align more with mine. I have a buddy who is an '07 grad in AFSOC and he tells me about the diverse missions and experiences that he has had. It doesn't seem like you can get that anywhere else. The opportunities once your foot is in the door seem endless. I like the mission of the MC-130 the best in AFSOC but the others would appeal more to me than something outside of the community. AC-130's I don't know enough about but if it means turns about a point at 0300 in the morning I'm not sure how much I'd be interested. I'm sure there is a lot to each of the airframe missions that I just don't know because of them being relatively classified. Green Door programs catch my attention too. 

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57 minutes ago, BashiChuni said:

wasting two years in college playing mental ping pong and not banging hot chicks is going to be one of your life regrets.

I grew out of the mindset that you have well before I even enlisted in the Air Force, let alone left my base to come to USAFA. I'm not interested in the relationships you're talking about but I appreciate the tips.

I am focused on putting myself in a good position to have the career and life that I want with a wife and kids one day. This isn't a 4 year party for me. I enjoy my time here but I make sacrifices each day knowing that it will one day be worth it.

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ENJJPT made me a navigator. Avoid like the plague.  YMMV.

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48 minutes ago, RE2012USAF said:

I grew out of the mindset that you have well before I even enlisted in the Air Force, let alone left my base to come to USAFA. I'm not interested in the relationships you're talking about but I appreciate the tips.

You may be too grown up for the Air Force, being a pilot is all about banging hot chicks it doesn't end in college.

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I take no credit for anything here...

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1 hour ago, RE2012USAF said:

I like the idea of being a silent professional and not needing to tell everyone how much better my life is than everyone elses. 

 

1 hour ago, RE2012USAF said:

I like the mission of the MC-130 

Mutually exclusive.

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Go ENJJPT. I know three slick 130J pilots, four U-28 pilots, 1 AC-130 pilot... all within three classes of mine (and that’s just what I remember). 

 

Most wanted them, some didn’t, either way... the guys that wanted heavies/AFSOC... generally got what they wanted. Granted this was almost a decade ago... damn I’m getting old. 

Edited by BroncoEN
Spelling hard.

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 but if it means turns about a point at 0300 in the morning I'm not sure how much I'd be interested

You just described what several AFSOC and ACC assets do during the current fight...so...good luck.

Go ENJJPT - Flying 38s was fun, you still have a decent array of options for assignments, and Wichita Falls seems to be the best UPT base out of all of them (location-wise and the local town is better than the other options).  I say all this as a guy who didn't go there.

Lastly, its fine to think about what you think you want to fly, but keep an open mind.  Talk to your IPs as you go through UPT - dismiss those who tell you "the other guys" are assholes, suck, mission is lame, etc...they have no idea what they're talking about if they never flew it. If you have a bunch of non-fighter IPs, seek out fighter guys for perspective.  Do the opposite as well. You might stay steadfast on the AFSOC idea, but you may also surprise yourself at what you end up putting on a dream sheet 2 years from now.

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3 hours ago, RE2012USAF said:

...I like the mission of the MC-130 the best in AFSOC but the others would appeal more to me than something outside of the community...

Do what you can to get a true picture of what the MC-130 does if you're going vector hard towards it.  In no way am I trying to steer you way from it, but my impression of what the MC-130H did when I was in your position was nothing but terrain following low level, threat penetration, high speed airdrop of clandestine forces, and that seemed pretty cool to me.

Turns out, although those may be capabilities, they're rarely exercised and 95% of the time the MCs aren't doing anything a slick -130 doesn't do (excluding HAR/TAR as my impression is the crews don't consider it especially enjoyable).  There's nothing wrong with "slick missions", but it may not be what you expect from the MCs.  I had a strong desire to end up in MCs initially, but by dumb luck ended up elsewhere in AFSOC and wouldn't have taken an offer to cross-train into MCs after I had seen their reality from up close.  Again, not to discourage you.  If that's what you want, go for it.  Just do what you can to be sure you understand what you're working towards.

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I would agree. The way it works here now is that it is OPA based which means our miltiary performance also plays a huge role. Not just academics. Also, Airmanship is factored in hevaily which makes any of the teams very competitive when their package is put up to the board. 

The only thing worse than using GPA to pick which guys should go to ENJPT is using your MPA as in indicator for anything other than potential at brown nosing and dick sucking.

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5 hours ago, BashiChuni said:

what was second of all? i might have missed that

wasting two years in college playing mental ping pong and not banging hot chicks is going to be one of your life regrets.

i think you're over thinking it. one step at a time and enjoy the journey along the way (cliche i know)...there are so many variables that are beyond your control right now.

enjoy the hell out of your last year of college

+1 to danger's advice about picking the mission you want.

He’s at the academy, he’s not banging any “hot chicks”..

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1 minute ago, dream big said:

He’s at the academy, he’s not banging any “hot chicks”..

good point....well i heard there are some cougars down at the Golden Bee

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Currently the AFSOC community (CV-22s at least) wants -38 grads over T-1 guys (shh, don’t tell them that). Apparently they’ve washed out quite a few of them in CV-22 initial qual over the last year. Reason they prefer -38 grads is because of their greater exposure to tactical flying/mindset in their syllabi (both SUPT/ENJJPT). 

 

Edit:

As to the OP’s comment about ENJJPT dudes being better pilots...the academy guys that get those slots are better at playing the game/checking the squares to be more competitive. They’ll make great HPOs one day, but definitely doesn’t translate into being a better stick and rudder pilot. Not a slight towards ENJJPT guys by any means, but the dudes who go -38s in SUPT earned their -38 slot by actually proving themselves in an airplane. Just food for thought. If you have the opportunity to go ENJJPT however, I’d take it. 

Edited by WheelsOff
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