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Darkness14

Rushing Units

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Ok, so i understand there is info about rushing units and what not. But i am trying to rush units that seem to hire from within. The reason for going this route is due to the fact that i don't have the flexibility of moving around and i am also running out of time age wise without needing an age waiver. Currently i am 28 and about to turn 29 in a month time isn't on my side. Also i just relocated and bought a condo about 10 months ago due to my wife's job, so the intent is to have about a 400 mile radius of travel and apply to all within that radius. Not super keen on driving 6 hours a few times a month but i am really trying to do what i can to join the reserve or the guard. 

I was curious if anyone could provide P.O.C. or help me connect with the right people within the 400 mile radius of Nashville, TN. Im really trying to go after a C-17 unit, that is my preference but can deal with a C-130 unit as a last resort. I applied to the Jackson MS unit back when they had boards but didn't get an invite, Memphis hasn't hired since 2016 and they are my preferred unit of choice travel wise, and there is a unit in Dayton, OH at wright patt. There is one more C-17 unit within my bubble but i can't remember where it was off the top of my head. For C-130 units, there is a unit here in nashville, one in Louisville Ky, Dobbins AFB, Maxwell AFB, and Charlotte NC which i think are in the process of transferring to C-17's not sure if this is accurate or not.

Could anyone shed light on how i can break the ice with these units and work my way in with no prior military experience. Still constantly working on how i can market myself with little flight experience and no military background other than having a father who served in the army and a grandfather who served in the navy. 

Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. I wish i would have started this journey earlier, but thats life.

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Im really trying to go after a C-17 unit, that is my preference but can deal with a C-130 unit as a last resort...


First piece of advice, beggars can’t be choosers. There is also an RPA unit in Nashville that would require no travel.

Someone in your situation with the age limit should be open to any and all possibilities to get your foot in the door.

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You need to update your data-C-130s have been gone from Nashville since 2012. If age is your limfac, RPAs are your best bet. Nashville just held a URT board, so next one is likely at least 6-9 months away.  Nashville is very open to speaking with folks that are interested.  Manning is pretty good but they are always trying to be prepared for force mgmt.

Memphis is undergoing some leadership changes. Not sure if they are actively hiring for UPT or not. Call them to find out. I believe they have a difficult time keeping full timers since purple is across the ramp  

Knoxville is usually fairly consistent on UPT boards and are also getting ready to undergo a few leadership changes. If I happen to hear of their next board, I will post it here. I believe Bergman is a current member and he may be able to shed some light on their hiring situation. 

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Herkbum, you’re way too nice.

OP...There’s a lot of info and you knew it yet you still chose to disregard the search function and roll in without doing your homework.

Saying you’d take a C-130 as a “last resort” on a military aviation message board...YGBFSM.

Good luck getting hired.

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1 hour ago, herkbum said:

You need to update your data-C-130s have been gone from Nashville since 2012. If age is your limfac, RPAs are your best bet. Nashville just held a URT board, so next one is likely at least 6-9 months away.  Nashville is very open to speaking with folks that are interested.  Manning is pretty good but they are always trying to be prepared for force mgmt.

Memphis is undergoing some leadership changes. Not sure if they are actively hiring for UPT or not. Call them to find out. I believe they have a difficult time keeping full timers since purple is across the ramp  

Knoxville is usually fairly consistent on UPT boards and are also getting ready to undergo a few leadership changes. If I happen to hear of their next board, I will post it here. I believe Bergman is a current member and he may be able to shed some light on their hiring situation. 

Are you a Nashville guy, by chance? 

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Let me caveat this by saying I'm not the best person to answer this. As my username suggests, I'm am not in a AFRC/ ANG squadron yet. However, I am on the tail end of my search for a squadron so I have some advice that you could use.

Try using bogidope.com. It has a map that shows all reserve and guard units and has most of their recruiting information. If you can't find the contact info for a squadron, you can call up their base operator (just google "______ Air Force Base Operator" to get a number) and ask to be transferred to the squadron desk. 

To break the ice, just call them up tell them your situation and say you're interested. They should hook you up with their hiring guy/ gal. As far as marketing yourself, try to show off leadership positions you've held. Possibly from your work. Flight hours are also a good thing to have. Some units require new hires to have their Private Pilot Licence to even be considered. Since you said yours are limited this could be a challenge to overcome, but not impossible. Beyond that the best thing that will help is having a likable personality. Squadrons would rather run low on people than hire someone they don't like. Ask if you can visit them to meet the squadron members and introduce yourself. If you just turn in an app and hope to get invited to an interview, you're going to have a hard time getting hired.

Also I would encourage you to expand your list of aircraft you're willing to fly. IMHO once you decide between fighters and heavies, the specific air-frame doesn't really matter that much. I'd be more concerned with how you fit in with the rest of the squadron. Those are the people you would be spending a lot of weekends with for 10+ years, so make sure you gel with them.

Lastly keep in mind this forum has... high expectations for newcomers. Try doing more searches for your info before asking questions and use a lot of tact when posting. Best of Luck!

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If you have to join a C-17 unit and they don’t want you maybe Try joining the unit in a less competitive position and get a UPT slot with waiver from within?

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Go get some flight experience...even if it's enough to solo or get your PPL which would be even better.  See if you like it and don't get airsick.  The units are going to spend a lot of money and time on you before you ever set foot in the sq as a useful member.  It can be frustrating for them to "waste" a spot on you if you struggle at UPT because you are sick all the time or decide it's not for you.  With a little time or better a PPL under your belt, you can at least show you like it and an ok chance you won't be throwing up every UPT flight.  The unit I was in, if you didn't have any flight time you probably would get passed over...  Just my 2 cents but I don't fly in the reserves anymore so my info could be out of date.

 

Also I wouldn't suggest you lead with the C-130 being your last resort if needed...in any sq...your call though.

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15 hours ago, skybert said:

Saying I’d deal with a C-130 unit......as a last resort probably won’t help.

maybe not but the guy does have good taste i'll give him that.

flame me!!!

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It may would help if you joined a unit and kept applying to show how serious you are. That decision isn’t for everyone but it works for some people. When did you apply for the Jackson,MS board?

Edited by RunningMan

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On 6/6/2018 at 9:34 PM, Darkness14 said:

but can deal with a C-130 unit as a last resort.

Do us herk dudes a favor and stay elsewhere. You’re a herk guy or you’re not... 

 

...and you’re not. 

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On 6/7/2018 at 9:38 PM, herkbum said:

Yes

What's the ops tempo for you guys? And what does an average work week look like for an AGR type? 

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I am a Nashville guy as well and we do occasionally hire off the street but you have to rush the unit, i.e. come to drill weekend via a pre-coordinated visit with our pilot recruiting officer. Badmouthing the Herk is not a good opening statement anywhere, let alone in Nashville. From talking to a good buddy of mine and hearing his experience, Memphis is only hiring (or strongly preferring) current & qualified C-17 IPs. If age is the biggest factor then HerkBum is correct that RPA is a good option although if you feel the need for speed and physically being in an airplane obviously it may not be a good fit and that's totally fine.

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What are some tips for cold calling a unit? I feel awkward calling out of the blue especially if they aren’t hiring at the moment. What’s the protocol for over the phone? I know this is something that one must do but I don’t want to call and sound like a doofus. My dream unit is the 93rd viper unit out of Homstead but they just had a board last December. I’d like to travel down there a few times so whenever the next board pops up I can have a leg up.

Edited by Deuce362
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3 hours ago, Deuce362 said:

What are some tips for cold calling a unit? I feel awkward calling out of the blue especially if they aren’t hiring at the moment. What’s the protocol for over the phone? I know this is something that one must do but I don’t want to call and sound like a doofus. My dream unit is the 93rd viper unit out of Homstead but they just had a board last December. I’d like to travel down there a few times so whenever the next board pops up I can have a leg up.

Liquid courage? That used to work at the bar...

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13 hours ago, Deuce362 said:

What are some tips for cold calling a unit?

It sounds cliche, but just be yourself. Tell them where you're at in life and that your interested in joining the unit. Cold calling seems far more intimidating than it actually is. Most squadrons are use to potential hires cold calling. All the units I called were extremely relaxed and friendly. Granted I did rush heavy squadrons only, but I doubt fighters are too different over the phone. 

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Had a couple guys drop by the squadron a few weeks ago - we don't have a board for another year. It's completely normal and the visits are remembered - mostly positively as the fact you took time/money to come visit in person means you're not just a "tire kicker" and care a little more than the average guy who doesn't make pre-board visits.  When you get a hold of the squadron, ask to speak to the pilot who's in charge of recruiting/UPT boards - if they're not available, then talk to any available pilot.  Tell them succinctly you're interested in the unit, you will be applying to X board, but you would also like to drop by the squadron for a visit to check out the squadron and introduce yourself.  Even the non-recruiting guy can probably give you a good idea of when is best to come visit based on squadron schedules (TDY, drill weekends, etc.) In the end, make sure the recruiting guy preferably knows you're coming/what date - it's always best to show up with at least one pilot knowing you're coming...helps break the ice a bit.

Bring a bottle of booze with something written on it (simple = "Thanks for the visit! - New Guy"); that way we remember you two months later when we're drinking the whisky/scotch you brought. Have some SA on if guys are busy (i.e. at ops desk dealing with the day's flying ops) and don't be annoying with questions; if guys are just hanging out in the bar/bullshiting somewhere (guarantee that's happening about 100% of the time in a guard unit), walk up and introduce yourself - have normal conversations and get to know people/help us get to know you. Be yourself - don't talk a ton about yourself, just ask questions and get to know the squadron/dudes in it. Dudes will ask you about yourself, answer those questions and conversation should naturally flow from there if you have reasonable interpersonal communication skills.

Edited by brabus
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To add to what Brabus said, don't make the mistake of not talking at all.  It's very frustrating to try to engage in conversation with people who are rushing/interviewing with my squadron and they just don't really talk because they are afraid of sounding stupid or something. If I can't get to know you a bit, I can't make a recommendation to the hiring board.

Sit back and listen but be social when dudes are trying to have a conversation with you, don't just give a yes or no answer.

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Good points Kenny.  For the OP, to clarify my "don't talk too much about yourself" statement - I really meant don't go over the top telling a bunch of "so there I was" CFI stories, etc. I've seen a couple guys like that - really I think they just didn't have good self awareness in social settings as a general point, or maybe they were simply very nervous and talking non-stop is how they "coped."  Be yourself is the best thing you can do - don't try to be someone you think we want, because we'll see right through that play. 

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How often is often enough to visit a unit before the board? I’m trying to visit the 709th in Dover and their app deadline is in August I think. It’s been very hard trying to get a response from somebody. I know once is better than nothing. Just trying to gauge the norm.

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I'd say once is "enough," but of course more is always better.  Considering the app is due in Aug (so I assume boards within a few months of that), once is probably fine on your current timeline for that unit.  If there are other units you're highly interested in, but their boards aren't for another year or so, it's probably worth going twice.  Bottom line, try to make a trip within ~4 months preceding the board so your visit is "fresh" in dudes' minds.  Technique only.

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