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Hi folks,

I'm hoping to get some insight as I start looking into applying for ANG units. I've already taken the AFOQT and TBAS.  My understanding is that you can take it only twice, these were my second scores. How do I look?

  • BA in PoliSci (recent grad, 22 yrs old)
  • GPA 2.75
  • Currently a restaurant server part time (worked various jobs in my college life and at once was working two jobs over 30+ hrs and full time student)
  • 24 flight hours; No PPL
  • AFOQT: P 98  N 87  A 62  V 32  Q 88
  • PCSM: 76
  • Letters of Rec include one from my college professor and my current restaurant employer

Over the past few months, I have looked at many applications for ANG UPT and a good majority of them ask for the PPL.  It's not mandatory but as always "it really helps."  Since I don't have my PPL, just how much of a disadvantage am I from other applicants?  I have just started paying off my school loans (amounting to 15k) and I still need to allocate some funds for flying and this would put me in a really tight spot financially so I am just really hesitant to go forward with getting my PPL.  This isn't to say my desire to fly is any less than anyone else, but would it be perceived that way?

These are my most pressing concerns at the moment, any feedback would be most appreciated.  Look forward to hearing back from the community!

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I'm a wannabe also so I will only address a couple concerns you mentioned. If I were in your shoes my focus would be on getting full time employment.... preferably in something that interests you. Be a team player/work your ass off in whatever career you decide to venture into. Live at home or find a reliable roommate, avoid unnecessary debt/expenses to get your student loans paid off ASAP. Drive for uber, keep the serving position part time WITH full time employment, sell a kidney.. you get the idea on the debt/overall financial picture haha.

From what I have read on here, If you have Solo'd that's generally a good sign that you're somewhat serious about flying. It's a good start until you can resume working toward your PPL. 

If you held down two jobs at one point that implies you have a work ethic, however you may want to start thinking about honest answers to account for a GPA less than 3.0. If you aren't in decent shape or have a good workout routine I would suggest building those habits now. 

You're 22 years old so time is on your side. Building some great work history outside of serving will improve the total person concept that's equally if not more important than your scores. Hope this helps and congrats on the degree and joys of adulting..student loans!!

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My input is backed up by nothing more than me staying at a Holiday Inn Express last night seeing as though I am recently picked up/haven't started training yet, so take what I say with a big grain of salt. That said, here's my quick take from what you told us:

The negatives. Your GPA is a little low in a non-STEM background, so it's not likely going to pop out in a stack of applications; especially if you're going for fighter units. Not having your PPL will also likely give them pause, as will not working full time right now/having serious post-college work experience. I'm not knocking servers. I worked in restaurants and bars for years and know it's tough work. It's just not "solid" work experience. In the end, they're going to be spending a million bucks(?) on your training and giving the slot to you over someone else, so they're going to want to see that it's going to be a good investment. Secondly, they might want to know you can support yourself when all the training is over. Again, not that you can't waiting tables, it'll just likely be a lot less money than you were just earning training/being on orders full time as you will be for the first 2-3 years. 

I'm not saying that you won't be a great investment, but that would be the negatives I'd see after quick take reading your stuff without knowing you further. And, while I didn't apply to any fighter units, a lot of the folks I've talked to say how competitive they are and that there are 50 guys going for 1 or 2 slots sometimes. So, you've gotta find ways to stand out.

Now, the positives. Your Pilot and Nav test scores are pretty solid and to have a 76 PCSM with pretty low hours isn't a terrible position. Again, might be low for crazy competitive fighters, but you might be able to swing it with less competitive heavies. That PPL will add flight hours to increase your PCSM and help potential units confidence in your ability to succeed. What would be your PCSM at 60-80 hours (a reasonable estimate that you'd be here if you go for your PPL)? Could you up your shifts serving or get a second job now to bring in more $$$ for lessons?

Another big positive is that you're young and have lots of time to bolster your resume, bump your scores, and get comfortable with the application process. If you feel up for it, I'd honestly start applying to squadrons now. Sure, you might not get a lot of bites just yet, but you'll at least get your name out there and get a solid grasp of the process/what they're looking for. IMHO, being that "whole person" that many squadrons tout looking for is largely about your personality and fit. If you're getting your name out there, making contacts with pilots/hiring PoCs through email/call/in person, going to squadron meet and greets, and honing your interview skills, you'll get a better idea of what they're looking for and what you might need to get better at.

The whole application process is an interview; not just the questions they ask you seated in front of a panel, so the better you get at that and the more inroads you make with people in squadrons you want to be in, the better your chances are. Prove you're the kinda dude guys want to spend time around and your areas that don't stand out so much on paper start to get replaced by who you are as a person. Sure, you might get a lot of rejections at first, but it'll teach you a lot about the process and, more importantly, show you want it. A squadron you apply to a few times is going to remember you and, while you might not have caught their eye on paper the first time, they'll see you're determined and want it badly, so maybe they'll give you more of a chance the next time.

Comb these forums and read any and every thread that pertains to any airframe/base/squadron you're interested in, even if the thread is years old. Reach out to people that are in the hunt, too, and those that are just starting out. There is tons to learn from this forum and, hands down, it's been the best asset I've had in this dream I've been chasing. 

Again, I'm no expert and I'm not knocking you for anything you've got there; it's just my .02 in what I learned during the chase. 

Good luck out there!

Edited by FDNYOldGuy
Grammer and clarification on some stuff
  • Like 1

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Fighter units don't look likely, I'd say you'd have a decent shot at heavy squadrons provided you rushed/interviewed well. PPL will likely do the most to improve your chances, especially as it gives you a talking point about your dedication to this goal.

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AFOQT isn’t bad. PCSM, can’t tell. What’s the max score possible for you on the PCSM (200+ hours)?

Get your PPL. Maybe try a local flight club, or at the worst, join the CAP. They have CFIs and planes for cheap, but it’s a mixed bag on whether the people are alright. As long as you’re progressing, units should be content.

GPA isn’t good. Prepare to answer for that. Why aren’t you working in the political field? It’s campaign season, get out there and make some $$!

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I wouldn't say fighters are out of the question, you just gotta do some legwork like these dudes are saying. GPA low? Yes, but do you have a story on why it is low or how you have matured and are seeking/landing an awesome job where you convinced them your GPA doesn't define you? Do you see where I am going? It's already been said, you're super young. The world is yours so go get it man, no one else can do it for you. Grind for the PPL. But if that's not possible, the ANG is not the end all be all. Active Duty is also an option as well, navy, marines, etc. Leave no stone un-turned. If you really want it you'll figure out a way. 

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