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Catman

Chances and Recommendations (ANG)

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Heyo,

I'm an ANG Staff Sergeant working in Communications. Here are my numbers:

  • Major: Computer Engineering (Minor: Leadership, University known for good engineering school)
  • AFOQT: Pilot: 96  Nav: 96  Acad: 98  Verbal: 94  Quant: 96
  • PCSM: 83 w/ 55 Hours  (likely 87 w/ 61+ after my PPL checkride)  97 w/ 201+
  • Flight Hours: 55 now, likely 61+ by interview time (Pipers mostly)
  • Age: 24, about to be 25
  • LORs: Squadron CC from deployment, Flight CC from home station, Professor from capstone course in college
  • Civilian Career: 3 months on a semiconductor company internship, 6 months at a healthcare software company
  • Military Career: Pretty normal ANG gig. Honor Grad and Distinguished Grad during training, earned an AFAM at home station and an AFCM on deployment.

I think I have good odds. I'm having a hard time with a couple things though:

Airframe: I'm trying to go airlines at some point. When folks hear that, they suggest going cargo/refuelers. I wouldn't mind cargo, but refuelers don't do much for me. However, the original motivation to fly for the military has always been the fighters. The F35 is such an impressive pinnacle of hardware and software, the F15 rocks my socks off, and the F16, well..., who doesn't want to ride the rocket? What about A-10s? I love the Hawgs; I'm just apprehensive because I fear that some Attack Wings might switch to RPAs. Maybe my fears are unwarranted. Additionally, for fighters, the boards are harder (didn't get selected on one F16 board so far), so the time it takes to fly (assuming you eventually make it) is longer, and the fighters don't get nearly the same hours as cargo.

Interviews: Working in this civi job takes up so much of my time that I don't know how I'm possibly going to tour and interview at enough bases to fly what I want to fly. Some of the folks I met at the last board I went to did not seem to have much of a problem making the time. Should I be looking for a career change to something simpler so I can get serious on these boards? My ANG unit has positions that work 4 long-days per week and their days-off is AFAIK better than what I'm getting at my current job.

I am hoping some of those sentiments sound familiar to some of you and, if so, how you worked/are working past them.

Thanks!

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First off It’s much easier to start off flying fighters and then switch to a heavy unit later than vice versa.

If you’ve always wanted a fighter, go for it.

Fighter guys fly airliners. There are plenty on this board that retired from fighters and are now at Delta, AA, etc.

What does your unit fly? That would be a good place to start.

You’ll change your tune about tankers someday.

At the end of the day don’t worry about things you can’t control and promise me you won’t ever say “rocks my socks off” again.

  • Haha 1

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2 minutes ago, Scooter14 said:

First off It’s much easier to start off flying fighters and then switch to a heavy unit later than vice versa.

If you’ve always wanted a fighter, go for it.

Fighter guys fly airliners. There are plenty on this board that retired from fighters and are now at Delta, AA, etc.

What does your unit fly? That would be a good place to start.

You’ll change your tune about tankers someday.

At the end of the day don’t worry about things you can’t control and promise me you won’t ever say “rocks my socks off” again.

I'll stop wearing socks then. Sorry, my macho vocabulary is weak in the morning. The F-15 makes me feel some type of way. I can feel it in my pluuuums.

We fly F-16s now, and we're slated for F-35s. I'm pretty much doxxing myself at this point, haha! The board that I did not get chosen for was the last board they were having for F-16s; the next one will be set up for straight F-35s.

I know fighter guys fly airliners, but I've heard some folks say they have to spend a lot more time flying regionals. I want to get international and heavy relatively quickly.

My attitude on tankers is somewhat skewed because of the awkward conversation in this video. I know the guy talking ain't a pilot, but man does he make it a difficult conversation haha! They definitely do set you up for airliner life, though, with the multiple engines, turbine power, CRM, and whatnot.

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You interviewed for the board at your home base and wasn't selected?  That's strange, because ANG usually hires from within. I've seen dudes with horrible scores get selected over more qualified applicants just because they were in the ANG.

Your scores and credentials are freakin' amazing dude.  I'm sure you will get picked up by any board.

Edited by Ligma

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Seems like you you’ve put some hard work in to set yourself up for success. I’m guessing you’ve also probably had some good advice from a mentor. If you haven’t already, you absolutely need to start hanging out with the fighter pilots in your Wing. Let them know you are seriously interested in being a fighter pilot and want to learn about their mission and airframe. Hopefully you can score some flights if they have two seaters before the conversion, maybe jump into some briefs/debriefs depending on your security clearance, and chill out with them at a few roll calls. If you stay persistent with this, you’ll probably keep paving the way for a UPT slot (probably counts for more than scores). Even better, start asking the airline guys about how being a fighter compares with airline lifestyle/pay. 

Dont worry about hours and airlines if missing out on being a fighter pilot is something you’d ever regret. From what Ive read, PIC hours in a fighter count for a lot more than most other hours. It seems like most min hour hires at the majors have pointy nose backgrounds. I’m not a fighter pilot or airline guy, but this is my best advice (I’m a rated dude trying hard to find a guard unit and trying to set myself up for the airlines after rpa’s for 7 years). Good luck dude....these aren’t really problems. It’s just an exercise in prioritizing which is part of being a military aviator. 

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Since your unit is 16's and you're transferring to 35s I'd guess you're VTANG. Since they have a board coming up in June, I'd apply for that one(again?). Your scores are very good and it's your home unit so you've got that going for you. The 16 board you didn't get selected for, did you ask for feedback on why not? As far as debating over fighters and heavies with airlines in sight, I've seen just as many fighter guys go to major airlines as I've seen heavy guys. In the end, apply to wherever you want and see what presents itself. 

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2 hours ago, elvis said:

Since your unit is 16's and you're transferring to 35s I'd guess you're VTANG. Since they have a board coming up in June, I'd apply for that one(again?). Your scores are very good and it's your home unit so you've got that going for you. The 16 board you didn't get selected for, did you ask for feedback on why not? As far as debating over fighters and heavies with airlines in sight, I've seen just as many fighter guys go to major airlines as I've seen heavy guys. In the end, apply to wherever you want and see what presents itself. 

Na, VT's last board was for 35. If I had to guess maybe WI

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3 hours ago, flammable said:

Na, VT's last board was for 35. If I had to guess maybe WI

Ahh didn't know WI was slotted for 35s. TIL. 

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On 1/10/2019 at 5:30 PM, Ligma said:

You interviewed for the board at your home base and wasn't selected?  That's strange, because ANG usually hires from within. I've seen dudes with horrible scores get selected over more qualified applicants just because they were in the ANG.

Your scores and credentials are freakin' amazing dude.  I'm sure you will get picked up by any board.

I spent a couple weeks getting my uniform squared away (huge ribbon rack change -- we wear blues pretty much once every other year) and didn't notice a glaring issue until the morning of the board. Without going into detail, think "What's the worst thing my tailor could do to my dress blues?". Attention to detail and whatnot, I completely understand, it's my fault in the end. I considered changing into a regular suit, but I thought that would be a cop-out since I would imagine they would rather hire SSgt ___ than Mr. ___. Probably a dumb move, I shot myself in the foot with that one.

But some of the other folks there were absolutely outstanding. For anonymity's sake on their part, I'm going to change the details, but imagine if a decorated Army Ranger showed up to your board. I was hoping for more dopey folks to show up 😏.

On 1/10/2019 at 7:04 PM, GoodSplash9 said:

Seems like you you’ve put some hard work in to set yourself up for success. I’m guessing you’ve also probably had some good advice from a mentor. If you haven’t already, you absolutely need to start hanging out with the fighter pilots in your Wing. Let them know you are seriously interested in being a fighter pilot and want to learn about their mission and airframe. Hopefully you can score some flights if they have two seaters before the conversion, maybe jump into some briefs/debriefs depending on your security clearance, and chill out with them at a few roll calls. If you stay persistent with this, you’ll probably keep paving the way for a UPT slot (probably counts for more than scores). Even better, start asking the airline guys about how being a fighter compares with airline lifestyle/pay. 

Dont worry about hours and airlines if missing out on being a fighter pilot is something you’d ever regret. From what Ive read, PIC hours in a fighter count for a lot more than most other hours. It seems like most min hour hires at the majors have pointy nose backgrounds. I’m not a fighter pilot or airline guy, but this is my best advice (I’m a rated dude trying hard to find a guard unit and trying to set myself up for the airlines after rpa’s for 7 years). Good luck dude....these aren’t really problems. It’s just an exercise in prioritizing which is part of being a military aviator. 

A lot of advice coming from airline pilot family and their colleagues who fly/flew in the ANG. I did not do enough talking to pilots in my unit, though. I did talk to a few including an O-6 in the unit, but it turned out those folks were completely uninvolved in the hiring process.

The Peoria, IL ANG unit flying C-130s is pretty desperate from what I've heard. Details are fuzzy, but something along the lines of: their unit hired 3 folks during their last UPT board, and they all failed medical, so there's a huge gap in their manning.

20 hours ago, elvis said:

Since your unit is 16's and you're transferring to 35s I'd guess you're VTANG. Since they have a board coming up in June, I'd apply for that one(again?). Your scores are very good and it's your home unit so you've got that going for you. The 16 board you didn't get selected for, did you ask for feedback on why not? As far as debating over fighters and heavies with airlines in sight, I've seen just as many fighter guys go to major airlines as I've seen heavy guys. In the end, apply to wherever you want and see what presents itself. 

Feedback other than the above uniform thing was mostly that my 5-10 year plan was not solidified enough. They wanted me to talk about becoming a SME, an Instructor, a Wingman, and that sort of thing. My issue is that I don't fly fighter jets yet, so I can pretend to know what those roles entail, but without actually being directly involved, it's all playing pretend. To me, it's pointless: I'm going to end up where my talents, my desires, and the squadron's needs intersect. I don't have the talents yet, my desires will not be fleshed out until I'm flying these things, and the squadron's needs are not defined. Obviously, that stance is not what they're looking for -- can anyone attest to what the right stance is and why?

18 hours ago, flammable said:

Na, VT's last board was for 35. If I had to guess maybe WI

CUT IT OUT.

Edited by Catman
Clarification

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