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roto

Washed out of the fighter pipeline, what’s next?

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Hey guys, 

I was a guard dude with a viper slot and now I’m just a guard dude with wings. I got a lot of things to figure out but I wanted to jump on this forum and see if anyone out there has insight on the process from here. I was told to go find a new unit but anyone that knows anything about securing a good job in the guard will tell you it’s not that easy. 

One of my biggest questions; how do I go from ANG to AFRC? I know what you’re thinking, “don’t do it!” But my situation paired with my desire for a particular part of the country is driving that move. Has anyone here done it? All I’ve heard is “it’s hard to do” and the “AFRC is a shitty deal” can anyone please give me guidance. There’s legitimately no one else I can ask. 

Thanks 

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Posted (edited)

I know multiple people that this has happened to. I know it probably doesn't seem like it now, but this is a good thing. The people I know who didnt get Fighter qual'd wouldn't have been successful in fighters but are successful and enjoying flying other USAF airframes.

My best advice to you, pick the unit closest to where you want to live. I don't think you'll have any problem finding a Squadron to fly with.

Edited by Kenny Powers
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If your home squadron leadership is worth a damn they'll help guide you through the process.   Find a place you'd like to rush and talk with your home SQ/CC, they should help facilitate via CC to CC phone calls.  If not, just start reaching out through the bro network.  Join the pilot network on FB, LOTS of ARC guys on that website and you'd be surprised by the amount of people willing to help out.  

 

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What state is your home unit?  It’s not like with a few text we can’t find out anyway, better yet, what part of the country?  I’ve seen it done but your going to have to be open to other parts of the country, not everyone has an open slot!

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We've had three pilots in your situation be successful in our squadron.

Consider the location you want, and the mission/airframe - there's still a lot out there.

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Thanks for the replies. I appreciate the people reaching out in DMs with helpful gouge. Is it better to cold call DO’s or have my current commander reach out? My CC is a great dude that’s doing everything he can to help, I’m trying to take the initiative to make the calls first. Any thoughts? 

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Posted (edited)

Commanders normally have contacts/friends at various units, get advice from your unit CC (don’t cross streams). Some places have separate interviews - Non-rated vs Rated boards. They’re interviewing you and you need to understand your interviewing them as well to ensure a good fit. Our unit hosted several of these rated boards and were very successful with folks like yourself. Once hired/accepted, it’s just a matter of scheduling you for your initial airframe course. Units can pressure their HQ’s for extra slots or openings which haven’t been filled during the end of the fiscal year fallouts. (Or just plane no-shows due to life circumstances.)

Edited by AirGuardianC141747

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I have a question in the same vein as Roto's. I want to fly fighters with the guard, and I know that your commitment to the Guard begins after getting wings. A not-ideal case would be being committed (i.e. winged) but not flying fighters (such as washing out of IFF or B-course after UPT).

In what other scenarios would one be committed to the ANG, but not doing the thing they initially signed up to do? Are you still committed for 10 years? 

Also, what happens if you are winged, but are medically disqualified from flying at some point later?

   - Also, where can I find more information on what can medically disqualify me? 

 

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Posted (edited)

In what other scenarios would one be committed to the ANG, but not doing the thing they initially signed up to do?” - BigBlueSky

Medical School perhaps? It normally incurs a 4 year commitment after residency. Granted certain specialties may incur more. For them it’s basically a 1 for 1 ratio of support given if you will. 1, 2, 3... years of schooling incurs 1, 2, 3... years of commitment evenly. Plus Bonuses and stipends may apply.

What about Law school? While not a scholarship, there is the “Funded Legal Education Program (FLEP) to officers on active duty.”

Dentist falls into the medical criteria I presume.

None of the above have the UPT commitment of approximately 1 year of training = 10 years of useable servitude. Their physical qualifications are not as stringent either so they are much easier to keep within their profession as support personnel, or if they were unable to finish or pass their training/qualification early on, they could sub category into many of the opportunities the military has to offer is my guess.

Either way, time served for the military to get their money back vs the individual paying for whatever training they received is most likely a no-go for the individual anyway. Otherwise these individuals would obviously have just paid the bill or incurred the loan from the start as civilians like most airline types have done.

USAF Aerospace and Operational Physiology (AOP) is there to keep pilots up and running as a front line asset. They vetted your physical prowess at the beginning and put the cash up front into you, so it’s pennies to keep you airborne for a long time.

Normally you are recategorized into another AFSC (profession) and you serve your time out. Granted, the need for pilots is a cyclic event so we have seen folks released early which happened decades ago due to drawdown. 

Right now the Military is hemorrhaging pilots/airlines are soaking them up, but then again - if your rated, but not flying due to lack of MDS qualification do you fall into the Flying Class 1 Physical requirements for actual flying pilots? It’s not like you accrue OFDA/gate months which very very basically means - the more months you fly the more months or years you can serve in a non-flying position and keep your flight pay going.

As far as disqualifying events. Heart attack, Stroke, Psychosis, failing your PT test 3, 4, 5 times - I don’t know, but it’s probably drastic. They prefer to fix you up as if you were the 6 million dollar man. If they can’t like having MS which if I recall one of my friends had later on during his flying career, he was released and it was a long time before he managed to finalize the FAA medical and now flies for American fortunately. And do you require a Flying Class 1 as you are not on flight status???

I would post on the medical forum to be sure.

Weird example: we had a female fully qualified pilot who became apprehensive to flying. Several of us instructed/flew missions with her and she was a good enough pilot but it became just too much. Flew about 2-3 years with us and she transitioned to our medical squadron at our ANG unit where she found her niche somewhere in the management section of it all. We sent her back for some schooling to validate the transition. Her new AFSC training commitment runs concurrent and not consecutively so Pilot commitment will be the shackle.

Edited by AirGuardianC141747
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