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Lisenbyjacob

AD Enlisted looking to fly

Question

So I have lurked around this forum for a while and have never posted until I noticed this Q&A section, so I wanted to put my situation out there and see what kind of feedback I can get going forward.  I read through some of the other questions but none of them really matched up to my situation, so any help that can be provided is much appreciated.  I am currently an enlisted Comm guy stationed at Andersen AFB.  I extended for this assignment and my DEROS basically matches my end of service which will be summer of 2021 giving me just under two years to get my ducks in a row.  I’m about 80% complete on my degree, which I will obviously have completed by the end of this assignment, and have taken the AFOQT once so far (my math score needed some work but I got a 95 Pilot and 93 Nav).  I am going to schedule the TBAS in a few weeks and am going to begin working on my PPL at a local flight school here on the island very soon. 

As of right now I have 0 hours but I want to make flying my career whether that be military or to separate and use my GI bill to start getting my ratings on the civilian side.  I was gearing up to put in an OTS package for the AD rated boards coming up but suddenly realized that I am done with the Active Duty life and want to go guard/reserve.  I haven’t spoken to any recruiters yet because the closest ones are in Hawaii and they only come out to Guam every once in a blue moon.  Plus, it seems like the best way to create opportunities in these situations is to reach out to units directly. The few things that I am sure of are that I want to separate from active duty and that I want to sew some roots for my small family so they don’t have to be moved around the world anymore. 

The dream situation for me would be to go straight from enlisted active duty to jumping into a pilot spot and going from there.  If I can’t find a pilot spot right off the bat I plan to go Guard/Reserve anyway even if I have to continue on with my stupid Comm job.  I know the first step is really just finding a unit and I have a few units underlined on my list that I would like to reach out to, specifically Wisconsin and around the TN, SC, NC, GA area.  I am obviously open to going anywhere that the opportunity arises, however if anyone reading this is from one of these units I would very much like to hear from you!

So here are my questions…  What the best way to go about reaching out to units to gauge interest in who might be willing to bring me in?  Being in Guam creates a level of difficulty for reaching out directly as I’m sure most units would rather do a face-to-face if they are actually interested in the first place, and even a phone call is tough to do with the time difference.  And even if I did call, I want to be sure I’m reaching out to the right people!  Being that I am an active duty enlisted guy, what type of things are units looking for in someone wanting to become a pilot for them?  I don’t have any aviation experience on paper to speak for me but I am curious if my AF experience (EPRS, decs, letters of recommendation) will help me out?  Also being that I'm currently tied to an assignment for the next two years, what kind of timeline should I be looking at for this whole process?  Lastly…. What am I missing?  I will be done with my degree soon, have qualifying scores on the AFOQT, will have the TBAS done soon, and am going to start building hours toward my PPL soon.

P.S. I know many guard units are always rotating through Guam so if you’re here and want to grab a beer, let me know!

Thanks again

Jacob

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All current pilots started at 0 zero hours at one point. don't let your experience dis-encourage you. Finish your PPL and do everything you can to get the highest GPA from your degree. AFOQT, TBAS, flight hrs and college GPA all go in the very secretive equation to produce a PCSM score. Most squadrons would want you to be in the mid 80s. 90s is competitive for sure. Your AFOQT score is not bad at all. PM me and I'll send you a list of contacts I complied overtime for squadrons all over the states while I was rushing. Don't be afraid to cast a wide net. Also, its never too early to start emailing and cold calling chief pilots. Even if you aren't ready to apply (because of a college degree, hrs, or AD commitment) small follow ups and email updates on your status and interest to know more about the squadron go a long way. I was in Kandahar two years ago. I had an account with transcom.mil to track what birds were making the 4 hr stop at good ole KAF. Whenever I had the chance, I would meet the pilots at the ramp, introduce myself and had a gift or two (no booze unfortunately.... but I always had either a shirt, mug, or something stupid from the KAF px). I would also hand over an envelope with my cover letter, resume, and scores hoping it would eventually land on the desk of the chief pilot. Anyway, there are many ways you can put your name out there just show interest. Even from Guam. Use the bogidope.com website map to find contacts for squadrons. If a contact doesn't work / exist, you can always use the base directory found on google. Eventually, you will be routed to the right person. Emailing folks is a good way to establish contacts, but I always found it more productive to simply call cold people. As far as what units are looking for in a candidate... its hard to say. Every squadron is different looks at different things. All I can say is don't be a tool and show you can be a cool bro that would make the perfect fit for the squadron. 

Good Luck. Cheers

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1 hour ago, CharlieHotel47 said:

AFOQT, TBAS, flight hrs and college GPA all go in the very secretive equation to produce a PCSM score.

Just want to correct this. I'm 99.99999% sure GPA does not go into your PCSM. But as CharlieHotel said, it is still important.

To add to what else he was saying, for the guard, there isn't a single recruiter you can talk to. Each unit has their own process and their own hiring board. Some announce boards on their website, some on facebook, some on bogidope, and some don't advertise at all. So you need to call around and send emails.

I built a spreadsheet with all of the units, what they flew, their website, a POC (if I could find one), and any other information I found important. I'd check each website every few weeks and called the POCs I could find.

Reserve units are similar, except you CAN find a reserve officer recruiter who can help you connect with units (assuming you get in touch with a decent recruiter).

 

Also, like CharlieHotel said, every unit is looking for something slightly different. Some have scores as their top priority, some GPA, and some don't care too much about any of that. What they ALL care about is that you are a good dude and someone they could see themselves working with for a couple of decades.

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