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AnotherPenguin

Not achieving a goal

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7 hours ago, Orbit said:

I'd go one step further and buy an airplane some day.

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There are some great options out there, and it turns out that flying VFR from a NTA does not make the airplane magically fall out of the sky like AF regs lead you to believe. 

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2 hours ago, SurelySerious said:

There are some great options out there, and it turns out that flying VFR from a NTA does not make the airplane magically fall out of the sky like AF regs lead you to believe. 

I don't think the new 202 has any restrictions about flying at a non towered airfield, you just need to have fire coverage of some type.

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To Mr OP Penguin,

Here's some fatherly advice. It starts with a question. What the fuck do you want?  

The solution, figure out how to get there.

There are hundreds of folks on this forum that made their way to that answer. If you feel unsatisfied in UAVs, seek out what you want. Or enjoy exploding terrorists.  Few manned craft pilots can say they took out bad guys these days.  

So get to it, whatever you decide. And stop crying to the internet. Its a heartless bitch.

Out

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I'll admit that I still like to give some jabs at RPA, fighter dudes, and missileers.  That said, they all do important things in the end.  You'll probably take out more bad guys than 90%+ of the manned community and/or provide life-saving intel to teams on the ground.  If that isn't something to value, I don't know what is.

Now, if your heart and soul is set on flying, you have some options.  1. Fly as a hobby.  It costs money, but you get way more freedom.  2. Keep trying to cross-train.  There are cool AF flying gigs, and some cross-flow does happen.  3. Get out and fly civilian, when you can.  

I'd try to keep a couple things in mind: A. What part flying is fulfilling to you? (physically flying or making a difference to others?)  B. Does your job have to be THE thing that you get fulfillment from? (Probably not, but it is nice).  C. A lot of times things work out better than you expect. (Certainly has vs what I wanted on my drop night.)

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Worst timing ever: Top Gun 1986, Graduated High School 1987, everyone chasing the pointy nose lifestyle, Gulf War 1 actually starts/ends 1991 and we graduate within a year to the drawdown. ROTC Pilot slots dwindle from 1200 to 100 nationwide. Pilots Banked, my awarded slot from basic is yanked. Became Aircraft Maintenance Officer and gave it my all for F-16s, A-10s, C-130s and Staff for Heavies for nearly 7 years. (Some of the most challenging but very rewarding/fun times of my life.) Given another shot, age waiver Pilot slot from the ANG, boom C-141s, then C-17s. Flew minor squirmishes, then OEF, OIF, OND, etc. for 12 years straight, mostly AE which were the most rewarding ever. Final  years back at Staff, then Homeland Defense. Now fully retired and proud to have given it my best foot forward while keeping my amazing wife intact (still married over 22 years). Future is still wide open, now flying 747s around the world twice a month. 

Remain resilient, care not what others think it’s your life they have/had theirs, and never ever give up. You never make the shot you never take. People of today need to understand that not all things are immediate satisfaction guaranteed and it’s just that much sweeter when it does work out. Everyone’s path is different, you have one life! Not the selfie life, etc.

Do your Best! Always.

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On 2/5/2020 at 5:57 PM, tarheelaviator said:

Just be the best you can at your job and try again for pilot later.

I know of a guy that washed out of UPT but became the best WSO he could be.  After 6 kills he was offered another UPT slot.  Chuck DeBellevue

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On 2/5/2020 at 2:33 PM, AnotherPenguin said:

I now this probably isn’t the place for this, but I am at a crossroads. I just graduated MQ-9 training and I can’t help but feel like I am not good enough. I find myself asking  “what could I have done differently.” I applied for Pilot back in ROTC and had RPA as my #2 choice with CSO. I can’t help but wonder what could I have done differently to have received a pilot slot and it’s starting to have an impact on my happiness and demeanor. My dad and brother are both pilots, so it was instilled in me at a young age that that’s what I should be. Because I haven’t achieved this I have a feeling that I am a disappointment. My family has shown no interest in my training and didn’t even come to my drop night or graduation and my dad is always making jokes about what I am doing. I have a strong will, but it has recently hit me like a ton of bricks and it’s all I’ve been thinking about. This is more of a vent than anything, but does anyone have any strategies or resources that can allow me to be the best RPA driver I can be and stop beating myself up all the time? 
 

Thanks! 

Honestly this is an extremely common sentiment in this community.  Every year I have to have a couple of serious conversations with dudes who broke down at work over some variation of this mentality.  The "glory days" of flying your dad experienced are fleeting and today's air force is changing.  No easy way to make you feel better but I will say RPAs have some huge advantages: You don't have to deploy for months at a time to get the same mission done.  Being able to go home, grab a drink and netflix with your SO every night is an underrated advantage over missing out on your personal life for half a year at a time, even more so if you will have a family.  You will utilize new equipment and weapons that actively receive R&D funding...unlike the 20+ year old systems on manned aircraft I used to fly.  Unit specific, but you will still face very challenging mission sets and upgrades to train for...I've had plenty of "I should've been a fighter pilot" types completely get their ass kicked in training.  I know dudes whose footage was shown to the president, and were part of things that will never be declassified.  Their parents are none the wiser, and that's okay.

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On 2/11/2020 at 7:44 PM, fox two said:

Being able to go home, grab a drink and netflix with your SO every night is an underrated advantage

SO=significant other NOT Sensor Operator

Sorry if that ruins anyones Valentines Day plans.

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2 hours ago, Stitch said:

Cliff notes for those of us who can't access mypers.

It is the announcement for the Rated Active Duty selection boards.

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On 2/14/2020 at 7:26 AM, Magellan said:

SO=significant other NOT Sensor Operator

Sorry if that ruins anyones Valentines Day plans.

Oh man I made a huge mistake yesterday...thanks for telling me now!

Edited by nsplayr

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@AnotherPenguin I echo many of the sentiments already expressed here: stay focused, work hard, give yourself credit when it's due, fly GA, apply to UPT, etc, etc.  

However, like @Danger41 suggested, I recommend you reach out to someone -- an unbiased and objective third party -- who can help you work through your feelings of unhappiness and disappointment.  Call MilitaryOneSource (800-342-9647).  They offer free non-medical counseling -- 12 sessions, no questions asked.  No cost, no strings and no one will know, unless you tell them.  As a pilot, I was afraid it would impact my ability to fly, but that is not the case.  They'll hook you up with a local professional, unaffiliated with the military.

Call me a triggered snowflake, but I'll join you in saying, it is very hard to suffer the pain of an indifferent, or worse, taunting family -- both as a child and an adult.  Being the best RPA pilot you can be might assuage you for a bit, and we can regale you with the merits of your mission, but at the end of the day, your dad and brother -- two people whom you look to for approval -- will still dismiss your work.  I had everything I'd ever wanted, but was seriously dissatisfied until I realized, happiness is a personal choice and no sort of achievement would ever make my parents more interested in my life.  It's tough -- and I hope if and when you have kids you'll love and support them -- but I think you'll feel better when you look for validation from people who can and want to give it.

If anything, it's therapeutic to bitch to someone who is trained to listen, regardless of the subject.  There are also a ton of great bros in the AF.  We've all been in your spot at one time or another.  Lean on them.

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