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Yeetaway6969

Check Ride Question

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Hey all,

I searched around for this question but couldn't find a good answer. I just had my first checkride outside of AETC in the MAF, and I feel like I knocked it out of the park. I got "commendables" on a few items from my EP. I've never heard of this. Is it just a "good for you no one cares" kind of thing or will it help highlight me in a positive manner, look good on boards, etc. Are they very common or is it a rarity?

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Hey all,

I searched around for this question but couldn't find a good answer. I just had my first checkride outside of AETC in the MAF, and I feel like I knocked it out of the park. I got "commendables" on a few items from my EP. I've never heard of this. Is it just a "good for you no one cares" kind of thing or will it help highlight me in a positive manner, look good on boards, etc. Are they very common or is it a rarity?


For the most part, noone cares. However, there may be a time in your career where you may apply to a job where they will actually read through your FEF (Guard/Reserve unit). So keep being a good pilot. It may help you one day.
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Depends on the community.  In my old unit after a checkride,  a temporary Form 8 would be sent out by the evaluator to all the leadership/evaluators in the group.    Guys and Gals receiving commendables and EQ’s would generally be considered for upgrades sooner during the training review boards than those who received downgrades or Q-2/3’s.  You can also tie it in to a flying bullet on your OPR as a Result.  “Cmd’d XX sorties; completed xx Trng events—earned Q-1 w/commendables” 

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Posted (edited)

90% a noone cares but evaluators do talk and almost always sit on TRBs so it will help your consideration for upgrades. 

Also worth noting some communities hand these out more regular than others, which means if you apply to a for hire flying board like U-2 or B-2 they may be taken with a grain of salt, may not. Just depends how they are doing their hiring and who is reviewing the FEFs. 

I guess what I'm getting at is, it's great you got these! It means you are doing well, studying like you are supposed to and you should be confident in your ability to progress in your flying career. However, my overall point being don't expect these to be some mystical rocket ship that catapults you to special operations fighter pilot or general officer overnight. Take it more as a sign to continue what you are doing and you will be rewarded with more positive things in the future. 

Edited by FLEA
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Posted (edited)

As a MAF dude on Active Duty, I had an experienced IP question me as to why I didn’t give him a Q-1E (commendables) on his mission check.  I told him because it was a vanilla checkride on day with great weather and he did his JOB. 

Apparently being on the Wing CAG wasn’t going to be enough for his career.  I think he works for Delta now. 

To answer your question - just take any commendables as a compliment. You weren’t EQ (don’t know if I’ve ever seen one), but you rocked some shit on the checkride... AND YOU PASSED.  

Edited by FUSEPLUG

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7 hours ago, UDEL09 said:

Depends on the community.  In my old unit after a checkride,  a temporary Form 8 would be sent out by the evaluator to all the leadership/evaluators in the group.    Guys and Gals receiving commendables and EQ’s would generally be considered for upgrades sooner during the training review boards than those who received downgrades or Q-2/3’s.  You can also tie it in to a flying bullet on your OPR as a Result.  “Cmd’d XX sorties; completed xx Trng events—earned Q-1 w/commendables” 

Stan Eval is a Sq/CC program. Why would anyone outside of the Sq give a shit what grade someone received? That stuff is briefed at SEB’s or whatever they’re called now for everyone to see. 
 

To OP checkride grades are subjective. I had a Sq/CC when I was in the -135 FTU give someone four commendables and four downgrades. Still got a Q-1, but I would’ve called it a day with that and just debriefed it without annotation. I’ve received EQ’s in my career where I just did my job that day and have had Q-1s where everything that could’ve gone wrong, did, and I worked through it but the evaluator just assumed I did my job. 

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1 hour ago, HossHarris said:

Airlines will look at your FEF

I wonder if a ‘commendable’ would have as much a positive effect on you getting hired as a Q3 would on you potentially not getting the job.

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I wonder if a ‘commendable’ would have as much a positive effect on you getting hired as a Q3 would on you potentially not getting the job.
Pretty much every application asks about failed checkrides (and stage checks in some cases) so a Q3 could potentially hurt your chances of even being called for an interview. Not an absolute show stopper, but not ideal either. Fact is most folks have had a bad day (or a bad evaluator) in a 10-20 year flying career so as long as you've got a strong application otherwise it's not really something to stress about.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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10 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

Stan Eval is a Sq/CC program. Why would anyone outside of the Sq give a shit what grade someone received? That stuff is briefed at SEB’s or whatever they’re called now for everyone to see. 

The practice was written into our OG/Sup to the v2.  The intent was to minimize workload for the evaluator being able to send a single email that would “brief” sq leadership and assist with the Go/No-Go process. We routinely jumped between two Ops squadrons and an FTU so sometimes it was a scheduling snafu trying to find 1522’s or a temp Form 8 located at the other squadrons before the final was signed. This email helped alleviate that.  

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19 hours ago, Yeetaway6969 said:

Hey all,

I searched around for this question but couldn't find a good answer. I just had my first checkride outside of AETC in the MAF, and I feel like I knocked it out of the park. I got "commendables" on a few items from my EP. I've never heard of this. Is it just a "good for you no one cares" kind of thing or will it help highlight me in a positive manner, look good on boards, etc. Are they very common or is it a rarity?

Grand scheme of things, it’s not going to make or break your chances of being the next CSAF. Take it as a compliment, and don’t get complacent. Keep up the hard work, where it may make a difference (if you continue being a good pilot) is at a TRB where the squadron selects who is up for upgrades. It could help you upgrade sooner rather than later. Reaching those upgrade milestones earlier should help your career (Well, maybe, Air Force seems to care more about all the extra shit you do besides your primary  job as a pilot 😩) but those hours will help your airline resume! 

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+1 to being community dependent (and somewhat EP dependent, depending on their mood), but from where I'm from it's very hard to get a commendable as a new guy, especially if this was an MQT check. Nothing against FNGs, they just don't have that unconscious competence yet that naturally opens up the door to impress the evaluator in multiple areas. For my criteria, if someone isn't making any mistakes and appears to be earning a clean Q-1, I'll give them a fair chance to earn that EQ and turn up the intensity until I see where their limit is in performance or GK.  So good on you, while it doesn't mean much objectively (nor would a downgrade), subjectively it looks very good for strat considerations, quarterly award bullets, TRB early looks, the boss noticing, etc. A great stepping stone, if you keep it up.

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In the grand scheme of things even though no one really cares that you got commendables there is value in documenting commendables and downgrades when it comes to tracking trends. Remember these things get sent to your MAJCOM in your SEB minutes. We should be adjusting our training tables appropriately to address common weak areas and we can't really do that without documentation. So if you're in evaluator, please don't think you're just blowing smoke up someone's ass for giving them a commendable and don't think that just debriefing a downgrade is doing everyone Justice. At the end of the day an airline isn't going to give two s***'s about someone getting a downgrade for a substandard tanker rendezvous. I know many people who have gotten hired with airlines with a Q-3 in their FEF (maybe not at Delta).


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My philosophy as an evaluator when giving commendable or an EQ was “did your performance exceed what I’d expect of you at your current qualification/experience level?”  As a new guy fresh out of the schoolhouse you’d have a much easier time getting a commendable then a seasoned instructor. While one check ride commendable won’t get you much (other than maybe a bump against your peers at the next TRP), a history of earning commendables shows a trend and will certainly will help you get ahead.  Boards for competitive flying gigs (U-2, 89th, TPS, WIC, etc) all look at these things. 

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5 hours ago, Gazmo said:

In the grand scheme of things even though no one really cares that you got commendables there is value in documenting commendables and downgrades when it comes to tracking trends. Remember these things get sent to your MAJCOM in your SEB minutes. We should be adjusting our training tables appropriately to address common weak areas and we can't really do that without documentation. So if you're in evaluator, please don't think you're just blowing smoke up someone's ass for giving them a commendable and don't think that just debriefing a downgrade is doing everyone Justice. At the end of the day an airline isn't going to give two s***'s about someone getting a downgrade for a substandard tanker rendezvous. I know many people who have gotten hired with airlines with a Q-3 in their FEF (maybe not at Delta).

 

GREAT point and why we should be evaluating against the vul 2s and honest with our grading. There is a bigger picture outside of one guy or gals career. 

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4 hours ago, chim richalds said:

At some point in your career, you will realize how little the Air Force actually cares about your flying ability.

Troof

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