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JohnClark

Is Not Having or Wanting a Family a Big Deal For Units? Or Considered Strange?

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I'm 28 years old. I've been calling pilots from various units to try and rush them. I've had several lengthy phone conversations which have been great. Being that I am 28 years old, I have been asked by every pilot if I have a fiance or am getting married and starting a family soon. I tell them no and that I have zero kids too. They are always surprised. Today for example I spoke with a pilot from a guard unit on the phone and he said not verbatim.

"What does your girlfriend or fiance think you doing this?

"I'm single at the moment."

"Really?"

"What if you get engaged or married before UPT or during."

"Not planning on it."

He seemed very surprised said something a long the lines of most people or at least engaged by my age (which is true. I'd say a good 75-90% are). But he seemed surprised in a disappointed way.

Many other pilots have also asked about kids and if I plan to have any soon, which I say no. But most sound disappointed when I say no or not interested. I have zero interested in ever having kids and marriage is up in the air still. I only bring it up when asked. I've been told most Guard units have a strong family environment, but I figured most would sound relieved. A few of the pilots when I told them I wasn't planning on a marriage or a kid soon or during UPT told me something a long the lines of "You never know." Which is true but at this point in my life my mind is made up.

Does this seem strange to units?

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1 hour ago, JohnClark said:

I'm 28 years old. I've been calling pilots from various units to try and rush them. I've had several lengthy phone conversations which have been great. Being that I am 28 years old, I have been asked by every pilot if I have a fiance or am getting married and starting a family soon. I tell them no and that I have zero kids too. They are always surprised. Today for example I spoke with a pilot from a guard unit on the phone and he said not verbatim.

"What does your girlfriend or fiance think you doing this?

"I'm single at the moment."

"Really?"

"What if you get engaged or married before UPT or during."

"Not planning on it."

He seemed very surprised said something a long the lines of most people or at least engaged by my age (which is true. I'd say a good 75-90% are). But he seemed surprised in a disappointed way.

Many other pilots have also asked about kids and if I plan to have any soon, which I say no. But most sound disappointed when I say no or not interested. I have zero interested in ever having kids and marriage is up in the air still. I only bring it up when asked. I've been told most Guard units have a strong family environment, but I figured most would sound relieved. A few of the pilots when I told them I wasn't planning on a marriage or a kid soon or during UPT told me something a long the lines of "You never know." Which is true but at this point in my life my mind is made up.

Does this seem strange to units?

I’m 31 and single with no kids. It has never been as issue with me ever. Especially if you don’t mind being the DD haha.

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37, single, no kids, 6 years ANG as a Nav and now student pilot. While many of the unit's new hires (even those much younger than I) are married with kids, I don't think my lack thereof is seen as particularly strange or stigmatizing. YMMV.

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They ask/care because the pipeline (OTS through FTU; roughly 1.5-2 years) is a lot of work and you have to consider relationships or lack thereof.

If you’re single, that makes the moving, studying, and time apart easier, but the bases are all (for the most part) in dating wastelands where you’ll be pretty isolated. Most of my single bros/broettes in UPT struggled with being single or dated in the circle of other students, which has its own pitfalls. 

If you end up with someone below the level of married before going, the AF could care less about him/her and you’ll receive none of the dependent perks. Less pay, no healthcare for them, zero consideration of that person moving/living with you, etc. make things tough to kindle a relationship.

If you’re married, then it’s someone else they’re paying for and pushing along with you. Relationships can strain under the demands of courses, travel/moving, and studying. If they’re with you, time allocation choices have to be made between relationships and studying; if you’re apart, you’ve got all the time available but none of the support.

Kids are a whole other wrench in things.

So, the main point is that they probably want a gauge of what your relationship status is/plans are so they have an idea of the challenges you’ll be facing outside of the pipeline.

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