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Trapped in ROTC

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  1. I had inprocessing this summer with the 340th and they said there are LNO's at every UPT base who help unsponsored folks get hired. Not sure if its changing in the future, but currently they allow it. Guess I shouldn't have started my post with, "Hey man," my bad Also worth noting he had family in the squadron
  2. Hey man, I applied to the ROTC Reserve board 2 years ago and just commissioned. Getting fighters off the street with the reserve is tough. From what I hear, it's not uncommon to have around 100 applicants for 1 or 2 slots. I'd echo N730s advice. If you really want fighters, I'd recommend retaking the PSCM and AFOQT. It's not likely your scores would decrease much, if at all. With that said, if some of your scores were borderline to meet minimums for the AFOQT I wouldn't risk retaking them, but that's me. No idea for rotary, but your scores with a upt slot in hand would make you competitive for heavies. Heavy squadrons might think your scores are a little low, but already having a pilot slot should help a lot. Already having the upt slot was huge when I applied and interviewed. For me it made up for a lackluster 3.0 GPA. Also if you do retake the PSCM/ AFOQT and score higher it could open up a few doors in more selective heavy squadrons. Shotgun out applications to multiple squadrons you're interested in. Try to schedule a visit if they're willing. Every squadron is a little different so the best way to find the best fit is to visit and talk to the guys/gals there. Good idea. If possible get sponsored before UPT so you have plenty of time to visit/ interview with squadrons. If you don't find a home before UPT it's not all that bad since there would be an AFRC liaison officer there who would help you find one.
  3. Us lowly cadets... I remember the last time the AF wanted to have a heritage inspired service dress
  4. Your right for the most part on this. I'm pretty sure its easy to get selected right now for a ROTC Reserve Pilot Slot. Reserve Command accepts up to 50 ROTC cadets for pilot slots per year and last year there was only 8 cadets selected with 12 cadets the year before that. I don't for sure know if that's because there was only 8 and 12 applicants for those years or because they are extra picky. I would bet its from a lack of applicants since the program's only a few years old and they haven't advertised it too well. Even if it is easy to get selected now that doesn't mean it will be 5 years or so down the line or even the program will still be around then. Really there is no guarantee of anything in an AFROTC program. There is no guarantee of going Guard/Reserve, no guarantee of a pilot slot, and no guarantee of even getting an enrollment allocation to Field Training, which is needed to continue in ROTC as an upperclassman. Like most things Air Force, it's all dependent on luck and timing. Not a bad route if your main goal is to be an Air Force Officer, but I would not recommend it if your main goal is to be a Reserve/Guard Pilot.
  5. I would ask them. You are in a relatively new and not normal situation going from ROTC to Reserve/Guard. There is a good chance they don't know the details of the program or even that it exists. I had to explain the total commissioning program it to all the squadrons I applied to because it was the first they heard of it.
  6. Can't promise it's the best way, but right now the selection rate for pilot slots in ROTC is very high. I have friends who got selected with PCSM scores near the minimum to qualify. Assuming you spend 4 years in college there is no guarantee the selection rate will stay this high in 3 years time when you can apply for a slot. However, I would be willing to bet it will be close since big blue is short 2000 pilots and whatnot. Whether ROTC is the best way to wings or not, college is a necessary step to get there. The sooner you start the better. The selection rate can't get much better but it can get a lot worse. If you wait until your 24 to start school without any credits (assuming you don't), you will be 28 or 29 when you graduate. That does not leave a lot of wiggle room in case you have a delay. After 30 you have to apply for an age waiver.
  7. Likely its because most ROTC cadets go through Field Training before Junior Year. After field training you have to sign the Active Duty contract if you haven't already for a scholarship. If you would apply and get accepted before your commitment, you could drop ROTC and do OTS into the Reserve instead. If you plan on pursuing the ROTC Reserve Rated Board option, then I would be very surprised if they didn't let you apply after your Junior year.
  8. Standard "this is my opinion and YMMV" warning. Option 1 Academy: -Pros: Pretty much a guaranteed pilot slot if you meet the minimum qualifications. Prestigious degree. Free Education. -Cons: Lifestyle will not be as enjoyable as ROTC or a normal college experience. Can only commission to Active Duty. You will have to sign a contract without knowing your AFSC (basically your job). -Notes: The Academy is not for the faint of heart from what I hear. It is a challenge to get through all 4 years there. Most years it is easy to get a pilot slot. If I remember correctly, your first year at the Academy comes with no strings attached, but from the second year on it requires signing a contract that has penalties to back out of. Option 2 ROTC: -Pros: More enjoyable than the Academy for most people. Can commission to Active Duty, Guard, or Reserve as of now. Scholarships are available to help with tuition. -Cons: Not as enjoyable as a normal college experience IMHO. You will have to sign a contract without knowing your AFSC unless you sign up for the Missiler Scholarship. -Notes: ROTC varies heavily from college to college. This includes the how enjoyable the program is and the quality of training you get from it. As of three years ago ROTC started to allow cadets to commission to the Guard and Reserve while keeping their scholarship, but there is no guarantee this program will be around when you can apply to it. If you do not take a scholarship you can wait until Field Training to sign a contract, which is typically the summer between Sophomore and Junior year. If you are on scholarship, your Freshman year has no strings attached, but from Sophomore year on you are "on the hook". Pilot slot competition varies from year to year. Right now the selection rate is very high due to the pilot shortage. Pretty much if you meet the min quals you get it. Option 3 OTS: -Pros: Most enjoyable while you are at college. Can know your AFSC and the force your joining (Active Duty, Guard, Reserve) before signing a contract. -Cons: Most competitive option to get a pilot slot. Air Force will not help finance college. Have to attend OTS after college. -Notes: If you want a guarantee to be a pilot in the Air Force before signing a contract, this is your best option. Keep in mind getting a pilot slot through OTS tends to be the most competitive, but we are 2000 pilots short so it might not be as competitive now. TLDR: If your ultimate goal is to become a pilot, the safest option is OTS... or maybe the Marines since they are promising college students flight contracts before joining. If your goal is to become an Air Force Officer, I would recommend ROTC or Academy.
  9. It sounds cliche, but just be yourself. Tell them where you're at in life and that your interested in joining the unit. Cold calling seems far more intimidating than it actually is. Most squadrons are use to potential hires cold calling. All the units I called were extremely relaxed and friendly. Granted I did rush heavy squadrons only, but I doubt fighters are too different over the phone.
  10. Yes I still have to memorize very meaningful quotes that will "inspire" me throughout my career and evaluate freshmen's leadership abilities as they make 2 foot towers out of office supplies. I'm curious and want to know more but I don't mean to ask questions that are too in detail. If I do, I apologize and understand if they cannot be answered on this forum.
  11. All of this information is golden and thank you to those who replied! It's awesome to hear about what the Air Force actually does. In the land of ROTC its often too easy to forget that there is light at the end of the "warrior" knowledge tunnel. Aeromedical Evacuation sounds extremely rewarding to perform IMO. Could someone provide more detailed information on it? Is AE mostly dependent on what assets are available in the area of operations or the capability of the asset itself? Is AE something you would be assigned mid flight or is it assigned and planned out from the ground? From a pilot's perspective what part of AE is the most challenging? Thank you for all the responses and please feel free to continue commenting on any type of mission!
  12. I know some of this information is scattered around on different threads, but I was hoping to make a more comprehensive and easier to access list. If there is already a post that accomplishes this, I apologize in advance for not finding it. What is the most rewarding or fun type of mission that you fly? I know this is likely limited by air frame, but as a wannabe pilot I'd like to know more about what cool mission are out there. Whether it's close air support, aeromedical evac, or left turns for 12 hours over the sandbox I'd love to know more! If you could give an explanation with your response that would be great too. Thank you for any input!
  13. Let me caveat this by saying I'm not the best person to answer this. As my username suggests, I'm am not in a AFRC/ ANG squadron yet. However, I am on the tail end of my search for a squadron so I have some advice that you could use. Try using bogidope.com. It has a map that shows all reserve and guard units and has most of their recruiting information. If you can't find the contact info for a squadron, you can call up their base operator (just google "______ Air Force Base Operator" to get a number) and ask to be transferred to the squadron desk. To break the ice, just call them up tell them your situation and say you're interested. They should hook you up with their hiring guy/ gal. As far as marketing yourself, try to show off leadership positions you've held. Possibly from your work. Flight hours are also a good thing to have. Some units require new hires to have their Private Pilot Licence to even be considered. Since you said yours are limited this could be a challenge to overcome, but not impossible. Beyond that the best thing that will help is having a likable personality. Squadrons would rather run low on people than hire someone they don't like. Ask if you can visit them to meet the squadron members and introduce yourself. If you just turn in an app and hope to get invited to an interview, you're going to have a hard time getting hired. Also I would encourage you to expand your list of aircraft you're willing to fly. IMHO once you decide between fighters and heavies, the specific air-frame doesn't really matter that much. I'd be more concerned with how you fit in with the rest of the squadron. Those are the people you would be spending a lot of weekends with for 10+ years, so make sure you gel with them. Lastly keep in mind this forum has... high expectations for newcomers. Try doing more searches for your info before asking questions and use a lot of tact when posting. Best of Luck!
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