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Everything posted by Catman

  1. A few units I have applied to have asked for them. Pretty similar to the letter of interest mentioned before and the letter of intent example. Big thing is to explicitly say exactly what you are applying for: unit, location, airframe, board date (like Summer 2020). The units that put the most emphasis on these letters were the ones that had postings for CSOs or other airframes, so they must have had issues where folks didn't make it clear what they were applying for.
  2. I'm an ANG guy of almost 8 years (mostly DSG, now Title 32) and I've accumulated a lot of retirement points, but not quite the 1460 points that the O-1E pay-grade requires. Not trying to count my chickens before they hatch, but I have been trying to figure out what I can do to squeeze those last points out before commissioning. Does anyone know if OTS itself contributes to those points? In my mind, it should, since it is my understanding you are paid at an enlisted pay while training. Also, if anyone with ANG/AFRC experience has figured out any tricks to getting more points, I'd love to hear them!
  3. Anyone applying/applied to the 183rd Airlift UPT Boards? I got in contact with them months ago, thought I had the application materials sent to me, but now I cannot find them. I'm worried I won't be able to contact the designated recruiter in time. Anyone have that information? Yes. I know I waited until the last minute to check. It's been a crazy month. If you get me the info, I'll Venmo you enough to get your favorite six-pack. You can also optionally call me and tell me how dumb I am for waiting this long.
  4. I appreciate it! Yeah I understand frustration is part of the process, I'm just being open about it. In my first year of applying, I made so many great changes to my application package as I became more and more competitive, and now I'm sort of at a wall when it comes to my package (aside from the cover letter, there's always work to be done there). My expectation was that I would be interviewing all the time at this point, so my hopes got higher than they should have. And I'll definitely work on talking to more people. I've gotten more comfortable in conversations and have been able to have some really fun ones, but I definitely feel myself resisting talking to the next person and the next. I appreciate it! MO ANG's 180th Airlift and NY ANG's 102nd Rescue Squadrons have me interviewing in the nearish and near future respectively.
  5. I am frustrated with the process since I have been doing this for a couple years now; there is no hiding that. Where do you see the ego coming into play? I do not mean to challenge what you are saying, but the last person that is going to notice an ego problem is the guy with the ego problem. Maybe my tone doesn't convey well over text. That's an interesting strategy, though, I will give that a shot. It's good timing that my last interview was with home unit and I've got a great rapport with them. And I have definitely had some shoddy interviews where I probably came off a bit stony and overly serious, but my more recent ones I feel I have been knocking it out of the park... hopefully they're making it to the outfield at least. As for the "What did the successful candidates do that I fell short of?" strategy, that's something I have done every time. Last year, a couple units said they wanted more flying hours past PPL minimums because I had something like 50-60 hours at the time. A captain from one of those units told me that was a factor but they were still confused why a couple other people made the cutoff for interviews and I hadn't. The main frustration, though, is getting the interviews in the first place. I'm fortunate to have a background and testing numbers that check a lot of boxes, so when I compare my rate of securing interviews with some of the folks I chat with, it's confusing for all parties. It's gotten to a point where I've seriously wondered if my applications are being filtered out subconsciously by the boards because I don't have any interesting shortcomings. I have shortcomings, but the ones on paper aren't so significant that they get brought up as talking points like they might for other people like "Why didn't you enlist in the Guard?", "Why have you flown so little?", "How come this score/GPA is so low?". The only one that comes through on paper is that I didn't play a sport in college because I thought it would be too much with the engineering workload -- in hindsight, I definitely could've managed, totally wish I continued playing tennis.
  6. Made an update to my original post with a bunch of underlined text. Hopefully not too awful to look at, would appreciate any new advice or advice from folks that haven't seen this thread at all.
  7. Cast a wide net and cast it fast. Rush hard, rush often. At the hyper-desirable coastal fighter units, you'll be a hard sell. But for F-16s in Sioux Falls or something, if you check every other box, you could have a shot. On the flip side, though, you seem to talk about fighters in a "well, sure, why not?" manner which makes me think they're not as important to you as military aviation is in general. If that resonates with you, I would recommend putting the most effort (rushing, etc...) into the heavies if you're having to decide what to spend your time on.
  8. Great pilot/nav scores. Rest of the scores usually don't matter, but it's better to kick em up if you can. With some test prep and having one testing session behind you, I'm willing to bet a retest could kick those other scores way up, not to mention add a bit to your pilot/nav. Not a necessity, but I'd do it. These boards like to see rec letters from people that really know you. Maybe you know the Wing CC well, but most of the time, they're just letters they sign to get you out of their office. For example, I know my Wing CC would sign pretty much any rec letter I drafted up because his XO knows me pretty well... but it'd be meaningless. I'd try to spice things up, get a cover letter from outside the military... or at the very least, someone outside your home Wing like a deployment commander. Outside of that, you seem super solid. FC1 physical will be a big help in easing any medical concerns, especially if you resemble Chris Farley at all (joking).
  9. Maybe he's saying that you don't deploy to combat zones/hazardous areas? AFAIK, if you deploy with the C-5, you're based at Ramstein or something like that to move cargo to/from said combat zones/hazardous areas. Maybe those gigs are not actually deployments on paper, I really do not know.
  10. There are specific squadrons out there that have local requirements. I saw the 187FW from the AL ANG has a local 3.0 requirement. Essentially, that means it is unofficial, but if you are trying to apply to that base in particular, you're gonna have a bad time. If you can reach out to them well in advance and explain your situation, maybe they will relent. It sounds like you're going the active duty route, though, so I think your recruiter is mistaken.
  11. If you have an area of your resume with interests and hobbies, you could include the information about the stuff you read and study in there. What I was trying to get at is that flight schools aren't exactly pouring money into their chemistry department so if you have a "Hey I spend a lot of time reading about environmental science/middle east history/astronomy" in your cover letter, maybe that can help them see that you are more than a pilot. There is a good chance your application package already makes them see that, though. Do not worry about rank on these letters of recommendation. Unless it is a very well-written letter describing a very personal connection to the applicant, it might appear that you are trying to intimidate or throw rank at the board. I am sure most of us could bother enough people to get a flag officer to make his aide write a generic letter. A lot fewer people could convince the head of a food bank to rant and rave about how you were an awesome, dedicated volunteer.
  12. You have a solid package, I don't see anything glaring. Since you ask "What's wrong with it?", I'll just nitpick. AFOQT Quantitative is a tad low... it's in the "OK" range. Wouldn't risk taking the AFOQT again to fix that, though. Super nitpick: I think folks with Part 141 flight university education have to work a little harder on their package and interview to prove the sort of "well-rounded" aspect that they are looking for. Not to say Part 141 flight universities don't produce well-rounded graduates, but since there is a heavy focus on churning out pilots, they are a little more prone to producing graduates with a narrower breadth of education. You have a great GPA, though, so I don't think you fall into this category. Since you have a Squadron CC and Chief letter of recommendation from [I assume] the same unit and deployment, they might not be as good as having a distinct letter from another area of your life. In other words, 3 letters of rec from 3 distinct places means you must have done 3 great things. If two of these letters are not as distinct, then you have 3 letters of rec from 2 distinct places, meaning you have done 2 great things. That's... really it. You have a very near ideal application package.
  13. Could be credit utilization. If you are using a pretty significant chunk of your available credit and she's using a smaller fraction of hers, then that could be where it's coming from. They also factor in patterns of utilization, so if she's consistently utilizing 15% of her available credit and you're spiking up and down, that doesn't look as good. It's not worth fretting about, though. Anything over 750 is pretty much treated identically.
  14. Unfortunately, the answer to why it took so long is just... because it's medical. Everything medical is a combination of backlogged and convoluted. Friend of mine had an inhaler prescribed when he was just a kid for shortness of breath while running. It didn't help at all, he just grew out of it a couple years later. He got a letter from his doctor and multiple other doctors attesting to his not needing an inhaler and his current good respiratory health... you would think that would be enough, but medical goes on and on. It will be over before you know it, though, if all goes well.
  15. I am not experienced enough to tell you whether or not you should start interviewing that early, but you could definitely start dialogue with these bases. Maybe send the application in and, if they offer you an interview, tell them about your commitment and explain that you would like to rush the following cycle. That way, when you do your interview for real, they know that flying with their base has been a long-term plan.
  16. Name one problem that isn't fixable by a sufficiently large and armed Cessna 172 😄
  17. Yeah those aircraft and the C-12, too. Maybe they are too utilized to be used in this context? Or maybe the fleets are so small that it wouldn't be possible to distribute them enough? SOF is... special.
  18. Yeah that's what I was thinking. You're probably not going to want to be flying a Cub down-range, so it seems like this would all be limited to use in the States and allied nations. In that case, it seems to be more feasible to charter a plane to make these deliveries rather than having to train pilots up on fancy T-6s only to put them in Pipers and Cessnas. What if we had CT-6s? The AT-6 is pretty interesting, seems like it would be far easier to rig up a T-6 for additional cargo.
  19. I am starting to budge that way. Just got finished interviewing [and getting denied by] the Phoenix KC-135 Wing, which was one of the coolest Guard bases and pilot groups I've ever met. Still waiting on feedback from them. EDIT: Me stupid. Me forgot that I have to ask them for feedback. 😣 I appreciate the kind words and advice. It's all so true.
  20. Just a couple tidbits about the Trivium books: The table-reading practice they have is not on the same scale as the actual AFOQT. The tables in the practice books are maybe 7x7 or 10x10, but the actual table is closer to 30x30 with smaller font and less space between numbers. It threw me for a bit of a loop because I was not accustomed to being that precise when scanning the table. There were a couple questions in mine that straight-up had the wrong answer written in the answer key. If you find yourself tearing your hair out trying to figure out where you went wrong, chances are it's the book. Everything else in the books is pretty awesome and reflective of the actual exam.
  21. What's up with the USAF and Textron? I think Secretary James is now on their payroll.
  22. I went through and purged my posts and accidentally deleted my apology along the way. For the OP: I apologize for what I have said and for venturing out of my lane. What I was trying to say originally is that not having military background is not the end of the world and that trying to rush into an enlistment to boost your chances may not be as valuable as, say, earning your instrument rating. Enlistment takes a long time, and the training pipeline is backed up for a lot of schools. You could end up spinning your wheels for little to no gain, but it is entirely up to you. For me to challenge your statement, @matmacwc (is that how you tag people?), is way above my metaphorical paygrade. Instead of interpreting your post as a shot at me, I should have taken the high road... especially since I reckon we may not actually disagree on that point after all. Everything else said was mostly a result of my pride getting ahead of me. The remainder was a bit of misunderstanding the dynamic that this forum has, which is also on me. While I think that some of my comments were misinterpreted, like someone else said, I'm probably the asshole in the room if I think everyone else is being one. Bottom line: I was wrong. I apologize.
  23. How am I the one "mouthing off"? The only thing I've said so far is that matmacwc was unnecessarily rude and blunt when he corrected me. I have said nothing bad about him, only said that I don't know who he is. He came in, said that I was wrong, and offered nothing else. And I do know how to listen. I've had plenty of other pilots tell me and other applicants that the military checkbox is not as big a deal as folks make it out to be. So when he posts that the info I got is wrong, I want to know why! I'm looking for information here, just like everyone else. But please, for OP's sake, tell me how stupid I am here, not in this thread.
  24. Bumping after updating original post. Earned my PPL, and I'm back on the horse applying to as many Wings as possible. Hoping to get more feedback on my application package. Does anyone know if boards give any thought to an applicant's current security clearance? Obviously it's good to have the TS/SCI that they need you to be able to hold, but how good? To me, it could be inconsequential because the squadron is used to obtaining them, but it could also be a huge weight off their shoulders seeing as the clearance interviews are backed up and it's one less thing to worry about. What about the instrument rating? Should I place any priority on going after it? Or should I get some time with my new PPL before going down that road?
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