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Hello! 

I am just wanting some "what to expect" information for what it is like to be a Air Force Pilot Wife. My boyfriend (of 5 years) was selected to attend the Air Force's Pilot school. This is WONDERFUL and I could not be more proud of him! We are both civilians, although his brother is a loadmaster in the Air Force. I know the Officer-vs-Enlisted lifestyles is very different. 

My s/o wants to be a Fighter Pilot, but of course I know that it all depends on his placement in his class and all of that. So any information about that is great! 

Although he is graduating college in May and entering the DEP program. I do not graduate until next May. I am 22 year old pre-medical major with intentions of going to Medical School (he is 25). I have even considered joining the AF as an ER physician. I think it is a blessing I will still be in school wth my friends while he is doing his trainings before UPT, so I am not incredibly worried about the long-distance thing. We have done the long distance thing and we both make it a point to realize we don't want to make the only time we talk to be bickering about silly, trivial things. I don't have any trust issues with him and we are both very secure in our relationship because we communicate very well. He doesn't drink, but enjoys going out with friends and I am perfectly fine with that! (P.S. we don't want kids anytime soon if that is relevant). 

 

I really look forward to all of your insight! 

Edited by BriannaNicole
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Understand that your husband's number 1 priority during UPT must be UPT.  He'll be spending 80+ hours per week on that, especially near the beginning.  That won't leave much time for staying in touch.  If "long distance relationship" means 1 long phone conversation on the weekend, y'all will be fine.  If "long distance relationship" means multiple phone calls and texts per day, y'all will probably have a bad time.  You being busy with school is probably for the best.  Him being a non-drinker is a non-issue as long as he's cool with being the DD.  Good luck to the both of you!

Edited by guineapigfury
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You'll be fine. Lots of couples have done it before in the past. Lots of spouses put their foot down against moving to del rio to continue focusing on their own career ambitions, which totally makes sense. 

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You asked about life as a pilot's wife, not life as the girlfriend of a guy who is going through pilot training, so I'll address your question.  First, he may want to be a fighter pilot, but there are no guarantees there.  Regardless of the plane he earns, there are similarities for all pilots.  We all owe 10 years after graduation.  We all work long hours.  Even though the flavors are different, we all have lots of time away from home.  If you do end eventually marrying him, or another military pilot, dealing with that separation will be your reality.  It's not as big of a deal if you are also a working professional since you're on parallel paths, although you will get much more practice at long distance relationships.  It can be very challenging once you add kids into the equation.  He'll also move to a new city every 3-4 years and if you go with him, you'll have to repeatedly restart your career.

Of course, there are definite positives too, but they don't come without sacrifice.

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5 hours ago, guineapigfury said:

Understand that your husband's number 1 priority during UPT must be UPT.  He'll be spending 80+ hours per week on that, especially near the beginning.  That won't leave much time for staying in touch.  If "long distance relationship" means 1 long phone conversation on the weekend, y'all will be fine.  If "long distance relationship" means multiple phone calls and texts per day, y'all will probably have a bad time.  You being busy with school is probably for the best.  Him being a non-drinker is a non-issue as long as he's cool with being the DD.  Good luck to the both of you!

He's always the DD for the guys lol. Thank you for everything! We don't like to text constantly and talk about nothing! We would both rather talk once about stuff that actually matters! This is his dream and I am not going to stand in his way because we wouldn't talk enough lol 

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2 hours ago, pilotbeech said:

You'll be fine. Lots of couples have done it before in the past. Lots of spouses put their foot down against moving to del rio to continue focusing on their own career ambitions, which totally makes sense. 

If he doesn't go to Del Rio, and goes to Enid instead, that would be great too! My state's medical school is an hour away! But, I am fine either way!

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1 hour ago, HU&W said:

You asked about life as a pilot's wife, not life as the girlfriend of a guy who is going through pilot training, so I'll address your question.  First, he may want to be a fighter pilot, but there are no guarantees there.  Regardless of the plane he earns, there are similarities for all pilots.  We all owe 10 years after graduation.  We all work long hours.  Even though the flavors are different, we all have lots of time away from home.  If you do end eventually marrying him, or another military pilot, dealing with that separation will be your reality.  It's not as big of a deal if you are also a working professional since you're on parallel paths, although you will get much more practice at long distance relationships.  It can be very challenging once you add kids into the equation.  He'll also move to a new city every 3-4 years and if you go with him, you'll have to repeatedly restart your career.

Of course, there are definite positives too, but they don't come without sacrifice.

All of that sounds fine to me. I know we aren't married, but might as well be and will be when it is time. No rush. Thanks for your insight!

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First of all... props for posting a picture in your actual profile pic. That is the first thing we ask for from wives and girlfriends (boyfriends if it's an Eagle driver).

Second what everyone else said about UPT.

After UPT, as a young married couple, things get better while he is not on TDY or deployment. Meet the other wives and form a support group. They will end up being part of your family.

Expect him to be gone. Sometimes a lot in one year then not so much the next. I was away from home about 360 something days during my first 2 years after getting to my unit, then got tagged to an Exec job where I had TDYs and Deployments that I volunteered for cancelled by my Commander. I ended up being gone maybe 8-10 weeks total that year, but spent a lot of time at work taking care of an Early Promoted O-5 so he could go to school and make O-6 and higher. Got to be there for the conception and birth of all my kids but a couple of my friends have missed 1 birth (1 missed the conception too).

Ultimately, after 10 years in the USAF, my family and I have decided we have had enough, but enjoyed the majority of the time we spent in. The moment I knew I was done was when I left on a deployment 2 weeks after my youngest daughter was born. When I got back months later my wife handed her to me and I could tell she didn't even know me. Now every time I leave on a trip, she asks if it's another "long one".

It is a great opportunity, enjoy it, but don't let you or your husbands life be defined by it. Be open and honest and make decisions together what's best for your family even if it isn't what someone above him says is "bad for his career". Never let him leave home while you are fighting, one of our good friends' wife found out the hard way that you never know the day he doesn't come home until it's too late. Although more rare these days, it is the cold hard truth about flying.

A lot of rambling from someone about to hang up the job, but hopefully it helps in someway. Feel free to ask any other questions and welcome to the forum.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

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12 hours ago, matmacwc said:

I'm with you, got Toro to tell his in a round about way, trying to get DFresh to tell his and more to come.......

Keep pushing.  One of these days I'll just get annoyed enough to tell it....

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On 4/7/2017 at 11:04 PM, Duck said:

First of all... props for posting a picture in your actual profile pic. That is the first thing we ask for from wives and girlfriends (boyfriends if it's an Eagle driver).

Second what everyone else said about UPT.

After UPT, as a young married couple, things get better while he is not on TDY or deployment. Meet the other wives and form a support group. They will end up being part of your family.

Expect him to be gone. Sometimes a lot in one year then not so much the next. I was away from home about 360 something days during my first 2 years after getting to my unit, then got tagged to an Exec job where I had TDYs and Deployments that I volunteered for cancelled by my Commander. I ended up being gone maybe 8-10 weeks total that year, but spent a lot of time at work taking care of an Early Promoted O-5 so he could go to school and make O-6 and higher. Got to be there for the conception and birth of all my kids but a couple of my friends have missed 1 birth (1 missed the conception too).

Ultimately, after 10 years in the USAF, my family and I have decided we have had enough, but enjoyed the majority of the time we spent in. The moment I knew I was done was when I left on a deployment 2 weeks after my youngest daughter was born. When I got back months later my wife handed her to me and I could tell she didn't even know me. Now every time I leave on a trip, she asks if it's another "long one".

It is a great opportunity, enjoy it, but don't let you or your husbands life be defined by it. Be open and honest and make decisions together what's best for your family even if it isn't what someone above him says is "bad for his career". Never let him leave home while you are fighting, one of our good friends' wife found out the hard way that you never know the day he doesn't come home until it's too late. Although more rare these days, it is the cold hard truth about flying.

A lot of rambling from someone about to hang up the job, but hopefully it helps in someway. Feel free to ask any other questions and welcome to the forum.


Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network Forums

Thank you so much! This was so clarifying and helpful! 

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Rule of life: everybody's experience is different.  Don't expect yours to match.

But, here's my son's example...

1) Started OTS, June '09 (Alabama), finished in Sept  (3 months)

2) Moved to UPT base (Texas), waited for six months to start (attended Introduction to Flight Training in Colorado for a month). Got tired of separation and married GF in Feb '10. Started UPT in April '10, finished in following April '11 on Friday. Move #1

3) Left for survival school three days later (Monday), enroute to C-130H school (Little Rock, Arkansas).  Dad and mom flew to Del Rio to help wife pack and move to Little Rock.  (18 months)   [Move # 2)

4) Moved into apt in Little Rock while in C-130 training, finished in Jan '12. Packed up for move to Yokota AB, Japan in Feb '12. (8 months)  [Move #3]. 

5) Lived on base Yokota for two years, first child born mid-tour.  PCS out after two years (1 year early).. (24 months)  [Move #4]

6) Move to Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs. After 1 year, AF closed C-130 squadron at Peterson. Reassigned to Little Rock AFB again for upgrade to new C-130J.  (13 Months) [Move #5]

7) Completed C-130J training at Little Rock. (9 months). Assigned to additional specialized C-i30 training at Kirtland AFB (Albuquerque, NM) enroute to next base in Europe. Second child born at Little Rock.  Training was Temporary Duty ("TDY"), so household goods packed and sent to England. Son to New Mexico, wife and 2 kids to her parents in Virginia. (7 months) (Move # 6)

6) Complete training in NM, picked up wife and kids, flew to England  where presently assigned.

NOTES: 

   a. Not a move every 3 or 4 years, but six moves in about six years.  A bit more than average. but not too unusual for the early career years with lots of training stints at different locations.  Four moves in the first six years would probably be more typical in many cases. It tends to slow down a little after that

   b. Try to fit med school into that. Not easy, not impossible, but will take more separation, I suspect.

Good luck on your trip through the gauntlet.  It can get stressful but its also a unique adventure and you'll see/do things most people won't ever have a chance to experience.

Edited by HiFlyer
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6 hours ago, DFRESH said:

Wait... What? Which story?

Your B course graduation critique, totally a separate thread.  And I'm wondering if you paid for it during resistance training?

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On 4/18/2017 at 3:35 PM, matmacwc said:

Your B course graduation critique, totally a separate thread.  And I'm wondering if you paid for it during resistance training?

Damn... I wish I remembered wtf I wrote. And yeah, I remember specifically getting a special welcome in a certain prison like environment from a guy who I think knew Slap.

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