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I rec'd a pilot slot in March of '19 and since then I have gone through a civilian job change while waiting for training dates (I still don't have any).  The reason I left my first employer was because they were not supportive and made my life hell when I told them I was going to join the Guard.  I didn't fight it - and moved on to a different company.

I was up front to my new employer about my military commitment as well - they were supportive - and I was hired in September '19. I stood out over my peers on the company performance measures and worked more hours then the rest of my colleagues - but the decision was made yesterday that I would be included in their company releases due to COVID-19.

What has bothered me is that newer colleagues with less experience and lower performance were kept over me.  I was told performance was not a factor and I even offered to take a pay cut in order to stay with the company.  They could not give me any reason other than "COVID-19" as to why I was chosen over my other colleagues who were all lower performers.

I have a top performance record with the company, and I have evidence to show that.  I never cut corners, followed the rules, never was disciplined.  I pride myself on good hard work. I've been up front about all of my military commitments - and I think that's the reason I was chosen to be released. 

I hate being 'that guy' - but this is the second time I've gotten screwed with my civilian employer because of my pilot slot.  I am so pumped to get to training but in the meantime while I continue to wait - I'm 27 and like many others have student loans, a car payment, and flight training loans that I need to pay off. 

In these tough times I am curious if I have a case here to reach out to USERRA.  If my ego is getting the best of me here let me have it.  If I need to get over it and I'm acting like a millennial then fine.  I really don't have any experience with this and just wondering if it's normal to be treated like sh*t when you're in the Guard and have a civilian employer.

Best,

mighty

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Hey man, really sorry to hear that during these tough times. That sucks and there is no doubt your honesty definitely played a factor. "This guy isn't even going to be with us because he wants to be a pilot, let him go." Unfortunately, with at-will employment, you are pretty much SOL. Especially with what is going on now, there probably aren't any resources to even investigate your case right now. Plus dumping money into a lawyer right now for an unknown reason of being let go is really risky. I think it's a really good motto to not lie, but don't give them info that will only hurt you. You really have to look out for yourself, same goes for in the Guard. Everyone always says it but you're the only one who gives a shit about your life and career. Time to stop spending money on Starbucks and Tesla's.

 

But really, hope you can find employment soon. Take care of yourself man. Wishing you the best and prayers. 

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You could talk to the ESGR (800-336-4590) and see what your USERRA protections may be. At-will employment or not, there’s certainly evidence to suggest they let you go because of your military status. Under USERRA, you have 5 years of protections. Just like with applying to units, talk to the ESGR and see what they say. If you don’t ask, you’re surely not going to get any help.


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Thanks @Desk Jobs Suck and @Erthwerm.

I'm just going to move on (again) and going to see if I can somehow get put on orders with my unit.  I'll also look at some other civilian opportunities in the meantime.  If I thought I would be getting in to a TFOT class within the next 6 months I'd just coast from here but at this point who knows.

Cheers and thanks for the advice!

mighty

 

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Yup, non-airline employers wipe their rear with USERRA. I went through that fork 12 years ago, and chose the full time route in the Reserves. Never looked back. I have a plethora of co-workers and acquaintances with similar experience. It's not worth the trouble to me, considering I don't want to work for someone I have to sue in order to work for in the first place. The fact is that aircrew jobs in the ARC are designed to be compatible with large-department employers like the airlines, where you're one of thousands and won't generally be missed while pursuing mil duty. Small employers are anathema to aircrew work imo. 

What sucks for you is the waiting due to covid et al. When I was in your shoes I was fortunate to go from my crappy broke graduate school existence right into OTS and a steady paycheck. Though I troughed through a portion of the Lost Decade, I generally haven't gone without a paycheck thanks to the military. I owe my ability to start a family on this job, and look with pride back at the time where I chose to stop tilting at the windmills and vacate the pedestrian job market for full time reserves.

No one size fits all answer for sure, but for me it wasn't worth the trouble getting on the userra crusade in calvinist right-to-get-fired America. I'm in a much better financial and career position by focusing on being an full time AF pilot. Good luck to ya.

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Hired in september.  Do you have dates yet?  Have you even done anything officially on military duty?  I just don't know if you have much room to work with.  If you were off at training and they fired you... for sure.  But it sounds like you were actively working for the company, and they chose to release you. 

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I was hired w the Guard in March of '19. No dates yet.

I haven't done anything yet other than attend Guard weekends and I spent that official time on duty making corn for the guys which I've found to be critical to the mission. You're right though@rancormac - there really isn't anything to work with and it would be a waste of time if I pursued anything against the company.  I didn't know how USERRA really worked at the time of the OP and wrote it in the immediate aftermath of getting let go - was rattled this has happened to me twice. Their loss. I will without a doubt be making a run at full time when I get back to my unit - if they'll have me!

 In the meantime - I am going to crush the PT test now that I'm running/working out for 6 hours a day.

Thank you for the advice and insight.  Been on this forum for 6 years and appreciate all who contribute!

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If noone has told you, if able, make sure you get 50 points during this year while you wait to go to training.  I understand that this may not be possible with the current situation.  You get 15 points for just being a member of the ANG and you get an additional point for ever pay card you turn in.  The 50 points are based on your enlistment year, not fiscal year or calendar year.  If you don't get 50 points, that year won't count as a "good" year toward your 20 years for retirement.  

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35 minutes ago, brabus said:

@SocialD Been ANG for 3 years and didn’t know that, thanks for the save! I undoubtedly would have fucked that up at some point. 

 

Ya man, I didn't learn this until about the 10-12 year point in the ANG.  Shouldn't be a huge deal for pilots since we have so many extra days.  I guess if technicians bunched up their days at one time, they could screw themselves.  You can see a year-by-year break down off all the types of points you earned.   

 

vMPF - Self service actions - Personal Data - ANG/USAFR Points Credit Summary Inquiry (PCARS) - Service History

 

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Also, as Guard/Reserve, any time you accrue under Title 10 orders can be applied towards reduced retirement age, I think in 90 day increments.  So for a guard baby, that should at the very least be 2 years (AMS/UPT/BCourse) plus any deployments subtracted from Guard retirement age.  Collect that money earlier!

Its not automatic.  You gotta go on vMPF, search for it, upload all your orders, and they gonkulate a new retirement date for you.

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8 minutes ago, rancormac said:

Also, as Guard/Reserve, any time you accrue under Title 10 orders can be applied towards reduced retirement age, I think in 90 day increments.  So for a guard baby, that should at the very least be 2 years (AMS/UPT/BCourse) plus any deployments subtracted from Guard retirement age.  Collect that money earlier!

 

That was true only for a short time.  When I went through, we were all on Title-32 training orders, thus we didn't get early retirement credit.  There was a short period of time where guys were title-10 or some time of early retirement eligible orders.  Some of those dudes had 2-3 years of pilots training plus their 2 years of seasoning counted...they killed it for sure!  From my understanding they "fixed the glitch," and those orders (MEST?) are no longer early retirement eligible.

You are correct though, it is 90 day increments.  You just have to get them in any 2 contiguous fiscal years.  

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That was true only for a short time.  When I went through, we were all on Title-32 training orders, thus we didn't get early retirement credit.  There was a short period of time where guys were title-10 or some time of early retirement eligible orders.  Some of those dudes had 2-3 years of pilots training plus their 2 years of seasoning counted...they killed it for sure!  From my understanding they "fixed the glitch," and those orders (MEST?) are no longer early retirement eligible.
You are correct though, it is 90 day increments.  You just have to get them in any 2 contiguous fiscal years.  

I didn’t know it could be stringed across two FYs. Thanks for the intel.


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43 minutes ago, SocialD said:

 

That was true only for a short time.  When I went through, we were all on Title-32 training orders, thus we didn't get early retirement credit.  There was a short period of time where guys were title-10 or some time of early retirement eligible orders.  Some of those dudes had 2-3 years of pilots training plus their 2 years of seasoning counted...they killed it for sure!  From my understanding they "fixed the glitch," and those orders (MEST?) are no longer early retirement eligible.

You are correct though, it is 90 day increments.  You just have to get them in any 2 contiguous fiscal years.  

I did AMS in 2014, UPT 2015, B Course 2016.. all of those were Title 10.

When I did MEST however in 2017, it was about to be T10 but then NGB apparently came down and made them T32.

 

I thought UPT+BCourse was always T10 because of where the money was coming from

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33 minutes ago, Duck said:

I didn’t know it could be stringed across two FYs. Thanks for the intel.

 

Ya, initially that wasn't the case.  Then they realized many deployments actually cross the FY dateline lol.  Definitely a great change in our favor.

 

 

10 minutes ago, rancormac said:

I did AMS in 2014, UPT 2015, B Course 2016.. all of those were Title 10.

When I did MEST however in 2017, it was about to be T10 but then NGB apparently came down and made them T32.

I thought UPT+BCourse was always T10 because of where the money was coming from

 

Your dates line up with the guys who got the really good deal that I mentioned above.  I went through all of my training the O6-09 time frame.  I just pulled up all my orders from UPT through seasoning.  All of them were Title-32.    

Story time.  Right as I showed up to ENJJPT, they were in the middle of a huge cheating scandal.  Supposedly the "ring leader" was a Guard guy and because he was on Title-32 orders, it made the investigation/discipline much harder because it all had to go through his state/unit.  So as a "fix" for that issue, sometime while I was in 38s, they amended all the Guard guys orders.  The amendment included verbiage that essentially made us under control of the local leadership wrt to disciplinary issues like mentioned above.  My guess is that this was just a bandaid and they eventually (after I was off seasoning) changed the guys to Title-10 orders.  The guys who were on those title-10 hit the jackpot wrt to early retirement credit...one of our our guys got them all the way through seasoning.  I think he got a full 5 years of early retirement credit.  From what I've been told by the more recent punks, their orders no longer count toward early retirement and I honestly haven't looked into it.  I just assumed that they fixed the glitch with the MEST orders.  

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Did the instructors happen to stomp more during test reviews?

It was a complete joke and ops normal back when 100% of the guys were getting fighters there. Our FAIP was in class right after then and relayed this story to us:

Story goes: SELO says “everyone needs to pass this EPQ, I know Lt Johnson is at home sick so make sure you guys study with him. Academics shouldn’t effect your aircraft. Im very obviously putting the EPQ in my top drawer and I’ll be back after 2nd go...”

Students grab the EPQ take a picture of it and email it to John Johnson, a MSgt on the Tech Training side of the base thinking it’s their classmate at home. MSgt Johnson being the beacon of integrity for all to see, turns it in to his chain which goes up to the Base Commander (1-Star) who then goes up to his boss, 2-Star (19thAF I think) who then cracks down on Sheppard and exposes this travesty that SPs were “cheating” on weekly EPQs...

Thread derail over.


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Pretty close the story that was relayed to me by one of my buddies in the class.  From my understanding one of the sticking points was that they "broke into" the flight room on the weekend (through 2 cipher locks), to get to the EPQ.  

 

From what I remember, all but the 1 Guard guy (who ended up quitting) made it back into training.  One of them was my roommate in the B-Course.  Another one was in the B-Course after mine.  He was showed up to Sheppard right after commissioning and was on admin hold so long that he was a Captain when he showed up to the B-Course.  I think many of then were Captains before they left Sheppard.  It was a mess and a ridiculous overreaction. 

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On 4/1/2020 at 11:38 AM, mightymighty said:

I rec'd a pilot slot in March of '19 and since then I have gone through a civilian job change while waiting for training dates (I still don't have any).  The reason I left my first employer was because they were not supportive and made my life hell when I told them I was going to join the Guard.  I didn't fight it - and moved on to a different company.

I was up front to my new employer about my military commitment as well - they were supportive - and I was hired in September '19. I stood out over my peers on the company performance measures and worked more hours then the rest of my colleagues - but the decision was made yesterday that I would be included in their company releases due to COVID-19.

What has bothered me is that newer colleagues with less experience and lower performance were kept over me.  I was told performance was not a factor and I even offered to take a pay cut in order to stay with the company.  They could not give me any reason other than "COVID-19" as to why I was chosen over my other colleagues who were all lower performers.

I have a top performance record with the company, and I have evidence to show that.  I never cut corners, followed the rules, never was disciplined.  I pride myself on good hard work. I've been up front about all of my military commitments - and I think that's the reason I was chosen to be released. 

I hate being 'that guy' - but this is the second time I've gotten screwed with my civilian employer because of my pilot slot.  I am so pumped to get to training but in the meantime while I continue to wait - I'm 27 and like many others have student loans, a car payment, and flight training loans that I need to pay off. 

In these tough times I am curious if I have a case here to reach out to USERRA.  If my ego is getting the best of me here let me have it.  If I need to get over it and I'm acting like a millennial then fine.  I really don't have any experience with this and just wondering if it's normal to be treated like sh*t when you're in the Guard and have a civilian employer.

Best,

mighty

You could e-mail "OSD.USERRA@mail.mil" with your story. They are your advocate for this type of issue, and I've heard they are very knowledgeable on the lawyer-type stuff. They can even conduct an anonymous investigation/report on your behalf if you want to go that route. Sorry for the thread derail.

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