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Staying Beyond 20/Taking IDE


Bode

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4 hours ago, Bigred said:

How much say would you have in where you go for command? Ie, if you apply for AETC command, you take command of anything they give you, or can you say ‘I only want an FTU’, etc?

Similarly for command in AMC, what’s your ability to only take command of a flying squadron vice whatever else is out there?

 

Not an expert on the process but I believe generally no. Maybe someone like ClearedHot can clarify, but this is how I think it goes: 

Generally you have to first make the command list, which simply makes you eligible. A few people will go on it automatically by doing things like completing IDE. The command list is run by each MAJCOM and it's competitive but not that competitive. Many more will go on it than commands available. It used to be, to go to the AETC command list you had to be a prior AETC instructor. However, I believe that is lifted now, although it is still preferred. 

Once on a list, you essentially need "hired" at that point, which means a wing commander has to select you to command. This is where mentorships and relationships come in handy. Your former squadron commanders will now be wing or group commanders who can advocate for you. Wing Commanders hand in their ideal picks on what's called their "bar napkin." If a wing commander picks you, you go. If more than one commander picks you, AFPC or MAJCOM mediates to div out competitive hires. 

So in this sense, given how the process works, you really have no choice. 

 

 

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Not an expert on the process but I believe generally no. Maybe someone like ClearedHot can clarify, but this is how I think it goes: 
Generally you have to first make the command list, which simply makes you eligible. A few people will go on it automatically by doing things like completing IDE. The command list is run by each MAJCOM and it's competitive but not that competitive. Many more will go on it than commands available. It used to be, to go to the AETC command list you had to be a prior AETC instructor. However, I believe that is lifted now, although it is still preferred. 
Once on a list, you essentially need "hired" at that point, which means a wing commander has to select you to command. This is where mentorships and relationships come in handy. Your former squadron commanders will now be wing or group commanders who can advocate for you. Wing Commanders hand in their ideal picks on what's called their "bar napkin." If a wing commander picks you, you go. If more than one commander picks you, AFPC or MAJCOM mediates to div out competitive hires. 
So in this sense, given how the process works, you really have no choice. 


That's how my boss and senior rater (O-6, 1-star) both described the process to me, with a few caveats.

The ops community requires people who want to command to apply to the command board: everyone (for ops) is a volunteer (no automatically making the command list, though as an IDE grad you're very competitive, if not a shoe-in). Some other non rated communities are "all in" (everyone in the career field at a certain rank is considered for command, no choice to opt out)

AETC prefers to hire off it's list (required, but with caveats), but other MAJCOMs have bargained with AETC for a limited number of extra command spots. Usually a trade for AETC command spots in exchange for MAJCOM commitment to send IPs to fly the line. AMC specifically got command slots in UPT wings because it argued it was providing the bulk of IPs (more than it's fair share), there should be at least some MAF-selected leadership there to mentor it's people. I'm sure ACC has something similar to get 11F guys with no AETC experience into an AETC command spot. But if you want to command in AETC, you significantly increase your chances by being on the AETC list (need to have completed an AETC tour to apply for the AETC list) or both lists.

My bosses both said the AF has gotten a lot better from what they've seen in the last few years about taking personal factors (join spouse, family considerations, etc) into consideration for assignments, including for command. Their view has been that Wg/CCs and AFPC seem to be more willing to work with individuals recently, versus when they got hired where it was "here's what you got." But the bar napkin still is there, so having a good network still helps significantly. The process sounded similar to how the myvector process works for regular assignments now, with bids from commanders and individuals, and AFPC review before the assignment is finalized.

From what I understand, you can't really say "flying squadron only", but you can decline an offered position if you don't want it. If you decline, you won't get another opportunity to compete on that command board anymore. But supposedly the AF won't be vindictive anymore against your career if you decline command (at least if you decline before public release/announcement finalized), you just go back into the normal assignments pool.
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A few notes the SQ/CC process from the CAF side:

- IDE does not automatically put you on the command list nor is it a hard prerequisite. Obviously the stats show you most CC’s were IDE folks but not all

- When you apply for the board, you acknowledge being a “worldwide volunteer” - there is no way to only apply for certain commands other than the boards themselves (Hawk, CAF, etc)

- CAF communities usually have “game plans” with specific folks fragged for command prior to the board. It’s one of those “if you’re in the plan, they’ll tell you” situations. Typically they will tell you NOT to apply unless you are in the plan.

- CAF board applications use plain English to say “this dude is in the plan to command X SQ in the summer of XX”. It’s very straightforward.

- if you’re not in the plan, you can apply, but are more likely to get picked up for a random command (deployed location or someone drops out/gets fired etc) if at all. It’s a risky move if you’re concerned about “non-desirable” commands.

- The board usually selects about 2X the number of folks required. There is no guarantee at all that you will get a command.

BL: Talk to an O-6 Group or Wing CC in your community and ask where you fall. They can probably help guide your decision. They also might help you get a non-flying command outside of your community if you want one.

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It used to be ... that being on the command list and turning down a command spot was considered a 7-day opt and you were done if you didn’t take the bad deal. 
 

pretty sure that changed in the 2010-2015 timeframe .... but worth asking the question. 
 

although if the game plan is a “good” command spot or retire, it may not matter to you. 

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On the MAF side, 50% of those selected for Phoenix Eagle did not do residence IDE.  Many of them are commanding flying squadrons now.  The real benefit of IDE for folks that want to stay in and command is an automatic vector to a staff assignment  before DO/CC.  

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Bode,

Sorry if you answered this already, but what are the potential options if you just turn down IDE? Can you go hang out at a SQ for a year or two? Do you need to get formally requal'd in a jet or just an in-house?

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2 hours ago, dream big said:

On the MAF side, 50% of those selected for Phoenix Eagle did not do residence IDE.  Many of them are commanding flying squadrons now.  

I haven't posted in a while, but this thread got my attention.  

Define "many", please.  I can't think of a single current sitting CC in the AD Herk community that didn't do residence IDE.  I know of enough in other MAF communities to be able to confidently say that a vast majority of sitting CCs completed IDE in residence.  I don't mean to call you out, but I think we owe it to the OP and anyone reading now and in the future to keep the conversation based on fact.  

Edited by Champ Kind
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Bode,
Sorry if you answered this already, but what are the potential options if you just turn down IDE? Can you go hang out at a SQ for a year or two? Do you need to get formally requal'd in a jet or just an in-house?

Hypothetically I can just hang out for a year. I’m fragged to PCS next summer. Don’t know if I can hang out longer as we are seeing a large influx of pilots this summer.


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8 hours ago, FLEA said:

 Once on a list, you essentially need "hired" at that point, which means a wing commander has to select you to command. This is where mentorships and relationships come in handy. Your former squadron commanders will now be wing or group commanders who can advocate for you. Wing Commanders hand in their ideal picks on what's called their "bar napkin." If a wing commander picks you, you go. If more than one commander picks you, AFPC or MAJCOM mediates to div out competitive hires. 

 

 

 

This is a pretty accurate breakdown of the process.  What cannot be overstated is the impact individual personalities have on this process.  My experience has been that hiring authorities will very, very rarely directly tell a prospective CC that they are in their plan.  CC selection remains one of the least transparent processes in an officer's development.  Based on the daynightindicator's comment above, this appears to be a substantial difference between MAF and CAF.  Furthermore, even if you're told one-on-one by a hiring authority that you're "in the plan", that is almost exclusively followed with a caveat of "but things can change."  These changes can be anything from the hiring authority changing his/her mind, to having a ranking officer implant a hire into a wing's game plan.  

Edit to add:  like most things, timing is everything.  You have a 50% chance of finding yourself in a situation where the wing commander/hiring authority that's in the seat when PE nominations are due will not be the person that does the actual hiring after he/she leaves command in a typically two-year summer PCS cycle...  yet another impact of individual personalities.  

Edited by Champ Kind
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In AFSOC, IDE is not required for selection on the EAGLE list but the vast majority of command hires are IDE in-res graduates.  Like, 99%.
 

Bode, if command is an itch you have to scratch professionally then I encourage you to attend IDE and make senior raters aware you are interested in command.  Command lists are the first cut, but hiring is always a smaller group. As others have mentioned, my experience is decisions have zero transparency and are entirely the luck of who chooses you.  Control what you can control: your pedigree and your attitude.

Ops command seems more competitive, but perhaps it’s because there are fewer.

Good luck!

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Transparency varies by community and MAJCOM but realize that since WG/CC is typically a 2-year gig, you probably won’t get the tap on the shoulder until relatively close to your command timeline. Susperstars/HPOs are a different animal.

I usually see on-time guys get the nod around the time they are selected for DO, and it may consist of 1) your follow on will be XX SQ/CC, 2) we are going to work hard to get you A command but we don’t know what it will be, or 3) we don’t expect to be able to get you a command.

Standard AF caveats apply. I was fortunate to have a transparent leadership team and knew my future going in to my DO gig.

I’ve also seen plans derailed when Gen ### decides to sponsor someone and basically directs that they get a command in a certain cycle. Someone else is usually displaced.

Game plans are constantly evolving.

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5 hours ago, Champ Kind said:

I haven't posted in a while, but this thread got my attention.  

Define "many", please.  I can't think of a single current sitting CC in the AD Herk community that didn't do residence IDE.  I know of enough in other MAF communities to be able to confidently say that a vast majority of sitting CCs completed IDE in residence.  I don't mean to call you out, but I think we owe it to the OP and anyone reading now and in the future to keep the conversation based on fact.  

A year and a half ago 2 of the 6 C130 flying squadrons had commanders that didn’t attend IDE. One of them took over as a major with 4 months left until pinning on Lt Col. Granted still a lower percentage but not unheard of.

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So how would you work this situation? I do have O-6s I feel I could reach out to however ALL of them are in the CAF community. This is mostly because I have spent a good deal of time in AETC where all of my commanders have been from that world.

I can attest to the fact I have seen both heavy and fighter CCs that had zero AETC experience prior to coming in for command, at different levels of command as well.

I’m not trying to put the cart before the horse but I know it’s a system and contacts have to be worked well in advance. I know there is a ton of work that has to occur on my part to even be competitive once I get done with school and while on staff.


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On 2/13/2021 at 3:52 PM, JBueno said:

It seems you’re trying to make a decision between long term financial security for your family and getting hired by the airlines. One option exists, the other frankly doesn’t, and won’t for a while. That recovery target has been kicked down the road repeatedly, and without CARES you’d see enormous furlough numbers. What if nobody hires for 8 years? That could easily happen.

 

I have nothing to add on the military side, other than to say best of luck to @Bode on a tough decision. However, the bolded above may not be the case.  I think FDX/UPS are both hiring and there are strong rumors (potentially to be announced this week) that DAL will need to hire a large number of pilots for summer 2022 flying.  Both UAL and DAL are projecting summer 2022 flying to be at 85-95% capacity of 2019 numbers.  If Bode has the time before making a decision, I think the next few weeks/months may be illuminating wrt the airlines.  I can't disagree with you on the CARES stuff.   

 

 

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14 hours ago, MCO said:

A year and a half ago 2 of the 6 C130 flying squadrons had commanders that didn’t attend IDE. One of them took over as a major with 4 months left until pinning on Lt Col. Granted still a lower percentage but not unheard of.

Fair enough for that snapshot in time.  I knew of the one, I didn't make the connection on the second.  I know that one of those individuals would acknowledge that their career path was certainly the exception.  I'd be surprised if the other didn't do the same.

So, back to the point...  yes, it's possible.  Yes, it occurred twice in a relatively small span of time.  The takeaway should be that it's possible, but certainly not something to which someone should plan.

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CLASSIC

You clearly aren’t going anywhere, just trying to get others to justify your decision - Stick around as long as you can on the govt teat until they no longer want you, and at that point, you’re done (on their terms). Good luck if that’s 2 yrs or so out and the hiring boom is subsiding. But hey, you can tell everyone who don’t care “I was a commander”. 

A few gems on here that will not fit your narrative but worth considering. I’ll add my own.

1 - Command is overrated these days 

2 - If you are behind the curve on promotions and just “always wanted to make LtCol”, well - you’ll make it and good luck with final 2-3 yrs

3 - The AF doesn’t have you or your families best interest on their radar, they just kinda need you

4 - The AFR and ANG are the best options to open a wealth of opportunities for careers, promotions, and wealth building that you will never know. 05 just to join, 06 if you participate, 07 if you desire to be somebody...

In closing - You seem to be risk adverse, so you will do fine right where you are. 

Best of Luck, the AF preys on the 15-18yr sanctuary dudes..🍺

Footnote: Not a whole lot of financial gain for service years after 20 (of which you can easily gain within AFR/ANG with minimal effort)

Edited by bcuziknow
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CLASSIC

You clearly aren’t going anywhere, just trying to get others to justify your decision - Stick around as long as you can on the govt teat until they no longer want you, and at that point, you’re done (on their terms). Good luck if that’s 2 yrs or so out and the hiring boom is subsiding. But hey, you can tell everyone who don’t care “I was a commander”. 
A few gems on here that will not fit your narrative but worth considering. I’ll add my own.
1 - Command is overrated these days 
2 - If you are behind the curve on promotions and just “always wanted to make LtCol”, well - you’ll make it and good luck with final 2-3 yrs
3 - The AF doesn’t have you or your families best interest on their radar, they just kinda need you
4 - The AFR and ANG are the best options to open a wealth of opportunities for careers, promotions, and wealth building that you will never know. 05 just to join, 06 if you participate, 07 if you desire to be somebody...
In closing - You seem to be risk adverse, so you will do fine right where you are. 
Best of Luck, the AF preys on the 15-18yr sanctuary dudes..
Footnote: Not a whole lot of financial gain for service years after 20 (of which you can easily gain within AFR/ANG with minimal effort)

Wow, I’m not sure how much you even read of this thread other than enough spew a bit a (perceived) bitterness.

I was once told by a Col “we need people who understand their opportunities in and out of service but choose to stay in for the opportunity to serve more”. This is part of why I want to stay, it’s not about the money. It’s about doing something I have always dreamed of doing and want to do. Leading and taking care of people. I spent 21 years watching good and bad leaders and would love to be a good leader for people.

The problem I have isn’t that. I don’t know if i can attain the goals I’m looking for even with school. The fact I’ve never been put into a position to take my career to the “next level”. I’ve never been out in the position to get my name on a “bar napkin” (my perception). This has been to numerous internal and external factors. Some have been leaders looking out for me. I was in AMC, join spouse, and working in safety. Wife was popped with an 8 day notice deployment when I was 5 months from PCS. Leadership took me off the plan to go be the squadron exec to allow me to have a more flexible schedule. Also, allowed me to pick and choose which missions to go on based on support for my kids. (Taking care of people)

This again happened as I was fragged to be the wing exec and was hit with a 365. As most know, there’s very little leadership can do to get you out of that. Once again this is my perspective.

As much as some will say I lucked out on both of those we all know that there are certain duties positions that carry different weight and usually garner higher strats.

Please take a few minutes and elaborate on your bulleted points, if you will.

1-why?
2-define behind on promotions? I’m right on with promotions and based on my strats I could probably may O-5 without school.
3-I can say I have seen this as I’m currently in a tough position because of needs of the AF. At the same time I have seen the AF bend over backwards to make life better for my family at other times.
4-why?

And to add to your foot note, the difference in my retirement for 5 extra years is $32k per year. That will equate to $1.2M between my retirement date and 2065 (average life span for males). Pretty good for passive income.


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I have nothing to add on the military side, other than to say best of luck to [mention=18941]Bode[/mention] on a tough decision. However, the bolded above may not be the case.  I think FDX/UPS are both hiring and there are strong rumors (potentially to be announced this week) that DAL will need to hire a large number of pilots for summer 2022 flying.  Both UAL and DAL are projecting summer 2022 flying to be at 85-95% capacity of 2019 numbers.  If Bode has the time before making a decision, I think the next few weeks/months may be illuminating wrt the airlines.  I can't disagree with you on the CARES stuff.   
 
 

I have to agree with SocialD here. Just talked with a friend who is on the hiring boards for Delta. Rumoring of 21Q4 or 22Q1 hiring is there. Predicting all unassigned pilots being back to flying by Jan.


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14 minutes ago, Bode said:


Wow, I’m not sure how much you even read of this thread other than enough spew a bit a (perceived) bitterness.

I was once told by a Col “we need people who understand their opportunities in and out of service but choose to stay in for the opportunity to serve more”. This is part of why I want to stay, it’s not about the money. It’s about doing something I have always dreamed of doing and want to do. Leading and taking care of people. I spent 21 years watching good and bad leaders and would love to be a good leader for people.

The problem I have isn’t that. I don’t know if i can attain the goals I’m looking for even with school. The fact I’ve never been put into a position to take my career to the “next level”. I’ve never been out in the position to get my name on a “bar napkin” (my perception). This has been to numerous internal and external factors. Some have been leaders looking out for me. I was in AMC, join spouse, and working in safety. Wife was popped with an 8 day notice deployment when I was 5 months from PCS. Leadership took me off the plan to go be the squadron exec to allow me to have a more flexible schedule. Also, allowed me to pick and choose which missions to go on based on support for my kids. (Taking care of people)

This again happened as I was fragged to be the wing exec and was hit with a 365. As most know, there’s very little leadership can do to get you out of that. Once again this is my perspective.

As much as some will say I lucked out on both of those we all know that there are certain duties positions that carry different weight and usually garner higher strats.

Please take a few minutes and elaborate on your bulleted points, if you will.

1-why?
2-define behind on promotions? I’m right on with promotions and based on my strats I could probably may O-5 without school.
3-I can say I have seen this as I’m currently in a tough position because of needs of the AF. At the same time I have seen the AF bend over backwards to make life better for my family at other times.
4-why?

And to add to your foot note, the difference in my retirement for 5 extra years is $32k per year. That will equate to $1.2M between my retirement date and 2065 (average life span for males). Pretty good for passive income.


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Sounds like you have it all figured out? There never was a decision, your wife told you that all along...🤦‍♂️ AF has taken care of you and will continue to “bend over backwards to make life better” for you..so, no real need to elaborate on anything.  I wish you well and best of luck. 

As for your $32k per year added for 5 “extra years” - I’d love to see that math.  With many DAL buds getting $75k on up in “bonus”bucks, but we won’t digress so I won’t even go there.  In all seriousness, I wish you well, the AF needs you. 🍺🍺

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Bode, regardless of what you choose, I’ll say you were one of the best bosses I’ve worked for! If you stay in, the AF will be better for it man!

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20 hours ago, Bode said:

And to add to your foot note, the difference in my retirement for 5 extra years is $32k per year. That will equate to $1.2M between my retirement date and 2065 (average life span for males). Pretty good for passive income.

I'm not trying to agree with the bitter buffalo that showed up but did you subtract out the missed retirement payments for 5 years? For example, its about 300k for an O5 from 20 - 25 years.

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I'm not trying to agree with the bitter buffalo that showed up but did you subtract out the missed retirement payments for 5 years? For example, its about 300k for an O5 from 20 - 25 years.

Agreed I didn’t calculate that into it all but at 21 years my retirement is a combo of Capt and Maj pay so it’s not as much as that. I think right now my take home for retirement would ~$48k annually. Lt Col at 25 is ~$85k. I’m not looking at the exact numbers right now.

I completely understand it’s a financial disadvantage to stay in, especially with the rumors of the bonus going on.


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Bode, regardless of what you choose, I’ll say you were one of the best bosses I’ve worked for! If you stay in, the AF will be better for it man!

Thanks I really appreciate your words. It means a ton.

And that goes to all the advise on remarks given. I have read every post and even sent some messages to continue a couple conversations. My personal and professional goals with the military are pulling me one way while the enticing lifestyle and money of the airlines are pulling me the other. I never went and got my ATP before the rule change because I never wanted to fly for the airlines. Now here I am, letting the airline jobs have an impact on my decisions.
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