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26 years old, Go AD or ANG/AFR?


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Just turned 26 this past January. My AFOQT is scheduled this month, hopefully this time around it doesn’t get canceled. Due to Covid, it’s been taking me months to get it scheduled. Once that’s done my goal is to serve my country ASAP. I have no preference of airframe or location, if I had to choose I would love to fly heavies. I’ve been told I could be considered old by some units and that my time is running out. If that’s the case should I attempt and apply to AD? I’ve heard many say they’ve applied to units for 2-3 years before getting selected or even not. I would hate to apply and interview with a bunch of units only to never get selected for a UPT slot and end up being too old for AD. The thought of keeping my current job while flying in the guard or reserves sounds great but ultimately I just want to get to UPT anyway possible.

 

 

Personal stats:

- 3.5 GPA B.S Logistics

- Athlete throughout high school and college

- Academic scholarship for first 2 years of college

- 34hrs towards ppl, check-ride should be soon

- Civilian loadmaster with Cargo airline

- 7 years of leadership/management experience

- Single no dependents

- AF parents both special ops 20 years retired.

 

I appreciate any input. Thank you!

 

 

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Hey man, I would totally apply everywhere you can including active duty. I will say the guard/reserve side is going to be very very tough without a PPL yet/low flight hours. You've got a ton of highly experienced pilots who have been furloughed from airlines competing for these slots in the guard/reserve right now. I'm not saying experience is everything, but especially on the heavy side, with the Civilian Path to Wings program, they are targeting dudes who have their IR, commercial and over 250 hours. What makes it even more difficult is the fact that units are allocated less slots than usual this year because of the training pipeline backup.

The nice thing is that until you sign papers that commit to doing one or the other, you can pursue both avenues. Even going to OTS could take awhile, and in the meantime you can apply on the guard/reserve side...if you get picked up, awesome! Get that PPL and keep improving your resume, it can't hurt. Hope this helps...

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Worth noting that if you are happy with heavies, you have plenty of time still to get picked up by a guard unit. The airlines are gonna heat up quick and you'll see people start chasing the money again. But like you said you can spend a lot of time chasing units and job postings that never materialize. If you are single, no kids, want to see the world, just pull the trigger on AD while you are young, I wish I had done it. You'll also get a medical done first, rather than spend 5-10k rushing units across the country to finally get hired and than get booted for some med issue you did not know you had.

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Worth noting that if you are happy with heavies, you have plenty of time still to get picked up by a guard unit. The airlines are gonna heat up quick and you'll see people start chasing the money again. But like you said you can spend a lot of time chasing units and job postings that never materialize. If you are single, no kids, want to see the world, just pull the trigger on AD while you are young, I wish I had done it. You'll also get a medical done first, rather than spend 5-10k rushing units across the country to finally get hired and than get booted for some med issue you did not know you had.

What makes you say I have plenty of time for heavies? Would you recommend the standard MEPS medical or FC1? Not sure if I can the FC1 done without being sponsored.


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7 hours ago, hockeydork said:

You'll also get a medical done first, rather than spend 5-10k rushing units across the country to finally get hired and than get booted for some med issue you did not know you had.

This is a big deal. Getting your medical done first is huge for both you and the ANG/AFRES unit you are applying to if you can get it. Heavies generally hire older people as opposed to fighter squadrons, that's why you can wait it out a bit if you wanted to. 

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2 hours ago, tkownedu5 said:


What makes you say I have plenty of time for heavies? Would you recommend the standard MEPS medical or FC1? Not sure if I can the FC1 done without being sponsored.


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Per a real fighter pilot: it's a young man's or woman's game. Flying a heavy just is not as physically punishing, so the units are more likely to look past age. In a twist of irony, per fresh info today...now is not the time to go AD (see reddit). At 26, get your ass in the car and drive to the nearest heavy unit and enlist if you really want it. Or rush like crazy once COVID f**KS off and hammer your flight training. I chose the latter path, COVID ruined my rushing opportunities. AD board just got pulled most likely for this year. But at least I have an engineering gig and soon to be CFI. The universe is chaos, plan accordingly. 

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I know you mentioned as of now you have no preference of location/airframe, but do you think that may change in the future? From what I can tell as a civilian looking in the AD side of the house involves a lot more moving all over the world. I guess it depends on your personal goals if you don’t mind being moved around well into your 30s.

 

If I was in your shoes I would crush the AFOQT, rush your most desirable units, apply everywhere, if after a year of that no bites then I would start to consider AD. For the AFOQT make sure to study those time tables a lot!! I studied very hard but didn’t study the time tables because I didn’t think you could study them. Needless to say it did bring my pilot score down to an 88. Hope this helps! 

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Here is a post on reddit by an applicant to the June 2021 OTS board.  Basically, its not going to be possible to go active duty for the time being due to the higher than projected retention rate of the last year due to covid/economy issues.  For those new to the process, OTS is always the third option to create commissioned officers and will flex the production numbers depending on the needs of the AF and how many officers are being produced by USAFA and AFROTC.  Long story short: this year, USAFA and AFROTC are producing all that the AF needs (in fact, more than needed) so OTS is reduced to nada.  I'd put all your efforts towards ANG or AFRC units until you see any news on this front.   

594567233_OTSboardcancellation.thumb.jpg.783fa1bb101ded15f86cb8b13c54287a.jpg

Edited by VigilanteNav
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Here is a post on reddit by an applicant to the June 2021 OTS board.  Basically, going to be difficult to go active duty for the time being due to the higher than projected retention rate of the last year due to covid/economy issues.  For those new to the process, OTS is always the third option to create commissioned officers and will flex the production numbers depending on the needs of the AF and how many officers are being produced by USAFA and AFROTC.  Long story short: this year, USAFA and AFROTC are producing all that the AF needs so OTS is reduced to nada.  I'd put all your efforts towards ANG or AFRC units until you see any news on this front.   
594567233_OTSboardcancellation.thumb.jpg.783fa1bb101ded15f86cb8b13c54287a.jpg

Thank you for sharing that. This is so gut wrenching but like the email says I will stick around for the long run and hope to land a slot in the near future.


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