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Career Effects of FAIP Assignment


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I recently dropped T-38 FAIP and am curious as to what effects/opportunities it will result in for my career as an officer as well as my flying career. I did fairly well in 38s and never really considered the assignment, so any input is appreciated. More specifically, how should I best pursue my hopes of flying something pointy and loud post FAIP tour?

Ive been on of these forums for over 3 years now and this community has been invaluable in facilitating my journey from college kid to wings, figure it’s time to pay my respects. 🍻

Hook Em All

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1 hour ago, IOperate020 said:

I recently dropped T-38 FAIP and am curious as to what effects/opportunities it will result in for my career as an officer as well as my flying career. I did fairly well in 38s and never really considered the assignment, so any input is appreciated. More specifically, how should I best pursue my hopes of flying something pointy and loud post FAIP tour?

Ive been on of these forums for over 3 years now and this community has been invaluable in facilitating my journey from college kid to wings, figure it’s time to pay my respects. 🍻

Hook Em All

A FAIP assignment does not affect your career in a negative way.  
 

My advice:

Do your best and work your ass off as a FAIP.  
Seek out and get first hand knowledge from the IPs coming from the CAF.  

If you work hard and do well, the rest will work itself out and you should get something pointy nose after your FAIP assignment.   

Edited by Tank
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Agreed with everything Tank said.

Now for the part the Bobs in your sq won’t tell you. FAIPs are a dime a dozen these days (especially at DLF). When the rack and stack comes and the T-6 Bobs are arguing with the T-38 Bobs about who gets *insert your #1 airframe here* you need to be someone that the T-6 Bobs know and like/respect. That way when your sq/cc says, “IOperate020 deserves X airframe because: *reasons*,” the other sq/cc’s will say, “oh yeah he does great work, we’ll just have to give our T-6 guy his 2nd choice,” instead of them saying, “who the f*ck is IOperate020?!?”

How does one get this name recognition? You projo a bunch of stuff around the OG and/or Wing and manage not to pork anything away. Now, you can either go about doing this the right way or the wrong way. The right way is with a humble attitude and the honest desire to put your talents to good use and help out. Or, you can be a kiss ass that the Bobs like but every bro in the squadron and all the students (who will be your IPs when you get to the CAF) loath. Good luck, it’s really not that difficult.

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The only way it would negatively affect you is if you’re a douche. Don’t treat the students like you’re better than them, talk down to them, etc. Give a shit about teaching them - their success is your success. Those students will be in the CAF when you get there - be the name they’re stoked to see on the inbound list, not the guy they cringe at. 

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Or do something really stupid in the first year. 
 

Everyone will know your name. 
 

By the third year, nobody will remember why they know your name …. But they’ll still know your name. 

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Or do something really stupid in the first year. 
 
Everyone will know your name. 
 
By the third year, nobody will remember why they know your name …. But they’ll still know your name. 

Sounds like prison rules: beat someone up or become someone’s bitch.
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(non-faip)

Do a good job and remember that you were selected to teach the basics (because that's all you probably know at this point).  Be humble, approachable, and don't try to give any "in the real AF" lectures.

As far as in the office, look for projects that interest you, and when given a task, go do it well.  The young officers who can be tasked "fire and forget" style with consistently good results usually are looked kindly upon.

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Not in the AF but...what I have learned is to never stop being grateful and always realize how lucky you are. This applies across the whole spectrum of aviation. I and many others would kill to be in your position, just to teach in the T-38 and not a Piper Cherokee is a dream for me, let alone fly a fighter. Here's the thing tho...somewhere out there there's somebody dreaming they were me, wishing they had enough money just to get the opportunity to even be a "lowly" CFI, instead of mopping floors at the mall. There is not limit to how high you can reach...so long as you recognize how small you are. 

To be fresh out of college and flying a super sonic jet man? Pffffff, help others as best you can and just enjoy the best years of your life.

 

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So long as they don't decide to fill the bomber community with FAIPs during your VML, you should be good to go.  That hasn't happened since, what 2009/2010?  

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6 hours ago, LiquidSky said:

Hope you're not a faip at Columbus. Word is leadership doesn't get along with the faips and banned any faip mafia attire (patches, flags).

Leadership comes and goes. As a faip, you’ll outlast them. 

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On 6/11/2021 at 7:13 AM, LiquidSky said:

Hope you're not a faip at Columbus. Word is leadership doesn't get along with the faips and banned any faip mafia attire (patches, flags).

When officers who have never been a UPT IP are assigned senior leadership roles at UPT bases, dumb shit will happen and morale will suffer.

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On 6/8/2021 at 6:54 PM, brabus said:

The only way it would negatively affect you is if you’re a douche. Don’t treat the students like you’re better than them, talk down to them, etc. Give a shit about teaching them - their success is your success. Those students will be in the CAF when you get there - be the name they’re stoked to see on the inbound list, not the guy they cringe at. 

Spot on.

I was a FAIP and was lucky enough to get my first choice out of my FAIP drop.  I can't tell you how many of my former students were in my new ops squadron when I showed up.  And guess who my IPs were during my upgrades?  Those same former students.  The same little shits that couldn't start a T-6 in less than 30 minutes in the 110 degree Del Rio heat, those were the dudes teaching me how to employ my MWS. 

To answer the career question:  it won't affect you negatively one bit.  I actually think it helped me.  When I showed up to my ops squadron, I had immediate credibility because a) my former studs vouched that I wasn't a douche and b) I already had 1000 IP hours and that means something (granted this was in AMC, so YMMV in the CAF).  I was fast-tracked to upgrade and generally wasn't treated like a 5-yr old like most other co-pilots.  And the best part of it all was because I had all the IP hours and upgraded early to IP, I had a fuck ton of PIC hours which made my highly-anticipated move to the airlines just that much easier.  No ragrets!

 

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You know what’s going to win the next war? The “correct” patches worn on the “correct” days. The commies will be shitting their pants when they hear of such discipline! 

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We're going off topic here but that's the current Columbus Wing/CC priority? We're that caught up over a patch or is the general idea of FAIP culture?

I’m pretty sure it’s mostly the patches. The wing king didn’t ban faip flags. Just made them a Friday thing instead of every day.

Idk why it’s a big deal, back in my UPT stud days at DLF nobody could wear pen tabs and faips could only wear faip mafia patches on Friday. Why or when it turned into an every day thing I’m not sure.


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  • 2 weeks later...

A former Chief of Staff by the name of Gen Welsh was a T-37 IP out of SUPT. He didn't do too badly in flying fighters in his career.

Edited by alwyn2d
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Everything everyone said above.

Also, know that some of the best flying to be had in the Air Force these days is flying the line in a UPT squadron. You will never fly more with less prep work than you do there, and you will hone your airmanship and competence in the airframe to an extreme degree.  And yes it's very nice to basically check all of the boxes for your airline application in your very first assignment. 
 

One downside: if you are a guy who has their heart set on weapons school, know that you have a huge game of catch-up ahead of you. When you eventually get to your MWS you will be well behind your peers in tactical knowledge and the time window to apply will be rapidly closing as you will be a mid level captain at that point. Definitely seen it done, just know that the window of opportunity is small, and closes quickly. 

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On 6/29/2021 at 4:44 PM, Pooter said:

Everything everyone said above.

Also, know that some of the best flying to be had in the Air Force these days is flying the line in a UPT squadron. You will never fly more with less prep work than you do there, and you will hone your airmanship and competence in the airframe to an extreme degree.  And yes it's very nice to basically check all of the boxes for your airline application in your very first assignment. 
 

One downside: if you are a guy who has their heart set on weapons school, know that you have a huge game of catch-up ahead of you. When you eventually get to your MWS you will be well behind your peers in tactical knowledge and the time window to apply will be rapidly closing as you will be a mid level captain at that point. Definitely seen it done, just know that the window of opportunity is small, and closes quickly. 

True to the time window, but if you are a good dude and are willing to learn, your leadership will get you there.  96.69% of getting to the WIC is passing the bro check. I know many FAIPs who are now patches.  They were all humble and held their own. 

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