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Guard Pilot and Family


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You’re going to piss off at least 1 of the 3, accept that, and don’t make that 1 your family. As long as you take that approach, you’ll be fine. If you’re lucky, you’ll have good leadership at both jobs and you may actually not piss off any of them, but that wouldn’t be my expectation, especially if one boss has never done the other job.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

It’s a balancing act, for sure. I have found that the more comfortable you are in the airplane (either guard/res or airline) the easier it is to juggle another one. I have witnessed many newly-winged pilots complete their unit indoc only to go immediately back to requal for their airline. The result is that they always seem to be playing catch-up, bouncing between checkrides and always feeling behind. It’s even more difficult if your MDS has lots of training requirements. Part of the business I suppose.

I’ll shoot you straight, it can be a challenge to juggle family, airline and guard…especially if/when you’re junior at either organization. It’s totally doable, but it is going to require sacrifices. (Commuting, working weekends, missing holidays, going straight from an airline trip to the guard squadron, etc.) It largely depends on how much you want to work. Some pilots I know prefer to work a full airline schedule and complete their ANG duty on days off (more pay). Others will preserve their days off and use Military Leave to drop a trip(s) (more days with the fam).

The only right answer is the one that works for you, your family and your finances. I have found in my experience that if you make a reasonable attempt to stay current/qualified, stay off the “lists” (physical, PT test, annual sim, etc.), and contribute to the needs of the flying schedule when able, no one will sweat ya if you need to lay low to handle family/airline stuff.


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  • 4 months later...
8 hours ago, Flyman said:

How is the family life balance for those that have a normal 9-5 job and commute to a heavy reserve/guard squadron?

Bad, especially commuting!! It will be marginally better if you are willing/able to drop unlimited mil leave on your employer.  9-5ers are usually missed more than gear lever actuators if they leave for a week, so I find they try to do mil without using mil leave.  Family, AF, employer. Pick two. 

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14 hours ago, nunya said:

Bad, especially commuting!! It will be marginally better if you are willing/able to drop unlimited mil leave on your employer.  9-5ers are usually missed more than gear lever actuators if they leave for a week, so I find they try to do mil without using mil leave.  Family, AF, employer. Pick two. 

Yeah I get a decent amount of mil leave per year so that should help with the employer situation. Family is number 1 so then it will just be a balancing act between the other two. 

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