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Realistic chances for an older applicant (32)


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Looking to apply for Guard/Reserve squadrons, I’m mostly worried about my age (32 years as of August 2021). I also had LASIK in 2015 (20/20 and 20/25), so I’m guessing I’ll need waivers for them.  I work remote now so I’m open to any location and have no air frame preferences. Would getting my high performance, complex, and tailwheel endorsements help improve my chances? Thanks!

AFOQT scores: Pilot: 99 CSO:71 ABM: 97 Acad: 78 Verbal: 50 Quant: 93
PCSM: 96 (98 if I can get 200 hours)
Flight Time: Currently at 177 hours with instrument rating. Will try to get complex and high-performance endorsement by end of year.

BS Microbiology, minor biomanufacturing: 3.16
MS Analytics: 3.7

Work: Current: Vice President-Retail Credit Risk Management
Prior: a few banks, and a biotech startup
Volunteer: College alumni engagement committee for my city; U-19 soccer coach and board member of non-profit organization for low income refugee kids 2014-2016; Radio Station announcer in college

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Just keeping it real with you, almost all fighters probably won’t look at you because of age. Heavies will still be tough because typically it takes over a year to leave for UPT from getting hired, thus putting you in age waiver territory.

My advice is this, if you don’t get a slot before the end of 2021 start trying to build a very strong relationship with a squadron you really like and see if they’d consider an age waiver.

You’re in crunch time. Hope it works out for you

Sent from my iPhone using Baseops Network mobile app

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@7thokage nailed it. Fighters aren't impossible, but it's going to likely be a whole lot of hustle without much payoff that'll take you away from focusing on more viable options, so you're better off working hard on heavies. You have to start UPT before your 33rd birthday to not have a waiver and MIGHT be able to get hired with someone in the next couple months and start UPT before 33 to move forward without a waiver. However, it's likely they'd run a waiver with you in case anything proved to be a bump in the road along the way. Waivers aren't impossible, but with hiring slowed immensely, competition high, and lots of quality applicants not needing one, you certainly don't have an easy path forward.

That said, certainly more than a few of us had waivers. Granted, we were hired in a different time (pre-Covid/hiring en masse/airlines siphoning people away), so it was a very different field, but it's always worth a shot to fight hard until the last no.

Put together your apps, get them out to any and every unit you'd be willing to fly for, and keep researching and networking to gain as much info about the process to help yourself out as you can. The onerous is on you.

Good luck!


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  • 5 weeks later...

I know a guy that was a month before he turned 40 when he went to UPT ~4 years ago.  He went to a heavy Reserve unit.  

It can be done.  

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