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Aviation Continuation Pay (ACP - The Bonus)


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Anyone know if you can take the bonus (for your previous rated field) while in cross training into different rated field? I have heard mixed reviews and am curious if anyone has any wisdom on the matter. I've heard one argument is since your primary ADSC is still the former rating until you get new wings, you are eligible if your former career field has a bonus. On the flip side others have told me you have no shot if cross training. 

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I’ve got a good friend who took a CSO bonus with UPT orders in hand and is still receiving the CSO bonus as a pilot. That was a few years ago but I know it was possible.

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I’ve got a good friend who took a CSO bonus with UPT orders in hand and is still receiving the CSO bonus as a pilot. That was a few years ago but I know it was possible.


Speaking from experience, if I was your friend, I would be prepared to pay that money back at some point.


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They always catch ya in the end!


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Just hope it happens on AD and they don't catch you until you're in the Guard... The story is too convoluted and hard to explain in full detail, but I'll do my best to paraphrase.

Bottom line, AD finance jacked up big time and paid taxes to DFAS when they shouldn't have (overseas pay from a tax free zone). By the time they figured it out their mistake, my squadron mate had transferred to the Guard. Apparently, the AD system can't talk to the Guard system, so they couldn't simply garnish his wages.

The AD finally reached him and tried to tell him he had to pay them 10k and that he'd get it back in his taxes. He told the AD to pound sand and fix their own up. They threatened him more and he told them to pound more sand. Somewhere in there, he got his State Senator father involved. He won!

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On 1/13/2023 at 1:05 AM, Danger41 said:

I’ve got a good friend who took a CSO bonus with UPT orders in hand and is still receiving the CSO bonus as a pilot. That was a few years ago but I know it was possible.

I’ve seen this 2-3 times in the Strike Eagle world. 

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It’s financially non-sensical by a long shot to stay in and bypass years of seniority. You have to value certain intrinsic/non-monetary things far more. Nothing wrong with that, just stay in with eyes wide open and understand the long lasting ramifications of your decision as a young O-4. 
 

Spoiler: You can hit all those things in the guard, so really there actually is only one logical choice! I kid…sort of.

Edited by brabus
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1 hour ago, brabus said:

It’s financially non-sensical by a long shot to stay in and bypass years of seniority. You have to value certain intrinsic/non-monetary things far more.

Totally agree.  When I was a captain the idea of flying airlines for $$ while my bros remained in the fight was unpalatable. Getting out in 2012 was the logical financial choice, but was not what I valued.  So I stayed, got to overload on war stuff, etc.  Right call for me.

Now war’s over and there’s not a single O6 job remotely appealing, but I’m very excited about the airline world!  It’s been eye-opening to see all the other aviation paths out there as I meet folks with radically different backgrounds.  It has validated my decision to stay AF when I did: I’d have been miserable watching the team collect scalps while I fretted about 401k options.  But now door A is closed so I’m moving on.

All that to say: military pilots are a special breed and I salute each of you.  Do AGR if that works (wouldn’t have for my niche world) or get out at initial ADSC if that’s your jam, or stay if you still love it despite the warts.  Regardless of the path you choose, I recommend enough self-reflection to have no regrets.  My only regret is taking the bonus.  The money seems appealing but it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of life; when you are ready to go you want the ability to go immediately.  

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On 1/17/2023 at 12:48 PM, di1630 said:

3rd year Delta (expect other majors to bump shortly) first officer pay will be ~$210,000 per year plus profit sharing + 401k.

I’d say the USAF has some problems coming up.




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Tech pay for a Viper IP in Tucson that sits alert starts at ~$205,000 + TSP match up to 5% + profit sharing at 69%. $4k/ year pay raises each year for the first 4 years then potential for annual bonuses after that. 

Never having to say "light chop, ladies and gentlemen, ahhhhhhh..." or tell a traveler where the nearest bathroom is in an airport you've never been to...priceless.

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7 hours ago, Magnum said:

Tech pay for a Viper IP in Tucson that sits alert starts at ~$205,000 + TSP match up to 5% + profit sharing at 69%. $4k/ year pay raises each year for the first 4 years then potential for annual bonuses after that. 

Never having to say "light chop, ladies and gentlemen, ahhhhhhh..." or tell a traveler where the nearest bathroom is in an airport you've never been to...priceless.

 

 

You had me until you said "tech that sits alert."   Woof!

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On 1/20/2023 at 12:01 AM, Magnum said:

Tech pay for a Viper IP in Tucson that sits alert starts at ~$205,000 + TSP match up to 5% + profit sharing at 69%. $4k/ year pay raises each year for the first 4 years then potential for annual bonuses after that. 

Never having to say "light chop, ladies and gentlemen, ahhhhhhh..." or tell a traveler where the nearest bathroom is in an airport you've never been to...priceless.

I don’t disagree. Sounds like a great gig. Delta is hiring a couple hundred a month. AZANG? Lots of dudes will have to settle for Delta instead of GS-13.

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55 minutes ago, nunya said:

Lots of dudes will have to settle for Delta instead of GS-13

Yes, “settle.” As a “169% sure I would never want to be a lame airline pilot” Capt, I’m here to say Capt me was horribly misinformed and misguided.

Based on my experience, lots of young Maj and earlier types think being a GS-13 flying fighters until 55 is the holy grail. Turns out only a few guys in the entire ARC think that way as they actually get older, and I’m glad to have the few that go that route and still contribute. Say all this to the younger guys - there’s about a 98% chance you will not feel that way after a year or two into the ARC, so plan accordingly for life after full time AF pilot. 

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^^^ spot on. I did 21+ yrs AD and while I loved it, I now wish I had joined airlines sooner and done reserves.

I disregarded airline guys and now I’ve got a hint of jealousy for my old peers who played it smarter, still fly jets part time and earn $100k more per year working less.






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Also, a common misguidance is “well I just don’t need that much money.” Totally agree, but what you will value for sure is an exceptionally large increase in QOL (with ability to choose whenever you want to give up some off days to make all that money to pay cash for the kitchen remodel your wife wants). I significantly underestimated QOL gains, it’s a real thing that just can’t be realized until you break free of the only work life you’ve known since you were 18-22ish. 

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Thoughts on having AD retirement safety net instead of hustling ANG?


Who says you can’t have both?

Do your 11-12 years AD.

Join ARC unit.

Get hired by airline.

Drill with unit, go on a deployment or two, sit alert. Upgrade. Go to in residence PME. Whatever to mitigate first year pay and get orders. MEST, whatever.

Fly the line for year two at the airline. Continue to chip away at AD time until you’re close to or over the 15 year AD mark.

Seek out a temp AGR or ADOS tour. Flying, non-flying. Doesn’t matter. There’s a lot out there, especially if you’re willing to move. There’s probably a need at your own unit the way things are going now. If you’re willing to work and you have the qualifications they are willing to give you the chance.

Get to 20 active. It’ll probably take you 25 years of total service to make it happen. Go back to year 6-9 pay at your airline with an AD retirement safety net for the next economic downturn.







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Who says you can’t have both?

Do your 11-12 years AD.

Join ARC unit.

Get hired by airline.

Drill with unit, go on a deployment or two, sit alert. Upgrade. Go to in residence PME. Whatever to mitigate first year pay and get orders. MEST, whatever.

Fly the line for year two at the airline. Continue to chip away at AD time until you’re close to or over the 15 year AD mark.

Seek out a temp AGR or ADOS tour. Flying, non-flying. Doesn’t matter. There’s a lot out there, especially if you’re willing to move. There’s probably a need at your own unit the way things are going now. If you’re willing to work and you have the qualifications they are willing to give you the chance.

Get to 20 active. It’ll probably take you 25 years of total service to make it happen. Go back to year 6-9 pay at your airline with an AD retirement safety net for the next economic downturn.







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Congrats on getting into the check of the month club!


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14 hours ago, Scooter14 said:

 


Who says you can’t have both?

Do your 11-12 years AD.

Join ARC unit.

Get hired by airline.

Drill with unit, go on a deployment or two, sit alert. Upgrade. Go to in residence PME. Whatever to mitigate first year pay and get orders. MEST, whatever.

Fly the line for year two at the airline. Continue to chip away at AD time until you’re close to or over the 15 year AD mark.

Seek out a temp AGR or ADOS tour. Flying, non-flying. Doesn’t matter. There’s a lot out there, especially if you’re willing to move. There’s probably a need at your own unit the way things are going now. If you’re willing to work and you have the qualifications they are willing to give you the chance.

Get to 20 active. It’ll probably take you 25 years of total service to make it happen. Go back to year 6-9 pay at your airline with an AD retirement safety net for the next economic downturn.







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You forgot to mention “hang out with cool USN and USMC buds in the CAOC”.  
ATIS 

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You forgot to mention “hang out with cool USN and USMC buds in the CAOC”.  
ATIS 


Do I get joint credit for that?

It’s funny, two of the last sets of orders I took brought me to AOCs (607 and 609) and both of them allowed me to have a beer with people from this community.

Just another reason to put yourself out there and find something out of the ordinary to participate in.







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1 hour ago, Scooter14 said:

 


Do I get joint credit for that?

It’s funny, two of the last sets of orders I took brought me to AOCs (607 and 609) and both of them allowed me to have a beer with people from this community.

Just another reason to put yourself out there and find something out of the ordinary to participate in.







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No Joint Credit, just bragging rights and a place in DC to crash and drink beer whenever you are in town. 
 

ATIS

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