Trying to make an informed decision

chawbein

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Hi,

Quick introduction: I am 23, almost 24 years old and live in Houston, TX. I graduated from college about a year ago with a BA in Computer Science. I currently work as a computer programmer, and am in the midst of getting my ppl. I would really like to fly for a living, if possible.

Long story short, I wanted to look at the Air National Guard and find out the requirements for getting accepted into flight training and then going from that point. What kind of time frame is involved in OCS and Pilot Training. I may seem crazy, but I would actually like to fly the C-130 over anything else.
 

Wiggums

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I believe OTS is 12 weeks if you join the Reserves. If you go into the Guard I think it's only 9 weeks. Then you'll go to UPT which takes one year. After that you'll serve two years active duty with your unit. So from OTS to when you can go part-time it's around three years.

Check out this journal written by a guy who is training as a C-130 pilot in the reserves.
 

F16fixer

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couple questions

Hey chawbein,
Have you been talking to any recruiters for getting upt slots. I've made a few calls but it seems kind of hard to find out any info on pilot slots. Was wondering if you could give me any useful info you have found. Funny thing is I'm in the military and it's still hard to find anything out! Thanks
 

chawbein

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I haven't spoken to anyone as yet. I just wanted to have my ducks in a row before I go talk to a recruiter. I know that recruiters can sometimes give you the "military double-talk", and I want to make sure I have my facts straight before I speak with someone. I will on the other hand get myself into shape to pass the flight physical, and then go speak to a recruiter in order to take the required exams and see what my scores are. Then at that point I will have to rethink. I am married and being away from home for a year and 3 months is a long time. Also, I don't want to move from Houston, and there is only a fighter wing here. As far as I know the only Texas ANG airlift wing is in Ft. Worth, and I'm pretty sure my chances of "getting in" there would be slim (my GPA in college was less than stellar). Ya see, I'm 6'5" and fitting into a fighter is next to impossible. That only leaves transports and bombers. Anyways, you get the point.

P.S. I was able to gleen some of the requirements off of Wiggums' links and off the rest of this board.
 
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Biggie

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AMS (Guard officer school) is only 6 weeks long, and recruiters don't care about hiring pilots. They only want to fill enlisted slots where the manning is short. Go to Baseops.net and look for the jobs there. There are several units hiring guys for UPT, but you kinda have to find them for yourself. Also, get the book "Fying in the Guard and Reserve" by Bob Black.Tons of info! If you guys have any more questions send me a PM and I'll explain what I can. I'm a Guard baby, by the way!
 

chawbein

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What I would really like to know is how to "get the ball rolling" on this? Who do I need to speak with first? Who do I talk with to take the AFOQT and BAT? Do I need to get an FAA Class 1 Medical? Do I need to get my PPL or is there a provision for primary flight training? Assuming I get my PPL, do I need an assload of hours? How long is each stage of UPT? How long is the training process from beginning to end, roughly? Wow, that's a helluva lot of questions!!
 

CitationCapt

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Here's what I would do

I will attempt to answer some, but not all of your questions, but realize that I have been out of the loop for some time. There are others here who can chime in with the most current trends.

Here goes:

For starters in your case, here's the 136th AW in the Texas Air Guard's website contacts. Give them a call yourself and create a path. Go visit them. Find out who the unit commander and the director of flight operations is. If your first contact is a recruiter, don't discount what they have to offer as you may be interacting with them later anyway.(See below):

http://www.tx.ang.af.mil/136/unitinfo.htm/directory.htm


1) OK- You are obtaining your Private Pilot's license. That MAY give you the edge amongst other candidates, but realize that your skills will be screened down the road (At Hondo Texas, a subcontractor once provided screening of applicants in the Cessna T-43- a 210 HP C-172) Your private license may be ink on a card, but that's it when your skills are assessed. You will not need alot of hours- just keep up your currency and maybe add an instrument rating if time allows.

2) This has worked in many, many cases AND your enlisted peers will respect you better when you have to work along side them as an officer later. Trust me on that one. Think what it is like when someone off the street slides into a AMS/UPT slot, that hardly anyone or no one in the organization personally knows? How would you feel in looking at that person?

Here's the long route. If you are looking for a short route (instant gratification), it probably does'nt exist. Enlist in the unit you want to target flying for, go to basic training ASAP with an open career field selected that should put you interacting with flight crews. Now that is a good all around way to open the door to subsequent actions, such as taking the AFOQT, applying for AMS/UPT, etc. Basic is about 6 weeks at Lackland. Tech school for your career field (say loadmaster) could be OJT (On the job training) at your unit or a few weeks up to several months like my training in flight simulators.

You can get yourself a full time job in the computer field when you get back and attend your guard driils on weekend and 15 active duty days per year while waiting for a AMS/UPT slot. The advantage of the guard and reserves is being able to have a full time career or own a business while flying weekends and the yearly active duty.

The whole AMS/UPT time frame depends on budgeted slots by fiscal year and who is in front of you, as well as those competing against you. It can take 1 year, or it can take longer. If your unit prospects are slow, then research what is going on in another unit or another state's unit. Don't confine yourself to C-130's or KC-135's or whatever at this point, because you will short list your options. Your options MAY be shortlisted at UPT. Don't do it on your own early in the game.

3) Class 1 medical- You should not need this, unless you are wanting a reading on your applicability to that standard as compared to the entry requirements for UPT. You will receive a battery of physicals prior to AMS/UPT to confirm your eligibility.

4) AMS/UPT training beginning to end- 6 week AMS, then maybe a wait for UPT slot, then 49 weeks UPT, then advanced training in the aircraft your unit flies.

Hope this helps.
 
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chawbein

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CitationCapt

Thanks for the info, your information is very helpfull. It is good to get a perspective from someone who has been on both sides (enlisted and officer). I will continue to do more research and legwork.
 

RichO

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UPT slot

Biggie hit it right on about the recruiters...they really don't know about the current situation in the squadron for pilots.......best thing to do...call the chief pilot.......oh, and buy that book...or pick yourself up an Air Force Magazine almanac..it has all the guard/reserve units in the country in it with phone numbers and what they fly........typcially, at this point you can usually get one of the squadrons to sign you off for the BAT test and AFOQT.....oh, and for GPA...no sweat........Mine wasn't anything to write home about.........they go for the big picture.....total person concept....it's not just what's on paper...but your personality and everything else......
 
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