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-   -   If not aviation, then what? (https://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=1704710)

Mustard 03-22-2021 3:27 PM

If not aviation, then what?
 
Last year I joined the CA Army National Guard, under the premise i'd be an officer and branch into aviation. Generally speaking, my recruiter + chain of command at the time didn't discourage me from that idea. The path was described as "go to basic, commission as officer, get into aviation". No aviation specific testing, boards, or physicals between now and commissioning were mentioned.

Months to a year later, I'm beginning to hear from various sources (chain of command and other) that branching aviation at my age is close to impossible (cutoff is 32,i am older than that), and that i should have had tests/ boards/ physicals done.

Despite this new and discouraging perspective, i'd still like to try to get into aviation, and i'd rather be told "no" wherever the buck stops, rather than accept the word of my chain of command.

Does anyone here have experience getting into CAARNG aviation with no prior flight/ military experience, and would you be willing to share that experience with me?

Also, I'd like to open the floor to suggestions besides aviation. Give me the elevator pitch on what other branches have to offer; bonus points for job/ career options with geographic flexibility upon getting out (I.T. for example)

Unit74 03-22-2021 3:39 PM

You got Rick rolled by the Man. Seriously. When I went through, I had to do all the aviation testing at MEPS up front. I suggest you use the VA benefits after you get your private if you still want to fly. The big green weenie strikes again, sucker. And the jokes on you.

Mustard 03-22-2021 4:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unit74 (Post 25583683)
You got Rick rolled by the Man. Seriously. When I went through, I had to do all the aviation testing at MEPS up front. I suggest you use the VA benefits after you get your private if you still want to fly. The big green weenie strikes again, sucker. And the jokes on you.

Haha, wondered how long it would take for a reply like that to come through.

Yeah, figured on using benefits for flight school as a backup, even though i'd miss out on the experiences flying for the military

M1NM 03-22-2021 5:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25583964)
even though i'd miss out on the experiences flying for the military

Most of those are really bus driver jobs. Very few where the fun in in direct proportion to pounds of fuel burned.

Oceanbob 03-22-2021 7:24 PM

Age is a factor but having a pilots license with lots of hours and type ratings,
CFII....first class medical certificate then you might get in. The GUB MINT
doesnít want to spend a million training you. (or more)

Plus they donít like it when you bail out of the service to take an airline job...

Bob

sbo80 03-22-2021 7:45 PM

The majority of Army aviation is rotary, and a good majority of Army flight crew are Warrant officers, not Commissioned officers. I was the wrong branch, but I've never heard of anyone "ending up" in aviation in the Guard that wasn't already on that track to start - as in had your medicals, testing, OTS scheduled ("Officer basic" is a totally different school than "regular basic"), and flight school scheduled. Now there is a waiver for everything, including age, but you'd need some major pull to get one. Such as getting hired/recruited directly by an existing aviation unit that wants to sponsor you through school.

Mustard 03-22-2021 10:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oceanbob (Post 25584588)
Age is a factor but having a pilots license with lots of hours and type ratings,
CFII....first class medical certificate then you might get in. The GUB MINT
doesnít want to spend a million training you. (or more)

Plus they donít like it when you bail out of the service to take an airline job...

Bob

I see the logic, but I don't see how my age makes me non-flight worth. I could just as easily bail out of the service as a youngin' vs as an old man. But then again, who said the army is a logical place? :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbo80 (Post 25584668)
The majority of Army aviation is rotary, and a good majority of Army flight crew are Warrant officers, not Commissioned officers. I was the wrong branch, but I've never heard of anyone "ending up" in aviation in the Guard that wasn't already on that track to start - as in had your medicals, testing, OTS scheduled ("Officer basic" is a totally different school than "regular basic"), and flight school scheduled.

Yeah, I was expecting rotary. I agree the aviation track starts somewhere, but I was led to believe that one place it starts was through what I was doing; Warrant Officer was something I was told I should get if I wanted to keep flying instead of getting promoted into a desk once I/d reached O-3.

OTS? Do you mean OCS, as in officer candidate school?

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbo80 (Post 25584668)
Now there is a waiver for everything, including age, but you'd need some major pull to get one. Such as getting hired/recruited directly by an existing aviation unit that wants to sponsor you through school.

Now we're talking solutions :thumbsup: It sounds like networking is my next best option.

Snoopy47 03-22-2021 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25583628)
The path was described as "go to basic, commission as officer, get into aviation".

Are you at least an OFFICER?

If so count your blessings.

Didn't you have a unit and Branch you were going to go into as an officer. Where did you think you were going to end up? I thought every NG and USAR officer KNOWS what unit they are going into and they are placed in a slot on the Unit Manning Report.

Now, I understand you might not know what I'm talking about, but still, there must have been a unit that was working with your recruiter to get you to OCS. What kind of unit was that? Was it at least an Aviation unit?

************

That all said I'll presume you are a 2LT now and have not gone to BOLC yet. If you did go to BOLC then that's that, that's your branch until you make CPT.

So if you are a 2LT in a unit they have you sitting in a slot, what branch is that slot? I think you have a hard road ahead trying to get into another branch that is outside of your unit. They will be annoyed enough you want to move from your slot before BOLC, but if at least the branch slot you want to go to belongs to your higher commander at least you won't fall off his roster.

*************

Now, what I have observed (in the reserves anyway) is there is no preferred Branch or MOS. The OPTEMPO of you unit is what's going to drive your insanity. There is also a danger of being placed into a position of visibility that carries a lot of operational planning, mission execution and no support to get it done correctly. You'll spend all your time hoping the house of cards doesn't collapse on your watch.

I'm spending my career focus trying to avoid getting crushed while at the same time navigating into positions that are cake, but on paper look good and follow career progression and promotion. However, that carries risk as well because command teams change. The army pulls individuals for mobilizations and you can still find yourself down range completely out of your depth and no where to run.

***********

So if you find yourself in a boring position, but still able to knock out your professional military education required for promotion, able to pass ACFT, and get regular meets the mark evaluations count your blessings.

The only places that are easy to transfer into are usually the ones desperate for company level leadership and have a high OPTEMPO. There you will get chewed up and spit out until the next starry eyed LT rolls out of OCS/BOLC.

Snoopy47 03-22-2021 10:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25585181)
Now we're talking solutions :thumbsup: It sounds like networking is my next best option.

Who are you planning on networking with? The Gov?

Waivers are going to be given in proximity of how much you bring to the table. A guy over age with zero flight training probably isn't going to get a waiver without some astronomically high intervention way outside the regulation guidelines.

It will have to be your singular focus and mission in life to become a military pilot.

***********
I got a waiver because of my age. I needed it for 6 months, but by then I cleared all the medicals, all the selection boards, met all the education commission requirements and I was going into a Branch that was greatly undermanned.

All the boxes were checked. All I literally needed was a waiver to close the issue of my age. Selecting me didn't push anyone else out of the slot, because they were never going to fill all the slots anyway. The risk was minimal to the USAR.

Milsurp1 03-22-2021 10:58 PM

Are you already commissioned? What slot are you in currently?

Mustard 03-23-2021 10:45 AM

Not currently an officer. Currently in OCS.

I did not/do not have a unit with the NG besides the unit I drilled with twice before I went to basic, and my current OCS class.

Networking: I have one POC I've known for years who's in the NG. Not aviation, but at least I can trust him and his experience. Also there's another officer candidate who is doing the aviation route (successfully), so I can talk to him.

As far as bringing things to the table, I have engineering degrees, and I'm not a PT train wreck like it seems so many others are, and fairly flexible in terms of time commitments.

Honestly, my impression is that there's been very little interaction with me regarding career progression (i.e. scheduling boards, physicals, other foundational stuff) besides 1) go to MEPS 2) go to basic 3) go to OCS. Hand wavy optimism is mostly what I get, and since I don't know the process I trust people who are supposed to (recruiter). I learned the concept of AIT on my own, and only recently have I even heard the term BOLC.

Snoopy47 03-23-2021 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25586566)
Hand wavy optimism is mostly what I get, and since I don't know the process I trust people who are supposed to (recruiter). I learned the concept of AIT on my own, and only recently have I even heard the term BOLC.

Holy Christ.................

OK, I'm USAR and can't say I know NG, but I suspect you are on someone's personnel roster.

If you fail out of OCS someone is going to have to account for that. Who is that commander that cares if you pass OCS or not?

If you drilled with a unit previously, and you got PAID while with that unit, and you SIGNED an attendance roster that had a printed space with a line next to your name to sign you didn't hand jam your name THEN YOU ARE ON THEIR BOOKS that is your unit.

You need to find a NG officer mentor. I'm not that guy because I'm USAR.

ASAP

I'm am guessing once an NG officer gets out of OCS and returns to his unit, that unit will be in a rush to send said 2LT off to BOLC ASAP. Otherwise, a 2LT that goes more than 1.5 years without BOLC misses the 1LT promotion time line, and at 2 years without BOLC they can be kicked out (USAR anyway, maybe the CANG is more lax).

What I'm getting at is I highly doubt you are going to find an aviation path before that deadline for BOLC comes up.

Without BOLC you cannot be deployed. You have no branch or any professional qualifications to call yourself a qualified leader. Yea, you have rank, but you are non deployable without BOLC, and no one is going to waive that. They will kick you out first.

*******
Finally............ if you truly don't have a Branch and slot currently, then you better hustle to find one. I'm betting once you get out of OCS and to a unit it's going to be picked for you.

Commanders are not going to wait for you to float around without completing BOLC.

Snoopy47 03-23-2021 6:46 PM

This is a complete failing of your unit.

I must remember to not push this kind of stuff back on the "new guy".

I am the sponsor for a brand new college grad 2LT from ROTC, and he doesn't even have a military ID CAC, nor a military e-mail. So I'm constantly trying to be ahead of this guy's needs because he doesn't know what he needs.

Last thing I want is him showing up to BOLC (oh crap, he doesn't even have a Government Travel Card and he cant get a flight to BOLC without one, so it's just another thing that he needs) without uniforms, without CAC ID and without a Military E-mail.

kwest10 03-23-2021 7:17 PM

Like Unit74 said in so many words...
Get your private pilot lic on VA benies. Get some flight hours and look into CBP AMO (Air Marine Ops). Running surveillance or interdictions all day

Mustard 03-23-2021 9:04 PM

Snoopy47, PM sent.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kwest10 (Post 25588614)
Like Unit74 said in so many words...
Get your private pilot lic on VA benies. Get some flight hours and look into CBP AMO (Air Marine Ops). Running surveillance or interdictions all day

I can dig it.

In the mean time, I wonder if I should drop out of OCS because why put myself through all the hassle if I don't get my career of choice, or let it play and see where it takes me but take comfort that I'm only in for 5 more years + 2 IRR. I do see some valuable experiences, learning opportunities, and personal development by finishing OCS, but I'm running out of f---s to give about that kind of stuff. I was looking up MOS's yesterday and saw 12D Diver, which sounds cool because I scuba dive, but then I saw some random review by another 12D say "I picked it because I heard it was hard" and without giving it anymore serious thought I was like "nope".

Snoopy47 03-24-2021 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25589002)
I wonder if I should drop out of OCS......

Don't to that, just don't.

You'll trap yourself. Right now it sounds like you have room to pick from a short list and be an officer. So everything below CW5 is not your problem. If you bail, you will at best be a SPC and everything above SGT will crap on you, especially as a OCS drop out.

You have already locked in a commitment to the NG, if you bail out of OCS then they are not going to be happy, and they are not going to open a path for you to take your time and pick a job that seems to be your liking.

Ironically (and please guys chime in if you disagree), your MOS/BRANCH in the NG/USAR is not going to be what makes or breaks you. You can have the coolest MOS in the world but your unit, mission, and constant rotation for orders can suck balls to the end of the world.

You could be in the lamest of all MOS/Branches and coast all the way up the food chain on easy street.

I sent you a PM.

In general, it sounds like you were sold a bill of goods, and luckily you can deal with the BS of the NG as an officer. All you are going to do by trying to back out of your path now is end up having to deal with the BS as an E4.

Mustard 03-24-2021 1:29 PM

Don't quit OCS b/c I'll end up screwing myself worse... yeah I can see that. But I definitely need to have a suitable "why am I here" waiting for me on the other side. In general my requirements are:

-serve country/community/challenge myself
-do something cool
-open up the possibility of second career (outside of engineering) in a growth market, or even a trade
-hopefully not wear out my body while doing it. Being "in" in your late 30s is hell on the joints :D

Aviation seemed like a cool play to make. Something like IT or cyber warfare sounds like another option. Hell, even carpentry/plumbing would fit the bill, even though there's less glamour in it than being a helo-driver.

SnWnMe 03-24-2021 7:14 PM

What about aviation maintenance?

CaliforniaCowboy 03-24-2021 7:27 PM

The recruiter will promise you the moon. Then when pressed they will tell you you can "work your way up to it".

I remember back in the day I was talking to the army guys and I had already been doing private pilot training on my own and would have had my license by the time I signed up. I wanted to get into the flight program for helicopters. They told me as long as I passed tests and such it would not be a problem enlisting straight in as a warrant officer and getting trained to fly. I think the cut-off age was (to the best of my memory) 28. But of course, there are always waivers you can try to apply for to get past the age limits.

Unfortunately, this was just after I first injured my back and thought it had healed itself up, I had a relapse and had to give up that idea, No way I would have made it through boot camp having to run and climb and jump, even though I was in amazing physical shape just months earlier. So that never happened. That was just after 9/11 when I was trying to join up and I was just shy of that age cutoff.

I would keep probing and try to find the right guy to contact to get you in. I do not know how it works in the National Guard, isn't there some way you can just fill out an application for the flight program? Hell even if you can not get straight in maybe you could get on a flight crew (Non-Pilot) then make some connections with people there to help get you moved up to some flight training.

sbo80 03-24-2021 9:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25590528)
your MOS/BRANCH in the NG/USAR is not going to be what makes or breaks you. You can have the coolest MOS in the world but your unit, mission, and constant rotation for orders can suck balls to the end of the world.

this times 10 million percent. Even fighter pilots are constantly undermanned because not enough stay around. And it's not cause they go to the airlines, that's actually much less common than you'd think.

Oxnard_Montalvo 03-25-2021 5:02 AM

When you say 'do something cool' I think you misunderstand the basic function of an officer vs most [E1- E6] enlisted personnel. The enlisted guys and girls are the 'hands on' people, the people who 'tote that barge and lift that bale', the people who actually operate all of the various 'toys' that the military procures. Officers [for the most part] are the managers and planners, the 'behind the scenes' guys and girls who make sure that the unit [no matter what the size] is ready to accomplish whatever mission the unit is assigned. Rarely are they the 'hands on' people who operate the 'toys' that the military has. The obvious exception to this is military aviation where officers operate the aircraft. Sure, I've seen a few officers who would come over and run a bulldozer or an apc for a little while but they were pretty rare. Yes, there are units where officers do whatever the enlisted guys do [Special Forces is a good example] so if you want to do 'something cool' pick wisely because if you don't it will 'suck balls till the end of the world' as Snoopy47 so eloquently put it...

BigStiCK 03-25-2021 5:35 AM

Just a heads up: I used my GI Bill to fund my Private/Instrument/Commercial Fixed Wing & Helo Add-ons. If you really want to fly it can be done. There is lotsa great flying outside the military.
:)

Wildcat19 03-25-2021 7:38 AM

Get your commercial tickets and then fly transport in Asia/Indonesia to build time. The DoD is fast becoming social justice warriors. I'd punch out of the Armed Services (unless you are within reach of retirement - Maybe stay). The majority of Air Warriors I know retire and don't go to the airlines. Flying in the military isn't as glamorous as you may think.

Snoopy47 03-25-2021 9:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaliforniaCowboy (Post 25592453)
I do not know how it works in the National Guard, isn't there some way you can just fill out an application for the flight program?

His problem is he's in OCS now, and in weeks will be a 2LT without a Branch or specialization. Until then, he's not deployable. So there's going to be push from all directions from those with other agendas to get that 2LT Branch Qualified and out the door.

Snoopy47 03-25-2021 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25591204)
In general my requirements are:

-serve country/community/challenge myself
-do something cool
-open up the possibility of second career (outside of engineering) in a growth market, or even a trade
-hopefully not wear out my body while doing it. Being "in" in your late 30s is hell on the joints :D

Aviation seemed like a cool play to make. Something like IT or cyber warfare sounds like another option. Hell, even carpentry/plumbing would fit the bill, even though there's less glamour in it than being a helo-driver.


I think we all got sucked into the Duty to County and the Uniform bling. The reality is we are basically like the DMV but with guns.

Second Career: I had hoped for that. I even got a TS/SCI clearance when I entered as an Intel Analyst. That never opened up. Because well, of the entire intel community of the CIA, DIA, FBI, etc, the military is at the bottom of the food chain and the CIA is taping Harvard grads, not Army idiots that are E4's.

Wearing out the body. Always keep that in the back of your head. I went through basic training at 39. I didn't have an officer path in front of me at the time. The best chance to not jack up your body will be as an officer.

***********
After 2 years I finally could be in a position to kiss the right *****es and start the Direct Commission path. Being an Intel Analyst at the time I thought I would be a Military Intelligence Officer. Sounds Cool right?

Soooo, I didn't get selected and I ended up wasting an entire year.

I had to try again the following year. See, there were only 12 military intel officer vacancies at the time. Those slots go to those coming off active duty, ROTC, or folks that get picked up for OCS. Then at the end of that, Direct Commission positions might get them. That vacancy has to be OPEN the entire 12 months during the application process.

I didn't know that my first attempt. By the second time I applied I picked my branch based on the number of Vacancies. There were TWO HUNDRED Jr Officer vacancies for Logistics in California alone. I knew for a FACT the USAR was NEVER EVER going to fill all of those.

Poof I got it, and here I am finally as a Quartermaster CPT in Logistics, and I-R-O-N-I-C-A-L-L-Y the ORIGINAL PATHWAY I walked into my recruiter with.

**************
But once I signed that contract as an E4 Intel Analyst, stepped off the bus at Basic Training I was hit with a reality of WHAT THE HELL HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO.

Then I had a period of time of thinking well at least I have a TS/SCI clearance and all the cool jobs I'm going to get when I finish training and get back to my USAR unit.

That never happened. The USAR in those early years derailed more job opportunities then I can count.

Then I get deployed. I find myself as an extra intel analyst no one asked for and get bounced around to a SF team as an additional analyst outside the wire. I find myself pulling guard duty and about crap my pants when a Technical Truck with a 50 cal in the back stops at our gate and two guys in black ski masks dismount with RPG's.

WTF MAN!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm an Intel Analyst with an entire SF team sleeping soundly and I'M THE IDIOT THAT'S GOING TO DO FIRST CONTACT??????

Anyway............. nothing happened (turned out they were AFG military, but those are the guys you never know if they will turn on you).

But every damn morning I had the watch the mosques would fire up the PA's with their morning chants and I would wonder how the F did I end up here in this watch tower with a 249.

*********
Where am I going with this............

The times you are in the weakest position with your military service are the times you just start something new. For me, that was when I was a new Intel Analyst, and the clock started all over again when I became a 2LT.

Next week is my 10th year. Nearly TEN YEARS ago to the day you can find a CalGuns post of mine all starry eyed like the OP with frustrations and hopes.

I'm in the strongest position I have ever been since I joined, and probably ever will be. Come May I could go into the IRR since I will have finally reached 6 years as an officer. Then spend 2 more not drilling and just basically turn my back to it all.

This summer however, I will have completed the Captains Career Course, basically green lighting me for Major. I will be the kind of CPT the USAR wants, one that is filly trained in all aspects of his career level and with no flags for weight or PT.

But I'm also in a position to just TURN MY BACK AND WALK AWAY without having to make my case or plead to a higher authority to release me.

I literally am scared to death of being the rank of MAJ. I'm not scared of MAJs. I'm scare of being one.

I don't indent to walk away from this, and I hope to position myself in my career without stepping on another landmine. But it took 10 years to get there, and while I "think" I might want to go back into Intel, and while I could play that card given the reason above, it could start the clock over again at least another 2 years.

So I have to think about the next move, and the exit door I move to the right if I try and change course.

Mustard 03-25-2021 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbo80 (Post 25592909)
this times 10 million percent. Even fighter pilots are constantly undermanned because not enough stay around. And it's not cause they go to the airlines, that's actually much less common than you'd think.

Not going to airlines? Leaving for the airlines is the line I've been fed, and read about in the news when people talk pilot shortages. Where do the pilots go, if not a cushy and lucrative airline job?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oxnard_Montalvo (Post 25593415)
When you say 'do something cool' I think you misunderstand the basic function of an officer vs most [E1- E6] enlisted personnel. The enlisted guys and girls are the 'hands on' people, the people who 'tote that barge and lift that bale', the people who actually operate all of the various 'toys' that the military procures. Officers [for the most part] are the managers and planners, the 'behind the scenes' guys and girls who make sure that the unit [no matter what the size] is ready to accomplish whatever mission the unit is assigned. Rarely are they the 'hands on' people who operate the 'toys' that the military has. The obvious exception to this is military aviation where officers operate the aircraft.

"Something cool" to me means I am physically operating cool piece of equipment (e.g. helicopter, armor, and to a lesser degree artillery/mortars. That's in order of decreasing coolness; I'm open to someone changing my mind). That's why I wanted to go aviation. I admit I don't have the depth of experience to know which MOS's allow O-1's to get hands on.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wildcat19 (Post 25593774)
Get your commercial tickets and then fly transport in Asia/Indonesia to build time. The DoD is fast becoming social justice warriors. I'd punch out of the Armed Services (unless you are within reach of retirement - Maybe stay). The majority of Air Warriors I know retire and don't go to the airlines. Flying in the military isn't as glamorous as you may think.

Meaning I would pursue a commercial pilot's license on my own (GI bill), and fly cargo planes full of rubber dog **** out of Hong Kong? https://media.tenor.com/images/e917d...3a8a/tenor.gif

In my civilian job, I mostly work project management. Maybe 1-2 days out of the month do I get to put my hands on and operate equipment. I also work with electronics technicians who solder stuff, make boards and cables, build equipment enclosures, and their job looks way more fun than mine does. I was hoping I could find some semblance of that balance of coolness and responsibility as a butter bar, and we'd see where it took me by the time my contract was up. I hope that helps provide some insight to my intentions.

Thank you all for your points of view. Keep it coming :thumbsup:

Mustard 03-25-2021 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25594282)
His problem is he's in OCS now, and in weeks will be a 2LT without a Branch or specialization. Until then, he's not deployable. So there's going to be push from all directions from those with other agendas to get that 2LT Branch Qualified and out the door.

Quite a bit more than :twoweeks:, actually. More like over a year. Sorry if I gave you that impression. Still, I'd like to have a path forward nailed down before next drill, even if it's just mental gymnastics to convince myself that my dream MOS is still out there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25594547)
Where am I going with this............

The times you are in the weakest position with your military service are the times you just start something new. For me, that was when I was a new Intel Analyst, and the clock started all over again when I became a 2LT.

Next week is my 10th year. Nearly TEN YEARS ago to the day you can find a CalGuns post of mine all starry eyed like the OP with frustrations and hopes.

I'm in the strongest position I have ever been since I joined, and probably ever will be. Come May I could go into the IRR since I will have finally reached 6 years as an officer. Then spend 2 more not drilling and just basically turn my back to it all.

This summer however, I will have completed the Captains Career Course, basically green lighting me for Major. I will be the kind of CPT the USAR wants, one that is filly trained in all aspects of his career level and with no flags for weight or PT.

But I'm also in a position to just TURN MY BACK AND WALK AWAY without having to make my case or plead to a higher authority to release me.

I literally am scared to death of being the rank of MAJ. I'm not scared of MAJs. I'm scare of being one.

I don't indent to walk away from this, and I hope to position myself in my career without stepping on another landmine. But it took 10 years to get there, and while I "think" I might want to go back into Intel, and while I could play that card given the reason above, it could start the clock over again at least another 2 years.

So I have to think about the next move, and the exit door I move to the right if I try and change course.

Are you me in 6-10 years?

Snoopy47 03-25-2021 6:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25594649)
Are you me in 6-10 years?

No, you are me in 6-10 years.

However, you hilariously might still be a LT because the NG only promotes when there are slots to promote into, and from what I hear people fat and happy just stay put.

In the USAR, you either promote (officers at least) or you are out. Officers that don't have any enlisted service time basically need to make it to LTC or they don't make it to the 20 year retirement horizon.

There is a guy in my unit that jumped from the NG into the USAR. He is NINE YEARS!!!!!!!!!! time in grade as a LT, but he'll finally make CPT now.

I made CPT in 5.5 years after I commissioned in the USAR.

Snoopy47 03-25-2021 6:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25594649)
More like over a year. Sorry if I gave you that impression.

I thought OCS was 12 weeks, and Basic was 9. Where does a "year" come into play? If you add BOLC at around 16 weeks then your still around 40 give or take a few weeks between classes.

I thought the process was 9 weeks Basic, then 12 weeks OCS right after that. Then you are sent home to your unit, and they look for a BOLC school for you (this is where you want to pick your branch if you can).

Mustard 03-25-2021 6:59 PM

@Snoopy47
PM sent

Lonestargrizzly 03-26-2021 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25594547)
I think we all got sucked into the Duty to County and the Uniform bling. The reality is we are basically like the DMV but with guns.

Second Career: I had hoped for that. I even got a TS/SCI clearance when I entered as an Intel Analyst. That never opened up. Because well, of the entire intel community of the CIA, DIA, FBI, etc, the military is at the bottom of the food chain and the CIA is taping Harvard grads, not Army idiots that are E4's.

Wearing out the body. Always keep that in the back of your head. I went through basic training at 39. I didn't have an officer path in front of me at the time. The best chance to not jack up your body will be as an officer.

***********
After 2 years I finally could be in a position to kiss the right *****es and start the Direct Commission path. Being an Intel Analyst at the time I thought I would be a Military Intelligence Officer. Sounds Cool right?

Soooo, I didn't get selected and I ended up wasting an entire year.

I had to try again the following year. See, there were only 12 military intel officer vacancies at the time. Those slots go to those coming off active duty, ROTC, or folks that get picked up for OCS. Then at the end of that, Direct Commission positions might get them. That vacancy has to be OPEN the entire 12 months during the application process.

I didn't know that my first attempt. By the second time I applied I picked my branch based on the number of Vacancies. There were TWO HUNDRED Jr Officer vacancies for Logistics in California alone. I knew for a FACT the USAR was NEVER EVER going to fill all of those.

Poof I got it, and here I am finally as a Quartermaster CPT in Logistics, and I-R-O-N-I-C-A-L-L-Y the ORIGINAL PATHWAY I walked into my recruiter with.

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But once I signed that contract as an E4 Intel Analyst, stepped off the bus at Basic Training I was hit with a reality of WHAT THE HELL HAVE I GOT MYSELF INTO.

Then I had a period of time of thinking well at least I have a TS/SCI clearance and all the cool jobs I'm going to get when I finish training and get back to my USAR unit.

That never happened. The USAR in those early years derailed more job opportunities then I can count.

Then I get deployed. I find myself as an extra intel analyst no one asked for and get bounced around to a SF team as an additional analyst outside the wire. I find myself pulling guard duty and about crap my pants when a Technical Truck with a 50 cal in the back stops at our gate and two guys in black ski masks dismount with RPG's.

WTF MAN!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm an Intel Analyst with an entire SF team sleeping soundly and I'M THE IDIOT THAT'S GOING TO DO FIRST CONTACT??????

Anyway............. nothing happened (turned out they were AFG military, but those are the guys you never know if they will turn on you).

But every damn morning I had the watch the mosques would fire up the PA's with their morning chants and I would wonder how the F did I end up here in this watch tower with a 249.

*********
Where am I going with this............

The times you are in the weakest position with your military service are the times you just start something new. For me, that was when I was a new Intel Analyst, and the clock started all over again when I became a 2LT.

Next week is my 10th year. Nearly TEN YEARS ago to the day you can find a CalGuns post of mine all starry eyed like the OP with frustrations and hopes.

I'm in the strongest position I have ever been since I joined, and probably ever will be. Come May I could go into the IRR since I will have finally reached 6 years as an officer. Then spend 2 more not drilling and just basically turn my back to it all.

This summer however, I will have completed the Captains Career Course, basically green lighting me for Major. I will be the kind of CPT the USAR wants, one that is filly trained in all aspects of his career level and with no flags for weight or PT.

But I'm also in a position to just TURN MY BACK AND WALK AWAY without having to make my case or plead to a higher authority to release me.

I literally am scared to death of being the rank of MAJ. I'm not scared of MAJs. I'm scare of being one.

I don't indent to walk away from this, and I hope to position myself in my career without stepping on another landmine. But it took 10 years to get there, and while I "think" I might want to go back into Intel, and while I could play that card given the reason above, it could start the clock over again at least another 2 years.

So I have to think about the next move, and the exit door I move to the right if I try and change course.

With one year in my advice to OP is: just finish OCS.

My advice to Sir Snoopy: just make Major. You obviously arenít a failure or a dirtbag or unqualified. If you are confident that you can serve your troops, doesnít it worry you that by going IRR, the troops that you could serve may not get the level of service that you can provide? I mean you were a company commander as a 1LT, now youíre a Captain, Id imagine that youre still at Company level. You know how many lives you effect, and Im sure that youíve effected them positively. Imagine being able to effect more lives in a positive way?

Sent from a PFC that hopes to OCS some day.

sbo80 03-26-2021 1:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mustard (Post 25594615)
Not going to airlines? Leaving for the airlines is the line I've been fed, and read about in the news when people talk pilot shortages. Where do the pilots go, if not a cushy and lucrative airline job?

I don't know why that idea sticks around. That's like 1985 logic. Airlines are neither cushy, nor lucrative. Pilot unions enforce a last-in first-out system. Anytime there's a slowdown, new guys are furloughed. I flew with a handful of guys who came BACK into Reserves because they were all furloughed from the airlines and unemployed. Airline pay blows until you make captain on the big jets. And nobody starts there, even military pilots. Anybody that leaves the military and moves to an airline takes a pay cut. And new guys are the last that get to pick routes/schedules, so you can expect years of red-eye crappy routes into Omaha. It's all much much worse if you don't have an ATP and only get on with a regional airline instead of one of the majors. I only know a couple guys who've gone to airlines, everyone else does something else. Anything else. I know guys who are financial advisors, work at a wind energy company, start their own business, etc. My former commander, who made full Colonel and ran a Nuclear Bomber Wing, retired and got a job at Target designing training programs for new hires. I used my degree and got an engineering job, though at the company whose products I formerly flew which was instrumental in me getting hired there. When I was job searching I interviewed for a position at a plant that manufactured mozzarella cheese (turns out one major company sells the same cheese to Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. Add that fact to all the pizza threads).

Lonestargrizzly 03-26-2021 1:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sbo80 (Post 25597146)
I don't know why that idea sticks around. That's like 1985 logic. Airlines are neither cushy, nor lucrative. Pilot unions enforce a last-in first-out system. Anytime there's a slowdown, new guys are furloughed. I flew with a handful of guys who came BACK into Reserves because they were all furloughed from the airlines and unemployed. Airline pay blows until you make captain on the big jets. And nobody starts there, even military pilots. Anybody that leaves the military and moves to an airline takes a pay cut. And new guys are the last that get to pick routes/schedules, so you can expect years of red-eye crappy routes into Omaha. It's all much much worse if you don't have an ATP and only get on with a regional airline instead of one of the majors. I only know a couple guys who've gone to airlines, everyone else does something else. Anything else. I know guys who are financial advisors, work at a wind energy company, start their own business, etc. My former commander, who made full Colonel and ran a Nuclear Bomber Wing, retired and got a job at Target designing training programs for new hires. I used my degree and got an engineering job, though at the company whose products I formerly flew which was instrumental in me getting hired there. When I was job searching I interviewed for a position at a plant that manufactured mozzarella cheese (turns out one major company sells the same cheese to Dominos, Pizza Hut and Papa Johns. Add that fact to all the pizza threads).

Yikes. Glad that Im too chicken to fly lol.

cannon 03-26-2021 3:41 PM

If you are tired of being an engineer and want the NG to teach you a 2nd career.

Look in the medical field. MRI, Petscan, X Ray tech. All pay very well in Civi world and you get to run machines all you want.

Offspring 03-26-2021 5:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cannon (Post 25599256)
If you are tired of being an engineer and want the NG to teach you a 2nd career.

Look in the medical field. MRI, Petscan, X Ray tech. All pay very well in Civi world and you get to run machines all you want.

This is great logic, seriously.

Or become an A/C tech, you will always have work and with your knowledge and background you will end up running your own company.

Kid I knew couldn't be a pilot in the navy so he became an Aircraft Mechanic, worked on F/A 18's. He got out and does fantastic on his own now.

Snoopy47 03-26-2021 10:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lonestargrizzly (Post 25597138)
Sent from a PFC that hopes to OCS some day.

I encourage everyone to reach for OCS or whatever they want to milk out of the USAR. I'm here to help anyone use the system within the rules of the game.

What I've found out is the system will milk everything from you and never intend to give anything back that isn't enforced by the system (regulations) in place.

Lonestargrizzly 03-26-2021 10:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25600406)
I encourage everyone to reach for OCS or whatever they want to milk out of the USAR. I'm here to help anyone use the system within the rules of the game.

What I've found out is the system will milk everything from you and never intend to give anything back that isn't enforced by the system (regulations) in place.

I see a bunch of my unit members (E4ís) hating every day that they spend in uniform and doing nothing but complaining about how much they hate being in the Army. But if you ask them, theyre not actually taking advantage of tuition assistance or the GI bill and trying to move themselves to a better position in the organization or in their personal life.
I dont wanna be like that.

flyusarmy 03-27-2021 4:27 PM

If you want aviation - don't give up on the idea at this point if you still have a year of OCS to work on it.

I would start with making some contacts with possible units who would take you. I believe your geographical choices are Los Alamitos, Fresno, Stockton, or Sacramento. Go in-person to a unit during a drill weekend and meet some pilots and the commander and do some politicking for a position in the unit.

And they will have the best gouge as to the probability of an age waiver. I do personally know of a person who received one, but it wasn't recently. Also, I'd recommend you complete the administrative requirements of completing a Class I flight physical and taking the AFAST to show you will be qualified.

As an aside - I'd recommend perhaps taking a civilian introductory flight lesson. In an airplane is probably fine to get the idea of it at a much cheaper cost than in a helicopter. But if you have not had any exposure to being a pilot - I think take one lesson to see if you think you are going to like and want it before you expend too much time and effort on getting there in the Army.

Good luck

Endless 03-27-2021 11:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snoopy47 (Post 25590528)
Don't to that, just don't.

You'll trap yourself. Right now it sounds like you have room to pick from a short list and be an officer. So everything below CW5 is not your problem. If you bail, you will at best be a SPC and everything above SGT will crap on you, especially as a OCS drop out.

You have already locked in a commitment to the NG, if you bail out of OCS then they are not going to be happy, and they are not going to open a path for you to take your time and pick a job that seems to be your liking.

Ironically (and please guys chime in if you disagree), your MOS/BRANCH in the NG/USAR is not going to be what makes or breaks you. You can have the coolest MOS in the world but your unit, mission, and constant rotation for orders can suck balls to the end of the world.

You could be in the lamest of all MOS/Branches and coast all the way up the food chain on easy street.

I sent you a PM.

In general, it sounds like you were sold a bill of goods, and luckily you can deal with the BS of the NG as an officer. All you are going to do by trying to back out of your path now is end up having to deal with the BS as an E4.


He can absolutely voluntarily disenroll from OCS. We had a lot of folks do that over the years and it happens. Things come up, folks were lied to or folks just couldn’t take it.

We even had a female disenroll and she lateraled over to Marine Corp OCS and made it through. She became an officer but she dropped out of our service and we didn’t make fun of her. She made a mistake. It happens. She’s retired now and a friend of mine. We served together 20+ years ago. Good people.

But I am talking about full active duty careers, not reserve or California Guard units.

I agree with you snoopy. Seems like this guy is slipping through the cracks.

And anyone is delusional if you think an E6-E9 with entitlements makes nothing. Or CWO2-CWO4 at 30 years. You’re sorely mistaken. Again, this is for full active duty. No reserves.

Snoopy47 03-29-2021 3:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lonestargrizzly (Post 25600413)
But if you ask them, theyre not actually taking advantage of tuition assistance or the GI bill and trying to move themselves to a better position in the organization or in their personal life.
I dont wanna be like that.

The problem is the GI Bill only vests with active duty time. So unless you knock out your 3 years active after TRADOC right out of the gate you are basically getting your early college education without it.

Lost of promises are made, and it turns out only in the most optimal of situations do said promises materialize.


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