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AF Res back to AD?

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Well-known member
Aug 18, 2002
I'm an aviator from another service and I am getting into a AF Reserve unit soon (just awaiting paperwork). With the way things are going in the civilian world, I'm considering going Active Duty AF.

Is it possible/difficult to transfer from the AF Res component to an Active Duty position? Should I try the direct active route before signing with the reserve unit? Regardless, either way I'll need to get my wings and commision changed.

I have heard of several Navy Reserve P-3 guys that are getting outrageous bonuses to sign a AF contract. Any information on contract lenghts and $ value assigned would be greatly appriciated. Do you have a choice on airframes or bases?

Please don't get me wrong, I could not be more thrilled to be getting into this reserve unit! I only wish I could start tomorrow.

But,... A bonus and a 3-5 year contract active duty would get me out of a finacial jam; life as a 1st year Regional pilot is killing me.

A bit'o'advice for any active duty people, STAY IN, it's a rough world out there! :)
Check out the following thread for some info on going from another service to active AF.


I'd recommend getting into the AF reserve and then looking at all your options. You may be able to get a bonus for taking an AGR slot with your unit, and that way you're not at the mercy of the detailers. At the very least you can trade the gold wings in for silver and an AF rank, once all that paperwork is done it's MUCH easier to go active AF if that's what you still want. You'll get the same bonus either way.

I have a feeling once you see life in the reserves going back to active duty may not look so appealling. Send me a PM if you want any more specific info.

Trading in the gold wings soon myself...

T1 Bubba,

Thanks for your reply and the link. That got me searching in other areas for more information. I think that this AFRes slot will work out perfect for me and look forward to getting started soon.

I did hear that the Lil' Rock 130 school is really backed-up. I hope there is a school slot for me sometime this year.

Do any of you reserve guys and gals have any pointers on maximizing the reserve gig? I hope to fly as little for my regional and being a Reserve Bum as much as possible.

Coast Guard Helos to Air Force Reserve C-130, I couldn't be luckier!
Reserve your options


Your option to join a reserve unit is a good one...but just a quick question...at the unit you wish to join, who "owns" the airplanes? If the reserve unit has no active duty component (flying squadron) on the base then they are very able to be called up since they can bring their own airplanes. A reserve unit with an active duty flying squadron(s) usually doesn't "own" their airplanes -- the active duty guys do -- so when the flag goes up, the active duty types get tasked for the missions first and the reserves backfill the remaining missions. This could work to your advantage if you're trying to combine a military/civilian flying career. I'm all for doing your part when called upon, don't get me wrong, but knowing what your unit could or could not be asked to do will help you/family adjust to what is most likely in our futures. Hope this helps and doesn't confuse. And right now it is not too hard to transfer from a reserve unit to active duty but your reserve unit might want you on their manning roster for a while before letting you go active duty. Make sure you get what you can in writing...not just handshakes and nods. Remember too that the active duty recruiters need to fill jobs that may or may not be the best for you/family. They are paid to fill open slots with bodies. If you make the jump to active duty, try to get on the Air Force web site and find a squadron that flies the plane you're offered and talk to someone in the squadron directly, you'll get the straight story with all the details the recruiter may not know. Pm me if you need more details.

Best of luck,


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