Air Force vs. Navy flying

bubble

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I'm curious as to the differences between being a pilot in the Air Force vs being a pilot in the Navy. I'm currently flying civilian equipment in the corporate world, but I've always wanted to fly military machinery...particularly the fighters (of course, as does everybody). I'm trying to evaluate my options right now and I'm not even sure if transitioning into the military would be a smart move anyway. Any insights would be very much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

SIG600

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LETTER ON WHETHER TO BECOME AN AIR FORCE PILOT...... OR A NAVAL
AVIATOR......

The piece is written by Bob Norris, a former Naval aviator who also did a
3 year exchange tour flying the F-15 Eagle. He is now an accomplished
author of entertaining books about U.S. Naval Aviation including "Check
Six" and "Fly-Off". In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following:


22 December 2005

Young Man,

Congratulations on your selection to both the Naval and Air Force
Academies. Your goal of becoming a fighter pilot is impressive and a fine
way to serve your country. As you requested, I'd be happy to share some
insight into which service would be the best choice. Each service has a
distinctly different culture. You need to ask yourself "Which one am I more
likely to thrive in?"

USAF Snapshot: The USAF is exceptionally well organized and well run. Their
training programs are terrific. All pilots are groomed to meet high
standards for knowledge and professionalism. Their aircraft are top-notch
and extremely well maintained. Their facilities are excellent. Their
enlisted personnel are the brightest and the best trained. The USAF is
homogenous and macro. No matter where you go, you'll know what to expect, what is expected of you, and you'll be given the training & tools you need to meet those expectations. You will never be put in a situation over your head. Over a 20-year career, you will be home for most important family events. Your Mom would want you to be an Air Force pilot...so would your wife. Your Dad would want your sister to marry one.

Navy Snapshot: Aviators are part of the Navy, but so are Black Shoes
(surface warfare) and Bubble Heads (submariners). Furthermore, the Navy is
split into two distinctly different Fleets (West and East Coast). The Navy
is heterogeneous and micro. Your squadron is your home; it may be great,
average, or awful. A squadron can go from one extreme to the other before
you know it. You will spend months preparing for cruise and months on
cruise. The quality of the aircraft varies directly with the availability
of parts. Senior Navy enlisted are salt of the earth; you'll be proud if
you earn their respect. Junior enlisted vary from terrific to the troubled
kid the judge made join the service. You will be given the opportunity to
lead these people during your career; you will be humbled and get your
hands dirty. The quality of your training will vary and sometimes you will
be over your head. You will miss many important family events. There will
be long stretches of tedious duty aboard ship. You will fly in very bad
weather and/or at night and you will be scared many times. You will fly
with legends in the Navy and they will kick your ass until you become a
lethal force. And some days - when the scheduling Gods have smiled upon you - your jet will catapult into a glorious morning over a far-away sea and
you will be drop-jawed that someone would pay you to do it. The hottest
girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.

Bottom line, son, if you gotta ask...pack warm & good luck in Colorado.


Banzai


P.S.: Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.
 

ALIMBO

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Its obvious AF ftw.
 

milky

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I heard that Navy carrier pilots are the best breed of pilot around. Second to none. Especially hornet pilots.
 

JungleJett

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The hottest
girl in the bar wants to meet the Naval Aviator. That bar is in Singapore.
And that "girl" happens to be a 15 year old boy...but you don't care after 6 months on a boat.
 
Last edited:

Huggyu2

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Try the "Search" function for you answer to this question.

Rez, are you even qualified to comment on this question?
 

JungleJett

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Try the "Search" function for you answer to this question.

Rez, are you even qualified to comment on this question?
I doubt it...he thinks he can fix ALPA!

The happiest day of my life was when I turned in my ALPA card and flushed my pin! But that is another story...
 

KCPilot

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LETTER ON WHETHER TO BECOME AN AIR FORCE PILOT...... OR A NAVAL
AVIATOR......

P.S.: Air Force pilots wear scarves and iron their flight suits.
Very true SIG, except I've never worn a scarf and I will never iron my flight suit!!
 

bubble

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Thanks SIG, very informative. I tried the search function and didn't find anything as good as that post.
 

Mud Eagle

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In response to a letter from an aspiring fighter pilot on which military academy to attend, Bob replied with the following:

22 December 2005
It's amazing how many different times ol' Banzai has written that same letter.
 

skywiz

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Navy vs. Air Force

If you are seriously considering joining the Navy hoping to fly, realize that approx. 50% of Navy pilots are Helicopter pilots. If you are a good stick and study in primary, you should be able to get fixed wing: P3s, E6s, E2/C2, or Fighters. However, you never know. One week, there may only be helo slots available. Another week, you may get lucky and there may be a couple fighter slots open. Its kind of a crapshoot.

Not sure how the air force works, but I know for a fact that the AF has very few helos and you most likely would not fly a Helo in the AF.

If you are deadset on flying fighters only, and don't care to land on moving deck at night the size of what looks like a postage stamp, look into joining an Air National Guard fighter unit.

-SW

P.S. Landing on the boat is pretty cool.
 

milky

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And that "girl" happens to be a 15 year old boy...but you don't care after 6 months on a boat.

For the record, I got separated from the group, I was really thirsty, and I just needed a beer. But, I was only drunk enough to sit in that bar for 2 maybe 3 beers before I figured it out. I miss Walking Street.
 

Rez O. Lewshun

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Very true SIG, except I've never worn a scarf and I will never iron my flight suit!!

Never thought you did.... there is a Korean shop outside of every USAF/USA base that will sew on your decorations, steam your ascot and iron your bag. No doubt she is some tanker pilots mother in law!


Love that kimchi!!
 
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