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Army Guard or Air Guard?

GuardGuy

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Joined
Sep 8, 2005
Posts
6
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hhmmmm
I am currently in an officer holding company in the Army Reserves and branched aviation with the opportunity to fly either the Chinook or the Black Hawk in the Army Guard. However, I have yet to go to OBC.

I have also been offered a Navigator slot in the Air Guard. This particular unit has several pilots who started off as Navigators before going to Pilot training, military wings is my ultimate goal. Everything is almost in order for me to be released from the Army and transfer into the Air Guard.

Now that I am getting close to that point of being eligible to transfer I can not decide if I want to remain in the Army and fly swing wing or go through with the transfer and be a Navigator for two years then apply for a pilot slot.

Some individuals that I have talked to in either branch said to go Air Guard for the quality of life and because of my age I should have a good chance to get a pilot slot with the Air Guard unit after I fulfill my Navigator obligation. Others have said I want regret a career flying the Hawk. They also mentioned the difference in length of deployments and to let that be apart of of my decision making.

I like the misson of both branches, I am just torn on which branch I could better serve this great country and get the most of my career while doing it.

Anyone who has serverd in either, or both branches feel free to provide me with your insight and opinion.

Thanks in advance.
 

Traderd

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
Posts
2,073
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GuardGuy said:
I am currently in an officer holding company in the Army Reserves and branched aviation with the opportunity to fly either the Chinook or the Black Hawk in the Army Guard. However, I have yet to go to OBC.

I have also been offered a Navigator slot in the Air Guard. This particular unit has several pilots who started off as Navigators before going to Pilot training, military wings is my ultimate goal. Everything is almost in order for me to be released from the Army and transfer into the Air Guard.

Now that I am getting close to that point of being eligible to transfer I can not decide if I want to remain in the Army and fly swing wing or go through with the transfer and be a Navigator for two years then apply for a pilot slot.

Some individuals that I have talked to in either branch said to go Air Guard for the quality of life and because of my age I should have a good chance to get a pilot slot with the Air Guard unit after I fulfill my Navigator obligation. Others have said I want regret a career flying the Hawk. They also mentioned the difference in length of deployments and to let that be apart of of my decision making.

I like the misson of both branches, I am just torn on which branch I could better serve this great country and get the most of my career while doing it.

Anyone who has serverd in either, or both branches feel free to provide me with your insight and opinion.

Thanks in advance.

Just my HO:

I served more than 20 years as an Army WO and in that time I did AD as well as NG. Flew the Hawk for a number of years and loved the aircraft and in general the mission.

That said, it was my experience that the worst QOL offered by the AF was a dang sight better than the BEST QOL offered by the Army. If I had your choices, I say there is no choice but the AF. I have seen a lot of both and I would recommend the AF. Did I mention that if you have the choice you should go with the AIR FORCE? Just in case, it is my humble opinion that you should go with the AIR FORCE. You may not regret a career flying Hawks, but only if you didn't turn down a chance at career with the AIR FORCE to do it. If you're married there is a good chance your wife will divorce you once she finds out you turned down a chance with the AIR FORCE to go Army.

None of the above applies if you desire to live in the dirt, sh$t in the dirt, eat dirt and fly in the dirt. If that is your desire in aviation, then the Army is for you!

When you say you are branched aviation, I take it to mean you are going the RLO commissioned route. I would advise going the WO route if you go Guard. The time demands made on staff and command in those units are incredible. We need them of course but it is truly a thankless life and almost impossible for a part timer to master.

Best of luck either way and thanks for being there. And I think I would recommend the AF :)
 

Birdstrike

Atlantic City
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Posts
13,309
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Ike
What he said (Traderd). Except you don't give your age. If it was me, I'd get rated in helicopters now, since it's right there, fulfil my commitment with the Army, then find a USAF ARNG/AFR unit and compete for a pilot slot there. You'll be rated then. If you're successful, you'll be dual-rated and will have had the still rare experience of picking that beast up to a hover and air taxiing perpendicular to a "runway". Or if you like runways, plant it on in a running landing. Take your pick. Point is, there are not many opportunities in life to fly heavy turbine helos. If you can experience it for a few years...and still be young enough to then go off and do the fixed-wing thing, it bears some serious consideration. If you're already old, then you may not have time to do both, so do the one that matters most to you.
 

Slim

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Dec 5, 2001
Posts
274
Total Time
11,000
Get rated as a rotary wing pilot NOW!

There are fixed wing opportunites in the ARNG. You're already branched aviation, but have only the potential of becoming an Air Force pilot after becoming a navigator for how many years?

I know four navs who became Air Force pilots. One was AD, one was USAFR and two ANG. My father did it during WWII, so that makes five.

The one AD nav-to-pilot guy I know was a captain when he went through UPT. It seems to me the navigator-to-pilot route you're considering may take longer than you want.

In either event, good luck...fly safe...put some rounds down range for an old retired guy!
 
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