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c-130 reserve interview

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Well-known member
Mar 19, 2002
Got a call today to come visit a c-130 unit for an interview. There are 6 or 7 of us competing for 3 slots. I have about 15 minutes I guess to impress the board...any suggestions? Anyone been through this process before? I'm pretty close at this point, so I don't want to mess it up. Thanks guys.
I just got sponsored...

...by a C-141 unit. (I had been to 2 other UTAs before (2 other units) but they were just "face time" visits and not really interviews. )

When I went for the actual interview, there were 2 local guys with me. One was a crew chief in a nearby guard unit. He had neither scores nor physical done but was an aviation major in college. The other was a commuter pilot with plenty of flight time, scores but no physical. Frankly, I wouldn't mind going to OTS and UPT with either of them.
I'm an engineer, 300+ hrs, had scores (80s or better), had taken the physical and was waiting on a waiver request.
(I was not local....and had traveled 2500 miles at my own expense because after working 2 years to get this far I was willing to go anywhere!).

The best advice I can offer to to just be yourself.
I was always a bit aprehensive that perhaps I came off as a bit shy. I knew that I wasn't shy and that when I was comfortable , the conversation would just flow. (sounds like dating advice:rolleyes: ) I just told myself, "Oh well, there's nothing I can do about that." A good night's sleep was also essential.

The next day went great. Everyone was easy to talk to and I really felt I could be at home there. I took that attitude into my interviews and walked away that afternoon with sponsorship.

Be comfortably honest. Although all the officers that interviewed me were airline pilots, I told them flat out that I was there beacuse I really wasn't impressed by airline flying as much as I was by flying full time in the military or part time in the military and doing something a bit more intellectually stimulating than airline flying on the civilian side.

Afterwards, the XO told me that they liked the way I spoke up without being cocky about it. I believe it's called being aggressively humble.

One more thing. Chances are, they're probably going to ask you who wants to go first. Don't go first!
I remember hearing that in aerobatic competitions, the competitors dread going first because no matter how well they fly, their performances won't be remembered as well as those who flew near the end of competition. Be tactful about it, INVITE the other people with you to go ahead.... and then get feedback from them when they return!

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Just have fun and be yourself


Congrats. I had a bunch of guard interviews a few years back and they can vary.

Some units had a formal interview board with guys (pilots/recruiters/ops officer/training guy/STANEVAL) in dress blues in HQ.

Others like the syr f-16 unit had guys sitting around with their flight suits unzipped kickin back and just gettin to know you. In fact at syr I was the first guy to interview that day at the boss had to go and get a couple of bums (thats a good term in the guard) to sit in and ask questions. After they asked us to stay as they were having a party for a retiring pilot. We drank till midnight and then went out to downtown syr. A very cool unit to say the least.

In my experiance C-130 units and their pilots are pretty laid back guys. Just wear a suit, have your paper work in order and don't try to be cool and you'll do fine. Another tip: try to show up and get to know the guys before its time to interview. This is BIG. Most units would rather hire a guy they like with (qualifing) less background than some super pilot straight A student they don't know.

Good luck, drop me a line if you have any questions. Also if you know the guys ahead of time bring beer.

Guard Baby All The Way Is The Only Way
Yeah this interview sounds like it will be more of the formal type...Could you guys give me some examples of the types of questions they ask so I can know what to expect? Also, other than my test scores, etc. What kind of paper work would you reccomend, letters of rec, etc. thanks guys.
OK then

Well letters will help allot if they don't know you. Most of the ? will be in the area of why the guard?

why our unit?

how will u handle ams, upt?

where do you see yourself in 5 years?

will you move here?

you may get some ? on the unit mission and history so know the AMC/ACC intra theater C-130 mission that most herc units do. Like an A-10 unit might ask why do you want to FAC or CAS.

How do you feel about killing people? Answer if your an A-10 guy is : Can I say "get some, get some" when I let loose with the hose in the nose.

the recruiter will ask things like: any dui/dwi, grades, best and worst trait in yourself, and some questions to see your commitment to the mil.

the IL f-16 unit asked some questions about the viper like where are the speed brakes, which side is the gun on and such. They were the only ones I know of to do this.

If your going to be a herc guy just be like: "Yo man, throw it in the back and lets get out of this dirt strip" and "I don't care how much it weighs, if it fits put it in the back and lets go and don't block the beer cooler"

any more questions let me know, I'll be back later tonight.
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very cool. Just booked my ticket...may 5th is the big day. Hopefully my GPA won't come up, but if it does my flight school scores and AFOQT/PCSM scores should override it. I do find it extremely cool that that plane can land just about anywhere and carry anything...guess I should make that known. I'm going to study the plane and base like I was about to have an oral for a checkride so I should have that base (excuse the pun) covered. Hehe just have to get myself prepared...never expected to be this close so soon you know?
Awesome! Good luck Vandal! I've got a few applications in to C130 units so I'm envious...I don't have anything to say that you wouldn't already know. In the business world I always try to be myself during interviews, it keeps me from getting nervous and usually things work out well. But I don't know squat about the military.
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Some more questions to think about:

Why the Reserves?
Why not a fighter?
Why the nnnth?
What do you want to do for civilian employment?
What are your hobbies?
What do you have to offer us?

One of the Colonels I interviewed with sat on the last board. I told him flat out that my GPA sucked (because I was really sweating it too). We never got to why it sucked; he just told me the Board looks at scores, flight time and resume. If you have good scores, forget your GPA. I asked what the board "non-selects" people for. Unless you have a criminal record or ties to Al Qaeda, Sponsorship by AFRes Unit = Selection by AFRes Board.

To validate some of the others' points:
At the end of the interviews, everyone was told to expect a reply in 2 to 3 weeks. I had several good phone conversations with someone in the unit before I got there (since I traveled so far, they helped me find a hotel, etc.) There was in fact a retirement party for 2 guys in the Wing and I was given a ticket. When I arrived, they told me that they were sponsoring me and beers kept coming my way the rest of the night!

I was told I didn't have to bring any paperwork. They had already seen my resume and scores and the whole interview was just to see if I was "the kind of guy they wouldn't mind going on a 4-day to Germany with." I carried with me a folder of extra info and resumes, but that's all that I did with it that day!

BTW, for anyone else out there looking for a unit. 728th AS (C-17s at McChord AFB, WA) will be interviewing next week. I was on the short list, but declined since I'm now sponsored elsewhere. If you want the POC, PM me.

Vandal, what 130 unit are you going to?

The 758th out of pittsburgh. It's a reserve unit, they fly the H variant. Thanks for all the info guys, I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out.
another few questions. As for the things they are probably going to ask me, what is the right answer to "why not a fighter?" and "what kind of civilian employment are you striving for?" Is it ok to say airlines?

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