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Flying verses non-Flying in the ANG

AlbieF15

F15 Ret/FDX/InterviewPrep
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Okay...in the same category as SWA verses FDX verses JB, etc etc here's a new pro/con list. Go back to flying fighters after a lengthy DNIF (and all the associated spin up) or look at the 40 year old in the mirror and take a a non-flying job with possible promotion potential. Time to retirement could be 2 years or so...

This exercise may be academic pending further physicals, but provided health checks okay in a month there will a decision to make. Pros to flying...merges, sunsets at 350, etc etc. Cons....NVGs, gradesheets, queep, demands on an already busy plate. Pros to other job...ability to continue past year 20, new challenges and leadership roles, less demanding currencies and physical demands. However, I've NEVER done anything but fly, so the "other" job is whole new unknown.

Not to be exclusionary, but I'm interested in hearing from your bros out there who have left the cockpit (and maybe returned?) on how you felt about the non-flying gig. No need to call me names for even considering not flying....2000+ hours in the jet and only a few people know better than me how much I'd be giving up. If a slight medical detour had not appeared requiring a battle this whole argument would be moot--but if did happen and there are hills ahead to climb either way.

So...you active bros on staff tours...and former drivers now doing staff/IMA/ASOC or other non-flying gigs...I'd love to hear what you like (and don't) about life without JP-4.
 

Slim

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AlbieF15,

You may have read some of my posts commenting on this scenario.

I served nearly all my NG career non-rated. I went DNIF during UPT at CAFB and never returned to flying status. I finished my NG career on the ARNG side. While it wasn't what I wanted, I don't regret any of it. I served my first two years enlisted.

On the pro side, no AFTPs, thus more time at home and a job skill outside aviation/the airlines. The monthly drill check was a plus considering my first year on probation pay. My current employer never gave me a hard time about drill weekends or short notice AD tours.

Con...no more AFTPs or any military flying...no more flight pay...fewer TDYs. As a staff officer, I did get a few TDYs, but not many.

Being non-rated in the ARNG was more common. There are many more non-rated Army jobs than non-rated Air Force jobs. During my time on medical hold, I noticed non-rated types having to work much harder to meet education and training requirements than their rated peers.

No name calling, just wishing you the best no matter which way your career path turns.

Fly safe!
 
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Ih8AFYesmen

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I turned down a flying reserve job when I left AD. Fortunately for me, I had an airline job and a flying reserve job lined up when I left AD. After a LONG talk with the wife, I've decided not to pursue flying in the reserves. The biggest reason was for QOL issues; between the two flying jobs, I'd be gone too much (this is the case in the trash hauling world). I wanted to finish out my 20, so I found a non-flying reserve job. It's really easy duty and I go in whenever I wish, for the most part. Chances of any deployments are slim to none. So basically, I am happy with my QOL.
Now having said that, this reserve job is really boring and seems like a waste of my time (sorry Uncle Sam). I really dread going to work, although it's only 24 days a year. Sad to say, my only motivation is working towards my 20 and a little extra cash. I have to say that I miss the military flying and the commeraderie (sp?). Right now, I am thinking long and hard about flying in the guard/reserve. Family time and a stress-free reserve job is nice though. I guess not all of us can have everything. Well, that's my .02.
 

Afterprop

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Albie,
First, if anyone flames you, well, they are a complete waste of gravity. Now, a viewpoint from a heavy driver: While I may have excelled during my time at the Puzzle Palace, I learned I did not enjoy the non-flying, non-operational environment. The non-flying job just didn't have the "immediacy" of operations. As a result, when the powers that be later decided to move me up and away from flying, I chose to retire. No regrets. Without the actual experience of working a desk, I think you will be hard pressed to make an informed decision. After my Pentagon tour, my spin-up to MQ/IP was a walk in the park . . . many of my instructors were surprised to see me using "their" techniques :) and other's that worked with students. There's nothing like being a greybeard! I expect your spin-up would be a walk as well.

Would the non-flying job include flying as well? I had several jobs at the wing level where I could continue to fly and remain fully qualified. If that is the case, I would look seriously at that option. Otherwise, look in the mirror/at your avatar . . . once you leave, after this opportunity to return, you may not get another.

Definitely return to one of them and get that retirement . . . it's nice getting that monthly Uncle Sam love note.
Cheers,
'Prop

PS - Like I like to say . . . in this business, you never know if you made the right decision until the fat lady sings.
 

Huggyu2

Live to fly; fly to live
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Albie,
Fly... fly if you can.... fly until they make you stop (QOL permitting). I'm assuming you're talking about working for an Eagle unit. From what I've seen, Eagle guys can land a job at an A-10, F-18, or F-16 unit. Yeah, learning a new jet/community may not be your cup of tea. But if you get back of DNIF, get back in an ejection seat. In a couple of years, you might change your mind. If that happens, retire, or just go to the non-flying gig. But don't pass up sorties at this point.
 

scoreboard

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You've been there, done that. Do whats best for your family, flying or not.

Gumby
 

TonyC

Frederick's Happy Face
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Flying verses ?


Well, I'm sure we all have our favorites, but who can not help but like John Gillespie Magee's High Flight.


Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.



I have a personal affinity to a little-known verse (well, let's say it's less well-known) from The Air Force Song by Robert Crawford, the third to be exact.



Here's a toast to the host

Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old,
Then down we roar to score the rainbow's pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!




I know ya meant versus, but maybe these verses will help you decide. If they still stir your blood...

;)




.
 

GasPasser

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How about switching planes?

I've known a couple of "F" type guys that have crossed over to the "C" and "KC" world due to the physical effects of high-g flying. Recenly one of my bros. retired from my ANG unit. He spent years in the F-15 until his back cried uncle. He finished out his 20 in the KC. It's not a bad thing and in many ways it can be a good thing. Think of it as another option. Good luck to you!
 

RJP

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While I personally would prefer to be beaten repeatedly over the cranium with a 2x4 than be a shoe clerk in the ANG, I've got a bro that's an ex-WSO who has one of the best jobs in the AFRES. A deploying (non-flying) staff job coordinating something that I can't figure out. He's constantly on some adventure to a foreign land like Thailand......ah, the Thai......
 

GasPasser

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not sure if it is flying or not....

The BRAC hearing exposed some future missions for the ANG.....UAVs. You have to be a rated officer to get a job flying a UVA, but it's pretty much a desk job. No JP-8, no helmet, no G's, no poopy suit, no speed-pants, no Chem-D, NO DEPLOYMENTS!!!!!!! But you still can fire missles and blow stuff up. Cool huh!!!You fly them from the good 'ol US of A. Now if they could just find a way to allow us to do it from the comfort of our home on a PC I might be interested. The bad thing for the young guys is you can't build time for the airlines flying UAVs. It may not be something you can take advantage of now, but in a few years there may be plenty of opportunities.
 

stein429

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Albie,

Spent 20+ years on active duty, retired, went to airline job, furloughed and recalled to active duty right after furlough. Spent the past 2+ years in the staff world (5th Air Force @ Yokota and now an acquisition job). Do I miss flying? Yes! Enough to endure another herniated disk in my neck (I've had three surgeries already)? NO!!! I could use a good Low Angle Strafe pass from time to time but alas, that is gone as well -- too bad!

I say take the non-flying job if it offers promotion potential; gotta think about retirement bennies! I've had several IMAs work for me; some have even taken Extended Active Duty orders and have gotten promoted and or reached active duty retirement. Take the plunge!

Cheers
Stein
 

ExAF

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Albie,
I'll toss in my 2 cents. I did 20 years active and only 15 mos non-flying. The first 2 months of the non-flying staff job wasn't bad, then the novelty wore off and reality hit me in the face. I hated the next 13 months. As is usually the case in the military, the people were great, but the monotony of a staff job sucked after flying for a living. At the end of 20, I retired and did the airline gig. Since I had done nothing but fly for a living, I couldn't really find anything else I wanted to do. It was great until furlough struck. Forced to find something else to do made me settle and again it was OK for a while. After about 6 months, I really missed flying again. Fortunately I was recalled after 2 years and enjoy flying for a living again. Unfortunately, am expecting another furlough in the not too distant future and will be forced to settle again. Now that is a lot of background for the following opinion, but here goes. Obviously you have to do what is best for you and your family first. I always put my family before my job now. For me, I was happiest when I was flying. For those that truly love flying, a non-flying job will NEVER measure up; whether it is flying fighters, people haulers or box haulers. Since you are flying the jurrasic jet in your paying job, you won't have to do without flying. In that case, the non-flying job could be fine for a part time military gig as long as you feel it is a job worth doing and provides you some benefit. Mil retirement is a great benny that won't end up getting dumped in a corporate banckruptcy. The non-flying gig may also give you some new connections and skills that would serve you well if you ever have to give up your day job on the jurrasic jet. So I guess my advice would be to fly as long as you can look the 40 year old in the face and say "I can still hack it." If you get to the point where is just isn't worth it any more, you'll know it. If you have reached that point, take the non-flying gig and continue to work with the great people that continue to serve. I miss the people of the AF, but not the institution. I would love to take a fighter out for a spin again, but I'm content to move on and leave it to the younger generation for a daily occupation. Good luck with your decision. Cheers...ExAF
 

rockr

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Life after Yanking & Spanking, er Banking I mean

Finally got certified to post!

Did the same, left after an all flying career, at first did not think it would be such a good deal going from a flying job to an IMA job (paid).

First, why stay in a flying unit and have to do all that sucking rubber stuff and weekends when you can be an IMA and then really enjoy things? Besides you can also become an IMA and still affiliate with your old unit, in other words do your duty from there and avoid the rubber sucking scenes. Also depending on your IMA job you can telecommute (see telecommute reg-AFI), do your staff stuff/project from home or on the road and then really enjoy your additional time. Check out IMA jobs listed in ARPC web site,plus there are more special tours 30/90/180 , e.g. Pentagon, Germany, HQ ACC, for IMAs, Res, ANGs.

What you will miss? The flying, and all the ops social scene, flying, "dancing bears" in the pilot bar, flying, etc. Still, you will be amazed at just how busy you were flying missions and filling squares, and how much a committment it has all been, certainly there will be squares to fill on the IMA side, but they usally get those all done on a two day conference. Of course dealing with the "other Air Force" as in non-flying community===yes, bring Capt Morgan, but there are such little requirements e.g. 12 days of AT and 12 UTAs

As for promotion if you've got your PME done should be pretty easy, since IMAs do not count against a selecting official's DP qouta, the challenge then becomes whether you really want to stay in that long to lock in promotion, as for me, I didn't want to do three more years to lock in promotion, so I've just retired and am loving it. Believe me it was not that easy to retire, not because of the money-- at the end I had as many man days I could use---a way of life after twenty years is not something one can easily walk away from, in the end, it simply felt like it was time to move on, of course my tolerance for queep, and standard mandatory ancillary stuff e.g. suicide prevention tng, had severly eroded. While there were many more exciting opportunities to pursue had I stayed in, for me it was a case of taking those talents and using them to directly enhance my efforts elsewhere.

Best of luck with your decision.
 

Vingus

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Nice post!


I have been out over a year now with 14 yrs AD under my belt. I have a flying job now, so I'm not needing to "build hours" but would like the retirement check.

How do I go about the reserve / guard thing? Do I need to see a recruiter?

Looking for advice.
 

YGBSM

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Vingus said:
Nice post!


I have been out over a year now with 14 yrs AD under my belt. I have a flying job now, so I'm not needing to "build hours" but would like the retirement check.

How do I go about the reserve / guard thing? Do I need to see a recruiter?

Looking for advice.

Get ready for the biggest administrative nightmare of your young life. A break in service has the same effect on getting your medical/aeronautical orders recertified as a case of genital warts has on getting laid.
 

Vingus

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YGBSM said:
Get ready for the biggest administrative nightmare of your young life. A break in service has the same effect on getting your medical/aeronautical orders recertified as a case of genital warts has on getting laid.

Looking for something more specific, thanks.
 

YGBSM

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OK. Like what?

"How do I go about the Guard and Reserve thing" doesn't really inspire specifics.
 
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Vingus

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YGBSM said:
OK. Like what?

"How do I go about the Guard and Reserve thing" doesn't really inspire specifics.

You apparently are not easily inspired. HoHum.
 

GasPasser

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Glad to help

Vingus said:
Looking for something more specific, thanks.

Let me be the first to say welcome to the guard, the best military flying job to be had! Go to www.baseops.net Click on aviation jobs, top and center. There are plenty of -135 units out there and not enough prior service -135 guys getting out to fill our vacancies. Even if the closest unit to you is not advertising for pilots, apply anyway.

Good luck to you brother!
 
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