Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Friendliest aviation Ccmmunity on the web
  • Modern site for PC's, Phones, Tablets - no 3rd party apps required
  • Ask questions, help others, promote aviation
  • Share the passion for aviation
  • Invite everyone to Flightinfo.com and let's have fun

Flying verses non-Flying in the ANG

Welcome to Flightinfo.com

  • Register now and join the discussion
  • Modern secure site, no 3rd party apps required
  • Invite your friends
  • Share the passion of aviation
  • Friendliest aviation community on the web


F15 Ret/FDX/InterviewPrep
Nov 25, 2001
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.

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!
Last edited:
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.
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.

PS - Like I like to say . . . in this business, you never know if you made the right decision until the fat lady sings.
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.
You've been there, done that. Do whats best for your family, flying or not.

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...


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!
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......
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.

Latest posts

Latest resources