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Help on ANG decision

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Coffee Serving Ho
Nov 29, 2001
I am currently a regional airline captain, wanting more out of my flying career. 31 years old. Good health.

I've heard the ANG has been waiving the age restrictions for pilot slots. Is this true? Does that depend on the individual unit?

Can you apply for ANG pilot position as a civilian? If so, will position be available / guaranteed after training? (I would only want to join to fly)

Will current flying experience help with training? I am open to heavy's or fighters.

Is this a "who you know" type deal. I don't know any Guard pilot or don't have any connections. Will this hurt me?

Does reserve status deplete ALL of your free time? (Still 1 weekend a month / 2 weeks a year?)

Thanks in advance for the advice.
Yes, the ANG and Air Force Reserve (AFRES) have been giving
out age waivers. I'm not sure to what age, I would ask a

Yes, you can apply as a civilian but you will be commissioned
as a 2nd Lieutenant before going to Undergraduate Pilot
Training (UPT). You must have a four-year degree from
an accredited college or university to be commissioned. That
is NOT waiverable. The position is guaranteed after
training. Why would a unit spend the money and years to
train you only not to have a position? There have been
several cases of guys sent to UPT by fighter units that didn't
make the grade to fly fighters. They ended up going to
units that fly heavies.

Your experience will help you through the initial phase of
training. If you go to a heavy unit you'll fly the T-1, which
is a Beechjet 400. Your regional time will be invaluable. If
you are in a fighter unit you'll fly the T-38; it will be like
nothing you've done before. You should do fine, though.

It helps immensely to know folks in the Guard and Reserve.

The ANG or AFRES will take up a good bit of your time. If
you're flying a fighter you'll have to fly several times a month
to stay current. You'll be on active duty with the squadron
for several months, depending on the acft, for "seasoning."
There are always opportunities to fly and to go TDY. This
is invaluable experience and lots of fun.

An ENORMOUS advantage of ANG/AFRES is that almost all
of a unit's part-time pilots fly for major airlines. You'll have
all sorts of connections.

Another big advantage is the camaraderie. It's fun to hang
out with the guys, laughing and scratching. Believe me, you
don't find that in the crew lounge at the airline.
I know I've said this on the old boards, but it is worth repeating for all the guard wannabes: It is a great job--but you better be ready to fight when someone schedules a war!

I don't care if you are in year 10 pay at a major or what is going on at home--if the phone rings and you are activated, you are going to work! This will be especially true in high demand airframes--airlift, special ops, or anything with an RC or EC type designator. That means deployment, time away from family...and if you are like some guys I know who make the big bucks at Delta it may mean watching your income drop in HALF for a significant period of time.

I look forward to my transition to the ANG next Feb from active duty. But to those trying to get in off the street, remember that this "stop loss" that effects active duty guys usually means you are unable to leave the unit as well. Don't jump in thinking this is just an economic life jacket that you can toss away when you don't need it anymore. If you get sent into harms way, many lives are in the balance and people are counting on you to do your job. Be physically and emotionally ready for that challenge.

Again--I encourage anyone to try military flying--but just realize WHY you are getting paid and what demands may be made upon you should you elect to join the force.

Proud to serve,

Thanks, Albie, for adding what I forgot: the most important part. I start waving the Guard and Reserve flag and forget to
mention that it will more than likely involve being shot at.

One other thing. I've been in both the Guard and Reserves for the past 15+ years. When a guy comes to interview for a UPT slot with his main concern being building hours the interviewer
will see right through him. If you're looking at the job primarily
as a shortcut to a major the unit won't be interested. Don't get me wrong; almost every part-timer ends up at a major airline . . . After serving some years learning his jet.

As Albie said, you better be there for the bad as well as the good. In today's military the ANG and AFRES are there for
every fistfight.
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I'm in the same situation as PastMmo, regional captain, 27 who would like to do something worthwhile in my flying career. I have absolutley no idea where to start, however. Can anybody give me some guidance on how to go about applying for a pilot slot in the ANG or Air Force Reserve. Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks...
May I suggest first of all deciding where you want to live or what you want to fly. I my case - I live in Salt Lake City, therefore the Utah Air National Guard was my first choice. I can live at home, fly part time, and continue my career as an airline pilot (Eagle furlough, now SkyWest). If hometown doesn't matter then you basically pick a plane. F15's in Oregon, C17's in Washington, F16's in Indiana...you name it. After that it is a matter of convincing the unit - that's the hard part. Getting to know as many peaople as you can, test scores (AFOQT, BAT), bothering everone on the UPT Board, etc... - that's where it all falls into place.

I now I made it sound easy - it really ins't. Just takes a lot of hard work and a lot of desire! Good luck and feel free to ask all of us as many questions as you like!

Hey everyone, just had a couple of questions

1) How long is training, typically?

2) What kind of pay do you get while in training and thereafter?

3) During the course of training, do you have days off to go home and see the family?

Don't know about the ANG version of OTS, but UPT is about 52 weeks. You can plan on another 6-8 months of training afterwards for combat survival, water survival, and aircraft specific training. Your gaining unit will likely want you "full time" for 6 months- 2 years to "season" you and have you gain needed experience in your weapon system.

Pay is 2Lt pay--you are on active duty while in training. Pay/benefits can be figured out by looking at an Air Force website and finding the pay chart. You will get base pay plus flight pay, BAS (a tax free food allowance) and if you live off base BAQ (housing allowance). I dont' have the numbers in front of me but I imagine a 2Lt is in the 25-30k/yr ballpark. You'll get about 6-8k more per year when you make 1Lt at the 2 year point.

Typically, you don't get to take leave during the training, but holidays, three day weekends, etc. allow you the chance to get home. If your class is behind in training, expect to have problems getting time off. Conversely, if "ahead" of the timeline, a few days of leave might be approved. You earn 2.5 days of leave/month, so you don't really have a whole lot of vacation to start anyway.

Realistically, if you join, you are IN on active for at least 2 years. This isn't a "run off and knock out training" kind of deal. You will move to Moody AFB GA, Columbus AFB MS, Sheppard AFB TX, Vance AFB OK, or Laughlin AFB TX for over a year. You had better plan on taking your family if you embark on this journey--you can't really "commute" to UPT. The amount of time and energy (even if you are already a pilot) you will have to expend is simply too much to try to juggle other responsibilities during this time.

My suggestion--use your travel passes to get to one of these bases, then take a base tour. You will get some insights and see first hand what you are biting off....

Good luck!
ANG is the same as the previous post. You can consider yourself an active duty pilot for about 2 years. I completed all of my training in about 22 months - beginning with McGhee-Tyson for Officer School, Laughlin for UPT, Altus for CCTS, Survival, and in-unit training. Good Luck!
AMS in Knoxville is 6 weeks, whereas OTS is 12 weeks.

ex-121FS (DCANG) UPT slot holder....turned wannabe again

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