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Interservice Transfer

thebluto

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I'm a Navy guy that can get out at just shy of 15 years as an O-4.
I want out because of the extreme lack of flying I was getting in the P-3 world.

I took a less career enhancing job as a flight instructor to increase my marketability as a pilot (and because it was more fun).

I was wondering if I transferred to the USAF, would I continue flying until retirement? Is it feasible for me to even get an inter-service transfer?

I'm not abandoning an airline career, but I just want to know if this is even an option. I don't mind staying an O-4, although making O-5 would be nice for retirement purposes.

Bottom line is I want a job flying. I don't mind going TDY and dealing with the other less fun things about the military. My whole motivation is toward job satisfaction.

If I wanted to sit behind a desk and do e-mails and paperwork, I'd sell insurace or some such thing.

Any thoughts?
 

T1bubba

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Bluto,

Here's the link to check out the latest and greatest from AFPC:

http://www.afpc.randolph.af.mil/

Once there, on the left side click on Officer, then Special Flying Programs, then Interservice Transfer (sorry I couldn't post the direct link, it's framed.)

Chances are you'd fly the rest of your time in, but I wouldn't count on making O-5. You're pretty much going to be cannon fodder come OPR (FITREP) time, since those 15 years of FITREPs aren't going to mean jack to an AF promotion board. On the other hand, you never know how many O-5's they'll need so anything's possible.

I'd say C-130's are definitely a possibility, just make sure you're going to be happy living in the places they'll want to send you (Little Rock, Pope, Dyess, etc).

If you'd like a little more control over where you live (and a better chance of making O-5) you might want to look into the AF reserve or guard. I know several folks who were able to get full-time jobs there.

T1bubba
 
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SentryIP

Better lucky than good!
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Want To Fly?

thebluto,

If you want to fly and accumulate flight time, look at Tinker AFB and flying the E-3. We have several former U. S. Navy flyers (helicopters and fighters). Send me a PM if you want more information. I'll give you the pros and cons of this community. Have you thought of staying in the Navy and an assignment in the E-6? Take care and fly safe.

:cool:
 

thebluto

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Thanks T1Bubba, I have seen the website and entered my social. I'm not so worried about making O-5, just getting to fly and getting a retirement check.

I guess if I had my druthers, I'd like to fly tankers out of Spokane.

It was my understanding that the guard and reserve wanted the junior most qualified guy. It wasn't sounding too promising from what I've heard for me to find a flying job as a reservist or guardsman as senior as I am.

Plus, if I was going part time, I'd have to wait for age 60 (and now I've heard that's changing to 55) to get a retirement check. The only way, I guess, to be active duty til my 20's up is either as an actual active duty guy or as an AGR in the guard (which I've also heard is hard to come by).

On the other side of the coin, I've got my 737 type and I'll have about 3200 hours by the time I get out (i.e. SWA, which I'd pursue after retiring anyway). Plus, I've interviewed with US Customs to fly P-3s.

But, I'd also like to intelligently know what else is out there. I'd appreciate any more sage counsel from the USAF guys.

I already know what my options are in the Navy and that's plan Z (as my Higher Power instructor, Sol, said, "You can do better working at the 7-11 than two years on a boat!").
 

thebluto

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Thanks to you also Sentry IP.

About E-6s: The Navy squadron system works like a ship. A whole bunch of O-3's, even fewer O-4's who are all competing for squadron command (i.e. not doing alot of flying, and doing a lot of paperwork and other "high visibilty" stuff to get ahead), and two O-5's on top. No chance at just being someone to just hang out and fly misssions if you're not in one of those groups.

I already passed up my opportunity to do the high stress O-4 competition thing, knowing I wouldn't enjoy it (I liken it to being a clergyman in a church you don't believe in as far as the P-3 world goes). Plus, I started out late in the community I flew in, since I was previously a back seater in carrier based jets, so it was an uphill battle to make command (one of the 2 O-5's on top).

The Navy's plan if I stay is 2 years on a ship (not flying), then a tour in C-12s soemwhere or back to the Training Command flying T-34s, but on a Wing staff, where the hours aren't as abundant.

I'd rather be racking up the hours in a 4-engine Boeing product.
 

T1bubba

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Bluto,

Think about the interservice transfer from the AF detailer's point of view. If you can fill a slot that he's having trouble filling, your chances are very good. If all you're willing to fly is C-17's in Charleston, forget it. The bottom line is that they can afford to be a great deal more selective now than a couple years ago.

If you really want to fly heavies, the more of these you volunteer for the better (in no particular order):

E-3 Tinker
RC-135 Offutt
E-8 Robbins
KC-135 Grand Forks
KC-135 McConnell

That's based on my observations over the last three years flying T-1's, I'm sure some of the AF folks could give you some of their current "hard fill" assignments. Being a P-3 guy though, you'd be more competitive for a -130 slot.

Everything in the guard or reserve is totally dependent on the unit. Units that aren't near large cities tend to have more trouble filling slots. Competition for the AGR and technician positions can vary, but I have several friends that were able to go full-time within a year of joining their unit. If you're willing to look at units that aren't in garden spot locations, you may find some that aren't so concerned with your seniority.

T1bubba

PS- I did my 737 oral and checkride with Sol, he's a good guy...
 

BeerNear

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Don't give up on the outside world yet!!

Bluto,

There are a lot of 130 guard and reserve units out there that can offer you a full time job within a year after you separate. I think a lot of people fall for the "grass is greener on the otherside" when referencing other mil branches.

I'm an O-4 separating with 11 years and even if I have to work at 7-11 and guard bum, I WILL BE HAPPIER. The AF is no different than the Navy. I still do a lot of ground duties. Knowing that I'm separating in Nov makes them even more painful. In addition, you are locked into active duty for a contracted amount of time. You are the personnel center's plaything. Everytime I moved bases, I laughed at my functional manager for trying to get me to take a UAV drone predator with the promise of a guarenteed follow on of my choice.

Try out the guard or reserve. The 130 units get first pick of all the missions due to the fact they have to schedule their missions around part timers with real jobs. They also tend to take care of their people a little better. Some guardsman or reservist may disagree. If you have any questions regarding the guard or reserve units that you might like, email me. Take care and good luck, BN

*** BTW, It's funny, I had Sol too for my oral before the checkride. HP was a great time.
 

ck130

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Bluto,

I remember you from VT-6. It's kinda ironic because I'm in ASO school right now and the whole Stacy Bates Nashville thing came up the other day and how that screwed a bunch of transition guys out of TAC Air. If you still have the itch to fly something pointy check out the Beale AFB web page. I know the U-2 community is always looking for good guys and when they are not out making people smile for the camera they have T-38s at their disposal for cross countries and whatever else. Sounds like a cool opportunity but I'm sure it has its down side just like everything else. Good luck

Fly Safe

ck130
 

HueyPilot

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Go Guard

"I know the U-2 community is always looking for good guys and when they are not out making people smile for the camera they have T-38s at their disposal for cross countries and whatever else. Sounds like a cool opportunity but I'm sure it has its down side just like everything else."

Yep, how about an 80% divorce rate and being deployed 1 month on, 1 month off? That, plus their approach speed standards are something like within 1 knot....it's a really hard airplane to fly.

I'd look into the Guard. I was in the Army Guard for a while, and I kinda miss the flexibility. There are a ton of KC-135 and C-130 units around. Speaking about senior guys, my uncle was an O-4 who flew F-16s, got out and got hired by Pan AM just before they went under. After he got laid off, he stopped flying for a while, but about 8 years ago he got picked up by the Reserves in Ohio flying -135s. That and he's a UPS 747 FO to boot. AND he got his O-5.

I do know it's harder for a more senior dude to get a Guard job, but they're out there. You just have to go do some digging and make a bunch of phone calls.
 

Jolly Roger

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Bluto,

I agree with all of what has been said, and believe me, I feel your pain when it comes to the difficulties of the Navy life...nothing worse than a pack of O3's and O-4's scrambling for recognition, ect. There certainly are not many cushy active duty opportunities out there (although I thought the good old south Texas TRACOM came close), and I certainly would have taken that job if there were!

I have seen both sides of the fence now (military and airline), and the one glaring similarity is that no matter the situation, there will always be plenty of folks to point out how screwed up their situation is, and how it is much better somewhere else.

At the end of the day I suppose it always comes back to personal taste, but from my prospective, the Reserve/Guard is the route to go. You will leave your airline (or 7-11) options open, and still get that military retirement. I can say that I prefer the airline lifestyle to that in the military, but neither is a bad choice. Although commuting to my Navy Reserve job is a pain sometimes, I find it has all the goods mil flying had to offer, without the admin type nighmares active duty presented.

Try getting picked up by the Air Force, and everyone else available, then make your choice. I don't think that grass would be much greener, but still green nonetheless.
 
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