If you go to the Air National Guard, you will likely be told that you need to enlist in the unit, develop a reputation, then apply for UPT. That's a frequent method used to obtain a UPT slot but it's not the only one.
I interviewed with the VaANG, DCANG, TXANG (two units) and contacted many more. I lost out to a civilian at the DCANG interview (he was later a classmate at officer training). Several classmates were prior enlisted and there were some non-prior service types as well.
You have to call various units and make yourself a polite pain in the a**. If you know people (especially pilots) in the unit, ask if they can help you obtain an interview. If that person recommends you, so much the better.
thanks, it takes alot of phone tag to talk to anyone who has answers. Does it matter what type of aircraft you fly in reguards to prepare you for an airline? My little common sense says the bigger the better (KC-10, C-141, C-5, ect) I guess like to fly a fighter like any red blooded young man would. Sh*t I'd fly anything.
Don't worry about your transition to the airlines yet! In fact, DO NOT join the military even thinking about an airline job. Although Uncle Sam will pay you pretty darn well and foot the bill for all of your training, you pay for it in otherways. When you are in the military they OWN you, and occasionally that sucks. Life in the military can also be pretty cool - you can do things that really made a difference, and you can go places other people only read about. And that is how I think you ought to pick your aircraft IF you are lucky enough to have a choice...pick what you think would be fun. The smartest choice I every made in aircraft/location assignements, I stopped listening to what everyone else thought was good for my carreer(USAF and/or airline). I picked something because it sounded like the kind of flying I wanted to do.
In terms of what to fly to get an airline job, every air force pilot seems to have an opinion, and that opinion usually seems to favor their particular qualifications. Frankly, I gotta tell you I don't think it matters. Different airlines seem to treat it differently and they even change their policies over time, so you can't second guess it. But in the end the militarily trained pilot is a product the airlines know and like.
If you are luck enough to get to UPT, enjoy the process and fly whatever they let you fly. If the wings aren't part of the propulsion system you'll have a great shot at an airline job.
Just my $.02
Ok, just to clarify what the previous post said. In the guard/reserve, yes they do own you in the sense of in times of war etc, they can activate you to active duty. However, coming from a Reserve Baby myself, any other time, you sorta own them. How you deal with that freedom dictates how your thought of in your squadron. Every month you fill out your availability for the next month, whether it be 30 days or 2 days. The guard/reserve is ideal for the airlines in the sense that they don't tell you when your flying. You tell them when your available, but keep in mind that to stay in good standing you should at least stay current with all of your currency items and this in itself can be a challenging task with an airline job. But it seems as it most people juggle it fairly well.
Any questions about the whole UPT process feel free to ask. Just keep in mind what one of the previous posts talked about being a "nice" pain in their *ss. It took me over two years of calling every unit in the country being a "nice" pain in the butt before I was able to get some interviews. But then when it rained it poured, I actually had one unit trying to hiring me in UPT. They actually weren't aware that I was there and were very happy to hear that I was hired by someone. So, the moral of the story, PERSISTANCE..........
PS......Skip recruiting, call the Chief Pilot....at that point, if he/she wants you to talk to recruiting then talk to them.......but, the chief pilot has the pulse of the hiring......and it can change daily....
Don't waste your time with recruiters in the Guard or Reserves...they don't run the show when it comes to pilot candidates, but they will play an important role when you are selected (by putting your packet together and navigating you through the endless paperwork). The secret to a Guard and/or Reserve job is connections and persistence. Ideally, if you know someone in a unit you can have them set up an interview with the Squadron Commander or Chief Pilot...if you don't know anyone in the unit, get to to know the Chief Pilot or Squadron Commander by calling him or her on a regular basis. A person in that position will appreciate someone who has the drive and persistence (there's that word again) to go after what they want. Remember....they are hiring someone who will disappear for 2 years before they will make a contribution to the unit...they want to know that that person wants it bad enough to get through UPT and arrive back at the unit ready to go!! Every unit has a story about a previous candidate who looked good, but washed out of UPT or worse yet decided "this just isn't for me" halfway through training....show them that you are not one of those people...that you want this more than anything!
I know that 99% of you guys know this but this "can-do attitude" and more importantly PERSISTENCE is also the key to getting that coveted airline job....
A few weeks ago, I posted the following reply to a similar question elsewhere on this board. I think it also applies to your question (specifically for the AF Reserve). I've pasted what I wrote here:
I am in a reserve unit and am currently trying to help a furloughed airline friend get hired, so I'm pretty up on what is required.
First, contact a Reserve Recruiter (note, RESERVE, not ACTIVE DUTY) in the state where you live. The recruiter will set you up to take the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualification Test), the BAT (Basic Aptitude Test), and an Air Force Class 1 Flight Physical.
You also have to find a unit willing to hire you -- living local or willingness to move is a big plus. Every unit has different procedures, so start with professional looking letters and resumes, as well as network to the max extent possible.
The whole hiring process could take 6-12 months or more. You would have to go to Officer Training School, and then start Air Force Pilot Training before your 30th birthday.
That's the basics of it as I understand it. Good luck.