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Navy IST to AF

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New member
Nov 26, 2001
Anyone have any opinions on the interservice transfer option from Navy to AF. I'm currently a P-3 pilot not looking forward to shooting planes off the front end of some big haze grey boat in the middle of the night followed by another tour of P-3 flying. Looking at KC-10s, KC-135s, or C-17s. Any helpful insight would be greatly appreciated, especially on AF quality of life, type of flying or general opinions of how a Navy guy would fare doing things the AF way.
For the real scoop, check www.afpc.randolph.af.mil. Click on Officers, then Special Flying Programs, then Interservice Transfer.

Basically it says they will take you if you fly something similar to an AF major weapons system, ie E-6 to KC-135 or E-3, F-14 to F-15, P-3 to C-130. They will also consider you if you want to volunteer for the U-2.

Keep in mind that they probably won't cut any deals with you for location, so if you don't mind Abilene, Fayetteville, or Little Rock for C-130's you might be alright. Also realize that there are hundreds of guys who've already "paid their dues" in the Air Force and any choice assignments are going to go to them.

I'm not sure what promotion opportunities would be like after transfering, I'm sure you would get O-4 but after that it would be pretty dicey.

Quality of life is much better, but it's still the military- you're gone too much, you have little to no control over your location and your schedule. Of course, this is all just my opinion as a guy who has flown with both services (and is currently joining the guard).


Was in your situation in 1998. Talked to the Navy side (Pers) of Interservice Transfers and he squashed the idea like a bug. He told me that he would not approve it, because the detailer had a set of Shooter orders that he was dying to give me. More or less told me that he could sit on it long enough to screw me out of switching services.

Both the Navy and the Air Force have to agree on the deal, and if the detailer needs to fill billets, your chances are slim. In '98, the AF guy at Randolph said that I could have anything I wanted that was big and multi-engine. He wouldn't give me anything small and fast. Unfortunately, he never had a chance to see my paperwork. Ended up getting out completely and getting into the Coast Guard flying Hercs through the Direct Comission Aviator Program. The flying is O.K., but the paycut really sucked. Will be going to Customs in the Summer.

Good luck and hope the system works better for you than it did for me. Any questions drop me a line.

I was tossing around the idea of doing the same thing. Didn't think the detailer could really override the thing if your obligation was up, but I guess I was wrong. I'd take a C-130 in bumfuk over anything haze-gray anyday! Still waiting on word from Customs from an interview 3 weeks ago. Hey Dohshooter, you heard any other rumors as to how many guys they are hiring?? good luck to all, aloha.
P-3 guys need to suck it up!


In case you hadn't noticed....you joined the friggin' NAVY!

Sometimes that requires one to get haze gray and underway. Wanting to get out of shooter orders is one thing...running to the USAF is just plain pus$. (No offense air force dudes)

Why don't you try CODs or Hummers? Join the REAL Navy...the Tailhook Navy.

The Navy paid a lot of dough for your training...you don't have much room to b1tch if they ask you to do two years on the deck. You'll probably even get one of those new-fangled bubbles to shoot from. He!!, they're even air-conditioned.

BTW, I am stuck doing a tour at a TSC...I'd much rather be back on the boat!

No one really likes the boat....just be a man about it.

Believe it or not, I'm not flaming you...


Merlin / Hugh,

Disregard what Boat boy Chunk has to say... He even admitted that he doesn't like the boat, but he wants you to go to the boat and be miserable with him. Sounds like just another frustrated Hoover driver that can't make a decision by himself, so he lets the Navy decide for him. But if riding boats with 5,000 of his closest male friends is what he likes, then by all means go back to the boat, but this time stay in the closet where you belong. As for me, I'd rather have a beer at the O'club at the end of the day.

Another thing that Chunk seems baffled by is that there are greener pastures than the Navy. Since you are at the end of your commitment, I would like to be the first American to say,"Thank you for giving the Country the best years of your life." Chunk must have signed the Contract with a 20 year minimum, rather than the one I signed that said 7 years after winging. It is quite apparent that he doesn't know you are allowed to get out / change branch of service / or do what ever you want at the end of your obligation.

As for how many pilots Customs is hiring, I'm not sure. When I did the interview in Corpus, there were only 12 pilots and I believe they have 40 billets. Don't quote me on the billet numbers, because I'm not 100% sure. I heard that after 9/11, they (Customs) are swamped with apps and they will probably fill their slots easily.

See ya later... Heading to Gitmo for a week of catching druggies starting off with a 10 hour burner.
Good luck in whatever you decide to do.
Speaking of being a Pu$$, I thought NFOs took orders to TSCs, not real men. Perhaps Testosterone injections are in order.
take a step back..


1. I 'm not a Naval Aviator, I'm a Naval Aircrewman.

2. No one likes the boat, they accept it as part of business. No one likes bombing people, but they accept it as part of business. Here's a little hint to all of you self-absorbed types (very prevelant in the Sky-Pig community): It's not all about you! You don't have to throw yourself on your own sword in the name of the Navy, but don't try to weasel out of the service just because you are told to do one tour that you don't like.

3. I'm seperating next May...after 6.5 yrs. I'm leaving to pursue my own goals in the airline community. While I was in, the Navy paid 75% of my degree, and I traveled all over the world. I didn't complain when they asked me to go to an overseas TSC. It wasn't as exciting as flying off the boat, and I probably grumbled, but I didn't try to weasel out! That's the difference.

4. To quote you: "I thought NFOs took orders to TSCs, not real men." Grow up. There are one anchor pu$$e$, and there are two anchor pu$$e$. Maybe when you realize that the job doesn't make the man, you'll realize who the real men are.

I really wasn't trying to flame anyone, it's just pathetic to see a guy go so far as to turn in his wings and change uniforms just to weasel out of a bum deal.

Have a nice day...


PS---I'll be thinking about your "TSC guy = pu$$y" line of thought as I hang out at the Carousel Bar in Pattaya, or maybe in Brisbane, or maybe Hong Kong....hmmm soo many choices.
Who's weaseling?

These gentlemen are at the end of their commitments. They have served what they signed up for and they are going to move on to other things. What's wrong with that? Have you ever thought maybe they have families and want to see them more than once in a while? They owe the Navy nothing, yet the country owes them a lot. How have you determined that I/we are self-absorbed? Sounds a whole lot like envy to me.

Why do you have the mentality that ,"Well if I had to go to the Boat, then everybody should?"

Secondly, you are leaving the service after only 6.5 years. Why? Aren't you, using your logic, weaseling out on the Navy? They are still trying to serve their country.

Do you think things are better on the outside? Obviously, otherwise you would be staying where you are. I'm over the twelve year mark, so I think I may have a bit more insight on PILOT matters.

Bottom line, it is their choice. They can do what they want and it is their RIGHT to do so. If you disagree with someone's choices, that's fine, but when you criticize them and say they are weaseling out, give me a break... I / they have served longer than you have.

Sorry about the NFO comment. I was a little irritated when I made the rash comment. My apologies.


P.S. I'm not in the Navy, and as far as the crew and their thoughts about me, they can dish out as well as they can take it.
Chill dudes, chill.

Hey guys, nothing wrong with anyone deciding to do something different. I certainly don't feel like I am weasling out on anything since I will be retiring next year-ten years as an AW, ten years as a pilot. All flying and that's what I like to do. That's what I joined for and after twenty years with the option of not flying and going to the boat, or drawing my well-earned retirement and moving on to something else where I will fly, I think I'll opt to fly. No mission can be done very well with a lousy anyone at any postition. As multi-crew guys, we all know that. So come on dudes, let's all chill and have a good time. I like my chances of spending more time in places like pattaya, Bali, or even PI (at 6.5 years, I bet ya haven't gotten that qual) as a civilian with a little more time off and pass privileges. Carousel? Nice spot, but I have to say I am a bigger fan of Sabailand, the Tahitian Queen II and my personal all-time favorite...... Schoolhouse-a-go-go. Good luck to all of you guys! Let's just have a little fun.:D

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