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Questions for Army Aviators

wordsofwisdom51

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Hello all, I've got some questions for you Army pilots out there.
I'm trying to get into army aviation and flying helos. I've talked to several recruiters. Problem is, not many recruiters know about this process, probably because they're looking for enlisted folks.

I have a pretty good flying job right now and don't want to give it up so active duty is out of the question. I'm really looking into joining the national guard here in tx to fly apaches or blackhawks. I'd jump at the guard right now only thing is I'm told I'd have to enlist first for a minimum of 1 yr before I'd get selected for a pilot slot. Can anyone confirm this? I'm also told WO's are in need over commisioned officers so the WO road is the way to go.

Also, how are my chances at getting selected based on my background of 28 yrs old, bachelor's degree, A&P, ATP, 2500 hrs total all fixed wing?
Thanks
 

Hobit

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I can't speak for TX specifically but I am pretty sure most states are going to want to see COMMITMENT FROM YOU first before accepting you for IERW (google that if you don't know).

I understand the hesitation of signing up with no guarantee of what YOU want from the deal. Remember that what you see is a flight school slot. What the unit sees is someone that will be around for a LONG time. They want to get a feel for you before having to be around you for 20 years. They also want to make sure they want to be around you for a year at a time... everyday, 24-7. It's like a REALLY long four day on deployments and then at least 4 to 6 times each month when you are back state side.

At the following websites SEARCH FIRST BEFORE POSTING ANY QUESTIONS!!!

1800goguard-dot-com
aptap-dot-com
kiowapilots-dot-com
http://www.cavhooah-dot-com/warrant.htm
http://www.usarec.army-dot-mil/hq/warrant/
P.S. - Remember that your average recruiter could give 2 sh!ts about what you want. You are asking them to put you in a job that is most likely better than anything they'll have. Going to a regular recruiter is like chewing on tin foil.
 
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Jakejett

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I went to flight school with the Texas Army National Guard. Unless it has changed, you have to be accepted to flight school by age 27 1/2 (I made it by 2 months) and start flight school by age 30.

I could have gone the commission route but wanted to be a warrant so I enlisted. They wouldn't let me start the application process until I returned from basic training and AIT (8 months). They then told me the process takes about 2 years to get accepted but I did it in a year and a half. Why so long? Your paperwork sits on different people's desk and I had to keep calling every week to move it along. This was before the internet was what it is today so I hear the process is more streamlined but you are dealing with the government.

The only way to go warrant right off the bat and to get in before you turn 30 is to go active duty then try to transfer to a Guard Unit which isn't easy either. Your employer has to hold your job for 5 years. At the time they were sending 1 commissioned guy and one warrant to flight school each year for the state of Texas. I was number 7 on the list so it didn't look good for me before I would turn 30. They offered 3 guys a slot my last year I was eligible and I started flight school with 9 months to spare.

If I were you, I'd go active duty and knock it out. Army flight school is a blast and you get paid at the same time. If you go commissioned, you can transfer over to the Air Force, Air Guard, etc. with no age restriction in most cases.

Good Luck.
 

Lynxman

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I'm working on my WOFT "warrant officer flight training packet" it is quite a bit of work, and it's going to be very hard to get a guard slot right off the bat. I know you have a great job now but can you think of anything better than flying helicopters for the army? I can't, but then again its been a dream for me for some time. I've been doing the paperwork shuffle for months now, but I've had a few hiccups along the way medical wise. The problem at least I've been told is the boards for getting selected meet 4 times a year and it depends on what fiscal quarter you get selected. So if you miss the boards you may have to wait until the next quarter to go before them.
 

Jakejett

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The application process can be frustrating. I was continually told "no" or "there's a problem" or "you don't have enough time before you are too old so I wouldn't bother".....DON'T GIVE UP during the application process. I think they do this to weed people out. Just stay on the phone and stay in contact with the State Aviation Officer for the Guard, usually a LTC. He most likely will be sitting on the board.
 

wordsofwisdom51

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Thank you all for the replies.
Thanks Hobit for the websites. I'll be studying the info they provide.
Jakejett and Lynxman, thanks also for your info. They've extended the age limit to 33 according to the resources I've seen.
I'll be taking the ASVAB here shortly and try to get this ball rolling.
 

bluefly72

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Thank you all for the replies.
Thanks Hobit for the websites. I'll be studying the info they provide.
Jakejett and Lynxman, thanks also for your info. They've extended the age limit to 33 according to the resources I've seen.
I'll be taking the ASVAB here shortly and try to get this ball rolling.

Good luck, hope it works out for you. I also wanted to join the TX Guard, and was trying to get an age waiver, however at 36 it was not going to happen without prior military.
 

lookin4better

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Active duty is your best bet.... but like you said thats not the preferred option.

Recruiters HATE the WOFT stuff because its a lot of work for them for only one body.... and they do it so infrequently they are unsure of all that needs to be done. Hence the " hey bud.... just enlist as a crewchief and put in your packet once you are in the first unit" ..... dont fall for that... find a recruiter who is willing to do it.
 

Lynxman

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Active duty is your best bet.... but like you said thats not the preferred option.

Recruiters HATE the WOFT stuff because its a lot of work for them for only one body.... and they do it so infrequently they are unsure of all that needs to be done. Hence the " hey bud.... just enlist as a crewchief and put in your packet once you are in the first unit" ..... dont fall for that... find a recruiter who is willing to do it.

My recruiter just told me that wednesday.
 

Hobit

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My recruiter just told me that wednesday.


Welcome to the club.

The pertinent question from this point on is: what group are you going to join.

There's one with people that finished the process and put a packet forward for IERW.

And then there is the other that resents you because you persevered.

Your call.
 

macatstarr

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Good luck, hope it works out for you. I also wanted to join the TX Guard, and was trying to get an age waiver, however at 36 it was not going to happen without prior military.


Bluefly, if you have a Bachelors you can get a waiver, if you are willing to go commissioned. I had a buddy in my OCS class last year who got an age waiver w/ a flying unit in MS. It really up to each unit. If you can find one to go to bat for you & the state want it, you will get it! Since the nation is several thousand officers short in the NG you have some negotiating power. Warrant officer is more difficult, they just fly mainly, don't have to deal w/ the b/s.

For you guys that have watched "Top Gun" or "Firefox" to many times, its not much difference from active & reservist. Everybody goes to the sandbox & there is so much more to military life than flying, it's a real commitment. The likelyhood its not what you thought is very high. Make sure its what you really want to do.

Also, try; www.baseops.net there are openings all over the country, mainly airforce, but some army. Call them, Apply, you'll know what your going to fly & where before you ever sign your life away.

Work the system, or it will work you!
 

Lynxman

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Warrant officer is more difficult, they just fly mainly, don't have to deal w/ the b/s.

I like to not deal with the BS, but do you think getting a pilot slot will be much easier going the OCS route in the guard?

Who the hell do I talk to about doing that? Will my current recruiter be able to help me with that? I feel like my recruiter doesn't have the best knowledge on this topic.
 

macatstarr

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no recruiter! If you want to go commissioned, go to the unit you want. Talk to an officer. Rest assured, they are probably short commissioned guys. Tell him what you want, and see if he'll work w/ you. I did 5 yrs in the Marines; crewcheif on ch-53, go out in 99 & got a bachelors. Walked in the local NG unit & told the Capt I wanted to go WOFT, had 5 years active duty, over 1000 hrs crewing 53s in the corps, & a pvt & instrument rating. He said no, "we have several NCOs here that have earned to the right to go as a warrant to flight school, but if you'll commission, I'll guarantee a flight slot here." Couldn't argue w/ that...
Turns out the state was 320 officers & unless its changed most, if not all other states in the same boats (begs the question, why are all the officers getting leaving or unhappy? its probably for a reason)
 

Lynxman

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I have no idea what to do my recruiter is going to kick my a$$ tomorrow when I talk to him. If someone can call me and help me out with this just pm and I'll give you my number. I'm graduating in 2 weeks from college and I'm now even more confused about what I can do thanks everyone.
 

macatstarr

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Lynx, Make a decision a go w/ it. No one knows you better than you! watch what the recruiter tell you, if you don't like him or don't believe him, go to another one. Be responsible for your own packet, isn't there a checklist. Or sack up & call NG unit tomorrow & talk w/ an officer, preferably MAJ or above. Whats the worst that can happen? He could yell or laugh at you, If you join, there will be alot of that!

Hell, if I were you, i'd stay in college, go to grad school & do ROTC. Let the military pay for it. You could see if you really liked.

Lastly, don't let anyone make your decisions for you!
 

Lynxman

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I have no idea if they have made a packet for me or not. I think I'm getting the run around treatment. I'm guna call my schools Army ROTC unit and talk to them about grad school or getting another degree.
 

Captain Happy

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I know for a fact that the Army reserves is low on Warrants. On baseops.net or gov there is a number for a Major Gray. call him and see what happens. he's the guy doing the recruiting. Good luck and dont take no for an answer!
 

Lynxman

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I'm emailing him now ad calling first thing in the morning thank you!
 
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