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Enlisting Advice Air National Guard

Discussion in 'Military' started by TRDguyKC, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Aug 25, 2011 at 12:39 AM
    #1
    TRDguyKC

    TRDguyKC [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have created a few threads here in the past about possibly joining the military and have a new approach as to how I am going about it.

    Some Background:

    Kristopher White, 25 years old, BA degree in Business Management, Married with a 3 year old and a 6 month old. (my wife is completely on board with me joining the military).....Phoenix, AZ. and I have a pilot certificate.

    So here is the situation with me now. The dream goal would be to join the AF active duty as a pilot...... however, with my increasing age and lack of board dates, that seems to be a fantasy...... So, instead, what I was contemplating was to joining the Air National Guard. I have talked to a recruiter here at the unit in PHX and a recruiter at the Tucson location. Both have told me that they are now only hiring officers from within the unit.

    So being that I have no prior service, I have determined that the only way to get into the military is to enlist (which I am ok with). That being said, it is nearing the end of the new fiscal year and I am faced with a dilemma......

    Do I pick a job NOW (2A6x6 which is the only opening), or should I wait until 10/01/11 to see what is going to be available for the new year?

    Should I expect there will even be any new job openings being that it is a Guard unit?

    I would like to join the guard as an officer, but if that is not a possibility, my plan is to join enlisted and TRY to put in for an officer position when one comes available (or pilot slot if they ever open up).

    Thanks for hanging in there with me and thank you for any input you may have. This is the largest decision I will have made in my life to date, and would like as much help as I can get.

    -Kris
     
  2. Aug 25, 2011 at 9:39 AM
    #2
    Mxpatriot

    Mxpatriot Arctic Prerunner

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    Sounds to me like you want to be a pilot and it looks like you're thinking about settling for less than what you want.

    My $.02, don't join the Air Guard unless it's is the job that you want. If that means you need to stick it out and keep applying for OCS, then do it. Don't rush this decision and enlist just for the sake of enlisting; especially as a grown man with a family.

    Have you considered Army aviation in the National Guard?
     
  3. Aug 25, 2011 at 12:05 PM
    #3
    TyT

    TyT Thank you to all our miltary personnel for serving

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    subd! good luck man !
     
  4. Aug 25, 2011 at 6:26 PM
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    EAR28

    EAR28 Active Member

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    I agree with Mx.

    I'm in the same situation, I'm a little older (33) and getting close to the Officer age limit. I talked to both the AF Reserve and ANG here in TX, the Reserve said they were going to be picking up Officers from Active Duty since the AF was going to start a Reduction in Force. The ANG just said to hang tight and watch the openings. Sure enough, I recently applied for an Officer position in something I wanted. For the record, I don't know if it's different in your state but the process is a bit slow.


    Wait for something you want, don't settle.
     
  5. Aug 25, 2011 at 6:36 PM
    #5
    HIYota

    HIYota Well-Known Member

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    Don't settle, the AF only offers E-3 as the highest rank to anyone with a degree that goes enlisted. E-3 pay won't put you in a good place having a family like yours. I don't know what you are doing for work now but if I were you I'd wait it out if possible.
     
  6. Aug 25, 2011 at 6:37 PM
    #6
    rleeharris

    rleeharris "Old Timer," compliments of 11Taco2.7

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    I have to ask the question: Is being in the USAF more important than being a pilot? Right now, the USAF is swamped with enlistees and officer candidates; never short of pilot candidates. The line is around the block. However, other services and their guard equivalents are less (not by much and this doesn't include the Coast Guard who always meets their goals) sought after. I just had an AF enlisted friend who got picked up for Army Helicopter training and reports to OCS at the beginning of next year. He wanted to be an USAF pilot but ended up going the army rotary route because it was more available: A very noble and challenging profession.

    Just thought I'd ask the question. I was just wondering what your expectations and priorities were. Some people just want to enlist in the service because of the benefits and security of a good career and they would be willing to settle to accept those realities. Whatever your goals are, I would try to rack and stack them and look at what truly is achievable in the--and this is important--timeline you require. If time is of the essence for whatever reason, you may have to compromise. Good luck.
     
  7. Aug 25, 2011 at 6:48 PM
    #7
    TacPro45

    TacPro45 Well-Known Member

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    Never settle! If you want to fly then fly. 25 is also not old, we're not pro ball players here! Obviously times are tough for all employers whether it's military, federal, state, or just the local level, but if you want to do something specific, do not enlist to get "in" because you may never get a chance to do what you really want to do. Enlist because you want to enlist if that makes sense.

    Every branch has a flight program. Depending on what you're looking for or what you want to fly is what you have to look at. I wish you the best of luck, and don't give up!
     
  8. Aug 25, 2011 at 11:14 PM
    #8
    TRDguyKC

    TRDguyKC [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I will try to answer your questions to clarify some things.

    USAF is not the only branch I will accept..... I have considered the warrant officer route in the ARMY for helo's.... The reason I have not set my focus in that direction is because I know they deploy more frequently and for longer periods of time. This wouldnt be an issue for me if I didnt have a family, but being that I do.....

    I DO want to be a pilot, however, I also have a very strong desire to serve my country no matter if I fly or not. Being that I am approaching the max age of going to OCS as a Pilot, I HAVE considered other careers...... such as UAV operations (pilot, or sensor operator) (I realize that in order to pilot a UAV you still have to go to UPT and OCS).

    So all in all I would say that if I do not get a UPT slot, I will not be crushed and I would still want to serve in some form or fashion.
     
  9. Aug 25, 2011 at 11:33 PM
    #9
    AlphaEcho2k5

    AlphaEcho2k5 Well-Known Member

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    There's not a thing wrong with that mentality. I joined the service I thought would best fulfill my desire to serve and balance family. If the Pilot thing does'nt work out going the Officer route isn't out of the question either. Best of luck!

    P.S I joined as a 24 yr old E-1 with a Wife and kid, yeah I was behind the power curve but we caught up and it was best decision our "family" has made to date.
     
  10. Aug 26, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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    swamppirate

    swamppirate Dental Floss Tycoon

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    I think, if you pick the officer career path in the TACP field as a non-rated ALO (13L) you could get in reasonably quick. Also the CRO (13DXA) option in the PJ career field may be an option....Words to heed however, they are NOT easy paths to take but both are challenging and rewarding....best of luck!
     
  11. Aug 30, 2011 at 1:29 AM
    #11
    arvizu9618

    arvizu9618 Well-Known Member

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    Have u considered the AF Reserve? Closer to Glendale. I'd go the officer route if I were you, you're still young but time runs away with you and pretty soon you're 46 like me and got my degree too late...
     
  12. Sep 2, 2011 at 5:19 PM
    #12
    Taco Gunner

    Taco Gunner Well-Known Member

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    Here is my thoughts.

    I left the Army Guard to join the Air National Guard as an aircrew member. Best move I ever made. At the time, I was also working on getting more flight time to become a professional pilot. I was a Loadmaster on C-130's and instantly started seeing the world. I have been to over 50 countries thanks to the USAF. One HUGE benefit of joining the Air Guard as aircrew is that you start getting to know the folks who choose the pilots. I have seen it more than not of folks getting picked up out of the enlisted flying ranks for UPT. You also start networking for future flying jobs. My first job flying freight in a jet was from someone I knew in the Guard.

    After 12 years of flying with the Guard, I left for the Reserves here in AZ. I am still flying as an Aerial Gunner on the HH60G Pave Hawk helicopter. It is a great job. One thing that it has lead to was getting picked up by a DoD contractor flying manned ISR in Afghanistan.

    So...17 years of service as an enlisted guy, with a Bachelors degree (working on Masters), and a professional pilot..and I would not trade it for anything. Do not discount being an enlisted dude...it is a great way to serve. The USAF as the highest number of enlisted folks with degrees and they serve in some great roles.

    Talk to the tanker unit in Phoenix..see if they are hiring boom operators.
     
  13. Sep 3, 2011 at 12:38 AM
    #13
    TRDguyKC

    TRDguyKC [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input man. Gives me hope!

    Thanks for the advice. I will certainly look into those career paths.

    I have considered it, however, I have called the local recruiter for the reserves and have not had a call back yet. I have called a few times over the last 3 months and nothing.... I dont know why.

    Thanks a lot for your words. My dad is a retired F-16 pilot who now flys for Southwest, however, he only knows the ROTC way.

    I have been talking with the tucson guard and the unit here at Sky harbor. There are no boom operator jobs at the moment.... however it is the end of the military fiscal year. There SHOULD be more jobs available here around 10/01/11.

    If im not mistaken, they have some C-130's in Tucson.... I never considered Loadmaster.....

    My dad knows a few guys that fly the 135's here in az, however I would prefer they know me for me, not through my dad. The 135 unit only has an E&E job open currently.... until the new fiscal year anyway.
     
  14. Sep 3, 2011 at 9:28 AM
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    Taco Gunner

    Taco Gunner Well-Known Member

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    NEVER discount the importance of family in getting a foot in the door. NEVER. The Guard is a HUGE family...and it helps. Once in, show them who YOU are and that you are NOT merely so-and-so's kid. Seriously. If your pops knows someone, use that.

    The Herks in Tucson are active duty HC-130's...aerial tankers for us helo's.
     
  15. Sep 13, 2011 at 4:51 PM
    #15
    ETAV8R

    ETAV8R 4th MAW

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    Here's my history and .02.

    My father flew since he was 16. Entered the USAF at the end of the Korean era. Flew many years with the USAF and USAFR. Then finished his career with the Air Guard. My mother was a flight nurse for 20 years with the Air Guard. Therefore I feel a strong connection with the Air Guard.

    As a teenager my head was so far up my ass it wasn't funny. Didn't listen to my father at all even though I wanted to follow his footsteps. He flew during the glory days of commercial aviation. From props to jets and has over 27K of flight time (mil/com). So while in junior college trying to figure myself out I decided life was going too slow. To make a long story a bit shorter I joined the Marine Corps thinking I'd go reserve, finish my degree and apply for OCS and become a pilot in the Corps. While in electronics school I found out I needed glasses. At that time the Corps/Navy were not accepting any applicants who had corrected vision. The dream was shot down.

    After the Corps I became an radiologic technologist (xray tech) and then got a BS in Aviation Administration. I've been a pilot for about six years now flying general aviation. One of my classmates who had his commerical cert became an air traffic controller. He makes good money and can do pretty much anything he wants. Easy six figures and a good retirement.

    You are quite young as far as pilot training goes. As others have stated about flying airguard, get in as an enlisted, serve for a while. The people within the unit will find out if they want you to fly for them. They like to hire from within. I know being a loadmaster or boom operator would be lots of fun. Getting trained on the governments dime as an air traffic controller will benefit you much more. Sure you will do your one weekend drill per month and two weeks in the summer, endure a deployment or ten. In your off time you may find lucrative work as an FAA air traffic controller and make some good coin. Take flight lessons, get as much flight training as you can. When you pick up a flight instructor ticket you can earn money doing that. By the time all that has taken place, those in the airguard who select individuals to send to UPT will know you very well. When I was in the cut off for pilots was 28. Not sure where it is now. Go for it! I cannot say enough about the airguard.

    As a side note the last time I visited my parents old guard unit to see a memorial garden on the base several of the base security, MPs, were former Marines. They found the best kept secret in the military!
     
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