Airlines and National Guard Drills

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#1
How do airlines handle National Guard commitments like monthly drills or annual training? Are you able to simply bid around those days? What sort of documentation do they typically require?

Many thanks.

@Nark - Because I know you've done it.
 

Nark

Well-Known Member
#2
USERRA doesn't require companies to ask for orders for days (orders) less than 30 days. For drills and AFTP' s I fill out the requisite LOA company form.
I had my commander sign a memo stating what AFTP s are, vice MUTA's.

The two companies I've worked for did require a link and a perusal through USERRact.

As for scheduling around drill. Not very easy. My unit, we typically schedule the follow on month during drill weekend, which of course is a week prior to civilian bid period.

As I become more senior I can make things work a little better, however I still have to drop a few trips to accommodate AFTP's.

@WaterRooster .....
 

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#3
As for scheduling around drill. Not very easy. My unit, we typically schedule the follow on month during drill weekend, which of course is a week prior to civilian bid period.
Thanks. When you say your unit schedules the next month during drill I hope to god you mean weekly AFTPs and not when the next monthly drill is! You get your drill schedule a year out, right?

I'm not terribly worried about the AFTPs - thinking I can just plan them for my normally scheduled off days.
 

Nark

Well-Known Member
#4
Thanks. When you say your unit schedules the next month during drill I hope to god you mean weekly AFTPs and not when the next monthly drill is! You get your drill schedule a year out, right?

I'm not terribly worried about the AFTPs - thinking I can just plan them for my normally scheduled off days.
AFTP's. Drill days a month out would be insane. Is that even allowed?
Generally....
Our drill dates are set a year out.
 

Finny

Well-Known Member
#5
At 9E you email your base manager your drill dates and they block them off your schedule. For reserve, you can incorporate them into your 11 days off and not have a pay cut, or do your 11 days off plus drill and take a 3.5 hour pay cut of guarantee per day missed. As a line holder it doesn't really matter because you're going to credit over 75 hours anyways.

Even if something pops up last minute, they're great about getting you off your trip and getting home. I perform Military Funeral Honors, which doesn't have a lot of heads up time, and they've gotten me home no problem no questions asked. It just took a conversation when I did my base tour about how those situations pop up and the best way to deal with them.

Big thing is to try to work with them and get your days in before the bid closes. That makes life easier for everyone. If you have any other questions let me know.
 

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#6
At 9E you email your base manager your drill dates and they block them off your schedule. For reserve, you can incorporate them into your 11 days off and not have a pay cut, or do your 11 days off plus drill and take a 3.5 hour pay cut of guarantee per day missed. As a line holder it doesn't really matter because you're going to credit over 75 hours anyways.

Even if something pops up last minute, they're great about getting you off your trip and getting home. I perform Military Funeral Honors, which doesn't have a lot of heads up time, and they've gotten me home no problem no questions asked. It just took a conversation when I did my base tour about how those situations pop up and the best way to deal with them.

Big thing is to try to work with them and get your days in before the bid closes. That makes life easier for everyone. If you have any other questions let me know.
Great information - thank you!
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
#7
Thanks. When you say your unit schedules the next month during drill I hope to god you mean weekly AFTPs and not when the next monthly drill is! You get your drill schedule a year out, right?

I'm not terribly worried about the AFTPs - thinking I can just plan them for my normally scheduled off days.
I thought you're done with the Army? Or about to be?
 

WaterRooster

Well-Known Member
#8
At Skywest, I just fill out a Military LOA with no questions asked. AFTPs are a little tricky as I try to bid around them, but I end up having to trade or drop trips to make them work on random week days. I try to bunch them around drill as it's easier to take 4 mil days (AFTPs Thursday-Friday, Drill Saturday-Sunday) then a bunch of random ones throughout the month.
 

Finny

Well-Known Member
#11
So wait if you are on mil orders you still don't get your guaranteed per month?
The only way you can at Endeavor is if you incorporate your drill weekend into your min days off. So you'd get guarantee, 9 days off, and 2 drill days to equal 11 days off. Or you take the 3.5 hour pay hit per day of mil leave and call it good. You can also roll the dice and try to bid your drill days off and not tell the company, but I've never been that confident to try that.
 

Finny

Well-Known Member
#13
Is that relatively easy to do?
When you're jr and can't hold weekends off it is incredibly hard to do. The big issue is say you have a trip that ends on Friday and drill is Saturday. The trip on Friday then gets delayed for wx, mx, atc, etc and the company expects you to fly into your day off. If you don't have that Saturday blocked as mil leave, you don't have a leg to stand on as far as getting out of the trip to get back home to drill. So either you need a VERY understanding commander, or take the easy route and take the small pay hit. At this point I still make more in a drill weekend as an E-5 then I would as a FO for Endeavor over the course of those two days, so overall it's still not a pay hit compared to other pilots that fly 75 hours.
 

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#14
When you're jr and can't hold weekends off it is incredibly hard to do. The big issue is say you have a trip that ends on Friday and drill is Saturday. The trip on Friday then gets delayed for wx, mx, atc, etc and the company expects you to fly into your day off. If you don't have that Saturday blocked as mil leave, you don't have a leg to stand on as far as getting out of the trip to get back home to drill. So either you need a VERY understanding commander, or take the easy route and take the small pay hit. At this point I still make more in a drill weekend as an E-5 then I would as a FO for Endeavor over the course of those two days, so overall it's still not a pay hit compared to other pilots that fly 75 hours.
Thanks, makes sense.

Can you not block out the weekend for mil leave and pick up extra trips or something to make up the 75?
 

Finny

Well-Known Member
#15
Thanks, makes sense.

Can you not block out the weekend for mil leave and pick up extra trips or something to make up the 75?
The only time it's really an issue is while you're on reserve. At that point you're sacrificing your offtime to try to pick up trips in open time. I did that for my first month of reserve and I wouldn't recommend it, you burn out quick for not that much gain. Once you become a line holder you instantly are able to hold more days off and credit over 75 hours all while blocking off your drill weekends.

If you end up coming here, I'd recommend bidding for the 200 in LGA. That right now seems to be the jr plane/base that would limit your reserve time.
 

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#17
The only time it's really an issue is while you're on reserve. At that point you're sacrificing your offtime to try to pick up trips in open time. I did that for my first month of reserve and I wouldn't recommend it, you burn out quick for not that much gain. Once you become a line holder you instantly are able to hold more days off and credit over 75 hours all while blocking off your drill weekends.

If you end up coming here, I'd recommend bidding for the 200 in LGA. That right now seems to be the jr plane/base that would limit your reserve time.
Awesome, thanks. Is the 900 reserve time that much worse?
 

MikeFavinger

Well-Known Member
#20
It's not terrible by any means, it's more that 200 is that much quicker. If you want you can always start on the 200 then transition to the 900 later. That's what I did in MSP.
Thanks for all the help! I owe you a beer or three next time you swing through BDL. And if that doesn't happen, definitely when I'm on board.
 
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