Ex-military/VRA controllers please post here

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
This a thread for vets so we can discuss past work experiences, deployments, where we are going, STDs passed while in, etc. Also maybe how long it took to get picked up and some experiences so far with the transition from military to sillyvilian. I mean am I right? it is sillyvilian isn't it? I would like to network how to draw the GI Bill, or maybe how long the process takes for those already in the grinder. Happy posting f'ers.

"Fit favorite quote here"
 

HiDef

New Member
I transitioned to the FAA fairly recently after 6 years AF and almost 2 years contract. Stationed at Scott for the whole 6 years with a deployment to Bosnia in '02 and Mosul, Iraq in '04. Started my app for the FAA right when I got out and waited for a long time which ended up turning out alright. I worked at a contract tower in Oklahoma while I waited. Had to turn down SMO tower (originally from CA) due to the pay. Wised up and started looking at states with low costs of living and was offered Texas Enroute or Tennessee Terminal. I wanted terminal more so Tennessee it was. While I was in the hiring process the 20K bonus came out and I had plenty of time to qualify since I was working contract at the time. I would highly suggest any VRA's to stay current after they get out if they anticipate a lengthy hiring process. I've seen VRA's with a two year break from atc get hired only to have to "resign" and reapply hoping for a slower facility. Maybe they just always sucked, I don't know but its a good idea to keep up on the job either way.

My hiring process went quickly and smoothly. My contract tower manager knew the interviewing official in OKC and gave me a good recommendation so my interview was more of a formality. From my initial letter to my start date was maybe 4 months. I had my firm letter in my hand 3 weeks before I showed up at the facility.

I joined NATCA within weeks of getting to TN and I would recommend it to all new starting controllers. NATCA is the reason we have the MGIB program with the FAA so they get my support big time. The program is very easy once you do your online app through the VA. If anyone has any questions I can definitely help out on what forms to fill out and how.

HD
 

mforce421

New Member
Hey HiDef,

I just got out of the military in January, I did 4 yrs and was stationed up in grand forks ND for the whole time. My hiring process went fairly quick as I'm going to the academy in July, and I have two fellow controllers who got out around the same time who also are hired. So maybe were all just lucky or I say if your VRA you have a pretty good chance of getting picked up somewhat quickly. Anyways the real reason I'm writing you is the GI bill benifits, can you give me a rundown of the process, from applying to what forms I have to fill out and how long it took to start receiving your payments? I appreciate any help you can give me?

thank you,
fellow controller
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
Thanks for your reply. Scott is a nice place, I guess you were tower right? Didn't they get rid of their RAPCON? Let me guess, you were at Enid for you contract time. I have a buddy there right now who is going to ZID. Where in TN are you now? I actually know another guy at Chattanooga.

Right now I am at Whiteman, was at Eielson for three years, and got picked up for Denver while still active. I am on terminal leave right now, waiting for school. Looks like you did everything the non-PEPC way. I just attended the PEPC in LA and it was more of a formality as well but everything went smooth. I never chased that big FAA cloud in the sky, but when 100% of my friends that separated were hired I jumped on the band wagon. Couldn't pass up that opportunity you know? I am very excited, it's almost like joining the big leagues as stupid as that sounds.

I plan on applying for MGIB as soon as I get to the academy. Can we apply beforehand? If so let me know dude. Take care
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
Hey MForce,

I am stationed with a guy at Whiteman that just left Grand Forks. Small world.
I also start in July. Where did you get hired? Take care.

CX
 

HiDef

New Member
Thanks for your reply. Scott is a nice place, I guess you were tower right? Didn't they get rid of their RAPCON? Let me guess, you were at Enid for you contract time. I have a buddy there right now who is going to ZID. Where in TN are you now? I actually know another guy at Chattanooga.

Right now I am at Whiteman, was at Eielson for three years, and got picked up for Denver while still active. I am on terminal leave right now, waiting for school. Looks like you did everything the non-PEPC way. I just attended the PEPC in LA and it was more of a formality as well but everything went smooth. I never chased that big FAA cloud in the sky, but when 100% of my friends that separated were hired I jumped on the band wagon. Couldn't pass up that opportunity you know? I am very excited, it's almost like joining the big leagues as stupid as that sounds.

I plan on applying for MGIB as soon as I get to the academy. Can we apply beforehand? If so let me know dude. Take care
I felt the same way, kind of like joining the big leagues. So far despite the issues in the FAA I've had a good experience and I aniticipate it will get better.

I'm sure we know the same person from Whiteman, AJ (not sure if those were his intials at Whiteman). In fact he was at my house last night with his wife drinking some beers (guess you can figure out where I'm at now, huh?). I also knew another guy from Whiteman that was tdy with me in Iraq, SSgt Kilgore. Haven't talked to him since I got back. Scott was tower only and lost their RAPCON a couple of years before I got there. Nice place but slow and hardly a tough place to work. The contract tower was a harder place to work traffic since we didn't have a Brite and Vance sent all their T6's over to practice ELPs and overheads. How long has your friend been in Enid? I may know him too if he was there in the middle of last year. .

I'm pretty sure you can apply for GI benefits before you start and it may not be a bad idea mostly so your name can get into the system. Here is the online app. site: http://vabenefits.vba.va.gov/vonapp/main.asp Don't forget to send in the signature form at the end. I forgot and it backed up my processing. When you begin training at your facility you will fill out a form 22-1999 VA Enrollment Certification. The VA sends this to your facility and you cannot obtain it yourself to fill out ahead of time unfortunately. From there, every month your hours will be calculated and put on a paper with you facilities letterhead and faxed to your STATES VA rep. Mine gets faxed to a place in TN, not the regional office in STL. You must have 120 hours in the facility to get the maximum payment. Remember, it's based on hours in the fac, NOT the number of hours you were actually in position training. My facility was pretty cool about it all and I really only had to sign a few forms, they filled out the rest. I would imagine things at the VA are pretty crazy right now and processing times are just going to increase as more people get their apps in. I turned in all of my paperwork about three weeks ago and haven't gotten my money yet however I personally know two people that have received between $5000-$9000 mostly backpay. Let me know if you have any other questions about the GI bill or starting in the FAA in general.:D

HD
 

AFTOFAAATC

New Member
The guy in TN initials were RJ. He separated before I got to Whiteman, but I've met him several times since. There was an AJ here but he is in TX now unless he transfered somehow. I never met Kilgore but I've heard about him. I am going to get started on the MGIB, thanks for all your help. Take care.
 

Agent Ezzard

New Member
I turned in all of my paperwork about three weeks ago and haven't gotten my money yet...
HD

If you never received GI Bill before it will take a while before you start seeing any money. On the other hand, If you have previously used the GI Bill while attending a traditional school or anything other type of training, the process is usally a bit quicker because you are already in the system.
 

mforce421

New Member
Thanks Hidef for the info, getting the money right away isn't the biggest deal but the fact you get backpay is a nice little bonus. AFTOFAAATC, Is the guys name Blaine? His initials are probably CM, he used to work at the tower in GFK, he is a good guy and pretty sharp too. Well good luck to all of you at your new destinations.

ZK
 

ATC_Freak

New Member
Why yes it is....I called you yesterday....Got a friend who just got pick up at High Desert Tracon...was wondering about the GI Bill......how long do you guys get to collect on it? We get the new JF-35 soon here it ought to be fun controlling it....

KB
 

HiDef

New Member
Why yes it is....I called you yesterday....Got a friend who just got pick up at High Desert Tracon...was wondering about the GI Bill......how long do you guys get to collect on it? We get the new JF-35 soon here it ought to be fun controlling it....

KB
I know, I'll call you later tonight. You get the MGIB as long as you are in training or until it runs out. Also, if you get checked out in a tower but somehow then transfer to a ARTCC you can collect again but not when you move within terminal or ARTCC, thats a one time deal. I got a message from your friend there and I'm going to message him back later but it will be a long message so it will take awhile to get it all typed up.

HD
 

Tarheel

New Member
There's rumor afoot that the GI bill could be changing drastically, to include BAH rates with 1 dependant in addition to the regular GI bill moneys...... I wonder how that will affect ATC?????
 

bloomer

New Member
Let me know if my math is correct with the new GI Bill, I am looking at making close to $6,000 a month while at OKC. With the new GI bill I will only get 80% of the full BAH /w dependants since I only served 28 months after 9/11.

Base Yearly Salary $21,731 ($19,200 plus 13.18% locality pay)
Base Monthly Salary $1,811 ($1,600 plus 13.18% locality pay)
GI Bill Training Program $1,101
New GI Bill $678 (80% of OKC rate w/ dependants)
Per Diem $2,385 ($79.50 a day)

Total $5,974

Not bad for us prior service folks. :rawk:
 
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