Military Aviation

NJPilot

New Member
I spoke to a Marine officer recruiter at a career fair recently and the opportunities seem pretty interesting. From what he told me, the military has many flight slots open which I found to be amazing in light of the current economic situation especially in aviation. He seemed to be a bit more optimistic than me about the chances to get a fixed wing jet slot. I have a few questions which I think can be best answered by the JetCareers crew.

1. If I should get selected to fly rotary wing, will that help in perhaps 20 years if I want to fly for an airline or do you basically have to train from scratch again?

2. In the Marines, you go to OCS and then get offered a commission (or not) then go to "The Basic School". The recruiter told me that if you go on an aviation option, you are guaranteed a slot at flight school. If for some reason if one is not offered an aircraft out of flight school, is there still a 10 year committment as another type of officer (not the worst thing in the world) or is it less?

3. For anyone who has been to OCS, they say that the failure rate is 50%, what are the reasons why people fail out?

As for information on me, I will be 21 in November, I am graduating in June with a BS in Telecommunications Management/Computer Science with a 3.75 GPA. My SAT Scores were 1330. I also took the ASVAB in HS but I don't know how to convert the scores to see how I did as far as GT (General Technical) on my results which mostly just showed percentiles, I know I will have to take them again, but I was wondering if there was an easy way to convert to GT.

Thanks in advance,
Eric
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
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1. If I should get selected to fly rotary wing, will that help in perhaps 20 years if I want to fly for an airline or do you basically have to train from scratch again?

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I don't believe the airlines recognize rotary-wing flight time (nor other aircrew flight time) for the purposes of hiring.

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2. In the Marines, you go to OCS and then get offered a commission (or not) then go to "The Basic School". The recruiter told me that if you go on an aviation option, you are guaranteed a slot at flight school. If for some reason if one is not offered an aircraft out of flight school, is there still a 10 year committment as another type of officer (not the worst thing in the world) or is it less?

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In the USMC, OCS gets you your commission, everyone then goes to TBS to learn the advanced art of being a Marine Officer, since in the Marines, regardless of your job, every Marine is a rifleman first. In the USAF (and I think the same for the Marines), everyone graduating OCS incurs a 4 year officer committment. If you go on to flight school and graduate, you incur a 10 year committment concurrent with your 4 year OCS committment (effectively canceling out your OCS committment) for a total of about 11-12 years of service, which includes the time in flight school. The 10 year committment starts the day you graduate flight school.

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3. For anyone who has been to OCS, they say that the failure rate is 50%, what are the reasons why people fail out?

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I did USAF OTS (OCS). Most people failed out of my class for: not liking the military lifestyle, injuries that they couldn't be held back for, not passing physical fitness tests, not passing academic tests, etc.

Thanks in advance,
Eric

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Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
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I don't believe the airlines recognize rotary-wing flight time (nor other aircrew flight time) for the purposes of hiring.

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I think it still counts as 'total time" but they still want 1000 or so 'fixed wing' time.
 

bumflip

New Member
GO to the ARMY's OCS Flight Program, or Warrant Officer...I can speak from experience, If you want to fly, you will do a lot of it! Read an older post under this forum for Warrant Officers. They are picking up 540 Flight Warrants this year alone! And you get the guarantee before you even go to Basic!
 

MarineNav

New Member
Hello NJ,

Remember, when you hear the word "Recruiter", think "Salesman"! Of course, back in my day we didn't have the Internet. These days, potential recruits have the ability to be much better informed. Just be sure to ask a lot of questions and have them show you everything they tell you in official written form. I missed some great military opportunities because of recruiters AND my own poor research skills!

Semper Fi
 

sbav8r

New Member
Hey NJ,

I can answer a few of your questions based on personal experience. I recieved a pilot slot with the USMC and then attended OCS.

Yes you will have to fulfill 10 years if you complete pilot training. Chances are you can expect to serve some time as forward air control, but the Marines seem to be very good about keeping you in the cockpit.

Your chances are very good for getting fixed wing jets since unlike the other services the Marines like to spread out the experiences of pilots to various equipment. This means that even if you fly helos it is not impossible to later in your career transition to fixed wing.

As for OCS: Quantico is butt crack nasty! If you go in the summer expect damn near 100 degrees and 110% humidity. I came from PHX and the humidity killed me. There is allot of running and endurance training, so be sure your a strong runner. One of the major factors that took people out in my Platoon (65% attrition rate) was heat stroke. Once the heat stroke occurs your much more likely to get it again, your body has hell of a time coping with it. Here's the worst part: your instructors will tell you that if you collapse from heat stroke the medics will have to give you the SILVER BULLET, which as legend has it is a big ars medal rod that is cooled then stuck up your ars. Not sure about this but either way don't let the heat get to you. I would reccommend going to VA a little in advance to let your body adjust if your coming from a dry place, it took me almost 2 weeks to get comfortable. I would suggest running 5 miles comfortably at atleast a 7 minute mile pace and do allot of hiking. Throw on a pack of atleast 50lbs and head for the hills. In the Marines the NCO's have the luxury of selecting their own boss, if you go there in great shape, show respect and truly desire to be a Marine they will love you. If you go there with an ego and act like some kind of hot shot college educated jet jockey wannabe they will abuse you like a red headed step child.

Hope this helps.

You will have some great and sometimes hillarious stories, might hate it at the time though.
 

Hawk

New Member
Have you talked to the 108th ANG??? They fly KC-135 refuelers out of McGuire. Last I heard, they were hurting for pilots. Check em out.

Be careful with any service. Find out what happens if there is no slot or what happens if you wash out????
 

phrog_driver

New Member
"If you're not offered an aircraft out of flight school..."

If you make it through flt school, you get an aircraft. That's the point. If you quit before graduation, attrite, go medically unk, etc, you revert to a ground contract with a 4 year AD hitch.

As far as making it with the airlines, you will have a harder time than your FW bretheren. However, the rotor time does count, as long as you have the other requisite minimums. See www.aptap.org . It's a website for ex-army helo bubbas, but it has a lot of relevant gouge. There are "B" billets for rotorheads in the Corps that can get you FW time, if that's your thing. Also, remember that if you do your 20, there are plenty of helo jobs that start at better salaries than RJs. Petroleum support and EMS, just to name two. They top out lower than the airlines, but at least you start at a living wage. Even a FW pilot still has to pay dues at the regionals, and if you do a full twenty in the military, you will already be in your 40s--not a long time until mandatory airline retirement.
 

mtsu_av8er

Well-Known Member
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This means that even if you fly helos it is not impossible to later in your career transition to fixed wing.


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click this link..... http://www.usmc.mil/maradmins/maradmin2000.nsf/0872a7ac9a4c08a6852569b9000bc3f1/88b4a04b560e6f4385256d1e005a1207?OpenDocument


9 Marine Corps officers were approved for transition training this year!! That's not very many. Do you know how many applied?? Watch out....the Marine Corps is a great organization, but they sure do have a way of putting syrup on dogsh*t and then calling it pancakes! Having served in several Marine Corps Squadrons (honorably....I'm not even one of the disgruntled ones), I say go to another branch and fly. The equipment they have works, it's safe, and you'll probably fly more!!!
 
NJPilot,

I'm going to spout off some of my philosophy($00.02). You can take my advice or pitch it. Doesn't matter. A lot of people want to join the military and become pilots. Why? During my time on active duty in the ANG I have seen the about every type of pilot. Here are some of the reasons people join the military and want to become pilots.

1. Build hours for the airlines. Period.

2. Cannot get a job anywhere else.

3. Good retirement and medical benefits.

4. Watched "Top Gun" and "Iron Eagle" too many times and were duped by Hollywood.

5. Joined for somebody else, not themselves.

6. Power hungry for rank and esteem (elitists).

7. Free training (Masters, pilot training, etc..)

BTW, all of the above mentioned are great "recruiting tools".

I'd have to say that easily 75% of AF pilots joined primarily for one of the reasons above.

If you want to serve your country, truly sacrifice, and become a warrior then join the military. If you find yourself fitting into one of the categories above, the long rotations away form home, especially during wartime, will make you one sad-sorry SOB. If you are looking for kudos and attaboys from bosses, peers, family and friends, then the military is definitely the wrong place to be. If you are serious about joining the military and becoming a warrior, then dive in head first and do your best and let the chips fall where they may. Do your best in the current job you have and everything should work out for the best in the end.

Take care, fly safe and good luck,

Chris Bow
 
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