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Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:31 PM

Question about the military

Hello everyone. My son will be graduating from high school this spring and he is undecided about a career path. He scored a 1460 on his SATís and has a 4.0 GPA.

One of his areas of interest is becoming a pilot. I suggested maybe a branch of the military would help him achieve this without going into too much debt. However, heís such a smart kid that I think he should try and enlist as an officer after getting his undergrad.

Are there any persons with insight who could advise us about this. We know nothing about the military, except that the recruiters sometimes lie. So we want to get the low down from others before talking to a recruiter.

Thanks in advance.

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Arrow 27 replies Author Time Post
Reply Question about the military (Original post)
Bluesaph Dec 2020 OP
jonstl08 Dec 2020 #1
Jerry2144 Dec 2020 #2
atreides1 Dec 2020 #6
snpsmom Dec 2020 #11
jonstl08 Dec 2020 #22
JHB Dec 2020 #23
snpsmom Dec 2020 #3
Yeehah Dec 2020 #4
BGBD Dec 2020 #10
hack89 Dec 2020 #5
GeorgiaResister Dec 2020 #7
BGBD Dec 2020 #8
Blues Heron Dec 2020 #9
Bluesaph Dec 2020 #12
4Q2u2 Dec 2020 #13
KWR65 Dec 2020 #14
flotsam Dec 2020 #15
gladium et scutum Dec 2020 #16
dware Dec 2020 #19
gladium et scutum Dec 2020 #20
dware Dec 2020 #21
denbot Dec 2020 #17
mercuryblues Dec 2020 #18
Aristus Dec 2020 #24
JHB Dec 2020 #25
maxrandb Dec 2020 #26
EndlessWire Dec 2020 #27

Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:33 PM

1. Military academy appointment

What about a Military academy appointment with the Air Force or Navy? They have pilot training plus he receives an education.

I wan enlisted member of the Air Force so partial to them.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:37 PM

2. Try NROTC or AFROTC

try NRotc. The government will pick up tuition and books, he will get Small monthly stipend, and will owe 6 years upon graduation. Air Force also has a similar program. But NROTC opens up opportunities to fly in both the Navy and Marines.

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Response to Jerry2144 (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:45 PM

6. Navy

Too many religious fanatics in the USAF...especially those that graduate from the Academy!!!

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 06:07 PM

11. yep, yep n/t

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 11:31 AM

22. I know

They were in the enlisted ranks also.

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #6)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 11:36 AM

23. Bingo, and not on fuel!

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:38 PM

3. To be a military pilot

in most cases, you must be a commissioned officer. So don't let him go to an enlisted recruiter. He needs to go to an officer recruiter. Think ROTC, not the folks at the local recruiting office.

(Career Navy here and former Navy Career Counselor)

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:39 PM

4. Sounds like a shoo-in for a 3 or 4-year ROTC scholarship

Flight school is very competitive but as long as eyesight is good, your son has a chance.

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Response to Yeehah (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:55 PM

10. On his numbers yes

 

But we are getting late in the game and many of the schollies are probably already filled. Can always "walk on" for to start and get a scholarship after that. Odds are that several of the incoming guys will wash out during the first semester and some spots will open up for him to get the money.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:45 PM

5. You have to be an officer to be pilot

for either the Navy or Air Force. Which means he has to go to college. I would talk to an officer recruiter (not enlisted) to get your best options. Your local recruiting office will have an officer in charge - he/she is the person you need to talk to.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:47 PM

7. Military Advice

Iíve had 2 sons in the Army. Here is my opinion. With his grades, I would encourage college first so that he can go in as an officer. I recommend the Air Force over any other branch because they are treated better. I know other branches make fun of the Air Force but once my oldest was in the Army, he wish he had gone AF. My sons went in enlisted. If your son didnít have those grades and score, it might be a different story, but I would push college first. Explore whether or not the military would help
Pay off student debt. I think there is a program where he can sign up and go to college first and the GI bill would pay.

Hope this helps

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:50 PM

8. a few options

 

It's probably kind of late in the game to get into a military academy if he hasn't already started that process. It really should have began during his Junior year.

However, that's ok. Look into ROTC programs. You can fly in every branch. Air Force, and Navy/Marines all have every type of aircraft in service and the Army still has turboprops and helicopters if that's his interest. If it's jets then Army isn't the way to go, which also means he NEEDS to go officer to have a shot at being a pilot.

So look at colleges that have either Air Force or Navy ROTC programs at them. Apply for ROTC scholarships with both branches and then contact the ROTC folks at the schools where he is interested in attending. You'll probably find out quickly how many scholarships they have available. You might also find out how likely it would be that he could join the programs where with the hope of getting a scholarship later.

Recruiters do lie, they have quotas to fill. However, the officers at the ROTC programs have less reason to considering that they usually don't have to worry about low numbers in their programs.

Even getting into ROTC with a scholarship won't guarantee him a pilots spot, but it will guarantee him an officer commission if he completes the program successfully. Pilot spots are highly competitive and a number will surely end up with the Academy guys. To make himself more competitive he needs to excel at ROTC and kill it in a STEM major. We are talking something like Aeronautical engineering or physics as the best bets but there are other related degrees that would work to. He needs to kill it though. They say 3.4+ to be competitive so you're really hoping for more like a 3.7+

There is also the option of going to college on your own and applying to Officer Candidate School after, but that's not the most direct approach he has.

Just remember that pilot spots are highly competitive and nothing guarantees that anybody will get one. Even the top candidates can get knocked out for a vision issue, even if it's minor. Check the regulations for all of that information. Also, make sure he can swim well.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 05:52 PM

9. Uncle Sam always needs fresh fodder for the meat grinder

Are you prepared for the possible consequences? He could come home in a box, or worse.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 06:19 PM

12. I appreciate everyone's information!

Thanks for taking the time!

Even the ďfodderĒ comment amplifies what Iíve always believed to be true and what Iíve said many times to my children.

Ultimately, itís his decision and I hope if he did enlist it would be a non combat job as an officer. But there are never any guarantees. And heís also gay. Military nit exactly gay friendly!

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 07:19 PM

13. Retention Bonus

 

Is a good indication of flight openings
They are around 30k a year, and up until the pandemic it was not enough to keep pilots in the service.
Air lines are now cutting pilots so many will stay in the service until there are soft spots to land.
Navy and Air Force ROTC all the way.
I am retired enlisted Navy. Senior Chief. Have lots of friends that are the ROTC recruiters in New England.
Navy ROTC is what i did for my son. Your sons SAT and GPA will male him a great candidate. LGBT still faces some hurdles but life has changed a lot in the service.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Mon Dec 7, 2020, 07:24 PM

14. You should seek an appointment to the US Air Force academy for your son

They will pay him while he is in college and as long as he fulfills his obligations then he will have no bills or loans from the academy.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 07:13 AM

16. Nothing against the AF or USN

But consider having your son apply to the Coast Guard Academy. They fly a variety of aircraft. But none of those aircraft are equipped with 20mm cannon or drop bombs or nuclear weapons. Their mission is not to kill people or blow things up. Just a thought from a 25 year veteran of our Navy.

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Response to gladium et scutum (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 10:44 AM

19. During the height of the Cold War,

the CG's high end, long endurance cutters were equipped with the Harpoon weapons systems, and you can bet those systems would be reinstalled if the Cold War heats up again.

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Response to dware (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 10:49 AM

20. Yes

And some cutters also have deck guns up to 5". But their primary mission is not to seek and destroy. They do not exist to blow things up or kill people.

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Response to gladium et scutum (Reply #20)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 10:51 AM

21. Correct.

Their main mission is Maritime Safety, coastal security and SAR.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 07:42 AM

17. ROTC, then have him write/contact your local Congress critters, and US Senators.

The best way is through the military academies. He should lay out his desire to serve the country as a pilot, and if he harbors dreams of space flight, lay those out for sure.

Recruiters are for us enlisted types..

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 10:40 AM

18. Have him choose his college that he wants to go to

and make sure it has a ROTC program in the branch of military he wants to join. If his preferred college doesn't have that branch there is a work around on graduation to swap placement. Say he wants to go into the Navy and his college has an Army ROTC program. IF there is someone in a Navy ROTC who wants to go into the Army, they can switch spots on graduation. This option is not guaranteed.

Any how. he needs to join ROTC and he can apply for a scholarship once he is in. This is also not a guarantee. My son had grades comparable to yours, plus 4 years in JROTC and he was denied the scholarship. Those are tough to get.

He can also join the National Guard on top of the ROTC. They will provide partial scholarships and housing allotment in exchange for 1 weekend a month and 2 weeks in the summer. They are rated as non-deployable. He will also go to boot camp over the summer. All paid.

Upon graduation he will commission into his branch of military as an officer.

I suggest that you talk to the JROTC instructor at his school. There are a lot of things to consider.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 11:37 AM

24. Depends on what kind of pilot he wants to be.

If he would be happy flying helicopters, the Army will pay him to train to fly them, and when he graduates, he'll be a warrant officer. He can join right out of high school.

My father was an air ambulance medical officer in Vietnam, and he said the nineteen year-olds flying those helicopters could put the thing up a gnat's ass.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 11:45 AM

25. With those kind of grades, I would suggest trying to get into officer training

Also, all (I think) pilots are officers, so if he wants to fly, he needs to try for officer country.

Apply to service academies (Navy or Air Force if he wants to fly planes (or helos), Army too if we're just talking helicopters), and my suggestion would be Navy.

Also apply to colleges that have ROTC programs, so if he doesn't get into an academy he can go the ROTC route for officer training.

Investigate those before even talking to a recruiter about enlistment.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 11:50 AM

26. I retired after 29 years in the US Navy

Started as an enlisted and eventually earned a commission as a Navy Mustang Officer.

Sounds like your son would be a great candidate for the Naval Academy or ROTC.

I did 3 years as a recruiter, and I did not lie to recruits, BUT some recruiters do.

I know for the Navy that every Navy Recruiting District has someone serving as the OPO (Officer Programs Officer). This is the person in charge of recruiting candidates to Naval Officer Programs. I would see if your son could get a meeting with this person.

Recruiters will tell you that you could just enlist and pursue your college degree while serving as an enlisted member. That's VERY hard to do, but they'll try to sell your son on that.

If he does end up enlisting, I would look at some of the Advanced Technical or Advanced Electronics Field in an aviation job like AT, AW, AD, AME/H. These are aviation electronics or mechanic jobs.

Bottom line is that to fly, your son is going to have to have a college degree first.

Whatever he feels is his best route to get there should be the route taken.

The Navy is not for everyone, and it wasn't all sweetness and light, but it was great for me.

I really have nothing negative to say.

I would urge you to see if you can find that OPO officer and get a meeting with them.

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Response to Bluesaph (Original post)

Tue Dec 8, 2020, 01:05 PM

27. COLLEGE.

He has to go to college, period. Whether it's through an Academy or ROTC.

I had a friend whose son attended the Coast Guard Academy. In a shockingly short period of time, he became the captain of his own ship. Commander or whatever. His own ship. It was stunning. And, he was not connected.

I don't know if it is too late to try for an academy. Others know. But, what about getting the backing of a Congress Critter?

The possibility of dying for his country cannot be ignored. Make sure he gets the picture of himself in front of the flag. He'll want that later.

Here is a link to a forum that you might find useful:

https://www.serviceacademyforums.com/index.php?threads/becoming-an-af-pilot-after-usmma.60328/

I don't know very much about this forum, but it looks like perhaps you could glean info from it.

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