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Advice for a high school student

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#17
Hey Payton,

I'm assuming that you mean you'll be entering your junior year of HS starting in a few months. A great option would be to apply to a service academy- look into the application process now and also apply for a summer seminar program at the academy if you choose to go that route. I hate to say it, but just due to how the number ratios play out, your best chance at being a pilot is to go the Air Force route. (threw up in my mouth a little bit saying that) Navy is a great choice too, but to get a pilot spot, you're really going to have to work hard for it- like be in the top third of your class or better.

Another option is to apply for a ROTC scholarship and go to a college that participates in the ROTC program.

GPA is big- shoot for 3.5 or better...probably much better. Also, participation in sports teams and volunteering in your community is huge too in getting accepted into a commissioning program. You're going to need good SAT and/or ACT scores as well. For the ACT, I'd say 27 is bare minimum, 32 or better competitive.

Once in a college commissioning program, honesty is, your field of study is not that important as far as getting a pilot slot goes. Pick something that you enjoy studying- the biggest thing is maintaining a good GPA. Also, consider that more than half of pilots do not retire from military service unfortunately- you should pick a degree that will support you in your second career. Computer science is very needed these days, engineering is a great choice too.

Getting a civilian pilot license won't help you get a pilot slot and will only help you marginally in the very beginning of primary flight school. In my opinon, it is not worth the time, energy and effort to get one just for the sake of helping your chances. You can get much of the same basic result by reading a private pilot book and getting familiar with basic flying concepts on a computer based flight simulator.

Flight school students with civilian flight experience were better at radios and struggled less with basic airwork, but after the first few weeks of flight school, that edge levels off as the students with no experience come up to speed. If anything, there are a lot of bad habits that have to be unlearned. It might help with a first impression with flight school instructors and you'll seem a bit more competent and a quick learner, but most kids with flight experience also brought a bit of arrogance with them that tended to negate that first part.

Flying in general is awesome, and I encourage you to get some flight experience if it's for your own personal enjoyment, but again, if it's just for the sake of getting an edge in flight school, the benefit is minimal.

Best of luck.

"Beaker"
So it's not lost in @Maxillarious 's great post, if you want to fly DO NOT GO SEE A RECRUITER.
 
#18
Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Junior year is actually the point that you actually need to take action on stuff, man. This is when you put in your application packages for the service academies. Summer of Junior year is when the summer seminar programs are held. You need to start the application process for ROTC scholarships and start talking to the ROTC OIC at whatever school you might be interested in if you go that route.

Junior year is also the time that you should start getting recommendation letters from teachers, community leaders and getting your nomination from Congress lined up for a service academy appointment.

It's also the time to start getting in physical shape and getting your 1.5 mile run time down under 10:30.

If you don't start doing all this stuff right now as soon as your Junior year begins, then you're already behind the power curve.

Also, do not go into some recruiting office and talking to a recruiter if that's what you mean...they will bamboozle you with forms and sell you a boat of lies to snag you for their quotas. I can't tell you how many enlisted guys I had as a DIVO who were told by a recruiter that in order to be a pilot they should skip college and enlist in the Navy first. So wrong.
Ok I won’t do that. I’m going into my jounior year (graduating 2020) so I think i apply for ROTC next summer, but I’ll look into what I can do now. With the academy I only have a 3.0 gpa so I doubt they’ll take me but I’ll look into it. That’s my biggest concern at this point, I know I need to bring my gpa up. Thanks
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#19
Ok I won’t do that. I’m going into my jounior year (graduating 2020) so I think i apply for ROTC next summer, but I’ll look into what I can do now. With the academy I only have a 3.0 gpa so I doubt they’ll take me but I’ll look into it. That’s my biggest concern at this point, I know I need to bring my gpa up. Thanks
GPA is important, but SAT score combined with your GPA is also important. PLUS, you need a nomination, which is a HUGE variable depending on where you live (and your competition in your district/state).

But if ROTC is something you're interested in (and it should be), then don't wait until next summer. Start looking into it now!
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#20
Ok I won’t do that. I’m going into my jounior year (graduating 2020) so I think i apply for ROTC next summer, but I’ll look into what I can do now. With the academy I only have a 3.0 gpa so I doubt they’ll take me but I’ll look into it. That’s my biggest concern at this point, I know I need to bring my gpa up. Thanks
Your GPA is well below the norm for NROTC and even many state schools. I’m not saying don’t apply but I would consider other options like community college and eventually transfer to a four year.
 

NavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
#22
Ok I won’t do that. I’m going into my jounior year (graduating 2020) so I think i apply for ROTC next summer, but I’ll look into what I can do now. With the academy I only have a 3.0 gpa so I doubt they’ll take me but I’ll look into it. That’s my biggest concern at this point, I know I need to bring my gpa up. Thanks
I understand you are a junior but try and start reviewing your the post you put up for proper spelling.

I put many young men and women in the USN who started at community college and then finished at a 4 year college, most had great GPA's and most were not rock stars in high school. They realized they weren't the best students but identified what they needed to do in order to be successful.

I was much like you, a 3.0 student in high school, however unlike me you have the internet so you can get advice from a variety of people see what might apply to you and make a plan. I went to college with the idea of trying to finish it in 4 years, but the hard reality was that I was not ready for a 4 year university with a full semester load, the advice I wish I was given if someone had looked at my background was to start at community college taking a few classes that interested me that would get me used to the college environment, and then move to a 4 year college.

There are many that view college as a race to get done, sure it is nice to be done in 4 years, but don't view it as a race since if something goes wrong you will get frustrated, take the time to understand what you are learning, some of what you will learn in college you won't use again, I have actually used what I learned in psychology, sociology, and organizational leadership classes to this day, both in my personal and professional life.

It is better to be the person at OCS who is 24 and took 6 years to graduate with a 3.3 GPA than the person who took 3.5 years and is at home with a 2.1 GPA denied by the board, and yes that is an actual example from a couple people I worked with.

Just so you know this is the same advice I have given my own kids in college, so it isn't just coming from the direction of someone who was an Officer Recruiter.
 
#23
I just got in contact with an ALO from the academy and I’ll submit my application to for ROTC when that opens up in July. Thank you all for your input without you guys I would’ve waited until next year and it’d definitely be too late.
 

Fallonflyr

Well-Known Member
#24
Think before you tweet or whatever...many an adult is being tripped up by stupid social media stuff they did as teenagers or college students.
 
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