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Attrite to SWO to NFO

RollGoats

New Member
First of all, I'm a current SWO and am looking to lat transfer to NFO. My circumstances are little bit different since I was a prior flight attrite. I'll spare everyone the sob story, but I essentially DOR'd after my first solo in Primary due to a couple of immediate family deaths and a major illness to another immediate family member, and I wasn't able to focus on flying. I still take full responsibility for DORing, but it is what it is at this point. Against what I had wanted, I picked up SWO at the POCR board and have tried to make the best of things.

However, I still want to be in the air and a part of the aviation community and had originally wanted to go NFO until a couple of pilots persuaded me to go the other way while in school. Since I didn't fail out, I must request a waiver from CNATRA per MILPERSMAN 1542-010 in order to apply. So far, I have the support of my ex and current captain (both O-6 pilots and one is the PCO of a Carrier), medically cleared, and passed the ASTB again.

I understand it'll be an uphill battle, and if I could get out, reset my timer, and return as an ENS I would, but that's not likely. Does anyone have any experience with someone going from an attrite to another community then back to flight school? I just hate that I seem damned due to a series of very unfortunate events that happened while I was training and am motivated to do whatever I can to get back to the community.
 

RecruitingGuru

Making Recruiting Great Again
Not to sound like a dick but you probably had your one and only chance to make it happen. I get the stressors, but at any point did you let your chain of command know what was going on? You could have asked to take time off to see a chaplain, etc. You're not the first to experience "life changing events" in flight school and certainly won't be the last.

With that being said, good luck but your ship might have already sailed.
 

RollGoats

New Member
I get it, and yea I did. I went to counseling and had a training review board with the XO and everything. I basically got the "you have till the end of the week to decide" and at that point I decided to DOR. I guess I just don't understand why I wouldn't be afforded the opportunity to go a different path in the aviation community due to a DOR, but if I had failed out then I would still be able to try.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I get it, and yea I did. I went to counseling and had a training review board with the XO and everything. I basically got the "you have till the end of the week to decide" and at that point I decided to DOR. I guess I just don't understand why I wouldn't be afforded the opportunity to go a different path in the aviation community due to a DOR, but if I had failed out then I would still be able to try.
It is not impossible but a very hard thing to overcome, any board will look at your DOR and immediately think "Once a quitter....". It may seem a be a bit cold or even brutal but that is what you probably face, and it is the nature of the often unforgiving business you are trying to rejoin.

That said there are sometimes exceptions to the rule and you might be one, I just wouldn't get your hopes up and expect to be given another chance easily if it is allowed.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
All you can do is apply. Worrying about whether or not someone else did this successfully is not relevant. Your timing and circumstances are different from everyone else who has tried.
 

RollGoats

New Member
It is not impossible but a very hard thing to overcome, any board will look at your DOR and immediately think "Once a quitter....". It may seem a be a bit cold or even brutal but that is what you probably face, and it is the nature of the often unforgiving business you are trying to rejoin.

That said there are sometimes exceptions to the rule and you might be one, I just wouldn't get your hopes up and expect to be given another chance easily if it is allowed.
Yea, I get it from a board perspective. I guess I'm just trying to figure out the best way to attack this so I have a chance.
 

RollGoats

New Member
All you can do is apply. Worrying about whether or not someone else did this successfully is not relevant. Your timing and circumstances are different from everyone else who has tried.
You're right, I just didn't know if anybody had any insight that could help me go about the whole process better. Also it just helps to see how third parties would view it since ultimately that's all the board is going to see.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I was in your shoes, so to speak, though it was almost 20 years ago now. DORed out of VT-27 due to a long and boring story best shared over a few beers, went SWO, eventually started looking for a way back into flying. NFO was my ticket. At the time, URL to URL redesignation didn’t require board action, just the concurrence of both the losing and gaining communities. SWO was and is perpetually overmanned with JOs, so they didn’t care, and it was essentially up to the head Aviation detailer.

From what I heard later - the guy at Millington who handled redes into Aviation was kind of a chatterbox - everybody in the chain at NPC recommended against approval, on the basis of the aforementioned ‘once a quitter...’ rationale. In my favor I had good paper and a positive endorsement for redes from my ship CO. At the end of the day it was up to PERS-43 actual, who I was told basically just said, what the hell, give the kid another shot.

I wish I could tell you there’s a magic formula for success, and ‘hard work/positive attitude’ will get you so far, but really like so much else in the Nav, it’s comes down to good luck and timing. They under-accessed for NFOs in my YG and needed more JGs, so they were willing to pick up redesignees (even ones with a sordid history) to make the numbers work. There were at least three other ex-Shoes starting at Wing Six when I did.

It’s good that you’ve got endorsements from fairly senior aviators. Odds are they’ll be known, at least by reputation, to members of the redes board. All you can do is be honest and forthright about what happened - overwhelmed with life events, couldn’t focus on training, blah blah, I’ve worked hard since then, as demonstrated thusly, want to be a part of naval aviation again, yours etc, RollGoats.

I did fine the second time through the TRACOM and I’ve had a ball being an NFO ever since. You’ve done about all you can do, just hope Fortune smiles on you. Best of luck.
 

RollGoats

New Member
I was in your shoes, so to speak, though it was almost 20 years ago now. DORed out of VT-27 due to a long and boring story best shared over a few beers, went SWO, eventually started looking for a way back into flying. NFO was my ticket. At the time, URL to URL redesignation didn’t require board action, just the concurrence of both the losing and gaining communities. SWO was and is perpetually overmanned with JOs, so they didn’t care, and it was essentially up to the head Aviation detailer.

From what I heard later - the guy at Millington who handled redes into Aviation was kind of a chatterbox - everybody in the chain at NPC recommended against approval, on the basis of the aforementioned ‘once a quitter...’ rationale. In my favor I had good paper and a positive endorsement for redes from my ship CO. At the end of the day it was up to PERS-43 actual, who I was told basically just said, what the hell, give the kid another shot.

I wish I could tell you there’s a magic formula for success, and ‘hard work/positive attitude’ will get you so far, but really like so much else in the Nav, it’s comes down to good luck and timing. They under-accessed for NFOs in my YG and needed more JGs, so they were willing to pick up redesignees (even ones with a sordid history) to make the numbers work. There were at least three other ex-Shoes starting at Wing Six when I did.

It’s good that you’ve got endorsements from fairly senior aviators. Odds are they’ll be known, at least by reputation, to members of the redes board. All you can do is be honest and forthright about what happened - overwhelmed with life events, couldn’t focus on training, blah blah, I’ve worked hard since then, as demonstrated thusly, want to be a part of naval aviation again, yours etc, RollGoats.

I did fine the second time through the TRACOM and I’ve had a ball being an NFO ever since. You’ve done about all you can do, just hope Fortune smiles on you. Best of luck.
Thanks so much for sharing. Seems like a similar story, just a bit older (same squadron even). I know there's different processes and whatnot now, but I just need to get lucky once. It'll be an uphill battle for sure, but it's super encouraging to hear that at least one person has been there and done that before.

Thanks again!
 
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