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NEWS Comm Helo opportunities about to expand ....

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
#16
I like your answer much more than Jmedli's, which sounds an awful lot like "The Navy tricked me."
I don't think they Navy "tricks" anyone who ends up in the fleet as a pilot.

How much did you really know about the Navy before you signed up? Ground jobs, collateral duties, disassociated tours aren't really in depth topics at during the recruitment process... hell a lot of JOs don't know all that much about their career path when they get to their first fleet tour.
 

Hotdogs

Leeroy Jenkins
pilot
#17
Something I presume you understood before you took your oath of office.
I like your answer much more than Jmedli's, which sounds an awful lot like "The Navy tricked me."
Maybe, maybe not for some. I think most understand the commitment part. It still does not address the underlying issue of piss poor personnel management and huge waste of resources that training a tactically proficient pilot requires to then shove them behind a desk - even at the behest of their actual desires - because "career path," "diverse experience," and "timing."

I'd love to see the career path models of private sector firms and see the comparison. Especially when said trained individual can just be like "fuck it, I'm out" and go to grad, law, airlines, or med school on his resume/benefits he earned. Bottom line: It's kinda stupid and saying "well you knew this when you signed up....so shut up and color" does not solve the underlying issue.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#18
I don't think they Navy "tricks" anyone who ends up in the fleet as a pilot.

How much did you really know about the Navy before you signed up? Ground jobs, collateral duties, disassociated tours aren't really in depth topics at during the recruitment process... hell a lot of JOs don't know all that much about their career path when they get to their first fleet tour.
I was a prior Aircrewman for 8 years, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Considering how many aspiring aviators get a sense of the goods and others here on AW, I'd say it's a matter of how much you want to learn. I have several ongoing PM conversations here with guys in college and USNA who ask a lot of very specific questions about life in the fleet. It's not hard to figure out, and if the excuse for not fully understanding what you're getting into is, "well, my recruiter never told me about that," that is on the individual.

But, I don't really think guys like Jmedli signed up without a full understanding of what fleet life was going to be like. I think guys like that want to be able to enjoy all the fun parts of Naval Aviation - the flying - without wanting to have to do the necessary, but not so fun parts. The staff tours and (gasp!) boat tours some of you lament are part of the price of admission for all the fun/rewarding parts.
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#19
I was a prior Aircrewman for 8 years, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. Considering how many aspiring aviators get a sense of the goods and others here on AW, I'd say it's a matter of how much you want to learn. I have several ongoing PM conversations here with guys in college and USNA who ask a lot of very specific questions about life in the fleet. It's not hard to figure out, and if the excuse for not fully understanding what you're getting into is, "well, my recruiter never told me about that," that is on the individual.

But, I don't really think guys like Jmedli signed up without a full understanding of what fleet life was going to be like. I think guys like that want to be able to enjoy all the fun parts of Naval Aviation - the flying - without wanting to have to do the necessary, but not so fun parts. The staff tours and (gasp!) boat tours some of you lament are part of the price of admission for all the fun/rewarding parts.
In the Navy, granted. And fully accepted. But I don't even think knowing what I know now I could tell myself ten years ago to a level of "full understanding" what the next decade in the fleet would be like.
 

jtmedli

Well-Known Member
pilot
#21
Something I presume you understood before you took your oath of office.
I think you severely missed my point. I have no problem doing things away from the bird here and there but there should be a emphasis on doing what the gold thing on your chest says you do. When you spend 8-10 years out of 20 doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with that shiny thing above your name on your nametag then that emphasis isn't there. We have the unique luxury as a military of having enough funding to be extremely wasteful with money which gives us the ability to pull pilots out of the cockpit left and right and then throw money at them to try to get them back to some semblance of what they were before we sent them to a desk for 2 years. That being said, not all posts = bitching Brett. Sometimes it's just an observation. The only lies I've been told in the Navy was how much fun I'd have (I've had way more), how hard it would be at times (been way harder at times), and how many times I'd scare the shit out of myself (lots more than advertised). Overall, I'd rate my first 10 years as a success. It's the next 10 that I'm not exactly sold on yet.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
#22
I think you severely missed my point. I have no problem doing things away from the bird here and there but there should be a emphasis on doing what the gold thing on your chest says you do. When you spend 8-10 years out of 20 doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with that shiny thing above your name on your nametag then that emphasis isn't there. We have the unique luxury as a military of having enough funding to be extremely wasteful with money which gives us the ability to pull pilots out of the cockpit left and right and then throw money at them to try to get them back to some semblance of what they were before we sent them to a desk for 2 years. That being said, not all posts = bitching Brett. Sometimes it's just an observation. The only lies I've been told in the Navy was how much fun I'd have (I've had way more), how hard it would be at times (been way harder at times), and how many times I'd scare the shit out of myself (lots more than advertised). Overall, I'd rate my first 10 years as a success. It's the next 10 that I'm not exactly sold on yet.
Fair enough. As someone who has had four operational flying tours (six if you count my enlisted time), I'd say there has definitely been an emphasis on flying in my career thus far. Of course, YMMV. However you choose to view the distribution of staff billets in terms of necessity or equitability of distribution, they need to be filled. We need Shooters and TAOs and aviation experienced line officers on the Joint Staff and at CENTCOM or the entire NAE ceases to function.

Some perspective - I see my four DHs kicking ass every day and even though it's a tough job, they're having fun because they're good at what they do. I would humbly suggest that if you love to fly and are good at it, from where I sit, the staff or disassociated tour is worth getting to stay in the game. To fly, to lead, to pass down all your accumulated knowledge and skills to the next generation of aviators. That is something that I find tremendously satisfying and rewarding. My time on the Joint Staff (post-DH) was a 15 hour a day ass kicking in terms of the pace and emotional drain on me and my relationships. I would do it all again in a heartbeat to sit where I now sit.
 

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
Contributor
#23
As someone who has had four operational flying tours (six if you count my enlisted time), I'd say there has definitely been an emphasis on flying in my career thus far.
To be fair, you are now in the front office so you've been fortunate to see the Navy thus far in a flying role. With your enlisted time you have the luxury of retiring soon after finishing the command tour. Both lend a different colored lens to your perspective than to a guy fresh out of college that, depending on sustained superior timing, could literally sign up to be a pilot, get his wings, and do one, maybe two, flying tours in his entire 20 years in the Navy.

I was prior enlisted,spent a lot of time researching career choices, had Schnugg as my officer advisor at USNA, and was still surprised at how much non-flying is involved for aviators.

*My caveat, I've been in the cockpit since 2006, on continual sea duty since 2008, and won't leave the cockpit for at least another 2.5 years, so I too have had an atypical career.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#24
I would humbly suggest that if you love to fly and are good at it, from where I sit, the staff or disassociated tour is worth getting to stay in the game. To fly, to lead, to pass down all your accumulated knowledge and skills to the next generation of aviators.
As with everything, different people have different priorities. I greatly value my experiences when put in a leadership position and having to figure how to tackle whatever hurdle was in front of me and hopefully, I've done it reasonably well at least half the time. I also always understood going into the Navy that the "price" to fly was to continue to do well at the ground job (and all of the many facets that actually means).

However, my end goal has never been to make it to the top. Instead it was to continue to fly, so I made choices to make that happen. Many here, I'm betting, have a similar feeling. It wasn't until I hit the 16 year mark and was willing to take non-flying orders to reach retirement that I changed my overall goal, but that was a means to an end to get a pay off for the rest of my life. The fact that my non-flying orders turned into flying orders was even better.

That said...

When you spend 8-10 years out of 20 doing something that has absolutely nothing to do with that shiny thing above your name on your nametag then that emphasis isn't there.
Then I'd argue you need to be prepared to walk. If your career isn't tracking in the direction you want after your first commitment is up, do something else. I know you know this, jtmedli, but speaking generally, I sometimes have issues with someone who says they won't fly for the bulk of their 20, but have only been in for 6-8 years and don't know what might be coming their way.

If the next set of orders isn't what you want, jump ship, but if it is, play it by ear. Don't take the money and instead set yourself up to be able to walk when you want to. Just don't forget to also play the long game.

Both lend a different colored lens to your perspective than to a guy fresh out of college
I've done a bunch of OCS interviews and one of my questions/discussion points is to talk about how little we fly compared to the total hours in a year or tour. It helps give the applicant a frame of reference on how much ground work there is. I'm not sure it's always received, but hopefully some of them will think about it at least for a minute before heading off to OCS.
 

Ralph

Registered User
#26
Got a friend who flys for Columbia in the ME. Works month on month off and makes bank. Travel has to get old but loves the job.
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#27
As with everything, different people have different priorities. I greatly value my experiences when put in a leadership position and having to figure how to tackle whatever hurdle was in front of me and hopefully, I've done it reasonably well at least half the time. I also always understood going into the Navy that the "price" to fly was to continue to do well at the ground job (and all of the many facets that actually means).

However, my end goal has never been to make it to the top. Instead it was to continue to fly, so I made choices to make that happen. Many here, I'm betting, have a similar feeling. It wasn't until I hit the 16 year mark and was willing to take non-flying orders to reach retirement that I changed my overall goal, but that was a means to an end to get a pay off for the rest of my life. The fact that my non-flying orders turned into flying orders was even better.

That said...



Then I'd argue you need to be prepared to walk. If your career isn't tracking in the direction you want after your first commitment is up, do something else. I know you know this, jtmedli, but speaking generally, I sometimes have issues with someone who says they won't fly for the bulk of their 20, but have only been in for 6-8 years and don't know what might be coming their way.

If the next set of orders isn't what you want, jump ship, but if it is, play it by ear. Don't take the money and instead set yourself up to be able to walk when you want to. Just don't forget to also play the long game.



I've done a bunch of OCS interviews and one of my questions/discussion points is to talk about how little we fly compared to the total hours in a year or tour. It helps give the applicant a frame of reference on how much ground work there is. I'm not sure it's always received, but hopefully some of them will think about it at least for a minute before heading off to OCS.
You're absolutely right on all counts and I don't disagree. Many of us got to the decision point and quit when further active side service didn't suit our wants.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
#28
However, my end goal has never been to make it to the top. Instead it was to continue to fly, so I made choices to make that happen. Many here, I'm betting, have a similar feeling. It wasn't until I hit the 16 year mark and was willing to take non-flying orders to reach retirement that I changed my overall goal, but that was a means to an end to get a pay off for the rest of my life. The fact that my non-flying orders turned into flying orders was even better.

That said...



Then I'd argue you need to be prepared to walk. If your career isn't tracking in the direction you want after your first commitment is up, do something else. I know you know this, jtmedli, but speaking generally, I sometimes have issues with someone who says they won't fly for the bulk of their 20, but have only been in for 6-8 years and don't know what might be coming their way.

If the next set of orders isn't what you want, jump ship, but if it is, play it by ear. Don't take the money and instead set yourself up to be able to walk when you want to. Just don't forget to also play the long game.
This is where I make my standard "Don't forget about the Reserves" plug. Had a couple of friends hit HYT at 28 years and never left the cockpit, probably a dozen went over 20 and never left the cockpit. If anyone decides to pull the plug, I highly suggest heading to a reserve unit - CNATRA in particular always seemed to have money for flying. Jim123 will have up to date gouge.