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Drop Air Contract in TBS? Would you go back?


Well-Known Member
I’ve been in 17 years and the only time I’ve liked my job as far as quality of life has been when I’ve been in a flying billet. Lucky for me that’s been about 13 of the 17 years. The ground tours although rewarding looking back I didn’t like them much while doing them. When I was in Quantico I couldn’t wait to get started at flight school. I was a ground contract trying to earn the air contract at TBS because I gambled based on what the recruiter told me. Luckily it worked out, I definitely wouldn’t have lasted this long in the Marine Corps without being an Aviator. Longest and toughest days I ever worked in the Marine Corps were on the ground side.
I spent all my time in a gun squadron except one year as a FAC for 1/6. Made some great friends and had a blast. I guess everything is what you make of it.


Huge Member
I spent all my time in a gun squadron except one year as a FAC for 1/6. Made some great friends and had a blast. I guess everything is what you make of it.
I hear you. Like I said it was rewarding and looking back glad I did it. But....it was an extremely busy schedule. Just got back from my first flying deployment to Iraq. Still a 1stLt (Capt select). Just barely finished my section lead qual and all of a sudden a hotfill FAC tour comes up and CO is looking for a volunteer. I decided I would go for it. Head to TACP school take a few weeks leave and join 2/1 well into workups. 3 months later I am in Iraq again learning as I go. Come back after 7 months of that and volunteer to go back out again on an IA billet playing FAC/JTAC/ALO with the Air Force /Army. 10 more months in Iraq. But when I came back from that I got to refresh/transition over to the new UH-1Y. That pretty much reset my clock and I never left the cockpit again until my current assignment 2 years ago. Now here I am at TTECG as a Coyote doing 5 x ITX's (CAX, RCAX, Mojave Viper, Enhanced Mojave Viper depending on your era) a year. This place is a grind. Go months without a day off and can spend anywhere from 12-16 hours a day in the field...then come out to build quick turn after action briefs for the training evolutions. In between exercises we are frequently supporting other fleet units to assist in training up JTAC's, FiSTs either during various DFT's or augmenting at WTI. This assignment has been like a 2 year long deployment except in 29 Palms. Definitely not complaining because I was never forced into any of these billets....but usually the reason I took them on was in order to get back to and remain in the cockpit as much as possible. I took this assignment with the intention of turning it into a twilight flying tour on the backside. I just understand sometimes you have to pay your dues to get there....and the ground side is where you pay your dues. So to the OP....don't give up your air contract. The wing is where it is at.
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flight school is fun man. if you decide in the end it isn't for you, you can always redes to the ground side, but you can't really go the other way. you'll have a good time down here. flying a plane is pretty awesome, as it turns out.