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Navy vs. Marines-Naval Aviator (Here we go again)

#1
Howdy guys,
I realize this has been posted before and I have read through a great deal of threads on this topic, but I would like some updated responses because things change by the minute.

I have decided to apply for a pilot spot in both the Navy and the Marines. I'm hopeful that I will get an offer for both with my major, GPA, ASTB, PFT scores etc. and if I don't then I will go with whatever I can get.

So from you Naval Aviators that have experienced it, I would love some feed back (pros, cons, differences) on any or all of the following areas:

Standard of living (bases, locations, housing, pay, bonuses)

Atmosphere (attitudes, people, culture)

Flying time/Assignments

Types of Missions (depending on platform)

Family Life

Any additional feedback you want to add


Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#2
Howdy guys,
I realize this has been posted before and I have read through a great deal of threads on this topic, but I would like some updated responses because things change by the minute.

I have decided to apply for a pilot spot in both the Navy and the Marines. I'm hopeful that I will get an offer for both with my major, GPA, ASTB, PFT scores etc. and if I don't then I will go with whatever I can get.

So from you Naval Aviators that have experienced it, I would love some feed back (pros, cons, differences) on any or all of the following areas:

Standard of living (bases, locations, housing, pay, bonuses)

Atmosphere (attitudes, people, culture)

Flying time/Assignments

Types of Missions (depending on platform)

Family Life

Any additional feedback you want to add


Thanks in advance!
Before anyone answers...

1. Did you talk to a Navy and Marine Officer Recruiter?
2. Did you search the forums?

Most if not all these questions have been answered. Thank you.
 
#4
Before anyone answers...

1. Did you talk to a Navy and Marine Officer Recruiter?
2. Did you search the forums?

Most if not all these questions have been answered. Thank you.

Yes, I have read through them many times. I've read through forums 10+ years old and the answers change quite a bit depending on how old the post is.

As far as my recruiters go, I've got ex logistics in the Navy office and all ground in the Marines and many of their answers are pertaining to their particular backgrounds.
 

RUFiO181

Making Recruiting Great Again
#5
Yes, I have read through them many times. I've read through forums 10+ years old and the answers change quite a bit depending on how old the post is.

As far as my recruiters go, I've got ex logistics in the Navy office and all ground in the Marines and many of their answers are pertaining to their particular backgrounds.
More than likely they know a Pilot who can field questions.

Also, see @Swanee 's post.
 

pilot_man

No longer the biggest Hornet asshole on AW.
pilot
#9
Howdy guys,
I realize this has been posted before and I have read through a great deal of threads on this topic, but I would like some updated responses because things change by the minute.

I have decided to apply for a pilot spot in both the Navy and the Marines. I'm hopeful that I will get an offer for both with my major, GPA, ASTB, PFT scores etc. and if I don't then I will go with whatever I can get.

So from you Naval Aviators that have experienced it, I would love some feed back (pros, cons, differences) on any or all of the following areas:

Standard of living (bases, locations, housing, pay, bonuses)

Atmosphere (attitudes, people, culture)

Flying time/Assignments

Types of Missions (depending on platform)

Family Life

Any additional feedback you want to add


Thanks in advance!
I guess I'm not as busy or important as these other guys so I'll give you something of a real answer.

Standard of living:
Bases: Air Force > Navy > Army > Marines (this is caused by the funding resourced to maintaining and upgrading the facilities)
Locations: Overall I would say this is a draw. Both are generally around the coast, except for gems like Lemoore and Yuma. This really depends on platform.
Housing: Same as bases. If you don't go FDNF then I wouldn't recommend living on base. Live out in town. Buy a house.
Pay: The only real difference is the Navy offers a DH bonus and the Marines last I checked did not. A married Navy O-3 over 5 years makes the same as a married Marine O-3 over 5. The difference could be BAH, but that is only based on location and not branch of service.

Atmosphere:
Marines are hard charging killers, and the Navy is a little more laid back, but still killers. I think that is a broad enough description.

Flying time / Assignments:
I get the feeling that the Navy is a little better with flying time. A typical Navy F-18 guy will have more hours than a Marine F-18 guy with the same timing. It's pretty easy for a Navy guy to fly for the first 14-15 years of their career. I don't think that's the case with the Marines. They like to send their guys out on JTAC tours and such.

Types of Missions:
Just look at the platforms. MV-22, legacy F-18, F-35B, Cobras, H-53s, Prowlers, C-130s...... vs E-2/C-2, Hornets, Rhinos, Growlers, soon F-35C, H-60s, H-53s, P-3/P-8...
If I had to summarize I would say the Marines are more focused to ground attack and troop support and the Navy is more maritime dominance with strike capabilities.

Family life:
We all deploy and some of us live in shitty places. If your deployment is to a hotel in Misawa then you are going to be able to stay connected to the family better than if you are floating on a ship that hasn't realized it's 2017 and people like to be connected to the world. Marines deploy to ships too. For me it was easier to stay connected to the family from a base in Afghanistan than it was at any point on the boat. So really, it all depends.

Keep in mind that I am Navy Naval Aviator. A Marine will probably tell you something completely different.
 

Sonog

Active Member
pilot
#10
meathead + bro + dork = Marine pilot
surfer dude + bro + nerd = Navy pilot

Where do you see yourself fitting in?

All joking aside you're not going to get a good grasp of culture and atmosphere from a forum. Figure out how to go talk to some real life Navy and Marine pilots. If the difference is negligible apply to both and go with the first chance you get. Because either way both jobs are badass, both are Naval Aviation, and any pros/cons that you can find with all of your questions you asked here will balance out
 

Purdue

Chicks Dig Rotors...
pilot
#11
It's pretty easy for a Navy guy to fly for the first 14-15 years of their career.
Please explain this statement? I don't know many guys that got to skip their disassociated tour, and I definitely wasn't flying anything but a desk while I floated on the Carrier during that time between my 9th and 11th years of service. Unless you're only talking about Pointynose-Queens, maybe that's true for them...

If you get anything but jets, expect a moderate probability you get a non-flying gig after your first squadron tour, followed by a disassociated sea tour. Which means you're "out of the cockpit" for 5 years or so total of your first 10 years in the service. And expect a high probability you spend at least 2 to 3 years doing that dissassociated sea-tour and "out of the cockpit" even if you do get a flying gig after your first squadron.
 

MIDNJAC

is clara ship
pilot
#12
Pretty sure pilot_man was speaking of VFA, and yes, for them/us, it is not uncommon to be flying through completion of a DH tour. Some even still fly after DH through skipper. I know of one guy who will have flown in every tour through CAG.
 

pilot_man

No longer the biggest Hornet asshole on AW.
pilot
#13
Please explain this statement? I don't know many guys that got to skip their disassociated tour, and I definitely wasn't flying anything but a desk while I floated on the Carrier during that time between my 9th and 11th years of service. Unless you're only talking about Pointynose-Queens, maybe that's true for them...

If you get anything but jets, expect a moderate probability you get a non-flying gig after your first squadron tour, followed by a disassociated sea tour. Which means you're "out of the cockpit" for 5 years or so total of your first 10 years in the service. And expect a high probability you spend at least 2 to 3 years doing that dissassociated sea-tour and "out of the cockpit" even if you do get a flying gig after your first squadron.
I didn't say it was likely. Maybe easy was a bit too far. Between tactics instructors, super JOs, CAG staffers, test pilots with weird timing... I can only think of 1 dude who had to do an actual disassociated tour. Maybe things are vastly different between the jet and other communities. Maybe it's just better being a Queen.

Maybe the Navy just rewards those that work hard with the good deal flying tours. If you do get jets, expect a production flying tour after your first tour, hopefully followed by some other flying disassociated tour, followed by a flying DH tour. And if you work really hard then maybe you'll get to fly after DH as well.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
#14
I didn't say it was likely. Maybe easy was a bit too far. Between tactics instructors, super JOs, CAG staffers, test pilots with weird timing... I can only think of 1 dude who had to do an actual disassociated tour. Maybe things are vastly different between the jet and other communities. Maybe it's just better being a Queen.

Maybe the Navy just rewards those that work hard with the good deal flying tours
. If you do get jets, expect a production flying tour after your first tour, hopefully followed by some other flying disassociated tour, followed by a flying DH tour. And if you work really hard then maybe you'll get to fly after DH as well.
I generally like what you post, but this is not the norm within the HSM or HSC communities. Based on what I've read here and seen on the boat as well, I can't imagine this is the case for VP either. Some (most?) of our Weapons Schoolers will get this opportunity, but our FRS and HT guys are more often than not going to the boat for disassociated. I'd argue those folks in the FRS were as "hard working" (or at least as successful) on their first tour as the Weapons Schoolers - and in many cases - the FRS is a more challenging job to be selected for than RWWS.
 

croakerfish

Active Member
pilot
#15
I generally like what you post, but this is not the norm within the HSM or HSC communities. Based on what I've read here and seen on the boat as well, I can't imagine this is the case for VP either. Some (most?) of our Weapons Schoolers will get this opportunity, but our FRS and HT guys are more often than not going to the boat for disassociated. I'd argue those folks in the FRS were as "hard working" (or at least as successful) on their first tour as the Weapons Schoolers - and in many cases - the FRS is a more challenging job to be selected for than RWWS.
Well if you'd worked harder in flight school you could be a flame-dragging queen too.