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Transition to FTS

#1
Considering a transition to FTS after Active Duty, specifically the VR community. Are there flight hour/NATOPS qual/Instrument currency or minimums required or recommended to apply?

Thanks in advance
 

Pags

Well-Known Member
pilot
#3
I'm no help either, but I think my wings are an equal part yours and Brimblecom's. I owe you a beer or 12.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
#4
It depends a lot on what the other applicants have in their packages and it will vary a bit from board to board... I had one friend (E-6 background, the VT shore duty) not pick up VR and another friend (helo background, then C-12 shore duty) pick it up so that's a "firm maybe." Your FITREPs, command endorsement, and letter(s) of recommendation from previous COs are also important, don't forget to make sure your record is squared away (no dumb mistakes like missing picture, FITREP gaps, etc.), and last but not least timing is everything :)
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#5
Lately VR has been tough to get for helo guys, even ones in the VTs. Obviously there's no "always," but I'd guess right now, if you're a helo guy w/ no fixed wing time, and you're not currently flying, chances are low. However, getting to the helo communities is better. Lately, if you haven't been in a senior YG, the best way to make FTS seems to be either resigning and/or doing it from the reserves.
 

FlyBoyd

Out to Pasture
pilot
#7
Lately VR has been tough to get for helo guys, even ones in the VTs. Obviously there's no "always," but I'd guess right now, if you're a helo guy w/ no fixed wing time, and you're not currently flying, chances are low.
True. Think of the time as a tie breaker. All things being equal, the guy with the fixed wing time will get the nod to VR.

What you need to keep in mind is "junior most qualified." This does not mean most qualifications in the plane. It means the best record i.e. FITREPS. While your flying record directly plays into your FITREP so does a myriad of other things. As long as you have qualified in the plane on schedule and not bent metal or hurt anyone you are considered qualified in the plane. Being the NATOPS guy, etc. plays little bearing other than those guys tend to have the FITREPS as well. Like any board, you are an officer before you are a pilot....total package/total person. So while not 100% true, a sea tour EP followed by a shore tour EP (and shortly a disassociated tour EP for wings + 8 guys) is the key to a strong package. The weight of LORs has ebbed and flowed through the years so don't think those will be the ticket either. In the past (pre2003ish), LORs would carry a weaker record. Now, they are expected on strong records and weaker records don't have a shot even with mulitple LORs.

As always, take everything above with a grain of salt. Every board is different and someone somewhere can show anomalies disproving what I state above. My post is merely my observations of the trends of FTS Redesig Boards since Spring 2002.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#8
What you need to keep in mind is "junior most qualified." This does not mean most qualifications in the plane.
Just to add to FlyBoyd's excellent perspective... On the helo side, lately a majority of the selectees have been both HSL and more senior guys. On the board before this last fall board, at least 2 of the 4 (?...I think it was 4, can't remember) helo selectees were HSL '98 guys (and gals). I think YG98 folks have become an unlimited pool. In perspective, the board after mine (spring 2007), most of the guys that got picked up among the VT'ers were resignees. Important information? Maybe, just showing that it swings both ways on the board, depending on what they need/have available.

BTW, Bryan, not sure if you're aware, but your "artwork" has made it into the HSL SuperHawk Natops. So you got that going for you.
 

dustydog

Registered User
pilot
#9
Not a whole lot to add to the previous post but in regards to having a helo background, I don't think that is a show stopper for getting to VR. We just got a new guy who came from the 60S RAG and had no fixed wing time except for primary. I believe he had a stellar record which helped his cause (see FlyBoyds post). One of the biggest road blocks on the previous boards has been your Active Component detailer being willing to release you. This last board was interesting for VR because only 8 guys were picked up and only 1 was a SelRes. Your best bet is to apply early and often but don't accept a community you don't want hoping to transition to VR later down the road. It has happened in the past but don't count on it in the future.
 
#10
Thanks for all of the input. It has been very helpful.

As to the gouge questions, yes, I did write it. My policy was to write gouge every time I had a scheduled flight canceled. So.. that's quite a few cancellations I guess. I don't know if I should be pleased or worried that one of my systems drawings made it into a NATOPS manual. I mean, those drawings in the back of the SH-60B NATOPS were pretty bad, but I would assume that new NATOPS manuals would be made with some high-tech drafting and publishing programs.

When some of you mentioned being "released" from your detailer, what does that mean? Does that mean I need to have a resignation letter filed, or actually be separated? I thought the idea with FTS was to do a separation on paper after the new job has already been secured, making for a seamless transition as far as pay/PCS/Tricare/time-in-servioce/etc is concerned, and move to the new duty station, continuing to work full-time just as if one were still active duty?
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
#11
When some of you mentioned being "released" from your detailer, what does that mean? Does that mean I need to have a resignation letter filed, or actually be separated? I thought the idea with FTS was to do a separation on paper after the new job has already been secured, making for a seamless transition as far as pay/PCS/Tricare/time-in-servioce/etc is concerned, and move to the new duty station, continuing to work full-time just as if one were still active duty?
There's two ways to make into FTS for aviators. One is to be released from your REGNAV community (PERS) and the other is to apply from w/in the Reserves. For the release, it's based off of YG. If you go to the FTS section of the PERS website (and it's horribly laid out, just to warn you), there's a document you can download before a board that states how many people from each YG in each community can be released. The document will look something similar to this:

YG98 unlimited
YG99 unlimited
YG00 3
YG01 2
YG02 1

etc. Each community has this. It's basically the number that the Active component guys in that community are willing to give up from each YG. Just because there are 2 spots from a particular YG DOES NOT mean 2 people will be selected from that YG (or at all from that community). VP is notorious for that. The problem is that many more end up getting out if they don't get picked up for FTS (at least in the VP and HSL world), so it's a silly equation. Historically, once you put your letter in, you're no longer considered part of that restrictive YG by the board. Same when you apply from the Reserves.

I'm not meaning to suggest you should get out and then hope to get picked up, just that if you're a "FTS or bust" guy, there's still hope if you drop a letter.
 

FlyBoyd

Out to Pasture
pilot
#12
There's two ways to make into FTS for aviators. One is to be released from your REGNAV community (PERS) and the other is to apply from w/in the Reserves. For the release, it's based off of YG. If you go to the FTS section of the PERS website (and it's horribly laid out, just to warn you), there's a document you can download before a board that states how many people from each YG in each community can be released. The document will look something similar to this:

YG98 unlimited
YG99 unlimited
YG00 3
YG01 2
YG02 1

etc. Each community has this. It's basically the number that the Active component guys in that community are willing to give up from each YG. Just because there are 2 spots from a particular YG DOES NOT mean 2 people will be selected from that YG (or at all from that community). VP is notorious for that. The problem is that many more end up getting out if they don't get picked up for FTS (at least in the VP and HSL world), so it's a silly equation. Historically, once you put your letter in, you're no longer considered part of that restrictive YG by the board. Same when you apply from the Reserves.

I'm not meaning to suggest you should get out and then hope to get picked up, just that if you're a "FTS or bust" guy, there's still hope if you drop a letter.
Dead on.

Just to connect some dots....If you were YG02 in the example community above...Once one guy from your community is accepted the rest of the YG02 records for that community are removed from consideration. Another community might be willing to release 5 so you could see relatively weaker records selected from a community with a higher "availability" number. Seems obvious but it is another facet most don't consider.

Historically, the underlined portion above is the only way to avoid the restriction.

Thread drift:

If you (anyone) can not get selected now go SELRES if you insist on getting away from regular active duty. I predict that when the bubble created by the wings + 8 guys hits fully there with be some bigger numbers selected as they wait for the bubble to work out. Billets will open up and they will be forced to expand their numbers to meet the total FTS goal.

Again just my opinion.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
#13
The keyphrase is "year group limitation matrix" (or restriction matrix). I see on the npc website that the one for the next board is not yet published; I expect it should be up there in the next month or so.

Concur with everything Gatordev and FlyBoyd just said, especially about the bubble.
 

BACONATOR

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
#14
Thanks for all of the input. It has been very helpful.

As to the gouge questions, yes, I did write it. My policy was to write gouge every time I had a scheduled flight canceled. So.. that's quite a few cancellations I guess. I don't know if I should be pleased or worried that one of my systems drawings made it into a NATOPS manual. I mean, those drawings in the back of the SH-60B NATOPS were pretty bad, but I would assume that new NATOPS manuals would be made with some high-tech drafting and publishing programs.

When some of you mentioned being "released" from your detailer, what does that mean? Does that mean I need to have a resignation letter filed, or actually be separated? I thought the idea with FTS was to do a separation on paper after the new job has already been secured, making for a seamless transition as far as pay/PCS/Tricare/time-in-servioce/etc is concerned, and move to the new duty station, continuing to work full-time just as if one were still active duty?
Holy shit! I remember reading your site for OCS gouge like at LEAST a year before I even got accepted to BDCP. Now I'm a fleet Naval Aviator. Crazy! That must have been like at least 5 years ago!

And with that, I have nothing of importance to add to this thread.
 

MAKE VAPES

Uncle Pettibone
pilot
#15
Word of caution looking down the pipe... No minimums per say, but low fixed wing time can make life tough as a new FTS guy in a super senior SELRES stan-board squadron... seen some stumble, stumbling will probably limit fitrep opportunity out of the chocks (folks talk).
Making O-5 is much rougher in the 1317 world.
~24% IZ O-5 select for FY-09, ~48% IZ FY-10... numbers might get better?

But flying till 20 years is available pretty much nowhere else! Enjoy.
 
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