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wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
That is what was passed down by CNATRA himself during the last round of all-calls: the pipeline is too full, time to train is too long, and there are people being winged now who would not have made it through the program previously. So they recently changed the pink-sheet policy to make them cumulative through the entire program (API through the end of Advanced) and are going to be upping attrition.
If you learn nothing else in API, learn this:

Admirals and "all calls" are not intended to provide you with accurate or even truthful information. They merely exist as a response mechanism to enable the masses to cope with the second and third order effects of the decisions made to adjust the war machine.
 

Hopeful Hoya

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Fair enough. I know a lot of it comes down to timing and I feel fortunate to be going through now when the floodgates were pretty wide-open. Hearing some stories from IPs who went through in the 2008 timeframe and sim instructors who were going through flight school during the post-Cold War reduction definitely makes you feel like you have it pretty good.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Literally out of his mouth. It is an ebb and flow as with any career field.
Your missing my point. No one is actively trying to fail you out. Your IPs are actually trying to teach you what you need to know to be successful. It may be the standard has changed, and it will change again, like you said, but no one flicks a switch and says, "Oh, time fail Duc'-guy today!"

Personally, I think CNATRA saying what he said, if it's truly the way he said it, sends the wrong message. But it also wouldn't be the first time where leadership says something and the Studs take it one way and the IPs take it another way (generally because the studs don't have the full story. See: the all call after Worm's mishap).
 

Duc'-guy25

Well-Known Member
Your missing my point. No one is actively trying to fail you out. Your IPs are actually trying to teach you what you need to know to be successful. It may be the standard has changed, and it will change again, like you said, but no one flicks a switch and says, "Oh, time fail Duc'-guy today!"

Personally, I think CNATRA saying what he said, if it's truly the way he said it, sends the wrong message. But it also wouldn't be the first time where leadership says something and the Studs take it one way and the IPs take it another way (generally because the studs don't have the full story. See: the all call after Worm's mishap).
The way CNATRA announced it to us definitely left a poor taste in our mouths. I agree with your for 99.99% of the IP's. If anything I think IP's have adjusted their grading techniques to the new policy.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
The way CNATRA announced it to us definitely left a poor taste in our mouths... If anything I think IP's...
Fair enough, and everybody wearing wings was standing in your shoes at one time or another.

For IPs it is very personal but not in the way you might think. We want you to be as good as you possibly can, but if you can't possibly be good enough then we don't want you to fail at the mission, crash, or get yourself or others killed.

Speaking for myself- I knew what most of my onwings' primary NSS would be, within about a 5 point spread, as we were taxiing in from Fam 1. I treated them all the same- challenge them as much as possible on each flight in a way that would make them get better as fast as possible.

If you haven't had an award talk with you owning (or your flight leader, class advisor, etc.) then just keep your head down, do your best, and don't sweat the grades (same advice they gave you on day 1). If you have had that awkward talk, then ask for as much help as possible- you may yet be cut out for this business but there's a good chance you're doing something wrong with your studying and preparation. When a student is doing their best but they don't meet the standard because they are simply cut out for success elsewhere, I still have the greatest respect for that individual as a patriot. When students are bordering on failure but they are doing their best, then I'm very inclined to help them out as much as the rules allow (and the rules allow quite a lot).
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
Speaking for myself- I knew what most of my onwings' primary NSS would be, within about a 5 point spread, as we were taxiing in from Fam 1.
Fake news. Legions of SNAs poor over the MPTS trying to forecast their NSS with actual previous stage GPAs and they don't even understand it. There's no way you can figure this out while taxiing with only 10 fingers. Okay, 5 fingers at best, because you're already probably releasing a harness.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
I was stashed in Advanced for a little over a year and was privy to just about everything while I was there since I was in skeds...as a whole, IPs generally grade MPTS incorrectly or have a poor understanding of it. There are several loopholes and what-ifs regarding MIF and there is the perception that a 5 means "the stud can do it as well or better than me". That commonly leads to EVERYONE being graded somewhere between a 2 and a 4 and what you end up with is an NSS spike rather than a bell curve.

Anecdotally, the difference between a 73 and a 34 NSS in my winging class was a raw score of less than .3

Guys were getting sent E2s based on NSS (and personality) when sometimes the only difference was which IP they happened to go on the road with during AIRNAVs.

1s and 5s need to be utilized more, not less. As well as giving a dude something above MIF if they deserve it in early stages. Most of the reason why I'm a jet pilot is because my Primary on-wing was a great dude and liked me a lot...he asked me what I wanted and made sure I got it.
 

picklesuit

Living the GeoBachelor dream...
pilot
Contributor
As someone who recently had a prior student die in Key West, it was never about the grades, for me, it was about teaching you how to repeatedly do it right and get yourself safe if you did it wrong. The grades fell where they may, and every student I processed for attrition did not belong in the plane.

The IP cadre I worked with were professional aviators with a goal of making you safe. We were never part of the force-shaping CNATRA did/didn’t do.

The thing that really bothered me (and a few others) was the Brice was one of the best pilots we ever produced. If he couldn’t get out of that corner, 99% of the rest of us couldn’t either.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Brice and Caleb were both fantastic people. I went to the rag with them, worked up with them, flew in combat with them, and briefed with them the morning they didn't come home.

Like we try to tell people all the time, grades don't really ever matter.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
I was stashed in Advanced for a little over a year and was privy to just about everything while I was there since I was in skeds...as a whole, IPs generally grade MPTS incorrectly or have a poor understanding of it. There are several loopholes and what-ifs regarding MIF and there is the perception that a 5 means "the stud can do it as well or better than me". That commonly leads to EVERYONE being graded somewhere between a 2 and a 4 and what you end up with is an NSS spike rather than a bell curve.

Anecdotally, the difference between a 73 and a 34 NSS in my winging class was a raw score of less than .3

Guys were getting sent E2s based on NSS (and personality) when sometimes the only difference was which IP they happened to go on the road with during AIRNAVs.

1s and 5s need to be utilized more, not less. As well as giving a dude something above MIF if they deserve it in early stages. Most of the reason why I'm a jet pilot is because my Primary on-wing was a great dude and liked me a lot...he asked me what I wanted and made sure I got it.

To be clear, these are exactly the reasons cited why TRAWING 1 was almost shut down and told to restart and why CNATRA has been in shock about how flight school is administered and why he's changing things drastically. I can say that as an IP at TRAWING 5, gradesheets are reviewed pretty thoroughly and there is a high deal of scrutiny to ensuring things are graded to MPTS. Obviously, I'm not speaking for the man, but between his words and his staff's attitude during inspections, I would say they were pretty disappointed in their initial impressions of flight school and how IPs at the jet wings were grading and teaching. This is NOT slight on jet pilots; I'm just saying my experience as both a student in advanced and now as an instructor, is that the HT's have graded and taught to the standard in MPTS. Where there's ambiguity is where the threshold is for a Ready Room Unsat and in some of the rules regarding warmups, but overall, it's pretty fair in my opinion.
 

DanMa1156

Land of the Milk and Honey.
pilot
Contributor
Literally out of his mouth. It is an ebb and flow as with any career field.
I find this hard to believe. He's stated repeatedly that he wants attrition earlier on than later on because of cost and time to train. Under the old system, it was frustrating how many failures one could have in flight school - we were routinely winging people with 8-9 failures and they may have never been triggered for SMS or had to redo an event; in other cases, we had people failing multiple times that required re-fly's and it was a huge use of resources (flight hours and IPs with STAN quals in some cases). I think his point was more along the lines of "there's probably something going on if you're having that many failures, let's take a look under the hood; if you're not cut out for this, let's make that decision earlier than later because we are really spending a lot of extra time and money on these low performers with a big backup of people chomping at the bit to replace them." It's totally wasteful to have 4-5 month waits for the Navy studs between Primary and Advanced; in some cases, a year for the Marines. I've seen a couple USMC O-3's in our program. That's a tragedy and should never have happened. I'm generally one to be pretty skeptical about Admirals and their big sweeping changes, but in this case, I genuinely believe that the changes that have come to MPTS and are coming to NFTS have and will be good changes. To be clear: CNATRA didn't change any standards of performance; he just changed what the impact of failing those standards meant for you. These impacts are much more along the lines of historical norms.
 
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Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
we were routinely winging people with 8-9 failures and they may have never been triggered for SMS or had to redo an event; in other cases, we had people failing multiple times that required re-fly's and it was a huge use of resources (flight hours and IPs with STAN quals in some cases).
How much of this do you think stems from the fact that the MPTS program is in origin an AF program? In the AF, there are airplanes/places that you can send a well below average student where they won't ever had to do anything other than the airline pilot type flying. My brother talks about guys who he went to flight school with who were bottom feeders, failed many times, and went on to fly small TRANSCOM airplanes doing what Navy/Marine types do on a B-Billet as a station gig. Or they get sent to C-5s, where they fly one route- Dover to Germany- for an entire tour.


By our much smaller nature we don't have that. Hell, take my example- two DQs at the boat in the RAG and I'm deemed unworthy to be in a cockpit of ANY manned airplane. (Which I still think is a waste of training and resources, but that's neither here nor there). Same thing happened to my buddy who just couldn't figure out the whole BFM thing.

Maybe we were better off on the above/below system.
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
IPs generally grade MPTS incorrectly or have a poor understanding of it.
Most of the reason why I'm a jet pilot is because my Primary on-wing was a great dude and liked me a lot...he asked me what I wanted and made sure I got it.
So on the one hand, you're saying IPs aren't maintaining the standard but on the other hand, your IP ignored the standard and gave you good grades "because he liked you?" I'm trying to understand your two statements. Are you using the second statement to validate your first statement? That may have been your point, but confirming.

FWIW, given when you went through Primary and the maturity of MPTS, I doubt you got jet grades just because someone liked you. Your performance probably had more to do with it.

How much of this do you think stems from the fact that the MPTS program is in origin an AF program?
I'd argue it has nothing to do with the AF. As DanMa is pointing out, it appears to be a lack of STAN. We're at the point now where MPTS has been around in Navy training at the Primary level for 18 years. All of those jet IPs have been through the system. MPTS isn't perfect, but it's not that hard to understand. You just have to take the time to read the CTS. A "4" literally spells out everything you have to do. "5s" are a nice to have, but that's not where you earn your points.

Rewind 10 years ago, and TW-5 was just as strict about STAN and grades back then. TW-4, not as much (and has historically continued to be that way). It sounds like it's just a culture difference in the various TWs.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
So on the one hand, you're saying IPs aren't maintaining the standard but on the other hand, your IP ignored the standard and gave you good grades "because he liked you?" I'm trying to understand your two statements. Are you using the second statement to validate your first statement? That may have been your point, but confirming.

FWIW, given when you went through Primary and the maturity of MPTS, I doubt you got jet grades just because someone liked you. Your performance probably had more to do with it.



I'd argue it has nothing to do with the AF. As DanMa is pointing out, it appears to be a lack of STAN. We're at the point now where MPTS has been around in Navy training at the Primary level for 18 years. All of those jet IPs have been through the system. MPTS isn't perfect, but it's not that hard to understand. You just have to take the time to read the CTS. A "4" literally spells out everything you have to do. "5s" are a nice to have, but that's not where you earn your points.

Rewind 10 years ago, and TW-5 was just as strict about STAN and grades back then. TW-4, not as much (and has historically continued to be that way). It sounds like it's just a culture difference in the various TWs.
I'm saying I had good a good reputation with my on-wing, went on the road together, got a bunch of 5's, and did well. My performance was average at best. The point I was making was there were other students who were in different situations. I'm not complaining, I'm sure there are hundreds of other things to consider besides grades when you're an IP, like @picklesuit explained. My point is that students are smart and the grading criteria is clearly defined in MPTS with little deviation. Strictly looking at it from a numbers standpoint (which ultimately decides what platforms you are eligible for) there are glaring inconsistencies in what should overwhelmingly a "standardized" grading system.
 
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