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Army rated pilot to Navy fighter questions.

Knox broxton

New Member
RFI for people in the know, I’m trying to scratch an itch before I pumpkin out, the current retention climate may be my last chance:
Prior Airforce F15 mechanic
Prior Army Blackhawk pilot
Current Army flight surgeon
Spent time as firefighter and deputy sheriff as well, also have a fitness supplement company, 501(c)3 non-profit that supports aircrew families post accident, and a government contracting company.

E1-E5, W1-CW3, O1-O3 <-current rank
Title 10 TIS <10 years
Total time 18 years
I’ve been cultivating an astronaut resume, but also I’d like to finish out my career as a jet pilot which could help.

Does anyone have any insider insight or advice? Working with active duty recruiter now.
Thank you for the time.
 

cfam

A pilot is a pilot. An NFO is something else.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
You definitely have an interesting background, that’s for sure! How old are you? Age will really be the determining factor.

Also, are you trying to laterally transfer as an O-3? I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but given your rank and time in service, it would probably be a stretch to get a Navy pilot slot (let alone jets) unless you’re young enough to still be eligible.

Based on my understanding of the Navy’s lateral transfer criteria, you’d have to go back through flight school even though you’re a prior Army pilot. Your rank and time in service would work against you there, because flight school would take at least two years to complete from start to finish. Also (and im sure you realize this), there’s no guarantee you’d end up getting jets at the end of it all. A lot of it is performance based, but the needs of the Navy still play a part. You need to ask yourself if you’d be willing to end up as a Navy helo pilot or flying something else besides F/A-18s.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
None
Contributor
Why not go to the ANG, pick a fighter unit, and apply to SpaceX or Blue Origin, or Scaled Composites, or Orbital, or Virgin Galactic?

You may have to fund your own test pilot school thing, but there has to be a civilian school offering a degree for it so you can use the post 9/11 GI bill.
 

cfam

A pilot is a pilot. An NFO is something else.
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Just saw your reply to Zippy. I’m pretty sure you’re out of luck at your age, unless there’s been a recent change to the instructions that I’m unaware of. You may have more luck pursuing an Air National Guard fighter spot, as those units have the ability to submit age waivers up to 38.
 

Knox broxton

New Member
I’ve heard stories of “older” people, but purely anecdotal.

The Airforce is certainly one pathway to fighters, and I’ve been casting a wide net. If I had my druthers...the Navy would add to the broadness of my career, not only have I been enlisted, warrant, and commissioned, I’ve been active, NG, and reserve.

I don’t mind going through flight school, don’t mind giving up rank, but...like so many things in life, timing is key. With the struggles the military branches have had in retention and training aviators, I figure this is my last shot, because I’m old.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
None
Contributor
I’ve heard stories of “older” people, but purely anecdotal.

The Airforce is certainly one pathway to fighters, and I’ve been casting a wide net. If I had my druthers...the Navy would add to the broadness of my career, not only have I been enlisted, warrant, and commissioned, I’ve been active, NG, and reserve.

I don’t mind going through flight school, don’t mind giving up rank, but...like so many things in life, timing is key. With the struggles the military branches have had in retention and training aviators, I figure this is my last shot, because I’m old.

Retention? Yes. Training new guys? There are still more than enough new folks who want to be pilots.

What the Navy and Marine Corps needs are mid career division leads to stick around.

In the Navy you're an O-4 with no quals competing for department head and CO.

In the ANG you might be a flight doc who can bro out and fly the line. You might meet some guys who can get your name in the right circles to meet your career goals.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
I certainly don’t know your timing but hypothetically if you transferred as an O-3 with 18 years of service there’s a real possibility of you getting passed for O-4 and forced out before you even finished flight school or FRS or whatever it would hypothetically be. Not saying that would happen but it doesn’t make much sense for the Navy
 

Knox broxton

New Member
The only way it makes sense is if I go back to O1E, which is Gucci to me. Thus far active duty components have entertained the idea because of <10 years of title 10 service
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Does anyone have any insider insight or advice? Working with active duty recruiter now.
Thank you for the time.
You should be talking to the community manager, not a recruiter, recruiters can just put people in OCS and as such they have to follow the Program Authorization and the current PA does not allow them to work with you (PA-106).

31070
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
As I recall, physicians may not serve in any designator that might require offensive combat. Hippocratic oath and all, if not Geneva Convention. I don't recall. I do remember a scenario from recruiting school of reserve SWO going to MED school and on graduating HAD to change designator to Medical Corps. Point being, I am pretty certain there is no chance of being an ordinary fleet pilot. You would have to transfer as a flight surgeon. And you may find that our fight surgeons do not get the flying opportunities you are looking for. And I wouldn't be surprised if this were the case in the USAF AND ANG.
 

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
None
Contributor
@wink

I think that is only if they are actually serving as a physician or in a Geneva Convention designated medical role. During my DH tour, another VP squadron at Jax had a P3 pilot with an MD. He did a follow on VT IP tour before redesignating and going to Flight Surgeon school.

The squadron flight surgeons weren’t thrilled with him. He did a lot of off the book consultations for aviators looking to avoid down chits.
 
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