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Army rated pilot to Navy fighter questions.

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
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.
I thought that years ago (A-6 era) there were flight surgeons that actually went through flight school and in addition to their duties as a flight surgeon they would fly missions, I also thought it had been referenced here before with a few examples and that it was also said it was a practice that was phased out due to not being practical.
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
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.
The USAF has a dual-designator Flight Surgeon-Pilot option and the Navy has had one as well on and off though the years. I knew at least two USAF types, one was already a flight surgeon-pilot and the other had just gotten selected for flight school after being a flight doc for a few years, he had over 200 hours of backseat QF-4 time by that time too.

I went through the RAG with a flight doc who got his aviator wings and was in Prowlers about 15 years ago, he was the first of his kind in over 10 years and they 'formalized' it after he did it but I don't know of they still have the program. I think he was in Brett's squadron at one point, maybe? Heard they had a hard time figuring out what to do with him.

There are also the guys who are aviators then go to med school afterwards, some of them continue to fly like the doc in my last squadron who was a former B/N, I think he did a shortened ECMO course and definitely flew more often than the normal flight doc.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
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.
Hmm. That doesn't explain the teaching scenario I remember though.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Contributor
The USAF has a dual-designator Flight Surgeon-Pilot option and the Navy has had one as well on and off though the years. I knew at least two USAF types, one was already a flight surgeon-pilot and the other had just gotten selected for flight school after being a flight doc for a few years, he had over 200 hours of backseat QF-4 time by that time too.

I went through the RAG with a flight doc who got his aviator wings and was in Prowlers about 15 years ago, he was the first of his kind in over 10 years and they 'formalized' it after he did it but I don't know of they still have the program. I think he was in Brett's squadron at one point, maybe? Heard they had a hard time figuring out what to do with him.

There are also the guys who are aviators then go to med school afterwards, some of them continue to fly like the doc in my last squadron who was a former B/N, I think he did a shortened ECMO course and definitely flew more often than the normal flight doc.
That is what I was going to mention. I remember one at North Island who flew with one of the Seasprite squadrons…but that was in the late 80’s.
 

Knox broxton

New Member
I believe that program is still up and running...the PPP (pilot physician program).
Exnavy thanks for the contact info, message left with individual
 

zipmartin

Why do I keep getting messages from Hoveround?
pilot
Contributor
I thought that years ago (A-6 era) there were flight surgeons that actually went through flight school and in addition to their duties as a flight surgeon they would fly missions, I also thought it had been referenced here before with a few examples and that it was also said it was a practice that was phased out due to not being practical.
When I went through the east coast A-7 RAG in '77 there was an instructor there who was also a flight surgeon. He accompanied our class to Brunswick to be a medical observer when we went through SERE School.
 

mad dog

dunkin’ologist
pilot
Contributor
That is what I was going to mention. I remember one at North Island who flew with one of the Seasprite squadrons…but that was in the late 80’s.
Yeppers…I remember one at NASNI during the same time frame in the late 80’s…may have been the same dude. I had to go to sick bay for some reason and he was the Doc that saw me. Really threw me for a loop when I saw his antiqued NA wings (I believe he wore antiqued Flight Surgeon wings as well).
 

ARAMP1

Aviator Extraordinaire
pilot
None
I had an IP in Tweets that was also a flight doc. Was really looking into the program for the AF (before I realized how much the airlines paid for the little amount of work that I do). The career timeline is different, but if you're interested in the AF the AFI is 11-405.
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
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.
False. We had a dual designator Pilot/Flight Doc filling a pilot slot in our squadron. Flew in combat with him many times. Though I did habitually tease him about needing the right seater to pull the trigger in case of HARM employment, that was not a requirement. :)
 

LMFAO

PILOT HMSD TRACK FAIL
pilot
There was an ancient former skid guy turned doc LCDR who ran the MCAS Camp Pendleton clinic for a few years, maintained currency in the Whiskey too. Would routinely give Xs at 303.
 
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