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Drop Air Contract in TBS? Would you go back?

jnptts

Member
Gentlemen,

I have spoken to a few USMC pilots in TBS and they love their job. I am here on an air contract, and need to let them know tomorrow if I will be dropping to ground. I initiated this after expressing an interest to do so based on the length of the commitment that could amount to 10-12 years. I will be married soon, and certainly want to start a family between now at 26 and when I would get out at 39. My question to the USMC aviators is would you do it all again if you could go back? Why did you choose this route as opposed to something like the Army WOCS program where you would fly more? I made sure not to get my heart set on fixed wing since it all depends on needs of the MC. Any advise and experiences would be appreciated.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
Dude, get your ass to flight school and don't look back.

For a microsecond everyone thinks about dropping their air contract at TBS. Those that do say to every pilot, "Yeah man, I had an air contract at TBS, but I dropped it." They all regret it.

You won't find a single pilot who regrets not dropping their air contract.


I'm the guy who DQ'd at the boat twice in the FRS and was sent to UAVs. I wouldn't trade my flight school and FRS experience for the world.
 

Criminal

God's personal hacky sack
pilot
There is no way in hell that dropping your air contract right now (or tomorrow) is the right call. Get to Pensacola. Get away from the suck sandwich that is TBS. Start training and taking to pilots on a daily basis.
Talk to the pilots down there that are getting out soon (end of their contract). I would imagine 98% of them would say the time flewby, was awesome, and itset them up for agreat follow on career.

If you are in flight school and you absolutely hate it, you can dor (completely non punitive) and you will transition to a ground obligation. which I believe is 3 years after completion of yournew mos school.
Bottom line isthat yournot in agreat position to make a truly educated decision at this time.
 

zippy

Freedom!
pilot
Contributor
Gentlemen,

I have spoken to a few USMC pilots in TBS and they love their job. I am here on an air contract, and need to let them know tomorrow if I will be dropping to ground. I initiated this after expressing an interest to do so based on the length of the commitment that could amount to 10-12 years. I will be married soon, and certainly want to start a family between now at 26 and when I would get out at 39. My question to the USMC aviators is would you do it all again if you could go back? Why did you choose this route as opposed to something like the Army WOCS program where you would fly more? I made sure not to get my heart set on fixed wing since it all depends on needs of the MC. Any advise and experiences would be appreciated.
Not sure what a flight contract has anything to do with starting or not starting a family...

You can do some gruntish stuff on your B billet if you’re all into that.

Are you worried you’re not going to fly enough? If that’s the case dropping your air contract ia the exact opposite of what you want to do if you’re looking to “fly more”...

My roommate from flight school went Cobras to a FAC/JTAC back to a helo squadron to an overseas station pilot flying multi engine fixed wing... some other dudes I know have flown a couple different fixed wing platforms. There’s a decent shot you may get a wide varierty of experiences as a FIGMAC if you don’t quit before you start.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
Gentlemen,

I have spoken to a few USMC pilots in TBS and they love their job. I am here on an air contract, and need to let them know tomorrow if I will be dropping to ground. I initiated this after expressing an interest to do so based on the length of the commitment that could amount to 10-12 years. I will be married soon, and certainly want to start a family between now at 26 and when I would get out at 39. My question to the USMC aviators is would you do it all again if you could go back? Why did you choose this route as opposed to something like the Army WOCS program where you would fly more? I made sure not to get my heart set on fixed wing since it all depends on needs of the MC. Any advise and experiences would be appreciated.
You don’t sound like you know what you’re doing. You’re talking about switching to ground and in the same breath you’re pining for going army to “fly more”. If you drop your air contract at TBS you will be the first person I’ve ever heard of doing so.
 

jnptts

Member
OCS and TBS has made me question being in this for so long. So I take it many find in flight school whether or not flying is their passion and that is the place to figure out if it is right?

While I can start a family, does being a pilot make it hard to maintain and be there for them? Are there career options that I can choose that will allow me to be home with them and present more often?
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
OCS and TBS has made me question being in this for so long. So I take it many find in flight school whether or not flying is their passion and that is the place to figure out if it is right?

While I can start a family, does being a pilot make it hard to maintain and be there for them? Are there career options that I can choose that will allow me to be home with them and present more often?
You’re going to deploy and be gone for weeks at a time for various training events regardless of your MOS, air or ground. It seems strange that this would suddenly be an issue for you after commissioning.
 

Criminal

God's personal hacky sack
pilot
OCS and TBS has made me question being in this for so long. So I take it many find in flight school whether or not flying is their passion and that is the place to figure out if it is right?

While I can start a family, does being a pilot make it hard to maintain and be there for them? Are there career options that I can choose that will allow me to be home with them and present more often?
OCS is not real life. TBS, while closer, is still not real life. If these places were, I sure as hell wouldn't have stayed in as long as I've had. When you get to Pensacola you will find it is an entirely different experience. I don't want to sayit's a night and day difference, but it's pretty close. You will have a much better time once you leave quantico behind.
I'm sure you could find a betterjob inthe world, say wardrobe assistant for a cheerleading squad, but not one that you are already hired for. And not one that you will be able to get a great job in the civilian world with little effort once you are done. All you have todo is not quit or fail, and even ifyou do you still have jobas a ground contract. I do remember at TBS there was a lot of negative BS being spread about air contacts and aviation in general. Which was just that, BS.

About family... I did TBS, flight school, and a fleet tourall while married with a kid. Still married, still have the kid. Marines work hard, train awayfrom home, and deploy. We all do, no matter MOS. Yeah it sucks being gone, but idon't think I was gone or home any more or less than my ground buddies, I was just a LOT more comfortable.
 

Homer J

I'm with NAVAIR. I'm here to help you.
While I can start a family, does being a pilot make it hard to maintain and be there for them? Are there career options that I can choose that will allow me to be home with them and present more often?
Being in the military at all makes it hard to be there as much as you want. If you have the determination and commitment to make both things work, you'll get it done. We've been doing it for years.
 

Fallonflyr

Well-Known Member
pilot
OCS and TBS has made me question being in this for so long. So I take it many find in flight school whether or not flying is their passion and that is the place to figure out if it is right?

While I can start a family, does being a pilot make it hard to maintain and be there for them? Are there career options that I can choose that will allow me to be home with them and present more often?
I am still trying to wrap my head around the second part of this question. Is your relationship already being strained by TBS? If you think that finding a nice safe 9-5 gig is what will make everything work out, you are already in the wrong place with the wrong girl. Go to P-Cola, concentrate and focus on killing it in flight school. Tell your girl you all can get married when you get your wings. If she sticks with you than she is the right person to start a family. If she doesn’t, then you have just been saved from making the worst decision of your life.
 

Slingblade

Huge Member
pilot
I’ve been in 17 years and the only time I’ve liked my job as far as quality of life has been when I’ve been in a flying billet. Lucky for me that’s been about 13 of the 17 years. The ground tours although rewarding looking back I didn’t like them much while doing them. When I was in Quantico I couldn’t wait to get started at flight school. I was a ground contract trying to earn the air contract at TBS because I gambled based on what the recruiter told me. Luckily it worked out, I definitely wouldn’t have lasted this long in the Marine Corps without being an Aviator. Longest and toughest days I ever worked in the Marine Corps were on the ground side.
 

Pags

Pope of Chili Town
pilot
You're too young to make career decisions based on a girl who's just as young as you. You and her will have to give it the old college try with any job because they all involve a lot of time away. But there are plenty of people who have had a family and made it work while in the service, you're not the first guy with a short haircut who's gone down this road. And if it doesn't work odds are it's not the service's fault. If a relationship can't stand a few months apart then it won't work on the civilian side either. The stresses of deployment are nothing compared to some of the other stressors life can throw at you.

Something made you go through the trouble of getting an air contract, what was it? Go to flight school and give it a try. If flying doesn't work out I'm sure the Marines will find a way to put you to use. In other words you only get one shot at flying. Ground MOSs will always be there.
 
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