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More Delays - Story time, board frustration.

Ventus

Weather Boy
Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's been awhile since I've posted here. Unfortunately I'm still chasing that flight spot, but I've come a long way.
Some background:
Was in AFROTC in college. The year I was supposed to go to Field Training, my Det said they were only sending Language and Engineering majors.
Friend recommended I look into the Marine Officer Program. I applied for PLC, was flight contracted, but not selected. I applied for OCS two more times and was flight contracted for all of them. Application got better but OCS got more selective. This was 2013. I have heard from many recruiters that at that time, aviation was being cut and they were looking for specific demographics for officers which I was not a part of.

April 2014, I enlisted in the Marine Corps as a weather forecaster (METOC). I really enjoy my job and there are very good deployment opportunities at my unit. Would have been a Corporal back in October but my MOS has been closed out since then. Never been in trouble. Everyone in my unit and the units that I have been TAD to like me and have written me recommendations.

October 2015 I started the process to apply for the Air Force Officer Program. Medical took the longest. I eventually received a Class 1 flight physical from the hospital down at Camp Lejeune in mid 2016.
I was also able to get a Conditional Release signed from the Commandant's office in early May since my MOS is overmanned and I'm qualified, however admin took to long and I didn't get it back until after the June 2016 board deadline.

I have scored very competitively on the Air Force's AFOQT and TBAS tests. I have also taken the Army SIFT and scored a 71. I think my old ASTB score is still relevant as well (6/7/6).

Fast forward to present. I was all set up to go up for the Air Force Rated January board. I had letters of recommendation from two Marine O-5 aviators as well as one from my state congressman. All of my information was submitted. I would call my recruiter every 1-2 weeks to see if there was anything that he needed from me or what the next step was. The deadline for the board paperwork submission was Jan 17th, 2017, even though the physical board itself is Feb 15th.

I got a call yesterday from my recruiter saying that the board paperwork deadline had somehow moved from next week to today. I wouldn't have been worried because I had submitted everything early. However he informed me that he had not yet set a MEPS date for me and I had no medical information that the board could use. I asked if he could use my Class 1 flight physical. He said no, he had asked. I also have my COMPLETE medical history that goes all the way back to MEPS when I joined the Marine Corps. I have that in a PDF file that I update every two months or so. He said they couldn't use that either. He admitted it was basically his fault that he didn't notice that I still needed a MEPS date entered. Needless to say I was...a little speechless that all of my work for this had gone somewhat out the window and I was looking at yet another delay.
However it does have a silver lining. While the rated board is sooner, he let me know of a "needs of the Air Force" board coming up in April. Essentially, he said they will just be hiring what the Air Force needs and you know exactly what you are applying for where as this Rated board, I had a preference list and could be selected for one of 4 positions (Pilot, Navigator, Air Battle Manager, and Drone Pilot). If I turned down the ones I didnt want, I would not be able to apply again. So basically I'm hoping that the Air Force will still be needing pilots (which I'm hearing all over is the case) come April. All of my information is ready save for that MEPS date.

Although I am currently Marine METOC, I am FAP'd out to base PMO right now. I volunteer to guard the gate to the flight line when I can so I can watch the planes take off when traffic is slow. I like to strike up conversations about with all of the Marine pilots that come through and many of them recognize me and say hi outside of work. One of these pilots invited me to speak with him. He didn't know a whole lot about me initially, just that I wanted to fly. But as I explained everything that happened to me, my scores, and my recommendations, he seemed extremely surprised that I had not been selected, saying that my scores were higher than his when he got in. But that makes sense because he got in back in 2004 during the height of Iraq-Afghan and they needed people.

The advice he gave me was to shot-gun my application to multiple services and see who bites.

I am aware that beggars can't be choosers, but the reason I selected the Air Force was because I wanted to live in the Rocky Mountains because my other passion in life is skiing. I've lived in the south for 3.5 years now and I'm very much over it. I miss snow. I miss seasons.
If I absolutely wanted to get everything I wanted, it would mean waiting 2 more years and applying for a unit in the Air Force reserve. However, I'm currently 25 years old, about to be 26 in May. I'm a little worried that waiting will cut it pretty close to the age cutoff so anything at all that I can do to get my foot in the door to OCS and flight school is what I want to do.

One more thing to note. I love the Marine Corps, but my viewpoints have shifted since I joined. As much as I believe in the mission, my views are more in line with science, technology, space, the outdoors, and helping people. That said, I don't really know a whole lot about flying in the Coast Guard, but being a rescue pilot is appealing to me.

Either way, I'm not going to give up until i'm sitting in the cockpit wearing my flight suit.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, all of you that made it through. Does anyone else have any similar experiences (or frustrations) they'd like to share about getting selected, flight school, etc?

Respectfully,
Ventus
 
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PMPT

Well-Known Member
I would look at the AF reserves if I were you, perhaps before you take your one and only (by the sounds of things) shot at the AF. A friend of mine is a reserve airlift pilot and said they (AFRESCOM in general) are undermanned at the moment. AFRES will give you 4 years of active duty orders upon completion of your training also. Sounds like a pretty damned good gig.

Good luck. Be fit, be smart, be sociable.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
you never mention your GPA? your ASTB scores are still valid and fine to keep.

the AF recruiters I knew always said it is rare for them to pick pilots from OTS applications so he might be doing you a favor if you want to fly.

contact a USN OR
 

Ventus

Weather Boy
I would really like to apply to the Air Force Reserve or Guard because it offers the most flexibility on where you live and you can pretty much select the airframe you will fly based on what unit you can get to sponsor you and apply for. The problem is unless I get approval from SECNAV for a conditional release/best interest of the service discharge, I have to serve out my remaining enlisted contract which will place me very close to the age cutoff. So really my only option right now is Active Duty.

My GPA was 2.57

I am currently doing more research on naval aviation. I confess I'm not very knowledgeable on what type of flying the Navy does, where all the bases are located, or even all the airframes it uses.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I would really like to apply to the Air Force Reserve or Guard because it offers the most flexibility on where you live and you can pretty much select the airframe you will fly based on what unit you can get to sponsor you and apply for. The problem is unless I get approval from SECNAV for a conditional release/best interest of the service discharge, I have to serve out my remaining enlisted contract which will place me very close to the age cutoff. So really my only option right now is Active Duty.

My GPA was 2.57

I am currently doing more research on naval aviation. I confess I'm not very knowledgeable on what type of flying the Navy does, where all the bases are located, or even all the airframes it uses.
I am quite surprised the USAF even started working with you with a GPA like that, even trying to get in the USN with that low GPA would not be the easiest and the USN puts heavy weight on ASTB.

The age limit for SNA is commissioned by age 29, I think the USMC is a bit higher, and same for the others, but with a GPA like that I would apply to everyone and take what you get.
 

Rugby_Guy

Livin on a Prayer
pilot
Why don't you apply for the USMC now that you're in?
Especially with a degree. ECP seems like the most sure thing you have going for you. They won't look at GPA as much as they will look at your record of performance as a Marine.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
Especially with a degree. ECP seems like the most sure thing you have going for you. They won't look at GPA as much as they will look at your record of performance as a Marine.
It looks like he tried several times already, everything has a minimum GPA and unfortunately that low GPA is just one thing that many other candidates will have him beat on.
 

Rugby_Guy

Livin on a Prayer
pilot
It looks like he tried several times already, everything has a minimum GPA and unfortunately that low GPA is just one thing that many other candidates will have him beat on.
I remember reading an article a few years ago, maybe last year, that put the odds higher for a "qualified" Sergeant to pick up 2ndLt through a commissioning program and for the SSgt board. It was around 75% selection rate before, ECP being higher than that and MECEP being lower.

At the end of the day, it's his call. But I would recommend trying to stay in service and drop ECP packages like it's your job, before you age out and need conditional releases and such.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I remember reading an article a few years ago, maybe last year, that put the odds higher for a "qualified" Sergeant to pick up 2ndLt through a commissioning program and for the SSgt board. It was around 75% selection rate before, ECP being higher than that and MECEP being lower.

At the end of the day, it's his call. But I would recommend trying to stay in service and drop ECP packages like it's your job, before you age out and need conditional releases and such.
If he wants to fly he should look at all options, he has time to drop one for the USMC and if that doesn't work to try for USN
 

Ralph

Registered User
It looks like he tried several times already, everything has a minimum GPA and unfortunately that low GPA is just one thing that many other candidates will have him beat on.
I don't see anywhere in his post saying he applied to the USMC while enlisted.

The Army Guard is hurting for pilot if you can pass a physical. There is a unit at Buckley at Denver as well as the Air Guard F-16's and I believe C-21's. Peterson has C-130's. SLC has KC-135's, Hawks, Apache's, and Hill has Viper's.
 

exNavyOffRec

Well-Known Member
I don't see anywhere in his post saying he applied to the USMC while enlisted.

The Army Guard is hurting for pilot if you can pass a physical. There is a unit at Buckley at Denver as well as the Air Guard F-16's and I believe C-21's. Peterson has C-130's. SLC has KC-135's, Hawks, Apache's, and Hill has Viper's.
yep, looks like before he enlisted, but my statement is still valid, he has a poor GPA so he needs to apply to everyone he can and be happy what he gets if he wants to fly.
 
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