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Seeking advice regarding platform

DaveKell

New Member
Good morning all. I have been a longtime peruser of this forum since my first airshow in middle school. Not long after I decided I wanted to fly Herks as I have family members who evacuated on one, had a father who was a Marine, and joined the MC because of this. When I got to high school, I signed up on this forum and began asking questions and researching regarding USMC maritime, and did everything I could to get it. Im a pretty obsessive planner, and mapped my career out on serving 20 years, unfortunately revolving around the Herc.

Fast forward to primary, I made my desires known, I did the best I could, always been average/above average, but was simply beat out by several points for the C130 slot. I took a gamble hoping I'd get the chance. Luck wasn't in my favor and I selected my last choice of Ospreys. Truth be told, I never really had desire flying it and didn't expect to select my last choice, so its a bit tough to get excited for the platform. Of the Osprey pilots I conversed, more than most seem to be disgruntled and heavily burnt out - more so than other communities. Some have said they requested an IA to try and get away from the squadron, and they admitted that they loved flying. I've met very few that want to stay in, and some even contemplated turning in their wings. One that worries me most, is I have met 3 who have said if they knew what they knew now, they wouldn't have joined. This is a little worrisome and definitely raised some red flags for me. It is a little daunting to walk into a community knowing that, and knowing it is for the next 8 years for something my heart wasn't in.

I think some IPs saw my face when I selected, pulled me aside, and said I can transition in the future. Naturally I went home and did extensive research, but for the past MARADMINs of the last several years, Osprey pilots 7532s have never been eligible, presumably due to manpower. After more research, opportunities for Osprey pilots to transition to the herc or another community are slim to none.

I hope I can solicit some advice regarding whether or not to continue in aviation. I can't imagine what its like doing a ground job, but continuing for the next decade on something my heart isn't fully in is also tough but don't want any regrets, as I have always wanted to fly Marines. Flying the herk was more of personal and intrinsic reasons for me; I never had or have airline aspirations. I initially planned to pick up my biochem degree and enter the medical field after. It's been said everyone ends up loving their platform but I suspect this isnt fully true. I don't mean to sound ungrateful - I am more than grateful for the opportunities afforded me, please don't think otherwise. Hope I am not coming off like I am complaining or disrespectful. I am standing by to get blasted but sincerely hope for some advice so I can make an informed decision for my career.
 

wlawr005

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
Just saw an article about two Marines who received a DFC for flying some guys into a hot LZ and saved the day (Google it). You may or may not like it now, but the Osprey is relevant and in high demand. It will be what you make it, no one can do it for you. Take a step back, spend about 30 more seconds being bitter, and then go bloom where you are planted. Not everyone gets their first choice, but if you show up to the FRS with that attitude then I guarantee you'll have a bad time.
 

HeloBubba

SH-2F AW
Contributor
I didn't get my first choice. I wanted S-3's and got H-2's. I had zero desire to crew helo's. Zero desire to be the SAR swimmer that crewing helo's required. I kept a positive attitude regardless and ended up enjoying my community so much that if I could do it over, I would select helo's as my first choice. The best advice is in the previous post, get over it quickly then bloom where you are planted. You are a Marine Aviator a small brotherhood that many want to join, but few gain entry. Take comfort in that and apply your best self to whatever they throw at you.

As a side note, if I were 30 years younger and 30 pounds lighter, I'd join the Corps just to crew/fly V-22's. They look like fun.
 

Gonzo08

*1. Gangbar Off
None
One thing to consider is that most of your IPs are coming off of fleet tours where they were dealing with a lot of crappy things that have happened in Naval/Marine Aviation over the last few years: burnout from op tempo, manning/parts shortages, administrative overload, O-4 board issues, etc. While many of those things haven't necessarily been solved fully (or at all), it sounds like your IPs are passing on their frustration with the fleet to their students, inadvertently or not. As a former flight instructor, I didn't necessarily sugar coat the fleets problems when talking to studs, but I definitely didn't bitch about fleet life in front of them, which it sounds like what you're dealing with.

My recommendation, like those above me, is to take a hot second to be frustrated that you got your last choice, then get over yourself and go kick-ass in the V-22 community. One of the oldest sayings in Naval Aviation is that most people end up happy flying whatever they select whether they wanted it or not. Try not to go forward assuming you're going to hate your life, but motivated by the opportunity to fly one of the hottest platforms in the DoD right now.
 

xmid

Registered User
pilot
Contributor
Second all of the above, but I have a question:

Assuming things haven't changed in the last 3 years, you put down your top 3 preferences out of 4 categories (for Marines). So if you were so averse to flying Ospreys, why did you put them on your selection list? In a way you did select them. Just not your first selection. C-130's, jets, helo's, and Ospreys, right? So one of those you had to want even less than Ospreys.

Herc's are an extremely small portion of the selections. There are some weeks were you could have an 80 NSS and there simply are no Herc slots that week. You really set yourself up for heartache with a Herc's or bust mentality. I don't bring that up to rub salt in your wounds after the fact, but hopefully to inspire you to reflect on that mindset going forward in your career. It's great to have goals or aspirations, but you need have a plan B/C/D etc. for when the needs of the Corps don't align with what you want to do.

It sounds like you gave it your best and it just didn't work out. Thats all you can do. As previously said, grow and kick ass where you were planted. Be a good dude, a good stick, and work hard at your ground job. The guys I knew that did that usually grew to love their community and were rewarded with the opportunity to do some really awesome and unique things. Some were even able to transition to their first choice later in their careers.

And for the record, I got my last choice out of primary (Helo's), and my last choice of location (Norfolk), and I had a blast. I wouldn't trade those years for anything.
 

Griz882

Livin' On the Right Side of the River From Pags!
pilot
Contributor
Everybody above is right. Embrace the 22, it is a machine of the future. The AF is flying them, the Navy has adopted them, soon enough the Army will be flying tilt-rotors, and the Coast Guard will follow.
 

Randy Daytona

Cold War Relic
pilot
Super Moderator
The V-22 is a very versatile machine and the future of the Corps - you will get to do a lot of missions. Also, if you are still set on C-130's at the end of your active duty commitment, you can rush a reserve C-130 squadron (Marines, Navy, Air Force, ANG) and possibly finish your last decade in the Herc. Best of luck.
 

DaveKell

New Member
I'm not sure I understand. When we selected, we had to rank our preferences from 1-4. That's exactly how my list played out.. Hercs, jets, helos, ospreys. Hindsight is 20/20 and I realize I did set myself up for this.. definitely will keep that in mind for the rest of my career.

Thats my plan.. be as good as I can in the 22 and accumulate the ratings/hours/quals and hope the Corps decides to finally open transitions to Ospreys. If not ill be an asset for my community and move on to the next portion of life. Thanks all
 

xmid

Registered User
pilot
Contributor
I'm not sure I understand. When we selected, we had to rank our preferences from 1-4. That's exactly how my list played out.. Hercs, jets, helos, ospreys.
Sorry. When I was a VT IP working in STUCON our selection sheet only let you list three options. It sounds like you did all you could. Take it from someone that didn't get what they wanted, it sucks at first but you're going to have an awesome time.
 

DanMa1156

Studying
pilot
Contributor
Also: while I didn't have any fellow V-22 IPs in during my time in the HT's, my perception was that all the Marines were bitter and couldn't wait to quit. Then half of those guys made Major and their story changed a little bit. People love bitching. Cobra guys bitched about the workload and their terrible community and being in garrison. 53 guys bitched about the Cobra guys and how no one respected them. They all bitched about Marines who didn't want helos bitching about not wanting helos in helo advanced. People complain man. You'll be fine.
 

Notanaviator

Well-Known Member
At the risk of offering an observation when I'm obviously not the guy from whom you're soliciting advice, one thought that hasn't been addressed by all the good advice above. In your original post you indicated there's a real emotional connection from a couple generations back, which is laudable. I would venture to bet that if you spend all or part of your career flying Ospreys, down the road there will likely be a number of folks out there in the world - civilian, military, likely both - who will remember that platform and the aircrew employing it fondly because it got them out of a tight spot. It may not be what you sought initially, but I'd think that platform will truly be one that makes a difference to folks that it serves.
 
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