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Transition to FTS

insanebikerboy

Internet killed the television star
pilot
None
Contributor
One thing to keep in mind for FTS these days. Aviation is hurting for bodies in the flying squadrons. That coupled with the shifting screen groups is driving promotion to O-5 waaaay down for FTS pilots. Guys are being hung onto for the squadron manning and not having their highwater FITREP when they go to the board. I think the O-5 in zone selection rate was right around 30% the past two years for FTS pilots, and according to the detailer brief earlier this year, and it's not forecasted to change much over the next several years.

So, if you're an O-3 and you get FTS, odds are you'll pick up O-4, but O-5 isn't "guaranteed" like it was as recent as 4-5 years ago.
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
I’ve heard that declining one FTS selection doesn’t necessarily eliminate you from future consideration. Are individuals tracked that declined FTS?
I'll throw another one into the hat: one of my old HACs picked up HSC SOF when he really wanted VR. Turned it down, dropped his letter, and reapplied. He's flying VR somewhere hot and sticky right now.

Sometimes people's circumstances change between the time that they apply for the board and when the board results come out (although the timeline is usually pretty short, like less than a couple months), so there are "good" reasons out there for changing your mind.
@Jules12, there's a whole thread on my situation in PNA, but I turned down FTS VR for exactly what @Jim123 describes. Do all your research and give yourself other options if possible. FTS is a great opportunity, but sometimes Plan B can surprise you!
 

Gatordev

Well-Known Member
pilot
Site Admin
Contributor
This isn’t true. I declined FTS
As I said in the follow-up, community requirements can affect things. In the past, it was a big no-no. I completely understand why it may not be now. Also, some communities are much smaller than others.

Regardless, I'm glad it worked out for you.

Rushing is for SELRES only—in fact it’s required to have an interview with the front office to be considered. But for FTS it’s different.
Again, different communities have different nuances. On the helo side, it absolutely can help if the front office understands some of those nuances and where to apply them. Yes, it's not as formal, but it is a thing.
 

Sam I am

Average looking, not a farmer.
I turned down FTS, but before doing so specifically asked if my name was hitting a list. I was assured it wouldn't. I didn't believe it, but never tested it as I never reapplied. I remained SEL-RES for a few more years before riding the pine in the IRR. While the Navy may not have considered my decision noteworthy, most of my Sea Daddy network that wrote me gleaming LOR's noted it. They shook my hand and said "no worries", but made it clear there wouldn't a second letter. Just my 2 cents from my stale experience.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I turned down FTS, but before doing so specifically asked if my name was hitting a list. I was assured it wouldn't. I didn't believe it, but never tested it as I never reapplied. I remained SEL-RES for a few more years before riding the pine in the IRR. While the Navy may not have considered my decision noteworthy, most of my Sea Daddy network that wrote me gleaming LOR's noted it. They shook my hand and said "no worries", but made it clear there wouldn't a second letter. Just my 2 cents from my stale experience.
No surprise. You asked them to pony up their credibility to back you, then bailed. Private sector or Navy, that’s a good way to burn bridges.
 

RedFive

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
No surprise. You asked them to pony up their credibility to back you, then bailed. Private sector or Navy, that’s a good way to burn bridges.
It depends on the situation. All my "Sea Daddies" who wrote letters backed my decision to turn it down after I consulted with them once it became apparent that I had to make a choice between Plan A and B. They're all going Airlines as soon as they retire and said in my shoes they'd do the same thing. The lone SWO Daddy was really understanding and encouraging despite his background. Work hard, don't be a dick, and people are pretty understanding.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Yep, I've said it before but it's not uncommon for people to have more than one iron in the fire when they're trying to transition to FTS. Just be honest about it with the people you ask to endorse you- be it letters of recommendation for an FTS transition or job references elsewhere in life.

If you surprise them after the fact that it was only your plan B or C all along then yep, that's one way to burn bridges. Tell them up front that you're looking at more than one plan (or better yet, maybe ask for advice) is usually better. You don't have to lay everything out in exquisite detail, people usually understand what it's like to have competing priorities in life.
 
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Sam I am

Average looking, not a farmer.
No surprise. You asked them to pony up their credibility to back you, then bailed. Private sector or Navy, that’s a good way to burn bridges.
No $hit, nittany? A lot of assumptions on your part. GFY. I never said they were surprised and we still remain friends. They were made aware of the decision well in advance as well as why FTS was being pursued and might be declined. Thanks for the captain obvious observation..very insightful post.
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
No $hit, nittany? A lot of assumptions on your part. GFY. I never said they were surprised and we still remain friends. They were made aware of the decision well in advance as well as why FTS was being pursued and might be declined. Thanks for the captain obvious observation..very insightful post.
I was essentially trying to say what Jim123 said, but by all means, go high and right if you want . . .
 

Sam I am

Average looking, not a farmer.
I'll grant you my response was as ridiculous as your post. That being said, try harder.
 
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