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VP to Jets Transition Question

Vidofnir

It's always MEDC
pilot
This is an honest question, so bear with me.

Yes, I just started at the VP world, but I am honestly curious because I can't seem to find it on here (at least recently)... What do you have to do to submit a jet transition package? Specifically for VP guys.

I just want an idea. Not saying that I am dead-set on this, but I am just curious. (Mostly because I was talking to VAQ guys I know and they suggested it)
 

Brett327

Well-Known Member
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
There's a NAVADMIN that comes out every year that describes the program, the requirements, etc. go to the NPC site and you'll find it there. Bottom line though, you're most likely going to have to complete your expected community quals to be eligible (and competitive). That means kicking ass in your first tour. MB is right though. Declaring to your community that you want to bail from it before you're in a position to actually do so will not make for good results. Talk to "Scoober" on here - someone who transitioned from VQ to jets.
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
Being junior helps. I had just put Om LT when I got picked up, and was a JG when I applied.

But, I was a HAC, FCP, NVG Instructor and had my level 4 qual done. I was also in my "final" job as QAO.

Sent from a van down by the river via Tapatalk
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
Oh, and even with all the wickets done, all quals, outstanding performance in my ground job, I still got punched in the dick on my out the door FITREP.

It's going to depend on how the skipper liked the idea of transitions in the first place. In my case, Skipper D supported me, but his XO, who was the CO when I left, did not. Skipper D gave me a good FITREP at the C o C, but I was only a JG, and his XO wrote my only LT FITREP in HSL.

Sent from a van down by the river via Tapatalk
 

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
This is an honest question, so bear with me.

Yes, I just started at the VP world, but I am honestly curious because I can't seem to find it on here (at least recently)... What do you have to do to submit a jet transition package? Specifically for VP guys.

I just want an idea. Not saying that I am dead-set on this, but I am just curious. (Mostly because I was talking to VAQ guys I know and they suggested it)
There is an instruction on what exactly you need and when I did it many moons ago there were three things required; 1- Letter of recommendation from your CO, 2- Current flight physical with no limitations to go jets, 3- I think IIRC, a personal statement with your three top choices. The biggest block is obviously the CO recommendation, I knew several guys who waited until their shore tour to apply for a transition because they knew their COs would balk at writing a letter of rec for a variety of reasons.

What isn't said is that you need to have a pretty good record in your old community to go to a new one, that is standard for any competitive program in the Navy but also the new community doesn't want to get a brick. It was explained to me that while there is a 'board' the main work is usually is done between your current community's detailer (VP) and the ones you have applied to go to, obviously first choice is important since the second and third choices would likely look a bit askance at you for putting them there. If your community has enough manning to let you go and the community you applied for has room in you YG that is very important, you have no control over that but that is probably the biggest factor. You could be the most awesomest VP guy since Orville Wright but if your community is short of people and/or the other one is overmanned then you are probably SOL. That is where the 'luck and timing' factor comes in.

Also you may want to be a bit savvy when it comes to communities you apply to transition to. There was a good reason 70% of my DH's in VQ-1 were originally not EP-3 guys, the community being so small and far outside the norm we welcomed transitions to include a whole lot of helo pilots. My XO when I transition was an HC guy and my DH was an A-6 NFO. When I put in for a transition I figured VAQ would be more welcoming to a guy with EW experience and I had heard anecdotally that VAQ was more welcoming to transitions, I found that to be generally true when I got to VAQ. Of course it helped I put in my transition package before 9/11 when VAQ needed folks.

And as MB so wisely points out, keep your thoughts of transition pretty quiet. I waited until I was fully qualified to tell a trusted DH who was a transition himself. He said to do well on my next det as a fully qualified guy and he would talk to the XO. I did well enough and he socialized it with the XO, I then talked to the CO myself and he was very supportive. I did this a little past the 2 year point and I was a known quantity, and I made sure to talk to someone I trusted and knew the XO and CO well to get a read on how realistic it was. A few other DH's found out as I applied but still kept it quiet, I didn't want anyone to write me off including my peers. Some folks, to include COs and detailers, take it as a personal insult that you may want out of the community. I fortunately didn't run into it but our sister squadron had a CO announce that no one was going to get a transition package signed off in his command at an AOM.

Finally, while there are usually just a few transitions a year but keep in mind there are few that actually put in for it. I had a lot of my flight school classmates say they were going to do it and a few VQ guys asked me privately for help after I transitioned but few actually pulled the trigger. It is a bit daunting to have to go back through flight school and start from scratch in a new community. And shockingly enough some guys loved flying helos for some strange reason! ;)

I enjoyed it and have few regrets transitioning. The difference in culture was significant but mostly good, your life in the squadron revolved around flying and it wasn't something you just did sometimes. For example, I had to do a double-take the first time I saw my CO in khakis about 6 months after I got to the command and he flew about 80-90% as much as the JOs. The flying itself, well there is no comparison.

My info is a decade old, there are a few who are more recent to include Scoober, a pretty recent VQ-Jet pilot transition here on the board that would be able to give more recent gouge. Best of luck!
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
Scoober is out doing CQ right now, so it may take a few days for feedback.

I've seen transition guys do well, I've seen others shunned with a case of not invented here from the new front office.

In my case, I had super cool DHs, but a fairly not with it front office. We had 3 transitions in my squadron, two super JOs and an ex S-3 dept head. None of us did "well" on the FITREP front.

The other super JO was a NFO to pilot, but he was ex VS and we both got about the same treatment.

Sent from a van down by the river via Tapatalk
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Some folks, to include COs and detailers, take it as a personal insult that you may want out of the community.
@OP:
-there's no excuse for narrow-mindedness or parochialism for its own sake
-far be it from me to defend that type of "leadership"
-kudos are certainly due to any important folks/players/somebodies in any community who can swallow their pride and support those who simply wish to follow a different path

but, as MB, Brett, and Flash have alluded,

It helps to look at it from your chain of command's perspective, right or wrong, and that perspective is that the squadron has invested a lot in you, and having done that, they might actually want you to stick around to help train the next generation. Food for thought when you start putting out feelers.

Also, have a read through the private transition forum.
 

tiger84

LT
pilot
I'm not a VP guy, but I did get picked up to transition to VAQ from HSC on the board that was held last June and the process is essentially the same regardless of community.

The first thing you need to look at is MILPERSMAN 1542-020, which is the instruction governing community transitions. It isn't on the NPC transition page anymore, only the NFO-pilot one is, so you'll have to Google it. There hasn't been a NAVADMIN released about this program in a while, so that document is your best source of information. Boards are held in June and December of each year, with the applications being due the first day of the month prior or whenever the program manager feels like setting the deadline. The VAW first shore detailer runs the program, so if you have any questions about specifics then he's your man. Results also aren't released via NAVADMIN, just an email to applicants, so I only have data from my board, but they took two guys for VAQ and one for VFA out of who knows how many applications.

The package itself is pretty simple. You need a letter explaining why you want to transition and how it will benefit the Navy, a command endorsement and a letter from the flight doc stating that you are PQ for whatever community you are trying to go to. You can submit letters of recommendation or additional updates if you choose.

When the board looks at your package they decide if they think you're a good candidate to transition and then they have to determine if the community you want needs people and if your current community can lose you.

If you get selected your detailer and front office decide when to detach you and then you go to advanced, or in my case an abbreviated T-6 IUT followed by advanced.

My advice for you at this point is to gather information, look at the MILPERSMAN instruction to learn about the requirements, and then keep it to yourself until you're ready to ask the old man for an endorsement. Kick ass in your ground job, get your quals early and often, fly your ass off and don't try to transition until you've made a decent impact on the squadron. I'm convinced that the most important part of the application is your CO's endorsement, so think about what you've accomplished and how your CO might describe your value in a letter to the board. I was a post-cruise HAC, QAO, FCP, FCPE, SWTP Level III and NVD Instructor with 1200+ hours when I got picked up on my first look, although I have no idea what's typical.

If you have anymore questions I'm happy to answer them if I can.
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
How did you get 1200 hours in one tour! Lucky. I flew busted ass bravos, and had about 900 total after getting extended six months to get a LT FITREP.

Sent from a van down by the river via Tapatalk
 

tiger84

LT
pilot
Lots of time on the gator spinning circles in the starboard D. Combine that with the glut of flight hours we had when I checked into the squadron and that's just how it worked out. At the same time some of my peers were lucky to leave with 900, so it was really luck of the draw.
 

JTW

A Flying Sea-WO
pilot
I flew busted ass bravos
Ha! You should fly them now! Especially the one that was broken down to become a Romeo and then put back together as a Bravo cuz it was a stupid idea. That one in particular is the biggest "busted ass bravo".
 

MasterBates

Well-Known Member
FLM was the biggest driver of the lack of hours. Is it still at some retarded low hours per month?

Sent from a van down by the river via Tapatalk
 

Vidofnir

It's always MEDC
pilot
Wow! Who knew that four sentences would create such discussion here.

Thanks for the solid responses, guys. I knew you guys would come through.

I'm not planning on committing career-suicide by marching into my squadron and saying I don't want to be there. I plan on shutting up, qualifying, and making the best of what I have now. I'll consider such an option later. Naturally, this came up in the first place since I was alcohol- and jealousy-fueled at a party.
 

PropAddict

Now with even more awesome!
pilot
Contributor
Specifically from the VP front: it's a total crapshoot.

I saw 3 people try for it my first tour.

One guy was rock-solid, on the fast track to IP and a #1 or 2 EP and he put in his packet just before he made PPC. He got picked up for helos and is loving life there, but he got totally spanked on his last FITREP because everyone "knew" he'd never be a skipper anyway after his transition.

One girl was, um, less-than-rock-solid and made it no secret that she "should have been a jet pilot." She applied @ 6 months before making PPC and was not accepted for transition. She also was not allowed to sign for a plane the last 4 months she was in the squadron, but that's another story.

The last guy was a rockstar. IP, Pilot Training, MC of an all-JO crew on deployment. He applied at the appropriate board which just happened to occur after he had been through FIUT. The jet community was willing to take him, but the VP community was unwilling to let him go because they "already had too much invested in him, what with IUT and all. Wouldn't he much rather go to VP-30?" Well, he WOULDN'T really, but that's where he is today.

It definitely seems like a weird line to have to walk: you need to be good, but not too good. You need to be qualified, but not too qualified.


And I'll give a dissenting vote here, too, as a guy who knew he wanted to transition when he checking into his fleet squadron: your feelings may change in 18-24 months. Go on a deployment, get away from VP-30, get qualified, and your perspective may change. I still get that passing case of "what ifs. . ." at airshows and the like, but on a daily basis, flying P-3s is actually pretty good. The MPRA community is pretty fucked up, but the flying is pretty good.
 
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